Keep It Summer Simple: A Summer Entertaining Mantra

Memorial Day weekend welcomes keep it summer simple entertaining, outdoor living, backyard cookouts, and the summer entertaing-picnic packing times that go so well with summer.

Summer entertaining ideas o’plenty are filling up my notepad file marked hot style in the summertime.

summer entertaining

Who remembers when the crudite tray ruled the appetizer course?

The ultimate crudite crate is a super cute summer entertaining idea.

Farmhouse chic is for sure the trend with staying power and one tailored-made for summer entertaining.

Millennials, brides-to-be, kitchenistas, decoristas, outdoor living entertainingistas love, love, love the ease of entertaining farmhouse chic brings to the table.

Silos Magnolia Market

Our Millennial son aka the Canadian snowbird and his bride-to-be completed their trip with a quick trip to Waco and the uber popular Magnolia Market.

They give the market, bakery and the metropolis of Waco a glowing review.

Magnolia MarketOkay, let’s get back to the crudités crate ideas.

Natural Wood Square Tray by Ashland

Natural Wood Square Tray by Ashland

As far as appetizers go, especially in the heat of the summer, I practice the rule of less is more.

Small bites and nibbles make the perfect edible complement to a cold beverage.

With that in mind, I think the Natural Wood Square Tray by Ashland from Michaels will make a big summer entertaining statement.

Like a picnic basket- pack it tight with fresh veggies for summer snacking.

Potato salad is a picnic-pot luck staple.

I don’t know if I would go so far as to categorize it as a vintage side dish, but potato salad has graced the summer picnic table of my great grandmother, my grandmothers, my aunts, my mother and my mother-in-law.

You get the picture.

vintage picnic basketChairish

Recipes for potato salad vary in ingredients and styles, serving warm or cold is in the palate preference of the fork or spoon holder, and to add mustard or not add mustard is a whole nother potato salad issue.

I came across Doris Day’s recipe for German Potato Salad, and thought it would make a great addition to this post.

Doris Day

Doris Day’s German Potato Salad

Ingredients

6 medium-sized potatoes

1 large stalk of celery, chopped in small pieces

3-4 scallions (white part only), thinly sliced

4 slices lean bacon, cut in small strips

2/3 cup water

½ cup cider (or wine) vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Cook potatoes in their skins until tender.  Cool slightly, peel and slice into a large bowl.  Add celery and scallions.  Fry bacon in saucepan until crisp.  Add water and vinegar.  Pour over potato-celery-scallion mixture, toss lightly.

Cover and marinate thoroughly (several hours or overnight) before serving. Serves 4.

Julia Child is deliciously correct.

To her words I add entertaining well doesn’t mean entertaining fancy.

 

metal armchair patio

I’m coming to realize the correlation between vintage and comfortable is undeniable.

blueberries pineapples pears

I served this fruit salad at the bridal shower and the crowd went yum.

Easy.

Delicious.

Pretty presentation, and that’s what counts.

tropical

Tropical Fruit Salad

Ingredients

2 cans tropical fruit, drained

1 can pear halves, drained

1 pint blueberries

juice of one(1) lemon

1 large ripe avocado, halved and cut into slices

1 small container plain Greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons honey

black pepper

Directions

In a mixing bowl, toss together canned fruit with juice of one lemon. Cover and chill 1 hour.  Add to a small container of Greek yogurt two Tablespoons of honey and you’ve got the dressing.

Garnish with avocado slices, yogurt dressing and black pepper.

fresh fruit salad

Dollar store wine goblets in the style of oatmeal glass make a lovely serving presentation.

I am snacking on this fruit salad as I write up this post.

Delicious, if I do say so myself.

textured pitcher

By now you’ve realized vintage style glassware is a favorite.  Inspiration is everywhere, especially at the movies.

Scarlett O'Hara

Sparkling Spiked Peach Lemonade

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1 cup of water

3 large peaches

6 cups sparkling water

1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ cup vodka

Directions

In a small pot, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Remove the skins from 2 of the peaches, reserving the third.  Cut an “X” in the bottom of each one, and place them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Transfer the peaches to an ice bath, and peel when cool enough to handle.  Slice each peeled peach in half and remove the pits. Cut peaches into cubes, place them in the blender or food processor, and puree until liquified.

