Summer is in full swing and what better way to spend it than entertaining in the great outdoors? The hands down best features of living in Los Angeles (especially, right after living in Manhattan) are: 1) the proximity to the ocean, and 2) the ease in living and flow from indoor to outdoor spaces.

For years, the hubs and I (I’ll now call him P, as I always do), burned our brain cells, eyeballs and dexterity staying locked up all summer long grinding away in front of our computers at our respective jobs. We miraculously always managed to take a few vacations here and there, but it was never quite enough to satiate our passion for being out and about with sunshine on our faces. These days in L.A., we’re discovering exquisite pleasure in a more indoor/outdoor life balance, which I had all but forgotten from my earlier years of living here. In truth, I blocked it from my memory as a mode of self-preservation of my sanity and work ethic while I averaged 10-14 hour (summer) days back in NYC.

What to do with all that outdoor goodness? Entertain! One of my favorite things to do is have friends over, and its by far the best way to take advantage of our new-found outdoor freedom. Every season has it’s decor go to’s, and summer is such an easy breezy time of year to plan gatherings. To be the hostess with the mostest, or at least pull of a soiree stylishly (let’s face it, we’re grown ups now . . enough with the red plastic Flip Cup econo pack, you know who you are), get your party planning skills on point with a few effortless and inexpensive upgrades.

After all, inviting people into your humble abode takes forethought, time and lets face it, money. All of which, in my opinion, is a compliment to your guests. Show them they’re special by spending a few moments on the details. It’s not about impressing people, it’s about paying attention to the details and having conversation pieces. It’s the little things in life that matter after all, and your friends will not only notice, they will appreciate your efforts and remember.

Cheers to party planning and a full summer roster of outdoor events! Here are a few fun and functional decor pieces to help inject some JUJU into your next gathering. Fourth of July will be upon us before we know it. Get out there and stock up on simple pieces that will add class and sass to your next fiesta.

Love to hear what details you like to incorporate into your gatherings. What are your entertaining go-tos?