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I’m taking part in a blog series to help you plan and throw the best BBQ this summer. Follow the below links for the all the tips, tricks, and recipes!

Step 1: Planning {Dawn of Joyful Scribblings}

Step 2: Decor / Tablescapes {Cathy of Creations by Cathy}

Step 3: Appetizers {Chelsea of Whatcha Makin’ Now?}

Step 4: Main Dishes and Sides {Nicole of Daily Dish Recipes}

Step 5: Desserts!!! {Katie of What Katie’s Baking}

Step 6: What to wear {Ginny of My New Favorite Outfit}

Now to my section….
BBQ blog2So it’s almost party time, and we are ready to set the table and set the mood.  I love, love, love a theme!  It just seems to make everything so much more fun and festive for you and your guests!  Whatever your theme, I’m a big believer in carrying it through from beginning to end.

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Let’s start with the front porch, or wherever your guests will first enter your gathering. This is not something that should break the bank!  In fact, most of your “shopping” can probably be done right there at home!  Let’s start with fresh flowers.  If you are a gardener, flowers from the backyard are perfect.  Otherwise, a big bunch from Costco should cover it.  Touches of fresh flowers here and there, including a little sprinkling in the guest bathroom… Always a nice touch.  For this little gathering, why not sub in a stack of bandanas next to the bathroom sink in place of your guest towels?

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When it comes to setting your table and arranging your food, start by “thinking out of the box”.  We always hear decorators telling us to bring a touch of the outdoors; in.  Same goes for bringing the inside…out! Here I mixed my everyday plates with fun “outdoor” utensils and bandanas for the napkins. Slip a slim glass vase inside a cowboy boot, and you’re ready to display your fresh flowers.  One thing that I like to do is take a few specific items and integrate them throughout for a sense of continuity.  Since this was a BBQ themed party I selected bandanas, cowboy boots and pigs! (Even down to the cute little silver piglet S&P shakers!)  I must admit that I’m a little partial to cute little “pig stuff”…Ha! Tying a bandana around your wine or water bottles keeps them from becoming slippery with condensation.  Plus it just looks so darn cute! 

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Don’t drop the ball when it comes to your appetizer and/or beverage set up!  Keep that theme going!  My theory is that you don’t have to make everything difficult, or “homemade’, when it comes to the food – as long as you make the décor something fun!  And “out of the box” certainly works here, too.  A cowboy hat to hold the chips, a margarita glass for the salsa and some cute (inexpensive) cocktail napkins for the “margarita bar”! Easy peasy!

BBQ blog7One final note, and then I think we’re ready to start the BBQ! Always pay attention to those small details throughout the planning process.   Little things like selecting your playlist ahead of time can really enhance the tone of the party. I am a detail person, so for me it’s really all about the little stuff.  (Yep. “Can’t see the forest for the trees“, kinda gal)  I may run out of time to take a shower, but you had better believe that I had time to put the mayo, BBQ sauce, mustard and relish in cute little decorative serving jars… Ha!   I know. It’s not right; is it? Oh well.  I’ll just meet them at the door with a margarita and a big smile.  Tonight I’m a cowgirl and I’m ready for a party!