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.

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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

 

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: Dog Days of Summer

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

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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

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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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Summer Simple Suggestions In Chic Summer Style

Summer simple suggestions in chic summer style for bedecking interior and exterior settings, entertaining, dishing up summer fare, and outdoor living it up easy peasy is greatly appreciated.

summer simple suggestions

Southern, Northern, Eastern or Western Living- regardless of geographical location, summer living and loving decoristas have got the memo, and it’s all about keeping it summer simple and summer simple suggestions.

best-of-summer-Southern-Living

It’s kinda sorta tough to kick back, relax and savor the season when you notice heavy equipment sitting on the sidewalk in front of your house and you, the homeowner, have no earthly idea what it is doing there.

heavy-equipment

Seems our city water department has a little curb appeal water line improvement of their own in mind.

This does not make my summer simple suggestions list.

dug-up-sidewalk

Progress isn’t always a pretty process, and the installation of a new water lines makes it difficult to achieve summer curb appeal style, but we forge on.

sago-palm

We trimmed the unattractive dead sago palm fronds and within a week new green growth emerged.

Here’s a trick in my simple summer suggestions repertoire for getting your Sago palm(s) summer curb appeal ready.

Sago Palm Care

Outdoor planted Sago palm care involves watering the plant regularly until it takes root.

I like the look and the drought tolerant aspect of the mature Sago palm.

Fertilize at least once a month beginning in spring to aid in active growth.

Covering the base of the plant with mulch will help to protect the roots from cold snaps.

In inclement winter weather or fall freeze, we cover the exposed Sago palm with a heavy duty extra large black trash bag to protect it.

shattered

If it’s not one thing, it’s this.

Cue The Rolling Stones, cause it’s shattered.

The lawn and garden guy’s super duper heavy duty weed eater took aim at a loose piece of exposed aggregate, obliterating the exterior glass panel of the patio French garden door.

One simply can’t patio pretty with ugly on parade.

Thank goodness for the friend who frequents our summer patio soirees that just so happens to own a local glass company.

edison-string-lights

CB2 Edison String Lights

Did someone mention summer soiree?

Why, yes.

I did.

It’s time once again to get your summer soiree on, and the ideas for fun in the sun or evening tiki torch, lantern or string light are flowing.

We’re working with what we’ve got in the front of the house, and if you are like us, you’re getting your porch, patio and deck hangin’ game plan down pat.

Comfortable, fun, relaxing, refreshing, simple, tasty and stylish as chic- this is my number one summer simple suggestions formula for a festive summer gathering.

If Ina Uses It

I read with interest an article listing the pros and cons of a charcoal grill.

The pros outnumber the cons, and personal preference trumps all however, the one pro of the charcoal grill worth mentioning is worth mentioning.  Grilling on a charcoal grill ups the flavor quotient and gives great grilled flavor.

grill

Better Homes & Gardens

Brushing the grate with oil helps to prevent food from sticking.

Take three or four paper towels and wad them up in a bunch.

Pick up the paper towels with tongs and dip into a bowl of peanut, Canola or vegetable oil.

Lightly coat the grate and proceed to grill.

charcoal-chimney-starter

Country Living

Ina is a huge fan of the charcoal chimney starter.

Using a charcoal chimney starter is both easy and a safe way to get things cooking.

I hate the taste of lighter fluid, and am leery of it as well.  When you use a charcoal chimney starter there is no need for lighter fluid.

Simply fill the chimney starter about ¾  full with charcoal and light it over several sheets of scrunched up newspaper over the bottom grill grate.

chimney-starter

Weber® Rapidfire® Chimney Starter

Allow the fire to catch and then burn for about 10-20 minutes or until the fire comes out of the top and the coals are glowing orange.

Carefully spread out the charcoal in a single layer across the bottom cooking grate, place the oiled grate on top, and you’re ready to grill.

As Ina Garten would say, how fabulous is that?

