Summer Entertaining

Well the summer is flying by and I’ve been so busy in the month of June that I haven’t had too much time to blog lately. We’ve taken several short trips and had a few important family celebrations which I’ve had to plan as well.  The summer is off to a great start and now I have some time to blog again, before our big trip next month.  I am, what some folks call, a summer baby (my birthday is in August) and summer has always been my absolute favorite season and time of year.  I love that kids are off from school, so I get to thoroughly enjoy my daughter, without having to worry if homework and assignments are done (although there is that blasted summer reading list).  Lucky for me, I live in Miami…yes, it gets incredibly hot, but I love to hang out in my pool and go to the beach pretty regularly.  As part of my summer routines, I also enjoy having friends and family over and that of course, means yummy, refreshing summer meals.

So, when I was recently contacted by the folks at Paperless Post, inviting me to participate in a link-up about summertime entertaining, I thought it would be right up my alley. Paperless Post, an online invitation website that I have used many times, provides both virtual and printed invitations and other stationary as well.  They truly have beautiful invitations, announcements and greeting cards.  Take a look at some of their summer themed invitations:

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

So, I decided to create my inspiration board with all of the items that I think would look amazing and fun for an outdoor pool or beach party.  I always feel good food is the ticket to satisfying guests and making an event memorable.  Browsing through Pinterest I found some amazingly delicious and easy recipes. And you always need to keep the kids in mind, so they are entertained as well.  Here’s what I came up with:

entertaining

1) Individual Frozen Key Lime Pies | 2) Pottery Barn Mini Lantern String Lights | 3) Beach Buckets with Shovels for Snacks | 4) Bucket of Water Balloons | 5) Ginormous Burger & Brown Bag Chips | 6) Sunscreen & Bug Spray Station | 7) Shrimp & Chorizo Bites  | 8) Strawberry Shortcake Skewers  | 9) Watermelon Refresher

Do you  enjoy summertime entertaining?  I’d love to hear your ideas…

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Duct Tape Crafts for Summertime

My daughter discovered duct tape in the 4th grade. Her classmates introduced her to these wonderfully, colored tapes, which at first, she wasn’t too sure what to do with.  She came home from school one day and declared that we had to go to Michael’s or Target to get these colorful tapes to “make things out of”.  Now, let me start by saying that we are a pretty crafty family, and I love to frequent Michael’s and JoAnn’s for all of my scrapbooking needs.  However, I had not yet heard of these tapes, (aside from the usual black duct tape) and had no idea what she was talking about, so I put the request on the back burner.  After all, there was always a new fad in town…Webkinz, Littlest Pets, Silly Bandz, Perler beads, etc…

DuctTape3A few weeks later, while shopping at Target, she sees the tapes.  Back then, they were only available in solid bright colors like hot pink, aqua blue, lime green and so forth.  Of course, she wanted all of them, but at $5.99 a pop, I decided to only go with one and see how long the fad would last.  She started experimenting with the tape by making small, simple things like bookmarks, until she realized the girls  in her school were learning how to make some pretty elaborate wallets (and of course, in multiple colors).  I waited a bit to see how intense this new fad would become before I decided to purchase a few more colors.  Pretty soon my daughter was teaching herself how to make wallets, phone cases, pencil pouches, hair bows, bracelets, well, just about anything she could teach herself from internet tutorials!  And of course, she started customizing the items as well.  As with all fads, duct tape started coming out with all sorts of patterns, even holiday ones.

DuctTape1Fast forward a few years, and my daughter started selling her items at the school craft sale (all proceeds went to charity), where she was getting requests on a daily basis!  Needless to say, the fascination has died down a bit, as now she’s in 7th grade.  However, every once in a while, when she’s in her crafting mood, she will take out her tapes and think of new ways to craft with them.  Last year, she covered her school laptop bag with the tapes, and she still finds ways of decorating with them.  Well, at least I’m glad this fad lasted more than a few months…

Some of my daughter's creations!

Some of my daughter’s creations!

You can find many duct tape ideas on the internet and on the duct tape brand website. Here are some additional links to some other fun duct tape crafts your kids might enjoy…

Christmas Decorations Photo Courtesy of Joann Fabrics

Christmas Decorations
Photo Courtesy of Joann Fabrics

Flower Pens Photo Courtesy of Seven Sisters

Luggage Tags Photo Courtesy of Qreative Quail

Waterproof Beach Bag Photo Courtesy of

Waterproof Beach Bag
Photo Courtesy of Spoonful.com