How to Throw a Sweet Summer Soiree

Host your own casual outdoor party complete with croquet and tea sandwiches. Get three easy DIY projects and pretty recipes, everything you need to celebrate summer in style is right here.

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Dress Up a Dessert in 8 Seconds (or Less!)

Make any dessert recipe worthy of a party with these easy ideas to dress them up. Each dessert idea can be done within 8 seconds!

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Our Latest Party Recipes

It's time to take it outside. We're sharing recipes that are best served al fresco with friends. Salute summer, from drinks to dessert, with the latest recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.

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How to Throw a Vintage Backyard Luau

Say aloha to paradise. With island-inspired decor and pineapple-kissed dishes, your backyard luau will be looking like a vintage oasis in no time. Now crank the Jimmy Buffet and get chilling!

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Summer Party: How To Set Up An Outdoor Bar

The best outdoor parties include a self-serve drink station so no one gets stuck tending bar. Here are three tips for your next event.

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Popular in Entertaining

Bubbly Ducky Baby Shower

Entertaining guru Jennifer Sbranti shows us how to give your favorite little bathtime buddy, the Yellow Ducky, center stage in an adorable yet modern baby shower setting.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • A Chic Ducky Table

      This adorable and modern setting is brought to life with "floating" glass and Styrofoam bubbles, tabletop "bubble bath" centerpieces, fluffy towels, pint-size terry-cloth robes, bright splashes of aqua and sunny yellow, and of course lots of our little rubber ducky friends.

      Sources: Styrofoam balls, www.ssww.com. Rubber duck, www.amazon.com. Zoe Circle Wall Mirror Set, www.wrapables.com. Bubble Vase, www.save-on-crafts.com. No-Slip Place Mat, www.amazon.com.

    • Simply Stated Table Setting

      Use white ceramic dinner plates, ceramic yellow salad plates, and solid white napkins for a simple yet sophisticated look.

      Budget Saver: The white plates were purchased at IKEA for $3.50 each and the yellow plates on eBay for $1 each. If you want to keep the cost down even more, substitute the regular dishes with solid paper partyware from your local party supply store or an online vendor. Place your settings on aqua place mats or an aqua tablecloth for a bright splash of color!

    • Bubbly Accent

      For a special "bubbly" touch, hot-glue aqua gems (found at craft and floral supply stores) to the edges of the plates. Hot glue is easy to remove later and won't damage your ceramic plates. The transparent bubble flatware adds an extra bubbly touch.

    • Ducky Centerpiece

      These "Mod Fishbowl Bubblebath" centerpieces are so fun and easy.

      Get the Look: Start with a clear glass fishbowl then fill the bowl about halfway with various sizes of white Styrofoam balls and clear glass "bubbles." Next, place a rubber ducky amidst the bubbles. To add height to your centerpieces, just flip a clear glass or acrylic dish upside-down and use it as a pedestal base for the bowls.

    • Down to the Details

      Choosing party decor for your Bubbly Ducky Brunch is a cinch -- just pick up some items that you'd normally need for a baby at bathtime (keep in mind to match your colors to the theme) -- like towels, baby shampoo, lotion and powder, etc. -- then stack the towels and arrange the toiletries in decorative groups.

    • Cozy Decor

      A pint-size baby bathrobe is a very appropriate and adorable touch to your decor, not to mention it doubles as a gift for baby. You can find duck-themed or yellow bathrobes at most department or baby apparel stores. Duck-themed bibs, onesies, and washcloths make great additions to your party decor as well.

    • Themed Goodies

      Fill small bowls or dishes with solid blue, yellow, and white candies such as M&M's or Jelly Bellys. Make sure to stick to only the colors in your theme. You can buy bulk M&M's or Jelly Bellys in several different colors online at www.mymms.com or www.jellybelly.com.

    • Bath Mat Touches

      Incorporate an actual bath mat into your party's decor. For the centerpiece of the coffee table or the gift table simply use an actual bath mat as the "tablecloth," and then set a stack of towels, some candies, and a simple vase on top of it. Super cute!

    • Floating Beauties

      For a unique decorative idea, create faux "floating bubbles" by hanging small Styrofoam balls and glass bubbles (with hanging hole) from transparent thread or fishing wire. This works great from a high doorway, chandelier, or stair banister.

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      Duck Accents

      Don't forget the "decorative" guest of honor. Scatter rubber duckies throughout your party decor near the food, next to floral arrangements, on top of towels, etc.

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      Next Slideshow Party-Ready Finger Food Ideas

      Party-Ready Finger Food Ideas

      Get your party started with easy and delicious finger foods. Our appetizers, snacks, and bite-size sweets are easy to make and fun to enjoy while mingling.
      Begin Slideshow »

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