A Casual Fire Pit Party

Best hot dog topping ideasFire pit party!Jeremy and Elsie LarsonPuppy loveOutdoor party tipsTips for making a hot dog barTips for hosting outdoor partiesRecently Trey and I hosted a little get-together in our backyard. The backyard is one area of our home that I don't feel is totally finished yet. But the feature we love most is a fire pit area we installed last summer. We LOVE our fire pit! There's just something about sitting around a fire with friends. We decided to host a fire pit party before the weather gets too chilly in the coming months. We kept things simple by serving, what I like to call, a hot dog bar. We had turkey and veggie hot dogs everyone could roast over the fire along with favorite toppings. Full disclosure: Veggie dogs get pretty weird and wart-y looking when you cook them over a fire. We had: feta and cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeno, potato chips (it's a side or a topping!), salsa, cilantro, ketchup, mustard and chipotle mayo.Fancy smore tipsTips for making great smoresFancy smores!Hot dog party!For dessert we served fancy s'mores. This is my favorite outdoor dessert (we served similar s'mores at this party). To make these you simply melt chocolate, spread on a graham cracker and then sprinkle on a few toppings like sea salt, pistachios, dried fruit or candy. Once the chocolate dries you are ready to go! We also served fresh fruit, Nutella and mini cake donuts, so guests could go crazy with their s'more creations!Tips for hosting outdoor parties Army tents are for loversHost an outdoor party before it's too cold!Army tentsFire pit party with Elias!Every party needs a mascotThe cutest baby everWe got a few hay bales for extra seating (covered with a little scrap fabric). And, we set up these army tents (we got them on Amazon) for extra decor. I may or may not have begged Trey (and Love Love!) to get in a tent with me to pose for a picture. But the most important part of any party is the memories made. We spent plenty of time watching the dogs run around and passing around Elias (cutest baby ever, right?). I've really enjoyed growing closer to Michelle this season. I think we started to connect during my wedding season, and she (and her sweet family) are quickly becoming very special friends to Trey and me. I feel like in high school making new friends was second nature. New person talking to me? New friend! But as I get a little older, I think I'm more intentional about choosing and surrounding myself with good, sincere people. The Houghtons are just that. Glad they could come out and roast some weenies with us. 🙂  Thanks for letting me share this casual little party with you. Do you have any special events planned before the holiday season starts up? xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photos by: Janae Hardy, Thanks to Jeff, Michelle and Elias Houghton. 

  • This looks like the perfect backyard party – thoughtful and casual-yet-fancy. This is like my ideal night in a nutshell. Love it!!!!


  • What a great post! I love the idea of melting chocolate and putting them on the graham crackers and sprinkling them with toppings! Thanks.

  • Is it just me or does Emma’s husband, Trey, kinda remind you of a blonde David Tennant?

  • Oh it looks like a fairytail, your organisation and decoration skils are perfect! I would love to have a backyard like this! 😉

  • It looks like you guys have sooo much fun!!! I love our little fire pit too but we don’t get to use it much! We may have to have a fall get together before winter comes ’round!

    Thanks for the inspiration as usual!!


  • What a great way to get friends together. The comfort of a backyard fire pit is fantastic way to ease into a cool autumn evening.

  • Hi Emma,

    What a lovely idea for a backyard soiree – love the hotdog idea and the s’mores!

    Also would like to add that what you wrote above about wanting to surround yourself with genuine and good people, as you get older, (and as you become more successful through this Blog) you will have to really make sure your friends are non-competitive, genuine people who will always have your back…wise words coming from Jeanine in Jamaica who has been through enough situations to vouch!

    Love the idea of the tents too!

  • Great theme for a party! I love the haystacks, square marshmallows and fun presentation for the hotdogs!

    Looks like a ton of fun!


  • No, we were actually referring to hay we got out of prison. 😉 Thanks for catching that. Whoops! xo. Emma

  • Looks like such a fun day! I would’ve eaten like 20 hotdogs.

    Hilary x thehealthycollective.com

  • Everything looks nice but you do know it is bales of hay not bails of hay right?

  • I’ve been looking for tents like that forever. I love those.


  • I love that you have bales of hay as seating! What did you do with them after the party?

  • AHHHH! You’re drinking Boulevard Wheat! That beer is from my neck of the woods!

  • What a lovely Fall gathering! Looks like good times with great friends! Nothing better!

  • I’ve just had breakfast but these fancy smores made my mouth water dangerously… (I’m on a train and drooling would probably weird out my seat neighbour!)

  • I really like this get together, it feel so cozy!
    Just so happens I’m having a small get together tonight ^_^!
    Making apple pie, and having red wine in the back yard, he he very autmunyy!
    Have a great day :)!

    Loads of love, SJay!

  • This is adorable! S’mores are my favorite!

    xo Jennifer


  • i’m a bit jealous you guys still have the weather to do this! 😉
    looks like such a fun party, going on my to-do list for next spring!
    xo, cheyenne

  • Haha veggie dogs are totally gross looking when you cook them. That looks like so much fun-the fancey s’mores are brilliant!!

  • wow… so great and sound fun! i really love the tents! I think if you have a little backyard like that, you can host any party.. I’m so envy.. 🙂 So cute.. 🙂


  • Oh I love this so much. I’m particularly loving the s’mores. I’ve never thought of using cake doughnuts instead of graham crackers! I think I would be way more into that textures.

