Fetching Friday: Summertime Favorites

Today’s Fetching Friday features summertime favorites of fun, leisure and tabletop in color rich scenes many of us instantly associate with the good old summertime.

fetching-definiton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

butterfly-on-purple-flowers

Benaki-wallpaper-Lewis-Wood

Benaki – Lewis & Wood

cold-slice-of-watermelon

summertime-favoritesSouthern Living

Maine Coast Croquet Stand

lemon-orange-citrus-ice-block

Ice Block Tutorial – Southern Lady Magazine

summertime-favorites-bedroom-1Country Living Magazine- Photo by Buff Strickland

colorful-vegetables

Colorful Vegetables

hydrangeas-boxwoodsBetter Homes & Gardens – Photo by Kritsada Panichgul

I hope you all have a fabulous summer weekend filled with good times and good health.

love signature

 

Show & Tell

By the Sea Table Setting Ideas

This decorista is feeling the by the sea table setting ideas vibe.  For those of us who look for any opportunity to show off our tablescape chops, the summer entertaining season is opportunity supreme.

There’s something about the combination of a summer day into afternoon or evening, good friends, great food, and a table set in by the sea style.

rope-wrapped-cylinder-vase

Yes, social distancing will guide the guest list and seating arrangement, but hosting a summer soiree we will be.

This post has become packed like a beach bag with sources and suggestions, requiring it to be split into two by the sea place setting ideas parts.

If summer entertaining in coastal style is your thing, grab a cool beverage, get comfy, and settle in.

Before we set the table, let me set the scene:

An interesting article in Better Homes & Gardens highlights findings from the book Blue Mind by author and marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols.

Blue mind is the reflective and peaceful state experienced as result of being on, in, or by a body of water.  Research backs up the author’s theory of proving how being on, in, or by a body of water as in lake, river, sea or ocean bolsters happiness.

Replicating a day or evening at the coast, beach or seashore in the form of tablescape set with striking place settings and tablewares engages the senses of sight, touch, taste, and sound, promotes visual happiness, and gives those who love to set a gorgeous table a stylish dose of vitamin sea.

ocean-view-dining

Architectural Digest

By the sea table setting ideas, indoor or alfresco, serve as a passport to dining adventures where the dining table top becomes an inspired canvas.

al fresco

Elle

Visually interesting, unexpected, and conversation worthy pieces in colors and patterns not typically associated with the tablescape theme at hand is a fun and fresh way to approach place settings and serving pieces.

From coastal casual to elegantly formal to whatever floats your by the sea boat, well-appointed table setting options remain the best friend of the entertaining decorista.

Mary Hannah Interiors beach style dining room

Mary Hannah Interiors

Let’s by the sea table set, shall we?

Seagrass Charger

Seagrass Charger

Placemats and chargers made of natural materials such as wicker, water hyacinth, sisal and seagrass are decorating chameleons, and by that I mean they adapt beautifully to the style situation they are in.

Woven Design Water Hyacinth Placemat SetRomilly Woven Everyday 19″ Placemat (Set of 4)

Sisal Leaf Placemat in Natural

Sisal Leaf Placemat in Natural

Park B. Smith 4-pc. Karur Jute Placemats SetPark B. Smith 4-pc. Karur Jute Placemats Set

Food Network™ Resin Wicker Charger PlateFood Network Resin Wicker Charger

wood-pattern-plate-charger

Faux Wood Charger Plates

faux-wood-plate-chargerFaux Wood Charger Plates

Vintage Wood ChargerVintage Wood Charger

The Pottery Barn Shell-Rimmed Charger is a shell of a good charger inspiration for a by the sea place setting accent.

shell-rimmed-rattan-charger

Shell-Rimmed Charger Plate

Pier 1 has this Shell Border Natural Charger ($17.99 + tax), however, still somewhat pricey when you need several to set the table.

Shell Border Natural Charger Plate

Shell Border Natural Charger Plate

I’m thinking a knock your sandals off knockoff DIY project option may be a stylish alternative.

shell diy charger

Woven chargers as well as plastic chargers in your choice of color create the canvas.

Lay out your choice of seashells to get the pattern and sizing right.

You may prefer the look of the shells placed at the edge of the charger, in one concentrated area of the charger, or covering the entire rim in an impressive mix and pattern.

shells-charger

Once you get the placement and look to your liking, go ahead and place a dinner plate on the charger to make sure there is another clearance between the edge of the plate and the shells.

Stack a salad plate atop the dinner plate to make sure it too clears the shells.

**A hot glue gun is just that, hot.  Use caution and protect your fingers.**

Using a hot glue gun, glue each shell to the charger.

Prepare to impress.

