As the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, you’re naturally inspired to entertain outside. When you don’t have the time (or budget) to just whisk yourself off to a tropical destination for a weekend getaway, why not enjoy a relaxing “staycation” at home?!
How to Enjoy a #VacayEveryDay
To celebrate the spirit of a #VacayEveryDay, Inspirations & Celebrations is partnering with Palm Breeze to share easy entertaining tips to help you rest and relax while getting your friends and family together for a fun day in the sun.
Whether you intend to host a casual get-together at the beach or a nearby lake, or even a picnic in the park, these easy entertaining tips will help you plan a fabulous gathering that everyone will be raving about.
Easy Entertaining Tips:
Plan Ahead: When planning a party al fresco, it’s important to make a checklist in advance of the soirée to help you get organized and plan your time accordingly. Figuring out which essentials you’ll need to buy, make, or bring along with you helps you feel calmer and more prepared the day of the event. It’s helpful to have a to-do list as well as an itemized checklist of items you need to pack.
Aside from food, beverages, and decorative items, always remember to tote along utensils, extra napkins (and even paper towels for spills), and garbage bags (for easy clean-up).
Keep Things Simple: Instead of schlepping unnecessary extras (like tiki torches and elaborate decorations), pare down what you bring. Not only will this make the set-up process faster and simpler, it also is easier for you to pack away (or discard of) when the party is over.
Decide on a Theme: When planning the ultimate “staycation”, your goal is to virtually transport your guests to a dreamy place that instantly makes them feel like they’re on vacation. As an example, a tropical themed get-together (whether that be Mexican or Hawaiian inspired) is always a hit during Spring and Summer months, and is incredibly easy to put together.
Easy Appetizer Recipe: Fresh Guacamole & Tortilla Chips
If you opt for a South-of-the-Border inspired shindig, an easy appetizer to whip up is fresh guacamole, accompanied by crunchy tortilla chips. A tasty mixture of avocados, finely chopped onions and garlic, diced tomato, cilantro, and a splash of lime juice make for a winning appetizer that will have your guests craving more of.
To make fresh guac, cut 2 avocados in half and scoop the contents into a bowl. Mash with a fork or spoon until almost smooth. Then drizzle the juice of 1/2 a lime over the avocado (for a hint of refreshing citrus flavor). In a separate bowl, add 1/4 of a finely chopped small onion and a few chopped cloves of fresh garlic, as well as a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh cilantro. Next add a dash of salt and 1 diced tomato. Stir the contents in with the avocado until blended well. If you want to add some heat to your guacamole, mix in a little cayenne pepper.
Easy Lunch Recipe: Mexican Shrimp Salad
When planning your main dish, you’ll want to think about the types of beverages you’re offering, to ensure they complement the flavors of your meal.
A light, healthy lunch option to serve is a Mexican Shrimp Salad. Packed with bold flavors, vibrant colors, and healthy ingredients, this salad is the perfect companion to guacamole and chips.
Since this Mexican Shrimp Salad definitely packs some heat (thanks to the hot chili sauce), a refreshing way to help your guests cool down is to pair it with Palm Breeze’s Sparkling Alcohol Spritz in Ruby Red Citrus or Pineapple Mandarin Orange. This light bubbly beverage (which offers an invigorating mix of grapefruit and citrus flavors) is easy to drink, pairs well with avocado-based and spicy seafood dishes, and is easy to transport and dispose of (since it’s packaged in a convenient can).
Inspired by Jane Milton’s cookbook, Mexican: Healthy Ways with a Favorite Cuisine, the modified recipe below is not only easy to prepare (even for novice chefs), it’s incredibly tasty.
1 lb. cooked peeled shrimp
1 ripe but firm avocado
2 tbsp. hot chili sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
1 bag mixed greens (kale and spinach) *
Salt and black ground pepper
Fresh basil leaves
1 Green bell pepper
1. Put the shrimp in a large bowl, add lime juice and salt and pepper. Toss lightly, then leave to marinate.
2. Chop tomatoes and bell pepper into small, bite-sized pieces. Add to shrimp mixture and stir together.
3. Cut the avocado in half, remove the skin and pit, then cut chunks and add to shrimp mixture.
4. Mix hot chili sauce, sugar and sour cream in a small bowl. Fold into the shrimp mixture and stir together until the shrimp and other ingredients are fully coated. Chill the shrimp mixture for at least 1 hour. Just prior to serving, finely chop the basil leaves and add on top as a garnish.
5. When you’re ready to serve the salad, fill a large bowl with mixed greens, then top with the shrimp mixture.
Easy Dessert: Fresh Sliced Fruit
When it comes to dessert, keep things simple and healthy by serving slices of fresh fruit. A mixture of tropical fruits, like pineapple, mango, and kiwi not only add a cheerful dose of color to your table, they also satisfy those sugar cravings without feeling indulgent.
Easy Table Setting: Potted Plants & Bright Colors
Relative to table settings, opt for an array of dynamic, eye-catching hues (like punchy pink, sunshine yellow, and calming aqua blue) to make a splash and set the tone for fun.
Cotton napkins (which are inexpensive and easy to wash) in an exotic print instantly add visual appeal to your tablescape. Earthy wooden napkin rings add a finishing touch, while suiting the natural environment of your get-together.
Instead of filling vases with freshly cut flowers (which can be cumbersome and get costly), opt for potted plants in bright, tropical shades instead. The plants can be picked-up the day of the event at a local market, and can be enjoyed in your home long after the party is over.
By following these easy entertaining tips and ideas, you can be guaranteed of a fun and memorable staycation that reminds you to enjoy a #VacayEveryDay.
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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Palm Breeze through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Palm Breeze, all opinions are my own. Please drink responsibly.