ALL POSTS TAGGED "summer"

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With so many options, it’s difficult to choose where to splurge when choosing features for your dream swimming pool. Do you opt for an infinity pool with an attached spa, or do you choose a fun feature like a waterslide? We want to know — would you break the bank for an infinity-edge pool that overlooks the ocean, or would you build a slide that takes summer swimming to the next level?

Vote in our poll below, and tell us which design you chose and why in the comments section below.

HGTV Poll: Pick Your Favorite Swimming Pool

Check back next week to see the final tally.

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Bright colors and outdoor ideas galore fill the pages of HGTV Magazine‘s latest issue, solidifying that summer is here and we couldn’t be happier! Check out what’s in store this time around before it hits stores tomorrow, June 16.

July August 2015

Pick up your copy tomorrow!

Our DIY material of the moment: rope. Did you know how many different kinds were available? We break down the options and give you 5 fun DIY projects to try. These neon rope bowls are one of our favorites!

rope bowls diy

We love a little touch of neon.

This time of year, everyone will use any excuse to host (or attend!) an outdoor party. From barbecues to dinner parties, we’ve got 65 amazing outdoor decorating ideas for your next celebration. Plus, we’re sharing extras you can only find online, like templates to make personalized party favors and these super easy DIY paper napkin pinwheels.

paper napkin pinwheels

You won’t believe how easy these are to make.

For all the latest from HGTV Magazine, more exclusive content and our best stories from past issues, follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag.

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Okay, so it’s not really summer yet, but with daily temperatures in the 80s, it’s certainly starting to feel like it. Long, balmy days always put me in a beachy frame of mind. Sadly, HGTV Headquarters is a long way from the coast, so I decided to whip up a virtual vacation in a glass: a classic lime margarita with a tropical twist.

Tropical Margaritas

Ready to make your own? Trust me, they’re a snap to make and so, so delicious!

You’ll need just a few things you likely already have in your kitchen, like sugar and water (for the simple syrup), limes, an orange or two, pineapple juice and not one but two types of booze: tequila (of course!) and the tropical twist: coconut rum.

Tropical Margarita Recipe

Yum! Beach or no beach, one of these is sure to get you into a vacation state of mind. Get the recipe >>

Margaritas are my warm-weather cocktail of choice. But we’d love to know — what’s your favorite summery sip? Tell us in the comments below. Plus, check out more summer entertaining ideas.

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I’m always the one that shows up to the barbecue with a dessert in hand. Savory sides are fine, but sweets are where it’s at. I love experimenting with new recipes, but sometimes it’s nice to pull out my grandmother’s cookbook and whip up some crowd-pleasing classics. If you’re a fan of the old-school favorites, then you’ll love these new twists, too.

If You Like Peach Cobbler…

Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine | Photo by Yunhee Kim

…then try peach cobbler ice cream cake.
Peach cobbler is the perfect way to finish any summer meal. Combine the beauty of cobbler, cake and ice cream, and you’ve just created the ultimate summertime dessert masterpiece that’s utterly irresistible. Get the recipe >>

If You Like Banana Pudding…

Milk Chocolate Banana Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay for Cooking Channel

…then try milk chocolate banana pudding.
It’s the same banana pudding that you know and love, except you’re making homemade chocolate pudding and topping with chocolate shavings. There’s nothing wrong with that! Get the recipe >>

If You Like Strawberry Shortcake…

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake

Recipe courtesy of Kelsey Nixon for Cooking Channel

…then try grilled strawberry shortcake with lemon cream.
You need less than 10 ingredients to make this summertime staple. There’s nothing better than smooshing sliced strawberries and homemade lemon cream between pound cake slices. It’s ok to skip the napkin on this one. Get the recipe >>

More Sweet Treats to Try

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You’ve all been following along with the HGTV Handmade Tiki Party, haven’t you? We are halfway through the second week and I can’t begin to choose a favorite DIY. Drinks, food, fashion, lighting, even a game–this party has it all! Today we are tackling one of my favorite parts of throwing a party: the table setting. My friend Meg and I will walk you through how to make a lush, layered, and oh-so-tropical centerpiece using thrifted glassware and an unexpected addition from your closet.

