Friday, August 19, 2011

Outdoor Entertaining: Part 1

With Labor Day around the corner, I consider this the BEST time of year to host an outdoor party!  Why you might ask?  (Or even if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you).  Because where I live, Winter is just TOO cold, Summer is TOO hot and humid, and Spring time is just TOO rainy!  The end of summer/early fall time of year has just perfect weather.  Nice days, cool nights, the trees are full of leaves and some are starting to change color.  Its the best combination for outside entertaining.  

Opening up a party to the “great outdoors” gives a fabulous (and hardly used) area to decorate that you can’t usually do anything with any other time of year.  However, one bad thing about an outdoor event is the fact that Mother Nature invites herself!  I have come across a few major “mother nature” issues such as bugs (eww!), unwanted weather elements (such as large gusts of wind), and lack of light after the sun goes down.    

I have figured out a few (classy and very budget friendly) ways to help overcome these outdoor entertaining issues, but unfortunately they are too long for just one post (so here goes my first three part-er)!    

First and probably the toughest of the three , how to keep the party from ending when the sun goes down.  Unfortunately you can’t turn the sun back on once it’s over the horizon (wouldn’t that be cool), but there are a few creative ways to bring light outside, without too many wires or open flames!

1.  Strands of Christmas Lights:  I wouldn’t recommend the multi-colored lights, but stringing white Christmas lights around an awning, tent, or table is a great way to get light with stuff you already have round the house!  If you use LED lights, they don’t get as hot nor attract bugs.     

2.  Battery Operated Flameless Candles:  I LOVE flameless candles because inside or out, they look real, but I don’t have worry about burning my house down!  If you don’t already own these (you can get them at Target for about $10), and trust me, you will use them from centerpieces to holiday decor, to intimate lighting (I use them for decoration in my living room). They area perfect addition to an outside part because there are no flames and no wires to worry about.  You just turn them on and they light up!

3.  Solar Powered Lights:  This would be the most expensive option if you don’t already own them.  I did find a set of six solar powered path lights for only $24 at KMart, but you can only use them outside and they don’t offer a lot of light.  These lights are great though because you don’t have to change any batteries or plug them in!

Roam around your house for a minute and think of all the things you can use as lighting for your outdoor event!  Share what you find!

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