10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- Let's party and make it easy on ourselves this summer!-stonegableblog.com

Make sure you see the bottom of the post for a TIKI Brand GIVEAWAY!

Summer is the best time to throw a fun and laid back party! We can gather our family and friends together in our outdoor living spaces for a relaxed BBQ or an evening of yard games or even a dip in the pool! Entertaining in the summer should be all about enjoying ourselves and not at all about a lot of work!!! Here are 10 tips for throwing a summer party… the easy way!!!

10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- Let's party and make it easy on ourselves-stonegableblog.com


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- Get organized-stonegableblog.com

The best way to get organized is to write every thing down. If you take time to plan your fun event you will enjoy it more and be much more organized!!!! This is a step many of us forget to do. But I say that it is the number one best way to assure (at least on your part) a successful and less stressful party.

That way you will remember things like… make extra ice or put the potatoes in the oven or tell Bobby to fill fill the Tiki Brand Torches torches with fuel!

For my recent ALL GIRLS BBQ I planned a little in advance and that keep me confident, calm, collected and able to enjoy my girlfriends!


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- Goat Cheese And Caramelized Onion Tartlets-stonegableblog.com

I’ve learned this important tip by the school of hard knocks!!!! I used to work so hard preparing to entertain that by the time my guest arrived I was so tired and worn out that I wanted to say, “Thanks for coming! I’m going to bed now. Enjoy your evening and please lock up when you leave!” 

Now, I make most things ahead… and only do things that take little effort but are still fabulous! Like the scrumptious Goat Cheese And Caramelized Onion Tartlets above. Find the recipe on my sidebar!


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- invite fun friends-stonegableblog.com

The best way to have fun is to surround yourself with interesting and fun people. The mix is very very important. And so is the number. I tend to like a smaller group for a gathering. It’s much more cozy and everyone feels like they are “in the party loop”! I have a hard time hostessing and making the rounds in large groups.

For my ALL GIRLS BBQ I invited 5 friends. One was my mom (she’s amazing) and two were very dear friends I know well. And then I invited two girls I really want to know better. If you meet someone you think is interesting, invite them to an event and get to know them. We should all be pursuing new friendships!  

The picture above are my two dear friends Cathy and Fran. It was getting chilly and dark by the time this picture was taken after dinner!


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- Set a simple table-stonegableblog.com

I love love love to set a table. But it really takes tons of energy and lots of time. More often than not, I set an easy to pull together table these days! (I still can’t resist to set a spectacular table now and then though.) 

My mom came over about an hour before the rest of the girls arrived and we set a very simple, but pretty table taking advantage of the late blooming lilacs in my front yard! It took less than 15 minutes! And don’t tell anyone… I didn’t even iron the tablecloth!!!!


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- Plan an easy menu-stonegableblog.com


Have you noticed that people don’t eat like they used to? I used to make five course meals when I entertain. Gone are those days, except on very special occasions and holidays. Now I plan a well balanced, full-of-flavor, easy to execute menu! And make as much as you can ahead of time. That is really the key!!!!

The ALL GIRLS BBQ my menu was quite simple:

  • Appetizers: Store bought assorted olives and Marcona almonds, Boursin Cheese and Crackers and a make-ahead Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Tartlet. To check out the Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Tartlet, see my sidebar for the recipe!
  • Marinated Flank Steak On Skewers (look for this recipe in June)
  • Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Arugula, Saved Parmesan and Pine Nut Salad (click HERE for this scrumptious, star of the BBQ recipe!)
  • store bought Fruit Tart
  • sparkling water, iced tea, coffee

I like to use lots of store-bought, great quality food and mix them up with my favorite make-ahead recipes. I call that a perfect menu!


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- Set the mood with Tiki Brand Torches-stonegableblog.com

Mood is a very important part of creating an “experience”! Make sure to have great music, lots of candle and torches, and a little touch of flowers! 

A big thank you to TIKI Brand TORCHES for supplying me with  Metal Island King Large Flame Torches, Glowing Table Torches and a Glowing Geo Pattern Torch and the Citronella Torch Fuel. These great products set a welcoming and warm mood for the bbq!

I lit the torches just before the girls came and as the sun went down the warm glow of the flames looked so beautiful!!!! It’s fun and thoughtful to light torches as a way of saying, “I’m expecting YOU”!

Since I started using TIKI Brand TORCHES they have become an important part of our outdoor living spaces… and parties! Here’s a picture from a family party last year.

pots and torches-stonegableblog.com


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- let everyone tell their story-stonegableblog.com

One of my friends is the best hostess I know. At her gathering or party she asks everyone to go around and tell their story in under 5 minutes. In doing this everyone shares and feels included and the rest of us get to know that person better. It usually takes the whole evening! Lots of connections are made and side stories by others slipped in and it really turns out to be the most interesting conversation!

I have adopted this practice and my guest love it! You should give this a try!

Cathy shares her “story” around the fire pit, above. The TIKI Brand Glowing Table Torches are a great way to have some mood lighting when the fire pit is not in use!


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- summer picnic-stonegableblog.com

Period!!!!! Most of us want to give our hostess a hand. If a guest asks to help put them to work!!! Remember… “many hand make light work”.


10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- clean up-stonegableblog.com

This is the exception to the “let others help” rule! Guest should NOT help do the dishes!!! If the one asking to clean up is your husband or mother or sister or very best friend them let them help you after the guest have left! Clean up kills the party mood! 

I let my girlfriend’s help me gather the dishes and things from outside before we retired to the living room for dessert and coffee and lots of chatter BUT… I would not let them help me clean up the dishes!

