Beach Life Entertaining

Beach Life Entertaining


Lunch at the Condo


We spend a lot of time out at the beach condo.  Beach Life Entertaining is some of the easiest entertaining that you can ever do.  You have a lovely ocean view as your backdrop, so everything else comes second.  Also Beach Life Entertaining is some of the simplest that you will ever do, because of the laid back, lack of formality, attitude and lifestyle of beach life living.

So here are just a few examples that I wanted to share with you.  The best part is already done, your at the beach!!  Be happy!! 

The rest pales in comparison.  Or does it tan in comparison?  🙂

NOTE:  I am not a professional party planner or entertainer, and I don’t pretend to be.  I do what I like and what makes me happy and what I know the people around me would enjoy.  That’s how it should always be.



Our Condo View

Lancaster Family Condo Link

we get the evening sun_small Balcony View_small we have an ocean view and its lovely_small

The condo is located in Indian Shores, Florida, a chain of islands off the west coast of Florida facing the Gulf Coast.  Our condo has a lovely ocean view, although we are across the street from the beach.  The beach is only 80 yards away, and the ocean 120 yards from us. 

So we are very close to the ocean.


Whether it is just us, or we have family or friends out to the condo, it is always special.

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Everything Tastes Better at the Beach

Coconut Daiquiri’s topped with roasted coconut, and some potato skins to dip into the creamiest of sour cream with chives.

The food can be simple, just place it on colorful platters that accent your surroundings.  Everyone will love whatever you put in front of them.



Gordon Relaxing on the Condo Balcony

(To read more, see below.)


Spring Luncheon

There is just something cool and refreshing having a nice lunch at the condo.  I’m sure it also aids in our digestion eating while looking out at the ocean.


  Gordon and I put this lunch together for our daughter Veronica and her friend Sarah.  There is just something fun and casual about beach living that we love dearly.  Here I found the cutest most colorful place mats.  I threw in some vintage green cloth napkins.  Some colorful Chinese take out boxes with pretty drink umbrellas tucked inside, along with a treat on the inside of the box.  I love party favors!

Above, tomatoes with mozzarella and basil leaves with a lovely balsamic vinegar sauce.

Slices of Watermelon and Lemonade


A fun beach gift that I love to give, are shell bracelets.  Here I bought all us girls one.  To the left below, you can see that I put mine around my napkin as a napkin ring.


  I also added a nice pastel shell to everyone’s napkin as a take home gift.   Check out that delicious fruit salad above.  It was indeed!

Veronica and Sarah

Gordon and Julie

Our Buffet Table

Here I used a beach towel as the table runner, propped up our skim boards to add some lovely color and activity.  I also hung a shell wall hanging that I bought at my favorite beach souvenir store that was going out of business.  I will miss that store, good luck to the owner’s.


Shells and Skim Boards.


Hawaiian Shirt Bowls for the Fruit Salad

Crab Spread with Crackers
I like to use vintage Hawaiian and Florida serving trays as your dinner plate.  You can put your food on a paper plate and use the serving tray as a runner as well.


My fish platter that I use to hold the crackers for the crab dip.  Some lovely shell cocktail forks, and I added sea shells to these lovely olive containers.

The Food Table

I set up the card table as an extra table to host all the food.  I used two vintage tablecloths, one white and one yellow, then topped it off with a lovely green fish net, then added some shells and star fish to the net.  I think it looks nice and festive for our lunch.

I found this cute little “toothpick” holder at a roadside store in Georgia as I was driving up from Florida.  I am originally from Georgia.  It was one of those souvenir stores.  I use it for cocktail picks.


Chicken salad with pumpernickel and honey wheat breads, baked prosciutto, romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, macaroni salad, deviled eggs, crab filled deviled eggs, and some coconut cookies.  Most everything is served on lovely vintage serving trays and plates.

The baked prosciutto is to add to the chicken salad sandwiches.  It’s a crispy Italian ham.  Try it.  Gordon thought of it and think the two tastes go well together. 

Party Favors

Lift the top and you see a surprise!

I am big on party favors.  I guess it has something to do with my childhood.  I always loved bringing something home from a party that I would attend.  Here I have some Godiva chocolate butterfly’s.  Perfect for our spring lunch at the beach.


Coffee Table Decorations

When I was shopping around the souvenir store that was going out of business I noticed that their postcards were all on sale.  So I bought a few to add to my collection and to add to the decorations on this table.  I really wanted to “Florida” the table up.  Added some interest.  I also made the tray that is on the table as well.


  More postcards and a Hawaiian shirt bowl filled with Key Lime cookies.  YUM!

Decorated Table Setting

Here I re-arranged things a bit and created a seascape dinner table.  I used a couple of fish nets, plenty of lovely sea shells, fish and shell platters, some lovely silk tropical flowers, some sea glass and even a wooden banana tree stand that I found at the Aloha Flea Market in Hawaii.

Why not add a bowl of shells to your dinner table?  Why do we only add bowls of food? 


