Is your Backyard an Outdoor Oasis?

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Pier 1 Imports. I received a gift card to facilitate my post and to thank me for participating.

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Outdoor Oasis”?  Do you envision a beautiful turquois beach with a hammock strung between some swaying palms?  I do–I think lazy tropical days without a care in the world.

Few of us live in a tropical oasis (and even if we did, I’m sure we’d have bills to pay, jobs to go to and kids to care for–so it probably wouldn’t be as idyllic as we imagine).  How do you get the feeling of an Oasis in your back yard? How can you take a little time and “get away from it all” without actually going anywhere?

That’s the challenge that Pier 1 Imports gave me–to create my very own “Backyard Oasis” party to relax and have fun with some friends! For this challenge I was given a $150 gift card to Pier 1 (yayayayay!!!) and some money to spend on refreshments. Pier 1 started out with some great tips on outdoor decor and summer entertaining:

  • Let your decor reflect the best in summer-make it easy, fun and vibrant
  • Your table is the focal point–combine favorite accessories (trays, lanterns, bouquets) to create a cheerful, summery centerpiece
  • No table, no problem!  Serving carts can bring the party to the action
  • Create a welcoming atmosphere with a variety of outdoor lanterns and LED candles.
  • Outdoor dinnerware (from Pier 1 of course!) is pretty enough for indoors, but tough enough for your outdoor parties
  • Add a personal touch with vintage inspired drink dispensers, cheery cake stands and bold chip & dip trays

With those ideas in mind, I was so excited to head off on my Pier 1 Imports shopping expedition!
Pier 1 Collage

There was so much great stuff in store.  I LOVED their patio furniture, especially the red metal bistro set.  Unfortunately that wasn’t in the budget this trip (and my current patio set is still perfectly serviceable, and you know me, use it till it can’t be used any more!). I still may cave and pick up the red bistro set.  It would look perfect on the side of my big wrap around porch!  If you aren’t in the market for furniture this year, but your own personal outdoor oasis needs an update–check out the gorgeous all weather patio furniture cushions at Pier 1.  The colors and patterns this year are just gorgeous.  I particularly liked the fresh look of the aqua (teal?) and coral colored coral print.  Beautiful!

Pier 1 patio and cushions

So what did I buy on my trip?  Well, you all know me, I like to buy things that are mutlipurpose and have a long useful lifespan when I go shopping–so that’s what I had in mind as I walked around Pier 1.  What will I get a TON of use out of?  Rather than opting for a lot of little things, I decided to go for a couple of larger pieces.

Yankee Bill and I entertain with some regularity.  It’s not monthly or anything, but there are definitely 4 or 5 times a year that we have a big backyard barbeque or (when the weather is cooler) a large indoor crowd.  Memorial Day.  Labor Day.  Halloween.  The Holidays.  So we do have regular occasion to use the “party” items I picked up.

First, ever since they started coming out with those party drink dispensers a few years ago I have really wanted one for my gatherings!  Most of the dispensers are lucite or plastic, but at Pier 1 they were all made of glass-which I prefer!  There were 4 or 5 styles, but I choose the hammered glass drink dispenser ($55) with a pretty black “wrough iron” type stand.  I like that the spigot doesn’t have to hang off the edge of the table or counter-the stand makes it so you can easily refill your glass.

We have several large coolers that we typically drag out for parties.  They work well and hold the ice, but let’s face it–they aren’t pretty.  Actually they aren’t even close to pretty.  The red metal beverage tub ($69) is!  It isn’t insulated, but it holds plenty of ice and drinks (it had no trouble keeping everything cool during my party that went several hours).

I still had money left on my gift card and was scouting around the store when I found some stackable acrylic wine goblets ($15 for 4).  I picked up two sets.  Not only are they in lovely bright colors that went with my party, and made of unbreakable acrylic–but because they stack they don’t take up anywhere near the amount of storage space that regular wine glasses do.

That just about took me up to my gift card limit–I only had a few dollars left.  So what  can you pick up for only a few dollars at Pier 1?  Did you know that Pier 1 has some really pretty and unusual disposable entertaining items like paper plates, paper napkins and decorated straws and picks?  I didn’t!  I found some super adorable straws that had paper umbrellas built in (if that doesn’t scream outdoor oasis I don’t know what does!) and their Whimsy Bright buffet napkins.  There were matching plates, but I had maxed out my card.

Pier 1 Outdoor Oasis PartyFor my party I invited over 6 of my good girlfriends.  We had it during the day when the kids were in school so we all could just relax and enjoy each other’s company without having to be “mom” for a little bit.  I don’t know about you–but that’s part of my definition of Oasis!  I made a fruit & wine punch (1 bottle wine, 1 bottle sprite, lots of cut fruit) to place in the drink dispenser, along with some homemade decorative fruit ice cubes.  The beverage tub was filled with bottles of my homemade wine and several kinds of soda.  Everyone ohhed and ahhed over the beverage tub and drink dispenser.  Seriously–it was totally unprompted by me!

In keeping with the Oasis theme I wanted to have light and refreshing food that felt summery. I also wanted this to be a fun party for ME–so I didn’t want a lot of fussy food that was going to take me a long time to prepare or that would mean I had to miss the party to get things ready.  I went simple and fresh–a huge fruit tray, chips and dip, purchased mini eclairs.  Then I rounded it out with a couple of simple recipes–Drunken grapes and a pressed Hawaiian Ham Sandwich I invented and cooked on the grill.

Party Food

We relaxed, ate food, drank a glass or two of wine punch, took a dip in our hot tub and chatted.  It was a really good time–several of my friends said it was the most relaxing afternoon they had had in a long time.  And that’s what an oasis is all about, right?  Feeling care free and relaxed, if only for a little while.

And my party purchases?  Well they’ve already come in handy several times.  We’ve since hosted another gathering which put the beverage tub,  drink dispenser and stackable acrylic goblets right back into service!

Pier 1 Party

Then this last weekend I was attending a friend’s backyard barbeque and she begged me to bring the stackable acrylic goblets–she is planning on buying a couple of sets herself after seeing mine but hadn’t had time to get into town yet.  “They are just so nice looking, will store easily and I don’t have to worry about anyone dropping and breaking them” she told me!

So remember–everything I talked about is available at your local Pier 1 Imports.  There are several convenient ways for you to shop:

  • In Store–see it, touch it, feel it for yourself
  • Ship to Store–browse from the comfort of your home and pick up in store
  • Ship to home–browse, order and pay online from the comfort of home
  • In home delivery–Order furniture and large items on Pier1.com and have them delivered right to your door, or even have items assembled, within one to three weeks.

And now as a special treat for my readers, I have a quick, one day only entry for a $25 Pier 1 Imports Giftcard!  This giveaway is open only to residents of the USA who are over 18 years of age.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Pier1OutdoorParty #Sponsored #MC

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Comments

  1. Melissa says

    Love the drink dispenser. I always see the cheap plastic ones, but want the glass one. So happy to see pier one had one. They have gorgeous items!

  2. Amyrlin says

    Beautiful choices and the pictures make it look so inviting! Has me thinking about what I cna do in my large covered patio complete with misters :)

  3. Ruth S says

    My godsons are coming in July. At age 13 and 11, they think it’s cool to drink iced tea from my very small wine glassed. I would love some of the ones you have along with the umbrellas for everyone, they would think that was super!

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