Setting the Stage for Summer Entertaining


This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports

The minute the weather warms up and the evenings get longer, I start dreaming up the first summer party of the year. I absolutely love to entertain in our backyard but our space really needed an update. In fact, our old outdoor dining table had all but fallen apart so we had to build our entertaining space back up, from scratch. Working with a blank slate is always exciting to me. A must-have for us was well made outdoor furniture.

summer entertaining with Pier1

Before we could set the stage for summer entertaining, we had to lay the foundation –and this dining collection was the perfect choice!

Today I’m sharing with you how we took this foundation, added a few of my go-to summer party essentials, and transformed our space to one fit for guests. These pieces will help you create an inviting (and functional) space to gather with family and friends –this summer and beyond.

summer entertaining

Outdoor furniture: Create an inviting space to dine and relax. A nice outdoor dining table can be used regularly by your family and also when entertaining. My tip is to invest in a good quality table and chairs (I am loving these outdoor stacking chairs) to be sure they stand up against the sun and weather. Be sure to grab a couple colorful pillows to add a pop of color!

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Serve It :: Meatball + Marinara Appetizer


This post is sponsored by Bertolli®
meatball appetizers

I love Italian cuisine and flavors. In fact, I might be kindred spirits with Italians everywhere who love life simply and fully, with family, friends, fun freshness and FOOD at the core. I mean, that just sounds like the roadmap to a happy life to me, don’t you think?

easy meatball appetizers

I love the idea of serving appetizers that play on meals, like these one-bite meatball and marinara cups. It’s a rich, flavorful, yet simple appetizer that guests will love (recipe and instructions below).

meatball appetizers recipe

Small bites like these are also perfect for setting a simply tuscan-inspired summer table. When entertaining outdoors I like to keep things lighter and smaller portions. These meatball + marinara appetizers are paired perfectly with some rustic bread and mini sangria sips.

mini sangrias

You can purchase pre-bottled sangria and keep things really simple.

meatball appetizers recipe

I placed a platter of appetizers, bread, drinks, and blooms from my garden … on a small table and made a little sitting area on our back patio. It made for the perfect spot to gather and visit with friends who were visiting.

Want to make your own?

make meatball appetizers

To start, add about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce into small single-serve vessels.

single meatball appetizers

Then skewer a meatball (homemade or store-bought) and a basil leaf with a cocktail fork or toothpick.

single meatball appetizers

When your ready to serve, place the skewered meatball and basil right into the sauce.

Bertolli_logo_200x200[2]Viva Bertolli®  and join me in celebrating 150 years of delicious Italian food, friends and family. Felice Anniversario and Buono Appetito! Visit Bertolli on Facebook, Pinterest  and Twitter for more inspirations and ideas to bring Tuscany to your table.

Make It :: Sunglasses Bag

sunglassesBag8

This simple project was inspired by a way to solve my own problem (protect my sunglasses when I throw them in my purse or beach bag) but turned into a pretty fun gift idea. Make these painted canvas bags and give them to your sunglass-wearing gals pals.

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Sip It :: Lime Coconut Margarita

Coconut Margarita

She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up …

I can’t get this song out of my head. But seriously, this was such a good idea. It’s like my Cinco de Mayo just went Hawaiian. The result? A delicious lime + coconut margarita that is a little sweet and a little salty and all sorts of refreshing. Serve them up in a coconut shell and close your eyes because it’ll be just like you’re on vacation. :)

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7 Simple Ways to Get More Blog Readers … Without Writing More

Wait…. what?! Write fewer blog posts but get more readers? Yes, I did just say that.

Did you know there are over 300 million blog posts written in a year. AND by 2020 the amount of online content is said to increase by over 500%. The first thing I thought when I learned that was “wow, that’s a whole lot of stuff to read.”  Friends, there is a lot of noise out there and it’s only going to get louder.

Raise your hand if you can relate to this: You  spent an ton of time writing the perfect blog post … your photos are great, your title is off the hook, but CRICKETS. No one seems to be reading it. Sound familiar? Yep –been there too. The problem isn’t that you aren’t creating enough content, the problem is you need better distribution. Doesn’t it make more sense now? The answer to your question isn’t to write more blog posts. The solution is to make the content you already have work harder for you.

Produce less content but increase content distribution.

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