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A Labor Day barbeque to celebrate the end of summer

Next weekend is Labor Day, the symbolic end of summer. Kids will be going back to school and nights will begin to get shorter. Bid farewell to the 2013 summer nights with a great barbecue! Here are some ideas to get your planning started.

Prepare what you can in advance. One of the hardest things about hosting friends and family is that you are busy! Your loved ones are there to spend time with you, so think about what you can prepare the morning (or night) before the party begins. One of our favorite dips, for example, is better when it sits for a few hours before eating. All you need is a can of black beans (rinsed and drained), 9oz of corn, 1 chopped tomato, 1/3 chopped red onion, 1 chopped scallion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice from two limes, and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Mix everything together and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips. It’s a great summertime salsa that can accompany most dishes!

Have a game. While I enjoy sitting outside on a nice day enjoying the company of friends and family, sometimes having something to do makes a get-together a little more interesting. Consider having some type of game set up on your yard that guests can enjoy throughout the day. Or, if you enjoy a little competition, make some sort of championship out of it. Games like bocce, ladder ball, corn hole and lawn darts all make for great games and can be modified for different ages!

Keep the decorations simple. It’s Labor Day, so personally I say bring on the red, white and blue, but that doesn’t mean your outdoor décor needs to be overly complicated. Large super centers as well as grocery stores will have numerous options for napkins, plates and cups. If you have a blue and white checked table cloth, use some red napkins and cups and you are perfectly patriotic! If you want to throw in some stars and stripes, buy some of the mini paper flags and stick them in the surrounding garden, or even in the dessert!

Have something sweet. Speaking of dessert, it’s a must for any party. One of my all-time favorite desserts for a barbecue is the s’more. If you don’t have a fire pit or charcoal grill, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this delectable treat. You can make mini fire pits just for the barbeque! Go to your nearest home improvement store and pick up a few small terracotta pots. Line them with foil and place a few pieces of coal inside and there you have it, the perfect place to roast some marshmallows.

Spruce up your space. We all want our homes to look great when we have company over, but sometimes our outdoor spaces don’t get the attention they may deserve. Go outside and take a look. Does your grass need to be mowed? Do you have some branches that would be better if trimmed back a little bit? Is your outdoor living space clean? Sweep off any loose debris that may be covering your space. If you have some more embedded dirt, consider hiring a professional pressure washing company to clean your deck, patio, etc. We at Renew Crew, do more than pressure wash with our 3-step process and would be happy to answer any questions you may have on the best way to make your outdoor spaces look new again.

Happy Labor Day Everyone!