I really don’t want this summer to end.
You’re probably nodding your head, but this summer has felt extra special for me in so many ways. Maybe it has been the amazing number of super hot days we have experienced, but I feel like this summer has been a rich time of connecting with my family and friends.
As August is upon us and summer starts to wind down, I want to hold onto summer more than ever.
I have written about this before, but so much of my life has changed since becoming a mom. One of the biggest changes has been my friendships. Many of my pre-kid friends didn’t join me in motherhood for quite a few years. As a result, I felt very alone in this whole ‘mom life’. It took many years [and some failed attempts, if I’m being honest] to cultivate new friendships.
Having friends that understand who you are, what struggles you are facing, and what being a working mom is all about can be extraordinarily tough, but I feel so lucky to have met a group of moms who just seem to get the struggle of the juggle.
The best part? They all live on my street! [I know! I know! So lucky!]. We met at the bus stop our kids were all assigned to, but those daily interactions have led to really significant friendships that go beyond the surface level of the daily “how are you doing”. I count myself as one of the lucky ones who gets to have true friends in her every day life.
Taking the opportunity to get together with our mom friends to eat, laugh and hang out is such an important part of that illusive balance we are all searching for. There’s something so cathartic about letting yourself go and completely relaxing with others.
Each month my friends and I take turns hosting a “mom’s night out”. While we don’t go crazy with planned activities, we sure do try to make the monthly experience something special. We don’t get out much [rather, I don’t get out much] so the time we have to hang out kid-free is something we all hold very sacred.
This month, it was my turn to host our “mom’s night out” and I wanted it to be an evening that helped us hold on to summer a little longer and really enjoy the warm temperatures, bright evenings and the beauty of the summer months!
You know what? It was an absolute smashing success!
But what I think really helped was that I didn’t make the evening difficult for myself. With a clear focus on holding onto summer, and holding onto friendships that I hold so dear, it was simple and fun to put together our mom’s night out.
I want you to have the same experience with your best girlfriends. To do that, here are my tips for hosting the perfect mom’s night out in your own backyard (with some serious help from Duracell Quantum batteries, helping all of us #powermoresummer):
Host it at home
Although it’s fun to go out, there’s nothing like the comfort of home when you’re hanging out with friends. I love creating a relaxed setting so I chose my own backyard – where better to take advantage of the extra warm temperatures and tons of sunlight we have been enjoying here in Canada. You don’t need a fancy backyard [I certainly don’t have one!], you just need a table, some chairs and enough space to sit comfortably. Truth be told, I have previously dragged my kitchen table out into my backyard when my current outdoor furniture just wouldn’t do. Hosting at home also saves you money (big bonus!) and gives you the opportunity to make quick changes or grab extra snacks on the fly.
Create a theme
I never want anyone to go all out when it comes to planning a get-together for friends, but a theme is an easy way to create a special night. For my mom’s night out, I wanted a rustic theme. Nothing too fancy or elegant, but something that was still pretty and inviting for the girls.
My rustic inspiration was the European tradition of dining al fresco on a patio with friends, food and wine. It might have a little to do with my European obsession [I’ve never been, can you believe it?!?], but also a lot to do with my love of gatherings that feel natural – nothing too polished, fussy, or pretentious. I want all my mom friends to arrive, kick back, have fun and stay as late as their eyes will stay open.
But the greenery is where I really hit it out of the park. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on flowers and decor – which I absolutely have done before – I grabbed potted herbs that I had on the window sill in my kitchen, specifically parsley and dill. They added that perfect rustic ambiance that I was going for and – BONUS – they cost me absolutely nothing!
I added long grass from my own garden to a less than beautiful vase & then added a huge bunch of big, bold & beautiful sunflowers [generously donated by my neighbour who would likely give you some too because, in his words, “these things grow like weeds & I can’t get rid of them”].Finally, because I love a kick of colour on a table I threw on a large bunch of radishes, still bundled with an elastic band, that I had picked up at a local farmers market that morning. They were absolutely the icing on the cake and although they seem to be slightly out of place when I write about them here on my blog, they were truly the perfect pop of colour to a rustic table setting.
I also added a large lantern (the one I used from Coleman’s is amazing) to the end of the table. As it neared a cloudy midnight hour, this lantern cast significant light and made all the difference for our mom’s night out. It kept the table illuminated and gave us enough light so we could actually see each other’s faces as we laughed and talked well into the latest hours of the night.
Here’s a pro tip: put fresh batteries in everything before your guests arrive. Duracell Quantum are my choice and let me tell you, they lived up to all the hype!!
Be prepared for ANYTHING!
Ok, so I’ll be honest, there were a few moments where our perfect rustic backyard night out was slightly interrupted by some unexpected rain. But you know what? That’s ok, because when you’re a host, you’re prepared for anything that could be thrown at you.
