exterior & outdoor living food & recipes

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com Although I’m VERY ready for fall, I always feel like I should cherish the last days of summer… soaking in the warm sunshine, spending time outside, banishing shoes to go barefoot on the lawn, eating outside as often as possible, and lighting the citronella candles a few last times. Since transforming our carport (which I now lovingly refer to as the veranda), I decided to host one last summer soirée. I invited a few friends over for an evening dinner party and served up the last batch of summer margaritas. It was a good night that convinced me I will indeed miss these warm summer sunsets, good company, and sharing food around our outdoor dining table. Click through to see the setup and enter a fun giveaway- that way you can also host one more summer party before the crisp, cool air sets in!

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com

MY LATEST VIDEOS

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com If there’s one thing I love to do for my friends- it’s to gather everyone ’round for food & drinks. I feel like there’s something really special about going through the effort to create a beautiful tablescape, tasty food, and delicious cocktails for the people you care about. It’s such a thoughtful gesture!

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com In my friend group, this is sort of where I excel. I’m not the person my pals go to for business advice (that’s Lea), I’m not the one they ask for tough love or relationship advice (that’s Brooke), or the super smart intellectual one who shares advice on how to professionally word something (that’s Angela), or the friend who can direct you to the coolest local spots and secret places (that’s Krissy)… I’m the one who gives the aesthetic advice and puts in the effort to make people feel welcome and special in a space. Is that superficial? Maybe, but I’m comfortable in that spot- that’s what I’m good at. I like giving my friends a chance to escape from the everyday and experience a beautiful vignette I put together especially for them. I think that’s why dinner parties and entertaining makes me so happy- it’s my contribution and I enjoy the process so much!

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com This tablescape unfolded organically after these linen striped napkins from Sevensmith arrived in the mail (scroll to the bottom and enter to win a set of your own). The blue and white linen really set the tone for my end-of-summer dinner party. They’re not too fussy, perfectly casual, and feel seasonally appropriate for late in the season. It was the light blue color from the napkins that inspired the entire palette.

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com As much as I love styling and setting up the space, I always keep the food pretty low key and quick, so I’m not spending hours in the kitchen alone. It’s much less stressful and gives me an opportunity to catch up with my pals! My friends can always bet on an easy charcuterie board using items from Trader Joe’s (see that tutorial here), and other delicious summer staples. Typically, Emmett will throw something on the grill and I’ll bring out appetizers while we wait- this time it was spanakopita triangles that taste even better than they look!

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com I arranged them on this black marble serving board, also from Sevensmith and up for grabs in the giveaway. I can’t get enough of the gorgeous veining in the marble. I’ve been leaving the serving board out, styled in my kitchen because it’s so pretty.

These snacks are always a big hit! What’s not to like about a good spinach and feta cheese combo?

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com Despite my best training efforts, Johnny Cash continued to beg for a bite… if I’m being honest, I caved and let him have a tiny piece. Ha! Annnnd THAT is exactly why he begs. It’s a viscous cycle that stems from his cuteness and my lack of willpower. Give us a break, it’s been a tough month without our biggest dog.

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com The cocktail request was a pitcher of my “famous” margaritas. I swear my friends love that recipe and it’s the easiest! It felt very fitting for a farewell summer dinner… although I’m pretty sure if I made margaritas year round, they wouldn’t turn them down. They’ve kind of become the taste of summer over the past couple years.

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com Evenings in Salt Lake City cool off pretty quickly once the sun goes down and I’m hoping the bugs won’t be around too much longer, but the citronella candles once again did their job in keeping them at bay. I’m also a sucker for candlelight ambiance- especially outside. They’re a must for outdoor entertaining!

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com If you like the way this tablescape unfolded, you can shop the entire space below- including the dishes and accessories! Just click on each item below to be redirected, or use the sources at the bottom of the image…

01: pendant light // 02: patterned throw pillow // 03: white mini planter // 04: outdoor dining table // 05: outdoor rug // 06: rattan chair // 07: chair pad // 08: wood baroque chargers // 09: candle votives // 10: aqua dinner plates // 11: margarita glasses // 12: table runner // 13: striped linen napkins // 14: charcuterie board // 15: black & brass flatware // 16: outdoor side table // 17: fern matches // 18: black marble serving board // 19: // 20: sheer curtains // 21: tension rod // 22: black outdoor pillow // 23: potting station

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com My final touch in creating a cohesive look was the addition of greenery. There’s something about succulents and fresh green flowers that scream summer. If we’re hanging onto what’s left of the season, I knew I couldn’t skimp in the floral department (see the proof in my kitchen sink here).

