disclosure: This post is sponsored by Homes.com.
I love summer.
Like adore it and celebrate it and walk through its days with freckles and messy buns and bare feet. And one of my favorite things about summer?
The random backyard get-together.
If you have been reading this blog for more than one hot summer minute, you know that I am cooking challenged.
Words like pot roast and chicken cacciatore and dumplings and anything that starts with crock pot make me shiver. And shake. And think to myself why would I cook when I could be making pillows instead. But in the summer? All that changes. Cooking becomes a ZILLION times easier because in the summer the grillmaster has the hard part.
All you have to do is prepare a fruit tray and adjust your messy bun…
…and you have a party.
Here are some of my best outdoor entertaining tips.
No shoes required.
1. The more non-matching chairs the merrier
You are outside.
The grass and trees don’t care if your chairs match.
When we eat in the backyard, everyone just grabs a chair and head outside.
Every eater for him (or her) self.
2. Cut flowers from your yard to decorate the table
You’re already outside.
The flowers are right around the corner.
Just snip off a few blooms or greenery or leaves or branches or whatever your yard tells you to.
3. Use dish towels as linens
I’ve tried paper outside before and it just blows away.
Dish towels are a great option.
Then I use them to clean up the table afterward.
4. Decorate vertically
Create a vertical display. This is reserved for fancy parties only.
It takes a little work, but it’s so worth it.
I took an old tray O had with holes on the sides, hung it from jute twine and then just filled it with greenery from the yard.
5. Add outdoor games
I always want to talk after dinner.
My teenagers don’t.
With a little planning, I have outdoor games ready for them like horseshoes or croquet or whiffle ball to play after dinner.
More talking time for me.
6. Think fresh
There’s just something about eating fresh vegetables outside that reminds me of summer.
Shop farmer’s markets, roadside stands or even the organic section of the grocery store for the freshest options around.
In just minutes you can have corn coming out our ears here (pun totally intended).
7. Don’t stress
The grillmaster did all the cooking.
You got your vegetables ready and waited for the party to show up.
And the best part of eating outside.
If something spills, there’s no need to clean it up.
Just sit back, relax and enjoy family and friends and dancing sunlight….
….and all that conversation. 🙂
And in EXCITING NEWS!!!!!! (Definitely 5 exclamation point worthy). I’m hosting my first EVER Facebook show with Homes.com. It’s this coming Wednesday at 1 pm CST/2 pm EST over on the Homes.com page! I’ve got even more practical, easy tips for outdoor entertaining and we are having GIVEAWAYS on the LIVE SHOW!
We are giving away this complete BLUE and WHITE entertaining set from Williams and Sonoma.
We are giving away a grilling tool set.
Grill pans for all your veggie needs
I can’t WAIT to see you there!