For this lunch I just rearranged the items that I used above to create something different.


  The cute little green star fish bowl at left top, is one of my favorites.  Here I use it to hold the sea shell cocktail forks.

I think a fish net really adds some depth and texture to a table.  Definitely lots of interest!  It’s also just so festive and fun!


  Silk Flowers and Skim Boards

The silk flowers are for a project that I will be working on in the next month or so.  I had them with me so I added them to this blue plastic beach tote that belongs to my mother.  I thought they looked great so I included them to our decorating.


Above left, I put some green beach glass into a glass container and it makes a nice addition to our beachy table. 

The table setting.

  Plain white dinner plates with either yellow or beige napkins, topped with silverware and a plumeria blossom.


Back Docks

Veronica and Sarah enjoying the Intercoastal Waterway.

The Back Docks of our Condo’s Building


Just Beautiful


Autumn Condo Luncheon

We all got together for the day to take several pictures of us on the beach, our family, and our children’s partners.   

Also my mother and my brother were down here from Georgia staying out at the condo, so we decided to have a nice luncheon after our photo session.  It was a hot day so we got an early start with the photos.  I wanted the food to be cool and refreshing to help combat the heat.  I planned the whole thing myself, bringing some things from my home and using some of the condo items.  I also made the decorations/party favors out of sea shells.  I thought everything looked nice.  I wanted the focus of the table to be the food and my sea shells, and not the luncheon plates so I used the plain white condo plates.  I did bring the vintage table clothes and napkins and the silver, the stemware, and several of the serving plates from home.  But I also used some of the condo serving bowls and platters.  There was a combination of glass and plastic.  Probably a no-no in certain circles.  But for us it worked just fine.


  I glued shells to bamboo skewers, placed them in a wine carafe and created a shell bouquet.

I created a buffet table out of the side table.  You can fit more serving dishes into a small space when some of them are elevated (cake stand and clam shell),  and some of them are low.



Crab Salad

Chicken Salad

served with cocktail bread slices and various crackers

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Fruit Salad

watermelon, blueberries, cantelope, strawberries, grapes

also various pickles, olives, nuts,
and several cheeses with crackers.

Beverage:  Key lime ice tea


Cocktail bread and crackers.

My mother made the fruit salad.


  The Crab Salad


The crab salad above left, was served in a large clam shell filled with ice and I even added some real crab shells.

         I added some tropical silk flowers as accents.  Two different hibiscus.


  My fish plates hold the pickles and olives.

Green Key Lime Iced tea.

  Key Lime and Orange Cupcakes

Our dessert was key lime and orange cupcakes.  (That I bought from our commissary on base).  I added some graham cracker crumbs to my cake plate so it would look like sand.  I scattered some of our key limes from our tree on the plate as well.




Although it may be a bit hard to see, I made sea shell cocktail forks to use for the cheeses and other little foods, also they are a take home souvenir of our day.


                                                                                  My mother Mary at the end of the table, sitting next to my daughter Veronica and her partner Brian.




  Brodie and Lauren, top Right


My sea shell bouquet which can also act as swizzle sticks.  I also made ‘bugs’ out of sea shells and littered them around the table.  They were also take home gifts.  Also beside every plate I had a larger shell with sea shell shaped candy as a gift as well.  I even added a few pieces of salt water taffy by everyone’s plate.

It was a a very nice day!


Week at the Beach for Easter

Enjoying puu-puu’s on the balcony at dinner time.  Getting ready for the sunset.


  Fattening potato skins with our homegrown chives atop creamy sour cream.  It’s a treat.  I just found out I lost 9 pounds and I am celebrating.  🙂

UPDATE:  Gained the 9 pounds back.  🙁


  New wine glasses.  Found them on SALE!!  Aren’t they lovely?  In them are our delicious coconut daiquiris.  They are sitting on two trays.  A large fish and a vintage Hawaiian serving tray.



There is nothing like coconut at the beach.  Whether it be coconut scented suntan lotion, coconut shrimp, or coconut daiquiris topped off with roasted coconut.  Love it!
Gordon makes an excellent coconut drink by using both coconut milk and coconut cream.


Roasting coconut is very easy.  Just spread out some coconut on a baking sheet, heat the oven to 350*, turn every few minutes until a nice toasty brown.  Now sprinkle on your drink or some fruit or a nice dessert.  Wonderful topping, wonderful taste.

Gordon recovering from knee surgery.  Can you think of a better place to recover than the beach?  He’s in pain but smiling through it.


Bright tropical Colors


My favorite thing to do when I am out at the condo is to pick some lovely hibiscus blooms and add them to water in these lovely plastic glasses and an old wine bottle that I keep around.  They really brighten up the condo, and they make me smile.  🙂

My mother found this sea shell box about a year ago that we keep adding shells to.  Nice blue color.

My Easter Basket Goodies

  I brought with me my Easter basket beach goodies.  New flip-flops, beach towel, various fun food items, a new yellow beachy corkscrew, wine……….  Fun!


