Outdoor entertaining is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Summer just sees to beg us to slow down and enjoy life. What better way to take pleasure in friends and family than to invite them over for a casual afternoon of warm hospitality and great food? Get your grill on and follow these easy tips to make your summer entertaining a success!

1. Spruce up your outdoor space; cut the grass, sweep the patio, wipe down the furniture.
2. Check the weather and plan accordingly. Invite your guests by phone or e-vite about 1-2 weeks before your gathering.
3. Keep your guests comfortable by providing shade with a market umbrella, a shade structure or set your table up under a shady tree.
4. Set up 2 trash cans, one for recyclables.
5. Use containers with plenty of ice to keep drinks in. A cooler, aluminum tub, child’s red wagon can suffice. Arrange two or three in different locations in the yard so there is more than one place for guests to get beverages.
6. Set up the barbecue grill in a safe place. Put barbecue utensils and serving platters by the barbecue. Do not serve cooked meat on the same platter used for raw meat.
7. Have plenty of folding chairs, patio furniture, benches, and if you have planers that would be suitable for sitting, top them with colorful pillows for comfortable, extra seating.
8. Set up your folding six-foot table as your buffet table and weigh down items like napkins, paper plates with stones or shells so they will not blow away if it gets breezy. Wrap forks and knives in a napkin tied with ribbon and place at the end of the table.
9. A basket with bug spray, sunscreen and spray bottles of ice water for misting will keep your guests protected and comfortable.
10. If hosting a pool party, make sure there is adult supervision by the pool EVERY MINUTE. Have blow-up rafts, diving rings, etc. for fun.
11. Play your favorite music from iPod or wireless speakers.
12. Plan a delicious, easy menu.
13. Have fun and enjoy the day!

Featured Image: Barber’s Nursery

Source by Patricia Mendez