Thanks for Sparkling Ice for sponsoring this post. Words, photos and opinions are all by me.
This is one of the first posts I’ve written from California, and wanna know one thing I really love about this place? There are no mosquitoes here, you guys. None! You can sit outside into the evening without risking your life to the bugs. So let’s celebrate that! When you’re hosting a gathering (or a get-together, as they say in the Midwest), you want it to be colorful, engaging and memorable. And since my California house has a backyard with a dining area, here’s a display I made for an evening on the patio last night.
Refreshments for all
While on a family trip as a teenager in a very hippie west coast town, I found a book about clean eating and natural beauty. I read the whole thing, because I was wild teen with a bustling social life and was not at all nerdy.
This book was a real joy killer, because it talked about how we all must give up sugar and anything indulgent to be healthy and beautiful. Instead of soda, you could learn to enjoy plain sparkling water with a dash of juice.
Who would ever want to live like that? I thought. What a sad, sad existence.
But fast forward a decade, and it happened to me. I never touch soda (pop for my MN readers– love ya!). Instead I reach for sparkling water drinks. Now I drink it, well, like water.
Sparkling Ice is a drink that will please all your guests, from the health conscious to those who need something a bit more, shall we say, flavorful. It’s flavored and sweet, but without the sugar of other sparkling beverages so it would make a great soda replacement. And it’s caffeine free, which I appreciate. Grab it for a picnic, for lunch, or for your awesome summer adventures I know you’re busy planning! Get it easily in time for your parties and events on Amazon.
Cute drink ware
Grab those canning jars I know you have and add a decorative straw made of paper. Paper straws are not only decorative, they biodegrade and don’t hurt wildlife in the ocean! I just love when Eco-friendly and decor-friendly intersect, don’t you?
For an Instagram-worthy drink, I added fruit slices to color coordinate with the fruit flavored water.
Healthy, colorful and tasty! Skewered triangular slices are easier to eat and they look great on a platter. The skewers are biodegradable as well, so toss ’em in the compost.
Simple charcuterie board
A charcuterie board with various meats and cheeses is an easy way to make a dish with a pretty presentation. Adding a sprig of rosemary is a time-honored tradition, as well as a cluster of grapes or handful of blueberries. I like to add something unexpected, such as sliced peppers for a little color and flavor. The end result looks fancy, but it’s actually just cheese on a wooden cutting board. Congrats, you just leveled up to Hosting Level: Expert.
Last minute decorating details
I made this centerpiece (and I use that term loosely here) with the flowers I bought and hadn’t gotten around to planting yet. Who says procrastination doesn’t pay off?
Pop on a vintage apron or other colorful apron for some more fun color. Plus you can wipe your hands on it when they inevitably get sticky from rearranging the watermelon skewer tray. Win!
Need more hosting ideas? Try a tropical dip recipe that’s a colorful crowd pleaser.
The flavors used in this post are Kiwi Strawberry, Pineapple Coconut and Pink Grapefruit but there are tons more – find your favorite flavor here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my summer hosting tips! Use them to add a little color and flavor to the table and help distract people from the fact that your backyard, like ours, might be covered in pine needles and garden hoses.
Are you a sparkling water or fruit flavored water drinker? Tell us in the comments 🙂