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A Family Friendly Outdoor Movie Night

A portable projector for an outdoor movie night sits on the back patio at Eva Amurri's home in Connecticut

*Many thanks to Swenson Granite for partnering with me on our outdoor space and providing this gorgeous stone! As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed below are entirely my own. 

One of the dreams we had for our historic home when we originally bought it was renovating it enough to make it a “family home” that could accommodate lots of fun, friends, and family…but also preserving what was so special about its history.  We spent so much energy making sure we struck the perfect balance between old and new in our home– and I continued that with the landscaping and outdoor entertaining space as well!  I was SO excited to partner with Swenson Granite on the outdoor areas of this house!  

The before
Swenson Granite stone on the patio of Eva Amurri Martino's Connecticut home
Swenson Granite stone on the patio of Eva Amurri Martino's Connecticut home

There wasn’t much landscaping when we bought the house, and I wanted to make sure that we could live and enjoy our outdoor areas as much as our indoor ones.  Swenson is an amazing company because it has a ton of New England history, just like my house! It’s a generational family business that has been around since the turn of the century, with over 130 years of dedicated craftsmanship.  From quarry to installation, the product is so high quality and beautiful– and I experienced so much passion from the employees when it comes to educating about the rich history of natural stone in New England.  I thought it was so cool to be able to use stone in the landscaping that could have been sourced around the time the house was built! It felt so holistic to the design of the house, and to the commitment I feel to mixing old and new moving forward. The good folks at Swenson are also great at advising on projects big and small– from a whole reno like this one, to a granite mailbox post or set of steps. I’m obsessed with how the landscaping is turning out– especially the back patio! It feels so elegant and beautiful, but also really simple and modern.  And all with historic stone! 

Swenson Granite stone on the patio of Eva Amurri Martino's Connecticut home
Swenson Granite steps at Eva Amurri Martino's Connecticut home
Swenson Granite stone on the patio of Eva Amurri Martino's Connecticut home

To celebrate the patio being complete, I decided to plan an outdoor movie night.  It was such a fun excuse to mix up an Autumn cocktail, create some snacks for our guests, and snuggle up next to our outdoor fireplace.  My kids had the BEST time.  I love entertaining outside, and now I can really do it in style.  I can’t wait for this Summer, when the patio will be functioning in full force and I know the kids and I will be living out here and having a blast!  Creating a true space for celebration is always something I’ll be grateful for and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.  

Eva Amurri cradles her baby bump on the back patio of her Connecticut home
The buffet at Eva Amurri's outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
A fall sangria served at Eva Amurri's outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
The buffet at Eva Amurri's outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
The buffet details at Eva Amurri's outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
A fall sangria served at Eva Amurri's outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
Eva Amurri throws popcorn into her mouth before an outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
Marlowe Martino holds a bag of popcorn for an outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home

My Outdoor Entertaining Tips

  • Create a comfortable space. In the cooler months, make sure to provide throws and blankets.  And always have enough opportunities for guests to sit or lounge!
  • Big Batch Cocktails are a win. I love mixing up a big, delicious cocktail in a dispenser. Pair with unbreakable glasses for safety with kiddos underfoot!
  • Food that people can walk with. I love serving snacks that my guests can walk around with and enjoy.  That way everyone isn’t stuck gathered around the serving table!
  • Creating A Bug Basket is Key. I like to provide guests with a little basket of bug spray and sunscreen to apply as needed.  
  • Set up Trash Bins. I always have at least two trash bins set up at an outdoor party.  It’s so much easier to clean as you go, and guests hate holding on to plates and napkins longer than they need to.  Allow your guests to dump their trash in a correct container, and everyone wins!
Major Martino gives a thumbs up to an outdoor movie night on the back patio of his Connecticut home
Eva Amurri prepares for an outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
Marlowe Martino runs to an outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
Eva Amurri and daughter Marlowe throw a pile of leaves in the air before an outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
Marlowe Martino holds mom Eva Amurri's baby bump while brother Major tends to the fireplace
Marlowe Martino holds mom Eva Amurri's baby bump while brother Major tends to the fireplace
A fall sangria served at Eva Amurri's outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home

Autumn Sangria

Happily Eva After
Course Drinks

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bottle White Wine
  • ¾ cup Peach Brandy
  • 2 Apples
  • 2 Oranges
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 slices Fresh Ginger
  • 2 sticks Cinnamon
  • handful Whole Cloves
  • 1 pinch Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 cans Club Soda

Instructions
 

  • In large bowl or pitcher, combine the white wine, brandy, and honey.
  • Quarter one of the oranges, the lime, and the lemon and add them to the pitcher.
  • Peel, core, and chop one of the apples, and add it to the pitcher along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, and a small handful of cloves.
  • Stir and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Peel, core, and chop the remaining apple, and peel, section, and chop the remaining orange, and set aside.
  • Strain the sangria into a pitcher or bowl and add the chopped apple, orange, and 1 or 2 cans of club soda and stir.
  • Combine the ground cinnamon and sugar on a shallow plate, coat the rim of your glass with water and dip it in the cinnamon sugar.
  • Serve with ice and enjoy!
Keyword Cocktail, Fall
Eva Amurri gets fed popcorn by son Major at an outdoor movie night on the back patio of their Connecticut home
Eva Amurri holds a portable projector for an outdoor movie night on her back patio at her home in Connecticut
Eva Amurri holds a portable projector for an outdoor movie night on her back patio at her home in Connecticut
Eva Amurri and kids Marlowe and Major sit on beanbag chairs for an outdoor movie night on the back patio of her Connecticut home
Eva Amurri sits on the Swenson Granite stone on the back patio of her Connecticut home

Shop the look…

Photographs by Julia Dags

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7 Comments

  1. Glenda says:

    Looks very cozy And snuggly with the throws and fire place. Enjoy!

    01.10.20 Reply
  2. Esme says:

    Hi Eva- your link on IG for this post is the glider! Sorry to put it on here…im not electronics savvy and didn’t know how else to notify you! Lol

    01.10.20 Reply
  3. Jane says:

    My heart breaks for you and your children due to the divorce. I know it must be tough but stay strong. Nothing is worse than a broken family. Hopefully baby won’t suffer too bad. I hope you find happiness one day. Sending you love.

    01.12.20 Reply
    • Hi Jane,
      Thanks for your concern. While I know that your heart and intentions are in the right place, I think it’s worth considering before commenting in this way that not everyone has the same measure of success or happiness. Making big decisions for one’s own family comes with a lot of thought and isn’t taken lightly, and really isn’t fodder for anyone else’s projection of value.

      Thank you for your hope for my happiness! I am confident I will find it!
      xx

      01.17.20 Reply
  4. Abigail Hoffman says:

    Do you have any plans for a pool at the new house? I loved the old one!

    01.14.20 Reply