After all, isn’t that the point?

coastal-plates-blue-white

Pier 1 stores will be closing soon, and their Going Out of Business Sale is currently underway.

There’s no time like the present to add dinnerware, placemats, napkins, and chargers from the sale to your place settings inventory.

Blue & White Capiz Shell Charger Plate

Blue & White Capiz Shell Charger Plate

Beaded Aqua Round PlacematBeaded Aqua Round Placemat

Glitz Beaded Silver Placemat

Glitz Beaded Silver Placemat

Blue Embroidered PlacematBlue Embroidered Placemat

Food Network™ Solid Round Placemat 4-packFood Network™ Solid Round Placemat 4-pack

braided flower placematBraided Flower Placemat

Frank Pitman Designs coastal dining room

Frank Pitman Designs

Not all residential dining rooms or outdoor areas are lucky enough to come with an authentic by the sea view, but don’t let that detail impede the by the sea details.

Lacquer Square Charger Plate, Set of 6, Silver

Lacquer Square Charger Plate, Set of 6, Silver

Seashells are brimming with by the sea color, texture and pattern inspiration.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/max-garcia/6722874869/

Flickr

The distinctive colors, textures, and pattern play of the conch shell horn.

oyster-with-pearl

Flickr

Tales and truths of lustrous pearls found at sea.

Casafina Dinner PlateCasafina Dinner Plate

Conch shell decorative

Amina Dinner PlateAmina Dinner Plate

Reactive Gray Dinnerware

Reactive Gray Dinnerware

I love the colors in the Amina dinner plate from Crate & Barrel as the palette is reminiscent of the colors found in seashells by the seashore.

shell palate

by the sea shell

You can spend a pretty penny on dinner plates, and understandably so in some settings, but when a stylish pattern or color is available on the shelves of the dollar store and gives a good look, why would you?

Royal Norfolk Turquoise Swirl Stoneware Dinner Plates

Royal Norfolk Turquoise Swirl Stoneware Dinner Plates

Affordable options such as the Royal Norfolk Turquoise Swirl Stoneware dinner plate make a solid style base to build your by the sea place setting upon.

turquoise-casafina-dinner-plates

Taormina Aqua Dinner Plate (Set of 6)by CASAFINA

decorative coral

 

Coastal Home Small Sea Urchin BowlCoastal Home Small Sea Urchin Bowl

Color choices need not be too matchy-matchy.

Contrast keeps things visually interesting.

Hand Painted Coral Embossed Glass Side Plate, Aqua, Set of 2Hand Painted Coral Embossed Glass Side Plate, Aqua, Set of 2

Bayless Salad PlateBayless Salad Plate

I like to color, texture, and pattern outside the lines of what traditionally identifies the coastal look.

Chapp Exotic Jungle 11" Dinner Plate (Set of 4)Chapp Exotic 11″ Dinner Plate (Set of 4)

Tinsley Scallop Shell 8" Salad or Dessert Plate (Set of 2)Tinsley Scallop Shell 8″ Salad or Dessert Plate (Set of 2)

 

Durrant Capiz Shell Decorative BowlDurrant Capiz Shell Decorative Bowl

shells-on-sand

VIETRI earth glass dinner plate

Vietri Earth Glass Dinner Plate

brown-white-sea-shell

Firenza Coupe 10.5" Dinner PlateFirenza Coupe 10.5″ Dinner Plate Set of 6

Struthers 10.5" Glass Dinner Plate (Set of 12)Struthers 10.5″ Glass Dinner Plate (Set of 12)

ruffled-gold-rim-salad-plates-set-of-4-1

Ruffled Gold Rim Salad Plates, Set of 4

Place setting accents and accessories in Louisiana Gulf Coast fashion incorporate the style of home.

tortoise-shell-glass-salad-plate

Snowcreek 9" Salad Plate (Set of 4)Snowcreek 9″ Salad Plate (Set of 4)

Set of 4 Ballad mini bowlsSet of 4 Ballad Bowls

Giant Sea Turtle Fruit BowlGiant Sea Turtle Fruit Bowl

Cronk Duch Architecture beach style Jacksonville dining room

Cronk Duch Architecture

Blue and white with shades of gray.

Need I say more?

Royal Norfolk Classic White Round Stoneware Dinner Plates, 10.5 in.

Royal Norfolk Classic White Round Stoneware Dinner Plates, 10.5 in.