YouTube Preview Image

I love a long, low centerpiece that looks beautiful without blocking the view of your friends across from you. I’ll be reusing Meg’s leather leaves over and over, and using a scarf as a bottom layer basically quadruples my table linen options! What do you think of this luxurious layered look?

Tips to create a layered tropical tablescape perfect for summer entertaining.

Be sure to watch the rest of the HGTV Handmade Tiki Party videos, including the final party reveal on Friday!

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grilled recipes
Summer is (un)officially here! You can take your rules about when summer “starts” and when I’m allowed to wear white pants somewhere else. I’ll be busy firing up the grill and savoring these delicious recipes on the patio with friends.

Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges With Zesty Dipping Sauce

sweet potato fries

Image courtesy of Floating Kitchen

Nix the Plain Jane fries that everyone else serves, and forget trying to use your oven on an 80-degree day. These grilled sweet potatoes are the answer to your picnic wishes, and they’re nutritional powerhouses, too. Plus, the homemade dipping sauce sounds better than any store-bought variety you could find. Get the full recipe at Floating Kitchen >>

Steak Fajitas

steak fajitas

Image courtesy of Apples & Sparkle

Everything about this meal is grilled! The steak and colored peppers—even the tortillas all get that smoky char on them for the perfect blackened flavor. I love the use of red and orange peppers for their boost of vitamins C and A. You can also try this with chicken for a leaner protein option that cuts down the fat. Get the full recipe at Apples & Sparkle >>

Asian-Marinated Grilled Shrimp Skewers

asian shrimp

Image courtesy of This Silly Girl’s Life

These skewers pass right over the typical garlic and lemon shrimp, and jump into a sweet and tangy Asian-inspired sauce that only gets better when grilled.  You can prep the low-cal skewers (don’t forget to soak in water if using wood) ahead of time, and pop them on the grill when guests arrive—they only take a few minutes! Get the full recipe at This Silly Girl’s Life >>

Grilled Stone Fruit  + Almond Mascarpone Dip

grilled stone fruit

Image courtesy of Dessert for Two

Yes, you can grill fruit. Yes, you’ve been missing out if you haven’t already tried it. Peaches, plums, apricots and pluots (a plum-apricot hybrid) were quickly put on a hot grill and served with a dollop of what sounds like fluffy heaven. Caramelized almonds are mixed with mascarpone, almond extract and honey to create a sweet dip for this healthy dessert. Get the full recipe at Dessert for Two >>

Try one (or all!) of these recipes at your next barbecue, and let us know your favorite.

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It’s here! It’s here! The season of barbeque-grillin’, pool-swimmin’ and patio-sittin’ has arrived. We’ve spring-cleaned everything we can and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, preferably with a glass of sangria out on a deck or patio. Here’s a looksie at some of the outdoor spaces our editors enjoy at their own homes.

Jessica:

It will probably come as a shock to no one that I don’t have a nightstand or a functional workspace because I spend all my money on plants. One of the first things I bought for my apartment was an old soda crate—I lined it with fabric and turned it into a planter. Other “planters” include a bucket from the dollar store, one of those holiday popcorn tins and a miniature greenhouse from IKEA (I think I’m missing the point of the whole greenhouse thing by filling it with dirt and planting kale in it but oh well).

The lights (they’re solar!) and furniture are recent additions. I realized this morning that the patio set is the closest I’ve come to owning a dining table. My friend/neighbor and I have been calling my patio “The Outdoor Room” and will be eating all of our meals there from now until next winter.

Bonus: My apartment also sits right next to some azalea shrubs that have been an absolute delight after two unreasonably cold winters.

