We had several BBQs to attend earlier this month so I paid extra attention to the details to prepare for this post. First and foremost, the keyword for California BBQ style is Casual. And not "blogger casual" with ripped jeans and high heels. I mean flip flops and swim cover ups. Here are the actual outfits I wore to the last two events I attended:
Nordstrom Rack | Shorts: Nordstrom Rack | Sandals: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Bag: c/o Danielle Nicole (Similar) | Watch: c/o Fossil | Bracelet: Sage K & Co
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Top: Target (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Jean Shorts: Target (Similar) | Sandals: Nordstrom | Watch: c/o Fossil | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Sunglasses: Firmoo
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While I didn't wear this last outfit to a BBQ, this type of dress (or a maxi dress) is also a popular choice for women here. Most of the time these events involve a pool and dresses are easy to throw on over a swimsuit.
Express (In-Store Only, Solid or Floral Versions of same dress available online) | Short Necklace: Kendra Scott | Long Necklace: Express | Sandals: Nordstrom | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks + Express | Bag: Danielle Nicole (Similar) | Ring: Express (Similar)
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Last-Minute Trader Joe's Appetizer Options:
In the past I've shared some of my favorite items from Trader Joe's (e.g. Food and Wine and Sweets) and in keeping with today's theme I thought I would share a few of my Potluck Party favorites. Sometimes we get a last-minute invite, other times I just don't feel making something from scratch, so a quick Trader Joe's run ends up being the solution.
Mac & Cheese Bites:
When I bring these to a party I usually put a sign by them stating that they are Mac & Cheese bites. When I do that, they disappear quickly. They are so delicious and popular with kids and adults (I personally like to eat mine with Frank's Buffalo Sauce or Cholula). If I don't label them, people are a little slower to pick them up since it's hard to tell what they are by looking at them.
These have a slightly more sophisticated look and taste than Mac & Cheese bites, but they're also a favorite of mine. And for what it's worth, my husband hate mushrooms but still eats these because the mushrooms are finely minced, so they don't have that slimy cooked mushroom texture.
Parmesan Pastry Pups:
A lot of times I'll make the standard Pigs in a Blanket appetizer using L'il Smokies and Crescent Roll dough but again, if I'm short on time these are a convenient, slightly upgraded version of the same appetizer using puff pastry and Parmesan.
No Oven, No Time Appetizer:
There are times when it's just too hot to turn on an oven or I'm so behind on life that I'm picking up food and drinks en route to a party! (I know I'm not alone in this!)
Rosemary Italian Crackers:
They just look a little more fancy than regular crackers, so that makes it more acceptable that it's last minute, right?
I've tried a least a dozen different options of cheese at Trader Joe's that would be good for a party, so if you're starting at the cheese section there, just ask an employee for some recommendations. But I do think this one pairs well with the Rosemary Crackers.
For Labor Day weekend inspiration for your outfit and more, make sure to visit each of the ladies in this series today. You can follow through our coast-to-coast blog hop by heading north to Pennsylvania for JoLynne's take on this week's theme, or simply use the links below to meet each blogger.
* * *Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you back tomorrow for some "behind the blog" catching up for the month!