Category: Right in your own back yard

Getting Ready For Spring

Getting ready for spring

Can you believe it’s March already?  Spring is almost there!

Have some Springtime signs started showing in your area yet?  Over on this end of the country, sadly, we haven’t had as much rain as any of us would have liked.  Yet, the trees that have lost their leaves a bit ago are starting to show springtime signs of regrowth now.

Are you getting ready for Spring?

Spring is such a wonderful time of year.  The perfect time to feel the warm sun kissing your cheeks (don’t forget to wear sunscreen).  So, get out of the house and enjoy the loveliness that springtime gives us.

Here are just a few things you can do:

  1. I know it’s cliche but really go on a picnic with someone you love to a park, lake, or beach.  This one is on every outdoor list yet most people I know haven’t been on a picnic in years.
  2. Visit the Carlsbad, CA flower fields.  If you are within driving distance this is a must see.  The flowers go on forever and there is a great outlet mall that is right next door.
  3. Plant a garden.  Even if it’s a herb garden.
  4. Enjoy outdoor seating at a restaurant.  Why be stuffy inside when you can enjoy outside?
  5. Fly a kite.  Have you ever made one using newspaper?
  6. Buy fruits and vegetables at farmers markets.  The fruits and vegetable are always fresher and taste better when it’s farm to market!
  7. Buy new sandals.  Just because!
  8. Bring fresh flowers into your home.  It’s nice to bring the beautifulness inside.
  9. Look for four-leaf clovers.  Have you ever found one?
  10. Go hiking.  Even it’s a short one, it’s wonderful to be one with nature.
  11. Have an adult scavenger hunt.  This is such a fun activity with a group of friends.
  12. Play a round of miniature golf.  When is the last time you did this?
  13. Make this for dinner. It’s a delicious and easy springtime/summer meal.
  14. Meet a friend at the park for lunch instead of a restaurant.  I’ve done this and it is so nice spending time talking and catching up in the fresh air.


What will you be doing to get ready for spring?


Until Next Time…



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Easy Summer Outdoor Entertaining

So you’ve decided you want to do some outdoor entertaining!

The first rule to successful entertaining whether it’s outdoors or indoors is to let go of the idea everything must be perfect!  If you follow this one tip it will help you relax and enjoy your guests so much more!

Here are my eight tips for success:

ONE: A few fresh flowers and candles set all around the entertaining area will set that relaxed ambiance.  If you are able add a few twinkling white fairy lights through the trees or on a patio cover, that always makes the area looks great.

Easy Summer Outdoor Entertaining

TWO: Have a drink station outside with a few different appetizers so the guests can grab their own drinks and appetizers while you are greeting the arriving guests.  It’s also nice to have bottled waters and sodas for your friends who don’t drink or the DD.

THREE: Choose a menu that can be made ahead like this one and this one.  And what ever you do don’t make a recipe for the first time when guests are coming over, that usually does not end very well!

Easy Summer Outdoor Entertaining

FOUR: Buy your dessert, unless you are a pastry chef.  This one detail takes a little stress off you or if you have a fire pit s’mores always make a great dessert with little fuss.

FIVE: Provide a coffee and/or hot chocolate nightcap.  Brew some coffee and/or hot chocolate and provide liqueurs (Amaretto, Frangelico, and Baileys), flavored creams and toppers for the hot chocolate.

SIX: Make sure you have soft music playing in the background or if you have a record player encourage your friends to bring some of their albums to play.  It’s fun to see the different genre of music everyone listens to.

SEVEN: Have a few games like corn hole or ringtoss.

EIGHT: Keep it simple and enjoy the company you have invited over instead of running around to make everything perfect!

The best memories are the ones remembered with laughter!

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My Backyard, an extension of inside

In the past week I have been to 2 home and garden tours.  1 garden only tour (post coming soon) and 1 interior home and garden tour {they didn’t allow pictures inside, darn}.  I love all home and garden tours, there are so many great ideas you can pick up along the way, much to Handsome’s dismay.  I always come back home so excited about what I saw and want to start a millions projects {having not gone on the home tours along with me, Handsome does not always share in my enthusiasm}.

Going on the garden tour made me think about my own backyard and the projects I have in mind.  I have these visions in my head of everything from casual to themed backyard parties.  I love being outside, and I can’t think of anything better than having the family and friends I love with me in my backyard.

 I don’t have a vast yard, I like to think of my backyard as intimate; so I know I must have a well thought out plan, designated sections are essential.

So today, please enjoy some of my inspirations.

The following are the needed zones I would like to incorporate in my backyard plan to make my intimate yard be the outside extension of my home.

Section 1. ~Dining~

My Back Yard, an extension of inside
Photo from

Being that I am of 100% Italian heritage, eating is something we do well, and often.  It is the center of all gatherings.  I want this area to be most importantly comfortable, whatever furniture I choose I know there will be bottoms siting in the seats for extended periods of time.

Section 2. ~Growing Edibles~

My backyard
Picture from

Nothing is better than cooking with just picked herbs and vegetables.  With this wall garden, even if space is limited it’s possible to grow your favorites so they are always on hand.

Section 3. ~Relaxing~

My Backyard, an extension of inside
Photo from

This is the space I want see family and friend gather at sunset for wine and cheese.  Talking about old times and making new memories.  Or sitting with my daughters for a little girl talk.  A midnight rendezvous with Handsome would be my favorite thing to do in the sitting area!

Section 4. ~Flower Garden~

My Backyard, an extension of inside
Photo from

A definate must for me is a garden that I can cut flowers from.

Section 5. ~Playtime~

Photo from

Nothing would be as wonderful as keeping the old family traditions alive.  Starting with the game of Bocce Ball.  I remember as a child, my Grandfather playing Bocce with his friends.  I never understood what they were saying as they were speaking italian but, I was always enamored with how they would break in to laugher every few words.  I would love to incorporate a bocce ball court or one of those huge chess/checkers games.

These ideas are only the start…

I can’t wait to share with you all the upcoming projects I have planned, so I can get my parties started {I can hear Handsome cheering in the background}!

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