As September comes to a close, we’ve got our final #BackToTheTable Challenge to help add variety to your mealtime plans: outdoor dining! Whether your preferred outdoor dining involves a blanket on the grass or enjoying a meal on your patio, we’re breathing in the fresh air and cherishing time together.
What’s the Back to the Table Challenge?
To encourage The Busy Bee community to get creative with their family meals this month, we’ve created our #BackToTheTable Challenge! The winner will receive a $50 APIARY gift card. Entering the contest is easy: simply tag The Busy Bee on a social media post of you participating in the challenge and use the hashtag #BackToTheTable. Each challenge entry is a bonus entry. Shannon and Jenna will randomly select a winner on Instagram Stories on October 1st. To be sure your entry counts, have a public profile and/or send us a DM with a photo of your entry (if private).
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Booked and Busy?
Jenna and her family embraced this challenge with a little twist: they went #BackToTheTable on their family’s busiest day–Saturday. With everything your family might have going on day-to-day it can quickly feel like there’s no time for anything outside of your normal routine; we’d like to counter, however, that stepping out of that routine can help things feel more intentional and special. Even with hectic schedules, it’s always worth it to take an intentional pause with the people you love most.
Take it Outside
As the neighborhood boys played football in the yard and filled the air with laughter, Jenna prepared a space to eat. Using a few favorite #HostfulHacks, Jenna created a welcoming environment where everyone could enjoy a homemade pizza dinner. With a few throw pillows, decorative vases, throw blankets, faux florals, and candles from inside, Jenna’s outside patio was transformed and ready.
Hostful Hack No. 91: Don’t forget to incorporate lighting into your outdoor entertaining space, especially as the sunsets. Candles and a string or two of market lights provide both style and function. Include a few citronella candles as well to help repel mosquitos.
Hostful Hack No. 92: Turn your outdoor space into an outdoor living room by layering rugs, decorative pillows, and throw blankets.
Dining outdoors opened up the possibilities for what we normally do for dinner on a busy evening. This was the perfect time for us to use our Ooni Pizza Oven! We love how our Ooni makes it so easy to create the most delicious pizzas. An added benefit is that pizza is an easy food for us to eat outdoors (no utensils necessary)!
Hostful Hack No. 88: Transport with a tray. Invest in a large decorative tray or two to help carry plates of food, drinkware, and whatever else you may need for entertaining outdoors. It will save you many trips going back and forth from the indoors out.
A Pleasant Surprise
Jenna noticed that her family was so relaxed when eating outside. Everyone showed up as they were (sweaty from sports, in their gear) ready to connect. After the meal, the toddlers went back to playing in the yard and Jenna took some time to relax and enjoy the evening breeze. A quiet, peaceful moment to soak everything in during her busiest day.
Hopefully this month’s #BackToTheTable challenge helped put the why back in focus and took off some of the pressures of mealtime.
Meal planning can feel daunting. It’s like that quote: “Who knew the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out what to cook for dinner every single night for the rest of your life.” But we know it doesn’t need to be this way. Serving your loved ones can be fun, an opportunity to explore and learn together, and a highlight of each day.
From doing these challenges ourselves, we can tell you it helped change our mindsets about how we approach dinner. Instead of looking at meals as another to-do, it’s an opportunity to serve family, pause from all the chaos, and reconnect with those we love most. An opportunity to pour into them and into ourselves.
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