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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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Host a Cookie Swap Pajama Party

How to Throw a ‘Cookie Swap’ Pajama Party

We’re big fans of a good pajama party, especially during the winter months. There is something about being snuggled up with your closest friends in your favorite PJs, enjoying great snacks and good movie, that feels so right in the winter. The only thing in the world that could make a winter sleepover feel even more cozy is a pile of freshly baked cookies.

‘Cookie swaps’ are a super fun addition to Christmas parties, cookouts, and family reunions — so why not host one during a pajama party, when you’re already on the hunt for sweet treats? The concept is simple: each guest brings cookies for everyone to try and enough cookies for everyone to take some home. It’s a great way to share recipes you love with friends and, well, eat cookies!

How to Host a Cookie Swap

Need recipe ideas? Check out these must-try cookies.

8 Tips for Hosting a ‘Cookie Swap’ Sleepover Continue reading

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Super Bowl Games You Can Play In Your Pajamas

5 Games to Play During the Super Bowl, If You Don’t Follow Football

Go sports! Do the thing! Make the points! Are you ready to watch that football team that wins a lot play that other team from somewhere else on Sunday? Or is it Saturday? If football isn’t your jam, we feel you. Plenty of people tune in to the Super Bowl (on Sunday) for the big-budget commercials alone.

When you host a Super Bowl party, you inevitably have a mixed crowd. Some partygoers will be avid football fans, others might support a team that didn’t make it, and some people will want to eat bean dip but don’t care about the main event. If you think your guests will be mostly the latter, keep it casual. Throw on your favorite pair of pajama pants and encourage your guests to do the same. Get comfortable and settle in for a relaxed day of games — it’ll give you something to do until until the next commercial!

Super Bowl Pajama Pants

Game day ready in ultra-comfy Boxercraft pajama pants!

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How to Host a Winter Spa Day in Your Pajamas

How to Host a Winter Spa Day

We are barely through winter but our skin has been through the ringer: holiday stress, wayward skincare routines, loads of sugar, and the season’s first blizzard. As we approach winter’s halfway mark, give your tired skin some TLC. Gather your best girlfriends for a winter spa day.

Hosting a winter spa day is far less expensive than the real deal. Also, many people abstain from sugar or alcohol during the month of January, so it’s a way to host a party that doesn’t put an emphasis on food and drink — but who would pass up a chance to sip a mimosa in a bathrobe?

Munki Munki Women's Fluffy Polar Bear Coral Fleece Robe

Munki Munki Fluffy Polar Bear Fleece Robe from The Pajama Company

Everything You Need for a Winter Spa Day at Home

1. BYOB

Bring your own bathrobe, that is. Encourage everyone to wear clothes they can truly lounge in (think ultrasoft pajama pants) and their fluffiest, coziest bathrobe and slippers. Slipping into a relaxed state of mind starts with the clothes we wear. When you go to a spa, you are provided with a robe and encouraged to wear soft, loose-fitting clothing. Encourage your guests to do the same. Let’s be real: pants with zippers are for the birds.

2. Minimalist Magic

Tidy up your living room so everything looks neat and decluttered with a minimalist spa feel. Hide knick knacks and run the vacuum. Turn off the TV and turn on some ‘spa tunes’ on Pandora or Spotify: any soothing instrumentals that incorporate nature sounds like rain, gentle thunder, or birdsong. Make sure there are plenty of pillows and space for people to get comfortable. Set up stacks of magazines throughout the room. Strategically place some fresh flowers to bring the outdoors in and shake off the winter blues.

Create a Spa Atmosphere

The traditional blend of lavender and peppermint has an instant, calming effect.

3. Aromatherapy

The first thing we notice when we step into a spa is the smell. The traditional blend of lavender and peppermint has an instant, calming effect. The scent of lavender is well-known for its stress-relieving benefits. Peppermint has a cooling, refreshing effect and is used in aromatherapy to increase mental alertness. Many claim that the oil has natural energy-boosting properties. Add peppermint and lavender scented candles or oil diffusers to the room so your guests can breathe deep and relax in a spa-like atmosphere.

4. Drinks and Light Bites

If you want to keep the menu alcohol-free out of respect for your friends abstaining in January, opt for spa classics like cucumber water. Simply slice a cleaned cucumber (peeled or unpeeled, your preference) into ½ inch slices. Add to a pitcher of water with ice. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but for best results let sit overnight. You can make lemon water by swapping out lemons and following the same process. Opt for lighter food like fresh fruit, hummus, smoked salmon, pita wedges, veggies, or salad wraps. If you’re including adult beverages, mimosas are a surefire hit.

5. Spa Stations

Unless you’re a licensed massage therapist, the spa stations will be simple, but fun. Set up an adjoining bathroom with tea lights, exfoliating face washes, moisturizers, and face masks for a DIY facial station. Set up an area of the living room with nail polish remover, various polishes and finishes, and hand cream for manicures and pedicures. Print out instructions for shoulder and neck massages and guests can take turns giving each other massages. Lastly add a hair styling station with dry shampoo, spray-in conditioner, styling products, a curling iron, flat iron, combs, ties, and bobby pins. Have fun trying out online tutorials and styling each other’s hair.

While your party won’t be on par with a 5-star spa, you and your guests are sure to have a great time catching up, enjoying snacks, and giggling at each other’s face masks. For more ideas on how to live your best life in the New Year, visit The Pajama Company on our blog or check us out on Facebook.

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How to Host a Winter Pajama Party

How to Host a ‘Winter Wonderland’ Pajama Party

After we unplug the Christmas tree and pack away our holiday decorations, many people feel a touch of ‘post-holiday blues’ because there is nothing left to celebrate and a long winter ahead. Don’t feel sad! There is a lot to celebrate after the holidays!

For one, we aren’t faced with the daunting task of entertaining in-laws and houseguests for another weekend packed with holiday traditions and formalities. Those of us who travel aren’t faced with another weekend in an airport, dragging luggage and children from coast to coast to visit family. The magical, sparkly, snowy winter weather is still going strong, which means we have a lot to celebrate — right at home.

Without all the holiday obligations, we can gleefully spend the rest of the winter season in hibernation. Why not celebrate what’s left of the season with a laidback ‘Winter Wonderland’ pajama party? Since the kids will be on winter break until after the New Year, you can keep the party to just your family or invite another family to join in. It’s also a great excuse to use those matching family pajamas one more time…

Winter Pajama Party Decor Ideas

Delaying taking down the Christmas decorations? Use your decorative string lights to create a wintery ambiance.

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Our Favorite Summer Sleepover Movies

Summer Sleepover time is here…finally!  Grab your pals and settle in for some sleepover fun.  When darkness sets in pop some popcorn and pile on your pillows for some perfect summer movies.  Here are our favorites but we know you have your faves also so be sure to drop us a comment and let us know which ones we left off the “Perfect” list.

  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • The Kid
  • Now and Then
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Bend It Like Beckham
  • Because I Said So
  • High School Musical
  • Freaky Friday
  • Mean Girls
  • Princess Bride
  • Just Like Heaven
  • Enchanted
  • Grease
  • How To Loose A Guy in 10 Days
  • Footloose
  • Pretty Woman
  • Big
  • 13 Going on 30
  • The Holiday
  • Nottinghill
  • 50 First Dates
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Legally Blonde
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Clueless
  • The Princess Diaries
  • Never Been Kissed
  • A Cinderella Story
  • Monty Python and The Holy Grail
  • Happy Gilmore
  • Hairspray
  • Runaway Bride
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Romancing The Stone
  • Pretty in Pink
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