  • Absolutely love your dress.
    And those smore’s look faaaaantastic.

    Stella + Charlie

  • those hot dogs look sooooo yummy! sounds like a great party



  • love the army tents I want one lol, got a question are you guys going to have the Pumpkin carving contest again this year

  • Okay. I love this. I am such a dork. I thought you built these tents for private kissing, until I read further.

    The cake donuts and premade graham cracker treats are genius!


  • yummy, yummy, yummy!! good ideas girls
    I love your dress Elsie, can I buy it online?

  • They are all so nice!! I wish, I could be there. I love pug by the way :*



  • Oh I LOVE this idea! I wish I had something planned. Love it all the dogs and smores are perfect for outdoor parties. We are in SE Texas so right now it is still warm and always super humid. This would be perfect in a few months. Thanks for sharing!

  • Wonderful photos and I wish I had a garden big enough fir a fire pit! Veggie hot dogs yum!!

    Lulu xx

  • This looks like such a lovely time! I love cookouts and time with friends!
    Leah Faye
    a clover and a bee

  • Looks so fun! Tell me, did you do homemade mallows? those look like perfectly shaped marshmallows that DIDN’T come from a bag:)

  • I LOVE the fancy S’Mores idea! I wish we had a fire pit so that we could do this!

  • The pictures are great! Looks like everyone had a great time! I can’t get over how yummy the food looks!


  • oh my, that hot dog with toppings is looking quite scrumptious.
    i know exactly what you mean about the veggie dogs… they get quite unappetizing to look at, but they still taste good!
    i love how you make your fancy s’mores – it makes it so easy for guests!


  • ok, I have to admit, i got jealous seeing these pictures 🙂 come one, hail bails? It’s so nice having a garden. Unfortunately, I don’t. But if I did, and could have a party I’d like to host an autumn party… with leaves and pumpkins from our farm… no ideas about the food… looks like you had a great time!… happy for you! …

  • That looks like so much fun, and those graham cracker treats look delicious. That one picture of Trey and Emma also made my heart melt a tad bit. Too cute.


  • You should write a party planning book next, just saying.
    I would love to be able to entertain like this. Unfortunately, our current apartment is not very entertainment friendly — but just wait until I get my hands on a place that is!

  • I would love a fire pit in the back yard, sounds like the perfect entertainment 🙂


  • Oh, I love evenings like this! Next weekend lots of friends of mine from uni are coming to town, so I think I’m going to host a little party before we’re going out 🙂 I think we’re going to stay inside, though, it’s already way to cold to stay outside any longer than absolutely necessary 😉 Thanks for sharing!


  • I love the idea of hay bails for extra seating! Feel like having a little picnic with friends while the weather is still good…

  • Oh wow all thee food looks delicious! Incredible photos, looks like you had the a lovely day!

    Gracious Silhouettes

  • This looks like so much fun and so cozy! Where is Elsie’s dress from?! It’s so cute!

    Jamie @

  • those fancy smores look delicious, what a fun way to gussy up an old favorite.


  • I LOVE this idea!! We sit out by our fire pit almost every night in the fall. I will definitely borrow some of your party plans! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!! xoxoxo

  • All of your food is so well presented!


  • Holy crap, this looks like so much fun and that food looks DELICIOUS.

    Gorgeous photos!

  • What a marvelous evening! Love the serving trays and the tent! So cute! Perfect for a beautiful fall night! 🙂


  • This could quite possibly be the cutest party idea ever. I am in love with the hay bail and tent idea. Looks like so much fun!
    e m m a ▼ d e e r

  • Silly question…are those homemade marshmallows? They look yummy but since they are kinda rectangular and flat, they can’t be the processed store bought kind?

  • I love fire pits! Haven´t really had one this year.
    Elias is really cute. Love the face he makes on the last picture.

  • Oh I kinda envy you, you seem so happy and relaxed (the total opposite of me right now) 🙂

    tsiou, from http://www.inwhirlofinspiration.com

  • This looks like it was so much fun! I love all the details, like those cute tents.

  • A beautiful group of people. Love those little tents! Need to schedule a cookout soon. 🙂

    Gypsy Plunder Vintage Shop

  • beautiful. inspiring. breath-taking. wonderful.

    thank you for all your work and time.

  • This looks wonderful! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more mouth-watering s’more before in my life.
    I recently moved out of the college dorms and into a little apartment, and one of the positives is finally being able to host get-togethers mnore easily. You two are just too good at hosting little parties I get so jealous 😉

    a clover & a bee

  • I love this idea. It looks so fun and a great way to ring in Autumn.


  • What a sweet, little party! And could all the people in these photos be any more gorgeous?! Seriously, you all look like models. 🙂

  • Everything looks amazing! All that food looks so so perfectly scrummy! x


  • I don’t. BUt I have been thinking of doing a once a month get together with friends and center it around a theme. You have such a lovely space/ yard which I wish I had sometimes for parties, since I live on the 27th floor with a small balcony. Looks like everyone had a great time, and the food looks amazing.

  • Thanks for sharing this fun idea. Plus I totally appreciate you sharing that it’s kind of harder to befriend new people out of school–so true!

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