Category Archives: Events & Parties

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

Okay, so, bad news first: this week absolutely kicked my butt. The good news, though? That means I’m feeling on top of my game! I actually even managed to push myself to get ahead, and, despite the fact that our contractor never did show up, I haven’t felt this accomplished in a very long time.

I think I’m going to treat myself to a little bit of a break today (once I finish the last big project on my list, of course), but, before I go, I wanted to share a little playlist to celebrate the official kick-off to fall today. May this list of easy-listening tunes get you off on the right foot this brand new season.

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

Our Fall Playlist

  1. My Lovely, Eisley
  2. Maps, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  3. A Melody, the Memory, Mae
  4. Follows, Tigers Jaw
  5. The Funeral, Band of Horses
  6. New Slang, The Shins
  7. Can’t Get It Out, Brand New
  8. You Are the Moon, The Hush Sound
  9. It Will Never Be the Same, Ryan Adams
  10. The Sound of Settling, Death Cab for Cutie
  11. Neighbors, Grizzly Bear
  12. How It Left, Violents & Monica Martin
  13. Lua, Bright Eyes

I have a feeling that John and I will be kicking back to this little mix-CD-like list of songs all throughout the colder months to come. What’s on your fall playlist?

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

(Photos by Carrie Coleman)
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Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all fall into one of two categories: those who toss their old license plates, and those who hold onto and display them. John and I are firmly in the latter camp, with a whole collection of bent, rusty, scratched-up plates lining the walls of our basement. We’ve got personalized plates and those that sport a random smattering of words and numbers, but each one acts like a placeholder for some time in our lives—from high school and college, to as recent as earlier this year.

Our families, not surprisingly, do the same thing, so when my dad sold his truck to us just a few months ago, I knew I wanted to do something special with the personalized license plate that he gave up along with the truck.

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

The Tacoma was actually his second car, so Dad didn’t need the special license plate anymore, and John had his own to transfer over, making the original “3LABZ” plate kind of useless. Yet there was something about the sentiment that was just too nostalgic for me to trash once we got ahold of the car.

I remember countless times looking out for those five characters to come down the drive after dad got off of work, or times when I’d inspect other passing silver Toyotas to see if they matched the right plate while out and about around town. And, of course, there’s the fact that the personalized message represented my parents’ trio of sweet (you guessed it) labs! No, there was no way I was getting rid of that license plate.

Not wanting to simply hand it back to my dad as is, though, I decided to have it professionally framed with the help of Framebridge for his birthday. If you’ve never custom-framed anything with Framebridge before, consider this your challenge to do so immediately. It’s one of my favorite types of gifts to give, and—post sponsorship aside—I can confidently say that this brand makes it especially easy.

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

To sum things up, I first ordered a mailer kit from the website, which arrived at our door about a week later. Then, I slipped the license plate into the included plastic bag, wrote my notes and requests on the packaged card, and left it in the mailbox for our mail lady to grab the next day.

I received a quick confirmation email from Framebridge soon after, as well as I handful of digitally mocked-up design options based on the instructions I had given them. As fate would have it, Framebridge’s “Tacoma” design—a rich dark wood frame with white backdrop—fit the bill to a “T.”

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

I was able to present the custom-framed plate to my dad as a belated birthday gift this past weekend when I traveled home for a quick visit, and it was a hit! I experienced a pretty proud moment when, just a couple of hours later, I walked into the kitchen to see the framed plate already hanging up on the wall.

So, do you have anything in particular that you’d like to custom frame someday? Maybe a vintage scarf or pretty cross-stitch? I love the idea of framing a piece of retro torn wallpaper from a DIY renovation in a first-time home. Leave your own ideas—birthday gift or not—below!

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

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DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

Like a lot of you, I’ve always struggled with actually going through the motions of printing and displaying family photos. I’ve got pictures from high school, college, and even my itty bitty childhood ready to go on my hard drive, but I just never seem to have the time to go through and print my favorites—let alone actually find a way to display them.

All that’s about to change though. I’ve quietly stolen all of the photo albums from my parents’ house with the aim to scan and print my favorites from the collection. If nothing else, I think the entire family will rest a little easier knowing that there are digital copies of these one-of-a-kind snaps, but my ultimate goal, of course, it to print these memories and set them up around our house for posterity’s sake.