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com

G I V E A W A Y

Enter to win a set of the blue striped linen napkins and the black marble serving board from Sevensmith below, that way you can replicate the look! Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow Sevensmith on Instagram.
  2. Follow Room for Tuesday on Instagram (if you aren’t already).
  3. Comment below on this blog post, and share where you fall in your friend circle or who you’d invite to dinner!

Good luck!!

End of Summer Dinner Party + A Giveaway - roomfortuesday.com I’ll randomly select a winner in a week, which will give you time to have one last summer soirée! In the meantime, I’d love your thoughts on this tablescape and our veranda area. I’m still loving it just as much as I did when we finished the space back in May. I’d also be interested to hear your favorite foods for entertaining… any tried and true recipes I should know about?

*This giveaway is sponsored by sevensmith. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy! 

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  • Reply
    Peggi
    August 30, 2018 at 5:12 am

    Lovely! What an affectionate tribute to your friends. I, too, am the entertainer/aesthete in my group. I confess to going a skosh overboard with dress codes and themes, but it’s my love language. I long for a butler’s pantry to house my ridiculous stash of vintage dishes, cutlery and linens…which could only be enhanced by some beautiful black marble and blue stripes. My signature drink is prosecco! (Does that count?)

  • Reply
    Karen
    August 30, 2018 at 6:36 am

    I too am the hostess (with the mostess) in my group! I love to entertain. I enjoy the preparations that go into hosting – from planning the meal and prepping, to setting up all my entertaining wares – silver trays, pretty glasses, drink dispenser, champagne buckets, cloth napkins. The gal who babysits my girls also helps me during parties – then I’m not a slave in the kitchen.

    Our tried-and-true summer entertaining meal down here in So Cal is of course, Mexican (perfect with margaritas!) – grilled carne asada and pollo asada, tortillas, beans, and a green salad. Everything can be prepped ahead, and when it’s time to cook, we’re just grilling the meat and warming the tortillas. It’s a winner every time, and it appeals to people who aren’t big meat eaters.

    My slow cooker “refried” beans are a staple at my house:
    3 cups dried pinto beans
    5 slices bacon (ok, make it 7 slices), cut into pieces
    1 yellow onion, chopped
    8 cloves of garlic, chopped
    Salt/garlic powder to taste
    Chicken Stock to cover/fill slow cooker
    Cook on high for about 7 hours. This recipe makes enough for a party of 25. When I make it for the house, I freeze it in parts, and thaw as needed.

  • Reply
    Greta
    August 30, 2018 at 7:03 am

    It is not superficial to hold that role at all. I believe our environment influences our well-being so much. And it is so amazing that your friends have someone to help them create more beautiful surroundings! Love this tablescape but most of all, I love Johnny Cash. His face is so precious!

  • Reply
    Lbpv
    August 30, 2018 at 7:26 am

    I’m the listener, book and tv/movie recommender, and sarcastic (funny?) world observer. Those napkins and that black board are pretty nice

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 30, 2018 at 7:37 am

    This looks like my type of dinner party! I am also the designer/host/creative type in my group and I secretly love it. My hubby, fur baby, human baby and I are renting – so my design is really limited to what I can purchase to take with me – which means I have grown a major love for any and all entertaining/serving pieces. I would LOVE to add some black marble and the linen napkins to my stash. What a great way to end the summer!

  • Reply
    Linda
    August 30, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Beautiful dinner arrangement! I would definitely invite my dear friends of 40+ years to remember good times and toast to the future!

  • Reply
    Julie
    August 30, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Followed, followed, and I’m also the hostess! (Another vote for sparkling wine or champagne as a signature drink – it’s the liquid equivalent of candlelight, in my opinion, making everything feel festive.) I don’t think there’s anything superficial about using your talents and passions, whatever they might be, as a gift for the people you love. I think it’s sweet, and it’s clear you do it with your whole heart and soul – that tablescape is gorgeous. Those napkins and that marble board are stunning.

  • Reply
    Meg
    August 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

    I also love to host! I don’t cook (my husband does all of that) but I’m never happier than when I have all my friends gathered around me and we’re just enjoying time together. I currently live in a rental, but dream of having a beautiful space where I can relax with a group.

  • Reply
    Marit
    August 30, 2018 at 8:48 am

    All so pretty! I would love to have my neighbors over for dinner.