SEE MORE OF OUR OUTDOOR SPACES >>

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Looking to book the perfect vacation without breaking the bank? Instead of paying for five-star treatment, create it yourself! Glamping, aka glamorous camping, allows you to experience the spoils of nature with all the comforts of the great indoors. The best part? You likely have everything you need right at home. So pack up the wineglasses, and set out on your next adventure in style with these foolproof glamping tips.

SET UP A GLAM OUTDOOR LOUNGE SPOT

Image courtesy of Lulu and Georgia | Photo by Monica Wang

Don’t just set up camp; create a cozy, alfresco living area. Lightweight outdoor furniture, throw pillows and a portable area rug can make any trip into nature feel like home away from home. And don’t forget a few decorative accessories to complete the look. Copy this outdoor space >>

Step into these incredible glamping adventures >>

LIGHT IT UP

When the sun goes down, the fun begins. Add chic ambiance with a cozy campfire and lots of lanterns and candlelight. For glampers on a budget, DIY paper bag lanterns are a cheap and easy way to dress up your campsite. String them from tent to tent for a festive look. Other fab lighting options include portable hurricane lanterns, recycled can lanterns or even plain white string lights.

Get these outdoor candle ideas >>

5 More Ways to Camp in Style

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I’m once again suggesting you take the party outsideCrafternoon style this time! My good friend Whitney threw a wonderful crafting party in Washington Square Park last week. The event was a hit and I highly recommend throwing your own crafting party in the park, or any outdoor venue you prefer. After staking out a perfect spot in the shade, the afternoon was comprised of great friends, delicious food, adorable puppies, lots of pictures and beautiful paper flowers. While bringing craft supplies outdoors may seem counter-intuitive, the open setting gives you ample space to create. (Plus it’s so nice to be out in the fresh air during these hot summer days.)

Whether you host a big crafting event or just a get-together with a few close friends, this summer party idea is great for guests of all ages. Here are a few tips to make your own Crafternoon a success:

Throw a Crafting Party

Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Penn

Pick a Convenient Craft
Make sure you pick a DIY project that is nature-friendly — in other words, nothing that requires excessive materials, cleanliness, or, of course, electricity.  Whitney cleverly chose paper flowers for her party craft, which fit both thematically and logistically. The craft itself was simple and the components were easy to transport. Plus, if the petals got a little crumpled or dirty, it just made them seem more realistic.

More paper flower crafts: Fourth of July Wreath, Wedding Bouquet

Other easy outdoor crafts: Coiled Wire Ring, Felt Bowls, Friendship Bracelets

MORE PARTY TIPS

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Summer is a season for travel. I’m not much of a go-on-vacation-to-relax kind of girl, but I do love exploring new places and taking in different cultures. Decorating my room to remind me of the places I’ve been is a fun way to keep those memories alive. Every time I see the mini Dutch shoe I bought in the Netherlands, I remember how wonderful it was to go there with my family. And I love that I can simply look at my shelf to spur those memories, rather than yanking out scrapbooks or browsing Facebook albums. (Although, who am I kidding? I definitely still do that, too!)

If you’ve gone somewhere incredible in the past or you’re heading on a new adventure this summer, consider translating your travels into decor. Whether you plan on completely revamping your home or just incorporating a few trinkets acquired on your journeys, here are 7 tips for creating a room inspired by memorable trips:

Travel Design Inspiration: Start With Souvenirs

Photo: Courtesy of Ore Studios

Start With Souvenirs
You may not have bought that magnificent hand-carved chair you saw in Morocco, but you did bring back a colorful vase. Good news: Small souvenirs are a great way to add global charm to your space without breaking the bank (or your back)! Simply placing your find on a bookshelf or coffee table will add some fun flair. But, if you’re feeling more ambitious, use the souvenir as inspiration to redesign an entire room. Pull some bold colors from the piece, like the orange on this vase, to use for accent pillows or a bright new wall color.

