How to Keep Bugs Away from Your Summer BBQ

I recently asked my Facebook followers what they needed help with when it came to hosting a summer bbq.  An overwhelming number of people wanted help with how to keep bugs away while enjoying your bbq outdoors.

This response kind of surprised me. Since living in Colorado I don’t feel like we have too many bugs, so it’s not usually a concern for me.  However, I thought I’d help to tackle this problem and give you all some great outdoor summer bbq tips for keeping the bugs away.

I did a little research and came up with six ideas on how to keep the bugs away from you, your food, and the area of your bbq.

outdoor party ideas, bug free bbq, how to keep bugs away from food, outdoor dining ideas, summer bbq6 Ways to Keep Bugs Away from your Summer BBQ

1. Make a DIY Bug Spray

I tend to stray away from the typical aerosol bug spray and sunscreen because of a lot of toxic ingredients.  The good news is it’s easy to make your own versions that are just as effective.  We use Young Living essential oils and they make some great ingredients to make your own bug spray.

Here’s a simple recipe to try:

  • 50 ml witch hazel
  • 50 ml water
  • 10 drops peppermint
  • 15 drops citronella
  • 10 drops lemongrass
  • 10 drops tea tree

Just mix them all up in a spray bottle and you’re set.

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This is all of the oils I had on hand, so it looks like I may need some more before summer starts!

This is a great blend to spray on yourself.  But I love the idea of spraying it on your outdoor furniture as well.  The strong scent of the oils will help to keep the bugs away.

2. Herbs will Deter the Bugs

Another way to keep the bugs away from the area of your bar-b-que is by planting or using herbs.  The smell of the herbs detracts the bugs.

outdoor party ideas, bug free bbq, how to keep bugs away from food, outdoor dining ideas, summer bbqIf you already have an herb garden, try incorporating it into the decor of  your summer bbq.  Or if you have a mobile herb garden in pots or jars, move them to the area where people and food will be to deter the bugs.

Some great herbs to help deter the bugs are: lavender, basil, lemongrass, and lemon thyme.  These would all make great decor around your food platters or on your food buffet.

3. Keep Bugs Out of Your Food with Containers

I love the idea of re-purposing a large drink dispenser as a food container.  The best part about using them is that they have a lid.  The lid will keep bugs from flying right into and landing on your food.

Try putting salads, slaw, fruit, or any other cold side dish in a large drink dispenser and pop the lid on top.

4. Food Covers are Great at Keeping Bugs Away

For the items that can’t go into a large jar, use a food cover to place over the entire platter or dish.  This method may not be foolproof, but it will help keep some bugs away.

I really like using these large food covers because they fold up and are easy to store when you’re not using them.

5. Cover Your Drink Too

Food isn’t the only thing that attracts bugs, but sweet drinks do as well.

I vividly remember dealing with this when I was younger.  I was drinking a soda outdoors at an event when I was about 12 and took a drink of my soda. Before I swallowed I felt something odd in my mouth.  I spit my drink out and low and behold but a bee had flown into my soda and was just swimming around in my mouth.  Thank goodness it didn’t sting me and I’m not allergic, but can you imagine if I were?

So, all that to say to cover your drink!

Adding a colorful muffin liner to your straw is a great way to cover any glass, can, or bottle.  Plus it will help you distinguish whose glass is whose.

Or you can buy these mason jars that have lids that allow a straw to go through the lid.

6. Cover the Trash Can

Another place that draws bugs is the trash can.  Half eaten food, sweet drink containers, and lots of smells makes this area a bugs dream.

The two biggest pieces of advice I can give you on this topic is to keep the trash can in a location further away from where people are congregating.  Not only to help keep the bugs away, but also because your guests probably don’t want to smell that either.

Also, use a trash can with a lid.  Doing so will help to keep the smells in and the bugs away.  Plus, when the lid no longer closes you know it’s time to empty the trash!

I hope some of these tips were useful in getting you prepared to have a bug free summer bbq this summer.  If all else fails, there is always the option to have your bar-b-que indoors too, haha!