  • Reply
    jonae
    August 30, 2018 at 8:53 am

    I love to host, though our current home is not ideal (very small and closed off), so entertaining can be a challenge and our kitchen needs a reno. However, I love hosting outdoor gatherings during the warmer days of the year with our newly landscaped and decorated patio.

    One of my favorite things to have (especially in the summer months) is a good chips and guac. You can’t go wrong and with the fresh herbs from our garden, it’s fabulous! And then, whatever meat and vegetables the SO chooses (as he’s the one who grills – I make the place settings beautiful and agonize over cleaning and prepping and redecorating ). In terms of who I’d invite, just a few close friends to enjoy the meal with, including their dogs and mine to have a slobbery mess of fun. This would cap off with lighting our torches around our deck and enjoying the night with music.

  • Reply
    kelli
    August 30, 2018 at 9:53 am

    i’m either the babysitter so they can go on date nights (voluntarily!) or the advice giver. sometimes i’m the comic relief depending on my mood that day.

  • Reply
    Lacey
    August 30, 2018 at 10:13 am

    We have a very small house, there isn’t even a dining area. I showed my husband how you transformed your carport (we both LOVE it!) and we are very anxious to try and do the same so we can entertain friends and family when the weather permits! I always enjoy having a good cheese ball and crackers but I can’t wait to try a charcuterie board out on friends and family when they visit! DIY citronella candles are also on my to try list!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 11, 2018 at 8:11 am

      Congrats Lacey!! You’re the giveaway winner. I’ll be in touch via email with details :) xo

  • Reply
    Tracy
    August 30, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Lately we’ve been having families over and ordering pizza! We might make a salad and/or an easy appetizer…but everyone has agreed that it’s better to make it simple than not entertain at all! With little kids around, we have had to take short cuts to make it happen. :) The carport looks great.

  • Reply
    Danna
    August 30, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Sarah, just love your carport! Its beautiful, relaxing and pleasing. Margaritas is our go to drink. My husband makes a very good one. No counting calories when you drink them though! I like to make taco bowls when friends come over. I cook the meat and have all the other ingredients in bowls for them to make it how they like it (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, olives, onions, salsa. My next go-to is a big yummy salad like this one:
    Lemon Poppy Seed Salad
    1 large bag of Romain lettuce-torn in small pieces
    1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    1 cup Cashews
    1/2 cup sweetened dried Cranberries
    1 Granny Smith apple (or other variety)
    1 Adjo or Bose Pear – cubed
    Dressing
    1/2 c sugar
    1/3 c lemon juice
    2 tsp finely chopped onion
    1 tsp Djon Mustard
    2/3 c olive oil
    1 TBSP Poppy Seeds
    Salt
    Blend first five ingredients. Add oil slowly until thick and smooth. Add poppy Seeds. Can be poured onto salad and mixed or allow each guest to pour their own amount.
    Now I’m hungry!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    I really don’t know which one I am but I love your table setting! It’s given me inspiration for our monthly friends dinner party! Love it.

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 30, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    You are so good at details and creating a space for people to feel welcome and loved–setting the stage and feeding their souls (and bellies) with good food and drinks. And if you and your friends are anything like mine, that always leads to some great conversation! As I’m sure you can guess, I’m the “word girl” in my group of friends. I can always be counted on for the best sarcastic comebacks, proper spelling, and the best ways to communicate. Sarcasm is my love language, I just can’t help it. I love good food and drink and SO appreciate the details, but making those things is just not my thing. Us word people need food and drink people like you in our lives! :)

  • Reply
    Melissa
    August 30, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I would say the shopaholic! Clothes and home decor!

  • Reply
    Samantha
    August 30, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    We don’t host often as our rescue dog has fearful aggression sometimes. Hence I’m fearful. It’s a cycle. I am usually the designated fixer doing behind the scenes work such as emptying trash, organizing, fluffing and folding. I am exceedingly picky and see every single napkin not folded properly, candle not perfectly centeterd. You get the idea. I’m a dream to live with just ask my husband.

    PS.-Cash is so sweet I’d feed him tidbits too.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    August 30, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I too like to host. I have been thinking of doing a mama’s brunch with my girlfriends once the weather cools
    Down a bit here in Florida.

  • Reply
    Mackenzie
    August 30, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    I feel like I’m usually the instigator in our group. Not in a negative way, haha. I usually initiate the hang out places or times or plans. I’m not in the spotlight while hanging out, but I like getting everybody together and watching all the goodness unfold. Being surrounded by all my people is rewarding.

