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How to throw a movie night soiree at home on a budget

Fun at home without breaking the bank!

HOUSTON – If you want to make the most out of staying in, throwing a small at-home movie night soiree can be a fun idea for any occasion.

Entertainment expert, Paul Zahn, shares with us great tips to make this DIY and budget-friendly idea.

Zahn is a Los Angeles-based celebrity event planner and writer who has done events for and with many famous faces, including rapper Pitbull and Reality star Lisa Vanderpump.

Check out his 5 tips below, and to see this complete interview, watch the video above.

1. COME UP WITH A THEME

Under the Sea party theme
Under the Sea party theme (Paul Zahn)

Create a fun movie theme for kids with an Under the Sea decor using colorful items from the dollar store.

“Do something shabby chic because we’re all on a budget. What I did was took some cans spray painted them white, put some wrap ups with some silverware in there to elevate dad’s man cave and take over,” said Zahn.

2. SET UP A DIY POPCORN STATION

DIY popcorn station
DIY popcorn station (Paul Zahn)

Popcorn makes it a movie night, plus it’s affordable. You can get 12 packs for $4.99.

“You want to put them out, portion them out, so you don’t have to be eating too many of them,” said Zahn.

3. CREATE A DIY TROPICAL COCKTAIL

DIY tropical cocktail
DIY tropical cocktail (Paul Zahn)

There’s no party without drinks, and a coffee cocktail can keep you awake all throughout the movie. Use any mason jars you have laying around. Keep in mind you can also have chocolate milk as a non-alcoholic option for the kids.

“I used Tia Maria coffee liquor, Disaronno velvet and add some rum. Shake it up and put some whipped cream on top! It tastes like a spiked frappuccino,” he said.

4. MIX IT UP WITH MINI SLIDERS WITH A TROPICAL FLAIR

Ham and turkey sliders
Ham and turkey sliders (Paul Zahn)

Any at-home entertainment needs quick bites that everyone loves. To stretch your dollar, use cold cuts like ham and turkey with a strawberry jam.

“I got some ham at the deli for under $5 with Hawaiian rolls, and I made a rum-pineapple jam. Put that spread on there if you want to take it up a notch,” he said.

5. SERVE A FUN SIDE SALAD THAT’S EASY TO PREPARE

Watermelon, Arugula & Queso Fresco Salad with Blueberries
Watermelon, Arugula & Queso Fresco Salad with Blueberries (Paul Zahn)

A watermelon, arugula & queso fresco salad with blueberries is tasty and takes no time to prepare.

Watermelon, Arugula & Queso Fresco Salad with Blueberries

Ingredients:

• ½ of a small seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

• 4 cups fresh arugula

• 1 cup crumbled Queso Fresco

• 1 cup blueberries

Directions:

• Place the watermelon, arugula and blueberries in a large serving dish/bowl and toss lightly together. Make sure the watermelon juices are added to dish/bowl

• Add a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper

• Sprinkle the salad with queso fresco

• Toss one last time and serve.

Recipe provided by Paul Zahn.

To connect with Zahn, click here.


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