Couple on pillows

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Bring the Entertainment Outside
Skip the crowds at the multiplex and take advantage of the warm evenings by hosting outdoor movie night, even if it's just a movie for two (perfect for date night). Announce the evening's viewing choice with a quote from the movie posted on the front door (such as, "My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." —Forrest Gump).

Rig the seating any way you can; follow the down-in-front technique. Front row—blankets, pillows and sleeping bags; second row—bean bag chairs, chaises, ground-hugging lawn chairs; and for the back row, drag out the sofa! Hang a white sheet for a makeshift screen if you don't have a large, light and smooth exterior wall available. Rent or borrow a projector. And why limit the program? Show a cartoon before the main event and schedule an intermission for dessert.

Fire up the grill for supper. But remember there's no law confining your menu to burgers, steak and chicken. Concession-stand mainstays like pizza and hot dogs taste amazing over coals. Jiffy Pop anyone? Create a popcorn buffet with every variety you can get your hands on: kettle, caramel, chocolate crunch and cheddar cheese. For the full Cracker Jack nostalgia effect, bury tiny toys and prizes in the popcorn bowls. And don't forget your old-time faves like Milk Duds, Raisinets and Dots.

You might find these easy-to-stick-to summer resolutions help you with your winter resolutions (you know, the ones about cigarettes, junk food and excess stress). Let's compare notes after Labor Day to see how you did. Have a blast!

Download the latest chapter of Allana Baroni's book, Get Social
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