    *also, JC is just the sweetest looking dog. He’d be getting snacks from me, too.

  • Reply
    Alex
    August 30, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I love to host, but we have a tiny house, so I’d invite our favorite couple over for a small cookout. I still loveeeee your terrace (that’s what we are calling it, right? or veranda?).

  • Reply
    Gladys
    August 30, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    I would have my sisters and their families over with their kids!

  • Reply
    Jenna
    August 30, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Can I be two? I’m definitely the professional wording/proofreading girl, but also the tough love/relationship advice giver. :)

  • Reply
    Liz
    August 31, 2018 at 4:17 am

    We’ve been away from friends all summer so i love this idea of throwing an end of summer get-together. What a glorious idea to celebrate friendship and catch up! A favorite recipe that I use and has always gone over well is Rachel Ray’s Peasant Pasta. It has a slight autumnal feeling, good for end of summer – beginning of fall soirée

  • Reply
    Monica
    August 31, 2018 at 7:43 am

    This is just lovely!

  • Reply
    Ann
    August 31, 2018 at 9:08 am

    My husband and I love hosting! We use every inch of our tiny apartment. Our fox nudges himself between all the guests : )

  • Reply
    Lauren Tierney
    August 31, 2018 at 9:36 am

    We love hosting our friends and family in all seasons, but we’re really looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving! Bring on the pumpkin pie!

  • Reply
    Janet
    August 31, 2018 at 9:45 am

    I love to see your Instagram pics. You have impeccable style. I want to be like you when I grow up! Tee hee!
    I love to host but am in the middle of house repair bc of a broken water pipe. I’m missing the end of summer get togethers :(

  • Reply
    Ardith
    August 31, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Wahoo, was that ever fun, Sarah. I think your uber fun post generated a record 12 pins to at least 6 different boards of mine. What a feast for the eyes as well as the culinary imagination. I’ll bet you all had a smashing good time. Cheers to you and Emmett, Ardith

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    September 1, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I love this tablescape! Super versatile! Living on the coast, blues tend to be a large part of my decorating palette! I LOVE how you combined the plates and the wooden charger!! I may have missed it, but where are the salad plates from? Beautiful! And I love a simple, uncomplicated menu for get-togethers! Charcuterie is always my go to! Homemade pimento cheese with crackers and pickled okra typically make an appearance! It’s is my love language!

  • Reply
    Kathy Roberson
    September 2, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Followed! Love your arrangement…and your blog. My friends come to me for money/investment advice because I was able to retir early! I love to entertain and am always on the look out for recipes that can be prepared ahead of time so I can enjoy my guests as much as possible. One of my friends turned me on to this Bok Choy salad this summer and it has been a hit…and much of it can be prepared ahead of time. You can add a protein and make it the entree. Choose the size of bok choy (regular or petite) to get the greens vs. white crunchy part ratio you prefer.

    https://www.geniuskitchen.com/amp/recipe/bok-choy-salad-184840

  • Reply
    Susan Christy
    September 3, 2018 at 8:33 am

    I’m the friend that always brings dessert. No one in my group of friends can bake so if it wasn’t for me there would be no pie, cake, cookies or cobblers. (Follow both on IG!)

  • Reply
    Justynn Yagiela
    September 5, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    We are the hosts in our circle of friends!

  • Reply
    Libbey Meisenheimer
    September 5, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Hostess! (And dessert maker). My husband and I are always up for hosting a dinner or brunch at our house. We usually have our families or closest friends over!

  • Reply
    Navah
    September 5, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Woohoo giveaways are so much fun! I love hosting especially in the summer and had such a great time doing it these past few months! So sad summer’s officially over. I’m the friend that people come to for family advice. I come from a huge family with lots of siblings and cousins so I’m great at understanding family dynamics!

  • Reply
    Kelly Z
    September 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    True confessions my husband is our true hostess but I love all the prep and having people come to us. We have usually been the hosts due to our location. However, we recently moved to the suburbs and I love drawing inspiration from your posts. Our house is a fixer and I can’t wait to tackle each room. Thanks for the beautiful design and ideas!

  • Reply
    Jessica luna
    September 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    I really don’t know where I fall in the friend circle- maybe advice giver or design advice? Beautiful tablescape!!

  • Reply
    meghan
    September 5, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I am the friend who brings Rose and dessert!

  • Reply
    Craig K
    September 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    I’m the planner! I love planning small intimate dinner groups and coordinating meals. It’s my happy place

  • Reply
    Marissa
    September 5, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Truth is, I am the Homebody but I love a good reason to entertain

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 5, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I’m the gal who brings the best sweet treats but I also love the styling that goes into hosting a party. What a beautiful table you set!

