Summer entertaining essentials 2013

There’s something so fantastic about summer entertaining. It’s fuss free, light-hearted and just so much easier than its fall and winter counterparts. Enjoy a late afternoon into evening by the pool or bonfire with lots of friends and appetizers (potluck?); let the kids run in the yard while the adults hang back with vino; or just grab your girlfriends for a fun night in for drinks and desserts. Don’t feel like if you’re not a formal dining expert and master chef than you can’t invite people over. Create a pizza making party over the bbq, or a taco bar, or even brunch with bagels and mimosas.

As you build up your ‘entertaining supply kit’ so to speak, focus on pieces that complement each other, they don’t need to be matchy matchy. I now purchase white platters in varying sizes and layer in color with bowls, napkins and other accessories.

Keep reading about these essentials, including where to buy (these bargains!)….

cheese knives set: while this set comes in four color option, this white + metallic is perfect year-round and matches and cheese platter you find. So pretty!

party straws: what’s not to love? Makes every drink so much happier.

beverage dispenser with chalkboard sign: this is on my must purchase list! Don’t become a bartender at your own party; plan ahead by making a party-size batch (or buy two and make one kid friendly!) so guests can grab their own refills, instead of requesting it from you.

ice pop mold: prep these in advance with fruity flavors and creative combos (add fresh herbs!), and encourage guests to pop them in a neutral-tasting cocktails to keep both cool longer. It totally works!

corn griller basket: my ultimate favorite bbq treat! Speed up the ‘que-ing with this awesome + affordable utility tool. Hello, father’s day!

tray with handles: this lightweight tray with handles helps you transport more faster, and serves as a base to pair like items (dips + chips). Quick idea idea? Grab fig spread, at Whole Foods or your local grocer, along with a goat cheese log and crackers, for the ultimate easy app. So good.

ikat appetizer plates: the perfect color infusion with your neutral platters, and the ikat print is way more classic than chevron. Adore this affordable option.

wine glass holder beer holder: stick these in your lawn, and voila! So, so smart (and totally fun!).  My new outdoor obsession.

angled beverage tub: you know when you’re constantly digging in a cooler because you don’t know what’s there. This angled tub helps guests see exactly what’s available. Genius. Works for wine + beer, to juice boxes and water bottles for afternoon play time.

portable white tray table: ultimate functionality! Move these around for quick, extra table space inside or outside, or make these a permanent fixture to house your bar essentials.

Do you have any tips to help you entertain, or favorite supplies?