This summer entertaining post has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser, MARS Wrigley Confectionery. All opinions are mine alone. #NeverStopSummering #NSS2021 #MMS #Skittles
Summer is here… well unofficially (and in my heart) at least! And to celebrate we’re sharing our annual fun, easy-to-execute and just as easy on the eyes summer backyard entertaining setup in hopes that we can inspire all your summer 2021 outdoor hangouts, with a little help from our favorite festive summer treats, Peanut M&M’S® Red White & Blue Mix and SKITTLES® America Mix! You guys know that we love outdoor entertaining in pretty much any season (one of our favorite things about living in Phoenix), and finding new ways to lean into each season, while creating effortlessly delicious spreads that are perfect for backyard date nights or small get-togethers with family and friends (and inspiring you guys to do the same), is one of our favorite things we do here on this little blog. But I have to say that there’s just nothing like summer season entertaining. Summer decor, summer food, and summer backyard fun and games are just so special and made for unfussy prep and enjoying barefoot, which is totally our speed!
So today we’re sharing an easy, breezy, fun and 100% delish backyard summer BBQ that requires very little effort to pull off, and can be amended about a hundred different ways to suit your style. In addition to some fun snaps to inspire your summer backyard hangout and tabletop dreams, I’m breaking down all of the elements that I think about and plan for when I approach easy backyard entertaining, including how we keep it fun and festive without all the fuss that can keep people from feeling like they have the energy or the know-how to entertain. Summer is meant for magic and making memories, and when it comes to backyard BBQs I have a lot of crowd-pleasing weapons in my entertaining arsenal like Peanut M&M’S® Red White & Blue Mix and SKITTLES® America Mix that are totally festive and tasty without requiring me to spend hours prepping my spread! Special treats like that always end up being the centerpiece of my no-fuss prep and crowd-pleasing backyard BBQ spread, which means it’s all light on the work, big on the fun.
One of the ways you can jump in on the fun, too this summer? Visit NeverStopSummering.com for rules and free method of entry. Ends August 31st. No purchase required to win. Buy packs of M&M’S® candies and other participating brands to compliment your backyard BBQs, pool parties, movie nights and more. Then just enter the code on the package to collect summer badges. Like we needed another excuse to buy summer-perfect Peanut M&M’S® Red White & Blue Mix and SKITTLES® America Mix while we can get them, but hey, we’ll take it!
Below I’m walking you through how I’m not only approaching this summer’s go-to backyard BBQ setup, but how I approach backyard/outdoor entertaining in general to make it fun, easy and tasty for all involved, no fuss required. Especially as we get closer to baby boy’s arrival, I want to make sure I can still backyard BBQ to my heart’s content with the ones I love, while also making any entertaining we do as effortless as possible because I have about zero extra energy left in me right now. This way I still get to summer, but I can do it with my feet up surrounded by my friends and fam in my favorite place.
Easy, Festive Summer Food
Summer treats are just the best, aren’t they? In my opinion there’s not a more fun or easier season to entertain in because the summer snacks and treats so easily lend themselves to effortless prep, a pretty and festive tabletop spread, and are just as easy to clean up as they are to set up! Not to mention that done right, they’re generally pretty affordable, too. It took me almost no time to prep and plate some fresh watermelon, cherries, mixed summer berries, a couple varieties of chips, lemonade and of course, the cutest summer treat of them all, Peanut M&M’S® Red White & Blue Mix and SKITTLES® America Mix, and I can rest easy as a hostess knowing that every item is totally crowd-pleasing, pretty and festive as can be, with no cooking required on my part. How easy is that?!
Easy-to-Clean, Durable, Pretty Summer Tabletop Decor
Every year I add a few new pieces to my tabletop decor and summer serving arsenal, and for the summer season in particular it always involves things that are durable, effortless to clean like melamine and enamel plates, platters and bowls, easy-to-wash, reusable cotton napkins and easily wipeable placemats for those (wonderfully) messy BBQ items. I also love adding vessels that vary in size so I can serve yummy snacks and treats of all shapes and sizes that take little to no effort to prepare. I also love the idea of having really functional, beautiful vessels around that make everything inside them look both festive and pretty, but that also give guests easy access to graze. If I use pretty, easy-to-clean vessels on my summer tabletop not only am I cutting down on labor intensive prep and clean up time, but I’m making it easy for guests to keep themselves satiated while C whips something up on the grill.
Entertaining-Friendly Grill, Game & Furniture Placement
I love having a grill that we can move right next to our outdoor dining table because I can set all of my pre-dinner snacks and treats on the table with a festive and pretty little summer setup, allowing guests to gather around the table until C’s done grilling. That way we can all chat and hangout with C while he’s working the grill and no one misses out on any quality time with each other. Then the rest of our backyard fun is always set up in close proximity, too, like any backyard games and our fire pit that always seems to be at the epicenter of our post-BBQ hangouts, so guests are always entertained, but also always within earshot so we never miss out on some great convo and laughs! I think the idea of keeping all of the action as close together with possible is one of the entertaining tips that my mom, the ultimate hostess, instilled on me. She always wanted to be sure that when she and my dad were hosting and cooking, they were never too far away from the guests or the fun so they didn’t miss out making memories – the whole point of getting friends and family together in the first place! Once the main dishes are ready, I just move the pre-dinner treats and vessels, and the table easily transitions to dinner… and then you better believe those the Peanut M&M’S® Red White & Blue Mix and SKITTLES® America Mix make another appearance for dessert. The easiest hosting flow!
Summer Outdoor Games Everyone Will Love
What would a summer backyard hangout be without a yard game or two? We love cornhole because it’s easy to store, setup and all ages can play and have fun tossing the bags, but there are so many other possibilities, too! Bocce, horseshoes, ring toss, darts, ladder toss, spike ball, badminton, croquet and so much more. Especially when you’re hosting a BBQ and backyard grilling, having games out that entertain guests and allow they to mingle and enjoy the outdoor living, but allow your grill master to still be a part of the action and interact is so much fun!
Happy summering, friends! If you’re in need of more backyard entertaining inspiration, just hop on over to the posts below and see our previous spring/summer outdoor and backyard BBQ setups. There’s so much more where this came from, with tons of fun entertaining and recipe ideas to love!
What are some of your favorite summer entertaining ideas? Let me know in a comment below!