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Host the Best Pool Party Ever

With Memorial Day just around the corner, it’s time to start writing down your summer bucket list. In the top spot? Throwing the hottest pool party of the summer—maybe even ever. With a little help, you’ve got this. Once the food and drinks menu is set, all that’s left is making sure everyone has an amazing time, and with the items below, that’s a guarantee.

Pool Party Essentials
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Pool Party Essentials
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The Ultimate SMP Memorial Day Playlist

The grill has been prepped, the appetizers are ready and the sun is shining which can only mean one thing, it’s Memorial Day Weekend. The unofficially kick-off to summer is the perfect time to spend with friends and family, but no BBQ is complete without a killer playlist. If you’re looking for a little music inspiration, look no further our Style Me Pretty Spotify playlist is sure to get the party started!

The Ultimate Style Me Pretty Memorial Day Playlist

Comment below with songs you want to hear and we’ll be sure to add as many as we can to the Ultimate Memorial Day playlist. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Spotify for ultimate wedding playlists & more!

Summer Sea Breeze Cocktail

Looking for a go-to summer cocktail that’s delicious and refreshing (and super easy to make)? Look no further than the Sea Breeze. It’s been a fan favorite in our household for years, so much so it was even one of our signature cocktails at our wedding. Best part? If you aren’t a cranberry fan, just take it out and voila! You have a Greyhound. It’s like having two cocktails in one.

Summer Sea Breeze Cocktail
prep time
cook time
total time
Serves 1Ingredients
  • 3 oz of Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Grapefruit Juice
  • 1.5 oz of Vodka
  • Grapefruit Wedge
  1. Pour vodka over ice
  2. Add Cranberry Juice
  3. Top with the splash of Grapefruit
  4. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge or lime

Photography: Erin McGinn | Styling: Abby Capalbo

Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties
Lobster Roll Two Ways

There has been a lobster roll war going on in New England for years. If you are from Maine, you like your little delicacy cold and simple. From Connecticut? Warm and buttery. Me? I just like any lobster roll I can get my hands on. So I’ve mastered two simple lobster recipes that will keep all the guests who pass through our house this summer happy, and giving me an excuse to keep lots of lobster on the menu…

The Maine Lobster Roll

Simple and classic, this version lets the lobster flavor really shine.

1/4 cup mayonnaise (I prefer to go light on mayo, or I whip up a nice aoli – but don’t tell anyone that)
4 1 1/4lb lobsters, steamed
2tbsp fresh squeezed lemon
4 flat sided hot dog buns
Celery, Paprika (if desired)
Bibb Lettuce (if desired)

1. After steaming the lobsters, crack the tails and claws to remove the lobster meat. Drain and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Meanwhile, combine lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon, salt and pepper (add celery and a dash of paprika, if desired) until everything is one big happy family
3. Brush inside and outside of the hotdog bun with butter, and place on a griddle. Remove when both sides are the perfect amount of toasted.
4. Layer the bottom of the bun with lettuce and fill with a heaping helping of classic , American lobster goodness (around one lobster per person).

The Connecticut Lobster Roll

Warm and buttery, there is no denying these are delicious.

4 1 1/4lb lobsters, steamed
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 lemon
4 flat sided hot dog buns

1. After steaming the lobsters, crack the tails and claws to remove the lobster meat. Drain.
2. Brush inside and outside of the hotdog bun with butter, and place on a griddle. Remove when both sides are the perfect amount of toasted.
3. In a saucepan, melt 1 stick of unsalted butter. Season with salt.
4. Remove from the heat and layer in that gorgeous lobster meat.
5. Serve warm and with a side of butter, because why not.

Photography: Erin McGinn | Styling : Abby Capalbo

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