Speaking of Simple Summer Suggestions, Ina Garten, Summer Fare and Grilling

ina-garten-sliders

Sliders

Ingredients

2 pounds premium ground beef (80 percent lean and 20 percent fat)

1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

3 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces grated Gruyere

12 small Brioche buns

4 ounces baby arugula

3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

Ketchup, for serving

Directions

Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients.  Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.

When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking.  Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until medium-rare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done.

For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place ½-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid.  Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.

Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill.

Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion.  Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.

– from Food Network

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Culinary experiments put the taste and c’est si bon in the summer entertaining mix.

Summer menus require summer classics, new discoveries and improved additions.

fried-chicken

Fried chicken is practically required eating in the South and a mainstay of the summer dining and picnic table.

Once the Places In The Home gang discovered how good the fried chicken is from the deli at our local Kroger, frying chicken at home has become a thing of the past.

smores-fixins

Here’s my tip for simply summer impressive- it’s all in the presentation.

I go heavy on the presentation and simple with the preparation.

A pack of mini terra-cotta clay pots from the dollar store become individual s’mores supply pots.

Vintage Hershey's Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Chippy, rusty, and charming- this vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate metal tray would make a great serving tray or decorative accent for the s’mores table.

plum smoothie pop

Vintage ironstone and in the style of vintage table linens set a summer chic table.

A quick trip to an antique shop, garage sale or Goodwill store usually results in an ironstone serving piece find or two.

Vintage picnic wares and baskets bring memories to the table, and can be used for the actual purpose of food and beverage and/or as decorative accents.

basket-hydrangea

Dave the Builder and I bought a vintage picnic table from a fellow antiques dealer with the express purpose of featuring it in a summer display at Hopefully Classic.

I used a vintage picnic basket filled with hydrangeas for  a super easy, super cute centerpiece.

You can make quite the keep it summer simple statement with a collection of glass jars or melamine vegetable bowl and whatever flowers, greenery or veggies are growing fresh in your yard or garden.

No garden or flowers on the homestead?

Check out the floral department and produce section of your favorite grocery store.

mini-watermelon

Mini watermelons on a natural table runner of Pittosporum paired with Lemon Lime Nandina is summer simple and summer chic.

corn-centerpiece

Ears of fresh corn with the husks slightly peeled back in order to expose the corn kernels grouped in threes and tied with woven ribbon of your color, pattern and texture choice or metallic twisted rope is another fresh centerpiece idea.

ironstone-tureen

Antique White Ironstone Tureen Cookson Chetwynd Small Serving Dish Bowl

 

summer-serving-pieces

4pc Indoor Outdoor Gingham Napkins  ||  Lyndsay Stripes Cotton Table Runner  ||  Design Imports 18″ Square Farm Fresh Stripe Napkin (Set of 4)   ||  Striped Fete Buffet Napkins in White (Set of 4)  ||  Chambray Fringe Napkins, Set of 4  ||  Basics Watercolor Check Napkins in Navy (Set of 4)

Watercolor Black Plaid Dinnerware

Watercolor Black Plaid Dinnerware

DII Gingham Check Napkins (Set of 4)DII Gingham Check Napkins (Set of 4)

Summer Simple Suggestions for Refreshing Treats 

Summer is fun, but summer is hot.

Delicious and easy frozen treats of the leaded and unleaded type make a big splash with guests.

plums

Plums

Plum Smoothie Pops

Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

1 lb. assorted plums

8 tsp. fresh lime juice

6 oz. plain yogurt

Directions

Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and cool.  Puree the plums, cooled syrup, and lime juice in two batches, using a blender, until smooth.  Stir the plum puree and yogurt together in a large mixing bowl.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about ½ inch at the top, as the mixture will expand when it freezes.  Follow popsicle mold manufacturer’s instructions and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

-Country Living

popsicle-outdoor-throw-pillow

Have you heard about these new scratch-and-sniff Frozen Treats stamps inspired by summer and the whimsical watercolor illustrations of Margaret Berg?

These will be great for those summer cookout-party-soiree snail mail invitations.

frozen-treats-postage-stamps

USPS

Pair your favorite frozen treat with a glass of sparkling wine for a little zing.

