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5 Summer Entertaining Trends for 2013

5 Summer Entertaining Trends for 2013

You have a solid four months to get your summer entertaining on. So from June to September, take your hosting abilities to the next level with the most of-the-moment, on-point trends in party planning and entertaining at home.

Whether you’re hosting a small group or a party for 200, we have five easy-to-follow and achievable ideas from Matthew David Hopkins, a seriously gifted entertaining expert who is also the founder and creative director of Matthew David Celebrations. He’s sharing with us the must-tries when it comes to hosting this season. The summer of 2013 is full of fun and fanciful trends for you to use when entertaining.

Here are five tips to remember when planning your summer soirée, from Matthew David Hopkins:

Choose Carefully
The hottest entertaining trend is: lots of choices on small plates. Think beyond the standard buffet of coleslaw and hamburgers and lean toward an afternoon or evening of nibbling on savory treats. You might do a selection of different kinds of slaw with small plates for tasting and then move onto a build-your-own-burger station with sliders of beef, turkey, tuna, and or vegetables with choices of buns and toppings. Sliders are small, so guests are encouraged to try more than one. It's in style to nibble throughout the party instead of having one official time for dinner where everyone "sits down to dinner." The best part is that guests get to roam and chat and mix and mingle with each other.

Fresh and Local
The trend in food is to use fresh and local ingredients, and what better time than a summer party to show your stuff. Use grass-fed beef for burgers. Check out local farmers' markets for fresh vegetables and fruit. Incorporate fresh herbs where you can. Using organic summer produce yields the best flavors and will inspire your guests to remember what a great host or hostess you are.

Bigger Isn't Better
Watching the budget is definitely in style. You don't need to invite everyone you know. Keeping the guest list tight will also help you manage down your budget. It's about the quality of the experience, not the quantity of guests.

Outdoor Games
These days, it's super cool to set up retro lawn games. Lawn croquet, bag in the hole, or lawn bowling all create great, casual fun. These provide a folly for guests to interact around. No one takes them too seriously (or if they do — refer them to a shrink) and they don't take too long. They are just right.

Gin Is In
Gin and tequila are the spirits of the moment. Another way to manage your budget is to offer a few choices at the bar. Contrary to the food, the bar is a place where it's OK to limit the choices. A simple gin and tonic with fresh lime is a trendy drink and is very refreshing. A flavored margarita (like watermelon or pomegranate) is a great second choice.

Whether you choose to create an intimate party for a few guests or plan to go larger, make sure you plan your schedule to make the party look effortless. That's the key to any good party.

11 New Wedding Food Trends to Embrace

Make cocktail hour stress-free for guests by offering them foods that don&rsquot require utensils. These lamb-and-pistachio meatballs are served on toothpicks for extra-easy devouring.

Your home-cooked favorites are instantly elevated when served in unexpected ways, like this gruyere-and-white-cheddar mac-and-cheese served in a dainty ramekin.

Appeal to guests' lighter sides by putting a few delicious good-for-you options on the menu. This baby-Greek salad is a mouthwatering appetizer that is a cinch to whip up.

A DIY food station is a great conversation starter that allows everyone to help themselves. This adult snow cone station is stocked with cups, crushed ice, and mojito, peach daiquiri, cosmo, and margarita cocktail syrups.

Think shots are only for frat parties? Think again. These wedding-worthy, sangria-inspired gelees are infused with sweet wines and subtly undercut with citrus flavors, making them elegant and delicious.

Though dinner is the main course, delicious desserts will ensure your wedding ends on a sweet note. One unexpected option? These nutmeg-dusted beignets served with mini malted milkshakes.

Keep the snacks coming &mdash especially after everyone has worked up an appetite on the dance floor. Hold them over with something to nosh on, like these mini hamburgers in poppy-seed buns, prepared by Callahan Catering.

5 Summer-Ready Patio Looks (And The Furniture and Decor To Make It Happen)

Is your style more fresh farmhouse or woodsy retreat?

