I don’t need a calendar to tell me that summer is nearly here. The days get longer, the electric bill skyrockets, we enjoy weekend lunches by the pool, evenings are capped with dinner and a beautiful sunset on the patio, and the neighborhood kids get louder with each passing day as they pile off the school bus. They know that there’s an end in sight.
I totally remember those days.
Nearly two years ago, we decided that we just couldn’t take another Texas summer without a swimming pool. We loaded up our 8-month-old daughter and moved to the suburbs. We found the perfect pool that just happened to have a house attached. Lucky us.
When the school year ends, that new backyard quickly becomes family barbecue central. Nieces and nephews pour in from Dallas and San Antonio with my sisters, brothers, and in-laws in tow.
I love entertaining, but I’d much rather throw an informal, potluck-style backyard barbecue with friends and family than a fancy dinner party. One requires food that’s far less fussy and lets me spend more time with family. And one requires mascara. It’s really a no-brainer.
Carafes of margaritas, sweet tea, and fresh-squeezed lemonade sit on ice next to a stack of Solo Cups. The smell of pork ribs and mesquite smoke in the air mix with chlorine and 50+ SPF sunscreen. The little ones squeal with excitement when the Cannonball Championship starts – biggest splash has bragging rights for at least a week!
The picnic-style lunch menu is rounded out with dad’s baked beans (it’s not a barbecue without them), hot dogs and burgers with a spread of fixins to make everyone happy, grilled vegetables, and a bowl of potato chips.
An ice cold watermelon is perfectly chilled and sliced into wedges piled high on a platter next to the salt shaker. We are a family divided: 1) my mother and I, who salt our watermelon before eating it and 2) everyone else.
No one’s perfect.
And just when you think you couldn’t – shouldn’t – eat one more bite, out comes a bowl of banana pudding and a baking sheet full of ice cream cones for dessert!
Is there another dessert that makes people as happy as eating ice cream in a cone? Adults relish in memories of childhood summers; the melody of the ice cream truck and camping out in the backyard seem much more recent than 20 years ago. And the kids giggle as they race to catch the dripping ice cream before it hits the patio. It’s the stuff that makes 30-somethings feel like teenage-somethings and cannonball into the deep end of the pool.
Nestlé® Drumstick® Lil’ Drums are one of my favorite summer treats. They’re smaller than the classic Drumstick – something that’s extremely important when we’re talking about desserts and bathing suits in the same sentence – but still have that signature chocolate-coated sugar cone. Do not stand between me and the Caramel Graham cone. With a drizzle of caramel sauce and graham cracker pieces on top of vanilla ice cream, it was love at first bite – try it, you’ll see. There are several new flavors, you can check them out here.
My husband typically shuns the Lil’ Drums and heads straight for the classic full-sized Drumstick.
Regardless of the flavor, anyone who doesn’t bite the bottom of the cone off first doesn’t get invited back.
I kid, I kid.
And now for the giveaway! Nestlé is kicking off the summer in a very fabulous way for one lucky reader with a $100 Walmart gift card! To enter the giveaway, simply answer this question in the comments below: What is your favorite summer activity with your friends and family?
1. No duplicate comments.
2. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
– Leave a comment in response to the question “What is your favorite summer activity with your friends and family?”
– Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
– Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
– For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
3. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
4. The Official Rules are available here.
5. This sweepstakes runs from 5/14/2012 to 6/15/2012.
Be sure to visit the Nestlé Drumstick page on BlogHer.com, where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!
This post was sponsored by BlogHer and Nestlé.