How to Throw an Easy, Breezy Late Summer Party


How to Throw an Easy, Breezy Late Summer Party

Recently we attended our beloved Aunt Lena’s funeral. She passed at 92 years old and lived a wonderful and full life. As we cousins honored her memory, we joked about how we only got together for weddings or funerals. A few of my cousins mentioned how I used to have big parties all the time. My party-throwing days sadly ended when I had my car crash, but it got me thinking: Labor Day is fast approaching. For many, it signifies the unofficial end of summer and our one last chance to have an outdoor family get together.

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Are you itching to throw a party as much as I am? Good. All you’ll really need is some comfy seating, a buffet table and refreshing drinks. Keep it low key by hosting the party on your own patio, creating a simple menu, crafting a fun house cocktail, selecting a mellow color theme and inviting all your friends and family.

Summer Party Essentials #1: Comfy Seating

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My patio and pool deck are all filled with wonderful outdoor furniture like those we have on sale at The Shoppe at KTJ Design Co. If your backyard is lacking guest-worthy furniture, get great ideas on designing your outdoor space when you come see us at the Shoppe for one of-a-kind outdoor furniture (and some help with styling your patio, too).

Summer Party Essentials #2: Yummy Food

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For a simple party menu, ask your guests to bring their best salsa recipe and have a taste-testing contest (instant snacks!).

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Next, set up a sandwich bar. Genova Bakery in Stockton has the best bread, salads and cold cuts (there is a reason they’ve been around for a 100 years). Get slices of your favorite deli meats and cheeses and set up a sandwich bar with platters, slices of bread, and condiments. Add the salads and chips – and you’re ready!

Summer Party Essentials #3: Self-Serve Drink Bar

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Next to the sandwich bar, set up a DIY drink bar. Why not combine two favorite summertime drinks – Sangria and Lemonade – into one drink? Set up 3 gallon beverage dispensers with Sangria Lemonade and iced tea. 

Sangria Lemonade

Serves 8


1/2 g lemonade

1 bottle Chardonnay or other white wine (750 ml)

2/3 c. light rum

1/2 c. raspberries

1 Orange, Sliced

1 Granny Smith apple, sliced


Combine lemonade, wine and rum. Stir, then add fruit. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving

Recipe // Delish

Summer Party Essentials #4: Decorations

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Don’t stress about decor. I give you permission to use paper plates and napkins. Go to the Dollar Tree Store and pick up paper supplies. They are sold in solid colors, so pick a fun shade and supplement with black and white accessories. 

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Create some nostalgia by adding outdoor string lights. I suggest the place-and-plug lights from Brightech lights. They are lightweight and stand up to outdoor elements.  

Finally, put out some fresh flowers. You can grab some vases while you’re at the Dollar Tree Store and get some flowers at your local farmers’ market. Fresh seasonal flowers loosely arranged in a clear glass vase are classic and easy (if you attended our Floral Arranging Class, you know to cut some green foliage from your yard to add to those floral arrangements).

Ready to party? Let’s do this!


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1 Comment
  • Nicole Janes
    | 18 August 2019

    Great tips. I’m going to try that sangria lemonade today!

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