 IMPULSE! Fantasy Crystal Clear Small Salad Plates - Set of 6 IMPULSE! Fantasy Crystal Clear Small Salad Plates – Set of 6

Larissa Dessert PlateLarissa Plate

Round Deniz Flower Silver Glass Charger Plate

Round Deniz Flower Silver Glass Charger Plate

Maliyah 12 Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 4

Maliyah 12 Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 4

Mercer Grey Round Appetizer Plates, Set of 8Mercer Grey Round Appetizer Plates, Set of 8

Anne_Vallayer-Coster_-_Still-Life_with_Tuft_of_Marine_Plants,_Shells_and_Corals

When I was sourcing items for this post, I could not get immediately happy with the placemat selections in the coastal category.

Much to my delight, I came across this Oisin Sea Creature placemat which set into motion a sourcing session with not your average by the sea place setting options in mind.

Oisin Sea Creature 19" Cotton Placemat (Set of 4)Oisin Sea Creature 19″ Cotton Placemat (Set of 4)

black-dinner-plate

Royal Norfolk Classic Black Stoneware Dinner Plate, 10.5 in.

Amari Ceramic PlateAmari Ceramic Plate

Nippon Black Dessert Plate - LinesNippon Black Dessert Plate – Lines

Classic Stripe 4 Piece Bowl Set

Classic Stripe 4 Piece Bowl Set

St Tropez Salad PlateSt Tropez Salad Plate

Vietri Octopus salad plate

Vietri Marina Octopus Salad Plate

coastal place setting

Luxe Interiors +Design

Reef Gold Charger Plates Set of 4-1

aquarium decor coral ornament

Penzo Dinner Plate Feathers with gold rimPenzo Dinner Plate Feathers with Gold Rim

Rimmed Dinner Plate

Denby Dinnerware, Halo Wide Rimmed Dinner Plate

By the Sea Table Setting Ideas

Seaside Small Oyster 6.5″ Bread Plate (Set of 4)

Although a red, white, and blue palette is more closely associated with a nautical theme, it is 4th of July appropriate for a by the sea table setting.

red-white-blue-place-setting

red-coral

Dansk Belgium & Parisian Dinner Plate

Dansk Belgium & Parisian Dinner Plate

Porto-plates-Williams-Sonoma

Porto Plates in Ribeira Pattern

Noritake® Hanabi Salad Plates (Set of 4)Noritake® Hanabi  Plates (Set of 4)

clam shell salt cellar1

Gold leaf oyster shell salt and pepper cellars add a touch of unique by the sea elegance to the tabletop.

oyster-salt-cellar

Gold Leaf Oyster Shell Salt and Pepper Cellars

ocean-round-dessert-plates

Ocean Round Sculpted Dessert Plate

Maximillian Palmera II 6" Appetizer Plate (Set of 4)Maximillian Palmera II 6″ Appetizer Plate (Set of 4)

Seaside 8" Appetizer PlateSeaside 8″ Appetizer Plate

Shiraleah Assorted Fish Plates (Set of 4)Shiraleah Assorted Fish Plates (Set of 4)

As far as flatware patterns go, I’ve sourced several color, texture and pattern selections in various price points and styles.

Reed & Barton® Gloucester Shell 5-Piece Flatware Place Setting

Reed & Barton® Gloucester Shell 5-Piece Flatware Place Setting

Towle Living Abbott Gold Plated Forged 16-Piece Flatware Set

Towle Living Abbott Gold Plated Forged 16-Piece Flatware Set

bamboo-flatware

20-Piece Bamboo-Style Flatware Service

Handmade Twist N Shout 20 Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set Service 4Handmade Twist N Shout 20 Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set Service 4

Espinoza 5 Piece Flatware SetEspinoza 5 Piece Flatware Set

Kashmira 20-Piece Antiqued Pewter Flatware SetKashmira 20-Piece Antiqued Pewter Flatware Set

Skandia Birch Mirror - 20 Piece Flatware Set, Service For 4Skandia Birch Mirror – 20 Piece Flatware Set, Service For 4

by the sea table setting ideasHouse Beautiful – Photo Björn Wallander

hobnail-pitchers

Global Amici Catalina Ombre Hobnail Pitcher Aqua
Charlton Home Beaded Carafe

384 Cosmos Water Bottle

  Blenko 384 Cosmos Water Bottle

Alba 12 oz. Drinking Glass (Set of 4)

Alba 12 oz. Drinking Glass

clear-beverage-glasses

Montauk Sand Highball Tumbler, Set of 4
Bormioli Rocco Sorgente Water 10.25oz Set of 4 – Clear
Vidivi Diva Highball Glasses (Set of 6)

Libbey® Cobalt Blue Goblets 8 pc BoxLibbey® Cobalt Blue Goblets 8 pc Box

Vintage Glass Goblet Set of SixVintage Glass Goblet Set of Six

tortoise-shell-tumblersTortoise Shell Tumblers

Hive LA Home coastal beach dining roomHive LA Home

Bridgette Oval Capiz Shell bowll

Bridgette Oval Capiz Shell Bowls

Threshold Ashwood Round Serving Bowl Set 2-pc.

