Summer essentials for a backyard party

The 5 Things You Need for a Perfect Outdoor Summer Party

May is here and temperatures are hitting the 80’s and I got out all of my shorts and that means I’m in full-on summer mode, y’all! We’re planning some fun backyard…

Summer essentials for a backyard party

Summer essentials for a backyard party

Summer essentials for a backyard party

May is here and temperatures are hitting the 80’s and I got out all of my shorts and that means I’m in full-on summer mode, y’all! We’re planning some fun backyard parties for this summer (hellooooo, BBQ and backyard movie nights!) and last weekend we tested out our fire pit for the first time this season. We had a few of neighbors over for the test run and put a simple little shindig together. It doesn’t take much, folks! In fact, I boiled it down to 5 things that you need to put together the perfect outdoor summer party, just in case you get overwhelmed and try to find an excuse not to party all summer long.

Drinks! And don’t see that and just read “booze!” Because this pregnant lady likes to sip a little something special too. We teamed with Duraflame to mix up some cocktails that are just as easily mocktails — and super refreshing to boot. To make this pretty little Cranberry Lemonade Spritzer, mix equal parts cranberry juice, lemonade, club soda, and vodka. Chill it and serve with lemon rounds! To make it a mocktail, just leave out the vodka and you’re good to go.

Summer essentials for a backyard party

A Backyard Campfire I don’t know what it is about a fire pit with a good fire blazing in it but it just makes an evening so cozy! I feel like people always get comfy and linger at the party longer when there’s a campfire. We lit up some of Duraflame’s roasting logs, which kind of stack up to feel like an actual campfire. Ahhhh so good. I was totally flashing back to all of the campfire songs we sang in 4-H camp when I was in elementary school. These babies are also perfect for cooking or roasting, in case you don’t have a BBQ. Which brings me to my next point.

Summer essentials for a backyard party

Duh… S’mores You guys. Don’t have a fire pit without s’mores! And while you’re at it, make ’em special. We used maple marshmallows with shortbread graham crackers and oh. my. gosh. Ryan likes to dub himself the s’more master and takes charge of the marshmallow roasting. Which is probably a good thing because I’ve been known to lose my marshmallows into the fire on previous occasions. Hey, we can’t be great at everything.

Summer essentials for a backyard party

Summer essentials for a backyard party

Seating Ever been to a party where there just aren’t enough chairs and everyone’s sitting and you’re standing and you’re thinking, “Well, I could either sit on the ground, or… leave.” The worst! Nobody cares about fancy matching chairs — just get lots of seating around so people can be comfortable and enjoy that fire long into the evening.

A Few Simple Extras I always, always have a playlist going when we’ve got people over, so don’t forget the tunes! Music is a great equalizer, a conversation starter, and sets the mood (not to mention it helps fill in awkward silences…). And if you’re gonna have a party, set out a few fun decorations! They can be super simple like our paper lanterns and tassels, or just use what you have around the house. A few flowers or some potted plants go a long way, too.

Summer essentials for a backyard party

So. When’s your next party? And more importantly, when are you coming over for s’mores?! xoxo

Summer essentials for a backyard party

Summer essentials for a backyard party

This post is sponsored by Duraflame. All opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

Waffle quesadilla recipe

Waffle Quesadilla Recipe

Okay! So we know what you’re drinking and playing at your Cinco de Mayo parties, but what are you gonna eat?! That, my friends, is pretty much what is always…

Waffle quesadilla recipe

Waffle quesadilla recipe

Okay! So we know what you’re drinking and playing at your Cinco de Mayo parties, but what are you gonna eat?! That, my friends, is pretty much what is always on my mind these days. When do I get food again? #alwayshungry But I digress. I have the perfect food idea for your fiesta, so nobody has to do a ton of prep work or be in the kitchen all night. Waffle quesadillas!

