Delicata Squash & Coconut Rice Buddha Bowl
Basically, my dream post-gym dinner.
It seems like a lot of what I hear about summer is based on getting away. Heading out of town, by car, rail or plane and seeing the sights. I do love doing that – but I’ll be honest, we can’t get away every weekend! I want my summer weekends at home to be just as fun as my weekends on the road.
Dave and I love having people over – usually revolving around a shared meal, one of our favorite things. But during the summer, it’s time to get outside, too. And it doesn’t need to be a full-on barbecue with massive amounts of planning and volume to be fun.
Recently while our husbands were working on a project, my friend Bee and I were hanging out in the backyard, sipping cold Izze Sparkling Waters, painting our nails and generally planning world domination. My favorite is the Raspberry Watermelon – and I love that they’re USDA Organic, of course. It’s a great drink to keep in the fridge for hot summer afternoons, but one you can also turn into a fizzy cocktail with a few easy ingredients. We sipped some with gin and frozen blueberries (they pull double duty for being delicious and keeping the drink a little colder in the summer heat!)
The two of our families hang out quite a bit together – sometimes out of town and sometimes in town, and sometimes on short notice. Our activities together inspired me to make a list – here are a couple of my ideas for getting together with friends and keeping things chill, spontaneous and fun:
1. Share a project. Be it sewing matching aprons, canning local fruit, crafting recycled jewelry or even painting a room in the house in the name of a mini-makeover, I love getting together with friends over a good project. While sipping a delightful sparkling beverage, of course. And at the end of the day, you have something fun to show for your efforts!
2. Potluck brunch! Brunch is one of the easiest kinds of meals to assemble from different households. Partly because it’s so common to have sweets and savory items in the same meal. And, of course, beverages. Build fruity brunch cocktails using flavored sparkling water and your favorite seasonal fruits for a choose-your-own garnish bar.
3. Games in the yard. If you’re ever looking for a wedding gift for someone, yard games like bocce and lawn darts are one of my go-to’s. They’re endless fun, low maintenance and great for grownups, kids or a mix of the two. I like to use them for impromptu summer afternoons (because goodness knows I like a little friendly competition!)
4. Mani-Pedis Al Fresco. Why again is fingernail painting confined to the bathroom? I don’t know about you, but I much prefer the outdoors to the tile floor.
5. Pack out a picnic to your neighborhood park. Get a little exercise in by biking or walking your way to a delectable picnic. My favorite is to gather the ingredients for an epic cheese and charcuterie board, and then let everyone snack and eat with their hands. Bring along cold beverages to keep cool and wash down your salty and sweet creation.
Disclaimer, people! This post is sponsored by IZZE Sparkling Juice.