Cleaning Entertaining Leisure

Al Fresco Dining Set Up in 15 Minutes

Al fresco dining sounds so fancy, but for me it’s the most casual and friendly way to enjoy friends and family around the table.

We use our patio quite a lot, but there is still some prep work involved in taking the party outdoors.  I think I have it down to a science and can get us set up in less than 15 minutes.

I am using my Greenworks to blow off the patio and dust off the furniture.
Sweeping the Patio with my Blower

Sweep the Patio

The Greenworks lightweight battery blower.
Greenworks Modern Day Witch’s Broom

Before I wipe down the furniture, I give the patio a quick sweep with my new battery-powered lightweight blower.  I love this Greenworks Pro blower and use it all the time.  We got it at Lowe’s (I’m not an affiliate but am linking for convenience).  I think John wanted this brand because its battery is interchangeable with another device we have.  This is way more fun that using a broom!

Turn on the Fans and Misters

The patio cover has three outdoor fans and we rarely use them all at the same time.  John installed them so they could be used independently and they all have their own remote.  It was super fun trying to figure out which remote was turning on which fan until he labeled them with the label maker. 

CorineAtoZ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Do you use a label maker?  I bought this P-touch years ago so I could uniformly label file folders.  I have since used it for everything. Of course, it’s so old, my model is discontinued, but here’s a similar one.

The misters and fans are on and the patio stays nice and cool.
Fans and Misters On

Our commercial misters are the star of the patio in the summer and they are also on a remote. 

We have various remotes for the fans and misters and labeling them has made a big difference
Outdoor Remotes Labeled
We use our labeler a lot
Ptouch Label Maker

Wipe Down the Furniture

A few years ago we bought new patio furniture from Costco.  Don’t you feel like when you make big purchases from Costco you get a good value?  I haven’t been sorry with much I have bought from them.  I love our outdoor furniture, but this dark metal gets dusty  I sometimes wipe it down more than once a day.

Crank the Tunes

John received this Bose Bluetooth speaker a couple of years ago and we use it all the time.  The easy portability and wonderful sound mean that we can listen to music anywhere in our house or yard.  The speaker is paired with an iPad and I turn on a Pandora station that suits my mood.  I have a variety of favorites saved on depending on my activity.   Patio cleanup is the “Train” station.  Card playing is the “Jimmy Buffet” station. Yoga is “Nature Sounds.” 

I love tunes out on the patio.  I stream Pandora stations on my iPad and listen with my Bose bluetooth
Bose Bluetooth and iPad Streaming Pandora

Wow, to think I spent all my hard-earned babysitting money on buying record albums in the 1970s just to listen to one or maybe two songs.  Sometimes the nowadays are better than the olden days.

Shop the House

I’m not gonna lie, I have been on a bit of a spending jag the past couple of weeks.  I went months without really buying much, but I guess the loll is over and I think I need a bunch of stuff.  But for casual outdoor eating, I can shop the house.

It seems like every year there are such adorable patterns for outdoor dishes and over time I have quite a lot of it.  This year I have not succumbed to the temptation of purchasing new and instead shopped my kitchen.  It’s fun to mix and match some older pieces and pull together a little look.

Set the Table

I found these cute gingham cork placemats on Amazon and they are perfect for outside.  They are a snap to clean after meals.  Ok, I admit, they are a recent purchase.  Everything else I’ve had for a few years though.

Love shopping the house for festive place settings
Cute Gingham Placemats and Festive Tray

John strung lights on the ceiling and they add to the festive feeling at night.

I do have citronella candles in the cute orange buckets, but when I set the table I don’t worry about candles or flowers for ambience.  I thought this pretty Mexican tray with a few lemons did the trick and no purchase necessary.

The string lights, fans and misters are all  going to set the ambience.
String Lights On

Whether it’s just tapas or lunch or dinner or evening drinks, the patio is my favorite place to relax.