The inspiration for this ongoing project was actually my dad’s birthday party just a couple of weeks ago. John and I hosted the gathering at our house, and since I’m physically incapable of throwing a party without some kind of DIY, I decided to come up with a fun photo game to make the most of dad’s childhood photos. I wasn’t planning to feature the project here on my blog (which accounts for the slightly haphazard display), but it turned out to be such a simple craft and such a hit at the party, that I couldn’t help but add it to the blog’s editorial calendar of posts.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

All you need to recreate the look at your own birthday party is a roll of kraft paper (I used masking paper typically used for painting projects), clothespins, push pins, scissors, a permanent marker, and printed photos of the birthday boy or girl, preferably from all different stages of life—from their birth and childhood, to teenage years, and adulthood.

First, unroll the kraft paper by about four feet and cut it straight across at the bottom with scissors. If the birthday boy or girl is turning 50 or 60, you may need to cut two lengths of paper to hang side by side in order to accommodate all of the years of the person’s life.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

Next, Write out age increments of about 3-5 years every 9-12 inches using a permanent marker. Hang the paper strips on the wall with push pins, and then clip printed photos onto the kraft paper in a random order. In other words, you may place baby photos in the “Ages 21-30” section, and college graduation pictures in the “Ages 6-10” section.

Note that I also left enough room at the top of the first paper strip to write simple instructions (“See if you can place Pat!”). This will help guide party guests through the purpose of the game.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

We had so much fun standing around the display rearranging the photos into their correct order. The game also got the stories and conversation flowing! Dad told us all sorts of things about his days in the army and about the kids he and his siblings used to hang out with in their old neighborhood.

After the party was over, I tucked the printed pictures aside in an envelope, and now have plans to scan and print even more pictures so I can put together a family photo album of my own. So, what do you think? Would you consider giving this photo game a try at your next milestone birthday party?

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

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6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

We’re hosting a big group of family here at our house tomorrow in honor of my dad’s birthday, and I’m feeling excited but also a little overwhelmed. I’ve never hosted this many people in our home before (really, it’s our first official party ever), so it will be a big learning experience. Luckily, everyone is family so they won’t judge us too harshly, but fingers crossed that all goes well and that we have enough eats and drinks for everyone!

Speaking of buffet goodies, one of the main things I am especially hoping to nail at our mini family reunion is the wine selection. John and I are big wine drinkers, and I know my family is as well, so we’ve been collecting bottles for weeks now. My mom is planning to bring a few of dad’s favorites as well, so I’m sure we’ll be set, but these below are a handful of the wines we’re personally loving this season. The best part? These wines are $10 or less per bottle.

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For $10 Or Less:

  1. Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio ($9.99): One part Pinot Grigio and one part Chardonnay, this citrusy wine is a great one to serve at dinner. It’s ideal for complementing fresh fish or light pasta dishes, so plan your menu accordingly.
  2. Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon (on sale for $9.99): I can never, ever resist a good Cabernet Sauvignon, and this version from Dark Horse is one we almost always keep stocked. Even though it’s totally budget-friendly, it feels like such a treat to enjoy a glass (or two) in the evenings.
  3. Chateau St. Jean California Pinot Noir ($8.99): The spice and vanilla finishes make it tough to settle for just one glass. Although we love it during the summer, it’s even more of a mainstay at our house throughout fall and winter.
  4. Bogle Chardonnay ($9.99): Bogle is a family favorite. It’s my parents’ go-to and their love for it has made me come around to the fruity, buttery notes of Chardonnay in general.
  5. Carayon La Rosé ($4.99): Note that we stock up on this simple Rosé from our local Trader Joe’s since it’s a little hard to find online. Can you believe that price?!
  6. Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99): We grab this almost weekly from the grocery store. The light, lemony flavor is easy on the taste buds, and it’s often on sale for just $7.99.

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

Did I miss any of your favorite wines? Do share in the comments below because, even after years of enjoying wine, I still feel like I know next to nothing about the fine art of wine tasting. I’m just a novice, but I sure am an enthusiastic one. Share your top picks (whether budget-friendly or worthy of a splurge) below. Cheers!

