Our house is small – partly by design and partly because there’s no reason to have more space than we can use or burden the environment with. That means that gatherings around the house in the colder months are smaller and more intimate. Once the summer takes hold (which I’m ready for in March each year) we have use of our large outdoor spaces and start stocking the freezer with grill fixins’. I’ve just treated myself to new table settings and will donate the 10 yr. old ones to Goodwill. There’s new citronella tea lights in a rainbow of colors from Crate and Barrel and a lime green mesh table food tent just ready to go outside and cover our famous brownies. We’re officially ready and already working on the social calendar for the kids (and us) for the long weekend ahead. The outdoor pool at the swim club is opening and who will be brave enough to stick a toe in? Interior design blogs out there abound to tell you the best way to set your summer table, but my advice to you is keep it simple, fun and put things on them because you love them, not because it’s trendy. Enjoy the extra time with friends and family around, hostessing with ease, popping in and out without a set schedule in mind. Keep chicken, turkey burgers, lemons, tea, garden veggies and fruits and a ready pie crust or two on hand and voila – you’re ready for a party!