After our recent patio transformation, I was eager to invite a few friends over for a simple evening dining alfresco. Our new outdoor dining furniture and garden-inspired accents set the stage perfectly. I love how the space is pretty neutral with a few pops of color. The furniture and decor lets our backyard really shine. This time of year, we’re in full bloom with lots of greens, pinks, and yellows.
I set the table for four and got ready for a casual early evening (light) dinner. These acrylic glasses were perfect for citrus infused water (and wine later in the evening). I love their light green color and the fact that I don’t have to worry about breaking them.
I kept the food light and served salads and cheese and crackers. I love serving salads in these disposable berry baskets. And the gold plated cutlery from Pier 1 Imports added a nice touch of elegance to an otherwise, really casual tablescape.
For me, dining alfresco is all about embracing the weather and keeping things really simple. Some flowers, food, and friends are really all that is required to host a nice evening. When you have an inviting outdoor space, you’ll be able to entertain in a moment’s notice.
I served cheese and crackers on these wooden coasters. I spotted them and thought they looked just like mini cheese boards. I loved that I could put one at each place setting (I can re-purpose them later indoors as coasters –bonus!).
We had a great evening. Simple food, an inviting space, and great company –the perfect recipe for dining alfresco this summer. Will you be entertaining soon? I’d love to hear about your outdoor space.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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).
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.
You can purchase pre-bottled sangria and keep things really simple.
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?
To start, add about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce into small single-serve vessels.
Then skewer a meatball (homemade or store-bought) and a basil leaf with a cocktail fork or toothpick.
When your ready to serve, place the skewered meatball and basil right into the sauce.
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.
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.