In a large pitcher, combine the pureed peaches, the cooled simple syrup, the sparkling water, the lemon juice and the vodka.  Stir to combine.  Add ice and stir again.

Cut the remaining peach into thin slices.  Stir a few of the slices into the lemonade and use the others to garnish the glasses.

Serves 4.

The Kitchn

Are you ready for summer entertaining?

Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend, practice the entertaining rule of KISS by keeping it summer simple, and bon appétit.

enjoy

 

Summer Entertaining Suggestions

Summer entertaining suggestions and information is always worthy of repeating, and I am happy to share these suggestions new to the Places In The Home summer entertaining repertoire.

Summer is in our sights , arriving with the summer solstice gift of extra daylight.

Talk about the ultimate summer entertaining hostess gift!

Invite vibrant color, easy entertaining tips, and fun home decor touches to the party and prepare to impress.

lantern luminaries

John Jacob Interiors

Summer nights frame the art of entertaining with a canvas of color and hosting ease.

For an evening under the stars, bring down the house lights and light the night with soft accent lighting.

A casual yet dramatic effect can be easily achieved by strategically placing lanterns or glass jar luminaries along a walkway.

lights-in-trees

House Beautiful

For extra ambiance wrap, hang, drape or string white twinkle string lights from trees, in shrubs and around columns.

Stunning!

yellow paper lanterns

Maze Yellow 8″ Paper Lanterns

Tiki torches, table lamps on loan for the evening from your interior home decor, garden chandeliers, and decorative paper lanterns also make great options in the quest to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

outdoor-lanterns

Outdoor Lanterns

Considering a summer soirée diy project to light the summer night?

Here’s several simple, effective, colorful and refreshing summer entertaining diy ideas.

Click on the link below each image to get the diy how-to scoop.

RECYCLED WINE BOTTLE TORCH

Recycled Wine Bottle Torch for Outdoor Use Only

summer entertaining tip

Invite the wow factor to your summer soiree.

It’s the consummate guest.

DIY party ice buckets and ice cubes serve a gorgeous and delicious purpose.

DIY-ice-bucket

DIY Ice Buckets

Ice ice baby too cold too cute!

The Ball Jar is a versatile party decor darling.

ball-jar

Light them up, fill them up, or chill them down.

ball-jar-purpleThis is my idea of a party 6 pack!

ball-jar-green

A midsummer night’s entertaining dream becomes a reality with these quaint and stunning homemade hurricanes.

I discovered this impressive look last week in the new issue of Ladies Home Journal and pinned it to my Pinterest account.

jar lanterns

Simply fill clean canning jars with dried beans to hold the votive candles in their upward position.

Securely hang the mason jars at various heights from trees with twine.

A simple and affordable look to add to the perfect summer evening.

The vintage look fits right in with the KISS of summer- keep it summer simple.

Glass is slippery when wet and breakable to boot, so summer soiree with caution.

DIY summer citronella candles how to video from Southern Living show us how to make a DIY bug-be-gone candle that is not only visually impressive, but an essential must for comfortable summer soiree nights.

clay-pot

If you’ve hung out at Places In The Home in person or in readership, you are aware of my entertaining relationship with the clay flower pot.

Give me a reason to turn a flower pot into a serving piece and it is summer soiree party on.

I’ll never forget the look I got the first time I announced we were having pot brownies at our pot party to a co-hostess.

I don’t believe I have ever clarified something so quickly before or since.

Vidalia-onion

Anywho, clay flower pots are an inexpensive and summer appropriate alternative to traditional serving pieces.

Baked beans, barbecued wings, Creole seasoned french fries, baked Vidalia onions, summer sausage- all great “pot” options.

House Beautiful

An average patio table pops a pretty party look when topped with a stylish outdoor tablecloth and paired with chairs, cushions and outdoor pillows decked out in bright summer colors.

Decoristas have long had a trusty trick up their sleeve.

Home decor and furnishings that work gorgeously inside our homes will rock an outdoor living space like a Led Zeppelin concert!

Domaine

Love your inside dining chairs and know they will be the key to pulling the entire outdoor tablescape together, but don’t want the chair legs to get dirty?

outdoor-table-setting

Architectural Digest

Wrap the bottom of each chair leg with clear plastic wrap.