Ingredients

  • waffle maker
  • butter
  • tortillas (no larger than your waffle maker)
  • shredded cheese
  • add-ins like chicken, beans, chiles, veggies, whatever you like
  • salsa and sour cream for dipping

This recipe is hardly a recipe it’s so simple, and if you want you can put guests in charge of making their own — like a quesadilla bar! Just butter one side each of two tortillas. Set one buttered-side-down, and on top of this tortilla sprinkle cheese and add any special ingredients you’d like (I stuffed Henry’s with zucchini to sneak him some vegetables). Then place your other tortilla buttered-side-up on top of all the ingredients and close the waffle maker. Once it looks like all your cheese is melted, pull that bad boy out and you’re done!

These are so easy, and make almost no mess at all — my favorite way to cook. And they’re insanely good! The cheese gets perfectly, evenly melted all the way around. Henry snuck in and grabbed some while we were shooting, and apparently he wanted to dip in the sour cream. I’ll have to teach him about double-dipping etiquette soon…

Waffle quesadilla recipe

Okay everybody, have I convinced you to get a waffle maker yet? More waffle fun coming up soon, and lots more in the archives here. Happy waffling! xoxo

Waffle quesadilla recipe

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

Pin the Tail on the Llama Game for Cinco de Mayo

We are hooking you all UP for Cinco de Mayo this year! I don’t know what it is — maybe it’s because I’m pregnant and all I want is a…

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

We are hooking you all UP for Cinco de Mayo this year! I don’t know what it is — maybe it’s because I’m pregnant and all I want is a margarita with lots of salt, but I’m just in the mood to celebrate. So now that you know what you’ll be mixing up to drink, we’ve got the perfect game for you to play at your Cinco celebrations! A little Pin the Tail on the Llama — obviously. We teamed up with our gal pal Megan again and she designed us this most adorable llama, who I think we should probably call Trudy. She looks like a Trudy doesn’t she? Anyway, Trudy seems to have lost her tail so you better get to pinning it on there again. Here we go!

Materials

Make Time: 1 Hour

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

Llama illustration

DOWNLOAD YOUR LLAMA PRINT HERE!

Step 1: Print out our llama poster at your local print shop! It’s designed to be printed on an 18″ x 24″ poster.

Step 2: Now, option one is to just slap that baby up on your wall as-is. But if you want to get fancy, mount your poster on some foam core board using spray glue. Be careful to align all the edges before smoothing down.

Step 3: Make your tails. Cut out three colors of cardstock in small, medium, and large sizes. We freehanded our llama tails because, well, llamas are individuals, you know? So don’t get too picky. On the rounded side, cut some fringe. Then wrap each piece around a pencil to curl the fringed ends.

Step 4: Layer the pieces on top of one another and affix them together with small pieces of double stick tape.

Step 5: If you mounted your llama poster on a board, make a hanger for it. We just braided some yarn, tied knots on either end, and taped the knots to the back of the board with masking tape.

Step 6: For all you overachievers! Use your pompom makers to make some fun pompoms and hang them around your poster. Braid some random yarn and drape it here and there to be festive.

Step 7: Add some double stick tape to the back side of each llama tail.

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

Now get your game on! Blindfold your guests, hand them a llama tail with some double stick tape on the back, and let them try to get it in the right spot! I closed my eyes and tried to put a tail on Trudy and it ended up smack in the middle of her neck. It ain’t as easy as it looks, folks! I think the loser should have to make the winner mezcal mules all night. Sound good? xoxo

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

Pin the tail on the llama game for Cinco de Mayo

Craft Production Assistance by Shari Stamps

How to Make Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

DIY Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

Didja try our Mezcal Mule recipe from yesterday?! No matter what you like to put in your mule mug, we’ve got a rad project today so that you and your…

How to Make Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

How to Make Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

Didja try our Mezcal Mule recipe from yesterday?! No matter what you like to put in your mule mug, we’ve got a rad project today so that you and your guests can keep track of which drink is which at your Cinco de Mayo shindig! I’m loving these DIY mule mug tassels, especially organized in a pretty rainbow. Why is rainbow order so dang satisfying?!