So to mitigate the unexpected, here’s a few things I keep at the ready:
- Umbrellas – Phew! Thank goodness I actually had these on hand. I went to the dollar store and grabbed a bunch of umbrellas to have on hand just in case the forecasted rain came our way. Good thing I did!
- Flashlights – I don’t want to name names, but there may have been a mom in our group that tripped and fell on her way home a few months ago because she didn’t see a kids toy that was lying on the sidewalk [it was me]. Since then, we have always had flashlights for our walks home – it just makes sense.
- Bug Zapper – Not the most attractive item to have at a party, I know, but neither are bug bites:) And in all honesty, once the rain subsided and we ventured back out to the backyard the mosquitos were something fierce. We could not have been more happy to have had that bug zapper on hand.
- Extra Batteries – It is so important to not just have battery-powered lighting at our fingertips (like those flameless candles and lantern), but having extra batteries on hand. Specifically, Duracell Quantum batteries helped us power more summer (#powermoresummer) during our mom’s night out in my backyard. They’re built to last and let me tell you, they absolutely live up to that hype!
- Cooler with Ice – If you’re going to be hosting a rustic backyard party, you’re going to have to include a cooler. I attempted to make it fit with my decor and appear more rustic-looking with some sunflowers and my bug zapper on there but, let’s face it, it’s a cooler full of ice and it’s doing it’s job. Enough said:)
- Duracell Quantum batteries [only the best for you!]
- Coleman lantern
- Coleman flashlight
- Flameless candles
- Bug zapper
I'm taking my kids camping for the first time. Seems like the right thing to do to hold on to more summer!
Lyn Morrissey says
Sadly I am not enjoying summer to much. With 30+ degrees outside (and that doesn't include the humidity!) and a 4 month old, I have been staying inside a lot. Sad, I know! I remind myself that September still has beautiful weather so tjat keeps me hanging on to summer!
Monique L.S. says
Similar boat over here with a 6-mth old. Meanwhile, my toddler and her dad have been doing lots of fun outdoor things. 🙂 Next year…
Amy Heffernan says
I plan on #powermoresummer this year because we camp almost EVERY single weekend with the kids. 🙂 Thanks to #powermoresummer we are able to run alot of every day items. Thanks!
I will spending every weekend riding my bike by the lake and eating my lunch their along with enjoying a good book.
i will #powermoresummer by using batteries in my camping flash light!
my rafflecopter name is aarone mawdsley
Lindsay Threlkeld says
I think I'm going to #PowerMoreSummer by planning a date night with hubby on our back deck. A yummy bbq dinner & time spent together enjoying the warmth we have left!
I plan to #powermoresummer by spending more time outdoors, running, bbqing and taking kids on trups
I plan to get it more golf games, as long as the rain stays away
Bailey Dexter says
I take the grand-kids camping every weekend, if not out to a park then we camp in our back yard LOL They love it either way! That is how I am going to #powermoresummer & never let it go!!!
Danni Plume says
I'll #powermoresummer by using batteries in my garden lights!
Jeanne Rousseau says
More time outside, long walks with my hubby and playing ball with my son #PowerMoreSummer. Lots of summer nights playing flashlight tag too!
Thrifty Mommy Fowers says
I plan to #PowerMoreSummer by playing out side with my kids and camping with flash lights!
Amy Lovell says
I plan to #PWOERMORESUMMER by spending more time outdoors and less time indoors
Kim Niland says
I'll #powermoresummer by using batteries in our lanterns while sitting out back at night.
jeannine glen says
i plan to #powermoresummer by spending more time outside and less time inside.
Rena Walter says
Enjoying the summer outside with my Granddaughters!
Carol Denny says
I'm spending a lot of time at the family cottage. I hope we have a long warm fall. I hate the cold weather.
Tara Darity says
We will continue to spend time outdoors and find new activities to keep us busy!
i am going to #powermoresummer with family bonfires and picnics, and bike rides with my little guy
Ruth Honey says
This is actually a great idea for the grand kids to have one last blast. Our back yard is big and they could have an adventure with the grand parents!
Christina Moore says
I would use it on my patio for family BBQs
Stacie H says
My husband is working on a project in our backyard to create a space where we can enjoy being outside with chairs, a fire pit, lights, etc. I can't wait!
Jaclyn Brown says
I love all of your ideas, especially the frameless candles. They're perfect for summer!
sheila ritter says
I plan to #powermoresummer by taking advantage of every nice day to get out and enjoy nature.
Isra Ahmed says
I plan to #powermoresummer by trying out new recipes to enjoy on more outdoor picnics!
To #powermoresummer I plan to get outside and soak up some beautiful nature before it gets cold. I love the fall but that means winters coming which I hate so I'll have to make it outside several more times…hopefully fishing.
