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Summer Entertaining Tips

Memorial Day is the unofficial (yet somewhat official) start to summer in our house, and we may or may not start the summer count down around Christmas. It’s kind of a big deal around these parts. And after the winter we had up here in New England, we are beyond ready to take the party outside for a change. So before you break out the BBQ this weekend, here are a few tried and true summer entertaining tips from casa Capalbo

 1. Keep it Casual:

I’m all for an elaborate tablescape at a dinner party, but when entertaining outside I prefer to keep things easy. Foraging fresh flowers from our backyard keeps costs down and makes if feel like a more organic experience for our guests. Let the colors of all the fresh food really become the star of the show.

2. Beware of the Bugs:

Entertaining outside is lovely, but make sure you access your bug situation prior. I put little containers of various kinds of bug spray scattered around our entertaining space so guests never have to even ask me for it…because by the time they ask, they are already uncomfortable. Aside from the obvious citronella candles, etc. we also have a few lavender plants in planters on our patio – which not only smell lovely, but they keep the bugs away too!

3. Let There be Light:

Once the sun goes down, you want to make sure everyone can still keep the party going. And what’s better than a party under twinkle lights? We didn’t have a great place to string them, so I created a little DIY stand that was super cheap and movable. With just some ikea planters, a wooden rod and a hook – our backyard was transformed into a space that really sparkles.

4. Local, Farm to Table Menu:

Summer in Rhode Island is pure magic. So we like to really keep things local when entertaining during the warmer months to really show off our little state. Local beers, wines and spirits make cocktail hour a talking point, and we try to keep that Rhode Island connection straight through dessert. Fresh seafood, vegetables and fruit all from farms just up the street always taste more delicious. We also really try to keep the menu easy – and grill everything possible, so we can be out with our guests instead of in the kitchen.

5. Embrace the Beverage Station:

I believe in easy beverage stations, particularly when hosting outdoors. They make your life as a host so much easier, and make you guests feel like they don’t have to ask you for a drink every time they feel a bit parched. Wine in one cute container, beer in another – and obviously make sure there plenty of waters available.

6. Keep Them Comfy:

It never fails to get a little chilly on New England summer nights, so we have plenty of blankets available for our guests to grab when the temperature drops. We also make sure we have a patio heater going or our fire pit roaring for those who are extra chilly.

7. Watch Out For Those UVAs:

For those hours when the sun is shining, make sure your guests have places to get out of the sun if they desire. We also make sure we have sunscreen available in visible places for those who need a little extra protection. Sunburns are so 20 years ago.

8. Temperature Control:

Keeping beverages cool is a constant battle in the middle of the summer. I always overbuy ice, because the last thing I want to do when the party is in full swing is go back out to mend a melting ice situation. I set up a few backup coolers in our garage just in case, and make sure our little beverage stations are nice and cool. 1lb of ice per person is a good rule to tuck away for your next soiree.

9. Layer in the Fun!

Setting up a few games in your backyard will always make for a more humorous evening. We’ve had croquet and corn hole games go into the wee hours of the morning…although perhaps we are a more competitive bunch than most…

10. Host as many as you can!

Before you know it, we’ll all be bundled up by the fire again. Make sure to make the most of this gorgeous summer!

Photography: Erin McGinn | Styling : Abby Capalbo

26 Foods Even More Fun on a Stick

When food is bite size and served on a stick, it’s just too easy to pop one (or two or three) in your mouth. Come party time, these 26 skewered sweet and savory bites will be a hit with your guests. Pancakes, po’ boys, salad and strawberry shortcake—you’ll be surprised at how your favorite foods are even better turned into party perfect pops!

26 Foods Even More Fun on a Stick
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26 Foods Even More Fun on a Stick
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A Seaglass Inspired Tablescape with Pier 1 Imports + DIY Ombre Votives

Inspired by the pale shades of sea glass and the prettiest outdoor wares from Pier 1 Imports, we set out to craft a tablescape that is worthy of a summer celebration. Taking simple pieces with natural textures and a range of blue and green hues, we set the scene for an outdoor party that feels elegant and easy breezy all at once. It’s effortless summer entertaining at its best courtesy of Pier 1 Imports.