Materials

Make Time: 5 Minutes Per Tassel Set

How to Make Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

Step 1: Cut a piece of cardboard about 3″ x 10″. Wrap your embroidery thread around it in different colors, about 20 wraps per color.

Step 2: For each color, cut two additional pieces of thread about 10″ each.

Step 3: Remove one color from the cardboard, keeping the loops intact. Fold the loops in half over one of the extra pieces of thread.

Step 4: Take the other extra piece of thread and loop it over itself, laying the loop on top of the folded threads. Tightly wrap the long end of this thread around the folded threads and over itself multiple times.

Step 5: Tuck the end of the thread through the loop you made.

Step 6: Pull the upper end of that thread to tighten the loop and lock it into place.

Step 7: Trim the top of the thread and snip through all of the loops on the bottom of the tassel. Trim to even them out.

Step 8: Take the long thread from which the tassel is hanging and tie the tops together. Trim the ends.

Step 9: Repeat all of the steps to make an additional tassel in each color. When you fold these loops over, fold them over the knot in the long thread so that you’ll end up with two tassels hanging from that same loop.

Tie the tassels around mugs as you hand out drinks at your Cinco festivities and your guests will never lose track of what they’re sipping! I also just think they’re pretty fun as an extra little decoration — hang them from cabinet doors, keychains, anywhere! xoxo

How to Make Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

How to Make Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

How to Make Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

How to Make Moscow Mule Mug Tassels

How to Make a Mezcal Mule

How to Make a Mezcal Mule

Mules for everybody! I may be pregnant but it doesn’t stop my deep longing for a mule cocktail of just about any kind. And since Cinco de Mayo is coming…

How to Make a Mezcal Mule

Mules for everybody! I may be pregnant but it doesn’t stop my deep longing for a mule cocktail of just about any kind. And since Cinco de Mayo is coming up, we’re celebrating by teaching you how to make a legit mezcal mule. I’m not currently partaking but word on the street is that these babies are delicious and strong! So add these to your Cinco celebrations (responsibly, duh!) and impress people with your mule making skills.

Ingredients

Watch our video for the full recipe!

Now cheers, y’all! Add a photo backdrop and some garlands to your party and you’ll be the most festive house on the block. Happy Cinco! xoxo

How to Make a Mezcal Mule

How to Make a Mezcal Mule

How to Make an Accordion Mother's Day Card

Printable Mother’s Day Accordion Card

I still don’t think it’s actually hit me that I’m a mom when Mother’s Day rolls around. I still hear “Mother’s Day” and immediately think of my own sweet mom,…

How to Make an Accordion Mother's Day Card

How to Make an Accordion Mother's Day Card

I still don’t think it’s actually hit me that I’m a mom when Mother’s Day rolls around. I still hear “Mother’s Day” and immediately think of my own sweet mom, who I love to celebrate. It’s so fun every year to dream up a little project for her and post it on the blog and then give it to her in real life. She always makes a big deal and says something about getting a famous gift because it’s been “on the blog.” Ha! What a kook. So this year we put together a fun accordion card printable, so you can give the same little card to your mom! They’re super simple and fast to make and will work for all the moms in your life.

Materials

Make Time: 15 Minutes

How to Make an Accordion Mother's Day Card

Step 1: Download the printable file here. Note: These are special files meant to work with Avery’s Design & Print Online platform, so don’t fret if it seems like they didn’t download properly! Just carry on to the next step.

Step 2: Open the files at avery.com/open.

Step 3: Choose to print on the Wraparound Labels (product #8217). (You will be able to print two cards on one label sheet.)

Step 4: Once printed, peel off the labels and stick them to your colored cardstock.

Step 5: Cut around the edges of the labels. Cut off the excess white area from the portion of the card that reads “Day;” leave the excess white on the other portion.