It may be a tad time-consuming, but it will save time on the clean up end of the party.

Be as pre-party proactive as possible with certain tasks.

It’s a summer entertaining essential skill for the host and/or hostess to hone.

hello my name is

Hello, my name is summer.

Hello summer.  It’s nice to see you again.

With the very, very good points of summer outdoor living and summer entertaining comes the very real concern over controlling mosquitoes.

It is suggested that burning sage or rosemary repels mosquitoes.

The mosquito killing power is in the smoke so I’m thinking summer fire pit or campfire natural necessity.

mosquito_sage

Pure Wow

I like the point in the party when the food and drink has hit the spot, the music is summer smooth, the outdoor party life is kicking up a notch and the company and the conversation is hitting all the right notes.

Now comes summer relaxation party pail time.

I make up these party pails beforehand and add the chilled and cold items before handing them out.

fresh-rose-petals

I fill plastic beach pails from the dollar store with his or hers flip-flops, individual aluminum spray bottles filled with chilled homemade rose water (the guys love this stuff almost as much as the gals), cold cucumber slices in freezer bags and Burt’s Bees Cucumber & Sage facial cleansing towelettes (love the scent).

These always make a big splash.

Cucumber_Cleansing_Towelettes

Enjoy the colors and celebrations of the season.

What better excuse for throwing a stylish summer entertaining soiree!

A Most Fetching Friday: Grilled to Perfection Delicious Inspiration

Today’s Fetching Friday features grilled to perfection delicious inspiration for your outdoor living entertaining ideas pleasure.

fetch·ing

/ˈfeCHiNG/

adjective

adjective: fetching

attractive.

synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

salmon with creamed peas

Grilled Salmon with Dijon and Dill Creamed Pea Sauce

201208-HD-grilled-flatbreads-with-mushrooms-ricotta-and-herbs-201208-r-grilled-flatbreads-with-mushrooms-ricotta-and-herbs

Grilled Flatbreads with Mushrooms, Ricotta and Herbs

bfe84a51d3586fd0a5ed3a10ca805116

Grilled Portofino Vegetable Antipasto

grilled-tandoori-chicken

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

grilled-shrimp-with-cranberry-salsa

 Grilled Shrimp with Fresh Cranberry Salsa

grilled-stone-fruit-almond-mascarpone-dip Grilled Stone Fruit with Almond Mascarpone Dip

enjoy-hydrangea

Thanksgiving Ideas, Tips, and Problem Solvers

The holiday countdown to Thanksgiving is in full swing, and these Thanksgiving ideas, tips, and problem solvers will help to make the gather and feast run as smooth as I hope your gravy turns out.

home-sweet-home-holidays-blog-1

From roasting the bird to company’s coming to impressive easy recipes to cooking crisis avoided tips to holiday home decor suggestions to beat the holiday band, the There’s No Place Like Home For the Holidays series is updated, refreshed and ready with helpful Thanksgiving ideas, tips and problem solvers.

Freedom-From-Want-by-Norman-Rockwell-Painting-Print-on-Canvas

This is the most wonderful time of the year for inviting family and friends into your home to gather, celebrate, and be merry.

A well planned and prepped holiday gathering is a successful holiday gathering.

I put the culinary drama on the back burner and let the cooking, baking, holiday decorating, and online Black Friday shopping good times roll.

soup-tureen

Size does matter when it comes to all things Thanksgiving.

How much food is needed per person is the question on the mind of every holiday host and hostess.

The good people at Pop Sugar have got it down to a serving size science with their Thanksgiving cheat sheet.

Food-Thankgiving-Cheat-Sheet

Do you and yours call it dressing or stuffing?

What you call this quintessential Thanksgiving side dish seems to depend on geography, tradition, and location (in the bird or outside of the bird).

Our Southern family is team dressing, and our Chicago and Canada family is team stuffing.

The one thing we all agree on is that the base ingredient must be buttermilk cornbread.

southern-buttermilk-cornbread-in-black-iron-skillet

A bread based dish can, and will, easily dry out when baked.

Dry dressing or stuffing is a holiday side dish deal breaker.

Chicken stock or broth and the amount added to the crumbled cornbread is the key to moist dressing.

