Entertaining & Gathering

This Just Might Be the Coolest Pool Party Game of All Time — Shopping

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

Your friends can post all the pizza and doughnut pool float pictures they want. We've got something even better. Have you seen this Hot Dog Joust Pool Game at Urban Outfitters? Not only is it food-themed, which we'll always love, but it also just looks like a boatload of fun — way more fun than just lounging there on a giant inflatable ice cream cone.

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How To Build a Floating Cooler for Less than $10 — Party Tricks

The party problem: You and your friends are in the pool and you want a drink, but no one feels like getting out to grab sodas for everyone. (It's a tough life, we know.)

The party trick: Use pool noodles and a plastic storage container to build a floating cooler that can bob around with you in the water.

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The Best Bridal Shower Ideas That Pinterest Gave Us — Homemade Weddings

Ah, Pinterest. What would we do without you when it comes time to throwing parties? From food to decorations to cocktails, the site is chock-full of inspiration — but you know that already. Something else you already know? Pinterest can also be an overwhelming rabbit hole that can take over your life.

Don't waste time getting sucked into all those sometimes-too-crazy pins! Instead, just use this little cheat sheet of the best ideas and you can plan a shower for your bride-to-be in no time.

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The One Thing You Should Get Right for an Epic Pool Party — Birthday of the Month

We've waited all year for pool party season to arrive, and it's finally here. Sure, pool parties are terrific if you're celebrating a birthday or holiday, but sometimes you don't even need a reason — it's just fun to get your loved ones (of all ages!) in the pool to soak up some sun.

Whether you're splashing around a public pool or lounging in a private backyard, you don't need much money or time to throw a truly epic pool party. As long as you give a little forethought into how the party will go, you really just need to do one major thing.

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8 DEET-Free Bug Sprays for Outdoor Entertaining — Summer Evenings

Be it cocktail hour on the patio with a few friends or a rowdy backyard clambake with the entire neighborhood, nothing can ruin a food-centric summertime fête like dozens — maybe even hundreds! — of uninvited guests who rudely show up unannounced and proceed to buzz in your ear before digging in ... to your exposed flesh.

Given that mosquitoes and other biting insects have long been a scourge of summer hosts and hostesses (and anyone else with a pulse) everywhere, it doesn't hurt to be prepared and serve up some all-natural protection along with the rest of your offerings. Here are a few DEET-free repellent options to have on hand — and on table — that are effective and don't smell offensive.

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Ina Garten’s Go-To Outdoor Party Tool — Patio Perfection

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

I've learned a lot from Ina Garten over the years. No, we're not close friends (I wish!), but her cookbooks and TV shows are filled with little nuggets of brilliance that I happily work into my own kitchen. Whether it's sage cooking wisdom or ways to make date night a little more special, Ina has all the answers.

Now that summer is here and patio season has commenced, my questions mostly revolve around outdoor entertaining. Specifically, what's the secret to hosting al fresco without breaking a sweat? Turns out, all you need is a good tray. (Or two!)

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