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

P.S. Looking for more wine chat? Revisit this past post all about how to host your own wine and cheese party at home (including a video!).
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DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Remember that time I covered a clearance grocery store cake with edible flowers? And how I mentioned that I wanted to find a couple of other ways to put those flowers to use? Well, this post is the first of two extra crafts that I came up with to make those pretty blooms last. And since it’s a Friday morning, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The goal? To create simple flower-embellished wine bottle labels fit for your next gathering.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

The first step in this process is to dry a handful of blooms. Grab a heavy hardback book, like a nearby coffee table book or encyclopedia, and open it up to a random page toward the back. Lay wax paper on either page of the open book, and then place the blooms face-down on one of the pieces of wax paper.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Lay the opposite piece of wax paper on top of the flowers, and gently shut the book over the blooms. Place the book in a cool dry place (just put it back on the coffee table or bookshelf), and allow the flowers to dry for at least a week in the closed book.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

After a week’s time, download one (or both!) of the free printable wine bottle labels I created—“Welcome Home” (for a housewarming gift) or “Thanks For Having Us” (for a hostess gift) —depending on your needs, and print them onto heavy cardstock paper.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Use a ruler to figure out how big your label needs to be in order to cover the wine bottle’s original label, and trace light lines onto the cardstock using a pencil. Cut the label out, and lay it across your wine bottle so that it covers the old label.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Now it’s time to retrieve your dried flowers. Grab the book they’re drying in, and choose a few favorites. They should easily peel off of the wax paper if you do so slowly. Gently lay them on the label to test different arrangements, and when satisfied, attach them to the paper using a small dot of tacky glue. Finish by using clear packaging tape to firmly attach the flower-embellished label to the wine bottle.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Although this project requires a bit of preparation and hands-off time to complete while you wait on the dried flowers, the label prep and finishing phase take just 20 minutes or so. Stay tuned later this month for the third and final DIY flowers project—I think it’s my favorite of the bunch.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

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Everything You Need For Your Summer Cookout | dreamgreendiy.com

There are so many things that I love about summer—driving with the windows down, picnicking, sundresses—but probably my absolute favorite thing about the season is the food. John and I love paying homage to summer with cookout style food, and tend to pop the top on our grill weekly this time of year, so I thought it would be fun to share a collection of cookout-inspired goodies to get you thinking ahead to your own outdoor dinner party.

  1. Apron ($7.99)
  2. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill ($29.99)
  3. Patio Pizzeria: Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads on the Grill, by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig ($17.26)
  4. Slotted Turner ($15.69)
  5. Professional Spatula Set ($25.55)
  6. 16-Jar Revolving Spice Rack with Free Spice Refills for 5 Years ($25.65)
  7. Grilling Plank Variety Pack + Recipe eBook ($19.99)
  8. Grill Master Platter Set ($49.90)
  9. Grill Master: The Ultimate Arsenal of Back-to-Basics Recipes for the Grill, by Fred Thompson ($18.46)
  10. Turning Tongs ($14.18)
  11. Grate Cleaning Brush ($17.15)
  12. Meat Shredder Claws ($7.99)

Another accessory not to be missed (and one that gets used over and over again in our house) is a Stainless Steel Vegetable Basket. John and I are big fans of roasted veggies, and tend to stock way, way up at the Farmers Market in nearby Staunton, Virginia. We love grilling corn, asparagus, zucchini—you name it!

What are a few of your favorite grilling recipes? We’d love to add some newbies to our list, so if you have any simple cookout meal ideas—aside from the requisite hot-dogs-and-hamburgers go-to—please do tell in the comments below.

*My promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.
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*This post was made possible by La-Z-Boy

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Well, folks…We’re nearing the end of the La-Z-Boy Design Dash room makeover contest, and I just wanted to ask one last time for your quick vote! You all have been so incredibly sweet and supportive of this entire project, and it was such a thrill to have had the chance to work on it. Even if we don’t end up taking home the prize, it still has been a wonderful experience that I would totally do all over again.

The contest, where you can vote for your favorite room in the makeover series, ends this Sunday, June 25, so I’d love to invite you to cast your vote between now and the end of the week. You can enter once every day, so feel free to make it part of your morning routine until Sunday—I know I will be! And in case you forgot, you get a little something out of it, too. One voter will win $15,000 in La-Z-Boy furniture to inspire your own made-over space, so this could just be the beginning for one of you, I always use Shiply to deliver my furniture whenever I get anything new, they always make sure to get the furniture safe to its destination…

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Click back here to see a mood board we initially considered for our space before we were able to hit the showroom floor, and you can hear more about our experience at the Dash itself here (including lots of behind the scenes photos and videos!) here.

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.comBehind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Thank you all so much again for the outpouring of love for our room, and here’s that link to vote just onnnne last time. Even if you don’t vote for our space, I hope you take a second to pop over and see the other rooms in the contest. Every single space turned out beautifully (I think my favorite aside from our own was Cassity’s), so be sure to check those out for even more design inspiration. The winner will be announced July 19, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

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A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I don’t entertain all that often, so on the rare occasion that I do host a group of people, I like to keep things simple. First of all, I cut down on tabletop styling time and effort by having a collection of neutral party supplies stored at-the-ready in our china hutch. Things like linen napkins (even mismatched napkins work as long as they are neutral colors!), white serving dishes in all shapes and sizes, and pretty coordinating vases that I can fill with clippings from the yard for a last-minute free centerpiece.

