Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ice Cream Social!

This past weekend brought a Team Building Event for a local Networking Group. The theme was Ice Cream Social! Perfect for these 100+ degree Summer days! Perfect for our company too since our very name is a play on the ice cream sundae.
 The set up was inside the home of one of the founders of the group...inside the air conditioning! It was 106 that day so we, and the ice cream, were thankful for the cool interior of their home.
But we started off with the food first. The idea behind the light dinner was picnic bbq! Easy to eat off of a plate in your lap. That didn't mean it had to be plain white plates and napkins though! Color was the name of the game that day...the brighter the better...and the plates and napkins reflected the theme perfectly!
There were two salads, a plain green salad of mixed lettuces, carrots and cabbage and this pasta salad with sun dried tomatoes which turned out to be a huge hit! Guests were even loading up their hot dogs with it!
There were chips for those who wanted them, like the kids! The banner you can just see in this photo said "Get Your Hot Dogs Here!" Originally the party was supposed to be held outdoors and this banner was going to go over the tables but a 20 degree increase in our Summer heat drove us and the food indoors! Always have a back up plan if you are having an outdoor event. A heat wave or a sudden storm can ruin your plans unless you know exactly what you want to and can do in that event!
And, of course, hot dogs. We used Millers Dogs because they are made without preservatives, with premium beef cuts and no bi-products. This makes them leaner and more healthy than your traditional dog which was important for the Nutrition and Health Counselors in the group!
The condiments were your traditional Ketchup, Mustard and Onions but why not dress them up with a little chalk board? It's a way to add color to your table with the bonus of being a piece you can use again for your next event!
The drinks included lemonade and iced tea as well as water. We provided cups and colorful straws to extend the color palette and placed the drinks in easy to refill decanters. If you tend to have a lot of parties in your family then decanters make a great investment!
The water bottles were also decorated for our theme! We were able to find this FREE clip art online and were tickled pink to see that one of the labels says "You're The Cherry On Top!" These were placed in a tub of ice to keep them nice and cold for the guests.
We even set up tables inside with colorful tablecloths in case some of the guests wanted to spend more time inside the air conditioning than outside. Tables were set under shade awnings outside as well for those who wanted to partake in the games. There were water balloons and other carnival games and even a pie eating contest for guests!
 But when they came back inside it was ALL about the Ice Cream! Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry ice cream were stored on ice. Tip here...put the cardboard cartons into plastic bags first before submerging them into the ice to protect the paper. Raspberry and Lemon Sorbets were available for those who wanted a non dairy option!
Each guest had a choice of which Ice Cream (or all of the ice creams!) in a cup or cone.
 After that it was all about the Toppings! We found these little tropical colored buckets and specialty ice cream spoons at Target. Such an easy way to add to the color and theme of the party plan. Notice the "shakes" in the back? We have a lot of friends who go to Starbucks so we asked them to save their washed out cups for us including lids and straws. Then we filled them with colored papers to look like ice cream shakes and covered the traditional logo with matching Ice Cream Social logos. Since we had the tissue paper on hand this extra detail cost us just pennies to add around our "Toppings" chalkboard sign!

 We went with some traditional ice cream toppings for the guests. Crushed Oreos and M&M's started it off.
 We kept the variety going with marshmallows and chocolate chips!
 For many it's just not a sundae without nuts! We picked these candied nuts and everyone loved them!

 For me, it's the Sprinkles. I actually had to look all over for these Rainbow Jimmies but found them in a cake decorating store!
We set out Chocolate Sauce, Caramel and Whipped Cream for the final toppings. Notice the pink and white plate? Yup, just one from our regular supply so it cost us nothing from our budget to add this pop of color and a safe place for those sticky toppings to rest! So look around your own home for items that may fit in. It's a great way to stretch your budget!
And, of course, there have to be Cherries! 
Because Everything's Better With A Cherry On Top!
 The final Sundae's were not just delicious, they were beautiful too! We heard from many of the guests how much they loved their sundaes and how cool it was to have custom cups and spoons. Whenever you are having an event don't forget the details. Even with a small event, as this one was, it's the little details that leave the biggest impression!

See you next time where we will feature a FROZEN themed birthday party!