Threshold Ashwood Round Serving Bowl

Striped Rattan Wrapped Salad Servers (Set of 2)Striped Rattan Wrapped Salad Servers (Set of 2)

STILL TEAK WOOD AND BLACK RESIN BOWL

Still Teak Wood and Black Resin BowlTamarind Wood Server

2-PIECE SADYE RESIN SALAD SERVER SET2-Piece Sadye Resin Salad Server Set

Crofton Round Wood Coffee Table TrayCrofton Round Wood Tray

 

baking-shell

Seafood Shell Baking Dish

Acacia Wood 4-Piece Calabash Bowl SetAcacia Wood 4-Piece Calabash Bowl Set

Over-and-Back-Dune-Marble-Bowls-in-Brown-White

Over and Back® Dune Marble Bowls in Brown/White (Set of 4)

Vintage fish plate sets, platters, and cutlery sets make such a pretty place setting.

fish-plate-collection

Martha Stewart

On one of our treasure hunting trips over to Houston, Dave and I lucked up on an antiques shop specializing in English smalls (china, silver, decorative accessories).

fish set

Etsy

I bought a divine service for 12 fish service with platter and a set of fish knives and forks for a phenomenal price.

We were big eBay sellers at the time, so listed they were.

Dave tried to convince me to keep the service, but I reasoned we would come across more of the same in our hunts.

We have, but not of the quality or the fabulous price.

Live and learn.

Limoges Fish Plates Vintage French Plate SetLimoges Fish Plates Set

Variegated colors.

Patterns and textures created by nature’s wonder.

Salt kissed air.

A symphony of sea waves.

Place settings, serveware, and tabletop accessories in a by the sea theme set a coastal scene and seen.

Next up in this By the Sea Table Setting Ideas series is serving pieces, table linens, a simple DIY project idea, and tabletop accessories.

Sea you then.

love signature

Show & Tell

Seasoned Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes Recipe

This seasoned cheesy broiled tomatoes recipe is a taste of summer on a plate.

homegrown-tomatoes

One the many things we love about summer is the fresh vegetables and flowers the season brings to the table.

vegetable-stand

When word gets out our favorite fresh vegetable vendor has homegrown tomatoes in stock, it’s time to place a call to my brother who lives closer to the stand located about 10 miles from our house.

fresh-tomatoes-squash-1

As long as I’m making and sharing with him a dish, sandwich, or burgers with fresh tomato slices or dices in the mix he’s happy to oblige.

sunflowers-in-the-morning

Fresh sunflowers, squash, and eggplant accompanied this latest tomato haul- a bit of Louisiana lagniappe.

fresh sunflower 1

Crazy is the word of the week here at Places In The Home.

I’ve been crazy busy tying up loose ends before Dave the Builder’s upcoming heart procedures.

In all the planning, packing, and pre-admit madness remains the fact you still gotta eat, and homegrown tomatoes at room temperature, which is the way we like our tomatoes, will ruin if left unrefrigerated for too long.

As delicious as a homemade hamburger and a tomato sandwich is, I was looking for a something on plate.

Something on a plate is a Places In The Home family term.

Credit goes to Dave the builder for taking a commonly used phrase into colloquial territory.

Here’s how it came to be:

My mother-in-law took a day off from work to finish sewing junior prom dresses for Dave’s fifteen-year-old identical twin sisters.

That’s two times the daughters, two times the junior prom dress fun.  To say she had a lot on her plate is an understatement.

Dave is eight years younger than his sisters, the baby of the family, and on this particular day was underfoot more than normal.

Parents in Covid quarantine know exactly what I’m talking about.

Dave set in asking his mother to fix him something for lunch.  Her promise of just one more minute and I’ll fix you a sandwich was met with Dave’s verbal protest.

“I don’t want a sandwich.  I want something on a plate.”

Dave wasn’t having any part of the simple sandwich solution to lunch.  What he wanted was a salad-meat-vegetables-bread something on a plate lunch.

Joe's-broiled-tomato

A quick inventory of cupboard and crisper coupled with the memory of the fabulously delicious broiled tomato served at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab brought about recipe inspiration.

Easy is the key ingredient of this seasoned cheesy broiled tomatoes recipe.

Seasoned Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients

3 fresh tomatoes, halved

3 cups shredded mild cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese

salt & pepper taste

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

olive oil

3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

6 Tablespoons bread crumbs; optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Rinse tomatoes and pat dry.  Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up in baking dish.

