Backyard Summer Soiree

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via Domino

I have no yard. I borrow my friends yards or force them to throw the parties I want to have. I have been wanting to host a dinner party forever. So when the image above landed in my inbox at the start of the summer and knew I had to have this party. I sent the picture to Dr. K who sent it to her roommate, S, who agreed that this was a party that needed to happen. So we sat down over a bottle of wine one night an planned.

It was to be a bohemian summer party. Something whimsical and relaxed, but still requiring people to dress up. We wanted to make everything ourselves and we wanted it to not cost an arm and leg. This being the case, we knew we couldn’t feed all of our friends, so we went through the painful task of figuring out a guest list. We figured 12 to 16 people total would be all we could handle. In the end, the best way to decide  was to invite people who knew all three of us and mostly knew each other in some way.

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Once the list was settled, we started looking the menu and decor. Dr. K took over the food for the most part, and I defaulted to the decorations and drinks. S was our go between helping make decisions. We got a couple sheets of plywood and cinder blocks to make our low table. We found some lovely table cloths and rugs to sit on with pillows. Untitled
Around the yard, we strung up twinkle lights that extended down the table top. I found some lovely air plant containers to hang from the trees with candles in them instead and I strung up some lamp shades in the largest tree.
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At the bar, I used the suitcase side table my sister made me and a large flower arrangement.
UntitledWe had mason jars with candles and flowers all over. By the time we finished decorating, S declared that it looked like someone should get married back there.

For the menu, we planned things that would be able to be completed ahead or would need little prep. I had a few whole chickens in the freezer, thank you mom and dad, so we decided to roast them with veggies. We had grilled asparagus and a huge salad as well. For appetizers, there was my favorite avocado dip, brie baked with honey, olives, and chips with salsa. Dessert was a yummy chocolate cake and for the non chocolate people a rhubarb and strawberry pie. Untitled
I made the most wonderful Summer Sangria ever, recipe below.  It was a bit deadly, most people did not realize how much alcohol was in it, but it was so good. Everyone loved it.

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Final prep, getting the dang candles to stay lite- via S

Everyone did a great job of dressing up for the party and we were so excited. We did have to send some pictures and explain a time or two what exactly “bohemian fancy” is. Basically we wanted fancy hippy, not dirty hippy.   Untitled
The ladies
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Some of the boys via Erin
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Untitledlast two images via Erin

They all did well. We had a cocktail hour before we actually sat down to dinner and everyone who didn’t know each other was introduced. Dinner was delicious and no one had trouble sitting on the ground. We were not sure if people were going to hang around after dessert or not. A few people left, but most hung around and the music eventually changed and we had a little dance party in the backyard. It was so much fun. I was so happy with how everything turned out after prepping all day for it and throughout the week before. We were up until 3 AM and maybe not quite ready for bed even then. Untitleds
Even the dogs had to get in on the fun- Via S

Now I need to come up with another awesome party idea and you need to try this sangria!

Summer Sangira
Make 24 servings

  • 12 oranges
  • 12 limes
  • 8 lemons
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 20 ounces frozen raspberries
  • 4 cups vodka
  • 2 cups Limoncello (I had to use little bottles, so I think we ended up with a tiny bit less)
  • 4 bottles of Prosecco, chilled
  • Juice 8 oranges, 8 limes and 4 lemons to measure approximately 2 cups of juice. Combine the citrus juices and the sugar in a saucepan and warm over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool.
  • Thinly slice the remaining oranges, limes and lemons.
  • In a large pitcher, combine citrus slices, raspberries, vodka and Limoncello and stir.
  • Top with Prosecco; stir gently.
  • When ready to serve, gently add ice and stir again.

Enjoy!

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