Jun 1, 2011

A "new" patio set, and a Memorial Day BBQ

Happy June, all! And woo, it's already Wednesday! Don't you love short weeks? They always seem to drag at the end though...

I mentioned on Monday that we had ourselves a little cookout over the weekend -- not only our first outdoor party of the season, but our first at this house. That makes it monumental. But, if you remember from our backyard tour, we only have this little four-person deck table.

When we had our families over for Mother's Day and ate on the deck, we had to pull our dining room chairs out and use them for both seating and extra plate-holding space. Not ideal!

Remember a couple months ago, I got that free bookcase, wine rack, beer sign and other stuff from the new restaurant near my office? Well, the guy renovating the space also offered me a patio set he found in the basement. At first, I said no, but after eating off chairs on Mother's Day, I decided we needed it.

So, I borrowed my parents' truck and loaded the set up. I was really nervous, and pictured it flying off the back of the truck while I was going down the highway, so I made sure to use lots of knots and bungee cords. Dad, if you're reading this, please look away...

Oh boy. I managed to get it home no problem, but the hubs did laugh at my tie job.

But he stopped laughing when he saw how great it fit great on our deck. I really like the way the wrought iron contrasts with the gray and white.

But it needed a little dressing up...

Much better!

Okay, full disclosure: this is my first tablescape. I kept it simple and didn't clutter the table with lots of candles, or flowers, or decorative things. Though I love the look of a really full and detailed table, for me and my own life, simple seemed better, especially outside. I also didn't want to buy lots of new stuff (saving up for Quebec City!), so I used mostly what I had on hand.

I started with this yellow and gray tablecloth from Target, the only thing I purchased, for $17.

The yellow and blue plates are part of a plastic set I bought for cheap at Target a couple years ago. The white ones are paper Chinet. I wrapped the silverware in gray paper napkins left over from our housewarming party and tied them with some sisal.

A pitcher of lemonade just screams summer, and happens to coordinate with the yellow palette -- nice! I added some reuseable ice cubes in yellow and blue. They're not only functional and super-cool (har har, ice pun), but the blue ones tie in well with the aqua plates.

A yellow gerbera daisy in an equally sunny pot, given to me by a coworker, made the perfect centerpiece.

I filled a few mason jars with candles and river rocks and lined them up along the railing as a backdrop.

I didn't leave the table this way for the BBQ, since we were going to have way more than four people, but it was fun to set up and dream about sitting out there in the evenings, sipping (hard?) lemonade, watching the birds and listening to the peepers (want to hear some peepers right now? You can listen to a recording on Wikipedia!).

I just happened to spot this patio set at Home Depot over the weekend. See how much it is?

Let's zoom in...

This set would have cost us $350! Major score. Plus the restaurant owner was just planning to throw it in the dumpster, so I feel happy that I salvaged something with so much life left in it. I think the chairs need some cushions, but I didn't find anything I liked, so I'll keep looking. Maybe I'll DIY something.

Okay, enough on this table -- let's talk about the cookout, shall we? We finally had a wonderful, gorgeous, warm, sunny May day, and it was so glorious to be outside after nearly an entire month of rain -- I swear, it was magical!

We did lots of eating, under the shade of the Easy-Up (these babies are totally worth the money, by the way)...

The hubs got up at 6 in the morning to start barbecuing a brisket and pork butt, and OMG they were yummy! He used to compete in BBQ competitions, so he's quite the perfectionist when it comes to meat. But it was worth it (especially for me, since I didn't have to do it!).

No pictures of the meat. I was too busy scarfing it down.

And we played some laddergolf. No, the hubs didn't DIY a set, like he considered. He found this one at Dick's for $30, and since the balls are a softer plastic instead of actual golf balls, they're kid-friendly, which gave it bonus points. This game is really fun but deceptively hard. I lost. A lot.

We had a couple kids show up, and to entertain them I bought some sidewalk chalk at Target for a couple bucks. I also picked up a couple tins from the Target dollar spot and filled them with sparklers and bubbles (um, left over from our wedding last year!). The bubbles and chalk kept them busy for about 10 minutes, and the sparklers entertained me and my sister for about that long as well.

I actually got carded at Target for buying sparklers! Apparently they card everyone who buys sparklers and cough syrup, the cashier said.
It was relaxed and low-key, which is just what we wanted.

That hose was brought over to the fire pit for safety, and the stick in the ground was used to tie up our friend's dog while we were eating. Just in case you thought we were playing some crazy Maine hose-stick game -- we weren't. :)

After eating and games, it was bonfire time.

There's nothing like a bonfire and s'mores to cap a good cookout, don't you think?

That orange bucket is full of water, to douse the fire if it got out of control. Fire safety, people!

When it got dark, I lit a few of my mason jar candles to help people find their way to the stairs. (That's my adorable sister, being all stealth.)

I hope we have many more cookouts and gatherings this summer!

Check out Centsational Girl's fabulous outdoor tablescape here!
Want more tablescape inspirations? Between Naps on the Porch posts a tablescape every Thursday, and you can see lots of them here.

Sharing this at Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch!

And Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence!

And The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday!

The Shabby Nest

And Chic on a Shoestring's Flaunt it Friday!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

And the summer decks and porches party at Savvy Southern Style!


Wendy said...

Love the colored ice cubes in the lemonade & the candle holder mason jars (I may have to try that on our patio set!). Looks like you had a great get together!

abeachcottage said...

Looks like you all had a wonderful time. Love your table setting, so bright and fun and the candles on the steps are a nice touch.

At The Picket Fence said...

What a great set Mindy!! And for free!! That is just so amazing and you dressed it up so perfectly for your party. I love the candles in the mason jars and I'm totally going to do that this summer. Thanks so much for linking this up to Inspiration Friday this week!