This time of year brings back memories of graduation parties outside with friends and family and lots of great food! Entertaining outside is definitely a summer favorite for our family. We used to cook out on the grill with a large fan blowing (I hate the heat!), citronella candles burning, and pretty outdoor lights twinkling. We'd gather around the table with friends for dinner, then sit back and enjoy a glass of tea while our kids played glow in the dark badminton. Oh the sweet memories....
We typically keep entertaining comfortable and casual at our home. However, there is something about summer that lends to even more laid back, and impromptu gatherings. This week as we wrap up our blog series of tips, I wanted to leave you with some of my favorite tips for entertaining outdoors. A couple of weeks ago we talked about carrying cohesive decor outdoors & today we'll bring that full circle as we have guests over to enjoy our fresh spaces.
- Set the mood: I love stringing outdoor lights and adding candles for ambiance to the space. Seeing the lights twinkling at night makes my heart happy! It brings back those sweet memories of my kids chasing lightning bugs, and hearing lots of laughter! We've bought new lights for our patio recently--they have a remote control and the colors change to whatever you want! Of course, you can guess what color my lights usually are!
- Don't Always Reinvent the Wheel: It can be so much fun to decorate for a gathering. Rachel especially loves coming up with new themes and going all out on decorating for dinners. However, during the summer months, take the opportunity to breathe and really enjoy time together. Invest in a set of outdoor dishes and decor you love and reuse it all summer long.
- Melamine plates and glasses are the perfect addition to your outdoor trays. They're fun, colorful and won't break!
- Save the Fine "Chinette": Just because we're opting to keep it simple this summer doesn't mean we have to break out the Chinette & Solo cups for every gathering. I love the new Melamine plates & serving pieces we have in the store for summer entertaining. Not only are they beautiful and unlikely to break, but you can toss them in the dishwasher at the end of the night! (Plus these placemats pictured are specifically designed for outdoor use and easy clean-up!)
- It's All Fun & Games: Finally, don't forget to add some fun! Until recently, when I thought of Family Game Night, my thoughts went to cooler nights inside. But with the discovery of waterproof playing cards, I've realized that game night can just as easily be moved out to the patio, by the pool, or around the firepit. One of my favorite tips for a successful game night is to keep everything stored nearby. Sometimes the best game nights are spontaneous, so grab a deck of cards, or a set of dominos to cap off a fun summer cookout. We used to play Banagrams out on our deck. I think there's still the letter E that fell through the slats.
As the days are getting longer, and warmer weather is just around the corner, I can't wait to spend more time outside (under my ceiling fan & with a citronella candle). I hope this last blog in our series of tips will leave you with inspiration to enjoy many casual nights outdoors over the summer months!
Until Next Time,