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Decorate

Transform your backyard into an inviting barbecue oasis for your friends and family. Whether youíre hosting a barbecue to mark a special occasion (i.e. birthday, family reunion, 4th of July celebration, etc.) or just because you want to take advantage of a beautiful spring or summer day, itís important to decorate for the big feast.

1. Keep your yard well-maintained. In order to create a welcoming environment for you and your guests, itís important to spruce up your lawn and garden at least several weeks in advance of your barbecue. Visit your local nursery or home improvement store for garden supplies and beautiful seasonal flowers that will thrive in your climate.

For great home improvement tips, how-to guides, and other home improvement solutions, visit:

www.YourHandymanZone.com  

2. Use color. Add some pizzazz to your backyard barbecue! Creative use of colors generates a festive and fun atmosphere for you and your guests. For example, if you have a barbecue on the Fourth of July, use a red, white & blue theme. Color coordinate your table cloth(s), napkins, dinnerware, etc. Donít forget the balloons! Helium balloons instantly add a pop of color and create an exciting, party environment for you and your guests at your barbecue.

3. Use ceramic dinnerware and real utensils. Be Earth friendly! Paper or plastic plates and cups, and plastic forks, spoons, and knives may be convenient, but if youíre environmentally conscious and pro-recycling, use ceramic plates and glasses, or stoneware, and stainless steel forks, spoons, and knives. Plus, as an added bonus, using ďrealĒ dinnerware gives your barbecue a more elegant and sophisticated look and feel. Furthermore, itís more economical to utilize reusable dinnerware than having to purchase and throw out paper or plastic plates and cups, plastic utensils, etc. 

Also, to better present the wide array of beautiful colors and textures of your prepared food and beverages, use serving bowls, pitchers, etc., made out of clear glass!

Helpful Tip: White dinner plates are great if you want to make the colors of your food pop and really stand out. However, if you donít want to overeat at your barbecue, especially if you and your guests plan on swimming later or engaging in any other outdoor physical activities, try blue colored plates. Interestingly, the color blue acts as an appetite suppressant! Thus, blue plates unconsciously make people eat less.

4. Set an arrangement of flowers at the center of each table. A charming vase suited for an outdoor, picnic-style barbecue could be an empty glass marmalade jar or a glass soda bottle. A bouquet of wildflowers is a nice touch. However, almost any type of flowers will do - use your favorite or whatever is in season. Try to match the color of your flowers to your theme (i.e. red, white and blue carnations would work perfectly with a Fourth of July holiday themed barbecue).

Helpful Tip: If you donít have readily available store-bought, commercial flower food, you can easily make your own using simple household items! Hereís what to do to keep your beautiful bouquet of flowers fresher, longer:

1)     Add either one crushed aspirin, one (1) teaspoon of vinegar, one (1) teaspoon of lemon juice, or a few drops of bleach to one (1) quart of lukewarm water (1 quart = 4 cups). (Note: When it comes down to lukewarm versus cold water, cut flowers take up lukewarm water much quicker and more efficiently than cold). Adding an acid or bleach to the water will help minimize bacterial growth. Murky water due to bacteria plugs up the bottom of stems, preventing the flowers from drinking. Thus, acidifying the water or adding bleach will help to keep it clearer for a longer period of time than without.

2)     Add one (1) tablespoon of granulated table sugar to provide food for the flowers. Another great option: kill two birds with one stone by adding a few splashes of lemon-lime flavored soda to your water (i.e. 7 Up, Sprite, etc.), which has enough acidity and sugar to help keep your blooms looking beautiful.

3)     Mix well.

4)     Add the mixture to a vase. (Note: Do not fill your vase to the brim with the water mixture, as this will promote the stems and leaves to rot. Flowers drink at the base of their stems; thus, fill the vase with the water mixture accordingly).

5)    Water moves up stems via capillary action. Therefore, to allow proper water flow, trim the base of each stem diagonally, cutting off approximately half an inch (Ĺ"). (Note: An angled cut provides a larger surface area, and thus allows more water to be taken up).  

6)      Arrange the fresh-cut flowers in the vase.

7)     Change out the water mixture every couple of days, trimming the base of the stems as well. The flowers should last for approximately 7-10 days.

Added bonus: Instead of just using plain water, the above tip works great for fresh-cut Christmas trees too!

5. Use outdoor lights. In the evening, outdoor lights create a wonderful ambiance. If you have trees in your yard, string some clear, white outdoor Christmas lights onto the low-lying branches. If you donít have trees, decorate your fence or shrubs with outdoor lights. 

If you are color coordinating your decorations, use colored lights (i.e. red, blue and white lights for a 4th of July barbecue). Also, available on the market, are fabulous, unique outdoor lights specifically designed to synchronize with your patio or garden. Such lights include grape vine lights, lantern lights, palm tree lights, chili pepper lights, and even solar lights, all of which create an enchanting, and magical evening.

Outdoor tiki torches arenít just for Hawaiian luaus anymore! Spice up your barbecue night with these charming and captivating lights. The glow of the lights produces a mysterious and tranquil ambiance for you and your guests. There is a variety of tiki torches available on the market (i.e. propane, solar powered, oil, citronella, and bamboo) to suit every of your outdoor needs.

Moreover, outdoor citronella candles not only provide a nice, subtle glow in the night sky, they also offer an added benefit in that they deter mosquitoes. (See the Protect Against Pests section).

6. Create a special touch. Setting miniature American flags on each table for a 4th of July barbecue, for example, gives a nice, patriotic feel to your event.

If youíre hosting a barbecue for a childís birthday, birthday party favors work well. No matter what the special occasion of celebration, creating a festive atmosphere for your guests at your barbecue is fun and easy. Visit your local party supply store for assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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HOMERECIPESABOUT BBQBBQ GRILLS & ACCESSORIESPICK A GREAT LOCATION

FOOD & GRILLING TIPS FREE ESTIMATESCONVERSION TABLES & MORE COOKING DICTIONARY

DECORATEMISCELLANEOUS OUTDOOR COOKING & MORE  HOW TO BE A GREAT HOST/HOSTESS

PROTECT AGAINST PESTSFUN ACTIVITIES, SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT INVITATIONSSHOP

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