Thinking of hosting this Fourth of July?
We’ve made it through the first few days of summer. Although, if you are like us who live in the South, you have been enduring the heat for a very hot minute. Have you hosted a backyard event yet? Are you thinking of hosting a Fourth of July celebration? Or does the thought of having people over cause you stress?
People reach out to me often and say deciding on food, drinks, decorations, entertainment…all the details make them want to throw their hands up. It all seems too complicated.
I hear you, and I want to help. Today I’m sharing a few tips in four different areas that I believe will take the stress away from hosting and leave you feeling confident and satisfied.
Deciding on a menu can be one of the most stressful and most expensive decisions to make. To make things easier share the responsibility. Pick a protein like hot dogs and grilled chicken or brats and burgers to serve. Once your guests know what the protein will be, they can each bring a side dish. This helps significantly regarding expense, picky eaters and perhaps guests with dietary restrictions. However, don’t just throw some dogs and cow on the grill. Be sure and give it your best flavor effort.
Oh and don’t forget dessert. Serve something that will go a long way and something with simple ingredients; like banana pudding or apple cobbler.
To be honest on hot days water should be available at all times. Cut up a cucumber, orange or lemon to flavor the water. Also, tell your guests to BYOB (bring your beverage) Have a few ice chests on hand to keep drinks outdoors and cool.
An excellent punch recipe: 1, 2-liter of Sprite, one container frozen lemonade, one container frozen orange juice, 4 cups Cranberry juice, 1/4 cup sugar (optional). Pour all together and chill or serve over ice. Another fun idea is to freeze some of the punch in ice trays and add the flavored ice to individual waters. Adding a little vodka or tequila to the punch will add a different kind of “fireworks” feature.
Yard games are always a good time, and you don’t have to have a large backyard to make it work.
We love to play baggo and yard Yahtzee. You can find the how-to here.
Setting the Table
This is my favorite part. I love making things feel extra, and a beautiful tablescape does just that.
As I showed in a photo above a drink container keeps flies away and eliminates spills. Putting plastic tableware in a basket or mason jars keeps things neat and tidy. I love to use disposable tablecloths. I bought a three pack of white for $1.97. Not only can they be used as a tablecloth but they are also perfect for tacking to a wall or fence. Going vertical makes everything look more significant than it is.
*The tablecloths are also great for photo booth moments.*
A beautiful centerpiece can pull the table together and have purpose. I’ve used mason jars and a little paint to transform them into the highlight of the table.
Clean and dry the mason jars. I painted two jars white and one jar blue. Then I taped off the area I wanted to keep white. Washi tape was easy to remove and didn’t pull off the paint.
We used saw horses and a half sheet of plywood instead of a table. I used red plates and napkins and white/clear cups. The serving tray is painted with chalkboard paint, and the handles are drawer pulls.
I hope these tips help and that you feel encouraged to host a backyard get together. Because life is too precious to let things like time, money and not enough space stop you from laughing, sharing and fellowshipping with the people you love.