A Fetching Friday: Dog Days of Summer

Today’s Fetching Friday is a take on the dog days of summer.

fetching-definiton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient Egyptian and Roman astrology links the Dog Star, Sirius, to the hottest weeks of the year of July to mid-August.  The oppressive heat of the Dog Star coupled with the sultry heat of the sun creates the extra cruel and brutal heat, ergo the dog days of summer.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, July 2019 now ranks as the hottest month ever recorded.

Welcome to the dog days of summer.

mid-century-bench-sofa

Country Living

“Home is where the dog runs to greet you.”

-Unknown

one_kings_lane_alex_papachristidis_

Alex Papachristidis– Photo by Lesley Unruh

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

– Sam Keen

dog-garden-Country-Homes-Interiors-Magazine

Country Homes & Interiors Magazine

“Summer, with its dog days, its vacations, its distractions, is over.  We have had our holidays, our rest, our recreation.  The fall season, with its new opportunities for effort, enterprise and achievement, is upon us.  Let us rip off our coats and get down to business.”

-B. C. Forbes

Sean-Hayes-Home

Traditional Home

“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

– Henry James

William-Mclure-Photo-by-Frank-Tribble

William McClure -Photo by Frank Tribble

“When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.”

-Wilma Rudolph

 Philip Mitchell

 Philip Mitchell

“People love dogs. You can never go wrong adding a dog to the story.”

-Jim Butcher

tuxedo-sofa

Country Living

dog days

Take heart- the dog days won’t last forever, and before you know it fall will be here to excite and renew.

I hope you all have a cool and refreshing fetching Friday.

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Forty Days To Go: Countdown to Fall

Dog days, excessive heat warnings, and the fact I’ve had all the summer I can stand brings on this countdown to fall.

its-August-time-to-get-out-your-fall-decor

Pinterest

It may be too soon for some to even remotely entertain thoughts of fall, but for those of us who love the fall of it all let the countdown to fall begin.

And Halloween.

And Thanksgiving.

And Christmas.

Yowza.

Anticipating the joy of witnessing the changing of the leaves, trying out a new recipe featuring apple and spice and everything pumpkin nice, tailgating times, fairs and festivals weekends spent in quaint little country towns, Thanksgiving gobble and gather, and Christmas spent with the ones you love celebrations is what makes September through December the most wonderful time of the year.

Incorporating natural elements into your fall and holiday decorating scheme brings the beauty of the season to the table, mantel, door, or wall.

persimmons

Persimmons

figs

Pinterest

Leaves, branches, nuts, fruits, and berries easily create a look that is fresh, seasonally appropriate, visually impressive, and easy on the decorating budget.

fall-leaves-arrangements

Better Homes & GardensFlickr

Magazines, newsletters, emails, and social media postings are getting in on the countdown to fall.

This image from a fall feature in Country Living Magazine epitomizes understated elegance.

The warm color palette, neutral accents and accessories in two by two placement, and the DIY magnolia leaf swag (instructions below) come together in decorative harmony.

diy magnolia garland

Country Living Magazine – Photo by Bjorn Wallander

Magnolia Leaf Garland

Measure the length of the mantel- door-wall where you plan to hang the garland, including an estimation of how many loops you plan to hang.  Add a half foot to a foot more, per loop, to your final measurement.

Gather the magnolia leaves.  It will take approximately 25 leaves per each foot of garland.

Flip the magnolia leaves over to the brown/gold side.  Take two leaves and put them together with their front sides facing.  Wrap floral wire around the stems. Repeat this step until you have multiple paired sets of leaves.

Cut heavy twine to the length of the space measurement and add another foot.  Start at one end of the twine and begin adding leaves.  Tie the first pair using a simple knot.  Continue to add the pairs by looping the twine under, over, and back around stems to secure in place, pushing them right up against the first pair.

Repeat until the garland is complete, tieing an overhead knot around the final pair.

-Country Living Magazine

Gold Taupe Bias-Cut Dupioni Silk RibbonGold Taupe Bias-Cut Dupioni Silk Ribbon

Finishing touches magnify the decorative detail.

demijohn decorative bottle 1

Crated Vineyard Demijohn Decorative Bottle
Lucas Bottle

leaves-in-demijohnJoanna Gaines – POPSUGAR

Forty days to go, my fall loving friends.

countdown to fall

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Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Newsflash: gone are the days of basic and boring dorm room decorating ideas and decor choices.

Excuse me while I dance the dance of oh happy and stylish day.