*Affiliate links used throughout this post.  By clicking on the links I may make a small commission from your purchase with no additional cost to you.

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10 Thoughtful Mother’s Day Ideas Better than a Gift

May is such a fun month isn’t it?  It’s full of preparation for summer and lots of reasons to celebrate!  Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, Mother’s Day, graduations, end of school activities to name just a few.  I want to give you some ideas of how to be thoughtful this Mother’s Day instead of just buying a gift.

I’m still at the point of getting handmade cards and pictures that are difficult to decipher.  But I know I’ll treasure them for a long time.  However, sometimes it’s hard to get your mom something that you know they will truly love.  This is especially true if you feel like your mom doesn’t need another bouquet of flowers or piece of jewelry.

I was talking with some friends recently about love languages and found them so interesting.  Have you ever figured out what love language you have?  You can do so here.  Mine is quality time, although I feel like my love language could change depending on what’s going on at the time.

There are five different love languages;  acts of service, receiving gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation, and quality time.  If your mom is an act of service kind of person this is a great list for her this Mother’s Day!

But I feel like there is something on this list for all the different love languages though.  Take a look and figure out if you could do any of these things for your mom this Mother’s Day instead of the typical gift.  She may like it even more!

Thoughtful Ideas for Mother’s Day

Thoughtful Mother's Day ideas, things to do for your mom on Mother's Day, Mother's Day gift ideasI love so many things on this list, but would be pumped to receive number six!  Lord knows there are things on my to do list that never seem to go away.

If you want to help ease the burden of all the things your mom normally does, try an act of service like numbers one, two, three, or ten.  Your mom will appreciate the actions you take to make her day or week easier.

If you know your mom just wants to spend time with her kids, then do something together.  Teaching her something is a great way to spend time together.  You’ll have to work one on one and she’ll come out happy that she was with you and with a new skill.  Even better let her teach you something and give her your undivided attention.

Telling your mom you love and appreciate her is great, but not with just another card.  Amp up your words of affirmation by leaving her a note in several spots she’ll see throughout the week like number nine.  Or if you live far away, send her a message every day leading up to Mother’s Day. She will love hearing all the things you love or admire about her.

For us that like to celebrate, it’s hard not to give a gift sometimes.  So if you’re feeling like you physically need to give a gift, make it a thoughtful one.  Try making something like number four or five.  Sentimental moms will love the look back at childhood or to have a handy reminder of when everyone’s birthday and anniversary is.

These are just a few things I put together.  I think all of them are so thoughtful and would make any mom happy on Mother’s Day.  Are you more of a gift giver or would you try to do something thoughtful this year?  Either way, if you’re a mom, I hope you have a great day and feel loved!

 

 

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Tablescape Tuesday: Cinco de Mayo

You guys!  Doesn’t it feel like summer is right around the corner?!  It all starts with the warm spring days and then the holidays, like Cinco de Mayo, start happening.  Before you know it you’re next to the pool all day!  I’m getting so excited.

Today, I wanted to share a fun way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  It’s this weekend and the perfect opportunity to have a party.  Plus, it’s also the Kentucky Derby the same day, so you’ll get two for the price of one parties!  Some friends of ours are actually hosting a Cinco de Derby party, and I think it’s the best mash up in a long time.

Taco party, cinco de mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyIt’s no surprise to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tacos and margaritas, but doing it with fun decorations and a full tablescape takes it up a notch.

Taco party, cinco de mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyI love that Cinco de Mayo lets you have so much fun with color.  Color in the tablecloth and color in the fresh food.  Welcome to my Cinco de Mayo fish taco party!

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyI set my table up using a Mexican themed blanket as a tablecloth.  The perks of living in San Diego for so long was getting some authentic Mexican gear!  Plus all the tacos.  With that as the base I then added our taco bar and decorated with small, faux cactus around the platters and dishes.

