Backyard Barbecue

A Feteful Life: Birthday Backyard BBQAugust is a busy month in our house with both of our kid’s birthdays two weeks apart and our anniversary in-between them. In the past we’ve had separate birthday parties for the kids and we try to separate them by a few weekends — Brady’s the weekend before his birthday and Owen’s the weekend after his birthday — but this year that just wasn’t going to work out. So, instead we decided to throw a joint backyard barbecue with some of our good friends, family and neighbors instead.

We were blessed with some unseasonably comfortable weather and had a blast celebrating our two boys. And, luckily for us, the awesome online party supply store Party Pail, contacted us to see if we had any parties coming up that we could use some of their plain party goods for… ummm… yes!

A Feteful Life: Birthday Backyard BBQI generally love buying plain party products and then customizing them myself. Like these custom stickers on the plain white paper cups from Party Pail. I also designed these star drink flags to go on their bright orange striped straws.

A Feteful Life: Birthday Backyard BBQFinding a simple way to nicely display cutlery is always a challenge. You can’t get much simpler than these empty tin cans wrapped in burlap ribbon!

A Feteful Life: Birthday Backyard BBQWhat would be an AFL party without a hand stamped napkin? It’s another easy way to add a personal touch.

A Feteful Life: Birthday Backyard BBQI absolutely love these baking cups from Party Pail. Most cupcake liners loose their color or pattern once you bake the cupcake. Not these! They were just as vibrant after baking as they were before. And they looked great on this simple cardboard cupcake stand that I wrapped in some more burlap ribbon.

A Feteful Life: Birthday Backyard BBQThese chevron treat cups with custom labels were the perfect way for us to send our guests home with a little treat.

A Feteful Life: Birthday Backyard BBQHappy Birthday to my sweet boys! And, check out our Etsy store to pick up the party pack or invitation for the party. Fete on!

Cocktail Hour: Classic Spanish Sangria

A Feteful Life: Classic SangriaThere are few things that make me as happy as a cold pitcher of sangria just waiting to be served (especially on a warm spring or summer evening). Last year for my birthday Jim actually gave me a case of wine with a gift certificate for 12 batches of sangria anytime I wanted. It was a lovely and thoughtful gift which resulted in many an impromptu bbqs with our neighbors just because we had some sangria to celebrate with. So, now that the weather is finally starting to heat up I made my first batch of sangria of the season.

I’ve been fiddling around with perfecting my recipe over the last few years. This recipe isn’t very sweet but just sweet enough. While a lot of sangrias use brandy in addition to the wine, I have started using dark rum. It kinda happened by accident the first time because I didn’t have any brandy on hand, but I was so happy with how it turned out that I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It is also equally good with or without the addition of some sparkling water. Since you all know that I am addicted to sparkling water, I can’t help myself but it definitely isn’t necessary.

Classic Spanish Sangria (by A Feteful Life)

2 lemons
1 orange
1 1/2 cups dark rum (spiced rum would probably work as well)
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 (750ml) bottle of dry red wine
1 cup orange juice
1 liter sparkling water (optional)

Directions

Thinly slice the orange and lemons. In a large pitcher combine the rum, orange juice, wine and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the sliced fruit to the pitcher and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

When you are ready to serve crush the fruit lightly with a large spoon. You can either add the liter of sparking water to the entire pitcher or mix it into each glass individually. Cheers!