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Bring the beach home

June 04, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

Is a six- to eight-hour round trip getting to be too much trouble to bury the toes in the sand and ride the waves?

Bring the feeling of the beach home, just for a day or a season, without unloading a dump truck of sand.

Here are some tips from Susan Kille, co-owner of The Gala Event in Chambersburg, Pa.; Zozzie Golden, co-owner of Innovative Party Planners in Owings Mills, Md.; and this seasoned beachcomber:

  • Provide an atmosphere in the house that is light and airy using blues and sea-green colorings in wall colorings or coverings, glassware and centerpieces.

  • Bring fun things onto your deck or backyard like Tiki torches and beach umbrellas. Use beach towels as tablecloths and seashells as centerpieces.

  • For centerpieces, fill the bottom of glasses or shallow bowls with sand, which can be purchased at a local hardware or home improvement store. Add seashells to the bowl or around the glass. A small votive candle could be added to the bowl.

  • Another centerpiece idea is to place an inflatable tube in the center of the table. In the middle of the tube set a bowl or hollowed-out watermelon containing fresh cut fruit. Use a small boogie board as a tray to hold hamburgers and hot dogs.

  • Listen to music that reminds you of the beach, whether it's the sounds of the surf pounding the beach or a CD of Caribbean or Jamaican music.

  • Eat foods that remind you of time at the beach, whether it's steamed crabs or shrimp, french fries with salt and malt vinegar or caramel corn.

  • Play beach-related games such as volleyball (add some beach flavor by using a beach ball), paddle ball or Frisbee.

  • Enjoy tall cold drinks such as iced tea or fresh lemonade.

  • If you're having a beach bash party, create party invitations or favors using a small sand bucket containing suntan lotion and inexpensive sunglasses. Use scrapbooking materials to make a beach-related invitation.

  • Have guests wear beach attire: swimsuits and trunks, straw hats, flip-flops and sunglasses.
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