Travel Design Inspiration: Throw in a Textile

Photo: Courtesy of Thibaut

Throw in a Textile
Every country has a unique textile heritage, so while you’re traveling, keep an eye out for traditional fabrics! Whether you bring back a Moroccan wedding blanket, tribal rug, or French toile curtains, use them to transform a room. Like the beautiful French fabric in this space, a textile can be a lovely way to add a sense of your travels.

MORE TIPS

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In case you haven’t heard, it’s National Candy Month! However, June is quickly drawing to a close, which means there’s only 5 days left to celebrate this tasty occasion. You can either gorge on candy from your local convenience store, or you could go for a slightly different approach. In the spirit of Ogden Nash’s wise words, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker,” here are 6 candy-inspired cocktail recipes for you to try:

6 Candy-Inspired Cocktails: Heath Bar Cocktail Recipe

Heath Bar Cocktail: Heath Bars are one of my personal faves, so this toffee-flavored cocktail topped with shaved chocolate looks absolutely irresistible to me! GET THE RECIPE>>

MORE CANDY COCKTAILS

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curbly summer round-up

In last week’s Easy Summer Entertaining post, we started to get ready for our backyard BBQs and mellow get-togethers with our friends and family. Since we plan on keeping the cooler packed all summer long, here is Part 2 of low-key, fun, summer entertaining ideas. To start off, we are diving into a meta moment with this summer entertaining round-up by Curbly in my summer entertaining round-up.

Cup of Jo refreshing waters

For a cleansing refreshment, try out these three different all-natural flavored waters on Cup of Jo.

watermelon salad

Any watermelon salad is oh-so-summer and just screams refreshing. This one, in particular, looks mouth-watering and delicious. Via Design Sponge.

More Summer Fun

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June is Great Outdoors Month, and for good reason. These warm summer nights are begging us to get out of our homes. So, while the nights are still balmy, why not throw a movie night with the stars? No, I’m not saying you should invite Leo DiCaprio. What I mean is, move the party outside and screen movies in your own backyard! Here are a few tips for making your cinema soirée a success:

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night
Create a Display
First things first: set up your theater. DIY Network shows you exactly how to transform your backyard into an outdoor entertainment center. Renting an inflatable screen for your movie night is a great option, but you can also project the movie on a white drop cloth or large white wall.

MORE MOVIE NIGHT TIPS

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metallic brush stroke balloons

Summer just beckons small gatherings of friends in the backyard, firing up that grill, and sitting back in an Adirondack chair with a refreshing drink in hand. We all want to throw that perfect party, but if you are like me, you’re not trying to break your back with all of the prep and planning. Here are some fabulous party ideas that are low-maintenance and low-cost so you can just focus on having fun!

design love fest metallic balloons

Design Love Fest shows the quickest and easiest way to bring a simple balloon to the next level with these metallic brushstroke balloons.

picnic food ideas

Need some food ideas? Check out Design Sponge’s Best of Picnic Foods.

Even More Summer Fun

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Perhaps it is the warm weather that is causing us to flirt with lighter fare, or perhaps it’s simply the season for veggies. One thing is for sure, however, zucchini squash is definitely seeing its 15 minutes in the spotlight — all for good reason.

The almost ridiculously versatile vegetable has been a long standing favorite of mine in everyday cooking. Not only is it insanely healthy — with only 20 calories per cup it’s almost FREE — it has light sweetness to it that keeps me coming back. It also helps that zucchini squash is easy to prepare, not like that pesky butternut squash I had to deal with all winter.

Lately, I’ve been seeing zucchini pop up in the most creative and innovative preparations. From pasta to cookies (Zukies?) We can’t seem to get enough of this healthy indulgence.

Check out these recipes and get inspired to feature this summertime squash on tonight’s table.

Ricotta and Zucchini Omelet Cake

What better way to start off Food Trend Friday than with breakfast — I’ve made no attempts to keep my affinity for breaki a secret. This recipe from Rachel Ray, whose recipes have stolen a lot of my attention lately, looks too good not to try.