I found these cute glass “whatever’s” at Tuesday Morning.  I have no idea what they are for but I am using them for “whatever”.  Here I’ve added some strawberries and kiwi to them to use as a lovely fruit salad plate.  At first I thought they were coasters but they are not flat.  They are concave.  So I am using them as an appetizer plate.  I love the hand painted waves.  This is a good craft idea.  Wish I had thought of it myself.  Just find some sort of flat glass and paint on the underside whatever design you like, do not paint the top side.  Make sure to hand wash and not put into the dishwasher.  Kind of like my hand painted wine glasses that I bought.  Just needs some extra care.

Kiwi’s and Strawberries

I love these two combined.  No need for tons of sugar here.  Just slice the fruits and eat natural, or if you must then add some Splenda to sprinkle on top for some extra sweetness.  So good!

Colorful Place Setting

I LOVE Hawaiian vintage.  Sometimes I use vintage trays as dinner plates.  Here is a vintage Hawaiian tray that I found at a thrift store.  In good condition.  Perfect for entertaining.  It is placed atop a Key West, Florida place mat.  Not to worry, the colors look wonderful together.  Who cares that these places are thousands of miles apart?  Not me!

Although it is hard to see through the haze there is an ocean back there.  The sunset is coming…..

Finally here!

Sinking into the ocean like it is suppose to.  A photo cannot correctly show you just how lovely it is from our balcony.


Skim board Iced Tea

Tea time in Florida is Ice tea, not hot tea.  Here is a great afternoon refreshment for when we come in from the Florida beach afternoon heat.  It can sometimes be excruciating.


  Use a skim board as your serving tray. Here I used old souvenir Hawaiian Island cups as our ice tea drinking cups.

Some lemon in the top of a coconut being used as a bowl.

   Colorful ice tea spoons in a vintage Florida cup, left.  Some Florida post cards strewn about the table to add some interest.

Also a colorful Florida book on turtles to educate, and a beach towel as a tablecloth.   Perfect!


Baking a Memory for Grandparents Day
Out at the Condo

On Grandparents Day I wanted to honor my Grandmother by baking her world famous Angel Food Cake.

  Whenever I would come and visit her she always made one for me.  Maybe it is a ‘southern thing’, but I adore Angel Food cake because of her.  So I decided to recreate that memory on Grandparents Day.

Below is my Grandmother’s Sunbeam Mixer and her two Angel Food cake pans that I inherited from her.  I love to use them and when I do I always think about her.


   Above her secret Angel Food Cake recipe.  Betty Crocker.  🙂

I cannot tell you the memories that just making this cake invokes.  As you can see I am using two different Angel Food cake pans.

Make sure to take out the top rack in your oven and place the cakes on the bottom rack, at the bottom of your oven.


   Once they are taken out of the oven then place them on a bottle, upside down while they cool.  Just seeing this funny scene reminds me of my childhood of seeing my Grandmother doing this in her kitchen.
I am using a vintage 7 Up bottle and one of my Keel and Curley wine bottles that I use to put flowers in when I am out at the condo.

Different kinds of baking pans but each cake looking WONDERFUL!!


Gordon mixing up our cake frosting on top of the stove in a double boiler.

Sea Foam Frosting

Below left, my recipe card holder that my son Brodie made for me in Boy Scout’s when Gordon was his troop leader.  I love the pineapple print decoupaged onto it.  I have it sitting on one of my many sea shell trivets.  To the right, the ingredients for our Sea Foam Frosting.


  Sea Foam Frosting Recipe

(Recipe from my 8th. grade Home Ec class at James Madison Junior High in Roanoke, Virginia).  Told you I saved everything.  🙂

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (we use Splenda brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/3 cup cold water
dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
green food coloring (optional)

Place all ingredients except vanilla in top of double boiler, (do not place over water).  Beat 1/2 minute at low speed on electric mixer.  Place over but not touching boiling water.  Cook, while beating constantly to stiff peaks, about 7 minutes, (do not overcook).  Remove from water.  Beat in vanilla.

It can be a bit gooey but once it has set then it becomes this “foam” consistency.

Me, icing the cake.

I forgot my parchment paper so I used aluminum foil underneath the cake so that it wouldn’t mess up my cake plate.


  Most everything here belonged to my Grandmother.  The vintage tablecloth, the platter the cake is on, the pretty tropical dessert plates with the palm leaves on them.  The vintage silverware, the cloth napkins that I put inside a large seashell to hold them.

Also all the pearl necklaces were her’s as well.


  Sea shells, vintage faux pearls , punch, and frosting……………………………….  Yum.

I placed seashells all around the cake.  I wouldn’t use shells that you find on the beach.  The ones that I used I purchased and they are very clean.  I also washed them a few times before I used them here.


  I used a large abalone shell to hold my punch ladle.
To the right my vintage Hawaiian leaf lunch plates and punch glasses that I love and use regularly when I am at home.

Happy Grandparents Day!

I miss my grandparents more than you could ever know!




Sun’s Going Down

sun going down_small

See you at the beach!