Miss A Columnist

Lisa Beth Miller is the Entertaining & Weddings Editor for Miss A. She has been involved in the wedding industry for several years. Lisa is a bridal consultant and director of marketing and public relations for Blush Bridal Boutique and an event designer at Main Street Weddings, both local wedding businesses. In this capacity, Lisa writes the blog, website copy, and promotional materials for these businesses and assists with event planning. She was formerly a bridal consultant and did marketing and public relations work for A Formal Affair Bridal and Formalwear Boutique and was the creator of their Bridal University workshops. Additionally, Lisa teaches English, journalism, and photojournalism classes at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia. She advises the school's award-winning publications, Talon yearbook and Patriot Press newspaper. As junior class sponsor, she also assists in planning Liberty's prom. Lisa has written several published articles. These include an article about advising student publications for Accents (Southern Interscholastic Press Association’s journal),an article about the royal wedding for Northern Virginia Magazine, an article about local proms for Warrenton Lifestyle magazine, and four stories about wedding planning and wedding fashion for the 2012 Northern Virginia Bridal Guide. Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in English and journalism education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a graduate degree in education and library science from Longwood University.

Summer Party Tips From Expert Lolita Healy

Along with her Designs by Lolita brand (fabulous painted glassware and unique gifts), Lolita Healy is a nationally known celebrations expert offering tips and advice on everyday celebrations.  It all started with a girls’ night out, and since then Lolita has identified moments large and small that call for celebration.

She has some great ideas for planning fabulous summer parties that she recently told me about!

Photo Credit: sweetlifeinthevalley.blogspot.com.

1. Crowd pleasers: You can never go wrong with sliders, ribs, salad and corn on the cob. Turn it up a notch to surf and turf…but instead of grilling, do a beef tenderloin (oven roasted) and shrimp cocktail.

2. Ambience: Summer parties are fun because they can be outside. I find citronella torches to be a must. These are very inexpensive and can be used again and again, and create a real summer vibe.

3. Fabric: buy a bunch of colorful netting for draping over tables…very inexpensive and festive. Go to Ikea for vases….get a bunch of cheap cut flowers and do at least one centerpiece for each table.

4. Music: use your Ipod…create the ultimate summer party list…the one I like is from my book, Martini Moments. Make your playlists ahead of time, invest in a good MP3 sounds system if you can. Somehow, “Tiny Bubbles” by Don Ho just gets you in a beachy, outdoorsy mood.

5. Drinks: Choose one signature cocktail…then have guests switch to wine and beer. This will keep your costs down immensely, not to have to have an open bar set up. The last party I gave, I did Blueberry Cosmopolitans and mixed enough so each guest could have 2. I used plastic pitchers to store everything in.

6. Other: Make sure you have a cooler or two with ice…I am always making more room in the fridge, so everything that is not being used for the party goes in a cooler…so much easier.

Here are a few sample summertime themes!

Hibiscus Margaritas
Hawaiin food, including lots of tropical fruit and pork barbeque.
Lais and hula skirt for guests
Tropical music

Photo Credit: designsbylolita.com.



The idea is simple–”Backyard Barbeque” that is simply fun, easy and delicious for the whole crowd.
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Stand-some locations actually cater and will set up a sundae bar in your yard
Sam Adams Summer Ale
Barbequed Ribs and Chicken
Turkey Burgers
Various side dishes (examples include coleslaw, shrimp cocktail, potato salad)
Kids Punch
Decorate with red-and-white checkered table cloths, napkins and paper goods (Lolita found hers at K-Mart) and balloons and streamers from a local party store.

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