Dorm stylish dorm room decorating ideas featuring tasteful and dashing furnishings, accents and accessories come together to transform an otherwise nondescript space into a chic oasis of comfort and personal style.

dorm room decorating

Double Sided Circus Room Divider

I love the idea of using a room divider or screen as a headboard. This can be easily accomplished by simply placing the divider or screen behind the head of the bed.

Genevra Upholstered Panel Headboard

Genevra Upholstered Panel Headboard

Truly Soft Pleated Blush Twin XL Comforter Set

Truly Soft Pleated Blush Twin XL Comforter Set

Furrific Lumbar Pillow Cover

Furrific Lumbar Pillow Cover

Fur Wedge Bed Rest Pillow

Fur Wedge Bed Rest Pillow

Room darkening curtain panels keep out the light while letting your style light shine.

Walden Leaves 2-Pack Rod-Pocket Curtain Panel

Walden Leaves 2-Pack Rod-Pocket Curtain Panel

When the ten toe express is winding down, rest those puppies on something chic, comfortable, and stylish.

Safavieh Handmade Cape Cod Marget Boho Coastal Jute Rug

Safavieh Handmade Cape Cod Marget Boho Coastal Jute Rug

Bowles Gray Area Rug

Bowles Gray Area Rug

Color, texture, and pattern makes the grade A+ storage fabulous for dorm room decorating ideas.

Embrace Hand-Hooked Cotton Ivory Area Rug

Embrace Hand-Hooked Cotton Ivory Area Rug

Sallie Fuzzy Pouf

Sallie Fuzzy Pouf

This arm knitted lounger is just a dorm room DIY project away.

Click HERE for the tutorial.

arm knitted lounger

From the Desk of Style

RAE DUNN Extra Large Write Spiral Notebook

RAE DUNN Extra Large Write Spiral Notebook

planner

2019-2020 Planner

The Emily & Meritt Bunny Ear Easel Phone Holder

The Emily & Meritt Bunny Ear Easel Phone Holder

Poppin Accessory Trays

Poppin Accessory Trays

Gold Elephant Tape Dispenser

Gold Elephant Tape Dispenser

diamond paperweight

Diamond Paperweight

dorm-desk-accessories

112ct Gold Office Kit  
Reversible Bulletin & Chalk Board w/ Gold Frame
173ct Office Accessory Kit 
Saint Paul’s Cathedral London Souvenir

Creating a dorm room or apartment statement or gallery wall that stylishly reflects personal style is all the rage.

3 letter wooden monogram

3 Letter Wooden Monogram

The curated look is easily accomplished with chic and stylish wall art.

Ballet Study II Giclee Canvas Print 1

Ballet Study II Giclee Canvas Art Print

The designs, sizes and affordable price points are back to campus chic.

Romantic Moody Roses Giclee Canvas Print

Romantic Moody Roses Giclee Canvas Art Print

White 8-Cube Organizer

White 8-Cube Organizer

Little Seeds Monarch Hill Poppy Nightstand


Shh Im Sleeping Cotton Pillowcase Set

Shh I’m Sleeping Cotton Pillowcase Set

bedside caddy

Great lighting is essential in the dorm room environment.

Coco Fringed Metal LED Table Lamp Gold White by JONATHAN Y

Coco Fringed Metal LED Table Lamp Gold White by JONATHAN Y

Table, desk, string, and just fun lighting options shine a little light on the higher education study and down time situation.

Waterproof Starry Fairy Copper String Lights

Waterproof Starry Fairy Copper String Lights

The Emily & Meritt Bow Task Lamp

The Emily & Meritt Bow Task Lamp

Vornado - Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator

Vornado – Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator

wash-cloth-set-6

Morgan Home Fashions 6pc Washcloth Set

Love Yourself Bath Mat

Love Yourself Bath Mat

Faux-Fur Chair Throw, White

Faux-Fur Chair Throw, White

side table with enamel tray

T J Maxx

Hollywood Makeup Vanity 9 LED Mirror with Light

Hollywood Makeup Vanity 9 LED Mirror with Light

Sorbus Rotating Makeup Organizer

Sorbus Rotating Makeup Organizer

Sonia Kashuk Countertop Makeup Tray Organizer

Sonia Kashuk Countertop Makeup Tray Organizer

Eyelashes Jewelry Dish

Eyelashes Jewelry Dish

Melamine Black and White Geometric Mix and Match Dinner Plates, Set of 4

Melamine Geometric Mix and Match Dinner Plates, Set of 4

Mainstays Whisk Me Away Melamine Mixing Bowl with Lids

 Whisk Me Away Melamine Mixing Bowl with Lids

Keurig-Oasis-single-cup-coffee-maker

Keurig K-Mini Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

tassels mug

Tassels Mug

CreativeWare™ Adjustable Bed Riser System

CreativeWare™ Adjustable Bed Riser System

I hope one or more of these dorm room decorating ideas offers decorative inspiration for your back-to-college dorm room design and decor.

