I had my iTunes on shuffle and a certain song came on that I happen to love very much, and reminds me of one of my favorite summertime memories. So, please listen to this song while looking at this post!
Last summer tragedy struck my home town when a member from my high school passed away. I remember I was sitting at my pool feeling all sorts of emotions and didn't really know what to do with myself. I felt like doing something nice for myself and my family to try and lift my spirits, and for some reason I kept dreaming of creating a kind of oasis in my back patio. I don't really know what came over me but I just had the urge to create a beautiful setting to enjoy a beautiful summer night. So all by myself, I went to work and put together a luxurious "hang-out pad" in my back yard. I even went as far as making a delicious dinner of barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, with corn, salad, and homemade french fries for my family to eat outside.
I don't mean to brag about all of the details but it turned out to be such a beautiful night that I can't help but feel proud and reminisce on such a great time. The funny thing is that night didn't involve any sort of party or big showy event; it was simple. It was relaxed. I initially invited a group of girls to come over and enjoy my creation with me and of course got rejected (not a surprise with those people). Instead of getting down about having no one to share my set up with, I sat outside with my family and had some of my closest guy friends over to enjoy the summer ambiance with me. They loved it! We all sat around candles, listening to jazz and live music, and had some of the funniest conversations I've had in a long time. The night was all about the warm atmosphere that I created, which generated a warm and happy mood for everyone.
Not only am I writing this post because it brings back a great memory, but I also wanted to use it as a way to show people a fun way to create a relaxed summery atmosphere. After all, summer is around the corner!
I used lots of tea light candles and a few tiki torches for natural lighting. Then I used stones from my pool and rice to create an interesting center piece for the table that we sat around. For the dinner table, I wanted to incorporate floating flowers but didn't really have anything nice to put them in, so I resorted to cutting off the tops of red solo cups and floating daisies in them (if you have something better than this I would recommend using it ha ha). Lastly I put on some great relaxing live music: John Mayer from his concert "Where the Light is" - I think the combination of his live music and the "summer night" atmosphere is really what made separated this night from all of my other summer nights.
Hope to recreate this memory again this summer!