Creating An Outdoor Space Designed for Entertaining

When it comes to gathering with friends during the summer it is all about enjoying the party alfresco style.   I have put together easy ways you can liven up your outdoor space as well as earn a few “wow, your backyard is so amazing” compliments from your guests.

Fire Pit - There are numerous styles of above ground firepits that you can get from your local hardware store that are sure to compliment and brighten your outdoor space.  The best part, you can use it in the winter as well.

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Ready-to-Go Smore’s - What pairs perfectly with an outdoor fire pit?  Smore’s of course.  Put together pre-made smore’s so you can pull them out anytime should unexpected visitors come by.

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Yard Games - Have a few outdoor games on hand for a little friendly spirited competition.  Ring Toss, croquet, bocce and corn hole are great games to play with cocktail in hand.

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Pre-set Serving Tray for Cocktails - Having a pre-set outdoor cocktail station allows you to be ready to entertain at any time.

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Hammock - Long summer days + hammock = Perfection.

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Potted Plants - Potted plants add necessary interest, color and life to your outdoor living space.

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Outdoor Draping - Outdoor draping is a luxurious way to define your space

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Marketing Lights - Adding outdoor lighting allows you to brighten the space and extend the party.

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Now that you have set the space you can get summer entertaining ideas here.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Watermelon is one of the defining tastes of summer and this watermelon salad with fresh mint and feta is equally delicious as it is refreshing.

Salad recipe

INGREDIENTS:

* 8 cups cubed seedless or seeded watermelon
* 2/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion
* 1/2 cup finely chopped mint
* 3 Tablespoons lime juice
* 1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
* handful or two of arugula, washed (optional)
* 1-1/3 cup crumbled Sheep’s milk feta
* mint leaves for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, onion, and mint. Add the lime juice and olive oil and toss well to coat.

Scatter the arugula on a large platter, if using. Mound the salad on top of the bed of arugula. Sprinkle the feta on top and garnish with mint leaves, if using.

Inspired from Girl Cooks World

Braided Crown Tutorial

This braided crown is sweet, chic and perfect for all those summer weddings you have coming up.   I love this step-by-step tutorial from Irrelephant makes it easy for you to do yourself.

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1. Start out with teasing all around your head (most importantly in the crown area). Then, take the section that would be considered your “poof” and pin it.
2. We like to use a ‘X’ bobby pin technique shown in figure 2. This secures the hair in place so that you do not lose any volume throughout the day. Just criss-cross the bobby pins for extra hold.
3.-4. Tease sides and then braid backwards going towards your ‘X’.
5. The good thing about braids is that you can easily hide bobby pins. Aim for the middle of the braid and maneuver the bobby pin until it is tight and hidden. Pin first side.
6. Tease and braid the other side the same. Another great thing about braids is you can easily blend things together, just pin the other side criss-crossing it with the first.

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