The second thing I do to keep things simple when entertaining is having an arsenal of super easy recipes on hand that I can make in a matter of minutes to feed a crowd, like these Coffee Recipes that I use during those sleepy afternoons to have a boost of energy the rest of the day. Today’s recipe for a 5-minute fruit salad honey drizzle is my new favorite, especially now that summer is almost upon us.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I know this next statement is such a cliche, but the concept for this recipe (if you can even call it a recipe) truly couldn’t be easier. All you need to recreate it is 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 of honey, make sure to read reviews of the best water filter pitchers so you can use the best water quality on your recipes. That’s right—it’s really just an easy alternative to your go-to simple syrup! Just combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork until smooth, then pour over your pre-chopped fruit salad.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I love that you can control the texture of the drizzle (add more honey if you want it thicker, or less if you want it thinner), and that you can skip sugar. I always try to pick up 100 percent pure honey whenever possible, and love to choose locally sourced honey when I have time to. Going organic is another priority for our household when we head to Fresh Market or Trader Joes.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

If you want to up the flavor ante just a bit, try adding a few tablespoons of lime juice to the drizzle, or you can make a honey ginger simple syrup for iced coffee or cold brew using fresh ginger over a little heat on the stove.

I experimented with our own simple honey drizzle over chopped fruit for John’s lunches, and it was a hit. We both really love the way this drizzle adds just a subtle hint of extra flavor, and made the fruit in our salad feel a little more special in comparison to plain cut produce, we drank a detox tea along with it and it was delicious. We plan to reuse the idea for gatherings and packed lunches all summer long, and if you do the same, make sure to tell us what you think in the comments below!

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!

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Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

I’m the first to admit that baking isn’t really my thing. I can do it, but I just feel like I’d rather prioritize other projects (think: hanging new art in the bathroom, painting the sunroom, hitting the antique store to find the perfect vintage desk for my office). So, instead of spending an hour or two over measuring cups and canisters of flour and sugar, I tend to be a regular at the bakery section at our local grocery store.

The only problem with that mentality is that you do give up a certain level of control. I’m pretty stubborn about my aesthetic, and tend to want things to look a very certain way, so having to pick pre-baked cakes off the shelf at the grocery store is a struggle for me. Oftentimes, I just make it work and choose the simplest white-frosted cake I can find (unfortunately, it’s usually the most expensive of the bunch), but I recently had the idea to do a little bit of DIYing to a pre-baked cake in order to make it worthy of our next soiree.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

The idea was to pick up a clearance cake from the bakery, and then transform it into a Pinterest-worthy masterpiece using edible flowers. I ordered a 50-count box of pastel Viola blooms from this online shop, and then (not so) patiently waited for the flowers to arrive. After they did, I immediately tucked the flowers away in the fridge to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible (they should last about a week if kept cold), and then hit the bakery in search of the perfect cake.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Although I’m sure many of you will think the original cake was cute as could be, it personally wasn’t really my style. The bright sprinkles and frosted peaks were a little too whimsical for me, but the $5 clearance price tag was perfect. So I whisked it home, and then set it on my work table to get it looking more like the pretty pastry I had in my mind.

The inspiration was a “naked cake” type look, with just subtle swipes of frosting around the edges, so I used a flat knife to remove most of the original frosting from the cake (which, don’t worry, didn’t go to waste as John scarfed it up quickly from the sidelines), and then stepped back to survey the results. Although a little bare looking on its own, the simplified silhouette was just what I was hoping for. Plus, I knew it wasn’t done yet.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

The final step was to decorate the now-naked cake with a handful of the pretty edible flowers I had ordered. In this case, less is more, but you really can’t mess it up. To create the look you see above and below, I gently pressed the flowers onto the cake form, allowing the light frosted finish to “grab” the petals and keep everything in place. I situated a few of the prettiest blooms on top, then added a small asymmetrical border around the bottom edge. There was no rhyme or reason to my design—I just kept adding the edible flowers until I felt like it looked done.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

I think the finished cake feels just a little more mature than the original, store-bought look. It’s the perfect semi-DIYed treat to serve at a girl’s night in or even Sunday morning brunch with friends. And to those of you wondering how a cake actually tastes with edible flowers, I can honestly say that it’s delicious. These particular Viola blooms added a super delicate crunch to the cake, and the sweet, herby flavor of the flowers themselves gave it a sort of fruit cake vibe. I think this new pastry process might just be my new brunch-time go-to.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

So, what do you think? I know it’s not for everyone. In fact, John thought I was nuts when I first explained the concept to him, but once it was done and he had a chance to try it for himself, he admitted that it was kind of a cool transformation.