Salt and pepper each tomato to preference.  Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon garlic powder over top of each tomato.

seasoned-tomato

Top each half with ½ cup shredded cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the cheddar & Monterey Jack.

bread-crumbs-topped-tomato-1

An optional choice is to top each tomato half with bread crumbs.

Give each cheese-bread crumbs topped tomato half a lightly drizzle of olive oil.

olive-oil-drizzled-over-top-of-tomato

Place baking dish in preheated oven and bake cheese topped tomatoes for 8 to 10 minutes.

Turn oven to broil.

Broil tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese-bread crumbs is toasty brown.

broiled-tomato

The above image is of the seasoned cheesy broiled tomato, and the image below is of a seasoned cheesy broiled tomato topped with bread crumbs.

Toasty brown puts just the right amount of crisp on top.

seasoned-cheesy-broiled-tomatoes-recipe

This seasoned cheesy broiled tomatoes recipe makes for a great side dish to grilled steaks, appetizers at the cocktail hour, or dinner entrée.

enjoy

Show & Tell

Curb Appeal Worthy: Unique Entry Doors

Unique entry doors design a visual curb appeal of first impressions distinction.

exotic-exterior-peter-roy-bowman-punta-mita-mexico-watermarked-photo-David-O-Marlow

Architectural Digest – Photo by David O. Marlow

Our design style individuality speaks to the personality of the home and homeowner alike.

dutch-door-Coronado-Dutch-Farmhouse-RailiCA DesignRailiCA Design

Unique entry doors perform the dual purpose of function and form.

Artistic license results in superior craftsmanship and prominent design detail.

 

anjelica-huston-robert-graham-home-front-doorArchitectural Digest

So much more than an architectural ornament or strictly a functional means of entry and exit, unique entry doors frame the character of a home’s exterior.

decorative-exterior-door

Materials to work with include:

Studio Steinbomer unique-entry-doors

Studio Steinbomer

Forged iron.

forged-iron-entry-door

Alderson Construciton

Solid wood.

Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd.Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd.

Carved wood.

contemporary entry NDC Homes, Inc.NDC Homes, Inc.

Decorative glass elements.

victorian-exterior-SV-Designs

SV Design

One of the many design and decor advantages to house flipping is being able to practice and pursue the all things house that make a home passion decoristas love to indulge.

https://www.elmueble.com/

Zillow on Pinterest

My design star shines bright in the selecting exterior color choices department, or at least that is what Dave the Builder and crew believe.

Most of the homes in our flip portfolio are early to mid-twentieth century Garden District properties.

When entry door color choice decision time rolled round, the only discussion needed was what shade of black or red semi-gloss oil paint would make the cut.

Heritage-red-benjamin-mooreBenjamin Moore Heritage Red PM – 18

Tricorn-black-sherwin-williams

Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black SW 6258

unique entry doors

Thompson Custom Homes

Unique entry doors and the vintage style hardware that beautifully adorns them effectively brings the past into the present with modification and imagination.

Door knob in Versailles

Flickr

dark wood front doorsFlickr

antique-door-hardwareFlickr

Stepping away from convention, tradition, and commonplace, especially in regards to design and decorating choices, is an indisputable reflection of individuality and personal style.

french-country-entry

Kristal Home Builders

Unique entry doors make a lasting style statement.

 

 

 

Show & Tell

Summer Reading List 2020

Summer is prime curling up with a good book season; hence, the importance of what book(s) makes your summer reading list 2020.

books-set-by-green-staircaseHouse Beautiful

Reading evokes thought, enlightens the mind, enriches the soul, lifts the heart and takes one to treasured places and descriptive destinations in ways only the reader knows reading can.

Summer Reading List 2020

My Summer Reading List 2020 is a delectable literary picnic packed for the beach, lake, pool, porch, patio or bespoke indoor alcove.

beach-reading

Flickr

Up first on the list is I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman.

I-was-told-it-would-get-easier

I Was Told It Would Get Easier – by Abbi Waxman 

Mother and daughter Jessica and Emily Burnstein have a college tour trip planned.  Jessica anticipates reconnecting on a “she’s not a little girl anymore” level with her daughter- a daughter in search of a way to become excited about her future.

Traveling together along the east coast, mother and daughter experience a shared journey in personal growth and special bonds made along the way.

brunch-and-other-obligations-a-novel

Brunch and Other Obligations – by Suzanne Nugent

Brunch and Other Obligations by Suzanne Nugent details the fictional story of four ladies, friendship, loss, humor, understanding, and the things one learns over a standing monthly brunch date – a final request from one friend to three grieving frenemies who meet and master hard times, the art of patience, and the dynamics of the female friendship.

the-Jane-Austen-society-a-novel

The Jane Austen Society – by Natalie Jenner

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner charms the reader with a story set in the English village of Chawton post World War II, also known as the final home of novelist Jane Austen.

