Summer Party Tips

July 15, 2010 1. Kid's Backyard Birthday Parties:

With school out for summer, this is the perfect season to celebrate outside, at home, at a park, playground, even the beach.

Favorite themes for girls and boys this season include Cinderella's Backyard Ball, Alice in Wonderland Tea Party, Wild Wild West, Pirate Adventure and more.

The theme sets the tone, color palette, invitations, menu and fun interactive craft ideas.

Cinderella - pale blue and white with gold

Alice - bright vivid tones

Wild West - red and black

Pirate - black and white.

First impressions are everything at a party - so get creative and use pops of color at every turn.

Do it yourself decor can be inexpensive and easy by using:

- glassware from the kitchen cabinet for vases and centerpiece collections

- backyard blooms from your yard, or a friend's garden to create a flowery, garden setting

- kid's colorful toys make interactive centerpieces that adorn the table and allow for fun at the table

- sheets and blankets for tablecloths

- download FREE

Menus for kid's parties can be grab and go from the grocery, with just a few minutes of assembly, like these from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's - Princess and the Pea salad, tea party canape, scones and jams, Wild West Waffle Fries, X marks the spot Pirate Pizza and Peg Legs.

Birthday Cakes have gone petite sweets - you won't even believe this great new trend - icing shots from Sugar Bliss ( - right around the corner! Mini cupcakes adorned with customized labels, ontop toothpicks inserted into the tops, are easy to design and print around the theme. This takes the cake - as the "new" birthday cake, which I love.

2. Picnics:

The ultimate summer stay-cation destination in Chicago has to be Millenium Park. I can't even begin to list all there is to do once there...from the art installations, to the lush gardens and Crown Fountain, or splash pool. Why not spend the day, and pack the most beautiful picnic, to celebrate summer in the city?

When I am packing a picnic, I head to my favorite cafe's take out counter, Julius Meinl, in Lakeview and Lincoln Square,

Their menu is packed with fresh, healthy, family friendly sandwiches, salads, sweets...and everything needed for a meal in the grass.

They are hosting a neighborhood picnic next week, Wednesday, July 22nd, and a sampling of my favorite menu features, all easily pre-packed complete with sturdy containers, silverware, napkins, ice cold drinks and shopping bag:

* Smoked chicken with sausages and summer vegetable succotash

* House-made pickles, zucchini and lemon verbena, dill green beans, beets and horseradish

* Assorted Midwestern cheeses served with apricot-vanilla jelly, olive oil-toasted country breads and cured olives

* Roasted corn with smoked paprika, lime and cilantro

* Grilled peach salad with house-made ricotta and a lemon lavender vinaigrette

* Grilled potato salad with bacon and champagne vinaigrette

* Mini-sandwiches: leberkase with house-made mustard, truffled egg salad, and tomato, purple basil and fresh mozzarella

* Bruschetta bowls: roasted bell peppers with marjoram and red onions and white beans, sweet onions and garden sweet peppers

And be sure to save room for their divine desserts, picnic perfect and easy to eat on blankets and benches:

* peach and raspberry buckle

* blueberry streusel bars

* cherry rhubarb crostata

* ricotta-honey cheesecake with blueberry compote

- all with fresh, local farmed fruits from the farmers market.

Debi Lilly
Chief Eventeur
A Perfect Event
3050 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
T 773.244.9333
F 773.404.2112

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