Four More Summer Party Tips

Summer and celebrating go hand in hand. Holidays are a natural reason to gather, but just warm weather provides a good excuse to call some friends and throw an impromptu bash. Once you’ve got your menu together, it’s time to think about ambiance and activities. Here are four summer party tips for a laidback event.


Get plenty of seating

Encourage your guests to linger outside by using a comfortable sectional. You can also put out plenty of chairs; stackable chairs are a great option for events. Or ask guests to bring their own. You can also set out blankets and tablecloths that will invite people to sit on the lawn.


Choose a fun theme for your summer party. You could go Americana with red, white and blue. Or go with a tropical palette, featuring colors of the water and beach. Or take your cue from ice cream colors, with shades of strawberry, pistachio and banana. Use colorful tablecloths. Hang lanterns or lights, and set a magical atmosphere for fun.

Plan activities

While gathering with friends is fun, think ahead and plan activities and games to keep kids and adults busy. Play charades. Put out bottles of bubbles or get a beanbag toss game. Set up croquet, or rent a karaoke machine.

summer party tips

Prepare for the weather

If it’s hot, so you’ll want to provide shade or other ways for guests to cool off and get out of the heat. Use a big umbrella over dining tables or a portable gazebo. Plan your event around the best time of day for your yard and the sun. Or include wet ways for your friends to chill, such as sprinklers, squirt guns or misters. When the sun goes down, it can get chilly. If your party is at night, consider getting a firepit that will take the crisp out of the night, or set out blankets and sweaters.

Enjoy the summer with friends and family, and you’ll have lots of memories for when the weather turns cold.

Three Summer Party Tips

summer party tips

The summer is filled with lots of reasons to celebrate. From holidays to birthdays, graduation parties and more, plan a party to enjoy the season with friends and family. The best part of summer parties is that they’re often casual and laidback. That means your job is easier. Here are three summer party tips for getting the right food and refreshments for your backyard gathering.

Focus on fun not fuss

Choose foods that are easy to prepare, cook and serve. Traditional barbecue fare such as burgers (psst … get the premade patties) and hot dogs seem almost effortless when prepared on the grill. Or prepare foods like ribs or chicken the day before and finish them on the grill. Add simple side dishes like pasta or potato salad, fruit and veggie trays, chips, cookies and brownies, and you’re ready for a crowd.

Make it simple

While you can provide all of the food, consider throwing a potluck and asking guests to bring a dish to pass. You’ll spread the responsibility and cost, and guests can show off their favorite dishes. You can also call the caterer or grab your favorite takeout, like fried chicken or subs. While food is an important part of the day, the emphasis should be on fun. Whatever you choose, aim to make it simple and easy.

summer party tips

Don’t forget drinks

Provide coolers with a variety of beverages so guests can help themselves. Canned beverages are convenient, or you can set out pitcher of lemonade, water, and have plenty of cups. Have Sharpie markers on hand so your friends can write their names on their glasses; this will keep everyone’s drinks straight and eliminate unnecessary waste. Create a signature drink for the party–alcoholic or non. It’s easiest to limit the choices. Or ask guests to BYOB!

Parties often revolve around food, so take some time to make smart choices, and enjoy the day!


How To Keep Your Bedroom Cool This Summer

keep your bedroom cool

Slipping into crisp, cool sheets is a great way to end your day, especially when the weather is warm. When your bed and bedroom are too warm, however, sleep can be difficult and restless. You run the risk of waking up when you’re too hot. That’s why it’s important to keep your bedroom cool this summer to help get a good night’s sleep.

Here are five tips for creating a great sleep environment:

Control Your Temperature

The ideal temperature for sleeping is 65 to 67 degrees. If you’ve got an air conditioner, you can set your thermostat to the perfect spot. If not, take steps to prevent excessive heat from building up in your bedroom. During the day, shut blinds or use draperies to keep out sunlight, which can heat up your room. If the temperature cools down at night, open your windows when possible. You can also use a portable fan or ceiling fan to circulate or draw in cool air.

Bathe Before Bed

Taking a shower or baths before bed can cool you down. Be careful that the shower doesn’t make your room humid, though. A soothing bath can also create a sense of calm. Using lavender scented soaps or essential oils helps relax you.

Choose The Right Sheets

The average person sweats about a pint of perspiration throughout the night. Choose sheets made of natural fabrics that will wick away perspiration and keep you cool. Look for cotton, bamboo or cotton blend, and be sure to use a top sheet between your body and your blanket or comforter.

Select the Right Pillow

Today’s sleep technology includes pillows made from temperature and pressure sensitive memory foam. The Broyhill Clima-Comfort pillow has two sides to choose from, including a cooler surface made for restful sleep that has a GelLux polymer gel sleep surface.

Change Your Mattress Pad

In addition to your pillow, select a mattress pad that is designed to keep your mattress cooler. The Ver-tex has a contoured channel construction that delivers instant heat deflection with a cool touch feel and waterproof invisible barrier back. It works in harmony with your sheets to keep you cool and dry.

Pay attention to your environment and keep your bedroom cool, and you’ll set the stage for the sweetest midsummer night’s dream.

Quick Style Tip: Decorate With Colorful Towels

One of the quickest ways to update your patio for summer is to decorate with colorful towels. You don’t need a pool or even a lake house. Roll them up to add a pop of color to your outdoor seating group. Beach towels also double as blankets on a chilly evening.

how to decorate with colorful towels in back yard

Here are three ways to use colorful towels this summer
  1. Place them in a basket or on a tray as a colorful accent.
  2. Or use rolled-up towels as bolster pillows on your sofa or chairs.
  3. Drape or tuck one over your outdoor sofa, sectional or chaise to add pattern.

how to decorate with colorful towels in back yard

Towels are an easy, inexpensive way to enhance your outdoor space, and to add the latest color of the season. Plus they are handy in a pinch of you need to wipe up a spill.

How to Choose a Portable Firepit

Portable Firepit

Midwest summers can be downright sublime, but evenings often have a chill in the air. There’s no better way to enjoy your patio or deck than by using a portable firepit. Not only do they warm up your outdoor space; they add an ambiance that makes outdoor entertaining more inviting.

If you’re shopping for a portable firepit this season, it’s important to know how to select the right one. Here are some things to consider before you bring one home:

Portable Firepit

Pick a style

Firepits come in a variety of styles, including fire bowls, fire urns and firepit tables. You can also find tables and bars that include a firepit in the center, which combines the warming feature with a convenient surface for eating or drinking. Firepits can also enhance or set the tone for your décor. From rustic to modern, they are available in a variety of materials and finishes so choose one that complements the style of your outdoor design.

Firepit Fire Urn

Measure your space

Firepits also come in a variety of sizes. Determine how much space you have on your patio or deck. You will want to have enough room to move about and add chairs. And you don’t want to place the firepit too close to a wall or your home. If your area is small, consider a fire urn that can add the same warmth and ambiance.

wood burning firepit

Choose a fuel

Firepits come in wood-burning or gas models, so you need to decide which is right for you. Wood firepits are usually less expensive and they give your back yard the feel of a campfire. Gas firepits use propane tanks, and they can be turned on and off at the push of a button, making them very convenient.

A firepit is an investment in friends and family. You’ll enjoy curling up near the flame throughout the summer and well into fall.