A picture-perfect patio looks different for everyone, and isn&rsquot that grand? Whether your idea of the dream backyard is all about outdoor dinners, sitting by a fire under blankets, or lounging on a comfy sofa, there are countless configurations of furniture, dinnerware, and accents for your favorite unwinding activity.

Looking for an upgrade as the season changes? You&rsquore not alone, according to a new report from industry trade organization International Casual Furnishings Association&mdashmore than 75% of Americans are looking to do the same. And The Home Depot makes a small refresh, or a total makeover, easy. We&rsquove put together five looks from their shelves that are sure to inspire the way you style your ideal space, no matter how you intend to use it.

Fresh Farmhouse

Modern farmhouse style feels classic for a reason. By using a mix of neutral shades and natural materials, you get a look that is both put together and lived-in comfortable. It works especially well outside, where a few camera-ready pieces can transform your patio into the ultimate outdoor dining room.

This table-and-chairs set is just the right amount of rustic, and white enamelware pops when set atop the warm-toned wood. A matching pitcher does double-duty&mdashfill it with a batched drink or with flowers to make a relaxed centerpiece. Add in some color in the form of these cotton napkins with a faded red stripe or these blue and white throw pillows, and don&rsquot forget to pile this circular board high with your favorite cheeses.

If you want to bring the look to the front of your house this porch rocker is the perfect spot for watching fireflies on a warm summer night.

Woodsy Retreat

Enjoying the great outdoors can be a year-round activity, especially when you have a backyard and a fire pit, like this cast iron version perfect for a crisp fall night. Gather around it in these Adirondack chairs, made from solid Acacia wood, and cozy up with a soft blue and white throw blanket and these pillows, where blues and greys coordinate with autumnal reds and yellows. (For a seating alternative, we like these Adirondack chairs made from sturdy plastic&mdashthey&rsquore mildew and stain resistant, so you can leave them out year-round.)

A setup like this is practically begging for some s&rsquomores, and this potting bench makes a great buffet where guests can grab their own chocolate and marshmallows. Instead of a cooler, fill up this bronze tub with cold drinks, and use this hammered copper pitcher to serve signature cocktails or mocktails. An unvarnished wood carry-all makes it easy to restock from the kitchen.

Garden Glam

A garden-inspired patio will let you showcase your green thumb, but if you&rsquod rather admire flowers than grow them yourself, it&rsquos perfect for that, too. Either way, this look will make for a charming respite, just right for weekend afternoons.

This wicker chair set would fit right in at a cute cocktail bar, and by adding coordinating side tables and some color in the form of these botanical pillows, you can create your own hot spot. A braided rug that looks handmade ties everything together, and adds texture, especially when layered on the patio floor.

As for what to put on top of those tables? This wicker serving tray is perfect for nuts, cheese, or other mini bites, and while these look like regular wine glasses, they&rsquore made from acrylic, so you don&rsquot have to worry about knocking one over. To complete the look, we love this earthy urn&mdashtwo would look even better.

Colorful Casual

Once you&rsquove got a grill&mdashperfect for serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggies&mdashyour patio is going to be cookout central, so why not lean into the fun and choose furniture and accessories in bright, cheerful colors? Pile this white bistro table high with salads and sides, and invite your guests (or yourself!) to grab one of these classically retro blue chairs. Then get comfy, with a striped pillow that has virtually every color of the rainbow woven into the fabric.

When it&rsquos time to eat, grab these melamine dishes, which have a Spanish tile-inspired pattern. (Tip: Melamine is great party material because it&rsquos ultralight and easy to wash!) Fill up one of these tall glasses with iced tea, and admire how the different colored bases sparkle in the sunlight. We also love this ceramic planter for flowers, succulents, or even a DIY herb garden.

Country Eclectic

Looking for a casual landing pad to sit down, kick back, and get comfortable? There&rsquos no better place to do that than this outdoor sofa, which has plush blue cushions (machine washable!) and wicker accents. And it comes with a coffee table, so there&rsquos no need to go searching for one. Layer on pillows and add in antique, or antique-inspired, finds around it to set the scene.

