summer entertaining must-have’s

I’m thrilled to introduce you to our guest blogger for today’s post, Joni Lay, creator of the Lay Baby Lay blog. We’re excited to start incorporating more “lifestyle” features here on the Edit by Lauren blog, including home decor, food and travel, kid-stuff, as well as beauty and fitness posts. I can’t think of a better way to start kick off some home and entertaining posts than with expert-advice from the incredibly talented designer/blogger behind Lay Baby Lay. 
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A little about Joni :: She’s the wife to Chip and the mother of two adorable girls, Vivi {4} and Brigette {2}. She’s collaborated on design projects with Land of Nod, Restoration Hardware Baby and Kids, and Serena & Lily, and her home is going to be featured in the upcoming June issue of Good Housekeeping magazine!

The Lay Baby Lay blog is an amazing source of family-friendly design inspiration, as well as DIY projects. {Some of her most popular DIY projects include poster hanging, a book bin, a clothes rack and a grocery stand.} I have been a fan and follower of this blog for years, and am tickled to now be getting to know Joni personally {we both live in the Atlanta-area}, and for her to share her “Summer Entertaining Must-Have’s” here on the blog today.



I’m so excited for the warmer weather that has arrived, and the long afternoons that come with it!  We love having friends over, and it’s even better in the summer since we can entertain on the backyard patio.  We turned our dining room into my younger daughter’s nursery, so the patio is where we do most of our entertaining.  Here are a few must haves that I’ve found to be super helpful to have on hand to quickly turn it into a festive space, ready for entertaining and spending time with friends while making it feel thoughtful even on a last minute notice!  All the pops of red in this board are super fun for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, and a few blue inexpensive honeycomb balls like these strung up will add a little extra patriotic punch.

(1) A super cute table runner makes the table feel festive, and add a pop of color.  You can find a lot of other great options here!

(2) I love having a stash of cute paper napkins.  They make everything extra fun, and make a casual get together feel like a party.  Meri Meri has the most adorable collection, and you can find a great selection here!

(3) I adore these gold cheese knives. A cheese board with a selection of cheese, seasonal fruit, crackers, and homemade jam make for easy and yummy entertaining, and this one is just gorgeous.

(4) Melamine plates are fantastic for the outside, especially with littles underfoot.  They are light and don’t break when dropped.  I love these punchy red ones and Pottery Barn Kids also keeps a great collection of melamine for kids that are great to have on hand when the kids are part of the party!

(5) A collection of small vases are perfect for last minute mini bouquets from clippings around the yard.  Greenery and blooms on the table are such an easy way to make things feel special.

(6) This honeycomb cloche is beautiful, and also necessary to keep bugs and such off of food.  It will make for an elegant presentation, and you won’t have to worry about the food.

(7) Gorgeous serving utensils like these make simple dishes like salads and such feel like an indulgence.  The gold finish also really brightens things up!

(8) These are the cutest little placecard holders!  They would also work great for labeling drinks or food for the convenience of your guests.

(9) I love having vintage pieces mixed in with my serving dishes.  It gives your table a story, and these adorable drink caddies are perfect for toting glasses and drinks outdoors.  This set is one of a kind, but you can find others on etsy, in vintage shops, or maybe even in your grandmother’s cabinet!

(10) A few garlands on hand can also add to the festive feel.  This sparkly star garland is perfect for the patriotic holidays ahead.

(11) These geometric coasters are gorgeous, and finding ways to add punches of color outside make everything feel more fun!

(12) Bar carts make serving easier.  I have this one, and I love it!  I actually use it as my nightstand, and take it outside for parties and gatherings.  It’s perfect for serving beverages or appetizers.

(13) When the evenings run long, candlelight makes everything feel more magical.  I adore these fantastic striped candles, and some vintage brass candlesticks add interest to the table.

(14) I love this simple beverage dispenser! It’s great for serving water, or a homemade lemonade or sweet tea, and it’s even easy for the kids to use.

(15) This wooden cake pedestal is also great for displaying food and such, and the wood will add some texture to the table.

(16) An ice bucket for drinks is also a handy item to have, to keep beverages chilled on hot afternoons.

Follow along with Lay Baby Lay on Instagram @laybabylay and on Facebook here.

Thanks for the stylish entertaining tips, Joni!

Stylishly yours,

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