#powermoresummer We sit outside in our garden gazebo most evenings and enjoy the balmy weather and the stars. The mosquitoes, however, are no fun and a bug zapper would make life perfect.
We have no time to leave the city for another weekend getaway so we're going to camp in the backyard instead!
Wobbles o' Wisdom says
We love camping #powermoresummer (winnie)
Jill Hanson says
#powermoresummer went swimming in the hot springs and hopefully go to the mountain lake fishing.
Victoria Ess says
I plan to #powermoresummer by going camping!
Erika P says
We went camping as a way to #powermoresummer
i am going to #powermoresummer & never let it go:) by have another bonfire and fireworks and tent night with my kids and my hubby
Alisha Lecroy says
We #powermoresummer by taking as many day trips and going camping with our kids as much as possible.
I will #powermoresummer by staying outside late in these last days of Summer and into early Fall.
Mary Beth Elderton
Lu Tony says
I plan to #powermoresummer by BBQ
Sarah J says
#powermoresummer I've been non-stop doing things before I run out of summer time.
Kristin McCall says
I plan to #powermoresummer & never let it go by having a party with great food.
Justin Sparks says
#powermoresummer by camping every chance, fishing every chance, and going to the pool!!!
Laurie W says
I plan to #powermoresummer & never let it go by barbecuing every meal I can and making my garden the most beautiful it's ever been.
latanya t says
I plan to #powermoresummer by going to the pool as much as possible
I plan to #powermoesummer by having a pool party followed by a bbq in our backyard.
Susan Puritch says
I plan to #powermoresummer by keeping our emergency flashlight batteries fully charged. With all the storms we have been having this summer, the power goes out frequently.
Alison Braidwood says
I'm going to #powermoresummer by staying out on the deck until the sun goes down every night.
Antony Bosch says
#powermoresummer by going camping with the family, fishing and hanging out outside while its still warm.
Unfortunately, I'm doing 24/7 elderly parent care this summer. I do like to get out for a walk first thing in the morning, and I do enjoy when my husband barbecues.
It's been a very rainy summer, but we did get in a short family holiday!
#powermoresummer I am hiking inspite of the heat
#powermoresummer by swimming every chance we get, having our booth ever week at the local farmer's market, enjoying long summer evenings in our screen porch.
I will power my summer with picnic's at midnight.
I am going to #powermoresummer with more family BBQ's.
Wilson King says
Camping all summer long.
Karla S says
I plan to #powermoresummer by going on a nice road trip before the summer is over!
Wendy Hutton says
I plan to #powermoresummer by working in my garden and flower beds
chris z says
trying to spend as much time outside as i can
I'm going to #powermoresummer at my outdoor nighttime cookouts with my family.
I plan to #powermoresummer by living each day to the fullest!
I will #powermoresummer by camping with the family.
Victoria K says
I will be #powermoresummer by going on vacation with the kids to a cottage.
Judy C says
I will #powermoresummer by spending the rest of it camping with my family and enjoying every minute we can outside! (Judy Cowan)
Elizabeth Yummy says
I will #powermoresummer by getting outside as much as possible!
What a great idea!! I think I'm gonna steal it! 🙂
I'll #PowerMoreSummer by spending a bit more time outdoors before winter hits.
Jonnie (JB) says
I will#powermoresummer by keeping up our weekly backyard fire pit parties going well into the fall
Betty Wojnar says
We have weekend camp fires and go stargazing.
Tiffany Weikel says
I plan to #powermoresummer by not taking the rest of it for granted.
Tabathia B says
We plan on #powermoresummer by grilling out more and maybe going camping
#powermoresummer i plan on spending more time outdoors
Monique L.S. says
I will #powermoresummer by turning off the air conditioning , opening the windows are enjoying the beautiful summer nights.
I still plan to go camping this summer and fall. I could really use #powermoresummer
Entry form name: Marlene V.
Judy Duong says
I've had a rough and busy summer so far. Hubby and I are planning on a camping trip in the next few weeks to relax and enjoy the outdoors, finally!
Sandy Bonesteel says
I plan to #powermoresummer and never let it go by learning to do more of the outdoor things that I've been wanting to learn.
Michelle Ruel says
I'm trying to hold on dearly to the rest of our #powermoresummer – it's so hard to believe it's almost over!! Thanks!! 🙂
Courtney Fudger says
By having campfires and BBQing as much as possible!
Kimberley Macpherson says
I am holding on the rest of my #powermoresummer by going camping a couple of more times this season and getting outside every chance I get.
I'm going to #powermoresummer by spending more time on my deck in the evenings!