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From the Trip Report Archives: Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi is a pack a bag, set the GPS, and let’s get out of town for a day or weekend destination that offers everything from festivals to shopping to art to dining to distinctive mixology to antiquing to gourmet cooking classes.

Jaunting over to this small Mississippi town for a quick getaway from it all is right up our alley.

With a few months still to go until vacation time, reaching back into the trip report archives is my tried and true cure for the are we there yet? blues.

Louisiana-Mississippi-map

Impressive architecture, antiques shops, mint julep and tiny biscuit lunches at the Carriage House, refreshing cocktail hours, and laid back evenings seal the travel to Natchez deal.

cattle-on-levee

Louisiana to Mississippi rural highways, byways, and parkways give credence to the travel credo always take the scenic route.

cows on levee

Cell phone images of interest along country roads less traveled capture the scene and the herd.

Louisiana-back-roads

I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve gone to Natchez for a festival, a pilgrimage, to celebrate a milestone, or simply to getaway.

However, some trips do stand out more than others for one reason or another.

old river bridge

Photos from our past Natchez trips will not be appearing in this post due to the following:

It’s 98 degrees in the shade here in Central Louisiana.

Rooting around in a climate controlled storage unit to locate the box they may be in is not my idea of hot fun in the summertime, n’est-ce pas?

I’ll do my best to make this an easy follow with the help of borrowed, credited, courtesy of, and sourced photos rich in travel detail.

Vidalia-to-Natchez

Natchez gifts the eye with stunning views of the swift and sprawling Mississippi River and contrasting elevation levels.

Natchez–Vidalia Mississippi River Bridge

Natchez–Vidalia Mississippi River Bridge

Crossing over the Natchez-Vidalia bridge is its own we’re not in Louisiana anymore moment.

Longwood-Columns-Natchez

Longwood

Our self-guided driving, riding, and walking tours of Natchez have resulted in the discovery of impressive architecture, outstanding architectural details, off the beaten path and under-the-hill gems, and fascinating people.

Speaking of off the beaten path gems and fascinating people, let’s take a travel show and tell detour for a few paragraphs for the simple reason I like telling this story.

Friends of ours invited us to join them in Natchez for the 1984 Spring Pilgrimage.  We booked the guest house at Ravennaside for our party of four, packed our bags, and headed east.

The guest house option works best for us.

You get the bed and breakfast experience with the extra added bonus of privacy.

Ravennaside

The owners of Ravennaside at the time, Mr. and Mrs. John Van Hook, kept with the vision and intent of the original owners, Mr. and Mrs. James Fleming, for Ravennaside to be a home for entertaining.

Upon check- in, Mr. Van Hook gave our group a tour of the house and a rundown of the schedule of events planned for that evening and the next morning.

Guests were invited to mix and mingle on the veranda over cocktails and appetizers beginning promptly at 5: 00 pm.

Everyone was encouraged to introduce themselves and indulge in lively conversation and strong libations.

My friend and I took a seat on the large rattan couch, exchanging hellos with our fellow seat mates.

Karen immediately struck up a conversation with the group sitting next to us.

I, on the other hand, was taking a moment to study the interiors, the architectural details of the space, and the cast of characters in attendance at this rather unique gathering.

A quick elbow nudge from Karen brought me back to reality.  She leaned in to tell me the scoop discovered while engaged in casual cocktail chitchat.

Turns out our fellow day drinkers happened to be a group of editors from Southern Living magazine.

southern living magazine 1984

Thirty-five years later and I can’t for the life of me remember a single name of the three ladies or the single gentleman in their group.

Time has a way of doing that.

That late Saturday afternoon spent Southern sippin’ is by far one of the best travel memories in our Natchez, Mississippi travel repertoire.

Around Town

Longwood-Natchez-Mississippi

Longwood

Longwood Rotunda

Longwood Rotunda – Flickr

Springtime-in-Natchez

The Parsonage

St. Mary Basilica

St. Mary Basilica

ceiling-medallion-Natchez

Front Parlor of Rosalie Mansion

streets in Natchez

Sights, Streets, and Sidewalks

Natchez Brewing Company

Natchez Brewing Company

Natchez-brewing-company-pizza

Natchez Brewing CompanyPizza Lab–  Photo by G. Douglas Adams

Natchez claims a spirited aura when people, places, and things get to stirring after dark.

