Summertime Celebration

Summer is in full swing, and there’s no better time to invite everyone over. For what, you ask? Maybe you could celebrate the beginning of a new school year, or you could always make a day at the pool into something more special. If you’re not sure how you’ll celebrate this summer, we have some ideas for you, and plenty of food and décor tips to boot. Now let’s get this party started!

Splashing Into Summer

Design & styling: Jennifer Sbranti, Hostess with the Mostess,

Stationery & paper décor: Hostess INK,

Photography: Sonny Sbranti

Who needs a reason to celebrate in the summer? The days are warm, and the pool is beckoning, so hosting an outdoor swim party just feels natural. Dive into some DIY decorating and you’ll be pool party ready in no time.

Look at a classic beach ball—what do you see? Red, yellow, blue and white, an instant summer color scheme. For the perfect party props, invest in small beach balls and make look-alike garlands by painting Styrofoam balls. Some large wooden letters and spray painted shower caddies make excellent center pieces. Beach towel table runners and matching striped napkins seal the deal.

A little creativity with the snack spread will keep you from dropping major bucks on custom foods. Invite all the neighbors for some swim-themed treats, like Twizzlers, which double as pool noodles. Submarine sandwiches with bendy straw periscopes are the perfect midday entrée. Sealed milk bottles with pretty paper straws look adorable and should prevent any major poolside spills. Scoop some Swedish fish into miniature drawstring bags and load play buckets with Goldfish snacks and more to send home after the party for when those post-pool munchies strike.

To see more of this party, visit

Back to School Bash

Party and event styling: Giggles Galore,

Back to school printables: DimplePrints,

Photography: Elayne Dunn Photography

Fondant Cupcake Toppers: Love & Sugar Kisses

Apple Cake Pop: Heavenly Cake Pops

No matter what age your kids are, a back to school bash is never a bad idea, and searching for the props will give you an excuse to hit the local flea markets and garage sales. Buy or borrow some old furniture like desks and bookcases to use as tables for snacks, favors and more. An antique typewriter could be a cute addition to all the adorable printouts, like that back to school banner. This party is the perfect opportunity to embrace the chalkboard paint trend. Use chalkboard labels to write names on drinks, label snacks and more.

As for the food, keep it brown bag simple with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk, cookies and fruit. You could also take it up a grade level and serve some apple cake pops and little cupcakes topped with edible bookworms.

As for the favors, send every soon-to-be student home with some fun notepads, crayons and other supplies so they can start their year in style. If you have a photographer on hand, set up shots of every kiddo individually to email to Mom and Dad later. They’ll love that your favor was personal and will make for an excellent keepsake. First-day printouts or customized signs add an extra flair to the photos, too.

To see more of this party, visit


Screening Under the Stars

Event styling & photography: Giggles Galore,

Movie party printables: DimplePrints,

Transform your backyard into an old-school cinema with an easy red, black and yellow color scheme and the right snacks. Printouts in fun fonts announce the big feature of the evening, and a concessions banner leads the way to a spread worthy of a silver screen opening (or at least a backyard version).

Roll out the red carpet on your serving table and serve fresh popcorn in vintage-looking containers. Provide small paper cups to mix a variety of candies. Use the boxes as props while displaying the sweets and showcase the popcorn in glass jars. That’s the beauty of a movie party—the concessions can be decorative, too. A simple red and black curtain backdrop can really make it feel like guests are strolling through a theater. Have some hot dogs and toppings on hand, and of course, send everyone home with leftover popcorn favors.

For the main production, find a simple projector, speakers and screen setup and plug in your laptop. Be sure to pick something age appropriate the kids haven’t seen a thousand times to really hold their interest. Line up lawn chairs, towels and blankets on the grass and have everyone gather, goodies in hand, to take in a family flick on a cool summer evening.

To see more of this party, visit

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