Recently over on the Tuesday Morning blog I chatted about how having a swimming pool and small children is a blessing and a curse. My kids and I love our pool, but this also means that even when I don’t feel like swimming I need to be outside. That being said I try very hard to make my backyard an extension of my house decor wise. Some people go to an office to work, I go to my back porch. I lounge on the couch to write blog posts like this one, sit under the shade of my pool umbrella to craft and more often than not swim in the pool alongside my littles. A well decorated back patio is nice, but a well stocked one is crucial.
My kids LOVE pool toys. Every year the Easter bunny delivers a basket full of them (we live in Texas so Easter is almost pool time). This year the basket included goggles, inflatables, diving toys, flippers, snorkels and more. The Easter Bunny even brought mommy a new pool net and water aerobics set. I always like to have multiples of things like goggles for when we have swim dates with friends (which is often) so when I find a good deal, I load up. This Easter each of my children got a large inflatable, but shhh don’t tell them the boat is actually for me to lay in.
When my kids are happy and busy in the pool that means fewer fights to referee, less screen time and more time for mommy to work. Did I mention that riding giant inflatable caterpillars like they are bucking broncos for hours every day also wears your kids out and makes bedtime a dream?
MADE IN THE SHADE
Pool umbrellas are a must have in our backyard. I have a green one next to my pool that creates a small shady oasis during parts of the day. The umbrella, stand and umbrella weights all came from Tuesday Morning. I custom built a succulent planter in cinderblocks to go on top. This is one of my favorite landscaping DIY projects to date.
On my patio I have an orange umbrella over the seating area. We eat lot’s of meals, snacks and popsicles out here during the summer so the shade is a necessity. When we are not eating at this table we might be painting, playing with clay or even using the table as an impromptu planting station.
LOUNGE IN STYLE
The sitting area on my patio is where I spend most of my time. All summer long as we entertain this is where the other mommies and daddies sit and watch the kids swim. I like to decorate my patio slightly different each summer. This year the whole thing revolved around some no-sew pillows I made from some Vera Neumann napkins I picked up at Tuesday Morning. That’s right the floral pillows on patio were originally napkins. I glued them together to make pillow covers! You might recognize the fabric from the play tent I made. I stocked up on placemats, runners and table cloths to make more patio furniture with this summer. I already added some of the fabric to a tray on my patio.
Like I said I consider my patio an extension of my home. You can see it from almost every room on the backside of my house. Sure with small kids and tons of playdates it does not always stay clean, but I try. Small details like potted plants are a great addition. Tuesday Morning has not only tons of pots to choose from they also have faux plants for shaded porches like mine!
LIGHT IT UP
Not only do we have tiki torches around the pool we also have solar lights which are great at night. Sure there is not a lot of night swimming around these parts, but again since you can see the backyard from almost every room in the house it looks lovely at night with the solar lights lit up.
Given they do not light up, though they would with a few LED candles, I strung some festive Martha Stewart lanterns over the porch this year. Just the right amount of kitsch! Tuesday Morning has all kinds of fun party ware for the perfect luau or summer playdate.
What are your summer essentials to keep the kids happy and yourself sane? I realize not everyone has a pool in their backyard. My suggestion: stock up on craft kits. I know I did in case it rains and we can’t swim. Not sure where your local Tuesday Morning store is? Check out their handy dandy store locator to find out!
****Yup, I got free stuff and paid for this post. I totes love Tuesday Morning fer realz so all opinions are my own****