A group of socially different but like-minded people undertake a united and powerful effort to preserve the home of Jane Austen and her legacy.

A shared love of works, timeless words, the bonds of war, and triumphs in wins come together to create the Jane Austen Society.

Summer Solstice – by Nina Maclaughlin

Summer Solstice by Nina Maclaughlin details the details of summer and the elements and activities only summer knows.

Lakes, oceans, and every pond between.

Ripe red tomatoes ready for the summer salad or sandwich.

The taste of the first hot dog hot off the grill.

The scent and the seen of fresh cut grass.

Opened windows.

Fireflies.

Stargazing.

Nina MacLaughlin’s essay is a season of sun and fun insight into summer pasts and the ones that lie ahead.

you-had-me-at-hola

You Had Me at Hola – by Alexis Daria

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria reads like a summer sexy soap opera, and the reader is all atwitter for it.

This romantic, sultry, and smart story is set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas.

Jasmine Lin Rodriguez is the soap opera darling returning to New York City after a breakup to star in a bilingual romantic comedy.  All is presumably well until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela heartthrob Ashton Suárez.

After a series of career killing circumstances, Ashton figures his new gig will give him the chance to win over American audiences and Hollywood casting agents.  The on-screen chemistry with Jasmine has got to be as hot as summer, but leave it to a less than memorable first impression to squash the hope of any heat between the two of them jumping off the screen.

In a career move to benefit both, Jasmine and Ashton mutually agree to rehearse together in private.  Private rehearsals lead to a private affair in true soap opera style.

The glare of the media spotlight is bright, and stands ready to discover and dish the dirt on these two telenovela stars.

Is it me, or is it getting hot in here?

the-vanishing-half-a-novel

The Vanishing Half – by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett promises to be a can’t put it down summer must read.

The story of the Vignes sisters, identical twins whose decision at age sixteen to runaway from the small, southern black community they called home, is a complex one.

From that time and moving forward, everything from their families, communities and racial identities is different.

One sister along with her black daughter lives in the very southern town at sixteen she tried to escape. The other sister secretly poses and passes for a white woman living with her white husband who knows nothing of her past.

Many miles and lies exist between them, and their fates continue to be intertwined.

Weaving together aspects of this family from generations past from the Deep South to California during the 1950s to the 1990s, this provocative story looks beyond issues of race to the lasting influence of the past and its influence on the personal decisions and wants, for reasons not easily recognized, people sometimes feel compelled to live as something or someone not of their origins.

Florida-Man-a-novel

Florida Man – by Tom Cooper

The Florida Man by Tom Cooper centers around a 1980 timeline and a middle-aged beach bun named Reed Crowe.

Reed is living the Florida life on fictional Emerald Island on ill-gotten gains.  When sink holes begin opening up on the Island, the seedy to the point of shambles motel and amusement park Reed owns as well as his secrets become endangered. In the midst of this predicament he puts into place his amateur spelunker skills. Soon he begins to uncover artifacts that connect the dots between his understanding and the island’s history as his family’s role as pioneering homesteaders.

Bringing more intrigue and to the mix is the company Reed has kept over the years.

Hector “Catface” Morales is a Cuban refugee, a trained assassin, and a crack-addicted Marielito who is after revenge on Reed for stealing his stash of drugs and then leaving him for dead (a detail unknown to Reed) in the wreckage of a plane crash in the Everglades decades ago.

Heidi Karavas, a globe-trekking art curator ex-wife, and Nina Arango, his current love, find their way into the state of confusion in the state of Florida.

enjoy-hydrangea

Show & Tell

Let the Summer Patio Good Times Begin

Chatting with Dave the Builder about how Memorial Day weekend traditionally signals let the summer patio good times begin and the opening back up of stores, shops, salons, restaurants, casinos, and the like brought up the question of just when to jump back into the swing of normal things.

Slow and safe is the approach I’m taking concerning out and about, but I’m all in on the season of living easy.

Toledo-Bend-pier

Granted, I would love to host a gathering of more than just me and Dave the Builder to usher in the summer season 2020, and we will eventually, but for now we’ll keep it summer, party of two.

summer patio good timesDaponte Outdoor Polyresin Wood Burning Fire Pit

Getting patio, deck, porch or pier summer ready kicks the salute to summer party in gear.

Washing away winter’s remnants always puts a fresh and clean spin on things, and makes way for the patio party part of the process most of us really look forward to- the decorating details.

