The temperature hit 80 degrees yesterday and I’m now summer-crazed. It might be that we were a bit cooped up this winter with a newborn? Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m working for myself this year and know I’ll have a bit more flexibility to spend time outside. Whatever it is, I’m so excited for summer. Last night Mike and I were sitting on the couch talking about how we want to host a big clambake this summer. We also pulled all of our outdoor furniture out of the shed and got our yard set up for dining al fresco. Jane even had a little quality time playing on a blanket in the grass. Summer is the best. I have a few favorite tricks I lean on for setting up an easy, casual summer party, and as we gear up for Memorial Day weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to share a few of them!No Fuss tablecloths. I’m a big believer that nothing you use for entertaining should be precious. If you’re worried about spills or things breaking, then there’s really no point in using it all. For table linens, simple in my opinion is always better. My secret weapon for outdoor tablecloths: yardage of inexpensive chambray fabric. You can buy this at the fabric store for just a few dollars a yard, it looks great for red white and blue-themed occasions, and you won’t even blink if it gets covered in ketchup and mustard. I added a table runner to this set-up, and it’s actually a piece of super-wide ribbon from my craft store.“Firework” drink stirrers. Save that tinsel from Christmas for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July to make “firework” drink stirrers. Just a snip of tinsel and a touch of got glue on the end of a skewer and you’ve got the easiest DIY drink stirrers for your tablescape. I popped these inside cans of Lila sparkling wines, keeping with the sparkler theme! These are great for summer entertaining, we toss them in our cooler to bring to the beach, and love that they’re glass-free for outdoor entertaining. Plus an ice cold can of sparkling wine really hits the spot when the temperatures rise! Bandana napkins. Cloth napkins can be a bit formal for barbeques, so I have a huge pile of bandanas I’ve cut into napkins and use for summer entertaining. I made a whole video about ways to use them last summer in fact! They’re inexpensive, easy to toss in the wash and clean, and they come in so many colors to match your tablescape. These vintage-looking navy ones are my favorite for a patriotic looking color-scheme. Bud Vases. Clean and simple is the name of the game for outdoor entertaining. Instead of a large formal arrangement, I like to use a handful of bud vases on the table. One bunch of $5 tulips from Trader Joes and 4-5 bud vases makes for a perfect grouping. A variety of glass jars is a good alternative if you don’t have a giant collection of bud vases like me (#hoarder).Bowls of Berries. Summer berries are the best color and a few bowls of them on the table do double duty as décor and a bright, fresh snack while guests are waiting for their meal. Pop one on each plate when you’re setting the table, and add a place card on a toothpick inside the bowl of berries for assigned seating!I’ve got a million more ideas, but these are a few of my tried and true tricks. I can’t wait to put them to use with this warm weather! What’s on your schedule for Memorial Day weekend celebrations? Share them with me in the comments!
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