Natchez Ms sunset

Sunset in Natchez

Under-the-Hill-Saloon

Under-the-Hill-Saloon

Charboneau Distillery

Charboneau Distillery

King’s Tavern, circa 1789,  is the oldest standing building in Natchez.  The tavern is believed to be haunted after an expansion to the original building in 1930 revealed the skeletal remains of two men and one woman hidden in a wall behind the main fireplace.

King's Tavern

King’s Tavern

As the story goes, Richard King, the founder of the tavern, had a mistress named Madeline.  Madeline disappeared without a Natchez trace soon after Mrs. King learned of the illicit affair between Mr. King and Madeline.

King's Tavern historical marker

King’s Tavern Historical Marker

The finger of speculation pointed straight in the direction of Mrs. King when it was learned she had hired two men from the under-the-hill area of town to murder Madeline.

Madeline

King’s Tavern 

The plot thickened upon the discovery of a dagger in a fireplace located in another room of the tavern.

Post House Menu

Madeline’s true fate remains a mystery, and although based strictly on legend and folklore, it is widely believed the ghost of Madeline resides at 613 Jefferson Street.

Stanton Hall Entrance Natchez

Stanton Hall

My first trip to Natchez was in the summer of 1982, and I knew when I left I would be back for more sooner than later.

Fall’s crisp temps and seasonal colors on parade frame the scene for a made-to-order getaway, so back to Natchez we went in early November.

twin-oaks

Photo courtesy of Peter W. Patel

When I learned you could tour and bed & breakfast in many of the historic antebellum homes throughout Natchez my curiosity was piqued.

I booked a block of two night stays at Linden, Stanton Hall, and Twin Oaks, and we were off to the races.

Twin-Oaks-Natchez

Photo courtesy of Peter W. Patel

Linden and Stanton Hall hit the hospitality high note, but Twin Oaks, circa 1832, was the property we absolutely fell in love with all those years ago.

Homochitto Street

Photo courtesy of Peter W. Patel

To say the charm quotient overfloweth at 71 Homochitto Street is an understatement.

Our host for many visits over the years was Dr. Homer A. Whittington, a true Southern gentleman if there ever was one.

Ever the gracious host, Dr. Whittington had a distinct and memorable way of making you realize you were experiencing the very best of what Southern hospitality is all about.

We fell in love with the guest house at Twin Oaks.  What we would do or where we would dine when we were in Natchez may have been up for debate, but there was never any question as to where where we would stay.

Dr. Whittington joked he ought to just give us our own key to the guest house.

We always felt right at home and a part of the Twin Oaks family.

Unfortunately, the guest house did not age well through the years, and was torn down when Twin Oaks was sold.

The present owner, Regina Charboneau, puts her own unique spin on private accommodations and Southern hospitality as well.

I’ll elaborate more on this in an upcoming blog post.

twin-oaks-chapel

Back in its B&B heyday, the guest house at Twin Oaks was located at the far end of the gardens just past the staircase to the left of the chapel.

Packed with period antiques and oodles of privacy, the guest house at Twin Oaks was our kind of bed & breakfast.

I’d say the square footage of the guest house came in around 1000 square feet under roof.

canopy-bed

This is not an interior photo of the guest house master bedroom, but I wanted to use it to give you a visual idea of the period furnishings.

Light paint colors complemented the dark brown finishes of the period pieces.

Now remember decoristas, this was 1982.

candlelight-yellow-Glidden

Candlelight Yellow by Glidden

Couple that together with the Southern Antebellum theme, and a yellow and green color palette it is.

Tranquil Light Green Glidden

Tranquil Light Green by Glidden

A modern bathroom suite and kitchen struck the right balance between old and new.

The full kitchen and fully stocked fridge addressed the what’s for breakfast issue, and the entertainment center churned out the contemporary music of the day.

On top of all that, there was a large working fireplace and a private courtyard that provided all the comforts of home and them some.

Twin-Oaks-Natchez-grounds

On the last day of the trip, we stayed around the guest house for most of the afternoon.  The plan was to go to the Post House (currently King’s Tavern) for a farewell to Natchez dinner later in the evening.