Ricotta Omelet
With a generous helping of eggs this recipe provides ample protein to get the morning started. The zucchini, chilies, and peppers are wonderfully healthy but can also be substituted for almost anything you want. The ricotta spikes these omelet cakes with a creamy sweetness that makes the dish seem far more indulgent than it actually is.

Zucchini Boats

zucchini boats

What an easy and fun looking recipe to try. To prep the zucchini all you need to do is cut it lengthwise and hollow it out. Then fill your boat with as much of the called-for-guts you desire and bake! The walnuts play nice with the zucchini’s subtle flavor while the breadcrumbs, garlic, and tomato give the dish a substantial savory side. You can also switch out the toppings; try a red onion with tomato or even add mushrooms. The possibilities are endless!

Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips

For the frying fanatic — this healthier alternative is the perfect substitute for your usual potato chips. With a buttermilk batter, amped up with oregano and thyme, these panko plated zucchini chips are light enough to let your inner snack monster take the reigns. If you’re having friends over, gain some Guy Fieri cred and serve the cool Garlic Aioli dip as well and finish the plate with a shower of Parmesan or white cheddar shavings.

Sunny’s Spicy Baked Zucchini

sunny Squash
This side had my eye immediately. It calls for zucchini — my fav — and breadcrumbs — which are carbs and are also my fav — but also Hungarian paprika: a gentle but pronounced spicy kick in the mouth. If you aren’t one for fire but need something to stir up this veggie dish, I suggest smoked paprika which will give the zucchini a more robust profile sans the burning sensation.

Goat Cheese Grilled Zucchini

Goat Cheese Zucchini

This recipe screams summer — it’s super light and gives you an excuse to light up the grill. Grilling is such a fun pass time for me and I can’t wait to try this at my next patio party. A great gluten free and diet friendly option as it doesn’t require breadcrumbs (for any of the other recipes simply opt for GF breadcrumbs) or a heavy dressing. But don’t think that means that these veggies will be plain — the feta and herbs pack a powerful punch.

ZUKIES!

Zukies

Finally! What I have had you guys clawing at the edge of your chairs for since I started this post: cookies! With just a hair more then 65 calories apiece, these are worth trying. Trust me. The warm spices pair seamlessly with the brightness of the orange to hint at fall flavor while keeping to the current season. Take my advise and add carob chips.

If you’re a dedicated zucchini lover like myself, these recipes might give you some new spins and updates on your existing repertoire. However, if you’re a novice at this particular vegetable, these recipes are easy as pie and taste just as good. Try them all, or just try one (Zukies!) but be sure to tell us how it turned out.

It seems as though the whole staff here at Design Happens has zucchini fever. Norman just posted an incredible recipe for a Summer Veggie Sandwich and Kayla’s recipe list looks pretty great as well!

If you’re planning a barbecue, try this simple Zucchini-babes recipe!

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If you’ve ever used or even seen a tube of Watermelon Lip Smacker lip balm, you’ll feel a little nostalgic when you see the punchy colors on the cover of HGTV Magazine’s July/August issue. The bright green and shades of pink, and of course, a slice or two of actual watermelon, scream summer and long days at the pool.

July August Cover

July/August 2014

Inside, the editors are playing it cool in this season’s heat with backyard party ideas, style tips for the front porch, plus the staples like flea market flips and high/low buys. Here’s a sneak peek at some of what you’ll find when the issue hits newsstands a week from today. Get your copy on June 17.

HGTV star Vern Yip knows how to enjoy summer — at his vacation home in Rosemary Beach, Florida with his family. Step inside here.

