I am so glad that the weather is beginning to warm up, aren’t you!?! I’ve been busy working away in my back yard and can’t wait to share that with you but the new grass is taking its sweet time coming in and it still looks a little too “before” out there for me to share any “after” photos just yet… In the meantime, I’ve been having fun doing some summer backyard entertaining at my parents’ house. They have a beautiful yard where I love styling various parties. It’s almost like playing dress-up but with table linens and flowers instead of dresses and hats! So, when I was recently asked by TIKI® Brand to share some fun summer entertaining ideas, I immediately called my parents to see if I could, once again, come play in the backyard!
I couldn’t wait to get started!
To help me plan my party, TIKI® Brand sent me some of their newest torches, and I have to tell you, I really, really like them! They have a classic design that lend themselves to practically any style of party! And best of all: they help keep the mosquitoes away! I seem to have a big mosquito target painted on my back so this is an incredibly important feature to me about these torches. I love that I can stake these in my yard and light them anytime, day or night, when my daughter and I are outside and they are going to form an invisible dome of protection for us. YAY! Here’s a close up of my tablescape. The table linen is my favorite! It is by April Cornell, whose designs I am madly in love with! For the centerpiece, I filled an over-sized champagne bucket with fresh boxwood clippings, white mums, Lyon artichokes (I was channeling France, after all), green apples, pears and a sprinkling of white mums. At each place I tucked a small Hydrangea bloom into a vintage silver French ice cream sundae dish that my friend Dara and I found at Lucketts a couple of years back. TIKI® Brand also sent this gorgeous set of aqua blue (you know how much I LOVE that!!) torches that included this awesome TIKI® Brand Table Torch as well.
It’s easy to incorporate this on a small side table for an accent or use it as a centerpiece, so handy!
I hope this is getting you excited about planning your outdoor parties this summer. To help you get ready, I’ve put together a little list of ideas & tips to make this your best Summer ever!
#1: Inspiration really can be as close as your back yard. My parents have lots of boxwoods in their yard. I grabbed a hand-held clipper and gave their bushes a quick trim, providing me with instant (and free!) decor!
#2: When planning a get together empty your dishwasher & trash cans BEFORE guests arrive to make it easier to clean-up afterwards. Being able to clear and load dishes right away will make clean-up go much more quickly and easily!
#3: Want to serve your favorite chicken salad recipe but want to keep it fresh too? Place your serving dishes in the freezer to help make a chilly pedestal for your beloved dish. Then, set the timer on your phone when you put it out on the buffet. This will let you know when your reaching that critical time to retire it. Wonder about safe times? If it’s under 90 degrees experts say it can sit out for about 2 hours, if it’s over 90, just one hour.
#4: Make your guests comfortable by helping to make your party space a bug-free zone with products that help keep mosquitos away, such as citronella candles and TIKI® Brand torches and fuel. Lighting them anytime will always help but if you’re planning a big gathering and want to cut-down on your last minute “to-do’s,” light your torches as much as 30 minutes prior to party time. This will also help your torches to burn beautifully during your party and give you a jump-start of shooing the bugs away from your space.
#5: In the summer heat, you’ve got to stay hydrated. Self-serve drink stations are both fun and functional, giving guests a chance to mix and mingle while lending charm and interest to your decor. Drinks are also a great place to be adventurous with your party menu. I recommend coming up with one “signature” beverage. Here, I concocted a ginger-basil-lemonade that is refreshingly tart, perfect for a southern summer evening!
#6: Don’t forget the music! While live music can be memorable it’s not always practical. But music is a must, no matter what. So, whether it’s an iPod playlist, a Pandora station or an old-school cd (or even an album!) be sure it’s playing before guests arrive. It really will set the tone for the party which is especially critical at the very beginning when guests are trickling in.
#7: My last piece of advice is perhaps my most important one: Don’t over-think it! As my blog name states, you really can celebrate everyday life. It doesn’t always have to be a big to-do to gather with friends and make some memories. The heart of entertaining is all about relationships – sometimes it’s lovely to pull out all the stops while other times it’s just as memorable to call up your friends and have an easy, breezy pot-luck. The main thing is to seize the day and do it. Don’t let your excuses hold you back from spending time with friends old and new this summer. You won’t regret it!
Want to enter for a chance to win a TIKI® Brand GIVE-A-WAY PACKAGE? This includes 4 TIKI® Brand Glass Torches + 1 TIKI® Brand Glowing Table Torch + 1 64oz Bottle TIKI® Brand Torch Fuel + 1 Snap & Pour, which has a retail value of $107.93 (by the way, you can purchase all of these products at Target in case you are wondering). Just leave an answer in the comments below to the following question:
How does the TIKI® Brand help to create the perfect environment for your outdoor entertaining?
Sweepstakes Has Ended. Thank you for participating!!
I’m sharing this tablescape over on Between Naps on the Porch.
This post is sponsored by TIKIÂ® Brand, but as always, all opinions are my own.