Double-Eagle-Coffee

Double Eagle Coffee

Coffee and chicory pairs well with a brisk fall afternoon, serving as the beverage of choice at the guest house coffee and cocktail hour.  Dave added a generous pour of Bailey’s to his coffee to spike up the flavor and warm the bones.

fika

Celebrating the moments of our lives in fika fashion over several cups of strong coffee, we found ourselves slightly buzzing from the combination of caffeine, Bailey’s, and the pure excitement of being out of town.

twin-oaks-bamboo

The parking area for guests was at the opposite end of the courtyard.  The roosting of what seemed to be thousands of birds in the bamboo trees lining the entire back of the courtyard produced a loud and eerie soundtrack.

One would think in our comings and goings that at least one of us would have noticed the large garden statue standing at the far end of the courtyard.

You would think, but we did not.

With a brisk breeze kicking up and the gift of dipping fall temps, Dave thought moving the car closer to the guest house a good idea.  I told him I was almost finished getting ready, and I would meet him at the top of the stairs.

The front door of the guest house was made of solid wood, and was as wide as it was tall.  A high pitch squeak at mid open (or close) let you know someone was coming in or going out.

Between the squeak and a strategically positioned full length mirror serving as my make-up mirror, I had both an audible and visual heads up of who was coming in and out of the guest house.

Call it a prehistoric version of the Ring doorbell.

All of a sudden the door swings open so fast it doesn’t even have time to squeak.  Dave is in a whiter shade of pale frantically locking the door behind him.

I immediately ask him, “what’s wrong?”

“There’s a headless something or someone standing in front of the car.”

I recall his exact words at this point in the conversation were “I’m not sh#&!ing you.”

Normally the calm, cool, sober and collected one in our party of two, my initial reaction was to diffuse without discounting Dave’s fear.

“Tell me exactly what you think you saw.”

The story goes like this:

When Dave walked up the stairs to the driveway he saw what he thought was Dr. Whittington sitting in his study.  He decided to walk by the study window and wave good evening to Dr. Whittington.  Turns out there was no one in the study, so Dave continued on down the driveway to the parking area.

He describes the details, telling me the birds roosting in the bamboo trees is deafening loud this evening, and the previously mentioned fall winds had really began to pick up.

He proceeds to further set the scene.  The closer he gets to the guest parking area, he is 100% percent sure he sees the aforementioned headless something or someone standing in front of the car

I give him a look of sure you do.

It’s the look I’ve perfected over the years.

Louisiana Girl T shirt

“Do you think perhaps the Bailey’s infused coffees are having their way with your eyes, Dave?”

“I know what I saw, Darleen.”

Facing your fear is the only way to conquer it.  Taking these words into account, I decide to see what we’re working with here.

Much to Dave’s “don’t open that door” objections, I opened the front door to better assess the situation.

About the time I opened the door the wind gusted and the sound of the birds roosting in the bamboo hit a crescendo.

Doo-doo-doo-doo, Doo-doo-doo-doo

twilight zone

Looking down the courtyard through over caffeinated eyes, I too see a headless something or someone standing in front of the car

I couldn’t shut and lock the front door fast enough.

Dave gave me his I told you so look- the look he’s perfected over the years.

There was no two ways about it- we were going to dinner regardless of what or who was standing by the car.

We both opened the door for a second look, and yep, it was still there.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson analyze the situation, and devise a game plan of how to get to the car and defend ourselves from the forces of headless evil lurking in the night.

Dave comes up with the plan.  He told me to grab the pair of candlesticks on the mantle.  “You take one, and I’ll take the other, and it’ll be two against one.”

silver plated candlesticks

Dave addressed my concerns over the post battle condition of the candlesticks.  They were not antiques, and I was familiar with the brand and the retail store where a replacement pair could be purchased from.

Dave concluded we would simply replace them and throw a Ben Franklin Dr. Whittington’s way if the candlesticks fell victim to battle.

The adrenaline was flowing, we were both armed with decorative accents, and I had a fierce craving for Post House Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Let’s do this.

We carefully locked up the guest house and headed up the stairs.  There was no point in slow walking the inevitable, so we picked up the pace and our candlesticks prepared to beat our way into the car.

Cue the roosting birds, the swirling winds, and the building fear.

The closer we got to the figure, reality came into clear view.

Oh, there was definitely a headless figure at the end of the driveway.

At least we got that part right.

There, standing in front of us in all its courtyard art glory, was a life size concrete garden statue.

Without a head.

Myddelton_House_garden,_Enfield,_London___Pedestal_headless_sculpture

Myddelton House Garden
A Dead Ringer!

Failure on our part to notice the statue from the get-go resulted in two complete dumb asses spending the last hour plotting a defense that entailed beating the living daylights out of an inanimate objet d’art with a pair of decorative candlesticks.

