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

 

A Most Fetching Friday: The Summer Vacation

Today’s A Most Fetching Friday is all about the summer vacation.

fetching-define

Tourism thrives on it, houses are built to entertain around it, school teachers wait all school year long for it to get here, kids of all ages celebrate it, and memories made on the summer holiday road stay with us for a lifetime.

ff-Texas-hill-country

Texas Hill Country

ff-foyer-CL

Lake Keowee Lake House Cabin, South Carolina

Palm Springs Hotel

Summer In Color at The Saguaro Palm Springs

the summer vacation

What story will your summer vacation tell?

sea shells

Sanibel Island, Florida

Dave the Builder and I have been on a mini vacation for a little over a week.  Reality will soon call us back to our normal routine, but for now the pace has slowed and the summer vacation life is good.

luggage tag

Tagged for Travel

576px-Ambler's_Texaco_Gas_Station5

Get Your Kicks and Your Gas on Route 66

ff-tubing

Sunny Days and Cool Waters

Summer Sounds

Have a lovely weekend.

signature-pink

Summer’s Almost Here Happy Dance: Outdoor Living Entertaining

It the let’s take the all things house that make a home party outside shall we time of year!  Go ahead, take a moment to bask in the sunlight of your summer’s almost here happy dance.  Numbers show the benefits of outdoor living and entertaining ranks high in the areas of energy and well-being.  I love this time of year when the hot summer days and nights meet hot styles and cool looks of the outdoor living entertaining decorative accessories season.  Our Canadian snowbird son will be moving to a new house in a couple of months which means dialing and styling consultations, suggestions, tips and what do you think of this for our outdoor living space is in high demand.

Lucy on the phone

Curb and yard appeal primps and preps the outdoor living entertaining area for the season.

JD-3-22

The outdoor living loyal take outdoor living seriously.  The how we utilize our outdoor living spaces is an interesting fact.

Outdoor Spaces by the Numbers

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to outdoor living decorative accessories, I want comfortable, durable, lasting, and affordable style that stands up to the season.  Patio, porch, terrace, balcony, rooftop and deck accessories must pass the past one season test.

resort stripe outdoor fabricResort Stripe Aruba Outdoor Fabric

Style is important, but if the big ticket items such as outdoor furniture and performance fabrics can’t withstand the elements or normal outdoor living wear and tear, what do you have?  A repeatable, avoidable and unnecessary expense.  Outdoor furniture and accessories made from treated wood, weather-resistant plastic, aluminum and wrought iron products are the preferred material choice in the get the most bang for your buck game.

aluminum patio furniture

South Haven 5 Piece Patio Set 

Recently I saw SunGuard UV Protectant for garden decor featured on QVC. I have not purchased or used this product, but if it delivers on its promise to protect all types of outdoor decor, furniture and garden accents against fading, peeling and cracking caused by the sun and harsh weather conditions it makes the gotta have it list.

sunguard-uv-protectant-2-pack-4 (1)

Outdoor living spaces share a design commonality with their interior living spaces counterpart- essential pops of robust color. From mosquito repelling lavender, geranium and rosemary plants and garden fragrant blooms, seasonal keep it summer simple sensation eats and outdoor lovin’ decorative accessories, the spring and summer outdoor living entertaining season presents us with a brilliant and bold opportunity to color our world.

decorative outdoor string lights

Threshold™ Tear Drop String Lights

A fire pit tops the millennial homeowner’s gotta have it list for outdoor living function, comfort and style.  According to Casual Living 2016 Millennial Outdoor survey, Millennials, singles and couples consider the most integral outdoor living entertaining products to be the five-piece dining set, grill and chat set.  Our son, a millennial homeowner, explains to us, his Southern fried and humidity steamed parents, why a fire pit will be in his outdoor living space future.  “Guys, it’s not Louisiana, it’s Canada. We will use a fire pit year round.”  S’mores anyone?

fire pit

Don’t forget to apply sun protection with an SPF of Stylish Parasol Fun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Save On Crafts

Place a bundle of these butterfly adorned paper parasols from Save-on-Crafts in a super cute decorative container or basket for sun and heat sensitive guests to use.  Other options include summer soiree parting favors or focal point decorations.

umbrella-from-tree

Style Me Pretty

One of the best pieces of outdoor living entertaining advice I can give is to keep the theme, design, food and drink menu super summer simple!

outdoor living entertaining

I’m convinced more and more the move toward the trend of taking purchased prepared foods to the next level via the presentation factor is a gift from the outdoor living entertaining powers that be and your local grocery store and farmers market.  The eyes set the “seen” when it comes to food, and easy always makes the perfect party guest.

Sandwich-Skewers_001-533x800

Better Homes and Gardens

Add a splash of nostalgia to your outdoor living decor with vintage or vintage inspired accessories.  Gosh, this vintage tin cooler evokes memories of summers spent in East Tennessee at my paternal grandparent’s house.  Granddaddy stocked the basement with a generous supply of original Coca-Cola (cold cola as they called it) in the small glass bottles.  In fact, when the formula changed to “new Coke” he saved my brother and me a carton of the original Coke.  I still have mine to this day, and wouldn’t take a million dollars for this priceless memento.  We weren’t too consumed with counting calories back then- we we’re far too busy counting fireflies in the front yard and the moments until Gatlinburg.