You want the dressing consistency to be soupy, but not soggy.

The rule of you can add to, but not take away from applies here.

Add  ½  cup of stock or broth at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

617UiWZPpwL._SL1500_

A frazzled host or hostess does not make a pretty holiday picture.

Don’t try to be a holiday hero.

Spread the holiday love and the holiday duties around.

Taking guests up on their gracious what can I do-what can I bring offers makes it a shared event and helps to eliminate holiday hosting burnout.

Believe me, you’ll be glad you did! 

HCH2NEY_az

Turkey and gravy are the peanut butter and jelly of holiday cuisine.

 It’s a traditional pairing of flavor deliciousness that takes culinary center stage on the holiday dinner table.  

Cooking the perfect gravy can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.  

Adding a pinch of salt to the flour before adding any liquid will help to eliminate lumpy gravy.  

Gravy too thin?  

Mix together two (2) teaspoons cornstarch and two (2) teaspoons chicken broth or water.  

Stir or whisk into the warm gravy and simmer until the gravy thickens.  

If the gravy separates, add a pinch or two of baking soda to emulsify the fat. 

Oh, no!  The gravy has a burnt flavor. 

Remember the peanut butter reference? 

Simply add a teaspoon of peanut butter to cover up the burnt flavor.

antique-silver-sentiment-gravy-boat-oPottery Barn

A good carving set is essential to proper and easy turkey carving.

If the dreaded happens on the big day and your carving knife is duller than first period math, I’ve got a helpful solution for you.

carving setJ.A. Henckels International Classic 2-Piece Carving Set

To sharpen your knife, use the unglazed porcelain on the bottom of a coffee mug.

Hold the knife at a 30 degree angle and run it across the area a few times on each side.

bar cart Brian Hart HoffmanBrian Hart Hoffman – Chairish

Our Thanksgiving day cocktail hour leans more towards the slow sip rule of thumb.

Tipsy Turkey Times is almost a guaranteed oh, s*!%.

Look at drunkity drunk drunk add family member or friend’s name here.

upside- down- paris- apartmentThe Paris Apartment

My formula for a safe cocktail hour is simple:

One (1) cocktail per person for the pre-dinner cocktail hour.

The sippers sip a little slower, the teetotalers don’t give it a second thought, and the booze hounds will get over it.

I like to consult the Serious Eats Booze-o-Matic Party Time Drink Calculator as a reference for our holiday set ’em up, Joe cocktail parties. 

wine tastingWine Tasting

We consult a dear friend, our trusted expert wine aficionado go-to, for wine pairing guidance when serving turkey.

For white wine drinkers, he suggests a dry Chardonnay, white Zinfandel or Riesling.

A good Pinot Noir will please the palette of the red wine drinker.

cube-ice-bucket

I  always get a big chuckle out of the “Party, party” episode of Frasier. 

Martin: Hey, great party huh?  Just as long as we’ve got enough ice.  You got four bags, right?

Daphne: No, I got two.

Martin: Two?!  I told you to get four bags!

Daphne: Oh, here we go.

Martin: You never under-budget on the ice.  You never know, you might get a lot more rocks drinkers than you expected.  Or ice chewers.

ice cubes

Food Network

Ice cubes measure about ten (10) cubes per pound, and the rule of thumb is one (1) pound of ice cubes per person.

Cheers to good tv, great times, and helpful Thanksgiving ideas, tips, and problem solvers

Love your style!

The Summer Entertaining Season

Memorial Day ushers in the summer entertaining season.

That’s ninety some odd summer days and nights brimming with opportunity to gather together with family and friends.

Here’s five summer entertaining season tips to help you master the art of summer entertaining.

summer entertaining season

Regardless of the numbers involved, the ultimate party favor you can give  your guests is an enjoyable and relaxing time.

The Summer Entertaining SeasonPinterest

Endless hours of planning and preparing does not a successful party guarantee, however, what does come very close to guaranteeing a successful party is setting an at ease example.

Guests usually take the party lead from the attitude of the host and/or hostess which sets the tone for a comfortable let the good times roll atmosphere.

summer entertaining tips

Popular points of culinary and entertaining interest set an inviting place at the summer table.

I like to take my tablescape in a casually elegant direction.

