Seasonal Activities

The Fourth of July is a little over a week away, and it’s one of my most favorite holidays. It’s so much fun to gather together with friends, families, and neighbors and share food and fireworks in celebration of our country’s history. To get you in the mood, I gathered up some decorating ideas that are so simple and each is a way to say three cheers for the red, white, and blue! 

Outdoors, tie up red striped cotton fabric with blue ribbon or rope to create your own unique bunting.

fabric bunting bhg


On the porch or above the dining table, use colorful markers to add festive firework motifs to plain paper lanterns.

embellished paper lanterns bhg


For an easy DIY craft, print out the template for these Happy Fourth coasters and adhere them to plain chipboard. 

happy fourth coasters


Suspend large glittery stars on a string to set the party scene.

simple glitter star banner bhg


Play off the traditional colors of the day by inserting red blooms into a collection of blue glass cups and bottles. 

blue vases red flowers


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Oh there’s nothing quite like dining alfresco is there?  Those longer summer nights beckon us outdoors where the air is pleasant and the barbeque is ready for dinner!  Eating outdoors is a break from the ordinary, and a chance to watch the garden grow while you linger with friends and family over delicious seasonal preparations.

alfresco dining

Alfresco dining gives you the opportunity to set a table outdoors among the botanicals and nearby vegetable garden. Make it formal with glassware and dishes brought out from your china hutch, or keep it casual with melamine dishes and a few linen napkins.

elegant outdoor table bhg


alfresco dining table bhg


I went virtual shopping over at BH&G shop for melamine plates and pretty napkins and gathered some new ideas for setting an outdoor table this summer, here are a few favorite pairings sure to brighten your summer table too!

alfresco dining picks


From top left: Red Vine, Kohls; Red & Orange Chevron Napkin, Target; Foulard Napkin, Anthropologie; La Med Plate, Williams Sonoma; Venice Napkin, World Market; Kiwi Plates, Bed, Bath & Beyond; Watercolor Floral Napkin, Target; Bright Shapes Plate, West Elm; Pine Cone Hill Napkins, Wayfair; Zig Zag set, Hayneedle; Floral Napkin, World Market; Magenta Melamine, Casa.



I have outdoor spaces on my mind this week since a new rug arrived for the courtyard and some  bower vine plants are awaiting transplant so they may grow up and over trellises against a wall. Now is also the time retailers begin revealing their new outdoor collections and how refreshing to see fresh patterns and bright colors once again available for our outdoor rooms.

The benefit of warmer weather means we can extend our living areas beyond our interior walls into the great outdoors, to our patios, porches, courtyards, and lawns. Adding comfort and style to those outdoor rooms means applying many of the same principles as you would to interior spaces.  

Gather Round.  An area rug is a great way to anchor a sitting room – look for indoor/outdoor versions that will maintain their beauty while exposed to elements of sun, moisture, and occasional debris. 

adirondacks on porch bhg


outdoor patio earthy palette bhg


Comfort + Color.  We crave both comfort and doses of color in our interiors – repeat those same elements in your outdoor spaces too. Nature isn’t shy about putting on a colorful show so follow its cue and combine your favorite hues to create an inviting outdoor living room.

simple chairs and table bhg


comfortable and colorful outdoor sofa bhg


Time to Entertain.  Sunshine and weekends put everyone in a celebratory mood, combine good eats, tasty beverages, and invite a small crowd over for a relaxing party steps from your back door.

cozy outdoor seating bhg

living room under arbor bhg


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We head to the stadium to support our local favorite football team every autumn, and it’s an event that takes up an entire day when we participate in the classic tailgate.  The experience is always worth the effort during the season when surrounded by your fellow fans wearing the team logos, eating, drinking, and celebrating before the hopeful win.

Through the years, we’ve encountered friends who treat tailgating as a very serious ritual and they prepare favorite dips, recipes, and great barbeque in advance before the big game.  We really love this season when it’s time again to get together to share in some great food, listen to pregame highlights, and engage in team rivalry.


tailgaiting bhg


Everyone’s tailgate rituals and supply lists vary, but here are some recommended essentials to get you set up for a good old fashioned parking lot party.  

tailgate season supplies


From top left:  10′ Canopy, True Value Hardware, $160; Folding chair,, $26;  Melamine nesting bowls with lids, Target, $20; Portable BBQ, Sears, $152; Boombox for iPod with AM/FM radio, Sears, $55; Football, NFL Shop, $20; Dip on ice serving bowl, Walmart, $20; Propane heater, Amazon, $45; 60 bottle cooler, National Tailgate, $170; Portable folding table, Home Depot, $75; Picnic blanket, Picnic World, $30


Don’t forget the team colors, tasty appetizers, cold beverages, and great company to go with the supplies!  Do you have any favorite tailgating traditions?  What team(s) are you hoping will win a championship this year?




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