It took a second to catch our breath and process what just happened. Dave wasted no time looking around to see if anyone saw us.

The man does have his priorities.

Fortunately for us our reputations remained intact.

I waited to comment until we pulled out of the driveway.  I didn’t get an entire word out of my mouth before Dave shut it down with an overly emphasized three word reply.

You.  Did.  Too.

Goodness knows I would have loved for this to have been kept just between the two of us, but nooooo, Dave.  In record post-trip return time, you could not wait to turn our antics into an amateur stand-up comedy show and tell complete with animated gestures and language, exposing our self-humiliation for all the world (well, our family and friends) to know.

We’re all about the show and tell.

One thing is for sure, there’s never been a dull moment in our Natchez, Mississippi travels.

Even when we opt to slow down the pace, enjoy the moment, and roll with the flow of the river, the days and nights are never dull, and that’s why we consider Natchez a favorite getaway destination.

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A Fetching Friday: The Good Old Summertime

Today’s Fetching Friday features wonderful memories of childhood summers and how we whiled away the hours in the good old summertime.

fetching-definiton

 

white mountain freezer

White Mountain Freezer

Homemade ice cream was the summertime treat we had to work for.

Who remembers being put on cranking detail?

Southern Living – Photo by Paul Costello

My grandmother had a PhD in food presentation. 

She always served homemade ice cream in an etched sherbet dish like the ones above garnished with either a sprig of fresh mint, peach slice, fresh strawberry, or chocolate Kiss. 

To me, there is nothing better on a hot summer afternoon than a dish of cold, creamy homemade ice cream garnished with a generous amount of memories. 

good old summertime

I first saw this in the good old summertime image on Pinterest.

Social media trends from one platform to another, and I noticed it on Facebook captioned with the words “this is what old folks call snap chat.”

summer-fresh-peas

Guide to Summer-Fresh Field Peas- Southern Living

If I had a nickel for every time my grandmother handed us a glass of homemade lemonade and a bowl full of peas prime for the snapping, I’d have enough money to run by Raising Cane’s for a lemonade to enjoy on the drive out to the farmer’s market stand on the bayou to pick up a bushel or a peck of peas.

Revered summer rituals of the past shape the summer activities of the present.

good old summertime

Flickr

We never met a pond, creek, or fresh water spring our feet or fishing poles didn’t like. 

Serenity Photograph by Li Newton1

Serenity Photograph by Li Newton

It was nothing for my Dad and uncles to suggest the entire family load up and caravan to the drive-in.

My Mother and my aunts gathered up the aluminum lawn chairs, filled an industrial size ice chest with canned Cokes (it’s the South- we call any flavor soda or pop Coke), and popped several pans of Jiffy Pop.

Ironically, the only trip to the concession stand was for mosquito coils.

Pure summertime fun gold. 

drive-in-theatre

I hope you all have a most fetching Friday and a great weekend enjoying some good old summertime fun.

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Storm Watching

The tropical storm slowly brewing in the gulf is becoming the Barry of bad tidings for the entire state of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region.

We’re no strangers to storm watching, and we know all too well the warnings and preparations that go with the territory must be heeded.

My initial intention for this blog post was to show you all the treasures I recently found shopping my favorite antiques and gift shop, but between storm watching and grocery store runs that ain’t happening.

New-Orleans-oyster-shell

Gulf coast themed accents remind me just how beautiful the area is and star in the summer at the coast style show currently decorating the dining room table and sideboard. 

We’ll have to see what Barry brings our way, and what, if any, damage we will be left to repair.

In the meantime, we’ve got enough bottled water, non-perishable foods, batteries, and tenacity to hang in there.

Dave is already sweating over the looming loss of air conditioning. We do like our air conditioning.

I feel like the lady in the home warranty commercial. We just got the new roof less than two years ago when the tornado ripped the old one to shreds.

This isn’t our first time at the storm watching rodeo, and we can hang on Louisiana strong for the entire eight minutes, hours, days- you get the idea.

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Easy 4th Of July Celebration Ideas

In the spirit of letting freedom ring in the good old summertime, let’s look at a sampling of easy 4th of July celebration ideas for your star-spangled spectacular.

flag on barn canvas art print

Kirkland’s

The 4th of July is a special holiday celebration bedecked in patriotic red, white, and blue commerating the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of the United States of America.  

Women's American Flag Snip Toe Boots

red white bbq shirt

Summer sets an anything goes good with fun, food and family background, and goes perfect with the 4th of July. 