Additionally, this bar cart delivers on versatility when it comes to hosting: for a dinner party or a feeling-fancy lunch, stack it with melamine plates in a vintage-y lemon pattern. Speaking of lemons, this bar cart also works for drinks&mdashfill this galvanized metal drink dispenser up with lemonade and invite your guests to grab a glass, like one of these acrylic goblets that look like they&rsquove been in the family for decades.

13 Party Ideas That Will Make This Your Best Summer Yet

Is it summer yet? These party ideas &mdash from an epic "walk-in" movie night to a mermaid party that would even make Ariel jealous &mdash will keep you and your friends busy all season long.

There's nothing more classic than a garden tea party. Grab your girlfriends and feast on some bite-size snacks &mdash like mini sandwiches and macaroons &mdash while sipping on your favorite brew.

See more at Burnetts Boards.

Independence Day and parties go hand in hand. This year, make use of all your red, white, and blue decor and set up a country fair-style party, hot dog station and all.

With a white sheet, a rented projector, and some snacks, you can transform your yard into a "walk-in" movie theater. Layer a tarp on the grass with blankets and pillows, and serve popcorn, soda, and candy to all your guests.

See more at In Honor of Design.

By setting up a low table and colorful pillow chairs, you can transform your yard into bohemian bliss. Set up a DIY flower crown bar and photo booth for an extra special touch.

See more at Inspired by This.

Throwing a Mexican fiesta can be as fun as it is simple. Create a taco station, serve some margaritas, and make sure the guac supply is endless.

See more at Studio DIY.

We all scream for ice cream! Set up a dessert bar with toppings galore, and of course a giant homemade ice cream cone balloon for an added effect.

See more at Oriental Trading.

Everyone needs an excuse to wear oversized hats, and this derby-themed party is the perfect place to do it. And what's a Southern bash without a mint julep bar?

See more at Evite.

Nothing says summer like a luau. Thanks to some fun decorations &mdash like classic pink flamingos and tissue pineapples &mdash any backyard can be transformed into a tropical paradise.

See more at Laura's Little Party.

Sail away from all your stress with a nautical party. Complete with stripes, anchors, and seafood, you can take your guests out to sea without ever stepping foot on a boat.

See more at Creative Juice.

It may be over two decades since you were caught canoodling with cute boys behind the bunks, but you're never too old to engage in a game of capture the flag. Have some s'mores, serve spiked lemonade, and set up a slip 'n' slide for the perfect summer day.

See more at Kara's Party Ideas.

Fire up the grill and invite your friends over for a true feast. To make things extra easy, have a table set up with a display of burgers, hot dogs, and all the condiments your guests could ever want.

See more at Celebrations at Home.

RELATED: 12 Summer Recipes So Good You'll Forget They're Healthy

Take your guests under the sea with a majestic party that has everything from sea urchin donuts to clam macarons. Everyone will feel like a mermaid the second they step foot in the door.

See more at Kara's Party Ideas.

Watermelon is the ultimate summer fruit, so why not make it the focus of your party? The pink and green balloons and watermelon-themed treats couldn't be cuter.

Top five Swimsuit Trends for Summer 2013

Swimsuits are love! Summer is just about here and we all want to grab the hottest and latest swimsuits trends that are not just amazingly hot but are different from last year. The swimsuit trends have changed a bit from last year as last year lighter shades in the swimsuit trends were liked and preferred. However, this season flashy and bright swimsuits are in as it is all about having fun in the sun!

Swimsuits trends are not too much of a hassle this season as gorgeous and ravishing swimsuits are available at all leading stores. Just make sure you get the latest swimsuit trends in your wardrobe this season as there is nothing better than looking amazing at the beach with some sexy tan or at a private pool party. Here are top five swimsuit trends for you to pick from as we want to make it easy for you to make a quick and sizzling choice before summer 2013 begins.

1) Printed swimsuits:

The latest and most stunning swimsuit trends include the swimsuits with prints. Plain swimsuits are so last season and you need to get rid of them right away. Get a grab on the latest swimsuit trends that are the printed ones. The prints can be really colorful and even animal prints will do the trick in swimsuit trends.