Step 6: Score a line between all colored sections so that you can fold into an accordion. Fold the card to train the folds in the direction you’d like.

Step 7: Spread the glue stick on the blank white portion and adhere the top of the second half of the card to the white area.

If you’d like, fold it up and tie it with some baker’s twine so it looks like a little tiny gift! This thing is so stinkin’ cute I want to hand it out to every mom I know. But they’ll all just have to deal because it’s got my mama’s name all over it. Also feel free to put little notes in the blank spots and sign it like you would any card! I think we might have Henry help decorate this one for my mom. She just looooves that stuff. 😉 Happy Mother’s Day! xoxo

How to Make an Accordion Mother's Day Card

How to Make an Accordion Mother's Day Card

This post is sponsored by Avery. All ideas and opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the brands who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

DIY Wood Mother's Day Plaques

DIY Wood Plaques for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming! I love celebrating my mom, and this year I made some little plaques that I think she’ll find hilarious (after, of course, I explain what “Bae”…

DIY Wood Mother's Day Plaques

Mother’s Day is coming! I love celebrating my mom, and this year I made some little plaques that I think she’ll find hilarious (after, of course, I explain what “Bae” means). These are crazy fast to make, so if you accidentally wait a few weeks and realize you have nothing for your ever-lovin’ mama the night before Mother’s Day, whip these up and you can pretend you were on top of it all along.

Materials

Make Time: 10 Minutes

DIY Wood Mother's Day Plaques

Step 1: Trim your patterned paper to the size of your wooden boards.

Step 2: Spray a light coat of adhesive onto one side of the boards. Carefully align the paper on the board so that all edges and corners are even. Press the paper onto the wood.

Step 3: Decide on some fun phrases that your mom would love, and spell them out with your stickers.

DIY Wood Mother's Day Plaques

DIY Wood Mother's Day Plaques

Give them to mama and make her giggle! She can place them around the house, on shelves, hang them on the wall — any old place! I can’t decide which I like best, but “Mom is Bae” is pretty hilarious, right? What would you have them say for your mom? Be sure to check out what the rest of the Michaels Makers are creating for Mother’s Day, right here! xoxo

P.S.  You are the hottest mom I know.

DIY Wood Mother's Day Plaques

DIY Wood Mother's Day Plaques

Poppies and succulents, happy Easter text

Happy Easter

Every year on this day I leave you for the weekend with one of my favorite quotes, and this year is no exception. Wishing you an Easter weekend full of…

Poppies and succulents, happy Easter text

Every year on this day I leave you for the weekend with one of my favorite quotes, and this year is no exception. Wishing you an Easter weekend full of peace, joy, and renewal. Happy Easter! xoxo

For I remember it is Easter morn, and life and love and peace are all new born. 
-Alice Freeman Palmer

Waffle Croque Madames Recipe

Easter Brunch Idea // Waffle Croque Madames

When we’re in Paris, I just loooooove a good ol’ fashioned croque madame. It’s just a ham and cheese sandwich, but with that fancy Frenchy twist that makes it super delish….

Waffle Croque Madames Recipe

Waffle Croque Madames Recipe

When we’re in Paris, I just loooooove a good ol’ fashioned croque madame. It’s just a ham and cheese sandwich, but with that fancy Frenchy twist that makes it super delish. I was dreaming about whipping up a croque madame in waffle form, and thought it would make a perfect recipe for an Easter brunch! So if you’re looking for something special to serve this weekend, we’ve got you covered. Let’s make waffle croque madames!

Ingredients

  • waffle mix and mix ingredients
  • sliced ham
  • 1 c gruyere, grated
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • dash of nutmeg
  • eggs
  • optional: dijon mustard

Start by making your waffle mix, according to the instructions on the box. Heat up your waffle iron. Set aside while you make the bechamel sauce.

To make the sauce, heat the butter in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Once melted, stir in flour. Whisk for about two minutes. Add the milk and salt, whisking until it begins to thicken (a few minutes). Stir in the nutmeg and half the gruyere. Keep over low heat as you prepare the waffles.

