Well, it’s almost here. The day that started as a tribute to American workers (or, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, to “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country”), and has morphed for most of us into “the day that killed summer.” This weekend is Labor Day Weekend.

Sorry for the negative spin, but if you haven’t noticed, we here at Company Living love our summers. Sigh.

Anyway, there’s no denying that some of our best times have taken place on Labor Day Weekend. So let’s look forward to a good time! As always, to maximize your fun and enjoyment, make a few plans. Maybe a picnic or a barbecue. Perhaps a day at the beach or out on a boat? If you’re not the water-loving type, a walk through the woods, a family game of ultimate Frisbee, a trip to the dog park?

One thing’s for sure, Labor Day weekend is another great reason to get together with friends or family. Make it an event – a little more special than your average BBQ. Here’s you chance to perfect your outdoor entertaining. Got an umbrella or porch for shade? Plenty of seating? We love bringing kitchen or dining room chairs outside and setting a funky dining table with a mix-and-match feeling. Try setting the table out on the grass instead of on the stone patio or wood porch – it gives your meal the feeling of a Tuscan picnic or French vineyard feast. Use your good china – mixing two patterns – and a fabric tablecloth that can sway in the breeze. Add candles and string a few paper lanterns in the trees for a magical effect as the sun goes down.

Your Labor Day end-of-summer meal is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the garden’s bounty. Serve lots of fresh veggies from the farmer’s market (just toss them on the grill and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper), a big salad with plenty of heirloom tomatoes, and for dessert, you’ve got to make a fruit pie or cobbler!

But wait – before you get too caught up in your plans for a luscious Labor Day weekend feast, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that this weekend is also the kickoff for back-to-school season for most of the country (some of you have already started school). Don’t wait until Monday night to make sure the school supplies are organized, the clothes are clean and ready to wear, and the backpack is located (is it still in the spot where they dropped it on the last day of school?). In a future post, we’ll talk about how to set up a homework station to help daily assignments go smoothly and headache free.