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Every summer we plan a 3 part outdoor movie night series. I always look forward to these parties because it means the summer has officially started and we get to spend time outside visiting with friends and neighbors.

In the backyard of a craftsman house built in 1939, it’s a setting you imagine from a 1950’s t.v. show – kids playing, adults chatting, food and drink and then everyone settles in on pillows, mats and blankets to watch a classic movie as it gets dark.

During the evening guests feast on BBQ and chat with each other while the kids play, or they simply relax in the backyard sun, letting the stress of the workweek melt away. The tables are decorated in buttery yellow French linens and lined with candles. The bar area is dappled with brightly colored glasses and the last two tables are best of all – the candy table and the hot chocolate table – can’t have a movie without candy and popcorn.

Cocktail music plays in the background, but it’s the hum of chatter that is music to my ears. As day turns to night, the guests gather on the grassy area in chairs and mats, snuggled up with pillows and blankets to eat popcorn, candy and watch a movie.

Sometimes, we whip up an Italian meal we learned at our cooking school in Italy and other times we set out buckets of KFC. Of course, we still have to decorate the buckets because it wouldn’t be LifEvents if we didn’t add that little personal touch. This is a time to kick back, relax and unwind with friends. No pretenses, just relaxed fun with friends.

These parties can be copied just about anywhere – backyard or a city apartment, the essentials of these parties are casual elegance and friendly camaraderie.

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