2) Colorful Monokini:

The most favorite swimsuit trends for summer 2013 include the bright, colorful and sexy monokini that make your body show off in the most ravishing and sizzling way. They will definitely make you feel stunning as they are amongst the trendiest swimsuits this season.

3) Strapless

Go strapless this summer in your swimsuit trends as that is what is going to be most loved by all this summer season. Strapless is hot, in fashion and a complete new thing from last season. You can do wonders with your strapless swimsuit by teaming it up with hot accessories. Swimsuit trends are incomplete in summer 2013 if you do not have a strapless swimsuit in your wardrobe. This can be a bikini or a monokini.

4) Waist Length Bikinis

There is nothing better than a high waist bikini for summer season of the year 2013. They are most definitely one of the hottest swimsuit trends for summer 2013 as they not only look really stylish and trendy but give you such a sexy feel while showing of your curves in the most flattering manner.

5) Frills and laces

Get your hands on the most feminine looking swimsuits for swimsuit trends in summer 2013 for your swimsuit wardrobe. They are really pretty and can hardly ever go out of fashion. Everyone can carry this in the prettiest manner and that is why it is one of the hottest swimsuit trends for summer 2013. Just make sure you get it in bright colors as anything that is pale or light colored is not a part of the swimsuit trends for summer 2013.

So these are the latest, most fashionable, prettiest and hottest looking swimsuit trends for you to select from. Just keep your body shape in mind and go for the swimsuit trends accordingly as anything that does not suit your body and its shape is definitely going to turn into a disaster. Team up your swimsuits with chunky bracelets, lose curls, nude makeup before going to a pool party or to the beach, this way you will enhance the whole idea o your sexy swimsuit trends. Happy swimsuit shopping ladies!

The Foodist's Top 25 Food Trends of 2013

Restaurants are giving new life to crudités , a.k.a. raw vegetables, thanks to endless varieties of produce, inventive dips, and—at least at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pucantico Hills, NY—stunning serving ware (pictured). Seen at: Lafayette , New York Jeffrey’s , Austin Forequarter , Madison, WI

Why throw away what could be a signature dish? Miso-maple roasted salmon head, fish-head terrine, and both country-fried and grilled hamachi collar are proof that one person’s bait is another’s must-order. (Pictured: The Maple-Miso Salmon Head from New York's Chez Sardine) SEEN AT: Paper Plane, Decatur, GA A Pig in a Fur Coat, Madison, WI The Ordinary, Charleston, SC

Seems like restaurants are putting as much thought into the restroom as they are into the dining room. I visited the hyper-designed loo at The Pass & Provisons in Houston five times—just to hang out. A) Designer Suds: Boutique soaps from the likes of Malin + Goetz and Further keep things clean. B) Sinking Feeling: Sinks are statement pieces. The farmhouse-style soapstone ones were my favorite. C) Heady Tunes: Restroom-only speakers provide a separate soundtrack. D) High and Dry: There’s something about a terry-cloth hand towel that says, “We care.” E) Gender Benders: Why use M and W when you can ask one of your artist friends to get creative? F) Employees Must Wash Hands: So remind them in a clever way. Foreign languages, pictograms, cool collages—I saw them all on the walls.

5 current trends that will make your outdoor area ideal for summer entertaining

1. Mixing bench seats and chairs. While practical, it also gives an inviting look to outside – especially if you keep the styling simple. You don’t need 10 vases on the tabletop and water fountain statues clogging up the floor. Keep it so clean and simple, then it’s simple to clean.

2. Keep the furniture neutral and have a more than just one option of coloured cushions so you can rotate to suit your mood or occasion. Texture is big this year – like the rope featured on the arms – let that be your focus and leave your yellow -neon -pineapple cushions back in 2012 where they belong.

3. Natural finishes like Italian ceramic tabletops are very much the look of the moment – especially in this year’s strong grey trend. There’s something totally sophisticated about a monochrome setting even down to the decorator.

