This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Coming up with cool summer party ideas can be challenging, but I love a good challenge. Unless you know me personally, then you probably don’t know how much I love entertaining guests at my house. Any excuse to make dinner for others or have a celebration so I can get the people we love together all at my place for some food and drink, I make. This month is both my birthday and Memorial Day where we host a big backyard party for guests. After all, May is the perfect time for a summer party. But I’ve always wanted some nice outdoor furniture for my deck to host an outdoor dinner party. So when Cost Plus World Market reached out to collaborate, I knew this was going to be an awesome partnership. When it was time to get ready for the party, I headed over to both the Buckhead and Cobb Pkwy stores (Cobb Pkwy is my home store!) and got all these goodies. World Market has locations all over the country. Check where the closest store near you is by user the store locator.

Keep scrolling and reading to see how I get ready for an outdoor summer dinner party using food, drinks and products from Cost Plus World Market.

When guests arrive, I’m one to make sure they’re hydrated or refreshed with a drink. Whether they like a cold glass of sparkling lemon water (my absolute favorite!) or fruity sangria (that I made with white wine & lemonade), I’ve got them covered. Obsessed with this margarita pitcher and glasses.

Dinner parties are all about the food and people, but the decor is certainly the icing on the cake. When it came to decor, I wanted something with a Mediterranean feel and mood. While the menu wasn’t necessarily the same, I opted for blue to be my theme color. These gorgeous stained glasses, patterned runner and periwinkle buffet napkins helped me bring my vision to life.

Because I come from a big family, I know how good food – be it appetizers or entrees – can take a party from good to great. (Especially when you present it beautifully.) And there’s something so special about outdoor dining in the summer. For me, when I think about gorgeous cheese boards, I think about summer. I used this oversized board the centerpiece versus going for a predictable option like flowers. The colors from the cheese, meats and fruit really popped. And believe it or not, I got most of the makings of my cheese board from World Market. The olives, dipping oil and even these crackers are all from there.

At my house no matter what kind of cuisine we eat, we tend to make it family style. A huge salad bowl forces you to pass the food and exchange pleasantries. In the summer, I absolutely love watermelon, so this watermelon feta salad with mint is something I can’t wait to serve. (These large serving spoons make it easy to plate without a fuss.)

Remember when I mentioned nice outdoor furniture? Outdoor decor really sets the tone. Well, this Praiano Outdoor Dining Collection is what outdoor summer parties are made of. Whether you want to do a setting for 4 or 6, they both work. With a blend of regular chairs, armchairs and a bench, I love the variety of seating the collection provides, so you can move seating around for after dinner mingling.

Typically, I’m all about a floral arrangement, but really wanted the cheese board to shine. Plus this set up felt more appropriate for greenery. I tried to make succulents work (as you’ll see in a couple of photos) but really let the planter do its thing. There’s something about an oversized plant that makes outdoors feel more outdoors.

Mixing it up with a balance of casual (family style appetizers & entrees) and formal (place settings with cloth napkins) is my go to outdoor dinner party style. The warm weather serves as the perfect backdrop is awesome and family style apps and entrees force me to interact with my guests. Dinner party planning even when casual can be a bit tedious so finding a store that has all the items you need like Cost Plus World Market, makes that part of the process super convenient.

A huge thanks to my friends Cost Plus World Market for sponsoring this post.