w&w Essential Guide to: Summer Soirees

July 29, 2008

In just a few short weeks, my roommates and I will be playing hostesses for a summer night dinner party. Think homemade guacamole, strawberry soup, crisp salads, vodka lemonades and fruity sangria! So delicious. My planning got yet another kick start with reading Glam’s post on Summer Gatherings and Dining Al Fresco.

So in the spirit of sunshine and summer here are a few things I deem essentials to a summer soiree of your own:

photo courtesy of flickr.com

1. Fresh, cool recipes. Don’t serve anything hot and remember that fruits and vegetables are a plenty at this time of year so utilize them! Get a head start here. Orson (by famed chef Elizabeth Falkner) in San Francisco makes an incredible dessert of fresh pluots, honey and olive oil foam. It’s heavenly! (And try substituting figs as well- equally as delicious. Go to Real Simple for inspiration for your summertime menu- they have hundreds from which you can peruse and choose.

2. Flowers. Add color and cheer to your dining table or patio by wrapping bright flowers like hydrangeas or gerber daises, in vases wrapped with big bows in complimentary colors. Use them as centerpieces or as decoration through the space in which you’re holding your get-together. Haven’t quite mastered your horticulture skills yet? Look at your local flower stands or head to 1800flowers.com for inspiration.

3. Music. Nothing sets the tone of an evening like the music being played. Create a light, but upbeat playlist for guests to hear in the background. Some of my favorites for this sort of event include Michael Buble, David Gray, John Mayer and Heather Headley.

photo courtesy of 1800flowers.com

4. Summer cocktails! Who can forget this essential? (Let’s be honest, some people may come just for this!) Your options are never-ending, but I prefer to have a few from which guests can choose. Fruity sangria (add fresh strawberries and/or peaches to your favorite recipe) and vodka lemonades with strawberry garnish are my favorite. They are cool, refreshing and full of bold fruit flavor. They also tend to be a lot easier and cleaner than battling your kitchen appliance to concoct up blended drinks like margaritas or daiquiris.

photo courtesy of Real Simple

Got other essentials you’d just have to have at your party? Do share!



July 26, 2008

I just came across a newer CNNMoney.com ranking- this time for the “skinniest places” in America. For those readers in San Francisco- now’s the time to smile because our beautiful city comes in at #2 overall. The ranking looked at those counties with the residents that had the lowest average body mass index.

This isn’t entirely surprising as San Francisco’s weather and proximity to so many outdoor settings – from hiking in Marin to jogging the steep hills – keep the city’s residents active. Perhaps I should use this ranking as an incentive 😉

photo courtesy of: traveldk.com

Daily Candy

July 22, 2008

For WITs living in a major city, I recommend subscribing to DailyCandy email updates. Want to know the latest lounge opening? New art exhibit? Designer sample sale? Hot cupcake bakery? The DailyCandy ladies have you covered! Don’t go a weekend without Thursday’s “The Weekend Guide,” with the must-dos around your city. For the techie WIT on the go, you can subscribe to mobile versions sent to your Blackberry or iPhone.

The latest from the ingenious DailyCandy ladies is the “The DailyCandy Lexicon: Words That Don’t Exist but Should.” I picked it up this weekend for reading at the beach. While not groundbreaking, it is a perfect, quick read. If jetting off for a weekend getaway, I recommend it for a little travel reading. WITs love their acronyms!

So while we may say “TTing,” and the DailyCandy Girls prefer “Drumming,” you’ll get a kick out of this fun, must-have WIT read!
Image courtesy of DailyCandy