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Savvy tips for a get-together to remember

Published on Friday, June 21, 2013

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Savvy tips for a get-together to remember

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Family Features

There is nothing better than gathering family and friends for a fun, outdoor get-together. With a few decorating tricks and entertaining ideas, anyone can become the "host(ess) with the mostess." 

Lifestyle and entertaining expert Katie Brown has some tips and tricks to help ensure you're prepared this summer for any outdoor gathering. 

First, a little preparation goes a long way. In the recent survey, 80 percent of respondents said getting a bug bite and running out of food are the two most annoying things that could ruin an outdoor party. Before heading outside, spot treat your backyard with a product designed to protect it from a variety of insects like mosquitoes, ants and fleas.

Prep your outdoor living space for summer gatherings by clustering seating around a coffee table then adding side tables for plates of food and glasses. Anchor the grouping with a beautiful outdoor rug. Then amp up the fun factor with vibrant hues that mimic the colors in the surrounding landscapes. Why not poppy red pillows or a sunflower yellow tablecloth? Keep the decor light, bright and festive. 

Clusters of candles should also be placed on small tables near where the guests will be lounging. Make sure to include a citronella candle or two. They add several hours of ambiance and style.

Try to anticipate things your guests may need to be comfortable during the party. Fill up wicker baskets, or "pamper pots," and set them near various seating areas. It's a thoughtful touch guests will really appreciate. Items to consider are: 

  • Sunscreen: Even if the day is cloudy, both kids and adults will appreciate having an extra bottle of sunscreen on hand. 
  • Mosquito repellent: It gives your guests personal protection against mosquitos so they can stay comfortable throughout the event.
  • Umbrellas: Whether guests use them for an unexpected rainshower or to shield themselves from the sun, umbrellas are a thoughtful touch. 
  • Flashlights: A little extra illumination may come in handy during late night festivities. The kids might find flashlights make for a great game of tag. 

If you're hosting a planned event such as a birthday party or holiday barbecue, consider offering a fun take-home treat. As the party winds down, fill a small beach bag with any extra supplies, such as flashlights, sunscreen, insect repellent, bubbles and sidewalk chalk, for each family.  



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