Entertaining is super casual in nature, meals focus on fresh seasonal ingredients, music is a must, shoes are optional, and time is nothing more than a word.
Visits to the farmers market result in an every so often summer breakfast feast treat of fresh farm eggs fried with crisp edges, homemade biscuits, and pear and lemon preserves made from my great-grandmother’s recipe.
Zinnias capture the essence of summer; a simple yet elegant choice of color your world beauty perfect in gathered bouquet or tabletop arrangement form.
Grandmother Willie’s pound cake is delicious any season of the year, but there’s something about a slice (or two) of this cake baked from the “Tennessee side of the family” recipe on a summer day that brings the flavor and the memories to plate and mind.
Willie’s pound cake paired with fresh Louisiana strawberries is summer on a plate.
Following antiques and vintage shops on Facebook opens up the treasure hunt world, and gives me the perfect excuse to hit the road in pursuit of antiques and vintage picnic treasures.
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.
Granted, I would love to host a gathering of more than just me and Dave the Builder to usher in the summer season, and we will eventually, but for now we’ll keep it summer, party of two.
Today’s Fetching Friday is a take on the dog days of summer.
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.
“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
“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 watermelons on a natural table runner of Pittosporum paired with Lemon Lime Nandina is summer simple and summer chic.
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.
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.
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 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.
“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”
– George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
The 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!
The 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.
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.