Stargazing Party Ideas

stargazing party

I love the night sky! I love to find the constellations, watch meteor showers, and learn mind-blowing things about space. Last Friday was Space Exploration day and this Friday there will be a lunar eclipse. What better way to celebrate than by hosting a stargazing party?

I hope to pass my love of space to my son, so we started our star gazing with a little preliminary education for little and big minds alike. For budding astronomers, the ABCs of Space is a great book with progressive learning stages. My latest find is The Universe in Bite-Sized Chunks which is perfect for my busy schedule right now.

space books

We set up a comfy space to watch the stars and enjoy food and drinks.

stargazing party ideas

constellation stemware

For soft lighting in our stargazing set up, I made a constellation paper lantern with a metallic sharpie.

stargazing lantern

moon stars inspiration

We used the guide and star maps mentioned below and were able to see lots of wonders in the night sky as we sprawled out on our stargazing pillow fort.

Here’s some tips on how you can host a stargazing party this summer.

1. Location, Location

There are many ways to host a stargazing party, but when it comes time to watch the night sky, the most important thing to do is pick the right location. Choose a spot that is as free from light pollution and obstruction as possible. If you are in a highly urbanized area, you can always plan a get together out of the city, close to water, or perhaps even a rooftop.

2. Be prepared

Provide your guests with star maps and try to find as many stars as you can in plain sight before using binoculars or telescopes. Spotting satellites and planets, and finding constellations together is fun for everyone.

When you are ready to use a telescope, this is a great beginner set that is easy to transport and comes with an attachment that allows you to take photos and videos with your cell phone.

beginner telescope stargazing party

3. Start with the Big 3

In the summer, there are three bright stars that almost everyone can spot on a clear night. Finding these helps get everyone oriented and is the perfect starting point. Mr. Printables has a FREE star gazing guide and summer constellation map.

summer star map

Here are some other ideas for a space exploration or stargazing party that I am over the moon for!

If you’re looking for stargazing party foods, try making some sparkly space cupcakes. I made simple star-shaped sugar cookies, but if you’re a craftier baker than I, you could attempt this adorable black velvet nebula cake from SprinkleBakes.com or these galaxy star cookies from Blyss Cookies.

 

For space themed parties, this beautiful lantern looks like a little bit of galaxy.

galaxy lantern

This table runner from Design Sponge that is embroidered with constellations and these plates from West Elm would make for a beautiful dinner party before stargazing.

And the full moon martini from jojotastic.com is pure genius!

full moon martini

For party favors, you could make this quick constellation gift bags that I made.

stargazing gift bags

Or send your guests home with these galaxy lollipops!

galaxy lollipops

Happy stargazing everyone! Please share your stargazing party pictures and experiences with me. Be sure to check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas too!

Sarah

 

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Delicious Summer Drinks

Looking for a healthy alternative to all those sugary drinks this summer? These refreshing summer beverages are packed with flavor without all the empty calories and unnecessary additives.

1. Limoonada

If you’re planning on hosting any event this summer, try the following recipe and I promise you will wow your guests. It doesn’t look that fancy, but it sure tastes amazing!

Limoonada recipe

Limoonada is a version of lemonade from the Middle East. The notable differences are that it is refreshingly less sweet and includes the seductive addition of orange blossom water. (Shhh…this is your secret ingredient!)

Middle East lemonade

I’ve posted the full recipe here.

2. Cucumber-Mint Infused Water

Naturally flavored water is one of my favorite beverages. The combinations are endless and the results are both healthy and packed with flavor.

Cucumber and mint make a crisp water that is thirst-quenching and cooling. It is especially great to pair with spicy grilled dishes.

Add fresh mint and cucumber slices to water and refrigerate for at least an hour.

cucumber mint water

3. Iced Tea with Fruit

Instead of adding a bunch of sugar to your chilled teas, try adding sliced organic fruit and let it sit for at least four hours. You can sweeten with just a little bit of honey if you prefer, but quality tea and organic fruit make ALL the difference.

best iced tea

I’m in love with all the Harney & Sons teas. I made this iced tea with their Blood Orange tea and sweetened it with strawberries and oranges. Get yours here!

delicious iced tea

4. Pineapple-Jalapeno Fizz

Want something a little bubbly and maybe even spicy? Are you doing Taco Tuesday (or in my case, Taco EVERYDAY)?

pineapple fizz

Infuse water with fresh pineapple and jalapeno. I like to add just a touch of rich dark honey to mine and refrigerate it overnight. When you are ready to serve, mix it with sparkling water. It is a perfect non-alcoholic beverage for the summer.

I hope you enjoy! Please share your feedback with me. I love to hear from you!

Sarah

summer drink recipes and ideas

3 Easy & Refreshing Summer Salads

easy unique summer salad

I love summertime foods; all the fresh produce, vibrant colors, and juicy flavors. When it’s hot outside, I like to keep our midday meals light and easy. Here are some of my favorite unique summer salads. They are easy to prepare and very refreshing. Enjoy!

1. Twisted Greek

Take the cucumbers, black olives, and feta of a greek salad and add red peppers and krab. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic, and oregano. I could literally eat this every day.

