WAITING ON MARTHA
A blog dedicated to helping you create a beautiful day every day

Entertaining

10 Block Party Essentials to See Summer Off in Style

A checklist of must-haves for your outdoor bash
August 18, 2016

This week we’ve had a blast sharing scenes from our end-of-summer block party with Pottery Barn, along with a few of our favorite fuss-free finger food recipes and a super refreshing mocktail/cocktail.  We already hit the basics you’ll want to have at your own outdoor bash, but we wanted to round up a final checklist today for you as well.  You’ve got the comfy chairs and pillows covered, but you don’t want to forget about the great playlist, string lights and games.  Click on the image above to scroll through the slideshow of our top 10 block party essentials. Cheers, Kat

SHOP THE STORY / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

String Lights

String Lights

It's a given that string lights make every outdoor experience more magical, and a block party is no exception.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Lounge Chairs + Pillows

Lounge Chairs + Pillows

You want everyone to feel like they can stay awhile, so stock up on the comfy lounge chairs and pillows.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
An Outdoor Patio Set

An Outdoor Patio Set

One great patio set is all you really need to set up a food station since the evening won't call for a full sit-down meal.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Fuss-Free Finger Food

Fuss-Free Finger Food

The key to a great block party is an easy menu full of food you can grab-and-go. Healthy homemade dips are great options, as well as gourmet (but simple!) sandwiches.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
A Mocktail (Easily Turned Cocktail)

A Mocktail (Easily Turned Cocktail)

Whip up a refreshing batch drink that everyone at the party can enjoy (and can easily turn into a cocktail with a little vodka). We're huge fans of Arnold Palmers & John Daly's, and this new Citrus Cooler is one you'll want to try STAT too.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
A Cooler

A Cooler

Keep cool things cool with a galvanized tin party tub or traditional cooler.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Easy Desserts

Easy Desserts

Find ways to serve sweet treats that are easy to enjoy and mess-free. Watermelon on popsicle sticks and freeze pops are great options!

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA STYLE ME PRETTY
Good Tunes

Good Tunes

Crank the summer playlists for everyone to hear with these storage cubes with portable speakers or your favorite Bluetooth player.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Outdoor Games

Outdoor Games

Great outdoor games like ladder toss and bocce ball can easily be set up in the neighboring yards at the block party for kids and adults alike.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
DIY Activities

DIY Activities

Consider simple ways to incorporate DIY crafts like a Paint & Plant station for the little ones.

SHOP THE LOOK:




VIA WAITING ON MARTHA

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

End-of-Summer Block Party with Pottery Barn: Part 2

Fuss-Free Finger Food and Fun DIY Activities for All
August 17, 2016

Outdoor entertaining ideas via @waitingonmarthaDIY paint and plant activity, @waitingonmarthaPottery Barn teepee at an end-of-summer block party, @waitingonmartha Healthy block party food ideas, @waitingonmartha DIY plant activity, @waitingonmartha Kids DIY ideas, @waitingonmartha Pottery Barn outdoor entertaining inspiration, @waitingonmarthaDIY paint & plant idea, @waitingonmarthaOutdoor entertaining essentials, Waiting on Martha Watermelon on popsicle sticks, @waitingonmarthaHow to host an end of summer block party, @waitingonmartha

Yesterday we invited you to join in on the fun at our end-of-summer block party with Pottery Barn. With great grub and fun activities for kids of all ages, who could ever say no to a carefree block party bash?  But I know what you’re thinking: it’s hot (like really hot) and hot doesn’t always work hand-in-hand with “carefree.”  As someone who’s already counting down until fall, I hear you.  But good news: it IS possible to keep the menu easy and light, while simple DIYs can keep even the busiest of bodies busy so you can enjoy a refreshing drink or two.  I think we can all cheers to that! 

When I set up our block party, I knew I wanted to keep things comfortable, casual and laid-back. That, of course, was thanks to PB’s cozy chairs, pillows and outdoor dining set, but it was also thanks to the fuss-free food we served: my take on The Cuban and pimento cheese and tomato sandwiches (see both recipes below), homemade potato chips (because what’s a block party without chips!) and healthy-ish dips with fresh veggies and fruit.  Along with all the finger food I whipped up a super refreshing Citrus Cooler mocktail (recipe below) that could easily become booze infused with a shot or two of vodka.  

