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Gather inspiration for a casual outdoor gathering from one of our easy summer party ideas. From dinner on the deck to a festive taco buffet, your options are endless for a no-fuss summer party.

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Make a birthday cake or other special day cake oh-so-adorable with candies! Cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shares 11 super-simple ways that cinnamon candies, jellybeans, maltballs, and other sweet favorites can make you look like a professional cake decorator in minutes.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch, The Cutest 5-Ingredient Cocktail Ever!

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Sugar-Coated Ice Cream Social

I scream, you scream … You know the drill. Host a sugar-coated ice cream social the kiddos will love -- with cereal necklaces, paper crowns, candy truffles, and a whimsical ice cream truck. Go on and get celebrating!

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Pitcher Cocktail Recipes

Where there's a pitcher, there's a party. Whether you're brunching, dinner partying, or hosting a (very) happy hour, these fun pitcher cocktail recipes are sure to hit the spot. Find icy margaritas, fruity sangria cocktails, spiked punch, and more!

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Create Custom Birthday Card Messages & Poems

A birthday card message conveys joy, laughter, hopes, dreams, and good wishes -- all in a few short lines. Send a birthday message with exactly the right emotion. All you need is a few tips and your imagination.

Send a Happy Birthday Message

Finding the right words for a quick birthday card is easy with a little inspiration. Here are a few birthday poems and messages to use, or customize the message for your birthday card recipient.

Happy Birthday Rhymes

  • May each and every passing year
    bring you wisdom, peace, and cheer.
  • You are really very special,
    And deeply loved for what you do,
    So you are wished a Happy Birthday,
    With lots of pleasure all for you.
  • In the soft gleaming of stars
    May all your dreams come true.
    May every star of every night bring
    Love and joy to you.
  • As you age, you turn into a fine wine.
    On that note, let's sing and dine
    To celebrate, cheer loud, and say
    That today is your Happy Birthday.
  • Count your life by smiles, not tears.
    Count your age by friends, not years.
  • Wonderful wishes, bright happy days,
    May they all come today in so many ways!

Happy Birthday Messages

  • May the best of your past be the worst of your future.
  • I hope that for every candle on your cake you get a wonderful surprise.
  • All the gifts you get today won't compare to the gifts you generously give those around you every day.
  • This is just one day of the year we celebrate the amazing person you are.
  • Happy Birthday to a timeless classic, who will never go out of style.
  • Getting a lot of attention is not really your thing. We all understand that. However, given that this day is special because it commemorates the day you were born, we just couldn't let it slip by.
  • Birthday wishes for everything you love, everything you dream, and everything that you want to be.
  • More than how long you live, I hope you count the smiles and happiness that you've brought into other people's lives.

If you'd like to try writing your own message or poem, check out the easy tips on the next page for writing a custom birthday message to suit the recipient.

Write a Personal Birthday Message

You don't have to be a professional writer to create a heartfelt and sincere birthday message. These tips will help you get started writing a birthday note that matches your thoughts and suits your recipient.

Avoid staring at a blank birthday card. It just promotes writer's block and adds pressure. Relax! Use these ideas to turn that blank card into a treasured sentiment.

1. Look to professionals. Writers labor over words for days, weeks, and even years. Let their hard work benefit you. Get inspiration from published works that you admire. Use a favorite quote to say what you can't express. Copy the rhythm and meter of a favorite poem, replacing lines or words to create a birthday-theme sentiment specific to the birthday card recipient. Excerpt from a favorite passage, and add your own birthday wish at the end. Incorporate the birthday person's name or other characteristics into an existing poem or quote.

2. Brainstorm. Let your mind go wild. As fast as you possibly can, write down words and phrases that describe the birthday card recipient. Only spend a few minutes, and don't stop to think about what you're writing or how it might sound. Just scribble down everything that comes to mind. Don't place any limitations on yourself except time. Now, compile the birthday-theme words and phrases and compose a birthday message filled with the best of the characteristics and birthday phrases you just listed.

3. Check references. A rhyming dictionary, thesaurus, quotations book, and other references can be your best friends. Online versions are readily available. These references can help you find that missing word, phrase, or quotation, and they can inspire your writing. Remember, all poetry need not rhyme, but a rhyming dictionary can uncover some unexpectedly fun choices when you need one.

4. Be specific. Paint a word story. Talk about the day the dog jumped on the table and ate the birthday cake. When you do, name the dog and describe the three-layer, pink-frosted chocolate cake with green candles. Draw a picture that brings you both back to that experience.

5. Borrow from the generic. Most mass-market birthday cards are general in nature but they can create a perfect foundation for your own message. Start with a basic birthday poem or sentiment, and make it funny or heartfelt by including a real anecdote from your experience: a birthday story, a catch phrase you share, people you know, or anything else that's personal and specific.

6. Keep it simple. Write two lines that draw on a shared memory. Try your hand at haiku; it's only three lines and 17 syllables. Draw on your elementary school poetry skills, and rhyme four lines. Get punny if your birthday person loves a play on words. Let writing a birthday message be fun.

7. Be bold. Don't be afraid of critics. You're writing a birthday poem, not the great American novel. If you fill the message with real expressions of love, friendship, joy, and good wishes, no one can fault your sincerity. If they make fun of your poem, take it in stride. You're not a professional writer, right? You're just playing one for this birthday.

Editor's Tip: A handmade card is a great inspiration for a birthday message. Check out these easy and unique birthday cards for kids, men, and women. Our instructions make them come together easily.

Make a pretty card in pink, purple, and pastel colors.


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