Solar+Powered+Outdoor+Table+LampSolar Powered Outdoor Table Lamp

Outdoor decor items enhance the look of the season and emphasize chic summer style.

Solar Powered Outdoor Table LampSolar Powered Outdoor Table Lamp

I love the seagrass pendant lamp shade from IKEA.

Mama Places In The Home (better known as the proofreader) asked if this was a food cover.

Although not its intended use, reimagining an item to better suit your decorating and entertaining needs often creates a wow factor.

Seagrass is so summer chic, and the price (19.99) is so summer sweet.

TORARED Pendant lamp shade, seagrass, 14 "

TORARED Pendant lamp shade, seagrass, 14 “

Let there be light pairs with let the music play in these LED string lights with bluetooth speakers.

bright tunes string lights

 

bluetooth-string-lights-speakers1

Bright Tunes – LED String Lights with Four Bluetooth Speakers

A patio, deck, porch or pier becomes the perfect summer canvas for the art of decorating.

inexpensive-patio-chairsLiving Accent Brown Wicker Chat Chair

Ions ago when Dave and I had commercial and residential real estate dealings in Central Florida, we liked to stay at a particular hotel in the International Drive area of Orlando.

We mixed business with pleasure sitting poolside several afternoons, sipping cool beverages and soaking up the island vibe complete with tiki terrific motif.

Crank Tiki Market Umbrella in Straw

Crank Tiki Market Umbrella in Straw

Relaxing, summer stylish, and memorable- an excellent theme to work with.

Beachcomber Ceramic Tiki Mugs - 16 oz - Set of 4Beachcomber Ceramic Tiki Mugs – 16 oz – Set of 4

Fresh mint ice cubes add a zip of cool summer minty freshness to your favorite beverages.

Easy to make, delicious to taste, and talk about pretty in a pitcher or glass or both.

fresh mint ice cubes

Place gently rinsed fresh mint leaves into each individual square of the ice cube tray.

Fill  squares with water.

Pop tray into freezer until cubes are solid.

Enjoy these summer minty fresh ice cubes in your beverage of choice.

airstream-party-coolerAirstream Party Cooler

Airsteam is a classic, and this replica party cooler brings to mind travel trailer road trips to destinations of summer fun.

The Summer Airstream Party Cooler from Pottery Barn is sure to be a conversation starter and a summer good times investment piece.

Summer Patio Good Times Cookout Recipes

Click on the link for full recipe – Favorite Barbecued Chicken

I’ve carted this handwritten recipe on many a camping trip for the express purpose of satisfying the request of our camping crew.

baked-beans-recipe

I got this recipe for Sue and Gloria’s Baked Beans from an episode of Paula’s Home Cooking, and tried it out for the great Fourth of July camping trip of 2008.

Oven baking is not always camping convenient, but you know what is?

A 7 qt. slow cooker.

I put the recipe together while we’re drinking coffee in the morning, set the slow cooker on low for approximately 6-8 hours, and let the goodness come together for dinner.

Click on the link for full recipeGrilled Corn 4 Ways

Click on the link for full recipe- Bloomin’ Grilled Apples

Decorate.

Cook.

Plan.

Patio.

Summertime is the season of living easy and summer patio good times.

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A Fetching Friday: Pinterest Pretties

Today’s Fetching Friday features images of currently catching my eye as I peruse around the boards and pins in search of Pinterest pretties.

fetching-definiton

Mountain chic in CashiersFlower Magazine- Pinterest

Being Covid-19 stay-at-home compliant is not without its moments of monotony.

Pinterest pretties

Masion & Travaux – Pinterest

Pinterest is not new to the social media platform world, and yet it continues to be a relevant source of fresh information.

The Sonata by Irving Ramsey Wiles, 1889

New York in the Spring – Pinterest

A picture is worth a thousand words.

marble-swirl-countertops-kitchen-islandRue Magazine- Pinterest

antique-dresser-drawer-frontTraditional Home – Pinterest

Pinterest is a form of escapism if only for the time it takes to enjoy a cup of coffee.

castellini-best-french-gardens-home-verandaVeranda- Pinterest

Christine-Flynn-Prince-Edward-Home-DominoDomino- Pinterest

Project, recipe, travel, decor and garden inspiration is gifted and gleaned through the world of captivating images.

FARRAGOZ gold artFARRAGOZ – Pinterest

farmhouse-Max-Rollitt

House & Garden Magazine UK – Pinterest

Bored turns to boards pinned and shared with several thousand fellow admirers of common Pinterest interest.

bedroom_02

Gracious Farmhouse -Pinterest

Lars-Bolander-auction-the-Scout-GuideThe Scout Guide – Pinterest

I hope this collection of Pinterest pretties puts a little lovely in your fetching Friday.

