Preparing for an Outdoor Get-Together

Just because summer is officially over and your friends may stop hosting backyard barbecues and pool parties does not mean that you cannot take advantage of Arizona’s gorgeous fall weather with an outdoor get-together. Get ready for your company to come over with five easy outdoor updates. All you need are these five easy steps to transform your yard into the perfect outdoor getaway.

Prep the Yard

Before you begin, make sure you wipe down your patio furniture, clean up any the leaves from your fruit trees, mow the lawn, sweep the patio, and trim any outgrown bushes. 

Disinvite Bugs

Bugs can be a real party crasher on outdoor gatherings. Eliminate bugs in a safe way by purchasing citronella candles. You can even make your own by using citronella oil in your custom candles. 

Light up the Night

Get-togethers can run late into the middle of the night; therefore, you should be prepared by hanging some stringed lighting. String lighting looks beautiful and is an inexpensive way to light up your backyard. 

Deep Clean Your Grill

Between each cookout and party, your grill can take a beating from food and grime. Make sure to deep clean your grill with these steps:

  1. Turn on your grill to begin warming it up. 
  2. After the grill is warmed, take a heavy-duty grill scraper and begin removing all grime on the cooktop.
  3. Take a wire grill brush and scrub the heated grates.
  4. Let the grates cool down then put them in a bucket with warm, soapy water. Have them sit for 2-3 hours then using a scouring sponge wipe away any remaining grime. 
  5. Using a degreaser, wipe down the outside of the grill with a damp sponge. Afterward, you will want to dry it off with a microfiber cloth. 
  6. Using a microfiber cloth and stainless-steel cleaner, shine off the exterior of the grill. 

Provide Warmth

Arizona nights can get pretty cool, so if you plan on hosting well into the evening, you will want to provide some heaters or blankets. By adding warmers, you will be able to continue the party even when the sun drops.

We hope you enjoyed these simple tips for preparing your yard for a get-together. Let us know how you host guests outdoors in the comment section.

Tips and Tricks for Being the Hostess with the “Mostess”

Hosting guest is always a fun way to unwind from the busy week. There is something satisfying about giving your friends and family an extra special visit at the place you call home, and as any party planner knows, you need to be prepared to be a successful host. If this is your first-time having guests over, it is important to know your limits. Do not invite more than you or your house can handle at first. Your goal is to make your guest feel at home and never have to ask for anything. With great hosting skills and etiquette, your company will feel welcomed and invited into your atmosphere; however, you still should have plans for entertainment. Here are the top ways to entertain your guests and become the hostess with the “mostess”:

Food and Drink

Everybody loves food; therefore, having a dinner party can be a great idea for first-time hostesses. You have time to socialize before and after eating. You can also prepare drinks to keep the entertainment going throughout the night. Just make sure that all your guests are accounted for and served throughout the evening. You may also want to have different options available. Food allergies and intolerances are becoming more common, so check with your guests beforehand to make sure your food options will suffice.

Movie

Movies are great as well for entertaining guests. They can help keep everyone entertained for a couple of hours. Try to find a genre of movie everyone agrees will work. This comes down to knowing your guest beforehand. You may not want to do a movie if you have a very diverse crowd with different movie preferences. That being said, comedies are always crowd-pleasers. It can be beneficial to watch the movie beforehand to make sure it will be a hit.

Board Games

Board games are very interactive; they allow people to socialize while adding some fun competition. Have several board games available so you can find one that everyone will enjoy. Team board games are great ways to let individuals not feel out of the loop. Try to introduce everyone at the beginning of the night to make sure no one feels excluded or awkward.

Remember not to force anything. If you notice a guest feels hesitant or uncomfortable participating in activities you have planned, you should be adaptable. It is good to have several suggestions and work with the group. You are the host so your suggestions will be very important. You may even want to inform your guest of activities prior to the invite — this way your company knows what to expect.

If your company consists of different age groups, consider tailoring different activities for them. You may want to check-in on all groups throughout the night, and consider making kids games or other areas of entertainment for all ages.

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