I know there is quite a bit of considerable thought put into achieving the anything but uptight, stuffy finished result through the right accents, lighting, selected place settings, serveware and flowers, but I want the memo to read effortless chic.

This look is achieved with simple finds from my usual haunts- antiques shops, new to you shops, dollar stores, arts and crafts stores and the always handy in-house treasures, trinkets and trash closet.

Visually impressive table settings need not be an expensive or exhausting endeavor.

watermelon slices

summer entertaining

Kick off the summer sippin’ season with the unofficial official fruit of summer, the watermelon.

watermelon lemonade slushies

Watermelon Lemonade Slushies anyone?  Click on the link for the recipe from Life in the Lofthouse.

Watermelon Punch looks summer yummy too!

Click on the video for instructions.

Dazzle the thirsty through sight and taste.

Nothing says welcome to our summer soiree quite like a cool summer appropriate beverage.

summer entertaining season tip

Summer just isn’t summer until something is basted, rubbed, marinated or smothered in a stellar Southern BBQ sauce or rub.

In Louisiana we don’t need an excuse to jazz it up, fire it up and kick it up, but if we did, summer would be all the excuse needed.

Good barbecue is what we call summer stock.

smoky-sweet-BBQ-dry-rub

We aren’t afraid to turn up the heat, spice or seasoning, but when entertaining we dial back the kick to a respectable c’est si bon level to accommodate the taste bud timid.

Good cooks and even better hosts know a little goes a long way in the flavor department and account for all tastes considered.

 

summer entertaining season tip

Entertaining mirrors interior design and decorating in regards to balance.

When selecting the music for the party playlist, I aim to keep the types, styles, genres and decades balanced somewhere between current hits, grooving to the oldies, what movie is this from, smooth and easy jazz, lounge lizard standards and the soundtrack to high school and college days gone by.

Balance the bar to the standard rule of party planning with help from the handy drink calculator from Total Wine & More.

Balance summer fun with summer safety, and as always, drink and host responsibly.

Love your style!

Kentucky Derby Days Are Here Again

Kentucky Derby days are here again.

The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports takes places on the first Saturday in May.

Louisville, Kentucky rolls out a Southern welcome to thousands of attendees while Churchill Downs takes the lead as Kentucky Derby festivities and finery celebration central.

churchill-downs-kentucky-derby-louisvilleArchitectural Digest

Iconic to sight and tradition, the landmark Twin Spires of Churchill Downs were designed by architect Joseph Dominic Baldez.

The twin hexagonal spires stand tall as the premier architectural feature so closely associated with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.

jockeyPinterest

Time-honored traditions and thoroughbred horse racing reigns supreme on Kentucky Derby Saturday.

Red roses, mint juleps and fascinating choices of Derby Day finery fill the grandstands, box seats and infield of Churchill Downs as well as themed Kentucky Derby Days parties.

Derby Guys and Dolls Finery

Derby-mens-style

derby-finery

My parents and I attended the Kentucky Derby in the late 1970’s. Experiencing the Derby live and in person is a thrilling event, but once was enough for us.

Expensive?

Yes!

Crowded?

Oh, dear goodness, yes, and that was 30+ years ago!

I can only imagine the crowd control issues involved with the attendance numbers of today’s Kentucky Derby.

Are we glad we attended?

You betcha!

Kentucky Derby Tavern Sign

Our current Kentucky Derby Days party is an at home affair.

We are not above breaking out the good stuff as in fashion jewelry, hats, tableware, get down and Derby tunes and Kentucky bourbon in My Old Kentucky Home fashion.

The Run for the Roses is a win, place and show tradition for this horse racing enthusiast family, and it’s a sure bet on the first Saturday in May the hats, the party, and the race will be on.

The Derby Day tablescape always includes red roses, a hat of top, feathered or derby style, a toast to jockey silks, and a creative spin on tablescape accessories.