4th-cocktails

It’s never too late in the party planning process to throw an indoor and outdoor party with a festive “pop” of festive seasonal color.

american-flag-pillows-mcdowell

House Beautiful

Outdoor celebrations around our house involve the double D rule (no, there is nothing going on that wild).

Dollar and discount store disposables and the convenient and affordable  first line of defense against wasting money and valuable party time cleaning up.

4th party supplies

Paper or plastic tablecloths, plates, napkins, and plastic cutlery packages serve the party purpose, and the red Solo cup is diposable party royalty.

Red Solo Cup

Red Solo cup

I fill you up

Let’s have a party!

summer tableware

Intermingle items in red, white, and blue in with principal tableware favorites.  I find I get more use out of items in either red, white, or blue vs. red, white, and blue.  

smores-fixins

Finding cute and clever ways to serve your guests is not that hard.  All things summer is an easy theme to work with. 

Mini terra cotta flower pots easily become a pot of s’mores fixings gold. 

Terra Cotta Flower Pots

Terra Cotta Flower Pots – Hobby Lobby

Clear jars, containers, and cansiters aren’t just for food storage.  These versatile and affordable entertaining musts prove a clear winner to house and serve anything from utensils to candies to salads. 

July 4th candy treats

Better Homes & Gardens

Cracker-Jack-twizzlers

anchor-heritage-glass-jar-gallon

Heritage Hill 64 oz. Glass Jar with Lid

jar salad serving ideas

Mosquitoes are an outdoor entertaing nuisance, a pest of a pest. 

Add the following items to your 4th Of July celebration ideas shopping list, watch the DIY Citronella candle how to make video from P. Allen Smith, and let’s project.

8 ounce Mason jars 

floating votive candles 

lemons and limes

citronella oil

fresh sweet mint and rosemary 

Place the citronella candle jars around the table and surrounding party area.

outdoor-lighting-ideas-summer-entertaining

Martha Stewart

Clear apothecary bottles in varying sizes and heights filled with lamp oil and wicks is a clear and chic light the summer night option. 

casual-picnic-tablescape

Country Living – Photo by John Kernick

Clear jars filled with fresh flowers and/or greenery from the yard come in make a simple and lovely display. corn-centerpiece

Small groupings-stacks-bundles of fresh fruit or summer vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, blueberries, or grapes dressed up with ribbon or in their natural state serve a colorful bounty of fresh and sweet summer style.  

red-white-blue-fabric

Red, white, and/or blue fabric is my suggestion for a table runner.  This works for dinner napkins, too. 

I can’t sew a stitch, but I can work a hot iron and a roll of hem tape like nobody’s business.   

Determine the width and length (add one inch to both the width and length), cut your fabric to desired size, fold over each side (fold in the corners to create a 45 degree angle), and either sew sides or apply hem table with iron. 

summer-fourth-of-July-ribbon

Don’t forget your Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon

If you’re going with the dinner napkin option, pair them with a patriotic palette ribbon natural and either a nautical rope ball or decorative tassels. 

red white blue tassels

Jo-Ann Stores

The finished result is a festive theme napkin ring and stylish dinner napkin presentation.

free printable anthem banner

I love this printable from HMH Designs.

red-white-blue-printable-cupcake-topper

And this one from Today’s Creative Life. 

Click HERE and HERE for the free patriotic food picks and place card ready printables. 

Oh, say can you say that three times real fast. 

red-craft-bag

Dressed up craft bags or plastic popcorn buckets make festive party favor containers.

popcorn-bucket

4th wrap

Pack your 4th of July swag bags full of dollar and party store finds for beach, lake or backyard fun sure to go over real big with kids of all ages.

wood block game

Tumbling Tower Game

4th-July-fan

Fan

playing cards

Playing Cards

Tootsie Roll Scented Bubbles 4ct

Tootsie Roll Scented Bubbles 4ct

Popsicle ice pops firecracker

Popsicle Ice Pops Firecracker 18 ct

red white blue glow wheel

Patriotic Red, White & Blue Glow Stick Flying Disc

Safety is a big part of the summer fun equation. 

Good Housekeeping features an informative piece 15 Safety Mistakes to Avoid This 4th of July detailing smart tips for staying safe while you celebrate the 4th.

4th of July celebration ideas

Sparklers

That about wraps up my 4th of July celebration ideas show and tell. 

These ideas are easy, affordable, crowd pleasing and party perfect for a 4th of July or any summer soiree. 

Party fun, stylish, and safely and I’ll see you all next week.  

Love your style!

