I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Pier 1 Imports. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.
John and I just moved into our first house last month. While we have a lot of “projects” we want to get to, we really wanted to start sprucing up our back yard as soon as possible. With summer almost here, it’s the perfect time to create an outdoor oasis in the back yard.
Our new house sits on over 2 acres and we are lucky enough to have an enormous, well landscaped back yard, with lots of room to entertain friends and family. Already in place are a large deck, a ground patio area, and then another covered patio area off the back of our garage. Some day, we will have all of these areas furnished, and full of color, but this is something we will have to work on a little at a time for now.
John and I decided to start sprucing up our ground patio area first, as it is really the main focal point of the back yard. We bought a new grill, built a fire pit with some large rocks we found at the gravel pit (for FREE!), and we bought a variety of colorful flowers for the flower boxes that were already in place on the patio. We had some large overgrown trees in the yard, so we cut them back, and it really opened the yard up more and brought in a lot more sunshine too.
I really wanted to create a back yard oasis. A back yard oasis can mean different things to different people. To me, it is a quiet, inviting place where I can grill up some burgers and hot dogs, sip on fruity drinks, listen to beach music, and sit by the fire at the end of the night, toasting marshmallows for s’mores. It is a very laid back, relaxing environment, and a place where friends and family love to spend time, sharing stories and lots of laughs.
After we opened the yard up, and added our grill, fire pit and flowers, the next issue we had to deal with was seating, as we didn’t have any place for guests to sit. My parents gave us an old patio table that they had, and we bought some chairs to go with it. The table did not have an umbrella, however, as my parents’ umbrella had snapped in half during a heavy rainstorm a few years ago.
I was really grateful for the table, but couldn’t stand to look at that empty hole in the middle of it where the umbrella was supposed to go. I desperately wanted to get a beautiful umbrella for our new patio table. I thought it would really help to create that laid back, beach atmosphere I was going for. So, I set off to Pier 1 Imports with my sister, Angela, in search of an umbrella. It was an hour drive for us, but it was so worth it! All of their outdoor collection was on sale, too!
Just as I had anticipated, Pier 1 had an incredible selection of patio umbrellas. There were so many colors, patterns and styles to choose from.
One umbrella in particular caught my eye. It had the same cream and green coloring in it as my house does, with a vibrant red and orange floral pattern on it. It is just gorgeous. While there were many other things in the store that caught my eye, I just couldn’t walk out without that umbrella. I had to have it!
Speaking of other things that caught my eye in Pier 1 Imports, take a look at some other items from their outdoor collection…
This swing looks so relaxing. I would love to spend the day curled up on that!
This umbrella was really gorgeous!
These wicker seats look so comfy.
And the pillows at Pier 1 Imports… There were SO many to choose from, in bright, beautiful colors. They were just gorgeous.
John used to have a Papasan chair that he was very attached to. He had it for many, many years until it finally wore out one day. I would love to get him another one!
Aren’t these statues just too cute?? I’d love to have them in my back yard.
Pier 1 Imports had a table full of red, white and blue items just in time for the 4th of July. I really love these beautiful lanterns!
We are planning to add more light to our back yard, and these string lantern lights would be just right!
These flower stakes are so cute and whimsical. I love them!
Pier 1 Imports has a huge selection of outdoor dinnerware, in beautiful bright colors.
I think this Bistro Set was my favorite item in the whole store. I just love that bright red color. I’d love to share a cup of tea with a friend at that table.
In addition to the umbrella I bought, I also purchased two sets of sea glass string lights. They were a beautiful shade of green, and matched our house, and new umbrella very well. We also didn’t have any lighting at all in our back yard, so it was very dark out there at night time. I thought these would be lovely, and help to add a bit of light to the back yard at night. You can really create a nice, relaxing mood with the right lighting.
I set up the umbrella and lights on the patio area, and couldn’t believe the transformation. It really added a nice touch of color, and a very warm, inviting feeling to the patio. I set the table with some matching green plates and orange and green plastic hurricane glasses and crazy straws. I added a nice pop of color with some red, orange, yellow and green balloons that matched the colors in the umbrella, also. Balloons are such an easy, and cheap way to add fun to a party.
We had a few friends and family over for dinner, and grilled up some chicken and beef kebabs, a grilled tequila cinnamon pineapple (recipe to come at a later date!), corn on the cob, potato salad, and macaroni salad (I used small shells for this and served it in a plastic sand bucket!). I also hollowed out a watermelon, and filled it with balls of watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. It was a good thing we had that umbrella, because the sun was really bright that evening!
At the end of the night, we sat around the fire and toasted marshmallows for s’mores. It was the perfect way to end the evening. Everyone had a really great time, and I can’t wait to host another outdoor party in my back yard!
Pier 1 Imports Gift Card Giveaway –
GIVEAWAY CLOSED – GINA M. IS THE WINNER!
I’ve got a $25.00 gift card to Pier 1 Imports for one lucky reader! All you have to do to enter, is visit Pier 1 Imports, and leave a comment below this post letting me know one thing you might buy from their outdoor collection if you were to win this gift card. This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Please note: This giveaway has a very tight turn around, and will end on June 17, 2014 at 8:00pm EST. Winner will be notified via e-mail immediately after giveaway has ended, and must respond by June 18, 2014 at 2:00pm EST. Please note that giveaway entrants are only eligible to win one gift card from this giveaway that is hosted on multiple blogs. If you cannot agree to these terms, please do not enter.