June 08, 2009 16:56 ET

The "Lifestyle Mom's" Guide to Organizing and Planning a Patio Party

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 8, 2009) - With summer here, many of us will be taking the party outdoors. And whether you're hosting a backyard barbeque or summer soiree, Dana Hilmer has tips for planning the perfect party.

Get Your Outdoor Space "Party Ready"

First -- get rid of the clutter. It's time to clear the garbage -- including leaves and other debris. Also, remove any dead plants from the deck or surrounding garden and replace with new ones.

Second -- cleaning. This means all of those obvious areas that guests can see -- including the windows. Most of us avoid window washing if we can, so a great alternative is Windex's Outdoor All-in-One Glass Cleaning Tool. All you do is spray your window with the hose, wipe with cleaning pad, and rinse. It will give you a streak-free shine in half the time.

Prepare and Plan Your Menu

Next, you're going to want to spend a bit of time on the menu and food preparation. When speaking with your guests make a point of asking about any food restrictions so that all will have a stress-free meal. Also, think potluck as the way to go. You'll get a sampling of all sorts of food and find it's friendlier on the wallet.

Pay attention to food preparation. Outdoor grilling is prime time for handling raw meat and seafood and it's a good idea to protect yourself and your guests from spreading food-borne bacteria and germs. You can do this by using plastic gloves. Look for ones that specifically say they are made of Nitrile, which is an FDA-approved material for food contact and handling. It's found in Playtex's new CleanCuisine disposable gloves.

Entertain Your Guests

Next is entertainment. A great idea is to create an outdoor movie theater in your own backyard. You can rent or buy a projector with a built-in DVD player so you can show any movie your guests will enjoy. And don't forget blankets or chairs for the lawn, bug spray, and of course, popcorn, which is a great way to bring family and friends together. Check out Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Butter Popcorn -- it has the same aroma and taste from the movies -- but it's made with 100 percent whole grain and has 30 percent less sodium.

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