For dessert, I stuffed a bin full of ice and freeze pops, plus put watermelon slices onto popsicle sticks for the perfect dessert al fresco.  By keeping the menu super simple, and asking everyone to pitch in, no one’s stressed to whip up an over-the-top dish.  

But a block party isn’t all about the food (though it’s a big part), so I also set up a few simple DIY activities for kids of all ages to enjoy.  I think the biggest mistake people make when pulling together something like this block party is overthinking the agenda and spending too much money on what you think the kids will do.  The beauty of a block party, after all, is that it’s an excuse for everyone to come together and do their own thing…kids will be running around, teens will probably just want to hang out, and adults will be catching up (while trying to keep an eye on the little ones).  

With all this in mind, I set up an easy DIY crafts table for the little ones with all the makings of a paint-and-plant station.  We brought small terracotta pots labeled with each kids’ name (gorgeously handwritten by Jenn Gietzen) for them to paint all over, as well as organic potting soil and a few pre-potted (and hardy) herbs like mint, rosemary and thyme the kids can watch grow inside all year long.  The supplies can be kept simple (all you’ll need are a few colors of acrylic paint and paint brushes) and cleanup shouldn’t be overwhelming since it’s outside.  And since we had kids of all ages at the block party, I set up a table with colored beads for the teens to create DIY beaded bracelets.  We separated each color family into different dishes, making it easy for everyone to fight over the prettiest beads to add to their arm stacks. 

Check out the recipes for two fuss-free sandwiches and our Citrus Cooler mocktail (easily turned cocktail) below, and tell me what you’ll be serving at your end-of-summer block party!  Truly, MKR 

SHOP THE STORY / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

The Cuban
Serves 15
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 loaves French Bread
  2. Salami
  3. Ham
  4. Fresh mozzarella, 1/4 inch slices
  5. Dijon mustard
  6. Bread & Butter pickles
  7. Skewer sticks or toothpicks, to serve
Instructions
  1. Slice bread in half lengthwise.
  2. Assemble salami, ham and fresh mozzarella onto loaves of bread.
  3. Smear dijon mustard onto upper pieces of bread.
  4. Slice loaf into individual sandwiches (4-5 per loaf).
  5. Skewer stick each sandwich with toothpick and pickle to serve.
Notes
  1. You'll generally get 4-5 sandwiches per loaf of bread.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
Pimento Cheese & Tomato Sandwich
Serves 15
Write a review
Print
For sandwiches
  1. 3 loaves French Bread
  2. 3 large bistec Tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  3. Pimento cheese
  4. Skewer sticks or toothpicks
For homemade pimento cheese
  1. 1 block cheddar cheese, grated
  2. 1 block organic pepper jack, grated
  3. mayo
  4. 1/2 jar pimentos
  5. 1/2 to 3/4 cup of vegenaise or mayo
  6. salt to taste
  7. cayenne pepper (optional)
For the pimento cheese
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix.*
  2. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the sandwiches
  1. Assemble 1 slice of tomato per sandwich (you'll have 4-5 sandwiches per loaf of bread) along with pimento cheese.
  2. Slice into individual pieces and skewer stick to serve.
Notes
  1. If you want your homemade pimento cheese to be smoother, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
Citrus Cooler Mocktail
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1-2 gallon of fresh lemonade
  2. 1 carton (59 oz) of fresh orange juice
  3. 2-3 cups fresh lime juice
  4. 6 cups club soda
  5. fresh lime and lemon slices, to garnish
  6. mint, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large punch bowl or beverage dispenser with ice. Add lime and lemon slices to garnish and serve.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/

PHOTOGRAPHY, RUSTIC WHITE FOR WAITING ON MARTHA  |  VENUE, SUMMEROUR STUDIO  |  HAND LETTERING, JENN GIETZEN | THIS POST WAS IN COLLABORATION WITH POTTERY BARN, POTTERY BARN KIDS AND POTTERY BARN TEEN, ALL BRANDS WE LOVE AND ADORE.  ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% OUR OWN. 