Sometimes (like the ALL GIRLS BBQ) I am just too tired to clean it all up. If that happens to you too… put the food away and leave the dirty dishes soaking in the sink. You can tackle them the next day! Or in my case Bobby can! Thanks, Bobby!!!!!


back patio-stonegableblog.com

Our lives are so so busy. It takes being intentional to spend time with friends. JUST DO IT!!! You will not remember how you spent the weekend cleaning and catching up on chores. Yes, we need to take care of our homes… but not all the time! Make sure you also take time to spend with family and friends. You will remember that!!!

I’m so glad I made time last year for a relaxed picnic with my hubby, kids and my parents (above)!Those are the special times I’ll remember!

A big, big thank you to Tiki Brand for sponsoring this post and supplying me with their amazing torches and adding to the wonderful ambiance for our outdoor spaces! All the opinions are 100% mine!

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! One lucky StoneGable reader will win

One Glowing Tabletop Torch


One Bottle of Citronella Torch Fuel

 One Snap And Pour Spout


  • All from TIKI brand Torches!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The winner will be announced on Thursday June 18th via my Facebook page.

    If you like this post remember to pin it to your Pinterest PARTY or SUMMER Pinterest board. You can follow me on Pinterest HERE and see what I’m pinning every day!

    10 TIPS FOR THROWING A SUMMER PARTY THE EASY WAY- Let's party and make it easy on ourselves this summer!!-stonegableblog.com



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  1. Hi Yvonne.. What a wonderful Idea. Thank you for the tips. I am in the process of planning a little Wine/Cheese Gathering in August and these ideas will help Greatly… I will definitely Pin!!!! One quick question about the date to announce winner, Do you mean July 9th since yesterday was June 9th ?? Thanks again. Love, Love, Love Your Blog !!!!

  2. Your ideas are wonderful. Summer is the perfect time to entertain friends and family. Your party space is magnificent Have a wonderful summer. I love your blog!

  3. Love you tips! Will be planing several summer get to get hers, usually exhausted by the time guests arrive. Now just retired so will have more prep time, thanks for the help!

  4. It certainly looks like your having a good time. We are having the neighbors over for drinks and snacks — wish we had that candle 🙂 We’ve learned throughout the years to make as much as you can ahead of time so that you can enjoy the company. Great tips, Yvonne!!

  5. Thank you for the tips. We should all make more time to be with friends. I am in love with your patio!

  6. What a lovely gathering you held! I follow a lot of your tips already when hosting a get together, but I particularly like the idea about everyone sharing “their story” in five minutes or less. Another one I have used is to have everyone tell three things about themselves with only two being the truth. Those are always great conversation starters too! Hugs! Chloe

  7. Thanks for the great tips. Your Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Tartlet looks amazing but the link to view the recipe does not work. Help! I’m having a party next week and would love to make them.

        1. I made a double batch of these for my party this past weekend and everyone raved how good they were!! They were all gone and people were asking for the recipe!! It definitely takes some work but well worth it. I would make these the night before next time. Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. Great idea about a 5-minute story from each one in the group. May the hostess have more time?? I love to make people laugh, but should learn to tell shorter stories! Always look forward to your email. Thank you!

  9. Love, love your blog and enjoy the blog parties!!! I love the idea of sharing your story…….especially when you have guests you don’t know that well. And I agree making new friends is fun!

  10. Wonderful tips, Yvonne. I’m hosting a brunch next Wednesday for a small group of retired teachers I taught with during the eighties. I do write lists and lists of menu ideas, table set up plans, favor ideas before I send invites. I have selected two make ahead casseroles(strata and baked French toast), baked ham, berries and vanilla Greek yogurt parfaits and mimosas. My friends have volunteered muffins and pastries.
    Your patio is fabulous. I love it all. Again, thank you for your incredible shared tips. I can’t wait for your book.

  11. Thank you for sharing. I especially love the idea of a 5 minute story. I agree 100% to leave the clean up until after the guests leave. Time spent with friends and loved ones are far more important the clean up. Thank you again for the post.

  12. Your yard and table are so beautiful and inviting! Do you leave your torches out in the weather or only bring them out for the gatherings?

  13. These are such great tips! Those goat cheese tarts look AMAZING. I especially love the idea of having people share their stories from the get-go. What a beautiful way to open up conversation and encourage people to be real!


  15. I would love a table top torch. They are so pretty, the pole ones are too. I do have a warning for the pole tiki’s, a friend of ours was hosting a party and someone got too close to one of the torches and their hair caught on fire. Very scary!!

    I love your recipes and entertaining tips, you make everything looks so yummy!!

    Great giveaway, thanks!

  16. Delightful post! Now I need to have a party! You’ve given me so many good ideas! Thanks so much!

  17. Love the ideas and how simple summer entertaining can be! Your patio is gorgeous and a party waiting to happen….. Thank you for the opportunity.

  18. Thank you for the tips , the food and table looked awesome. Looks like the dinner was a success .. We used to do something simular to what you do at gatherings. We would have a Christmas party and after we were done eating we all take turns and say what we were most thankful for that day or year. . It was a lot of fun.
    Be blessed

  19. Thanks for sharing these great tips! I feel less stressed about entertaining just reading this post. I think my biggest downfall is not keeping the menu simple, even if it’s just snacks. I’ll be taking the points on board for sure. Jen x

  20. Thanks Yvonne for the wonderful insight to outdoor entertaining. It’s always nice to hear how other people entertain so successfully. Great tips that I will use this summer <3 Thanks again!