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyTaco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyFor the menu I mixed it up a bit by doing fish tacos.  I still dream about the Taco Tuesday shrimp tacos at Cafe Coyote in Old Town San Diego.  They have this white sauce on them that is so delicious!  I tried to replicate that but with a cabbage slaw to add some freshness.

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyHere is a similar Mexican slaw recipe to the one that I used.  It adds a nice crunch and freshness to your tacos.  I made my food prep easier by just using store bought frozen fish.  This kind is great because they have a fairly crunchy outside once they are baked.

Try putting your food out on a big board or platter.  It gives everyone access to everything they need to build their taco.  All it takes to dress up your platter is by adding all the things you are using anyway.  I added extra cilantro and avocados around the platter.

To top off the tacos I made a sriracha mayo by mixing about equal parts and then just drizzling on top of the tacos.

Taco party, cinco de mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyTaco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyI also made a Mexican corn salsa to put alongside the tacos.  Here is a recipe that I used.  I didn’t use cotija, and I roasted the corn for a few minutes before making the salsa. It added a delicious deeper flavor then just having used plain corn.

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyThe table turned out so cute and on theme.  Plus adding a few extra little things like the tablecloth and cacti made the evening so fun.

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyTaco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyTaco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner party

Cinco de Mayo Cucumber Margaritas

To help wash down those fish tacos, I made a yummy batch of margaritas.  I used this recipe to make a cucumber infused margarita that is so refreshing.

I will say that these are somewhat labor intensive because you have to juice the cucumbers.  But they are so worth it!

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Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyCheck out that other Mexican blanket decorating our bar area.  Thanks to my makeshift Christmas card holder, I was able to just put the blanket over the twig and bring the look of the table throughout the whole party.

Do you plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year?  Try doing it with some fish tacos and little cacti!

 

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Pinkalicious Party Ideas

Hey friends!  I haven’t been around much this week because I always have a hard time going from working on the weekend to getting blogging done.  I’ve forgiven myself for not getting things done and am back on track with this Pinkalicious party today.

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My daughter received her first Pinkalicious book from her cousin about a year ago and has loved them ever since.  But now that Pinkalicious was made into a TV show on PBS, it’s even more the rage at my house.

Although her upcoming birthday party already has a theme, I couldn’t pass up celebrating her love of reading and throwing a little Pinkalicious party for her.   It’s a great idea to use a book theme for a kids party.  There are a ton of party ideas you can pull right from the pages.

We set up all things pink and of course treated ourselves to cupcakes.  Decorating for this party was a breeze because we had so many pink things already.  This is yet another reason I love color coordinated party decor because you can use it again and again.  No plastic, themed, one use party decorations here!

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesWe used a combination of pink pinwheels, banners, and pink tissue tassels.  Another great way to DIY easy party decor is to wrap up boxes with party coordinated wrapping paper.  Plus, the box adds height to any dessert or gift table.

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesTo keep the kids busy during the party I decided to have them make Pinkalicious fairy wands.  I cut out gold glitter stars and just attached them to skewer sticks from the kitchen.  Then I let my daughter tie on all sorts of pink and gold ribbon and trim.

This is super easy craft to let kids do by themselves.  It’s not messy and it will help them work on their fine motor skills tying the ribbon around the sticks.

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesThese wands also make great party favors.  My daughter has been playing with it for the last couple of days.  It’s always a win in my book when the party favor lasts longer than the day of the party.

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesWe couldn’t have a Pinkalicious party without the pink cupcakes!  These simple cupcakes came from Safeway, and I will tell you they are the best value for your money.  I was able to get 6 cupcakes for only $4.00!!!  You can’t beat those prices.  Then I added a cherry on top from cherries I already had on hand.

The cupcakes were the only things I purchased for this party.  I will take a $4 party any day.  And if I’m spending that little, there is no excuse not to celebrate all the time!

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious Party Ideas

I also wanted to provide you with a ton of other ideas you could use at your own Pinkalicious party.

