Sliding into Summer with an Outdoor Hangout

Summer Entertaining
Photos by Lauren Jeziorski

Whether your style is weekly soul food Sundays or one epic end-of-season blowout, hosting friends and family is synonymous with summertime. Does it get much better than laughing and chitchatting through sticky days that turn to crisp nights?

The Décor

The foliage provided by plant boutique Leaf Me made for the perfect backdrop. And the place mats, napkins, candleholders and trivets were procured from Black-owned, socially conscious online marketplace GOODEE:  

Jipi Plate Mats by Ames 

Candle Holders by Léa and Nicholas 

Congolese Napkins by Siafu Home 


Stone Trivet by Graf Lantz

The Drinks

This Tipsy Mermaid Punch is equal parts fizzy and festive.

You’ll need:
½ cup Blue Curaçao
¼ cup Midori
1 bottle of prosecco (or champagne)
1 ½ cup pineapple juice
1 cup light rum
2 cans seltzer water
Pineapple wedges, for garnish
Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Fill a large punch bowl or beverage dispenser with ice, then pour over Blue Curaçao and Midori. Top with prosecco, pineapple juice, rum and seltzer. Stir to combine. Make skewers of pineapple and cherries as garnish for your guests’ glasses. Toss what’s left over in the punch.

For a virgin version for the kids, nix the rum, replace the prosecco with Sprite, and the Blue Curaçao and Midori with blue and green Hawaiian Punch. 

The Menu

Our spread courtesy of Beans & Cornbread was made with a whole lot of love and plenty of soul:

Salmon croquettes with grilled portobello mushrooms with a roasted red pepper sauce

Grilled pork rib tips glazed with housemade barbecue sauce

Jerk-style grilled whole chicken wings

Whole fried chicken wings

Vegan sloppy Joes 

Baked mac and cheese


Sautéed green beans, onions and peppers

Sweet potato muffins

Skillet cornbread

Old fashioned peach cobbler

The Sweets

Whether Oreos are your thing or if you’re all about the gummies, an interactive sundae bar is sure to be a hit with the kids – and adults. 


Add salt to your ice bath to ensure that it keeps the ice cream cold all party long.

The Games

We all know and love the hangout classics, but why not incorporate a few new, Black-centric games into the rotation – for the culture?

Rhyme Antics

Are you nice on the mic? Showcase your skills with this hip-hop vocabulary game that allows you to engage in a battle of words and wits. Take turns freestyling lyrics that end with a word that rhymes with the word at play.


This promises hours of fun for your multigenerational family. Think you know the culture? Prove it. Grab a card, show your team the acronym and try to get them to guess the phrase without saying it. Categories include: Black Twitter, Church, Daily Sayings, Family & Friends, Songs & Lyrics, TV & Film, and Words to Live By.

Black Card Revoked 

Here’s another game that’s meant to test your cultural knowledge. Choose from one of five editions. Surely you can answer the questions on these cards, like, “Approximately how long did Sophia have to fight?” 


Take it to the grass for Yard Yahtzee. For a DIY element that the kids will love, help them paint or decorate the game bucket. Or if you want to go all out, the dice are DIY-able, too. Instructions are easy to find on YouTube and elsewhere online.


Photos by Lauren Jeziorski • Décor styling by Kelly Buren and Katie Sachs-Howard

Beans & Cornbread

29508 Northwestern Highway, Southfield



Leaf Me




A special thanks to our homeowners Loretta Davis-Bush and Ron Bush for hosting us at their stunning West Bloomfield home. Also pictured:

Ly’Kenda Marshall 

Hayden Connelly

Paris Giles

Ron Bush 

Rita Giles

Salone Jackson

Loretta Davis-Bush

Houston Marshall 

Anthony Jackson

Phillip Foster

Danny Foster

Evon Foster

Faith Foster

Rebekah Sharpe

Carlton Hardaway

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