Memorial Day Weekend is almost here and for most of us that marks the unofficial kickoff of summer.  So as we preen our outdoor oasis, clean off our grills and get ready to chill with friends and family, I wanted to share a few simple ways to entertain your summer guests and have time to enjoy them too!

Whim It

All year long we’re running our lives around schedules but with the kids off from school, in day or sleep-away camp, and the summer breeze keeping everyone relaxes – it’s fine not to plan ahead. Be spontaneous! It will help ensure the weather is good, dictate how many people can come and minimize stressing details.  And, you’ll have a terrific chance of limiting the attendees since many may have plans and either graciously decline or just stop by for a cocktail. This means even less work for mamma. Love that!

K.I.S.S A.S.S.

(Keep It Simple Serving)

Unless you’re a Martha-type who enjoys prepping and schlepping there’s no need to razzle dazzle nor do it all so be an A.S.S.

  • A: Ask for Help
  • S: Serve Finger Foods – Look for those that are already prepared and available at money-saving prices in Costco, Wal-Mart and many of your local supermarkets.
  • S: SCOOP ‘N SERVE:  This is a simple serving idea that looks good and is a great kiddie task. Have them use an ice cream scooper to scoop out a variety of different sized melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew) to use as serving bowls for salads (coleslaw, potato, tossed and fruit salad); condiments and desserts like ice cream or the fresh fruit they just scooped.  When the get-together’s over, toss the melon bowls out and viola – no muss or fuss!

Chomp ‘N Chuck

This is an outdoor get-together so you don’t need to bring out your best china—buy everything that’s disposable from the plates to the flatware to the cups, platters and pans. Another reason your manicure will thank you!  Also have garbage and recycle bags in several spots so guests can easily ‘chuck’ their stuff’ when they’re done and you can continue to be lazy!

Chill It

Here are a couple twists on the usual beverage cooler:

  • POT LUCK: You probably have a few extra pots gathering dirt in your garage from last year so put give them a cool twist.  Fill plastic flower pots with ice and add a little water, then stock them with single-serving refreshments. After the party, just let the ice melt, tilt and water the lawn! Tres eco-friendly!
  • NEW SPIN: If your washing machine is in easy, no tracking dirt throughout the house, distance use it as an extra cooler by filling it with ice and canned beverages. When the party’s over, let the ice melt and put the washer on rinse to drain. I’ve also seen toilet bowls and tanks filled with ice and stocked with single serving drinks but this idea doesn’t ‘bowl me over’ … forgive the pun!

Let it Blow

To eliminate the wrinkles from vinyl or plastic outdoor tablecloths take aim with your fave styling tool:  your handy dandy blow dryer.  Hold ye blower about 6 inches above cloth and use a setting hot enough to erase but not burn away those wrinkles. Unfortunately this does not work on facial wrinkles!

Please share any summer entertaining tips and tricks you have below or tweet me at AccidentlHswife!