AS PICTURED: PATIO UMBRELLA | PATIO SET (ON SALE!) | WICKER BAR CONSOLE (ON SALE!) | WICKER ACCENT TABLES (ON SALE!) KIDS GINGHAM ARMCHAIR | PEACE SIGN PILLOW | POM POM STORAGE BASKET | JUTE RUG | NAVY POLKA DOT BEAN BAG CHAIRS | PINK AND WHITE THROW PILLOW | RAINBOW THROW PILLOW | TASSEL LUMBAR PILLOW | NAVY DUFFEL BAG (ON SALE!) | TEEPEE | STORAGE CUBE | KIDS TABLE | KIDS DINING CHAIRS | STRING LIGHTS

End-of-Summer Block Party with Pottery Barn: Part 1

Inspiration to Celebrate with an Easy Evening Outdoors
August 16, 2016

End of summer block party ideas with Pottery Barn, @waitingonmartha End of summer block party ideas with Pottery Barn, @waitingonmarthaBlock party inspiration with Pottery Barn and Waiting on MarthaPottery Barn Teepee and bean bag chairs, @waitingonmarthaSummer block party inspiration via @waitingonmarthaBlock party ideas via @waitingonmarthaOutdoor patio dining set and umbrella at an end-of-summer block party with Pottery Barn, @waitingonmarthaPottery Barn essentials for a block party, waitingonmartha.comHow to set up for an end of summer block party, WaitingonMartha.com End of Summer Block Party with Pottery Barn, Waiting on Martha

Being an avid lover of twinkle lights and dining al fresco, I think there is no better way to celebrate the last stretch of these glorious, warm summer nights than an end-of-summer block party.  And when one of your favorite brands, Pottery Barn, invites you to celebrate with them, throw a block party bash, you do. 

As I share on the Pottery Barn blog, I say a block party is the perfect excuse to simply get everyone together outside…without all of the fuss.  With an emphasis on all things EASY, you want to keep things casual and laid-back throughout the evening.  I’ve always said that the best way to do this is by finding ways in which everyone can pitch in—whether that’s by preparing a dish or by bringing their favorite chairs to lounge in. (Speaking of chairs, how perfect are these mini gingham armchairs for the little ones?!) 

I tackled the layout by creating separate sitting, food and play areas for adults and kids of all ages.  Using a variety of chairs, pillows (this one is my fave) and throws with comfort in mind, I wanted to encourage lounging long into the night.  And remember, don’t be shy about asking guests to BYOS (bring your own seat) to ensure there’s enough for all.  With the layout—well, laid out—it was on to the details to tie everything together.  

Details like a teepee stuffed with pillows, beanbags & storage cubes complete with built in speakers for the teens to stream their summer playlists. A kids area flanked by comfy gingham armchairs, a paint-and-play crafts table, and a plenty of freeze pops to go around.  And lastly, a refuge with the most gorgeous Palmetto wicker furniture (I especially loved these wicker accent tables and this wicker bar table) where adults can nosh on good food and have a great cocktail or two while the busy bodies are at play.  

Speaking of keeping busy bodies at play, tomorrow I’ll be sharing two simple DIY activities for kids and teens, along with my favorite fuss-free finger food recipes that are as easy as they are delicious.  And I can’t forget about our punchy batch Citrus Cooler mocktail…I’m thirsty just thinking about it now.  In the meantime, find all of the product details below, and hop over to Pottery Barn’s blog to find my 5 tips for creating your own end-of-summer block party!  Truly, MKR 

SHOP THE STORY / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha  |  Venue, Summerour Studio  |  Hand lettering, Jenn Gietzen | This post was in collaboration with Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen, all brands we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

As pictured: patio umbrella | patio set (on sale!) | wicker bar console (on sale!) | wicker accent tables (on sale!) kids gingham armchair | peace sign pillow | pom pom storage basket | jute rug | navy polka dot bean bag chairs | pink and white throw pillow | rainbow throw pillow | tassel lumbar pillow | navy duffel bag (on sale!) | teepee | storage cube | kids table | kids dining chairs | string lights

Design by Veda House. Development by Alchemy+Aim
Copyright © Waiting on Martha /