summertime entertaining

Summertime entertaining relaxes the tempo with its air of casualness, which often includes outdoor spaces.  I love eating al fresco, while enjoying the beauty of nature all around.  It adds a layer of leisureliness and reduces stress factors which is much needed in this era of technology and immediate gratification.

Summertime entertaining

A few weeks ago we hosted my father-in-law for ten days while he visited us for miss Masterpieces’ eighth grade graduation and we took a day to enjoy an adult afternoon on the patio.  We were planing on visiting our sparkling wine destination of choice in wine country, Domain Carneros, but instead we chose to stay home and create our own personal experience.

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I’m so happy we decided to do this!  Since we’re club members we have plenty of Domaine Carneros varieties in our wine closet.  We also did not have to worry about who would drive and remain fully responsible plus not to mention the expense.  It was extremely nice and relaxing to sit outside, enjoying each other’s company with delicious food, good drinks and beloved family.

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I don’t know what inspired me but I created a few seafood dishes to enjoy family style.  We had a tray of fresh salmón with fixings, steamed mussels & clams plus shrimp lettuce wraps, which was an inspired creation of my own.  I will share the shrimp recipe in another post real soon.

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At first I thought we had way too much food {as usual} but by sitting around chatting and drinking and enjoying the backyard so leisurely we devoured the entire feast over an hour or two.

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Sitting around a family table enjoying my relatives with animated conversations are some of my fondest childhood memories.  I’m extremely grateful to continue this tradition with Mr. Masterpieces’ side of the family as well.  Although our children did not join us on this particular occasion it is something we tend to do around our dining room table during holidays and special occasions often.

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I love my family, I love to cook, I love to entertain, I love the outdoors, I love our backyard, I love to set a pretty table… needless to say this was a perfect day for me.  Although it required what some people might consider a lot of work I enjoyed myself thoroughly since it’s all things I love.

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So it did not feel like work or stress me out which is key to smooth and enjoyable entertaining.  Always do what comes naturally and easily to you.  this includes from the guest list to the menu to the setting.  If that means paper plates and take out, by all means go for it.  The guests are there to enjoy your company so they need you relaxed, happy and comfortable.  personally I love to use my china, crystal, silver, linens, etc. even if it requires more attention like hand washing, etc.  A friend of mine once said you’ll never find paper plates in MaryJo’s home.  lol.  Not totally accurate but not far from the truth either.  What can i say?  I like pretty things.  We own them so might as well use them, right?

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Here are some other al fresco tablescapes i’ve shared in the past:
Alfresco tablescape 1end of summer tablescape al fresco
Dinner 4 2 alfrescodinner for 2 al fresco
“It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about- enjoying things.
~Julia Child~


  1. I love all your al fresco tablescapes! I agree, there’s something to be said for eating outdoors in the summer….I lov pretty things like plates, too! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm:) xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

  2. Jann Olson says:

    What a beautiful setting and the food looks delish! I can see why you devoured it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  3. thanks Jann! i always appreciate your sweet comments. xo- mj

  4. Thanks so much Kathleen! I know, eating al fresco immediately elevated the occasion for me. thanks for stopping by. xo- MJ

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