Show & Tell

Bake, Chill, Sweet and Dill: Summer Food Recipes

With summer’s official arrival and the 4th of July coming up, happy summer times are here again, friends.  Like the summer temps, summer food recipes are a hot topic of conversation.

I really look forward to picking, preparing, and plating traditional summer fare.  I’ll put a new spin on an old favorite to spice the taste factor up a bit, but all in all I stay true to the original recipe.

Fresh is best for many summer food recipes.

Fresh tomatoes?

The official unofficial fruit of summer.

Yes, a tomato is a fruit.

fresh-tomatoes-summer

Fresh corn?

fresh corn

Flickr

Stir in chopped bell pepper, onion, Kosher salt, fine black pepper and you’ve got a sweet summer treat.

tomatoes-bell-pepper-green-onions

Fresh peaches?

fresh peaches

Peel ’em up and pass the sugar.

summer food recipes

When I can’t make it out to the local growers, it’s to the farm to market produce section at the local grocery store I go.  There’s plenty of summer food recipes out there with an ingredients list of seasonings ready to enhance the flavor quotient.

Today I’m shining the summer food recipes spotlight on traditional and new traditional favorites sure to please.

summer-macaroni-salad

Classic Macaroni Salad

Ingredients

1½ cup (12 ounces) dry elbow macaroni

½ cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

¼ cup milk

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)

black pepper to taste

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 medium bell pepper, diced

¼ cup red onion, diced

1 whole green onion (green and white parts), sliced

1 cup whole kernel corn, drained

Directions

Cook the elbow macaroni in salted water according to directions on package. Drain cooked macaroni, rinse with cold water, and allow to completely cool.

Chop, slice, and dice the tomato, bell pepper, red onion, and green onion.

summer food recipes

To prepare the dressing grab a medium mixing bowl.  Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, milk,  sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir all together to incorporate and set aside.

Place macaroni in a large mixing bowl.  Add the bell pepper, green onion, red onion, tomatoes, and corn.

macaroni salad dressing

Pour dressing over top and toss to evenly coat.  Chill salad for at least 2 hours before serving.

Bread-and-butter-pickles

Bread and butter pickles recipe from Recipe Girl.  Click on over to the  delicious Recipe Girl blog for the recipe details.

Recipe Girl Blog Link HERE

pickled tomatoes

Marinated Tomatoes and Onions

Ingredients

1 medium red onion, sliced and separated

3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

½ cup vinegar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon honey

1 cup water

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

½  teaspoon allspice

Directions

Layer tomatoes and onions in jar.  Sprinkle the pepper and allspice into jar.

tomatoes-sliced-onions-Ball-Mason-jar

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, honey, sea salt, and water to combine.

Pour vinegar-sugar-honey-sea salt-water mixture into jar covering the tomatoes and onions.  Place lid on jar and seal tight.  Give the jar a vigorous shake to incorporate the flavors and to thoroughly coat the tomatoes and onions.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Firecrackers, chicken, and the summer soiree are part of the recipe for summer entertaining success.

baked-firecracker-chicken

Contrary to summer soiree belief, not everyone grills and barbecues.

Oppressive heat, inclement weather, building restrictions, personal taste preference- you get the idea.

If you’re not on board the grilling/barbecue train, this recipe for oven baked Firecracker Chicken from Jo Cooks has got your name written on it.

Click HERE to get the recipe.

And now for something sweet

Chocolate-chip-smores-bars

Dessert puts the cherry on the top of the summer spread cake, so to speak.

It’s always a good time for a good s’mores recipe, and this Chocolate Chip S’mores Bars recipe from Glorious Treats is, well, glorious.

Who remembers cranking out homemade ice cream on a hot summer afternoon?

Dave the Builder and I both have done our fair share of cranking over the years of childhood.  What complaints we had about having to crank were quickly diminished when the ice cream was ready.

When a good crop of peaches came in at the local orchard, my grandmother would peel and dice a bowl full of fresh peaches to add to the ice cream.

Talk about good!

In the spirit of summer, good memories, and great summer food recipes, this recipe for fresh peach ice cream from Southern Living is deliciously appropriate.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Ingredients

5 large egg yolks

½  cup sugar

2 cups whole milk

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk

2 cups mashed peaches

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Whisk in the milks.  Cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, 15 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.  Stir in the peaches and vanilla.

Cool completely (about 30 minutes); cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

Pour the custard into the freezer container of a 2 ½ to 3-quart electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.)  Transfer to a freezer-safe container; freeze 2 hours or until firm.

-Southern Living

enjoy

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