The only thing I will say is that the edible flowers ended up costing a little more than I would have liked once shipping was factored in. So, I think if I did this again, I would try growing my own blooms for the project. The good news, though, is that I figured out several other ways to make the most of the leftover flowers (of which there were many), so stay tuned for more DIYs to offset this one later this month. I can’t wait to share!

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!

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*This post was sponsored by Duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Okay, so technically summer doesn’t officially commence for another week, but it sure feels like we’re ‘in the heat of things’ now. Our AC units have already been turned way up, we’re chugging fresh citrus-infused water daily, and outdoor activities have become the weekly norm.

Our fire pit, for example, has been working especially hard for our benefit as of late. Since kicking off a range of partnerships with the team over at Duraflame last year, we’ve become die-hard fans of the brands’ product line. Sure, it’s a professional collaboration, but that relationship has organically turned us into life-long users. Now every time we have a slightly overcast day, we race to the back yard to fire up our little DIY flagstone fire pit, and luckily, our stockpile of  Duraflame logs allows us to pull off these on-a-whim fire fancies whenever the mood strikes—in less than 10 minutes flat.

All this to say that, sponsorship aside, we really couldn’t recommend their stuff more, and to inspire your own spontaneous fire pit fête, John and I spent a little extra time around the fire last week to come up with a list of activities to do around a summer campfire. Read on for our top five takeaways and please weigh in with your own ideas in the comments after the story!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

1. Roast Marshmallows

This one, of course, is a given, but don’t feel like you need to stop there. John and I keep skewers handy in a kitchen drawer by the front door so that we can grab those and our favorite fire pit foods whenever the weather allows for a campfire. We’ve cooked hot dogs, bacon, shrimp, pineapple, and even grilled cheese sandwiches over our flaming Campfire Roasting Logs, so feel free to get creative and go beyond the standard s’more. If you want to stick with marshmallows though, at least consider giving our recipe for Rice Krispie Treat S’mores a try!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

2. Host A Tasting

Our home is always stocked with wine and beer, and if your fridge sports the same type of inventory, you got to make sure to keep dry during a campfire, so make sure to contact a plumber near me if your are having any pipe issues. A campfire gathering is the perfect time to host an impromptu tasting. Gather some friends over and ask them to bring a bottle of their favorite wine or a 6-pack of their go-to beer. Then allow everyone to try a taste while comparing notes around a roaring fire.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

3. Have A Jam Session

This one might sound a little cheesy, but summer is the perfect time to embrace the ‘cheese’ and pretend like you’re in a music video—so go old school and break out the acoustic guitar, this is guitar in particular is one of the best ones because it is from The Box Tiger Music department. There’s something extra magical about the sounds of a summer night accented by strumming guitar strings and murmurings around a crackling fire. Go ahead and act like you’re 16 again! We won’t tell.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

4. Exchange Ghost Stories

Another blast-from-the-past activity that’s practically required for a bonfire gathering, whether you’re young or old, is a round of ghost stories. Pull up a list of tales on your phone or tablet, and take story-telling turns around the fire. They don’t need to be long—even the short ones garner the desired effect. If reading isn’t your thing, pull up spooky YouTube clips instead, or go all out and set up a screen and projector outfitted with a full-length scary film for everyone’s viewing pleasure around a campfire.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5. Game Night Challenge

Instead of gathering around the same dining room table you have been for the past 12 years, go ahead and take things outside for your next family game night. Play charades while the audience kicks back in camp chairs around a low fire. Or allow the fire to be a backdrop for games like Taboo, The Mouth Game, or DIY giant Jenga.

Although you don’t really need an excuse to gather around a campfire (watching those curly, crackling flames is often all the activity I need!), the idea of building and maintaining a fire can seem like it just isn’t worth the effort. So start the season right with our list of fun motivators that will have you just going for it rather than giving in to those excuses. If all else fails, you’ll get a cool Boomerang out of it!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

P.S. For more inspiration, check out our breakdown of 5 precautions to take at your next fire pit party and my recipe for Rice Krispie Treat S’mores here.

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