  • Have a short storytime and read a Pinkalicious
  • Make fairy wands
  • Make and decorate crowns like Pinkalicious wears
  • If you’re having a winter party, you can read the Pinkalicious ice skating book and have your party goers paint with ice
  • Play pin the cherry on the cupcake
  • If the kids are older, have them decorate or even bake their own pink cupcakes
  • Ask all of your guests to wear pink

This was a fun (and cheap) little party to put together that brought a smile to this little girl’s face.  And that’s all that matters really, right?

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakes

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakes

Ready for her cupcake!

I hope you are inspired to maybe read some of these books, watch the show, or even just to go buy some $4.00 cupcakes!  Be sure to come back next week to see all of my Cinco de Mayo inspiration and ideas!

 

 

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DIY Hanging Floral Installation

Last week we talked all about how to incorporate this year’s wedding trends into your home parties.  You can see all about how to do living backdrops and potted plants, lucite, and saturated colors .  Another trend I keep seeing is a large over the top hanging floral installation.

But, they seem difficult to do, expensive, and a little impractical for a party at home.  However, today, I made a smaller DIY version and I’m loving it!  It’s definitely something anyone can do and still have the same kind of impact of a large floral installation.

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Hanging Floral Installation Inspiration

Here are just a few floral installation inspiration images.  I love how grand they all are and the flowers and greenery are gorgeous.

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via Brides

DIY Hanging Floral Installation Supplies

Without spending a fortune on flowers and a lot of time building something just like the inspiration above, I was able to make my own version.  It’s much smaller, but it still gives the same feeling as the larger versions above.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own hanging floral installation.

  • a stick, branch, or dowell rod
  • flowers, garlands, or greenery
  • string or twine
  • floral wire
  • scissors

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You first have to think about where you’re going to hang your installation.  I wanted to have the same feeling of an installation above a table like the pictures above, so I hung mine over the dining room table.  To do this I just hung the twine over our dining room chandelier.

If you want your installation above a table, but don’t have a chandelier, there are tons of ways to make that happen.  You can screw a small hook into the ceiling over your table.  Or try tying your string onto a small nail in your ceiling.  If your installation isn’t very heavy you could even try to use a 3M Command Hook attached to the ceiling so it would be easy to remove after the party.

DIY Hanging Floral Installation How To

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It’s not difficult to make this installation at all.  I basically just wrapped the garland around the stick and secured it using floral wire.  As I went I adjusted the garland to get the look I was going for.  To do this I had to stop and hold the garland up to see what it would look like once hung.

You will also have to tie your string or twine to either end of the stick so you are able to hang the installation once it’s done.

I was going for a full look with some greenery hanging down from the stick.  Thanks to a 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby, I was able to use two garlands for the price of one to achieve the fullness I was looking for.

how to make a hanging floral display at home, greenery floral centerpiece, diy hanging flowers, greenery home decor, greenery party decorhow to make a hanging floral display at home, greenery floral centerpiece, diy hanging flowers, greenery home decor, greenery party decorNext I just hung the string over one of the lights of my chandelier.  This installation wasn’t extremely heavy so I wasn’t worried hanging it on the light.

Another way to hang it would be to tie each end of string or twine to the chandelier individually.  Having the glow of the light above could make the installation look even better at night.

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I kept my table centerpiece super simple because of the impact of the hanging installation.  A collection of lit candles would make a very romantic “in the garden” kind of experience.

how to make a hanging floral display at home, greenery floral centerpiece, diy hanging flowers, greenery home decor, greenery party decorhow to make a hanging floral display at home, greenery floral centerpiece, diy hanging flowers, greenery home decor, greenery party decor

So what do you think?  Is this something you’d like to try at home?  Do you think it resembles the inspiration at all?  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

I was able to make this installation, thanks to that sale, for less than $20!  I also had all the other supplies on hand already.

Plus now I have some great spring decor over our dining room bar!  And it would be really easy to change this up with the seasons by sticking in different flowers or leaves for each season.

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That one piece of floral wire is glaring at me! I’ll have to hide that one.

Have a great weekend friends!

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Celebrating everyday!