Outdoor Entertaining Ideas + Giveaway

Outdoor Party Ideas

Are you ready to celebrate the arrival of summer?  I am!  A few friends, along with Ed and I, headed over to our good friends, Harry and Toni’s house this past weekend for some casual outdoor entertaining in the form of a “no-dining table dinner party.”

Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

Their backyard is the perfect place to hold a kick-off to summer. A variety of seating areas and an open lounging area by a pool created a perfect venue to sit back and relax and enjoy everyone’s company while watching the sun go down.

I like summer entertaining the best since it is less stressful.  I exchange the word“Entertaining” for a less-intimidating and less-stress-prompting phrase: “Having people over.”  When the stress factor is taken away, entertaining is not about being a style-setter, a caterer, or the perfect host. Instead, it can be about creating a happy occasion that permits you to enjoy family and friends. More important, however, is that you have fun doing it.

Outdoor Party Ideas

Here are a few of my tried and true tips to help you throw a casual evening soiree.

THE SETTING: My friend Toni and Harry’s backyard

Outdoor Dining under the stars

On a warm evening a deck, patio or rooftop can be a magical setting for a no-dining-table dinner party as the sun sets and the sky begins to darken. Illuminating the setting with TIKI® Brand torches in the yard and on tables adds the perfect atmosphere from sunset to twilight to after-dinner night sky viewing.


  • Forgo the paper and plastic. If there is even a slight breeze it will send these items flying. Use regular dishes and cloth napkins. If you are afraid your dishes will break, head to the dollar store for a set of white plates and bowls to use for outdoor parties.
  • Bring out the indoors: Add a few pillows or throw blankets around the patio or deck seating. These will add a comfy cozy feeling for guests who may get chilly after the sun goes down.


Continue Reading…

How to stain rush seats using driftwood finish stain

How I Changed the Color on Rush Seat Chairs

If you follow me on Instagram...do you remember these chairs I posted about that I saw at HomeGoods? I love them and want them, but want is different from need.  I have perfectly nice dining room chairs that were handed down to me from my mom and … Continue Reading...

How to improve your handwriting

Hand Lettering a Card for a Wedding Gift

It is that time of year again...the season of weddings, graduations and more has begun. I have been invited to two weddings at the end of May, as my luck would have it they are both on the same day. :-( Ed and I always like to give the newlyweds or a … Continue Reading...

Book shelf organizing idea

Smiling Bookshelves in My Bedroom

I completed the last big part of my bedroom makeover last week.  If you have been following along, I didn't do anything drastic to the room, but did update and refresh the space so that it would be more bright and airy. I don't have a before photo of … Continue Reading...

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day

I am posting a quick hello to you this Mother's Day weekend.  If you enjoy my blog, posts and projects, you have one person to thank.... my mom. She is no longer living, but she had a huge influence on me and my designing life. You can read all about her in … Continue Reading...

How to set up a bloggers photo studio in your home

Part 3: Blogging Journey

If you have been following my blogging journey posts, Part 1 and Part 2. I am continuing the series today. I am sharing the part of blogging I love best; well second best since you are my favorite part of blogging.  I know this part of my journey may be of … Continue Reading...

brick colonial

House Sweet Home

I hope you had a nice weekend. It was a beauty here on the east coast - perfect 80 degree sunny days. Bliss.  I spent Saturday getting the outside of the house cleaned up and prepared for outdoor living. Ed and I hit the garden store twice. He worked harder … Continue Reading...

How to make money blogging

Part 2: My Blogging Journey

Today I am continuing to Part 2 of my post about my blogging journey. If you missed Part 1, you can read it, here.  Before I pick up where I left off, thanks for all the emails and comments you left last week. XO I am happy to know that you enjoyed the … Continue Reading...

Free artwork ideas for your walls

More Free Artwork for My Bedroom

If you ever read the "About Me" page on my blog, then you know I adore old movies, especially ones with Cary Grant, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn, and Rosalind Russell. These are my favorites...Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, Sunday in New York, Roman … Continue Reading...

HGTV magazine Glidden ad

Roll Into The Weekend…

Do you have any plans to paint this weekend? If you do, the May issue of HGTV magazine has lots of inspiration for you.  It is filled with ideas using paint, along with new tools, tips, and creative DIY painting projects to help you imprint your style on … Continue Reading...

Career and Passion quote

Part 1: My Blogging Journey

I have been blogging for 6 years and have only written piecemeal about why and how I started In My Own Style. Last week, I was reminded of my blogging journey when I read a post Ed wrote on his blog.  Did you know that my husband has a website? He does. I … Continue Reading...

budget bathroom organizing tips

How to Paint a Vinyl Floor + Linen Closet

This week I passed a huge milestone in my life.  I was able to cross off the last space in my house on my declutter/purge list.  If you have been following my blog, you know this has been an ongoing project... decluttering every room. It started with my attic … Continue Reading...

Bathroom organizing ideas and free printable labels

How to Organize in Style Using Dollar Store Baskets

Remember the before image of the linen closet I showed you last week?  Well, I don't quite have the full reveal to show you yet.  It has been warm and sunny here the past few days.  After the long and cold winter, it felt so good to spend time outdoors in the … Continue Reading...

Free art to frame and for your walls in an instant

Insta-Style: Free Art

If you like free, pretty, and colorful, you are going to like this week's Insta-Style.  What’s Insta-Style?   A weekend series of simple projects for which no tutorial is needed. You may not own the same items I show in the series of posts, but I am … Continue Reading...

Spa like bathroom makeover for under $300

Why I Like Neutral or White Walls

I have been spring cleaning this week. It is my favorite time of year to clean since I can open the windows and let fresh air back into the house after it has been closed up all winter.  While I was at it, I decided to give my guest bathroom a new color … Continue Reading...

Kitchen decorating with wood bread boards | In My Own Style

Reclaimed Wood Bread Board

I have a new collection! Wood bread boards. I now have 3...  I think this qualifies as a collection, right? Ever since seeing this photo of Heather Bullard's kitchen, I have been searching for interesting and antique bread boards to use as decoration … Continue Reading...

Happy Easter 3D Chalkboard Art

3D Easter Chalkboard Art

It still feels like Winter in the northeast and I think the Easter Bunny is still hibernating.  I am trying not to let the winter-like temps bother me, but Easter is not Easter without a bunny. To remedy this, I created a cousin for the Easter bunny. One that … Continue Reading...