Dipping a frozen treat into a chilled glass of sparkling wine pops the flavor notes and takes summer treat to a whole new tasting dimension.

Prosecco grapes is another winner.

These frozen treats are super easy to make and quite refreshing.

prosecco-grapes

Prosecco Grapes

Ingredients

2 lb. green grapes

1 bottle prosecco

4 oz. vodka

½  cup granulated sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, pour prosecco and vodka over grapes.  Let them soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Drain in a colander and pat dry.  On a shallow plate, roll the grapes in sugar until fully coated, then serve.

-Delish

original-bomb-pop-frozen-treat

Inspiration is everywhere!

Huber+Popsicle+Throw+Pillow

I saw this VW Bus throw pillow and immediately my thoughts went to summers spent camping with my childhood friend and her family in their VW Bus.

VW-bus-summer-throw-pillow

Louisiana is a long way from the California coast, but the Gulf Coast is a fun place to sand, swim, sun and sing we’ve been having fun all summer long, Louisiana style.

The Beach Boys definitely make up the soundtrack of summer.

he-beach-boys-greatest-hitsThe Beach Boys – Greatest Hits (Capitol) (CD)

My final summer simple suggestions tip is as follows:

Don’t sweat the details.

The simplicity of summer is an easy theme to work with and makes a great backdrop for mixing and mingling with friends and family in the good old summertime.

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A Most Fetching Friday: Keeping Cool

Today’s A Most Fetching Friday serves as a friendly reminder of the importance of keeping cool in the intense summer heat. Our internet service failed to connect us to the world wide web this past Wednesday morning and as of this posting remains spotty.  Ugh!

fetching-define

Work crews from AT&T have graced the Places In The Home compound with their skilled and professional presence over the last two days. Knowing the importance of staying hydrated and keeping cool in the fight against heat exhaustion, I keep a steady supply and variety of bottle waters on hand for the postman, landscape crews, and utility workers.

bottled-water

sunscreen

The heat is on in these intense summer days making it necessary for those who work and play outdoors to do what it takes to reduce the risks of associated with the unforgiving combination of heat and humidity.

cooling-towels

 

floppy-hat

 

One does want a hint of style.

 

keeping cool

 

fan

Keeping cool is key when working or playing outdoors in the summer. Stay cool, hydrated, sun protected and heat exhaustion educated in these fun in the summer sun months.

signature-pink

 

Sweet Summer Themed Inspiration: Watermelon Home Decor

Today’s color, texture and sweet summer themed inspiration is brought to you by the fruit of green, red, pink, orange, yellow colors, distinctive pattern lines and delicious possibilities.  It’s funny how the unofficial official fruit of summer inspires the theme of watermelon home decor accessories, stylish accents of the season, delectable recipes and color palette choices.

watermelon-slices

Pinterest

Summer welcomes the watermelon in all varieties.

watermelon-themed-home-decor-rug

Don’t forget to wipe your watermelon pattern adorned feet, please.

watermelon-pattern-sneakers

Fruits and Flatters Sneakers from ModCloth

red-green-renovated-kitchenCountry Living – Alec Hemer

watermelon-bowlWatermelon Serving Bowl

Love this watermelon themed decked out in vibrant watermelon colors earthenware bowl that just happens to be on seasonal sale at Pier 1 Imports.

watermelon-bowls

I knew I wanted to do a post featuring the colors of a ripe, delicious watermelon when I saw the image below.  Although not in watermelon pattern, these perfectly paired accent chair cushions immediately draw the eye in with the fresh, crisp and bright apple-green material and white rope trim.  Credit the accent pillow in Romo’s “Tulipa Coral”  fabric for taking this tiptoeing through the tulips palette to color perfection heights.

chair-fabricTraditional Home

If the effects of fun in the summertime heat has not yet reached your part of the world hold on friend, it’s coming.  The watermelon shines in the summer food and drink spotlight as a crowd pleasing source of refreshment.

watermelon-coolerWatermelon  Cooler Punch via Better Homes and Gardens

Doesn’t this drinks anyone scene look refreshing?  Attention summer brides.

