The Perfect Summer BBQ: Decor, Food + Games

Via Hostess with the Mostess

Via Hostess with the Mostess

We’re hosting a summer barbecue and you’re all invited! I’m coming to you from Kansas City, so I know a thing or twenty about gooooood BBQ. Grab a cold drink, a few napkins, and let’s check out some of the greatest recipes, outdoor decor, games, and more!

Everyone knows that the key to a good barbecue is the sauce.


Being from KC, I have to say that the very best sauce is from Oklahoma Joe’s (the best BBQ comes from old gas stations!!) The Night of the Living Barbeque Sauce is probably the greatest thing you’ll ever taste. Ever.

Want a bbq sauce you can make yourself? Here are some fantastic recipes that are not to be missed!


Skinny Eats cooked up the taste of my town with no high fructose corn syrup allowed BBQ sauce. You will LOVE it!

Fantastic Eats calls this “the Best Homemade BBQ Sauce Ever” and we are not one to argue this point. Good doesn’t even come close to describing this one!

Prefer a rub to sauce? Check out this delicious Father’s Day rub from Delia Creates. This is on the menu for this weekend! Can you say yum? And guess what? I do a rub on tofu sometimes, too. Don’t tell anyone though, I might get kicked out of the city!

While the protein is usually the star of any good barbecue, these sides are not to be missed!

grilled corn

Grilled Corn with Jalapeno-Lime Aioli and Parmesan Cheese. Oh, my goodness! If you do nothing else in life, make this. Really.


This is my go to side. Invite me over and I’m making BBQ Ranch Quinoa Salad. You can even make this one vegan! And if you want something a little more traditional check out this Creamy Grilled Potato Salad, you won’t be sorry!

I’m also a HUGE fan of grilled desserts. I mean, come on. There is something so delicious about grilling pineapple and peaches on the grill, don’t you think?


My mom made these grilled brown sugar glazed pineapple a few weeks ago and I can’t stop thinking about them! About 10 minutes and 3 ingredients — doesn’t get any better than that!


I have always wanted to try these grilled bananas with chocolate and marshmallows. Doesn’t that sound amazing?! Adding it to my waistline menu this weekend for sure.

I can already feel like maybe I need to move around a little. Too much delicious food! How about some games?

Jarts or lawn darts (the old pointy, “you’ll shoot your eye out kid” kind) have been the go to activity for the adults in my family for years. But if you want to live less dangerously, here are some fantastic diy backyard games for adults and kids alike.

dunk tank

I’m crazy about this diy dunk tank over on The Happy Housewife. She also has some fantastic tutorials for cornhole (or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods) and ring toss in post about backyard games.

lawn dominoes

How about a GIANT game of dominoes? I really, really want to make these this summer. I’m also still loving the water blobs, giant Jenga, and lawn Twister that are popular on Pinterest. How about you?

Soooo, we’ve eaten a lot, played some games, and way before that we probably should have decorated with some gingham and bandanas, huh?

outdoor bbq

This Vintage Memorial Day BBQ hosted by The Art Abyss is nothing short of perfect. How in the world do we get on the next invite list?!


I’m going to start a little more simply with this adorable diy bandana picnic quilt and a few of these tissue paper garlands.These diy burlap BBQ decorations are pretty cute, too!

burlap bbq decorations

Thanks for coming to my virtual barbecue, y’all! I can’t wait to see pics of all the parties you throw — invites would be pretty great, too. You already know what I’m bringing!

P.S. Now you’re all set to throw a surprise Father’s Day BBQ this weekend! He’ll love it!

DIY Family Crest for Father’s Day

Have you noticed that most Father’s Day gifts tend to stick to a few themes: ties, golf, and beer…right? And while those are all pretty great things, we decided to change it up this year.

Does he love cheese? Snowboarding? Maybe really does love ties, golf, and beer! You can use the crest creator from Gallo Family Vineyards to create a completely custom “family crest” that is as unique as he is. Check out this video tutorial to make these family crest crafts for Father’s Day or any day!

You’ll have a blast making these! And the best part is that the kids can help!

your family name crest

We even made one for ourselves sharing our love of kittens & yarn!


For more diys for dad, follow our Father’s Day Pinterest board. There might even be a few tie, golf, and beer ideas in the mix!


Layer Cake Sunglasses Case

layer cake sunglasses cake tutorial

Last week we had hot, sunny, gorgeous weather here in the Midwest and while it’s cooled down a bit this week, I’m desperate to bring those summer days. I daydream about sitting poolside with a fruity drink and my sunglasses on. Although I’d have to find my sunglasses first! I probably have 10 different pairs, but finding one in my purse or the car seems to be quite the challenge. To encourage the sun (and to combat losing things), I decided that I needed a new, super cute sunglasses case. As I was getting my supplies ready, I realized that this would be the perfect Father’s Day gift, too.

So I set off to make two. One nautical, sea-worthy case for him and a bright, cheery floral one for me!

his and hers sunglasses case

Here’s what you’ll need:
(2) Layer Cake Squares (or  two 10″ x 10″ fabric squares)
(1) 9.5″ x 9.5″ felt square, or lightweight fusible fleece
Rotary Cutter (for felt and/or fabric if not using pre-cuts)

I used Hearty Good Wishes for his and Bungalow by Free Spirit Fabrics for mine.

mens sunglass case

Place your two layer cake squares right sides together. Then cut your felt to a 9.5″ x 9.5″ square. Pin the felt square to the center of your layer cake sandwich, leaving a 3 inch opening to turn the fabric right side out.

make your own sunglasses case

Sew all three pieces together around the edges, being sure to leave that 3 inch opening.

stitching a sunglass case

Cut the excess fabric along the edges and then turn your square right side out.

fabric sunglass case

Press your square, being sure to turn opening edges in. Then topstich the opening edge.

topstitch your sunglass case

Fold your square in half with the fabric you want to be the lining facing out. Pin along the bottom and the side, being sure to leave the top open.

diy sunglasses case

Stitch along the bottom and the side with a 1/2 inch seam. Then cut the bottom two corners to remove excess bulk in the case.

trimming fabric corners

Turn the case right side out, push out the corners nice and neat (you can use a chopstick or a pencil to do this).

diys for dad

layer cake sunglasses case 1

Wrap his up for Father’s Day – he’ll thank you for skipping the tie – and enjoy yours now!

layer cake sunglasses case_diys for guys

diy sunglass case

P.S. You could use these for eyeglasses, too!