Summer Entertaining Simplified: The Obstacles
Welcome back to our fourth installment of the Summer Entertaining Simplified series! So far we’ve gone over décor and entertainment, and it’s time to talk about the obstacles that come along with summertime parties. Namely, we’re talking about bugs and heat!
Nobody wants buzzy, uninvited guests showing up to their outdoor gathering, but they kind of come with the territory. And let’s face it — traditional bug sprays and candles don’t smell great, and those zappers sure don’t do much to improve your ambience. I have a solution that’s great for keeping the bugs away and it does double duty to beat the heat! I’m talking about all-natural, homemade insect repellant spray.
All you’ll need are a few drops of essential oil, water, and a spray bottle. I added a pretty label, too. Lemon and eucalyptus are both known to repel insects, so I used a blend of the two. Other options that smell fantastic are lavender, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, rosemary, clove, and cedar. Bonus: You’ll be able to use the oil in the beautiful, bug-repelling centerpiece I will show you how to make; that’s coming in the next post.
Simply add about 30 drops of the oil to a small spray bottle, fill with water and shake! How simple is that? My favorite thing about this project, other than how totally easy it is, is that it really solves a problem without compromising the aroma of the meal you’ve prepared.
To let guests know what was in the little mystery bottle I added a pretty custom label. The label is just a simple black chalkboard sticker from the craft store. I used my trusty gold paint pen to write “Lemon Bug Spray” on it and let it dry for about five minutes before affixing it to the bottle.
To get double the function out of the spray, I recommend keeping it in the refrigerator until your guests arrive, and then keeping it on ice and readily accessible throughout the party so that guests can spray down– and cool off– as needed.
Speaking of cooling off, nothing says relaxation to me like enjoying a crisp glass of white wine on a summer evening. But I live in Georgia. It’s pretty impossible to keep that glass of white wine crisp and refreshing if you want to sip it outside in the middle of August! It’s hardly a brand new idea, but frozen grapes are my answer to this problem. Place them in a pretty bowl and keep the entire bowl in the freezer for a few hours before guests arrive, then display near your wine glasses. They will keep the wine in your guests’ glasses cool without affecting the flavor of the wine at all!
Speaking of staying cool- remember to keep guests happy and hydrated with plenty of ice water. Offering other frozen fruits for water like lemon, lime, and orange slices, strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate seeds will allow guests to create their own fruity infusion.
We’re getting close to the stars of the show — the food and beverages! But first, come back for the next installment of this series where I share that centerpiece I mentioned earlier. Can you spot it in the image above? Can’t wait to show you!
- Panzanella Salad
- Peach & Arugula Salad with Crispy Bacon
- Grilled Chicken with Gremolata
For more tips from this series, visit Camp Makery.