Vern beach house

Vern with his partner Craig and their two kids Gavin and Vera; the living room

If you love the look of wall stripes but don’t think you could tackle the technique, you’ll be happy to hear there is an answer. (And no, it’s not wallpaper.) Some of our favorite designers showed us how to create common patterns like ticking stripes and ombré. Plus, we’re sharing web-exclusive step-by-step instructions for each at hgtv.com/stripes, making these striped walls easier than ever before. Choose your favorite, then send us a pic of the finished look on Twitter or Instagram using #HGTVMagDIY, and you could be in an upcoming issue!

purple striped wall

Alternating stripes, by Sabrina Soto

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In honor of today’s Season 2 release of Orange Is the New Black, here are a few examples of how you can incorporate orange in your home. This vibrant color is perfect for infusing some energy into your decor. Try pairing it with my personal favorites, turquoise or aqua, for a playful accent.

So, if you need a break from your OITNB binge, peel your eyes away from Netflix and check out some of these design ideas:

Orange Really IS the New Black: How to Use Orange at Home

Top, L to R: Orange Padded Chair, Vintage Book Display, “Goldie” Sunflowers | Middle, L to R: Cocktail Cart, Orange Throw Pillows| Bottom, L to R: Eco-Chic Serving Tray, Outdoor Living Room

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Accent Pillow Collage

Top L to R: Pottery Barn, Pencil Shavings Studio, Lonny | Middle L to R: Yossawat, Design Home, H&M | Bottom L to R: Country Living, Target, H&M

We could use up all of our effort — and budgets — on flawless furniture, but the details are what really bring a room to life. With the summer holidays and parties quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to experiment with new design ideas and tips.

For this warm weather season, many designers are harnessing the impact power of accent pillows. Whether it is a coordinated look, or an eclectic mix of different styles, the beauty of this trend is that you can continuously change the mood and feel of a room by simply switching out a few inexpensive cushion covers.

BONUS: CHECK OUT 500+ LIVING ROOM INSPIRATION IDEAS>>

Try mixing a nautical inspired pillow with a contrasting graphic stripe for a crisp yet bold statement. Or create a more subtle tone with vintage embroidered pieces with a calm color palette. The possibilities are endless with this trend — and they will no doubt impress at all of your summer parties.

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Meatballs with Sauce

If you have been reading the past two weeks, you now have a new summer cocktail and a go-to appetizer. Today, it’s time to get to the meat of the menu, literally. This installment of the Summer Entertaining Toolkit features an entree of rich pork meatballs. If this doesn’t strike you as an ideal summer main dish, let me explain the value. The key selling points to this recipe are ease of preparation and versatility of serving. Meatballs are not much work to assemble and can be cooked in advance of your gathering, then simply sauced and reheated when guests arrive. These specific mounds are bold in flavor and succulently juicy thanks to the rich fatty bacon and pungent herbs that pulse throughout. The combination of flavors are not only delicious on their own, but allow for easy pairing with a variety of sauces. Whether covered with a favorite red sauce, creamy garlicky white sauce, such as Alfredo, or Asian-style sweet and spicy red chili sauce, these meatballs compliment both savory and sweet tastes. Serving options are also customizable. Nestle the meatballs atop hot cooked pasta, grilled fresh vegetables, or hearty risotto and ferry to the table spread on a large platter, family style, or serve individually plated. Also, try slicing and layering them on fresh pizza dough spread with a spicy red sauce. Top with fresh mozzarella slices, then bake, grill, or broil to cook and crisp the dough and melt the cheese. Finish with a light covering of torn fresh basil leaves and freshly grated Parmesan. Any way you try them, they are a welcome departure from typical summer proteins and will give your guests a pleasant supper surprise.

Get the Recipe

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If I’m throwing a summer party, I’m not about to blow my budget on a tiny strand of decorative string lights (I’d much rather splash out on the food!). With this in mind, I set out to make some custom lantern string lights out of simple paper bags. The results, if I do say so myself, are pretty adorable. Watch the video to learn how:

YouTube Preview Image

These lanterns make a cute centerpiece as well. They scream summer to me! Just the thing to kick off Memorial Day weekend.

DIY Paper Bag Lantern String Lights

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