Kentucky Derby days

I’m using the red rose bouquet paper cocktail napkins and 12 x 12 sheets of red roses scrapbook paper for placemats.

rose-boutique-paper-cocktail-napkins

Celebrate the Home Rose Boutique 3-Ply Paper Cocktail Napkins, Red, 20-Count

red-roses-scrapbook-paper

Red Roses Scrapbook Paper – 12″ x 12″

Kentucky Derby Days Are Here Again Decor Ideas

Nickel Etched Trophy

Horse Head Hitching Post Reproduction BustHorse Head Hitching Post Reproduction Bust

https://brandcycle.go2cloud.org/aff_c?offer_id=115&aff_id=2671&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.anrdoezrs.net%2Flinks%2F7921344%2Ftype%2Fdlg%2Fsid%2FA{affiliate_id}O{offer_id}TID{transaction_id}%2Fhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.overstock.com%2FHome-Garden%2FNatural-15-inch-Defiance-Spirited-Horse-Accent%2F29072696%2Fproduct.html%3Frefccid%3D37DOR2A74QQL7USBDOJ5RTS3WI%26searchidx%3D105%26kwds%3Dhorse%2520decor%26rfmt%3D

Natural 15-inch Defiance Spirited Horse Accent

Silver mint julep cups are the traditional favorite, but I’m taking the long shot odds the copper trophy cup will make a stylish showing.

Mint Julep Cup

Mint Julep Cup

The Gray Barn Jartop Polystone Horse Head Sculpture

The Gray Barn Jartop Polystone Horse Head Sculpture

Racing the Wind Horse and Jockey Wall Décor

Racing the Wind Horse and Jockey Wall Décor

Mini award trophies make great Derby party favors, cocktail stirrer holders, vases, etc…

award trophies

Assorted Mini Award Trophies

red-rose-tulle

Red Spiky Rose Trim-Tulle

jockey-toby-mug

Vintage Royal Doulton English Toby Jug, “The Jockey” model

vintage-red-and-white-jockey-cap-bottle-opener-8367 Vintage Red & White Jockey Cap Bottle Opener

"21" Club Jockey Lamp “21” Club Jockey Lamp

 

Diamond Plain Bronco Horseshoe, Size 0, Pack of 4

The Kentucky DerbyThe Kentucky Derby – 101 Reasons to Love America’s Favorite Horse Race

It isn’t a Derby Day party until traditional Kentucky Derby delicacies are served.

The fresh rosemary in these Southern Living Roasted Brown-Butter Pecans is the perfect taste complement to the minty bite of a Southern strong Mint Julep.

If it doesn’t bite, it isn’t right.

Southern-Living-Roasted-Brown-Butter-Pecans-RosemarySouthern Living Roasted Brown-Butter Pecans  

stirrup-hors-d'oeuvre-forks

Stirrup Hors d’oeuvre Forks

Tea sandwiches spread thick with Benedictine spread and garnished with radishes, pimento, cucumber slices and bacon are bite sized samples of traditional deliciousness.

A  Kentucky Derby party ideas must.

benedictine-spreadBenedictine Spread

And they’re off!

Love your style!

Easter Plans, Prep and Pastels

Recently I was interviewed for an interior design and decorating publication.  One of the questions asked was how would I describe my design style.

Traditional with a classic twist answers the question.

Confused?

Allow me to clarify with a visual explanation starring the Easter egg.

Featured in our Easter 2015 plans, prep and pastels is a selection of the traditional plastic pastel Easter egg.

Easter-egg-hunt-centerpiece

The following two impressive examples of interior design, decorating, home decor and home furnishings illustrate the new traditional with a classic twist Easter egg point.

pink-green-dining-roomHouse Beautiful

Pretty makes the perfect dinner guest.

Horchow-dining-roomHorchow

Our Easter Sunday dinner menu is almost finalized.  Numerous do you/will you eat ________  phone calls have been made to the picky eaters collective.

Dave the Builder submits his requests early in the menu planning stages, our son specifies his desire for his favorite dishes to at least make one plated appearance during his visit home, and the youngest nephew wants only one thing- my Vanilla Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce.

It’s almost a side dish at this point, and I no longer regard it as the star of the dessert table.

contest

I guess I should be more selective with the way I frame the topic of dessert with The Places In The Home gang.  The look Dave the Builder and my mother had on their faces when I informed them we will be going naked for dessert was priceless.

Naked cake, silly.

This naked cake recipe from Just Destiny is right up my alley.

It’s easy, made from the box and the can, and a delicious excuse to feature fresh flowers.  Destiny advises bakers and cake decorators not to get caught up in perfection.

