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Holiday traditions: Roasted Chestnuts

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We’ve all heard the lyrics but few of us have tried actually roasting chestnuts on an open fire. It’s easier than you may think. Each family has their own traditions with strong roots, some perhaps going back generations. Introducing new rituals into the holidays can seem a bit odd at first, but when friends and family ask for them again and again, you know it’s a tradition that will stick. Roasting chestnuts is one of those traditions that has faded but is experiencing a comeback. Whether in the oven or over an open fire outside or by a cozy fireplace, roasting chestnuts is an easy addition to your holiday fun.

Thanksgiving desserts and decor

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Don’t let Christmas recipes or decorations take over your Thanksgiving. Keep the focus on fall with these treats and tricks. We’ve all noticed it - the Christmas Creep. September 21 rolls around and the stores start selling winter holiday decor. It’s as if we jump out of the pool and into our parkas! Don’t let the commercial trends take away your Autumn. Thanksgiving is the culmination of this wonderful time of year. Celebrate with the tastes and colors of fallen leaves and crisp blue skies.

Modern Halloween Tricks and Tips

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Bobbing for apples is a scary prospect. Here are some updated party tips and outdoor decor tricks to bring your All Hallow’s Eve into the 21st century. Welcoming Guests Outdoor Halloween decor ranges from the scary to the sweet. Whatever your preference, good decor puts everyone in the party mood. Here are some of the latest trends in outdoor Halloween decor.

Unique 4th of July Traditions to bring to the patio

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Families and friends love to gather for this great national holiday. Here are some interesting celebrations from around the US you can modify for your family and friends. Check out these fun ways to add a new twist to your July 4th party.

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.

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

Host an outdoor party to ring in the new year

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A warm and friendly outdoor event is just the thing to ring in a happy and healthy new year. There’s still time to welcome the New Year with style. An outdoor winter party will bring family and friends together, and spending time outside on the patio is always a good idea. Here are a few considerations to help you whip up a seasonal celebration that everyone will love.

Unconventional Holiday Lights

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You’ve got your lights up and everything looks great from the street. Here are a few simple additions to the patio for just you and your family and friends to enjoy.

Fun Thanksgiving Activities for Family and Friends

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Thanksgiving dinner can be a quiet, elegant affair with only a few polite friends and genteel family, followed by a nice stroll in the park before dessert. But that’s only if you live in a greeting card. Here are some unique indoor and outdoor activities to entertain everyone from the littlest kids to teens to some adventurous adults.

Pastries on the patio - a new Thanksgiving tradition

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Sometimes traditions start spontaneously, by the mere repetition of them. Other traditions are formed instantly, when a great event leaves guests wanting more. This year, make your Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner stand out by starting a “Pastries on the Patio” party that no-one will forget.

GO BEYOND THE GRILL: Make Dad happier this Father’s Day

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Sunday, June 18, 2016 is Father’s Day. We’ve all done the funny hats and grilling accessories thing. In fact, we posted our own gift ideas list last year. That stuff is fun. But there are only so many gag gifts and gadgets one dad needs. This year, skip the grilling gear and give Dad an experience to remember. This isn’t just a good idea; It’s science!

New Year, New Landscape Design

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Welcome to 2016! Just about a full calendar year lay before you with possibilities and potential. What are your plans? As the days stay short and the wind makes you more apt to stay indoors, the winter blahs can set it in. Battle those blues by planning your garden that will be filled with beautiful flowers, succulents and plants to create a brightly-colored escape in your own backyard. Since you’re only hindered by your own imagination, the sky is the limit – and we have a few suggestions to help launch your landscape design ideas a little higher.

What are your 2016 Landscape New Year’s Resolutions?

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It happens at odd times throughout the year; as you’re gearing up for spring and cleaning out flower beds, during a barbecue in the backyard, or when you’re winterizing your garden and yard. Each of these moments are times when you took stock of the condition of your landscape and make a mental note of the things you want to do “next year” to spruce it up. Next thing you know, you’re back to spring again going through the same yard routine without having made a dent in that landscape wish list you built the past year. For 2016, make your landscape one of your New Year’s resolutions.

Dear Santa – What I Want for Christmas is ... a New Landscape Design!

Do you remember when you were a little kid and would write that all important letter to the big guy in the red suit listing the things you wanted for Christmas? Well, this year, we want all our outdoor living enthusiast readers to get inspired for the new landscape you know you want, but may be a little too grown up to ask for outright. By getting you connected with a skilled contractor in your area who is experienced in the work you want done, we can put you on their schedule for a free estimate on that ideal landscape design you’ve been wishing for. That’s as close to the “Nice” list as it gets.