Summer has barely begun, and I’m guessing you have already been to a number of barbecues, cookouts and potlucks. We humans sure love summer entertaining! Gathering with family and friends to gobble down good food, share stories, splash in the pool and soak in the sun is what we live for all winter long. But as we know, throwing a successful summer party is no easy task. There’s a lot to prepare, and a lot to handle once it’s over.
I’m going to address three key issues and offer up some solutions for making your barbeque or potluck easier and better than ever: Read more
So you've decorated and groomed the patio and gardens for summer entertaining, now what? Besides the obvious next step (inviting friends over for a party), the next great upgrade for your outdoor space, whether it is a front porch, a back deck or a grassy garden area, is to add storage for all of those summer-entertaining tools to keep your outdoor space neat and tidy. Here are some great finds for either adding storage or making the most of what you already have:
A sturdy deck box, like this beautiful dark brown eucalyptus Storage Box, can hold cushions, candles, even dishes, and should always double as extra seating for those summer parties. Check weight capacity limits on any deck box you buy to ensure your guests can use it that way. Read more
You don't have to go through a costly remodel of your backyard to enjoy the benefits of an outdoor kitchen. Enjoying a meal outside with friends and family, whether it was created on your stove inside or on the grill outside, is one of the finest ways to take advantage of the summer season! Gather these simple items that will be there for you every morning, noon and night, keeping you outside (and maybe even entertaining), more often!
It all starts with the right space, and an outdoor rug is a great way to define that space. This Anti Fatigue Deck Mat eases back strain while standing over a hot grill. Read more
Just printed out this recipe from Camillestyles for a will-try this weekend! No yeast or rising required!
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I love beets but I'm pretty limited in knowing what to do with them (pickled on my salad, please!) This recipe turns them into chips with avocado goat cheese dip (my other two favorite things to eat.)
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What a fun idea for kids birthday parties, baby showers and more!
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Use small frames to tie together sashes instead of a traditional bow.
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Made of real granite, polished – simply cool and add to your drink – they won't water it down!
Love the pick, Meghan!
These fun, unique appliances are all great for whipping up treats on Valentine's Day (or any other day of the year).
OOOOH, Chocolate Fountain! Perfect for Parties! Read more
Looking for something to eat (or do) on Valentine's Day? Here are some resources from around the web to celebrate the day this year:
Cooking for the Family? Taste of Home has recipes to cover pretty much the entire day, from breakfast (Camembert Souffles!!!) to dinner (Chicken with Cherry Sauce). Since Valentine's Day is a school-day this year, I'll skip the breakfast recipes, but who says you can't have souffle for dinner? Read more
I tried out this cheddar ale soup recipe last weekend from fakeginger – it was excellent! I didn't get the pretzel bowls made but the soup was very hearty by itself. Would be great without the beer part too, and you could definitely reduce the cheese amount by 1/3 if you are watching your weight!
Check out recipes we're trying on pinterest with our glorious food board!
I love that everyone has their own and isn't dipping their fingers into a huge casserole dish!
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Warning: Looks like we'll covering a lot of football and food all weekend!
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This season was the year I finally convinced my wife to give watching football for fun a try, and slowly but surely she has come around to enjoying it. It doesn’t hurt that every Sunday when we do watch the games we make an event out of it and fire up the crockpot to make our favorite game-day delights.
With the regular season long-gone (and with that my favorite team long-eliminated from the post-season) and the playoffs in full swing, it is time to think about the big event that is coming up – the Super Bowl! This year’s NFL championship game will be played on February 3rd, so there is still time to get your game-day menu all set.
As I mentioned above, our go-to for snack-making during the game is our handy-dandy crock pot. Read more
Just came across this article from cooking light about healthier Superbowl Sunday food….. Rosemary Roasted Almonds? Yumm!
I know I might be a little late on this one, but those of us who went on vacation the week after New Year's may just still be cleaning up after Christmas. This year I invested in some beautiful champagne flutes as I hosted both Christmas and New Year's eve at my house. So I'm adding to my fancy-dish storage collection a special keeper for my festive glassware. Stemware chests come in all sizes, colors and various degrees of protection. There are even special chests for balloon style wine glasses. You certainly don't have to do this for your everyday wine glasses, but it's a great idea for special-occasion glassware, and in particular, champagne glasses (because what else are they for but special-occasions, right?) For something as fragile as thin glass, I suggest a hard-shell outer box with dividers on the inside, like this fluted stemware storage chest. Stemware storage boxes do a much better job than the old cardboard and newspaper diy models, and are relatively inexpensive – a great investment to keep your glassware in great shape in between uses!
If you enjoy the holidays but find all the clean up exhausting, this might be the year to get all your holidays decorations organized and easy to pack up. By having the right storage for all your favorite holiday decorations you can save time and energy after the holidays. There are a number of decorations that can use special storage, like artificial trees, wreaths, ornaments and gift wrap.
Keep those family ornaments safe and sound the other eleven months of the year with custom ornament storage. The Ornament Keeper provides lots of storage in one compact space, with three trays each safely storing up to 20 ornaments. Read more
Fresh and yummy!
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After a long holiday season with so many parties to go to and so many parties to host, it's finally time to put away those "fancy" dishes. Whether you have real china or, like me, you simply have a set of special dishes reserved for holidays and other special occasions, you probably have some extra-special dinnerware that you are ready to pack up and put away until next season.
Garage Storage – If you are storing your holiday dishes in the garage, a hard plastic or wooden trunk is a must have Read more
For your "fancy dishes"…. a must have to keep them safe and chip-free!
Find great ideas with Stacks on Pinterest-
This is adorable and fun for kids to help with – would be great for my Christmas Dessert Buffet!
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I am always asked for this recipe by at least one person at every party. It is simple to put together in just a few minutes, no cooking required!
I call it Parsley Ginger Dip. Enjoy! Read more
This is an easy, last minute Christmas decoration you can gather in your backyard (or local park):
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I love the clean, modern look of this Carafe -
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I gave this post that title because it’s actually the name of a Christmas playlist I created for myself. Now, if you don’t mind hearing the same Christmas songs year after year and haven’t gotten sick them, I certainly don’t mean to offend you with my pessimism. But… I can’t stand to hear the standard versions “White Christmas” or “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” one more time! This year I just got tired of them and had to find new ways to enjoy Christmas music. After a little research, I found that there are alternative versions to these songs that you don’t hear in the stores every year, and they’re quite refreshing! Read more
This is so beautiful, you could put anything you want around the edges, even some nuts!
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Such a simple yet elegant idea!
Find more ideas like this for a festive look in your home this Christmas!
Christmas is just one week away. If you, like me, are hosting family this year on Christmas day, are you ready for action? Creating a plan will help keep the Christmas-day party madness to a minimum, so you can actually enjoy some time with your loved ones. I can’t tell you how to clean your house, or even what needs cleaning. So here is a guide I use (and anyone can benefit from) for getting those extra special entertaining-related cleaning jobs done starting a week ahead of time:
Finalize the Menu and Shopping List
Shop (or send the hubby)
This would make a nice hostess gift… Personalized Napkins!
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Raspberry Swirl Rolls – very festive with the red raspberries and white icing!
Find great entertaining ideas for Christmas and more on our pinterest boards!