If there was one thing I could change about my current living situation, it's the fact that I don't have a back yard. While I love our apartment and am so grateful for the large balcony we do have, I definitely miss the freedom to entertain outdoors...on solid ground!

It's just one of those summer staples, right? I mean, does it really get any better than inviting friends over for an afternoon wine tasting or a casual barbecue that turns into sitting around a campfire and making s'mores?

Plus, there are so many cute items for outdoor entertaining available right now! I always have to make a pass through the home sections of Macy's and Nordstrom at the Pentagon City Mall when I stop by to check out the latest. And today, I wanted to share some of my favorites with you! Add in Pinterest for a little dose of inspiration and you'll be throwing the best back yard bashes in no time!

Style Setter: Outdoor entertaining


One: QSquared Madison Bloom Acrylic Drinkware Collection ($25) - Keep the glass and fine china stashed safely away in your cabinets and swap them for this plastic alternative. The red adds a pop of color to keep them stylish, and you don't have to worry if one tumbles onto the pavement!

Two: Rhythm and Booze Cocktail Stirrers ($10) - Anyone can mix their cocktail with a straw, but these drumstick-shaped stirrers are a fun and unexpected twist. They're also a great gift for a music lover!

Three: Gingham Paper Napkins ($4.50) - How cute are these for a casual backyard get together? They're affordable, disposable, and you might even fool a few people with the strategically placed ants!

Four: Slate Serving Board ($32) - The idea of a slate serving tray is genius! Just grab some chalk and this is ideal for labeling cheese or other hors d'oeuvres.

Five: QSquared London Chic Flatware Set ($25) - Leave your good flatware indoors and opt for this fun outdoor set. And the pattern is super cute!

Six: Oasis Galvanized Tin Beverage Pail with Bottle Opener ($25) - Your drinks will be sure to stay cool in this rustic bucket. And no need to worry about misplacing the bottle opener...it has one attached!

Seven: Jonathan Adler Scales Melamine Salad Servers ($12) - I love these salad servers as a pop of color for the table!

Eight: 222 Fifth Whitewashed Rattan Chip and Dip ($60) - The chip and dip bowl is a staple and attraction at every party. This one is perfect because it's chic and casual, a little country...and it wipes clean!

What are some pieces you couldn't live without when it comes to outdoor entertaining?

XO, Alison

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