Friday, June 6, 2014

Being More Intentional About Eating Outdoors This Summer (It doesn't have to be PeRFECT!)

I can't tell you how many times I thought... if we only had a picnic table or a nice table and chairs on our patio. But, at the end of the day, there just wasn't much money in the budget for fancying up the patio.  Of course, my mind always went first to all of the NEW patio furniture that we could not afford.  Nothing like having a defeatist attitude, right?  But my hubby?  He has a nose that KNOWS -- and he can sniff out the bargains!

Like this:
We were at Tractor Supply a little over a year-and-a-half ago, and found THESE 2 CHAIRS.  They were a good deal, and definitely an upgrade from the type of patio furniture we'd had before.  Maybe we were onto something.  We were encouraged about watching for more bargains.


Almost a year later, we were in Amish Country, and spied THESE 4 CHAIRS AND A MATCHING UMBRELLA STAND for cheap at a thrift store.


The seat-straps were a mess, but with a little elbow grease, they cleaned up nicely!


Weeks later, I found the chair pads on sale at Target!!  So close in color -- what a find!


At Christmas-time last year we were... at a home-center kind of store (maybe Lowe's?  I forget.) -- and we saw PATIO UMBRELLA'S ON CLEARANCE.  Hello?  Did I mention that just a few months ago we had obtained an umbrella stand?

So far NO TABLE.

Well, the other day, my husband was outside grilling for our dinner, and he said, "We should eat outside!"  Oy. You know what that means...  dig up a table.  Several years ago, my hubby's parents had given us a folding table.  We've used it for various things in and out of the house -- but never as a permanent addition to the patio. That's the table that we set up for dinner.

I grabbed a tablecloth, and we set up the table with our six chairs around it -- and you know what?  It looked kind of nice!!

"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!"

Our dinnerware and glassware don't match the current tablecloth, which doesn't match the umbrella.  But, it's a start.  Everything doesn't have to match and/or be coordinated before we can sit down to a meal!  All of those limitations... were IN MY HEAD.  My family never ever said, "I don't like this table." -OR- "What's up with this tablecloth?"  Guess what?  They just ate, and talked, and laughed... and stayed (on THREE different nights so far!)

There's something about sitting in the shade of our own home while the sun is still shining brightly behind the house... and sharing a meal, and hearing the birds sing, and watching the trees sway in the breeze.  It's a slice of awesome.


Since that first night, we have kept the table on the patio, with the chairs around it.  It's kind of like a permanent "come eat here" invitation!  The tablecloth, some tablecloth weights, and the chair pads are just inside the patio door, and since everything is close at hand, we've eaten out there at least two more times, as weather has allowed.  [In fact, it's so welcoming, that I find myself out there during the day reading, or taking time to check out the grocery ads.  You know, things I would normally do inside!]

Ultimately, I'd like to find some kind of over-sized basket or tote that I could keep all of the patio things in.  It's nice to have everything together and close at hand, so we can be ready at a moment's notice.

Also... tonight, we learned that we need would like a tray to deliver all of the dishes and food in fewer trips!  All of that will come eventually.  We might even look at the second-hand stores FIRST.  We're on a roll!

4 comments:

  1. Smiled all the way through this story of patio furniture. It looks great! What about shopping the house for that tray? Anything you could use to make one?

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  2. I think that your space looks great, very inviting! :) I like a collected look over a matchy- match set anyway. I also like the stories that go along with each piece. You could say, oh we bought the set at (wherever), but the story, the memories you have created hunting for pieces together and your backyard is so much more interesting this way! Enjoy!

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  3. Love your new chair cushions and I agree with you that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I tell myself that all the time. :) Your patio is looking great!

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  4. You are on a terrific roll!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one, and truly enjoy "conversations" with you! ~Sally

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