Celebrities got into the Memorial Day spirit when they stopped by producer Joel Silver's annual Memorial Day Malibu beach party yesterday. Guests included Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson, Gwen Stefani and her family, Sean Penn, Kate Beckinsale, and Tobey Maguire, who was back in family mode after wrapping up a whirlwind world press tour for The Great Gatsby. The group partied at Joel's Malibu home, which included a giant inflatable slide that was set up right on the beach to keep the kids entertained. Joel's annual party has become a major event for Hollywood's biggest celebrities — past guests have included Selena Gomez, Courteney Cox, and Tom Cruise. While Joel's party drew out a ton of A-listers, that doesn't mean that they were the only stars who were celebrating over the holiday weekend — check out how the stars celebrated Memorial Day!
President Barack Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns today at Arlington National Ceremony to mark Memorial Day. As Americans welcomed the unofficial start to the Summer with barbecues and relaxation, Obama reminded the country what the holiday is all about. "Let us never forgot to always remember the sacrifice they make in our name," the president said in his speech, which also touched on military families. "Today most Americans are not directly touched by war; as a consequence, not all Americans may always fully grasp the depths of sacrifice, the profound costs that are made in our name," he said. "Our troops, our military families understand this, and they mention to me whether the country fully appreciates what is happening. Let us never forget that our nation is still at war."
Before heading back to Washington, yesterday the president toured the tornado devastation in Moore, OK, where he urged Americans to step up and help. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama kicked off the long weekend on a light-hearted note, visiting DC school kids with actress Kerry Washington. On Friday, the pair shared some dance moves and words of wisdom on their trip back to school.
Memorial Day is today, and the holiday is not just for barbecues and picnics, but also a time to honor the men and women who have served our country. Many of our favorite stars have a special tie to the day, since they grew up with a parent who served. Jessica Alba's father was in the US Air Force, while Christina Aguilera hails from an Army family. Reese Witherspoon is the daughter of a lieutenant colonel from the US Army Reserve, and Bruce Willis is the son of a former US soldier as well. In honor of the day of remembrance, we are taking a look at all the stars who come from military families.
It's fun to host people for a barbecue, but it can also get quite pricey when everyone isn't chipping in. Consumer expert Andrea Woroch provides suggestions to cut your grocery bill when shopping for your Memorial Day meal:
Prepare most of your meal. Woroch says, "The general rule for prepared foods is that they are more expensive, and it's cheaper to buy the ingredients to prepare yourself." For example, prepared veggie platters and fruit salads "are never a good deal" and aren't exactly the freshest produce. However, prepared potato salad at a regular supermarket is less expensive and will save you time in the kitchen.
Get chicken from the butcher. Buy chicken breasts from the butcher counter instead of the prepared packets. They tend to be cheaper and are generally more fresh.
Consider boxed wine. Save money by skipping the bottled wine and going for the box. "Boxed wine is an affordable option for large parties, and the quality has greatly improved in recent years," she says.
Buy liquor at a superstore. If you're insistent on a specific bottle, then check out warehouse clubs like Costco. There are better deals on wine, liquor, and beer at a superstore, according to Woroch. While you're there, pick the store's generic version of vodka for an even cheaper deal.
Make your own salad dressing and marinade. Check out recipes online — here's a list of over 60 different marinades to make. "Most people will already have the basic ingredients like olive oil, some type of vinegar, and herbs at home," she says. "Other ingredients like lemon or lime, soy sauce, or honey won't cost much extra."
Add some sweetness to your Memorial Day celebration with a red, white, and blue-inspired dessert. From cake pops and fruit-filled flags to firework cookies and star-shaped ice cream sandwiches, the following 14 desserts are sure to inspire some serious patriotism from your family. Keep clicking for an explosion of holiday-perfect desserts!
Doing a little grilling this Memorial Day weekend? With tons of burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and beer around, you don't want to go overboard on the calories. To avoid packing on the pounds this weekend, here are some ways to add a healthy spin to your barbecue.
- Bring a healthy dish: If you're invited to a barbecue, bring along your own healthy dish so you know you'll have something good for you to munch on. Wow your friends and family with one of these vegan side dishes or healthy burgers.
- Go for homemade guacamole instead of creamy dips: Avocados offer the healthy fats your body needs, which is a much better option than the saturated fats found in dairy-based dips. If you're worried about calories, then whip up some homemade low-cal salsa, and throw in some fresh pineapple and mango for added vitamins.
- Grill up some veggies: Use a grill basket, corn holders, or skewers, and choose a variety of veggies to grill with the lean meat. Load up your plate to fill you up and to help prevent you from overeating high-calorie dishes.
- Don't always choose beef: Veggie burgers made with whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, and hot dogs made of tofu are a delicious low-calorie and low-cholesterol option. If you're a meat eater at heart, then go for burgers, hot dogs, or sausages made from turkey, chicken, or salmon.
- Choose your buns wisely: Most are made with enriched flour, so you may have to check a bunch of labels before finding ones made with real whole wheat four.
- Make substitutions: When it comes recipes as well as the fixings on your burgers, find healthier substitutions. Choose raw tomato or salsa instead of ketchup, and try Greek yogurt instead of mayo for potato salad recipes.
- Go easy on the brewskis: Save calories by enjoying one of these lower-calorie beers, and the rest of the evening, go for ice water, unsweetened iced tea, or chilled seltzer water flavored with lemon.
- Get moving: After your meal, step away from the food to avoid noshing out of boredom, and do something active like playing volleyball, badminton, or a round of boccie ball.
Let's be honest: the grill never heats up fast enough, and you've got hungry guests waiting. For Memorial Day, satiate their hunger a tad by making these chicks in a blanket, a slight revamp of the classic pigs in a blanket. This is a no-fuss, no-frills type of recipe that only require two ingredients and roughly 15 minutes. Watch the video to learn the technique.
A winning Memorial Day meal should be easy, fun, and delicious. What better way to bring all those ideas together in a bowl than with a tasty dip? To encourage you to go for a dip this Memorial Day, we've rounded up more than 30 salsas, cheesy dips, tapenades, and more in order to get your creative juices flowing. You'll find something for every palate, from chili con queso to Greek salsa!
If your Memorial Day plans include entertaining guests with an outdoor barbecue, look no further than this classic, all-American celebration from Celebrations at Home for red, white, and blue inspiration. A basic BBQ menu paired with old-fashioned games and fun makes this a great way to kick off Summer with the entire family.
Happy Memorial Day!