Friday, May 25, 2012

Decoration Day

Did you know that Memorial Day used to be called "Decoration Day"?

Neither did I, but Wikipedia told me so and I'm inclined to trust it on this one. And although in this instance "decoration" was not referencing center pieces and floral arrangements, we can consider it a happy pun for the sake of this entry.  This past week in NYC has been bursting with Fleet Week fun and an excited anticipation in the air for the first long weekend of the Summer. I am packing my bag to board a Jitney for the Hamptons to unwind and with this in mind, I wanted to share with you a few little touches to elevate your weekend or party from ordinary to extraordinary.

1. Ice with a Twist.

This is one of my most favorite 'Mermaid-y' things to do. Up the wow factor by adding fresh, vibrant fruit to your summer drink.  Take small fruits, berries or herbs (blueberries, elderberries, mint, springs of rosemary and thyme are great choices) and place them in ice cube trays.  Fill with water and freeze.  The end result will be beautiful, colorful ice cubes that will look wonderful in your glasses and melt into the drink for added flavor! 

2.  Go Rustic.

Memorial Day is not the time to break out your wedding china. Weathered picnic tables, gingham table cloths, nautical rope, twine, mason jars- use them all to your advantage. Summertime and the livin' is easy, right? (Okay, maybe not so easy but this is the weekend to kick back and forget your worries - leave the frou frou decorations back at home with your button down and Board Room blazer).


3. Flowers and Candles Fix All!
Do not underestimate the power of flowers and candles. They are affordable ways to spruce up your backyard BBQ or your beach house bash. Fresh cut wild flowers, and tea lights in votives will do the trick just fine. Candles automatically create soft, romantic lighting. A good hostess knows that soft lighting is flattering--good lighting makes for happy people--and happy people make for a good party. My high school geometry teacher might disagree, but this is my understanding of the transitive property.

4. Keep Guests Cool--and Personalize!

Nothing makes your guests feel as special as something tailored specifically for them. It doesn't have to be big or expensive--if your party flows into the evening, have some inexpensive and colorful Pashminas on hand to pass out to the ladies to avoid the chill.  Or, for an extremely hot day affair--pretty parasol umbrellas and printed or monogrammed paper fans (you can order and customize these online) are sunny gifts for guests.

Maybe its that first sweet scent of summer in the air, or maybe its simply an excuse to pull those sundresses out of retirement, whatever it is, Memorial Day has a curious way of bringing people together. But most importantly, Memorial Day is an American holiday through and through; a day to appreciate and remember the soldiers, past and present, who have made sacrifices so that our biggest dilemma on Memorial Day is choosing between sunflowers or Gerbera daisies.

So whether you're hosting a Memorial Day soiree or lounging poolside at a BBQ, remember a favorite Mermaid motto: "Sometimes its good to sweat the small stuff."

*Find inspiration for your party on my Pinterest: