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Memorial Day Weekend Staycation Ideas

Memorial Day, first and foremost, is the time we remember the heroes that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It’s also an extra-long weekend where we spend quality time with family and friends to celebrate the official start of summer. Typically this holiday weekend is spent enjoying cookouts, parades, beach parties, and other celebrations that involve large gatherings. This year however, things will look dramatically different due to social distancing practices.

Although all our states are now open to one degree or another, everyone is still being encouraged to stay home whenever possible and limit the number of people we come in contact with. Because of this, folks are looking for ways to still enjoy the holiday weekend in a toned-down way.  We have some fabulous ideas, sure to keep the spirit of the weekend alive and well.

1. Sleep in. To make sure you are refreshed and ready to enjoy all your planned activities, you’ll need to be well-rested. Sleeping in – even an extra hour will assure that you are re-energized for all the fun.

2. Have a down-sized cookout: Memorial Day weekend just isn’t complete until you fire up the grill. You can set up yard games like cornhole or lawn Jenga and spend the day playing games, enjoying terrific food, and getting fresh air.

3. Go to a concert – virtually. The National Memorial Day Concert is being broadcast on PBS on Sunday night at 8pm EDT. The concert will stream from various locations around the country and feature performances and tributes honoring our veterans and troops. It features performances from artists such as Trace Adkins, CeCe Winans, Kelli O-Hara, and more.

 4. Build a campfire: Roast hot dogs and marshmallows, tell stories, and play campfire games for a good old fashioned summer tradition.

5. Do nothing. You read that right. Use the weekend to just relax, gather your thoughts, and enjoy the beautiful weather. There’s nothing we enjoy more than unplugging and taking as early afternoon nap in our favorite lawn chair or hammock.

6.Make your own paper poppies: After World War I, the red field poppy was one of the first plants to flourish in the battlefields of France & Belgium. The color also symbolized the bloodshed of the battles, after the publication of the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines. Today, paper poppies, which are all handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation, are distributed on Memorial Day weekend as a symbol of remembrance. This simple tutorial outlines how you can make your own poppies right at home. We love the idea of crafting them yourselves then donating money to your local VFW to continue supporting their mission.

7. Have a neighborhood parade: Get the neighbors together and plan a parade for your street or block. Kids can decorate floats and show their handiwork while everyone watches from their respective driveways or yards. It’s a great way to lift people’s spirits and get outside for some fun.

8. Make care packages for soldiers: While you are enjoying your uber long holiday weekend, soldiers are on the front line protecting our country. Organizations such as Operation Gratitude hold several events during Memorial Day weekend and are ready and waiting to collect your donations to send to our men and women serving in the armed forces. You can also check with your local chapter of veteran’s affiliations to find out what items they need and how you can get your care package to an appreciative soldier.

9. Decorate in Red, White & Blue. Nothing shows patriotism more than displaying our national colors. Fly the American flag, make ‘Thank you’ signs  for your front yard, decorate your driveway in red, white & blue in chalk art, and deck your home out with other arts and crafts to show your support for the good old U.S.A. This weekend is a good time to thank our first responders, care givers, doctors and nurses.

10. Bake festive treats. Baking can bring families together and the results are always delicious. Whip up some yummy treats for the family and decorate them in red, white & blue for the theme of the weekend.

Your Memorial Day weekend may be a bit more low-key than what you are used to but that doesn’t mean you can’t make everlasting memories, have fun, and spend time remembering what the day is all about.

We’d love to hear about your plans for the holiday. Share them below or visit our page on Facebook and share them with our community.

 

Happy Memorial Day!

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Rainy Day BBQ Recipes for the Oven

Rain or Shine: BBQ Recipes for the Oven or Grill

Barbecue season has officially arrived! What’s more American than grilling up thick juicy cuts of meat in the great outdoors? The key to hosting a stress-free outdoor bash is to create a backup plan for a rainy day. Unexpected showers are frequent during these temperamental spring-to-summer days and sudden thunderstorms are common in the thick of summer. Rained out barbecues are stressful for a number of reasons, the primary concern being: what the heck are you going to do with all that food?!

Take the pressure off your party planning and have oven-friendly barbecue recipes on hand. If you can move your party indoors or safely tuck your crowd under a tent, you can “party on” even if your grill is out of play. These are our favorite oven-friendly barbecue recipes that can easily be thrown on a grill if the weather lets up!

6 Oven-Friendly Barbecue Recipes for a Rainy Day

Moist Oven BBQ Chicken for a Rainy Day

Super Moist Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken by Heather Likes Food

1. Super Moist Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken by Heather Likes Food

This recipe delivers as promised: chicken so tender you could cut it with a fork and all that smoky BBQ flavor your guests are craving — minus the grill. The secret to Heather’s recipe is the killer overnight marinade. Just be sure you don’t marinade for more than 24 hours! Chicken has a sweet spot and the meat could get a little funky. If the sun decides to make an appearance you can easily change course and throw this flavor-packed meat on the grill instead. Get the full recipe from Heather Likes Food here.

Oven-Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs by AllRecipes

2. Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs by AllRecipes

We’re talking fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth delicious pork ribs straight from the oven. Rain shouldn’t mean that you let all that flavor go to waste! The ground chipotle pepper is the key ingredient in this keeper from AllRecipes. Chipotle peppers have a smoky taste, so even from the oven the meat will taste like it was served fresh off the grill. Get the full recipe from AllRecipes here.

Juicy Oven Steak for a Rainy Day

Juicy Oven Steak by Weary Chef

3. Juicy Oven Steak by Weary Chef

Making steak in an oven sound sacrilegious, but when you’re without a grill and you have to feed a crowd: a host’s gotta do what a host’s gotta do. You can’t go wrong with this tasty steak recipe from Weary Chef. The beef comes out far more tender than it would from a grill and you can easily knock out multiple servings at once. Keep in mind with all of these recipes that the meat needs to rest for a period of 30 minutes before serving, so that gives you plenty of time to move various dishes in and out of the oven. Get the full recipe from Weary Chef here.

Garlic Shrimp Kabobs for a Rainy Day

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs by Damn Delicious

4. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs by Damn Delicious

We are huge fans of Damn Delicious over here and you will probably find one Chungah’s recipes in practically every food post from Pajama Company! If your barbecue is rained out and you have an ungodly amount of expensive jumbo shrimp burning a hole in your fridge, fear not! These flavor-packed Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs are roasted in the oven to perfection. The best part is that they can be served up in a flash in between other oven-barbecue dishes like chicken or steak. If the weather clears up, just throw them on the grill! This recipe is super versatile. Get the full recipe from Damn Delicious here.

BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven for a Rainy Day

BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven by Taste of Southern

5. BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven by Taste of Southern

Were you planning on firing up the smoker this weekend only to have rain ruin your plans? Slow cook that Boston butt in your oven with this delicious pulled pork recipe from Taste of Southern. The recipe includes a homemade dry rub called “Steves Butt Rub” — and you if you can’t get behind that… What we love most about this recipe is that it pleases both sides of the BBQ fence by including a recipe for homemade “NC Eastern Style Vinegar-Based Sauce.” Pull out the sliders and keep the party going. Get the full recipe from Taste of Southern here.

Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks for a rainy day

Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks by Sweet C Designs

6. Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks by Sweet C Designs

Arguably everyone’s favorite: smoky, juicy, crispy drumsticks fresh off the grill. If Mother Nature has other plans for your barbecue menu, don’t panic! This simple recipe from Sweet C Designs will give you the juicy flavor packed chicken with a to-die-for crunchy crust — fresh from the oven. This recipe is loaded with BBQ-in-the-oven pro tips (“Don’t rush the magic!”) that you can apply to the other dishes on this list. Get the full recipe from Sweet C Designs here.

We hope you enjoy these recipes! All of us at The Pajama Company wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Like many Americans, we look for opportunities to support the American worker and American entrepreneur. We’re proud to tell our customers about the brands we carry that produce 100% of their merchandise in the United States.

For more inspiration for family activities or gift ideas, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Pajamas Made In America

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How to Prepare Your Backyard for Summer Entertaining

How to Prepare Your Backyard for Summer Entertaining

Each year, spring comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Blooming trees are overtaken by lush green foliage and temperatures steadily climb as we cruise into summer at full speed. Summer brings sunshine, friends, and super fun outdoor gatherings. If you’re hoping your backyard becomes your neighborhood’s hot spot for barbeques, dinner parties, and July 4th celebrations, prepare your space with these pro tips.

Light Summer Pajamas

It’s heating up! We adore this summery ‘Made in America’ Flamingo pajama set from The Cat’s Pajamas.

7 Tips to Get Your Backyard Ready for Summer

1. Spring cleaning made easy.

A simple way to add some sparkle to your outdoor space is to give the patio and furniture a good scrub-down. Shave time off this process and rent a pressure washer from your local home improvement store. A pressure washer will blast away years of dirt and grime from any surface. Your patio furniture, windows, siding, fencing, deck, and any masonry will sparkle like the day they were installed — and you won’t even break a sweat! You won’t even have to get out of your pajamas.

