When we bought our house, one of the things Mike and I were most excited for was hosting friends and family. And though our backyard is certainly a work in progress, that doesn’t stop us from outdoor entertaining once the weather warms up! I’m already looking forward to all the late summer nights headed our way.

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials
Carly Riordan shares outdoor entertaining essentials

Cooler // Mini Fire Pit // Acrylic Placemat // Beach Towel

Rechargeable Lamp // Serving Tray // Charcuterie Board // Blanket

Food Cover // Bocce Ball // Projector Screen

Our Yeti cooler gets a lot of use in the summer. It’s great for keeping drinks cold without having to pop in and out of the kitchen for them all night. We have been thinking about getting a Solo stovethis one is a mini size that would be perfect for a small deck or patio. (If you have one, I’d love to hear what you think!) Also, these acrylic placemats are genius. They’re wipeable and don’t stain, which frankly sounds like a dream with kids and kids at heart. While I’m loyal to Weezie bath towels, this beach towel by Evelyn Henson- who I collaborated with in 2014!– is too cute.

A rechargeable lamp really elevates outdoor entertaining– I’m seeing these everywhere and feel like we need a few for our table. I like how this serving tray is simple but still chic with the bamboo border. The food picks are just the cherry on top! French blue is (obviously!) one of my favorite colors but I never thought I needed a French blue charcuterie board until now. I like to have ChappyWraps on hand for when the nights get cool, and this blue gingham is so good.

Food covers are a must when eating outdoors and these by one of my favorite designers are as pretty as they come! Bocce ball is such a classic yard game and I can’t resist this set with monogrammed carrying case. Finally, I highly recommend a projector screen for backyard movie nights! We own this and it’s been worth every penny. (Here’s our full set up if you want to do an outdoor theater– it’s the best once the sun goes down and a fun way to keep the party going.)


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My parents have the larger solo stove and they love it! They bought it during the pandemic and it’s gotten so much use. Very little ash after the fire and it can burn for hours. While it promotes zero smoke, we notice smoke, especially if the wood we burn isn’t fully dry yet or the wind blows in a certain direction.