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Summer Backyard Enjoyment

Savvy tips for a get-together to remember

7/3/2013, 6 a.m.
There is nothing better than gathering family and friends for a fun, outdoor get-together.
Prep your outdoor living space for summer gatherings by clustering seating around a coffee table then adding side tables for plates of food and glasses.

(Family Features) There is nothing better than gathering family and friends for a fun, outdoor get-together. With a few decorating tricks and entertaining ideas, anyone can become the “host(ess) with the mostess.”

To help Americans get the most out of their outdoor spaces and enjoy the summer season, OFF! has partnered with lifestyle and entertaining expert Katie Brown. Together, they have the tips and tricks to help ensure you’re prepared this summer for any outdoor gathering.

First, a little preparation goes a long way. In the recent Summer Savvy Survey conducted by the makers of OFF!, 80 percent of respondents said getting a bug bite and running out of food are the two most annoying things that could ruin an outdoor party. Before heading outside, spot treat your backyard with a product designed to protect it from a variety of insects like mosquitoes, ants and fleas, such as the OFF! Bug Control Backyard Pretreat. Simply attach it to a garden hose and apply to your trees, shrubs, ornamentals and structures. Once applied, OFF! Bug Control Backyard Pretreat kills 110 types of insects for up to eight weeks on nonporous surfaces.

Prep your outdoor living space for summer gatherings by clustering seating around a coffee table then adding side tables for plates of food and glasses. Anchor the grouping with a beautiful outdoor rug. Then amp up the fun factor with vibrant hues that mimic the colors in the surrounding landscapes. Why not poppy red pillows or a sunflower yellow tablecloth? Keep the decor light, bright and festive.

Clusters of candles should also be placed on small tables near where the guests will be lounging. Make sure to include an OFF! Citronella Candle or two. They add several hours of ambiance and style.

Try to anticipate things your guests may need to be comfortable during the party. Fill up wicker baskets, or “pamper pots,” and set them near various seating areas. It’s a thoughtful touch guests will really appreciate. Items to consider are:

—Sunscreen: Even if the day is cloudy, both kids and adults will appreciate having an extra bottle of sunscreen on hand.

—Mosquito repellent: The OFF! Clip-On gives your guests personal protection against mosquitos so they can stay comfortable throughout the event.

—Umbrellas: Whether guests use them for an unexpected rainshower or to shield themselves from the sun, umbrellas are a thoughtful touch.

—Flashlights: A little extra illumination may come in handy during late night festivities. The kids might find flashlights make for a great game of tag.

If you’re hosting a planned event such as a birthday party or holiday BBQ, consider offering a fun take-home treat. As the party winds down, fill a small beach bag with any extra supplies, such as flashlights, sunscreen, insect repellent, bubbles and sidewalk chalk, for each family.

For more information about OFF! products, and more of Katie Brown’s tips, visit www.keepbugsoff.com and www.Facebook.com/OFF.