June is here!! The warm weather is upon us. The time has come to spend more time outside than inside. At this time of year I absolutely love entertaining outdoors. Whether it be for a simple dinner with friends, a kid's birthday party, a special occasion, or just because we have a taste for food off of the grill we love spending time outdoors. And since the weather is great and school is almost my kids have already been bugging me about spending more and more time outdoors. We have a blow up pool and a water slide that they cannot wait to setup this year. There are many elements that go into making outdoor entertaining a success.
1. Great Food: When I think about summer entertaining the first thing that I think about is the food! I absolutely love grilling and everything about it. Well almost everything…. I hate cleaning my grills. 🙂 But I love the smell, the smoke billowing from the grill, the taste, and the togetherness that goes along with it. Check out these awesome recipes that I found on Foodie.com perfect for outdoor entertaining:
Check out Great Recipes for Outdoor Entertaining
Having a great grill to cook all that awesome food is a must. As mentioned before I two grills. I have a huge gas grill and a smaller charcoal grill. Sometimes when cooking for large groups I use both. If just cooking something quick for dinner I use only 1 or 2 of the gas burners. And when craving the traditional charcoal taste we use the charcoal grill.
My fiance and I decided just the other day that we have a problem! We are obsessed with looking at new grills. We saw a HUGE charcoal grill with a side smoker in Kmart the other day that we want. I am trying to refrain from buying it though. 🙂
2. A great patio or deck: You don't want your guests to sit in the grass do you? Make your yard appealing by having an inviting deck or patio space. I got a deck built soon after we moved in. I wish I knew then what I know now thanks to my HGTV obsession. I would have made sure that my deck was built to certain specifications. I now need to make some deck repairs like changing nails over to deck screws, protecting, and painting it. I also have a patio area that I am looking forward to fixing up later in the year.
3. Great outdoor furniture: This was another lesson that I had to learn the hard way. YOU HAVE TO COVER OR PUT AWAY YOUR PATIO FURNITURE IN WINTER. Even though “patio furniture” is made for outdoors apparently it is NOT strong enough for Chicago winters. Make sure that you get furniture that is comfy, durable, and that adds charm to your backyard. Your guests will feel more welcome if they are sitting on beautiful patio furniture and not your basement folding chairs. LOL.
4. Protection from the sun: Whether you are using a great patio dining set or lounging furniture you might want to provide some cover from the sun. Summer heat and sun can be brutal. But with some shade you can enjoy the outdoors for most of the day. I just got a beautiful new umbrella for my deck. And when entertaining in both spaces I put my pop up gazebo above the patio. A real gazebo is on my wish list. I'm hoping to get that next summer. 🙂
5. Fun outdoor toys: There is not much to do in a big empty yard. Trust me, I know! While grown folks find just sitting on the deck under the umbrella relaxing, kids may disagree. For the past 2 days I have listened to my kids talk about how bored they are. We need to revamp our outdoor summer fun kit. This means lots of balls, frisbees, jump ropes, and splash toys. And we need to fill up blow up pool which they love.
6. Great music: While conversation is great, some background music never hurts! And of course I have to get some technology involved. 🙂 When my home was built I decided to get it wired for whole house audio. I also got 2 speakers installed above my deck. Now when outside we can hear the music that is playing in the house… within reason of course. We don't want to annoy the neighbors! 🙂 Don't have whole house audio? Invest in a great portable speaker that will connect to your smartphone, or mp3 player.
7. Great friends and family: Unless you are planning to just lay around, relax, and read a book while enjoying the breeze chances are that you are looking to hang out, enjoy some good conversation, and fun. Invite some friends over, have them bring their shades, and have a great time.
My kids are out of school in 2 weeks! I am excited to spend as much time as possible outdoors between working. Actually, I think I might be working out on the deck more than in the house this year!
What is your idea of the perfect outdoor celebration?
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Mode Media and Foodie.com. All opinions are my own.