4. You can now get modular outdoor suites that have flexible arrangements that can be arranged and rearranged to suit your entertaining area and the number of guests. Loving this one in the colours of the Greek Islands.

5. Outdoor Cushions. Prints, stripes, patterns, botanicals – the easiest way to change you outdoor look is to update your outdoor cushions, and this summer, the look is bold and bright and we could not be happier…

8 of 10

Sunday: Mexican Breakfast

I make a scramble of eggs, scallions, and corn (grilled, if any is left), then fold in tortilla chips. Top this with crumbles of cotija. I like jarred tomatillo salsa, but the dish works with just about any kind (and with leftover grilled chicken or sausage added to the eggs).

Soup bowl, by Adonde, in natural, 7 1/2", $29,

Gigogne espresso glasses, by Duralex, 7 1/2 oz., $25 for 6,

Napkins, by Society, in gray, $36 each,

25 Winning Recipes for Your Next Summer Potluck

Consider this your potluck playbook. All these dishes are easy to transport, simple to serve, and can withstand the rigors of summer heat while still looking and tasting fabulous. Many hands make light work: that's the idea behind this ever-popular party style. So, the next time you're hosting, heading to a friend's, or gathering at a park or concert, remember that any fête is more fun when everyone pitches in.

One of the best parts of summer is the influx of ripe berries and delicious tropical fruit like pineapple, mango, and papaya. They're nature's dessert, and they don't need to be refrigerated once you get to the party. Cut them up and arrange them on a platter, then sprinkle the sweeties with our crunchy coconut-poppy seed topping on site. Or try Creamy Artichoke Ranch and a crowd-pleasing salsa for savory starters. They become crowd-pleasing hors d'oeuvre in mere minutes.

These make-ahead, mayo-free dishes really do taste better the next day (and even two days later). A Mediterranean Three-Bean Salad blends raw green beans&mdashthe vinaigrette softens them as they sit, so they're not squeaky&mdashwith creamy white and pink varieties and wilt-proof curly parsley. Cabbage-free coleslaw combines fennel, celery, and mild golden beets in a zippy cider-vinegar dressing. A Moroccan grain salad has naturally al-dente barley and bold North African flavors like preserved lemon and oil-cured olives. And our potato salad benefits from two tricks: First, tossing the shallots in vinegar and lemon juice quick-pickles them and forms the base of the dressing. Second, folding the potatoes into the dressing while warm helps them absorb the flavors.

Here's our guide to stay-fresh salads, make-ahead sides, and no-mess mains&mdashalong with clever strategies for transporting and serving. Grab a few ideas and take it away.

The Top 5 Men's Trends For Spring/Summer 2013

modern take on the military print — used as panels on clothes with an unexpected shot of color or as a print on sneakers. The Valentino camouflage sneakers with the studs on the back are in fact the hottest item for spring and there are waiting lists for them. Camo also appeared in the collections of Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garcons and Gant by Michael Bastian and it will rule over fashion until the fall 2013 season.

Stripes of every variety — from nautical to pinstripes to rugby, from horizontal to vertical — are also a strong motif for spring. Almost every look that Tommy Hilfiger showed had a stripe of some sort. At Dior Homme there were plenty of nautical-inspired sweaters as at J. Crew. And Michael Kors went graphic with a black and white vertical striped blazer.

If fall 2012 was all about varsity jackets and hybrids of it, spring's favored topper is the upgraded baseball jacket. Hermes showed one in light white leather and Gucci's came in ochre colored suede. And Christopher Bailey at Burberry Prorsum showed baseball jackets in electric shades of blues and purples.

The soft gelato colors we've come to associate with spring are taking a back seat this season and giving the spotlight to neon colors, brighter and punchier, either as whole ensembles or just as slivers on the soles of shoes.

Navy and gray suits are well and good in a corporate setting but if you work in a creative field or if you want to make a splash on the weekends, why not slip into a lime colored suit? Or perhaps one in fuchsia or traffic light red? It takes balls to wear something that's not your average blue suit, I know, but if you can master the confidence and the attitude to pull it off, why not?