Summer is one of the best times to have friends over for drinks and to catch up. The library has great books full of ideas on party themes, kids parties, and enough BBQ books to keep you going all summer long without a repeat meal.
For me the best thing about summer is being able to cook and eat outside. I love everything grilled in the summer, meat, sea food, vegetables, you name it and I’ll grill it. Here are three of the books I’ll be cooking from this summer. On the grill by Willie Cooper, The new vegetarian grill by Andrea Chesman and Weber’s new real grilling by Jamie Purviance.
Summer time is great for getting the kids out of the house and having fun in the sun. You can have some great parties like the lemonade party pictured to the right or a summer beach party with a slip and slide and beach themed food. Check out some of these books for party ideas The party book by Jane Bull, Great parties for kids by Rose Hammick or Pink ponies cookbook by Barbara Beery.
If you have a backyard, garden cocktail parties are a must on weekend in the summer. You can do themes like a grown up version on the lemonade party, a sangria party, or really anything you want. Take a look at these cocktail books for some party inspiration. Cocktail parties with a twist by Alexandra Angel, Cocktail parties, straight up! by Lauren Purcell and Retro cocktails: shake it baby! by Kate Maseley.
The landscaping of your property can say a lot about who you are and what people can expect when they enter your home. If your lawn is perfectly manicured with perfect gardens that have no weeds and there is a nice flow to the garden, people are going to expect that the interior of your home is the same.
Landscaping might seem like a daunting task if you don’t know what you are doing. Enlisting the help of a Landscape architect can help you get the look you want but with professional input. Once you have a plan for your garden you can take a few years to get it just right, know that unless you are wiling to spend a lot of money to get mature trees and shrubs your garden will take a few years to mature into the desired look.
These books will help you achieve an exterior that matches the flow of your interior
Hillside landscaping by Susan Lang
Beyond the lawn by Keith Davitt
Landscape makeovers by Kathy Barberich
landscaping with fruit by Lee Reich
Summer for most kids is the best part of the year. Unfortunately not everyday can be spent outside in the sun. Here are some cool rainy day ideas to keep your kids entertained when it’s raining.
Build a blanket fort to have lunch in or watch a movie. I remember building forts in front of the TV as a kid and having finger foods for lunch, it was always a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. You don’t even have to watch a movie in it, half the fun is just building the fort. Come check out some of the great kids movies we have for rent at the library.
Rainy days are great for getting the kids in the kitchen to help you make a special rainy day treat. This also teaches them how to safely prepare food for when they are older and teach them about healthy nutrition. You could make umbrella-shaped rice crispy treats, tea sandwiches to eat in your fort, or monster cookies. For monster cookies start with your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe and instead of chocolate chips put things like coloured chocolate candies, gummies and anything else you think might be good in a cookie.
Crafts are a great way to spend a day inside but coloring and painting can be over done. Try going to the dollar store or the on sale bin at your local craft store and getting some craft supplies that you keep hidden and only use during rainy days. This will make craft time on rainy days extra special, you can even do a different craft every time it rains.
The library is a great place to come and spend a rainy afternoon reading. Check out some of these books to read at home or the library on a rainy day. Soggy Saturday by Phyllis Root, And then it rained, and then the sun came out by Crescent Dragonwagon, Split! Splat! by Amy Gibson, and I love the rain by Margaret Bridges.