  • Reply
    Joellyn
    September 5, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I’m definitely the creative consult in my circle. Your table is so beautiful and inspiring!

  • Reply
    Whitney
    September 5, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    I am the planner! The organizer! The group gift buyer! The bachelorette party game go to girl! All in all, I’m their go to for most everything and I love it! 😍☺️

  • Reply
    Diane Teall Evans
    September 5, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Ahhh your carport transformation is just beautiful. Maybe I’m a host too – but I love intimate gatherings most in our renovated dining nook. Its always a fun excuse to try a recipe that I tear out of Bon a Appetit! Sharing food is one of my favorite things. I love channeling my grandma!

  • Reply
    Tawana S LaTouche
    September 5, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I love to host and usually invite my close intimate friends that I can kick back and be open with and have nice conversations o we a glass of wine and great food. My husband does the cooking as he ilentertakns his close friends as well. We both fall in that category of the being the life of the party. Always throwing a shingding being little or small. So I guess I’m the life of the party and the glue that’s keeps the crew together.

  • Reply
    Dana
    September 5, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    I’m the medical advice friend, which means lots of photos of strange rashes. Ha!
    I love your aesthetic and wish I had a better finger on this type of thing – maybe the napkins and cutting board would help. 😉

  • Reply
    Teri
    September 6, 2018 at 8:13 am

    I love to host my large family, and I feel like these napkins are just the thing to class up my next event. Fingers crossed!

  • Reply
    Joanna Olson
    September 6, 2018 at 8:32 am

    In my circle of friends and family (got a huge family!) I tend to be the one who’s always available 😂. I will rearrange my schedule to be there…sometimes to a fault! I would love to be the initiator but struggle with hosting b/c of the size of my home, it’s so small, but I ache to make it work; I love hosting and serving my friends with an evening out.

  • Reply
    Noreen
    September 6, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I’m also the hostess in our friend group! We just threw our annual end of summer lobster boil and it was one to remember. Love all your tips and styling. Time to start planning the next party…..

  • Reply
    Christina p
    September 7, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Love the tablescape. So inviting and loving the linen. I like to host but it is nice to take a step back to listen and converse. I’d invite our neighbors over.

  • Reply
    Kristen
    September 7, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I love everything about this! Such a gorgeous setting and so casual. Personally in my friend group I am the foodie, the one who always makes people try things they never thought they’d eat. I love having people over and sharing a meal. We are extremely fortunate to have friends that have turned into family and we use weekly/biweekly meals to keep in touch with everyone.

  • Reply
    Erin
    September 7, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    I love the beauty and simplicity of those napkins! I would love to use them at our monthly “parents dinner club” where we all get a sitter (usually 2 actually) to watch 5 couples worth of kids while we have a fancy grownup dinner. Kids usually order pizza and we all appreciate the cheaper babysitting!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 7, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    I wish I was the hostess with the mostest in my little group but I’m more likely to suggest a dinner out. Maybe these cute napkins would inspire me to have people over more frequently? ;)

  • Reply
    Jen
    September 8, 2018 at 7:22 am

    I am definitely the entertainer! It brings me joy to create a perfect night in for my friends in a cozy, relaxed way. Just a little something that makes the day feel special.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 8, 2018 at 7:29 am

    So beautiful! I would host a friends brunch and they would be so jealous! :)

  • Reply
    Erika G.
    September 8, 2018 at 9:42 am

    It is so exciting to have the opportunity to enter this giveaway! I have been following Roomfortuesday for awhile now but I am now subscribed/following Sevensmith. The Veranda looks gorgeous and so inviting. I love hosting for friends and family as well. Even in my everyday I go above and beyond and have cute little family dinners or backyard outings with my kids and hubby and make it extra special for them. These would be such a beautiful addition pieces, and the marble tray is perfect for the upcoming holidays.

  • Reply
    Erika G.
    September 8, 2018 at 9:49 am

    It is so exciting to have the opportunity to enter this giveaway! I have been following Roomfortuesday for awhile now but I am now subscribed/following Sevensmith. The Veranda looks gorgeous and so inviting. I also love hosting for friends and family. Even in my everyday I go above and beyond and have cute little family dinners or backyard outings with my kids and hubby and make it extra special for them. These would be such beautiful addition pieces and the marble tray is perfect for any occasion and the upcoming holidays.

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