I miss Mayberry

Sitting on the porch drinking ice-cold cherry Coke

 Rascal Flatts – Mayberry

Picture 8650

1stdibs

This week’s A Most Fetching Friday will place the spotlight on outdoor living entertaining delicacies.  It all goes so well together.

Love your style!

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

via

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.

Love your style!

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 lakevia

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

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

Hancock Springs poolvia

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 Parkvia

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 tumblersvia

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 signvia

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 Westernvia

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?

Color Drenched and Fun Kissed 4th of July Celebration

Our 4th of July celebration is shaping up to be fun kissed~ Keeping It Summer Simple.  Old Glory is waving from the large Oak tree in our front yard and the menu is planned.

american flag

The tablescape, simple as it will be, will show the colors of a patriotic palette.

red white and blue paint colors

We are having out of town guests over for the holiday.  There will be plenty of food and fireworks (okay, sparklers) with the emphasis on a relaxing celebration.

This trend shows no sign of slowing,  200+ years and flying strong!
patriotic tablescape

The color combination is synonymous with regal grandeur.

grand hall

 

I don’t know what is more impressive, the tablescape, the gorgeous blue sky, or the renowned Hotel Del Coronado. What do you think?

Hotel del Coronado

I love this super chic nautical rope bracelet from Buoy 6  for the holiday!

buoy 6 bracelet

There’s something about a Mason jar, a cool beverage in patriotic colors and a summer holiday that is so go team USA!

mason jar

Tomorrow is the big day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ipad Wallpapers, House Beautiful, Seda y Nacar, Country Living, Tassels,  Wildflower Linen, Buoy 6, Hostess with the Mostess

 

 

A Basket Of Summer Picnic Tips

Summer wastes no time revealing its intended purpose.  Go forth and enjoy is the command of the season of warm temps, cool waters and fun in the sun.

beach umbrella

Here are a few summer picnic tips.

 Picnic 101

 

Stylish dishtowels moonlight as great napkins.

gingham dish towels

Fill empty, clean 2 liter bottles or milk containers 3/4 full with water(allow for expansion).  Place them in the freezer the day before your picnic.  Use them to aid in keeping cooler items cold and as drinking water. Consider using 2 coolers- one for beverages and the other for perishable food items. The less opened the better to reduce risks of warming to food poisoning temperatures (temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees F).

picnic food safety

Hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, paper towels, and a mild mix of  dishwashing liquid and warm water in a spray bottle will get you where you need to be in the fight against summer picnic coodies.

“It just wouldn’t be a picnic without the ants.”~~ Author Unknown

Speaking of the dishwashing liquid and spray bottle thing, a simple 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar with a dash of dishwashing liquid mixed together is an excellent ant be gone solution. Spray the ant invaded area with the mix, wait a few minutes, then resume your picnic activities ant free.

Aluminum foil makes a great grill or pot scrubber.

oiling the grill

Pour vegetable or olive oil onto a couple of paper towels or clean cloth, place between tongs and wipe down the grill to prevent sticking. I find cooking spray burns easy and can compromise the flavor of the meat.

summer picnic tipsCraft paper, butcher paper, or moving paper -any wide paper on a roll makes a great disposable table cover.  Roll it out, roll it up, toss it in the trash.  It is also a fun way to divert the attention of tired, over-heated kiddies away from the “but mom, I want to stay in the water” whines.  There’s something about a blank paper canvas, washable markers, a cold beverage and a shaded picnic table that tempts a child’s imagination.

summer reads

Speaking of shade and a cool beverage,  how about a good book to enhance your relaxing picnic and add to your summer reading list?   Teach.com has done a great job of composing the “Which Books Should You Read This Summer?” flowchart to keep teenagers and young at heart readers flipping pages this summer.  Find the full list here.  May I also suggest  these light, fun and classic reads for your summer reading enjoyment.

the last summer

Creole Belle

Meryl Streep movie club

Sense and Sensibility

Sunscreen now prevents sun scream later.  Knowing what we now know about overexposure to the sun proves we’ve all come a long way, sun babies.

sunburn relief

If you find yourself overly sun kissed keep calm and moisturize on!  First, refrigerate a bottle of vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar.  Cold vinegar applied to the burn will ease the pain of the burn.  A 20 minute soak in a cool bath with 1 cup of baking soda added to the water will calm and sooth skin. Allow your skin to air dry and  apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.

picnic basket

Pack a basket and celebrate summer down by the lazy river, on the beach or in your own backyard with family and friends.  It is one of the best parts of summer!

 

 

 

 

 

images via NY Times Magazine/Paul Outerbridge, Pottery Barn, My Recipes, Delish, PA DCNR, Amazon, Teach.com,someecards, Lost in America