Summer Entertaining with Celebrity Party Planner, Cathy Riva

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July 4th is just around the corner--the kickoff to summer soirees! Celebrity party planner, Cathy Riva tells us how to create an easy, affordable and festive at-home bash! So Cathy where do we start?

Cathy: Well first thing to do is plan your dcor. Pick one main color and then sprinkle in a few accent colors. Save money by shopping at home using things you already have on hand. If you have flowers in your garden use those, then fill in with inexpensive melamine or plastic wear, plus dollar store dcor is fun for accents.

What about the menu? Start by setting up a "Do It Yourself" bar. You don't have to stock an expensive bar, I like to mix up pitchers of margaritas using Sauza Tequila. It's so affordable, and you can make fresh-tasting margaritas with a few simple ingredients...frozen limeade, light beer, tequila, water, and ice. No blender necessary!

Pour them into gorgeous pitchers and use any glassware. Also stock your 'DIY' bar with colorful sugars and salts to rim glasses, and other great garnishes. But also make sure to have plenty of other beverages on hand for guests that don't drink. For the food, serve it family style. Use big, colorful platters and keep the menu simple. Any other tips?

Cathy: I like to add a conversation piece to all my parties. Try cute fly swatters that are made from inexpensive flip flops. They serve as a great center-piece in lieu of flowers.Go to for more tips!

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