Essentially {Summer Soiree}

It's that time of year again! Time to bust out the charcoal and bug spray because summer soirees and outdoor entertaining are here again. It has to be one of my favorite times to entertain. Yes, the weather may be ridiculously hot but the sun shines a little brighter and it makes me smile just a bit bigger. While you may sweat just a bit, all the Vitamin D you are absorbing just puts you in a better mood. At least it does me! While the official start to summer isn't for another couple weeks, I've got summer fever and I'm more than ready to share my summer soiree essentials with you. Here you go!

1. Watermelon: The signature fruit of hot summer days. Light, refreshing, and full of flavor, watermelon reminds me of backyard cookouts and seed spitting contests as a kid. Embrace the fruit while it's fresh and incorporate it into recipes like watermelon salads, spritzers, and cupcakes

2. Fresh Flowers: They certainly do brighten up any table! Not only that, when fresh picked from your front yard, they add a personal touch that most parties lack.

3. Patterned Plates: Like these melamine ones from Target, patterned plates add vibrancy to every meal.  Melamine is perfect for outdoor entertaining as well because of it's inability to break. Drop it, step on it, or have guests throw them at one another, there is nothing this plate can't handle!

4. Homemade Lemonade: Just like Mom used to make. Lemonade is one of my all time favorite refreshing beverages on a hot summer day. I'm dying to try a blueberry lemonade

5. Beach Umbrellas: You don't have to be on a beach to get into the umbrella action. Try staking one in the back yard and laying under it pretending you are on a tropical island somewhere. This striped yellow one is sure to brighten up any backyard grill out and provided some much needed shade for your guests! 

6. Grill: Of course I saved the best for last. No summer soiree is complete without a grill. Grill cooking is some of the easiest, fun cooking I've ever done. Nothing beats coming home from a long day on the beach, firing up the grill, and cooking every aspect of the meal atop charcoal (or gas if you prefer). Some of my favorite gilled recipes include salads, kabobs, and peaches for dessert! 

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