Those nice days we've recently had (temperatures reaching a balmy 8°C!) have got me in the mood for Spring with a capital S. So when I walked into the dollar store on my lunch hour today, I was instantly drawn to the bits and bobs on display that made me think of warmer days ahead. Cheap and cheerful, here are my top 5 must-haves. [caption id="attachment_27975" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="Painted pot just the size for my kitchen windowsill or my lounge-side table in the backyard."] [/caption] 1. Flowerpots. Painted terracotta versions (like this one for $1.25) are just about a dime a dozen. Buy them already decorated or paint them yourself – they're super easy and fun to create. I vary their sizes and shapes for the annual container display on my patio. 2. Umbrellas. This aqua-coloured version means I have those April showers covered. And at $2 a pop, I'll be singing in the rain. [caption id="attachment_27980" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="Pretty aqua-coloured umbrella for spring showers."] [/caption] 3. Chinese lanterns. Two in a pack, blue, red, green or white. Just right for your first alfresco party. [caption id="attachment_27977" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="Paper lanterns, 2 for $1.25."] [/caption] 4. Sunhats. Ever hopeful, I know, but sooner or later the sun has to stay out for more than just one day, right? I'll be ready with this $3 way to keep the rays off my face. [caption id="attachment_27978" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="Totally cute hat from the dollar store!"] [/caption] 5. Garage Sale signs. Soon we'll be seeing them pop up on every telephone pole in the neighbourhood, grabbing our attention for Saturday and Sunday jaunts for hidden treasures. [caption id="attachment_27982" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="Get ready – it's almost Garage Sale season!"] [/caption] What are your must-have spring essentials?