Enjoy your weekend and stay safe, dear friends.

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Mother’s Day Celebration Ideas

With the closings, limitations, concerns, and interruptions in the normal Mother’s Day celebration ideas and retail shopping routine, Mother’s Day will be somewhat different this year, and that’s not a bad thing.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Curbside pick-up is a helpful, healthier, and convenient option (don’t spread the germs, but spread the tip love to our hero clerks) for these Mother’s Day celebration ideas gifts and ingredients.

Mother's Day celebration ideas

Going out to eat at a restaurant is out for this year, so we’re considering hosting a picnic complete with social distancing etiquette.

brown-vintiquewise-insulated-food-carriers

Better Homes & Gardens Hannalore Quilt1

Warmer afternoons and sunny May days invite a picnic to the list of Mother’s Day celebration ideas.

Besides, a picnic spread gives me the perfect gift idea.

quilt-roses

Better Homes & Gardens Hannalore Quilt

One can never have enough romantic floral quilts in soft tones and shades of pink and green reminiscent of an English garden.

The Better Homes & Gardens Hannalore Quilt from Walmart is picnic perfect for a Mother’s Day spread and a lovely from me to you picnic parting gift.

Plastic Dinner Plate - Room Essentials™

Plastic Dinner Plate – Room Essentials™

Included in our picnic basket is a set of plastic dinner plates and gingham check napkins.

pink-white-gingham-napkins

DII Pink & White Reversible Gingham Check Napkin Set, 4 Pieces

Melamine is outdoor entertaining friendly, and offers an array of color and pattern choices.

Lenox® Butterfly Meadow® Melamine Small Butterfly Trays (Set of 2)Lenox® Butterfly Meadow® Melamine Small Butterfly Trays (Set of 2)

hibiscus flower

Inspired by the hibiscus plant my brother recently gifted me, I’ll be serving  hibiscus peach tea with fresh lemon slices and fresh mint.

Pure Leaf Peach Hibiscus Herbal Tea

fresh-mint-lemons

If you’re looking for an impressive taste of spring dish for a Mother’s Day brunch, lunch, snack or supper, Strawberry Watermelon Chicken Salad served with a light homemade basil dressing from Sandy aka Reluctant Entertainer is a standout dish.

Click HERE to get her divine recipe.

Agnes Pie Dish By AnthropologieAgnes Pie Dish By Anthropologie

Bacon and Cheddar Grits Quiche is the best of Southern light fare, or at least our idea of it.

Bacon and Cheddar Grits Quiche

Ingredients

6 thick bacon slices

2 ¼ cups milk

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup uncooked stone-ground grits

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

2 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

6 large eggs

2 ½ cups half-and-half

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup sliced green onions

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon; drain and crumble.  Transfer 2 tsp. bacon drippings to a saucepan.

Bring drippings, milk, and butter to a boil over medium heat. Gradually whisk in grits, 1 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper; cook, whisking constantly, 15 minutes or until very thick. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cheese; let stand 10 minutes.  Stir in 1 egg; spread in a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until set and browned. Sprinkle remaining 1 ½ cups cheese over warm grits, spreading to edges.  Let stand 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°.  Combine half-and-half, cream, onions, and remaining 5 eggs, 1 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper.  Pour over grits; sprinkle with crumbled bacon.  Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until lightly browned and just set. Let stand 20 minutes.  Run a sharp knife around edges of quiche; remove sides of pan.

-Southern Living

Mother's-Day-gardenia-bouquet

Dave the Builder presented me with a bouquet of garden gardenias picked on his late evening walk around the grounds of Places In The Home (the backyard).

His Mother’s Day celebration ideas gesture is a gift to the senses.

Vintage pitchers and crystal rose bowls full of fresh cut gardenias make a pretty sight, and the intoxicating scent floats throughout the entire house.

Majestic Gifts Inc. Hand Cut and Mouth Blown Crystal Rose Bowl

I am so pleased with the look created with this arrangement of peonies from the Kroger floral department (included in our pick-up grocery order) paired with a variety of fresh cuttings that I’m adding it to my Mother’s Day celebration ideas portfolio.

The cost is minimal, the effort simple, and the finished result a visual gift to the eye.

I’m excited to try this Rose and Lemon Layer Cake recipe from Victoria Magazine made with lemon curd, lemon zest, and rose water.

With the help of a pastry bag fitted with a large fluted tip, oodles of delicate rose frosting rosettes complete this dessert stunner.

rose and lemon cake

Creative Mother’s Day celebration ideas show love and gratefulness in ways beyond retail.

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