I like her style.

naked-cake

Smart and savvy diy projects always catch me eye.

These terracotta pot napkin rings from Cottage at the Crossroads will set a stylishly spring is here table.  The tutorial for this project is easy to follow and the materials list is not expensive.

Click here for all the how-to information.

terracotta-napkin-rings

I’m contemplating making up a few how does your garden grow themed favor baskets.

A quick trip to the dollar store will provide the essentials- individual packets of assorted seeds, garden gloves, gardening tools and couple of packs of mini terracotta pots.

A cute print out of the terracotta pot napkin ring tutorial will complete the baskets.

Easter 2015 Plans, Prep and PastelsDollar Tree 

All colors are fair game for Easter decorating.   I love using pastel colors in my Easter decorating color scheme, and a soft and serene shade of pale blue is simply one of the best.

Eggshell-blue-paint-colorsBetter Homes and Gardens

Speaking of an Easter decorating and tablescaping dollar store run and the color blue…

We need another set of plates in our kitchen cupboard like we need a another set of plates in our kitchen cupboard.

Can you say obsessed?

Simple and understated dinner plates have their place on our Easter dinner table.  I prefer to let the crystal, linens, flatware and centerpiece live out loud.

I am one of the last Southern hostess holdouts when it comes to monogramming the vintage linen dinner napkins my mother brought me back from her last trip to Tennessee.  I’m still on the fence about committing this particular set of napkins to a permanent applique and color choice.

Thank goodness for hemstitch cocktail napkins.

Easter-2015

The jury is still out on Martha Stewart’s getting bunny with it napkin fold decision for Easter 2015 plans, prep and pastels tablescape.

bunny-fold-napkinMartha Stewart

It’s got the look, and the men of our family, including our adult son and two nephews, have absolutely no qualms voicing their wishes and requests for traditional holiday menus and decorations.

I kid you not, these men like the details.

I’m in the memories business, and far be it from me to buck with the traditional practices of all things house that make a home.

Be it ever so humble…

Love your style!

Summer Soiree Patriotic Party Ideas

These patriotic party ideas range from color rich decorations to delicious food and beverage recipes to beat the summer heat party essentials and a few home decor items for year round indoor and outdoor use thrown in for good measure.

“Just another American Saturday night.”
— Brad Paisley 

Not only is the The 4th of July the quintessential summer celebration of freedom, this year it is the summer holiday that keeps on giving, complete with a three day weekend.

Talk about a host/hostess gift of the very best kind!

red-white-blue-party-decorations

Are you ready to take the party outdoors with this summer outdoor fun with patriotic party ideas?

Well then, let’s get the summer soiree-outdoor living-patriotic party ideas party started.

screened porch by ocean

Southern Living  
Photo by Hector Manuel Sanchez – Styling by Frances Bailey 

I’ve gathered pretty, delicious, summer essential, and red, white and blue themed decorating, entertaining and tablescape goodies for your summer holiday and summer for the fun of it party ideas gotta have it list.

patriotic-table-setting

Southern Living – Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

This patriotic party ideas picnic basket is packed with color rich decorations to delicious food and beverage recipes to beat the summer heat party essentials to a few home decor items for year round use thrown in for good measure.

nicely-served-burgers

Foodiesfeed- Nicely Served Burgers

Keeping guests cool and comfortable is an essential element of outdoor living party in the USA.

The only thing you want hot is the look, the style, the music, the grill, and the decor.

Lasko Cool Colors 3-Speed Box FanLasko Cool Colors 3-Speed Box Fan

Don’t try to be a hot and humid hero.

Plug in and cool off.

red-extension-cord

A blue box fan and a red extension cord will do just that, and the color combination is patriotic party ideas smashing.

Porch Flag Canvas Art Print

Call me old-fashion, but it isn’t summer without a summer sittin’ session on the porch, deck, patio, balcony, or just out in the yard.

No pool?

No problem.

Connect a water hose to a fun summer themed sprinkler, and let the cool summer times roll, you crazy kids.

Mega watermelon yard sprinkler

I like to celebrate in patriotic colors, but tablewares and serveware in classic summer colors and themes will stand up for use at other holiday and entertaining events.