Once the waffle iron is hot, spoon in about 2 tbsp of the wet mix into the bottom of the waffle iron. Place a piece of ham over that, and sprinkle the ham with gruyere. Spoon in another 2 tbsp of wet mix over the cheese. Close the iron and cook as you would a plain waffle. Remove from heat when the mix is cooked through. Make as many as you like!

Fry an egg sunny side up for each waffle. Drizzle a spoonful of bechamel sauce over each waffle and place the egg over the sauce. Serve with dijon mustard if you like.

Ohhhhh man these are delicious! Sometimes I put things in the wafflemaker and they end up not quite being winners, but this one is over-the-top delicious. And once your guests realize there’s a little ham and cheese surprise inside their Easter waffles, they’ll declare you a brunch superstar. (Psst – bonus, Henry inhaled these things! So they’re pretty kid friendly too, maybe just skip the raw yolk on the egg.) Happy cooking! xoxo

P.S. Edible floral waffles, too!

Waffle Croque Madames Recipe

Waffle Croque Madames Recipe

Waffle Croque Madames Recipe

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

It’s time for more eggs! You can make these with plenty of time to spare before Easter, and they’re so fun for spelling out messages from the Easter bunny! Funnest….

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

It’s time for more eggs! You can make these with plenty of time to spare before Easter, and they’re so fun for spelling out messages from the Easter bunny! Funnest. Egg hunt. Ever. I turned again to my new favorite way to color eggs — spray paint. You can’t beat it for quickness and color coverage! And it works perfectly with our sticker masking technique to make your alphabet of Easter eggs. Let’s make ’em!

Materials

Make Time: 30 Minutes (Plus Drying Time)

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs Tutorial Images

Step 1: Place one letter sticker on each egg. Be sure to smooth the stickers down completely so that no paint seeps underneath. You might want to make a couple of alphabets so that you have lots of letters to spell with.

Step 2: In a well-ventilated area, lay your stickered eggs on a dropcloth or scrap of cardboard and spray with a light layer of paint. Allow them to dry completely; flip and paint the other side. After all paint is dry, check all angles of the eggs and add another light layer of paint to any areas that need more coverage.

Step 3: Once completely dry, peel the stickers slowly off the eggs.

Step 4: Spell out some fun phrases as you hide the eggs, or make an arrangement to display them saying something cool!

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

I love these! And they would go perfectly with our typography eggs from last year. I gotta tell ya, I was making myself totally laugh as I was spelling out phrases to photograph for this post! You have no idea some of the words that ended up on the cutting room floor. We’ll leave that for another day. What would you spell with your alphabet eggs? xoxo

P.S. More Easter egg ideas!

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

DIY Alphabet Easter Eggs

DIY Paint Pen Patterned Easter Eggs

DIY Paint Pen Patterned Easter Eggs

One of my favorite tools for quick DIYs these days is a paint pen! It’s kind of the answer to everything. After our office supplies and pumpkins, I for sure wanted…

DIY Paint Pen Patterned Easter Eggs

One of my favorite tools for quick DIYs these days is a paint pen! It’s kind of the answer to everything. After our office supplies and pumpkins, I for sure wanted to try them out on some Easter eggs, and it turns out they work perfectly! Along with some spray paint (my go-to choice for coloring eggs this year), they make for Easter eggs that are super bold and fun. We made a little video to show ya how quick they come together, too!

Materials

Make Time: 30 Minutes (Plus Drying Time)

Watch our video for the super-simple how-to!

How are you decorating eggs this year? You should try paint pens! If you give it a shot, be sure to tag a photo of your creations on Instagram with #thelovelysquad so we can see and feature them on the blog! xoxo

P.S. Our favorite Easter egg decor ideas are all right here!

DIY Paint Pen Patterned Easter Eggs DIY Paint Pen Patterned Easter Eggs