Grills & Thrills: A Memorial Day Picnic At Home


I just ordered a grill this week. And I ordered it without installation, on purpose, as a challenge to myself. I’m going to put it together all by my own solo-tined self, today, this lovely Saturday. Wish me luck with that.

After going back and forth for weeks on whether or not I was going to hold out for the outdoor kitchen of my dreams (which is planned, drawn, with supplies stocked somewhere and for which plumbing has already been installed), I came to a hard stop: no.

Nope, that is just not happening right now.

So instead I read all the grill reviews. And then I paused, because even a reasonably sized, not crazily tricked-out, fairly simple, very well reviewed grill is still expensive. I paused for four full weeks. Until one day — this week — when I woke up in a very negative mood and I knew I had to set myself straight. I clicked add to cart, clicked ‘no thank you’ to installation, and I checked-out out my ‘Zon cart, and into my own heart, about what IS going to happen this year, for Memorial Day.

A Fun Memorial Day Picnic At Home: Grills, Thrills & Other Ideas

I don’t know what normal is right now. I don’t know how to make normal. I don’t understand what new normal will be, nor when that comes. And sometimes, like this week for instance, I have a harder time with that in my own heart and mind.

I ordered the grill because Memorial Day is coming in hot. That doesn’t change, that is happening. And while I don’t know what normal looks like (nor how to make it ‘normal’), I know I have two choices: I’ve chosen to make the best of it.

So now I’ve ordered the grill, I will assemble and hook that thing up by my own self this kid-less weekend. And come Memorial Day, we will decorate, light candles and sparklers (that also snuck into my cart this week) and have dinner under the stars, just the quarantined four of us. And it’s going to be beautiful and delicious and fun and full of love because we are together. And we have a grill.

This year…I’m going to make a point, while things quietier than usual and it’s just the four of us, I’m going to make a point of doing that simple thing that I too often miss: we are going to talk about what (other than our freedom, our blessings and being together), this holiday in actually means, why we celebrate it and what we’re celebrating.

That part is easy to forget to focus on under normal circumstances. But this year isn’t normal. So we’re going to celebrate and talk and grill…and it’s going to be amazing. Dammit.

For Memorial Day, we will decorate, light candles & sparklers & dine under the stars. It'll be beautiful & delish & fun & full of love b/c we are together. And we have a grill.

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1/ Sparklers | They aren’t for everyday; they are special. Sometimes, it’s the little things, especially for kiddos, but also for the kid in all of us, that make a day special.

2/ How To Grill Everything | Because you bet once our grill is assembled, we will grill something, every single day on it, just because we can!

3/ Serving Boards | Of all the things…wooden boards are my favorite for serving all food out doors, especially hot off the grill! I love wooden bowls outdoors as well. Wood servingware is outdoor friendly, safe, and just absolutely beautiful!

4/ Rattan Hurricanes | These guys are on sale, and help me feel like I’m in another world on a vacation in my own backyard. Oh, and they cast super-pretty shadows in the dark too.

5/ White Melamine Dinner Set | While I don’t hesitate to take our indoor plates outdoors, admittedly, it does stink when they inevitably, occasionally, accidentally, break. I think we’re going to skip that broken chard clean-up this year and just get some great basic Melamine. I also love white plates on a natural linen cloth, or over fun placemats, or on a bold colored cloth, or over a striped one always!

6/ Mod Fun Twist on Melamine Dinnerware | If a little dark twist on your dinnerware is your kinda thing too!

7/ Fun Color Splash Melamine Dinnerware | Also comes in blue, another blue, red white and blue, but this combo is by far my favorite for fun!

8/ Red Stars Tablecloth | Full flag is a bit too far for me in a tablecloth, but a hint, like a big hint of stars is ALWAYS a good idea!

9/ The Tool Set + Apron | I feel understood by this set! Yes, I will make a mess, yes, I absolutely should wear an apron, and yes, there is a far better chance of me not asking you where the whatchamacallit is if I’m wearing it!!!

10/ Weber Original Kettle | The only reason I didn’t do this one is because I have a gas line run that seems silly not to make use of. Otherwise, I am a sucker for a classic, will forever love the shape of these, and there is something magic about charcoal grilling!

11/ Portable Grill | If you are thinking to yourself, this is a great plan, but I have no space for a grill, then I’d challenge you with…not even this guy? He’s amazing efficient! And kinda cute too. And portable for camping trips to come!

12/ Rolling Cooler | This awesome thing gives me, and all my beverages, the chills! For this special dinner, I think I’ll let the kids pick whatever flavor fizzy fancy drink they want, just for fun, and tuck theirs in here too!

13/ Smoker | If we all stay put long enough, smoking (this kind of smoking—the other kind is a different story for another time and place) might become my new favorite past time! Why not start with the holiday? I’m actually thinking about it…there’s still a little time to get it here by then.

14/ Weber Spirit II 3 Burner | This is the one I went with, after reading all the reviews. It’s big enough, not too big. I went with natural gas because I have a gas line, if you do not, you need the propane version. I also don’t prefer a cabinet because frankly I don’t like to give critters places to hide. But a cabinet underneath is an option. And I did order a cover. I can’t wait to put this thing together, and more so — to get grilling!

15/ Outdoor Ping Pong | By far one of my favorite things ever, but…it doesn’t have to be quite such an investment. Plenty of other outdoor fun for the patio and backyard here. We absolutely, as a family, have more fun together, when we have more fun together. We can’t eat all night long, and those sparklers do burn out. So pull some games outside and get to it, whatever they are!

Shop At Home Memorial Day Picnic Ideas

Cheers to making the best of all we can, always. And Love and Gratitude to all of those that have gone before, and go today, to make it so that we can.


PS: Follow along with me on Pinterest for more Home Inspiration and other random distraction via pretty visuals. xo A


  1. It’s been on my list to learn how to grill this year since I usually rely on my husband because I’m lazy! We have to put off our backyard remodel a bit longer but I love these accessories… to go along with the Solo Stove I got for Mother’s Day thanks to your rec!

    • Kari- Hooray for the solo stove!!! Here’s my thing with grilling…other than yummy food…it’s just so much easier to clean up! My dad and I don’t share political views, which is, well, we really just leave that alone, it’s better that way. It’s always, especially the older I get, amazing to me though that he is one of the strongest “feminists” I know. I was the eldest. I think everything in life is gender neutral to my dad. He always just taught me “all the things.” Changing HVAC filters, changing oil, changing tires, cutting the grass, grilling, fixing all the broken things with all the power tools, all the “things” that sometimes we don’t learn as “girls.” I just followed him around like a little tag along and he always just put me to work and “taught” me, and never complained that I was in the way, or not doing it “right” or that it was too “dangerous” for a kid. He just taught me. He’s good at teaching people they can do anything and to just trust themselves. It’s never too late to learn new tricks woman. The worst thing that can happen, is you don’t pay attention and burn something. Been there, done that, Oh well. That’s it. That’s the terrible ending. So just get out there and do it! (and make sure you stay out there and pay attention….that’s the secret.) xoxo A

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