Pinteresting Picks for August

Every month, we like to look back at what you loved best on Pinterest. It’s a great chance to spot a deal you missed, get fresh ideas for gift-giving or create a wishlist of some of your favorite things. August’s pins included tasty treats, ways to stay cool on sultry summer days and favorites for families with kids going back to school.

Cast-Iron-Skillet-Cookie-Kit
If your pins were any indication, you loved getting creative in the kitchen this August. You’ve pinned cake-pop cookbooks, mixing bowls and some of our favorite baking dishes, but one that popped up again and again was this cast iron skillet cookie kit. Cast iron holds heat well, so using this cookie pan means you leave the oven on for less time – a good idea during the hottest month of summer. It’s the perfect pan for baking your own version of a chocolate chip cookie cake, chewy brownies, a sugar cookie with plenty of space for you and the kids to decorate, or any other sweet treat you might dream of baking. The kit comes with a package of mix, instructions and a ribbon on the handle, so it also makes an excellent gift.

Freezer-Cups
With so many August birthdays, it’s no wonder it was a popular pin last month.When the weather’s hot, few things feel as refreshing as an ice-cold drink. Maybe that’s why our sets of Freezer Cups were big on Pinterest. The double-walled cups are made of freezer-safe plastic and contain a non-toxic gel between the translucent layers. Store them in the freezer, and when you’re ready for a cold drink, pour it into your freezer cup; the frozen gel keeps everything cold far longer than ice inside the cup, and you won’t water down your soda or lemonade. Clear lids screw on and help prevent spills when you take your cup on the go, so they’re great for commutes to school or work. Whether you choose the clear set of four cups or the set with cool blue gel, you’re also making a green choice because these cups are reusable.

Lunch-Cube
August is also back-to-school month, so many of your pins featured student-friendly items. One that made the top of the charts with parents of schoolkids and students themselves was the Lunch Cube, a handy all-in-one kit that holds a sandwich plus three side items. The single compartment is roomy enough to hold even a loaded sandwich, and the divided compartment keeps easy-to-eat tidbits such as raisins and baby carrots separate. Pack your salad ingredients in separate compartments to keep everything fresh; then, combine them when you’re at work or school and ready to eat lunch. The cubes are large enough to hold crackers, chips, fruits and vegetables, so you can vary your menu as much as you like and transport everything in a compact, washable case. You pinned this one often, and it’s easy to see why: It’s as sleek as it is practical.

We will have another round-up at the end of September, so pin your favorites and spread the word. A great time-saver or delicious new treat is too good not to share on Pinterest!

5 Entertaining Tips Everyone Should Know

Party season is right around the corner, and we have some great party tips to make your next get-together memorably festive. Whether it’s your turn to host an office party, a birthday celebration or just a good excuse to have fun with friends, these tips will provide you with what you need for success.

Tiki-torches 

Pick a Theme

Holiday parties have a built-in theme, but even if you’re hosting a mid-week gathering for no particular reason, coming up with a concept for decorations, drinks and food can help you create a festive atmosphere. Luau and tiki themes are always hits for backyard barbecues, but don’t feel constrained to popular party ideas; you can go as wild as you like with your concept. Guests will be charmed with a Mardi Gras masquerade or a retro party with dishes and drinks from vintage cookbooks.

 

 

Handled-bakers

Cook Ahead

When you get most of the cooking done ahead of time, you give yourself more freedom to enjoy entertaining. Instead of spending your party in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on some complicated dish, plan a simple, straightforward menu of foods you know your guests will love. You and they will remember the fun more than the food, so prepare something elegant and easy. Lasagna, roasted chicken and macaroni and cheese are a few possibilities.

Cookware that looks and performs beautifully, such as this set of three handled baking dishes, lets you assemble and store entrees or side dishes the night before and pop them in the oven shortly before guests arrive. They go straight from the oven to the dinner table, saving you another step and giving you more time to spend with your guests.

Pillar-candle-light-string

 

Make It Inviting with Light

What makes a chic nightclub or formal restaurant special? In many cases, it’s the lighting, not the decor, that makes the difference. Try some special effects with lighting to make your next get-together magical. Outside, try stringing colorful paper lanterns or white fairy lights above your deck or patio. Interior spaces take on a beautifully warm and welcoming glow with candles. Kids and pets don’t always get along with candles, though, so choose child-friendly alternatives such as this electric pillar candle light string for part of your table design.

 

 

Create a Play List

Create-list

Music makes a party, and you have more options than ever for music that complements your theme. Internet radio stations have hundreds of stations with dozens of exciting musical genres from which to choose. You can even find music from favorite television shows or movies to play as background music for a season finale party or Oscar night. For holiday parties, look for unique takes on classics; an album of vintage Christmas music, for example, makes your party memorable and will get people talking.

Candle-warmer

 

Appeal to All the Senses

You’ve already decorated, cooked and chosen the music, but don’t forget to make an impression on your guests’ noses. Bouquets of fresh flowers, incense or candle warmers have the staying power to perfume the air for hours without coming on too strong. For a dinner party, choose scents that go well with food and won’t overpower the meal, such as vanilla or spice fragrances. A summer cocktail party might call for something exotic and tropical.

Entertaining can be as much fun for you, the host, as it is for your guests when you plan. Start thinking about creative, fun party ideas today, and you’ll be set from now until the new year!