Bradshaw Good Cook Corn Trays (Set of 4)Bradshaw Good Cook Corn Trays (Set of 4)

Totally Bamboo State Shaped Bamboo Cutting Board

Baseball is a beloved summer sport, and even though there’s no live games this particular summer, you can still celebrate the game.

baseball players

My dad, top row in the middle – Denver, Colorado 1952

Baseball Ball Planter

“Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet,
they go together in the good ol’ USA.”

Fill a baseball theme container with blooming flowers or greenery fresh from nature’s arts and crafts store (your yard).

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.

melons

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

Summer chic.

Affordable.

Eye catching.

Baseball Wood Wall DecorHit a charcuterie or cheese board home run with this Baseball Wood Wall Decor piece from Hobby Lobby.

Pop off the sawtooth hanger on the back so the piece will be lay even when flat.

The piece measures 13″ in diameter making it a good fit for a serving board.

fall-cheese-board

Using small bowls and platters to house your cheeses, nuts, fruits, and meats will keep the board base clean and eliminate any cross contamination to the food from the finish.

Ready to go summer favorites highlight the summer chillin’ & grillin’ menu.

lobster-ready-to-cookHow to Cook Lobster Instructions from Better Homes & Garden

classic-lobster-rollsClassic Lobster Rolls recipe from Country Living Magazine.

Brined, Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob

This easy recipe for Brined, Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob from Victoria Magazine sounds so summer good!

Click HERE for recipe.

rocket-jello-shots

 Delish- Photo by John Komar

Rocket Jello Shots with a pop of color and adult beverage kick.

cherry brown a la mode photo by Carson Downing

Midwest Living – Photo by Carson Downing

This Cherry Brownies a la Mode recipe from Midwest Living is chocolate cherry ice cream dessert perfection in a bowl.

stacked S'mores

I don’t have any proof of this other than the pounds gained over the season from eating these things, but I do believe it’s safe to say that S’mores are the official dessert of summer.

This recipe from Country Living Magazine for S’mores is stacked with variety, and that only add more yum to a classic.

Ignore the calorie count, add an extra couple of miles to your walk or run, and dive in.

Strawberry S’mores

Chips Ahoy! cookies

Toasted marshmallows

Sliced strawberries

Chocolate S’mores 2.0

Chocolate wafer cookies

Cinnamon-dusted toasted marshmallows

Milk chocolate squares

Peanut Butter S’mores

Graham crackers

Dark chocolate squares

Toasted marshmallows

Sliced bananas

Creamy peanut butter

Assemble your s’mores and enjoy.

-Country Living Magazine

cleansing strawberry detox water

Strawberry Detox Water recipe from Picked Plum is a simple to make and super refreshing summer beverage featuring strawberries, orange and fresh mint.

patriotic-party-ideas

Inexpensive fabric(s) with a good old summertime theme is a party go-to solution for tablecloths, napkins, basket and serving dish liners.

small-basket

red-blue-bandanas

red-white-blue-plastic-cutlery

Individual picnic baskets lined with a fabric or bandannas (take home face mask) make a great utensils holder.

citronella-candle-4

Adventures in Making shows us how to make super simple summer (say that 3 times fast) DIY Citronella candles.

Click HERE for DIY details.

This simple project results in casually elegant and much needed accessory to help combat mosquitoes- the party guest pest of summer outdoor living times.

flowers-floating-candle-in-bucketMidwest Living

Putting a pretty spin on a summer celebration decoration treats the eye to a visual party favor.

Seasonal flowers from the floral department at your local grocery store or nature’s arts and crafts store ( your yard), moss filler, a large galvanized bucket filled with water and topped off with a floating candle and prepare to light the night in an impressive and pretty way.

summer-entertaining-season-tip

It’s gets hotter than, well, you know on these summer days into evening.

Pack a beat the heat survival kit with cooling essentials.

red beach pail blue shovel

Fill plastic beach pails with his and hers flip-flops, battery operated plastic hand-held fans, individual aluminum spray bottles filled with chilled homemade rose water (the guys love this stuff almost as much as the gals), and a pack of facial cleansing towelettes.

hand held battery operated fan

flip flops red

flip flops blue

These always make a big splash.

wet cleansing towels 1

The whole idea of a summer soiree and these patriotic party ideas is KISS- Keep It Summer Simple.

Happy 4th of July!

Love your style!