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The Most Memorable Memorial Day: How To Throw The Best BBQ

Playing the "when game" has always been one of my favorite ways to pass the time. For those of you unfamilar, let me explain: it's a sort of mental version of cloud-watching; daydreaming, I suppose, would be the universal term. When I grow up I'll be a ballerina and a marine biologist; when I get my driver's license I'm going on a road trip; when I visit Australia, the locals will teach me how to surf. Obviously, I don't follow through on all my grand "when" ideas, but that's not really the point—it's just fun to think about 'em.

The most recent string of "when game" chatter running through my mind involves playing the perfect hostess. When I can afford a New York City apartment with a rooftop terrace (or, say, one that's more than 500 square feet) I'll throw big barbeques. When I have an actual dining room table instead of a collapsible shelf from IKEA, my house will be a Sunday brunch spot. And, when that blessed day comes that my eating, hanging out and office space are not one and the same, I'll throw the best Memorial Day bash ever.

Unless I win the lottery or start dealing X within the next week, it's pretty doubtful that my current "when" fixation will come true before the start of this summer. Still, even without a venue, I have some seriously good ideas that shouldn't be wasted. So, should you be living out my "when" fantasy, let me live vicariously through you! Click through the slideshow below for my advice on throwing the best M-Day weekend party. (And then invite me.)

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Wear Something Striking

A former boss of mine once instructed me to wear something that "stands out in a crowd" to an event I was assisting—that way anyone with a question could easily find me. Hostesses should always wear colorful dresses for this very same reason! That and, well, colorful prints mask splashes from refilling the punch bowl.
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Wear Shoes You Can Walk In

Surviving as a regular old stand-and-chat partygoer in stilettos is hard enough, let alone one who also has to refill chip bowls, take coats and sop up spills. Save yourself a lot of agony and opt for walkable stacked heels that are under two inches.
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One Coversation Piece Goes A Long Way

Besides providing a shady retreat from UV rays, this playful striped deck umbrella makes decorating super-duper easy. It's such a bold statement that you won't have to provide more than coordinating place settings to pull everything together. (Of course, should you feel ambitious, a few paper lanterns are always good, too.)
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But Small Details Are Also Important!

Little things, like using a cooler Don and Megan Draper might own instead of your standard-issue Coleman, are what make a get-together memorable.
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Festive Drinks Are A Must.

You're kicking off the unofficial season of margaritas, so celebrate accordingly.

Sponsored by Grand Marnier.

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Keep The Good Silver Inside

Instead of giving each guest their own set of metal cutlery, simply set out a few jars of these bamboo utensils instead. Besides avoiding lost silverware and the constant replenishment of dirty forks, knives and spoons, the style's festive colors will enhance your decor.
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Have A Steady Flow of Snacks

Grilled meat (and tofu!) is great and all, but people are going to want something to munch on in between. This high-speed, chef-approved blender will help you make guacamole and bean dip on the quick.
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An Elegant Alternative to Party City Napkins Exists

Disposable linens hold up much better than paper versions and make for a much prettier display.
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Grown-Up Sippy Cups Are Awesome

Not only do mason jars with straws look all cute and vintage-y, but the lids are an insurance policy against surprise messes.
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