For most of us Thanksgiving means two things – good food and good times with the ones you love. But sometimes even the ones you love the most can fall into the category of “difficult relative.” So this is where the wine comes in.
Difficult relatives can be especially hard to handle during an election year. We’ve all seen how one politically fueled comment can turn a perfectly civil Thanksgiving dinner into round three of the Republican National Debate. So with the 2016 election just around the corner, Thanksgiving celebrations across the country need more than just wine.
Close your eyes and picture trees swaying in the breeze, steam rising up from the bubbling hot tub, scented candles glowing, margaritas and champagne flowing. After a long week at the office, why not throw a party filled with relaxation and TLC that no guest could turn down an invitation to. Transforming your backyard into a stylish spa oasis for the night will be an experience for guests to remember.
Hot Tub Illumination
The hot tub will no doubt be a popular focal point for your spa-themed evening. Draw guests into the water with alternating colored lights from beneath the water. Guests will flock as the steam above the water blends from one color to the next. Be sure to give these new hot tub parts a test run before the big night.
Some guests will come to soothe themselves after being on their feet all week. Create an area that acts as a natural extension for guests leaving the hot tub:Set up comfy bean bag chairs or throw over-stuffed pillows on deck chairs with fluffy fleece blankets.
Place a small nesting table beside each chair with lavender and mint eye-masks.
Offer a centralized area among this grouped seating with fruit and herbal water to rehydrate after the long soak in the hot tub.
Place a speaker behind this area that still allows guests to enjoy music, but at a more muted level.
Overstock is a great place to select unique furniture to create this look without breaking the bank.
There are two things that don’t mix in the spa: glass and ice. We’ve got the solution for that:
Fancy glassware: Just because it isn’t glass doesn’t mean it can’t be attractive. Choose white melamine stemware that can be frozen beforehand to create a frosted touch to keep bubbles crisp.
Light up ice cubes: The morning of your party, place trays of light-up cubes in the freezer. When it’s time to party, display cubes on an ice block or large bowl of shaved ice.
Illuminated ice buckets: Nobody likes warm champagne. To keep guests happily imbibing, place illuminated buckets with champagne around the seating areas so guests may help themselves throughout the night.
Conversation Plates for Easy Mingling
Guests love to eat, drink and chat, but juggling a plate and drink between each hand makes it hard to relax. Offer guests stylish acrylic plates designed with a cut out area to balance stemware. Now they’ll have a hand free to shake and converse with. The Gifted Grape offers this style of dinnerware in several sizes and finishes.
A little game of croquet goes a long way to help strangers become friends. A fun way to break the ice, croquet is a sleek and stylish game that’s great for guys and gals. For guests looking to enliven their night, a colorful classic croquet set from the Relaxation Station set up in your yard can be an inviting sight. Be sure to place one of your illuminated champagne buckets near the station for thirsty guests to get a refill as they play. Anthropology boasts a beautiful set your guests will love.
It seems that you always want what you can’t have. So what a better time to plan your next summer gathering in your friendly neighborhood cabana than in the dead of winter? Having a party in a cabana is outdoor living at its best, especially if you happen to be by a pool or the ocean. The first thing to remember about cabana living, is that just because you are participating in outdoor entertaining, doesn’t mean that furniture, flooring, and decorations aren’t at a premium. Think about setting up your cabana like setting up a high-end tent to go couture camping. You’ll need at least a large outdoor table with chairs for your guests to sit. If you really want to take your seating area one step further, you can experiment with pillows and couches.
During the evening, an outdoor fireplace or fire pit is always a nice touch and can serve as a means to keep away mosquitoes. For more light and protection from those pesky mosquitoes, you can also make a trail to your cabana using bamboo torches. Keep your guests cool in the summer heat with lots of water, lemonade, and exotic beverages. Lastly, remember to serve food. It’s tempting to get caught up in planning for and decorating your cabana, but your party is going to be so great that people will want to stay all day and they are bound to get hungry. I recommend ordering a few platters of finger sandwiches and storing them in your inside refrigerator until they are all ready for serving. Now, all you have to do is wait until summer.
All this bitter cold weather we’ve been having in NYC has me craving an epic Girls’ Night In. When the holidays have just ended and it’s not yet Fashion Week, it seems to call for a few weeks of a more relaxing social calendar filled with sweets and even later brunches. Throughout my recent time spent inside avoiding below freezing temperatures, I’ve derived a formula for the perfect relaxing evening with the girls (and guys if they want to join, but I’m guessing they’ll want to skip this one.) Listen carefully to the three parts of my secret formula:
1. Forget your diet and make lots of cupcakes! Aside from eating these sweet little cakes, decorating them using different themes is the best part.
2. Get lots of champagne. It’s the socialite thing to do.
3. Make sangria! I know sangria is supposed to be red, but lately I’ve really had a thing for white sangria. You are also going to have a buy lots of fruit both to put into the sangria and on top of the cupcakes. It’s a lot of sugar, but it’s worth it.
4. You can add your own touch to this evening of sweetness with movies, games, or just your usual crazy conversation.
Seeing that I have no plans for Valentine’s Day as of now, I may be repeating this formula with my single friends come February 14th…sigh!