2. Create a chef’s paradise.

The first step in entertaining is wanting to entertain. Create an inviting space where you and your family can cook, mix drinks, and socialize. First, give your grill a good deep clean to keep it running safely in tip-top shape. Consider investing in a patio-friendly kitchen island, so you can spread out your ingredients and comfortably have everything at your fingertips. Place the cooler or ice bucket next to the island so it can double as “the bar.” Guests will stop by for a drink and chat while you’re manning the grill. If there’s a garden bed nearby, it might the perfect spot for herbs. An herb garden will provide you with fresh ingredients for your favorite dishes and refreshments all summer long!

Lazy One Flapjack Kids Pajamas

Safety first! When treating your lawn, opt for eco-friendly pest and weed control so your little ones can safely enjoy the great outdoors!

3. Give the lawn a facelift.

A week or two before you plan to host your first backyard soiree, trim the grass, seed and fertilize bald spots, and spray for weeds. If you’re concerned about harmful chemicals, there are a host of “green” alternatives on the market today. Now you can keep your grass looking fresh while keeping your kids and pets safe. Even if you’re not in the mood to plant, weed and mulch your garden beds to give them a “fresh” appearance before your guests arrive. With these small adjustments, your yard will look like a manicured putting green.

4. Light it up!

Lighting is essential for creating a magical ambiance for summer outdoor gatherings. Pull out your ladder and check and replace the bulbs in your existing outdoor lighting. If your backyard is darker than you’d like, consider installing easy solar-powered lights that don’t require a power-source. Many quality solar brands have an impressive battery life and will last well into the night. Other options are battery-operated LED lanterns, that can be installed virtually anywhere with a weight-bearing hook.

5. Plan for pests.

With the warm weather comes all sorts of creepy crawlies. Again, there are plenty of eco-friendly options if you’d like to spray for insects like ants in the weeks before you entertain. Stock up on deet-free bug spray for guests and citronella candles or citronella oil burners. Another option for pest control is to plant lemongrass, lavender, and mint. Not only are these plants beautiful and functional, they also deter mosquitoes and gnats!

Creative Outdoor Seating

Get creative with your outdoor seating! This sleek modular bench can be used in a variety of ways.

6. Creative seating.

If you plan on entertaining a crowd throughout the season, having a set or two of stackable outdoor chairs tucked away in your shed or garage is a great idea. However, storage space can be an issue for many homes. In this case, get creative and choose seating that serves multiple purposes. For example, simple benches can seat many people, take up minimal space, and can also serve as a place to set a drink down. Cut logs are rustic and decorative, but can be used as either a seat or a side table. Think outside the box to make the most of your space!

7. Shade and shelter.

Summer makes us think of sunshine, but can turn at any moment — especially if you’re living in the Northeast! Whether it’s a sudden scorcher or an unexpected summer storm, be prepared with flexible shelter so your party isn’t crammed indoors or cancelled. Umbrellas with bases are an excellent solution as are “pop up tents,” which can be quickly assembled and easily stored.

We hope you find these tips useful! All of us at The Pajama Company wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Like many Americans, we look for opportunities to support the American worker and American entrepreneur. We’re proud to tell our customers about the brands we carry that produce 100% of their merchandise in the United States.

For more inspiration for family activities or gift ideas, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Pajamas Made In America

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How to make the most of the long weekend

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is here! It’s the first long weekend of the summer season, so we’re sharing some ideas to help you enjoy…

And, don’t miss out: all weekend long we’re offering FREE UPS Ground shipping on all orders $40 and up. Use LONGWEEKEND at checkout.

1. Plan a Sunday night party, just because you can.  No work or school on Monday means you can stay up late and sleep in the next day.

2. Get outside.  Take a walk, hit the beach, go to the playground.  The household chores can wait!

3. Allow for the lazy.  Spend time doing nothing, or maybe reading a good book, or just playing with the dog. Lazy is good for you!

4. Rainy day? No problem. Stay in your PJs and have movie marathon!

5. Be a tourist in your own city.  Check out the area museums and sites you may not have been to in a while.  You never know what new exhibits or cool things you’ll discover!

6. Treat yourself!  It’s officially ice cream season and you deserve something yummy.  We say enjoy something delicious this weekend: an ice pop, a cool cocktail, a slice of cake.  Have a no-guilt treat!

Photo Credit: sweetsandhearts via Compfight cc

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