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!
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.
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.
One does want a hint of style.
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.
Today’s A Most Fetching Friday is all about the summer vacation.
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.
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.
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.
The outdoor living loyal take outdoor living seriously. The how we utilize our outdoor living spaces is an interesting fact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Don’t forget to apply sun protection with an SPF of Stylish Parasol Fun.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Love this watermelon themed decked out in vibrant watermelon colors earthenware bowl that just happens to be on seasonal sale at Pier 1 Imports.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
Craft 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!