12 Outdoor Dining and Entertaining Essentials for a Warm Summer's Night›

Mother Nature has been such a tease lately. We had a couple of days in March where the temperatures climbed into the low 70s. Now we're practically in the middle of May and we've had to turn the heat on, pull the blankets up over our heads and too many days we've spent looking out the window wondering and hoping. We've now had two spectacular days in a row. I'd love more but I'm grateful for the two we've got. (Rain is now forecasted for the next few days.) I'm in the mood to spend all my free time outdoors. I've got a bit of Spring fever. I'm ready to entertain and to relax out by the pool and at the beaches. It's just about this time of year I take inventory of what I have - what I need and what needs to be replaced. There are a fun must haves, a few wants and a few dream items on my list. Summertime is for fun and whimsy and I think the items I have curated will certainly fit the bill. 

1. William's-Sonoma Luxurious all-inclusive wicker picnic basket. Just because picnics are romantic and I think everyone should have an all inclusive picnic basket whether for the park, the beach or for outdoor concerts. 

2. Anthropologie's Colorful melamine canapé plates for porch, pool or beach. They won't break, chip or crack. They're lightweight and best of all they are dishwasher safe!

3. Anthropologie's Sissinghurst Castle cheese cutting board. It's just a happy cheese board. As if cheese alone doensn't make me happy!

4. Aromoflage aromatherapy bug repellant. Toss the Cutter, the Deet, the Off and whatever other horrible smelling bug repellant there is. I first saw and tested this at Terrain. There are several products in addition to the bug repellant and they are wonderful. 

5. Terrain's Soy Citronella Soy Candle. These come in several aromas and each is lovely, light and refreshing with none of the harsh citronella smell. You'll want these on your patio tables even if you don't live in a buggy area.

6. Crate & Barrel Tiki mugs. Because Tiki mugs. Needs I say more?

7. Crate & Barrel Tiki appetizer plates. For the same reason as above.

8. Govino wine acrylic recyclable PBA/PBS-free wine glasses. I was given a set of these to try a year or so ago and I fell in love. Unlike other acrylic outdoor glasses these are light, not only to the touch but the lips, perfect for sipping wine. They come in a variety of sizes and "flavors." These are especially great to keep on boats, by pools, and to tote to the beach. 

9. Crate & Barrel's table in a bag. We were given one of the tables as a gift a few years ago. They come unassembled and are a snap to put together. They're lightweight yet sturdy and durable and they're the perfect beach chair height. 

10. Crate & Barrel retro looking picnic cooler. When you want something more sophisticated than Igloo. 

11. Wood burning Fire Pit from Target. Inexpensive and requires no propane. Perfect for those last minute campfires and S'mores.

12. Giant Jenga from Terrain. Because life is serious enough. And sometimes girls just wanna have fun!