Don’t you want to just belly up to this table and sip some lemonade? It exudes the calming, cool serenity of the coastline even if there isn’t an ocean in sight. And this look is as simple as Aqua Frosted Bottles, a Natural Jute Table Runner, Sea Salt Glass Pillars and Alabaster Glass Dinnerware just to name a few. Bring the beauty of the sea to your backyard with this collection of goodies from Pier 1 Imports.


As a bonus to our Seaglass Inspired Tablescape, we’ve crafted an easy DIY project to incorporate. Meet these pretty ombre votives in a range of blue and green hues.


Food coloring
Mod podge
Clear glass votives
Wax paper
Baking sheet
Paper towels
Plastic cups & spoons


step-1Mix several spoonfuls of mod podge with a few drops of food coloring in a plastic cup. We used about 3­6 drops of coloring total for each color we made. Make one cup for each color you’d like to use.

step-2Pour the colored mod podge into each votive then tilt and twirl the votives around until the entire interior is covered. Pour any excess mixture back into the plastic cup then place the votives upside down on a sheet of wax paper.

step-3Let the votives thin out and settle for at least one to three hours.

step-4Preheat your oven to 200°. Line a baking tray with a sheet of wax paper.

step-5Remove each votive from the drying sheet and gently wipe any excess mod podge on the rim with a damp paper towel. Place the votives right side up on the baking tray and bake for 40 minutes.

step-6 Remove votives from the oven and let cool. Pop a tealight in each votive and light up your next gathering!

Photography: Ruth Eileen

Pier 1 Imports Products Used: Clarity Acrylic Tumbler | Alabaster Glass Dinnerware | Natural Jute Table Runner | Hammered Flatware Set | All Purpose Belly Pitcher | Linen Napkin Set in Natural | Aqua Frosted Bottles | Natural Shell Bowl Filler | Sea Salt Glass Pillar Stands | Sea Salt Glass Votive Holders



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Gender Neutral Safari Nursery

I wish you could hear the squeals coming from me right now. And after one peek at Fleur De Sel‘s sweet as can be safari nursery you’ll probably be squealing alongside me. From that amazing Rifle Paper Co. wallpaper to the darling Sharon Montrose print, you can bet your bottom dollar I’m storing these images from Emily Scannel away for nursery inspiration when my time comes.

From Fleur De SelWe created a gender neutral nursery with a neutral color palette and a slight safari chic vibe for our son Connor. Our goal was to design a calm, soothing space, but also one that conveyed a sense of adventure and playfulness. We hope it will inspire him to live a life full of learning and exploration.

Photography: Emily Scannell | Design: Fleur De Sel | Bookshelf: Ikea | Changing Tray: Land Of Nod | Crib: Serena & Lily | Dresser: Ikea | Floor Lamp: Cb2 | Giraffe Print: The Animal Print Shop - Sharon Montrose | Glider: Giggle | Matisse Art Print: | Picasso Art Print: | Pouf: Land Of Nod | Rattan Mirror: One King's Lane | Rug: West Elm | Wall Shelves: West Elm | Wallpaper: Rifle Paper Co.

Brownie Snap Ice Cream Sandwiches

There are ice cream sandwiches and then there are ice. cream. sandwiches. These are the latter. The brownie snap is sort of a brownie that wants to be a cookie and is tossed with sugary goodness. Sandwich any flavor of ice cream you love between them! Or eat them alone. You can’t go wrong! I suggest making some right away. xoxo Lexy Ward Of PROPER

Brownie Snap Ice Cream Sandwiches
prep time
45 Minute/s
cook time
11 Minute/s
total time
56 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1+1/2 cups flour
  • Several tablespoons of Old Salt Merchants' Jamaican Ginger Sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a mixer, combine the brownie mix, vegetable oil, and eggs until creamy. Slowly add in the flour until well-combined.
  3. Cover the mix with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. After refrigeration, roll the dough into miniature rounds and roll them in the ginger sugar.
  5. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-11 minutes or until they just begin to barely set up.
  6. Let them cool and then sandwich any flavor of ice cream you love between them! Or eat them alone! You can't go wrong!

Color-blocked Cutting Board: For The Host | Ginger Sugar: Old Salt Merchants | Gold Plate: Canvas Home | Latte Bowls : Anthropologie | Recipe, Styling, & Photography: Lexy Ward Of PROPER | Watercolor Dots Tea Towel: Sister Golden

Lexy Ward | PROPER

DIY, Lifestyle