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Sunday, August 22, 2010

BBQ with The Girls

I have a group of friends that I've known since High School. We used to get together with once a month - I called it my Saturday with The Girls (for lack of a better name. We never did come up with a catchy one. I only mention it now because I know I've included some of our craft projects in the past so you may recognize the term). But life is crazy and those Saturdays are now more of a once-every-three-months thing. Once a year we pull the kids and husbands together with us for a BBQ - and last night was that night. I hosted, so I thought I would shared a few of the details. (because after all, I pretty much only remembered to take photos before everyone arrived and then left the camera inside and focused on chatting instead!).

If I'm going to plan anything, I always have to start with a theme, even if it's just a color scheme. I was very happy to stumble across a whole set of party printables over at DrawPilgrim (search for birthday month - she was doing a free one for every day in July) - so perfect! And not to mention inexpensive and easy! :)

For the party I did:
-pinwheels for decoration. I spray painted the cute Coke bottles from the DJ Hero Party and filled them with sand. Then attached the pinwheels to colored straws with a brad. When I found straws weren't quite sturdy enough, I threaded a bamboo skewer inside them and that worked just fine.
-used the cupcake picks on the water bottles I had printed more and put them on toothpicks but didn't end up sticking any in the food.

-printable labels so the kids could tell the drinks apart
-and I couldn't resist printing out some of these cootie catchers (remember making these in elementary school?!). The kids each got one of these before they went home and thought they were the coolest things. Mine have played with theirs most of the day today.
I really like the format we use for the BBQ every year. The host is in charge of the set up and things like plates and napkins. Everyone brings whatever meat/main dish they want for themselves and their family. Then we make food assignments for everything else. I was in charge of dessert and wanted to do something summery but also something I could make ahead of time. So I did a take-off on the cupcakes cooked in ice cream cones. The sugar cones are so much cuter than the other kind so I baked the cupcakes (without liners) as I normally do, then stuck them in cones. Covered them with frosting, sprinkles and added a cherry. Cute huh?
(the stand is a flat rate box from the post office that I cute holes in so the cones would stand up. I spray painted it white. And to dress it up I took a small strip from the pinwheel template, blew it up so it filled an entire sheet of paper, and cut the decorative strips from that)

*a note about the frosting - the kind I bought was too soft and started running over the side so I had to stick them in the fridge. Either remember that little trick, or buy/make stiffer frosting

Then the only other prep work I had to do was set up the tables and chairs and set out the napkins, etc. I ran across a party photo somewhere where they had all the plates, napkins, etc in a basket and thought it was really cute. Turns out is also really functional - the wind blew all the pinwheels over but the napkins in the basket stayed put without any problem. Ithas the added benefit of being easy to carry everything inside/outside as needed. I'm going to do this for all my future outdoor parties.

And a final parting shot of the kids. They only see each other once every year, so they don't know each other very well (in fact I'm pretty sure they don't even know each other's names!) and were all kind of shy and clingy at the beginning. But by the end of the evening they were all playing so nicely together and having so much fun.

(Alisha's two year old, Beau Dee's 5 year old, and Ty)


Pilgrim said...

wow your creations look great! if you're on flickr i encourage you to submit your photos to the new draw! pilgrim group:

thanks so much for blogging this!

The Richards family said...

I was hoping you got pictures of all your fun stuff! It was so cute and it was good to see everyone. Thank you so much for the b-day gift, you raly did not have to do that but I LOVE IT!! I have it up and cant wait to change it. Thanks

Cheri said...

A fun get together! And of course everything looked so cute!