Perfect prom pics on the patio

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Now is the time to break out the camera as our nation’s youth head out to one of their first formal events. Leverage the light around your patio to capture the perfect pictures of this milestone.

Host a beer tasting party on the patio

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It’s time to get outside and do something a little different. A beer tasting party can be a sophisticated or simple home-brewed kind of affair. Beer runs the gamut from simple, mass-produced ale to complex microbrews. A beer tasting party hosted on your own personal outdoor bar or patio is easy to set up and has high “edutainment” (entertaining education) value.

Easter excitement on the patio

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Egg hunts are the standard fun for this celebration, but there’s a lot more fun to be had outside to welcome the coming of Spring. A nice bit of sunshine and some creativity is all you need for a perfect party outside. With creative use of common accessories, foods, and some bright color choices you can transform your patio into a catered Easter affair. Here are a few things to consider.

Growing well: 6 steps on how to garden with kids

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It isn’t a tough sell. Playing in the dirt is awesome and kids’ natural curiosity will get them interested. Here are a few tips for uprooting the children out of the game room and replanting them in the garden.

Pizza Perfection: Add an outdoor pizza oven to your patio

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In modern culture, we have a plethora of food and cooking options. Instead of simply roasting a piece of meat over a crude fire, we can bake, sauté, deep fry or flambé. With each new method comes more dining options. Cooking standards that were acceptable before fall out of favor as we reach for new heights of dining perfection. Many stand-by foods are transformed into delicacies in high-end eateries dedicated to the art of fine preparation. More and more, we want to replicate these restaurant experiences at home for family and friends.

Roll in the fun: Serving carts for the patio

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Retro is hip. Each year brings a new twist on an old trend, and it makes us all wonder why it ever fell out of favor. This year’s outdoor living trend may be the return of the serving cart. You are familiar with the serving cart or “kitchen trolley:” a two-or-three-tiered shelf unit with two legs and two wheels (or sometimes four wheels), used for the ease of serving food and drinks. Think of old movies with a white-gloved waiter pushing a gilded trolley full of drinks along the art-deco tiles of a grand hotel’s pool, or remember the whiskey-laden carts seen in practically every Mad Men episode. And who can forget the snack trolley on the Hogwarts Express with its chocolate frogs and jelly slugs?

How to clean pollen off patio furniture

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Welcome Spring! The third week of March marks the equinox of the new season. Snow may still be on the ground but the trees are getting ready to spread a blanket of yellow pollen all over the land. Unfortunately, this includes your patio furniture.

Making and maintaining an outdoor kitchen is easier than you think

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Looking to bring your patio to the next level but you wonder what’s involved? Don’t worry. We got you covered. Outdoor cafe culture started in Europe and eventually took over even the smallest American towns. Now homeowners are picking up on the trend. Additions like outdoor rooms, patios, kitchens and sports bars are topping homeowners’ wish lists. Who doesn’t love to dine al fresco with family and friends, in the warm sun or under a starry summer night? Fire pits and heaters extend the time spent outside all the way through the winter months, too.

3 ways to spring forward your patio prep!

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Daylight Savings Time tells us to move our clocks ahead one hour this Sunday morning at 2:00AM, but it’s also a good reminder to get our patio geared up and ready for the warmer days to come. You’ll want to take advantage of any grilling weather that pops up. Here are 3 areas that will need your attention now.

Turn your patio into an outdoor living room with a patio conversation set

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Sitting in a quiet outdoor space is a great stress reliever. Visiting with friends on the patio can be even more relaxing. Having the right outdoor furniture helps in creating the right environment for serene experiences. A table and chairs is the typical choice for seating, but the latest trend is to create an outdoor living room with furniture groupings called patio conversation sets.

Fat Tuesday Fun - quick solutions for a last minute celebration

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Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler - Let the good times roll! - Everyone in New Orleans Midweek dinners can be a rush for many families. Adding a celebration to a school night is a tall order. But you can let those good times roll tonight with just a few simple additions. First, if the weather is good, move outside. A patio, an outdoor kitchen, a hardscape is meant to be used. Breaking up the routine alone is enough to bring on some fun. Second, know you don’t have to do it all from scratch. Here are some ways to add some Fat Tuesday fun.

Happy National Margarita Day!

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According the the nationaldaycalendar.com, National Margarita Day in the US is celebrated on February 22 of each year. Tequila forms the alcoholic base of a margarita drink. Back in the old days, manually manufactured tequila tended to taste bad. It’s easy to imagine the arduous and by-hand process of harvesting, pit-roasting, stone-crushing, fermenting and collecting of agave may have poorly influenced the finished product along the way. The practice of sucking on a lime wedge then licking salt off one’s hand came about to mitigate the aftertaste of a lightning-fast shot of unsavory tequila. The standards have gone up in agave processing, but the custom of drinking tequila with lime and the salt have become integrated into the tradition