SELA WARD PROPERTY IN JACKSON MS, 2011. PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHRIS M. ROGERS; PROP STYLING: LYDIA DEGARIS PURSELL; FOOD STYLING: NORMAN KING. SCAVENGER HUNT. IT'S ALL GOOD BARN.WATERMELON DRINK

Honeysuckle-Watermelon Cocktails from Southern Living

watermelon-napkins

Paper party wares with that crazy melon twist.

watermelon-cocktail-umbrellas

The Sugartown watermelon  purchased this past weekend “produced” a sweet summer treat and a taste for sweet summer themed decor inspiration.

watermelon home decorResource information available upon request

watermelon-tray

Zoe Wodarz Watermelon Wander Cutting Board

watermelon-salt-pepper-shakersWatermelon S&P Shakers

Fresh-Watermelon-SaltGarden & Gun Magazine

watermelon-cardsWatermelon Stationery by Jill Byers

decor inspiration watermelonCabrera Watermelon  ||  Malakos Malachite  ||  Lumiere Hot Pepper   ||  Monticello Peony

watermelon-shotsWatermelon Lime Jello Shots – Sweet Tooth

Any way you slice it, watermelon home decor accessories, refreshing treats and summer entertaining wares make for a unique, fun and summer festive addition to the party.

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Travel Times: Summer Vacation Memories

Deep in the soul of summer travel times with family and friends lurks the shadows of summer vacation memories.

A rise in temperatures signaled the rise in my travel anticipation, even if our holiday road only lead to a local pool, creek, or lake.

summer vacation memories at the lakePinterest

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”

– George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Hancock Springs poolThe Road Trip Destination Guide

For those times when the holiday road lead to East Tennessee or anywhere in the great state of Texas the party was on!

Summer, family reunions, cousins, and swimming pools go naturally together.

Lampasas, Texas set the scene for our annual summer family reunion. While the parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncles told tall tales, prepared epic picnic fare, and played 42,  my cousins and I clocked hours in the Hancock Springs Pool.

I’m not sure,  but I believe my love and fascination with swimming pools began there and then.

Everything is bigger in Texas, especially the memories!

Great Smoky Mountains National ParkThe Great Smokies

Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the  Great Smoky Mountains National Park will forever be considered my home away from home.

Every summer of my childhood my parents, brother, and I made our annual trek to East Tennessee.  It’s a travel tradition that has carried through to my family.

Memories from the past blend in with new memories we are making. I like a little past served with the present, and summer vacations tend to deliver on that front.

Remember these?

aluminum tumblersLeaf tv

A picnic in the Smokies is a must do for our gang of merry travelers.

As much as convenience tempts me, Solo cups need not apply.

I pack a mean vintage picnic basket complete with aluminum tumblers circa 19ihavenoidea.

Ever the colorista, these darlings make a summer tablescape pop with their blast from the past retro fashion colors.

Holiday Inn signFast Company

Dave the Builder and I were both raised in the era of larger than life hotel and motel swimming pools.

How many of you were too?

Big haul road trips came with the extra added bonus of at least one overnight stay in a hotel or motel.

The mid trip overnighter existed in order to break the “are we there yet?” monotony.

This is where things had the power to get summer splash zone interesting.

The first indication of how good or how bad things were to come was based on the size, style, and neon quotient of the hotel or motel sign.

Didn’t your heart drop at first glimpse of a beloved Holiday Inn sign?

The parents may have measured the quality of the overnight accommodations by the luxury offerings, but the kids knew what really mattered- the swimming pool.

In order for a property to receive the kid approved five star rating there better be a whole lotta pool time on the schedule.

Twin Islands Best WesternGatlinburg, Tennessee

I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.

We’ve clocked many sun screened soaked hours at many a swimming pool with our son.

Whenever I see the swimming pool in the image above my mind and heart immediately take me back to a late July afternoon twelve years ago when our son learned to swim.

It’s those kind of summer vacation memories that become the priceless souvenirs of a lifetime.  

Where will you be making summer vacation memories this year?