This post is sponsored by Kichler. They sent me my lantern for free but all opinions and thoughts are my own.
Summer is my favourite season and when it finally shows up I always try to spend as much time outside as possible. That means that every gathering at our house between June and September is going to be outdoors, guaranteed. Our backyard is all ready for the summer and I can’t wait to start hosting!
Because outdoor parties are my favourite type of party I thought I’d share some of my tips for fun and stress-free outdoor entertaining for The Great Outdoor Living Event Blog Hop!
Keep the food simple.
Outdoor entertaining means you should be enjoying yourself too! I like to keep things simple with easy BBQ recipes (think: hamburgers and grilled veggies!) and cheese and charcuterie boards. For an easy and fun summer dessert keep it simple with a light lemon bundt cake or cookies and cupcakes!
Reduce how often you have to go inside
Fill a decorative pail with ice to keep drinks cold and make sure you have a selection of plastic/unbreakable glasses at the ready for guests. By creating space outdoors for these things you’ll reduce the number of times people have to go in and out of the house and prevent that precious A/C from escaping!
Have a basket of extras
Keep a small basket of sunblock and bug spray handy in case your guests need to reapply while they’re visiting. I also like to keep a stash of extra sunglasses and sun hats around “just in case”.
Have lots of water available
Clean, empty wine bottles are an attractive way of making sure there is plenty of water around so no one gets dehydrated in the summer heat. I fill them up with tap water and put them in the fridge a couple of hours before guests arrive to make sure they’re nice and cold in time for the party.
Grow mosquito-repelling plants
Plants like lemon balm, citronella, lavender, marigolds and catnip can all apparently act as mosquito repellents. We’ve added them to planters around our deck, and while I can’t say with 100% certainty that they make a difference, I like to think that the are. Regardless, they smell great and the cats LOVE having fresh catnip around!
Play music (but not too loud)
Connect your phone to a portable Bluetooth speaker and let your party mix play on repeat! Just remember to turn the volume down later in the evening as sound carries further at night.
I love our new Kichler South Hope Portable Bluetooth LED Lantern; in addition to being a great source of light it’s also a really attractive speaker. The LED light is bright enough for evening conversations and I love that the LED light doesn’t attract a lot of bugs (being so close to a lake we definitely get our fair share).
Great outdoor lighting means the party doesn’t have to move inside just because the sun goes down!
Keep things cozy
Even in the middle of summer things can get a little chilly once the sun goes down. Keep a few throw blankets or quilts on hand in case anyone gets cold.
Just remember – summer entertaining should be fun! Enjoy the sunshine, warm weather and spending time with your guests – Happy Entertaining!
Interested in more outdoor inspiration? Make sure to visit the next stop on The Great Outdoor Living Event Blog Hop – Red House Style!