I plan to #powermoresummer by reading every single day of the summer and the entire year!
skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net
Erich Zimmermann says
We do a lot of camping and use lanterns and flashlights
I plan to #powermoresummer by going on evening walks with my family.
Carol Oddy says
I would have a friends get-together for a back yard BBQ with lots of LED lights powered with duracell batteries.
More outdoor time all the time instead of being indoors.
Gord Ord says
I will #powermoresummer by being outside as much as possible and going for walks, bike riding and trips to the beach.
Cathy C says
I plan to #PWOERMORESUMMER by enjoying every moment outside while it is nice camping, gardening and taking my dog for walks.
ivy pluchinsky says
I plan to #powermoresummer by going camping and enjoying the great outdoors
Carole B. says
bicycling day and night! #powermoresummer
LILLIAN BROWN says
I'm going to #PowerMoreSummer by having more campfires now that the fire ban is lifted in Nova Scotia.
Tyler LeFevre says
I'm going to #PowerMoreSummer by going camping.
Tim LeFevre says
I'm going to #PowerMoreSummer by going to many baseball games.
Mona LeFevre says
I am going to #PowerMoreSummer by going to the beach.
Teryn LeFevre says
I'm going to #PowerMoreSummer by going surfing.
I'm #powermoresummer by going to the park and riding bikes with my boys every day. We love summer!
thomas rusinak says
I am usind batteries in my back yard to enable my rotation "Hollywood Primiere Lights" to work
Michelle Hebert says
my kids and i will be camping in our backyard
we went camping and fishing #powermoresummer charity firstname.lastname@example.org
We try to be outside as much as possible!
i am spending my summer at my grandkids they live on the west coast and i live on the east coast
Robyn Bellefleur says
I plan on fishing until the water freezes over on the lake.
Leslie Crosbie says
#PowerMoreSummer swimming at the beach with my family!!
#Powermoresummer by spending more time outside enjoying gardening and walks until the snow falls.
#powermoresummer & never let it go. I would keep a good supply of batteries with me so that when I need them they are available. Lorraine Wiebe
I am hoping to #powermoresummer with a weekend away camping with hubby alone.
Gillian Morgan says
I plan on #powermoresummer by gardening and picking berries.
Summer for me is work. I work two part time jobs during the tourist season so don't get to enjoy much of the nice weather.Sitting outside in the evening, if I'm not working the evening shift, is about it for me.
We are #powermoresummer camping with the family.I love to have the area with as much light as possible. Batteries are perfect for the many falshlights and lanterns.
Angela Eagle says
#powermoresummer by refusing to take my shorts off til November
Edmond Leung says
#powermoresummer I plan on reading a book in the library . FREE. . Wow, prize pack is fab. & splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. 🙂 Pick me
Sam Dorne says
I'll #powermoresummer by watching the sunsets from the back porch
Brenda Penton says
I plan to #powermoresummer by heading to the beach and going on roadtrips
Krista Miller says
Since we won't be able to to camping, we are going to #PowerMoreSummer by letting the kids have a campout in the backyard overnight!
Peter B. says
I'll #powermoresummer by using Duracell batteries in my lantern enjoying late Summer nights.
I would love to get an inflatable pool because I won't have to get a pool permanently installed, I can just take it down. Having a pool would really make my summer memorable. My e-mail is email@example.com. #powermoresummer
Myrna K says
I just try to get to the beach as often as I can, which isn't near often enough.
Robert Shook says
By spending time with my kids and getting outdoors more! #powermoresummer
Audra O'Hara says
I'm going to #powermoresummer by hunting for frogs at night with our little girl.
I plan to #powermoresummer at our annual pig roast/barbecue! :o)
Shirley Jackson says
I will #powermoresummer using a lantern and bug zapper at family barbecues!
I am working 2 jobs right now
Subscription Box Girl says
I like to powermoresummer by going to the beach a lot.
Flyergal82 at (yahoo !dot $com
Bee W Bedard says
I plan on #powermoresummer doing yoga regularly
Gayle B. says
I will #powermoresummer by spending time outside, camping, hiking and on beach days, using battery operated radio's/lights etc to make life easier and more comfortable.
I plan to v by taking plenty of pictures!
– Amber y
Darren Scrubb says
I plan to #powermoresummer by doing a lot more camping this summer and more riding my bike in the country.
I plan to take tons of photos #powermoresummer
I'm dealing with a serious illness – now that I'm out of hospital, I'm going to try to get outside as much as I can.
Mom Knows Best says
I plan to take them to the park
Audrey Skinner says
We are spending more time at the beach and local parks.
Wendi Watson says
we definatley get a few more lights for outside to keep it lit up a little to be able to hang out longer i hate when it gets dark so early!
Brandon Sparks says
This would really help out when we do our night hiking..
caryn coates says
We are outside as much as possible:)