Krab and feta greek salad

2. Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad with Roasted Peas

Skip the croutons and add roasted peas for some crunch in this salad. The tartness of the strawberries complements the goat cheese and keeps it tasting like summer!

strawberry goat cheese salad

3. Watermelon, Cucumber & Mint Salad

Now you may think watermelon is a strange addition to this salad, but I promise you this is an amazingly refreshing flavor combination. This salad is perfect as a standalone meal or with grilled meats.

watermelon cucumber mint salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 small seedless watermelon
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 c crumbled feta
  • salt & pepper

Cut the cucumber and watermelon into chunks (should be approx. 50/50 mixture). Gently toss with remaining ingredients. Served best at room temperature.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

Sarah

Summertime Survival Kit

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Summertime is officially here which means pool parties, trips to the beach, barbecues, picnics, and all sorts of outdoor activities. Everyone remembers to bring the food and drinks, but items we usually forget are the ones that can save a summer party from being downright miserable.

Here is my list of summertime survival essentials that I take to every event. You can make your own kit and keep it by the door or in your car for simplicity. You’ll be glad you did!

1. Extra water

Because we all need to stay especially hydrated in the summer and you may need to give something a quick rinse. Please use re-useable water bottles! They are better for you and the summertime environments we all enjoy. I’ve been using my Nalgene bottles for over a decade.

2. Flame

You can’t light birthday candles, a campfire (unless you’re more skilled that I), or all those festive fireworks and sprinklers without a lighter.

3. Small first aid kit

You can buy one or just throw a few bandaids, wipes, and antibiotic ointment into a tin.

4. Sunscreen

For my husband and I, anything will do, but for the kids I really like the Babyganics products. You can purchase a great combo pack of the sunscreen and insect repellant here.

5. Insect repellant

In addition to the Babyganics repellent, my other favorite product is the bug repellant bracelets. Unfortunately for me, the bugs love me but these bracelets are AMAZING and they last for hours, even days!

6. Hand sanitizer

It’s not uncommon to find yourself at a summertime hotspot without running water. In a pinch, hand sanitizer will suffice!

7. Wet wipes

Baby wipes are my life! Seriously, I use them for everything. They are so handy to have in your summertime survival kit (or anywhere for that matter).

8. Hair care

Tangles and strays are part of outdoor activities so adding a detangling brush, large tooth comb, a few bobby pins, and some ouchless hair ties to your kit will make life a little easier for everyone. I love this set!

9. Instant Stain Remover

Barbecue sauce and clothing do not make great friends. Keeping some on-the-go stain remover is a great way to protect your threads from summertime stains.

10. Corkscrew/Bottle Opener/Multi-tool

A good multi-tool will include a corkscrew and bottle opener, but you can opt to have separate items in your kit. Nothing beats the standard Swiss Army Knife for functionality and durability, but this one comes in all kinds of cute colors!

11. Extra bags

Extra garbage bags aren’t only useful for trash and recycling, but are great for transporting wet towels and placing under wet swimsuits in the car. Throw in a few medium or large ziplocs too!

12. Dental floss or toothpicks

Because corn on the cob and ribs are summertime favorites. 😉

13. Solar phone charger

This really should’ve been closer to the top of the list, but I didn’t put them in any order. Definitely worth spending a little extra to have a decent solar phone charger. You won’t regret it.

14. Snacks

Kids are pretty much always hungry, but there are those times when adults need a little something to tide them over. Throw a few high-protein snacks that will stay good in the heat (granola bars and jerky are in my kit).

15. Sharpie

This may seem a little silly, but trust me it comes in handy. Especially when you’re trying to keep track of cups.

16. Baby powder

If you plan to frequent the beach or anywhere sandy, keep a small shaker of baby powder with you. It works wonders for removing sand from your skin!

17 & 18. Extra sunglasses and flip flops

If someone forgets to bring either of these or their’s break during a get-together, you’ll be their hero! I just grab extras from the dollar store to keep on hand.

19. Pain relief

Aspirin or anything that can relieve a headache. Nothing kills a good time like having a bad headache.

20. Umbrella

Finally, don’t forget to keep a small umbrella in your kit. Even though the sun is shining, summer rains can make an unexpected appearance.

Hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Sarah

 

Limoonada Recipe

Limoonada Recipe

Limoonada is a version of lemonade from the Middle East. The notable differences are that it is refreshingly less sweet and includes the seductive addition of orange blossom water that will leave your guests begging for more.

Limoonada recipe

Literally everyone who tried the limoonada at our Arabian Nights party raved about it. (I also loved the spelling li-MOON-ada, since we were under the full moon, but I digress).

orange blossom water recipe

This is the orange blossom water that I use. You can get it here on Amazon.

As always, I encourage you to use organic when you can. Your body and your palette are worth it!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 – 5 whole lemons
  • 6 c. cold water
  • 1/3 c. cane sugar (or honey)
  • 1 T orange blossom water

1. Juice the lemons. Save a few slices or halves to put in the pitcher for flavor and visual appeal.

2. Pour in the water and sugar and stir well until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add more lemon juice or sugar to taste, if desired.

3. Chill at least overnight.

4. Stir before serving.

Enjoy!

Sarah

Middle East lemonade