Summer Feed

Deck Decor

While looking for ideas to spice up our back deck I found this picture of a deck very similar to ours.

1067881_circus-porch_xl 

Most everything is the same except we don't have benches.  I would love a rug like this!  It makes it so cozy along with the floor cushions.  The web is full of inspiration!  Hope this inspires you to spruce up your outdoor spaces.


(photo from myhomeideas.com)


Simple Setting

I just love the simplicity of this outdoor table setting.  Bamboo plates are topped with patterned plastic ones.  And that's right-those are dishtowels underneath!  So easy to recreate this look.  Throw in some blue accents and you've got a festive 4th of July table. 

Outdoor-table-setting-l 


Now I've got some good news and bad news.  The bad news is I'm going to have to put off the White Wine Tasting for awhile.  The good news is I got my first job decorating for a baby shower!  Scary news is it's only a few weeks away!  The mom-to-be has requested a Pea in a Pod theme which I think is going to be fun.  I've got several ideas floating around so stay tuned to see everything come together and feel free to share any ideas you have!

I hope everyone has a fantastic 4th of July!

(photo from southernliving.com)


More Wine Tasting Details

I found these lovely jars over at Celebrations at Home.  They are perfect for my white wine tasting coming up!  We just bought some mason jars for canning our vegetables.  All I need is moss and butterflies.  Like Chris said, they remind me of catching fireflies in the summertime!  I will probably set them on the tables with white votives scattered around them. 

Amorology2

Amorology3

Thanks for the great inspiration, Chris! 

(images from Celebrations at Home


Cocktail Time

This looks so good!  About 5:00 today I will be in need of one of these.  Great low-cal version too, using Crystal Light.

Pink Lemonade Margarita

Pink_Lemonade_Margarita 

Prep Time:
5 min
Total Time:
5 min
Makes:
5 servings, 1 cup each
 
Ingredients:
 
1 tub CRYSTAL LIGHT Pink Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
1-1/2 cups  cold water
1/2 cup cold orange juice
2 Tbsp.  tequila
1 Tbsp. lime juice
5 cups  crushed ice

PLACE drink mix, water, orange juice, tequila and lime juice in blender container; cover.

BLEND on high speed until drink mix is dissolved.

ADD ice; cover. Blend on high speed until thickened and smooth. Serve immediately.


Cool Treat

Here's a cute and fun popsicle idea for you and the kids to try this summer.  These would be great for a birthday party, shower or backyard bbq.

Confetti Pops

Confetti-pops-de 

Ingredients:

8 piece(s) (1 1/2-inch) soft-centered candy bars, (like Milky Way or Snickers)
1 pint(s) vanilla custard-style ice cream, slightly softened
3/4 cup(s) assorted-color candy confetti or sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

  1. Insert a wooden Popsicle stick into one end of each candy bar and set aside. Place 1 tablespoon of ice cream in the bottom of a 3-ounce paper cup. Place candy in center of the cup, surround with 3 tablespoons ice cream, and smooth over the top.
  2. Transfer cup to a baking sheet, repeat with remaining cups, and freeze until solid. Pour confetti or sprinkles into a shallow bowl and set aside. Peel the cup from each ice cream pop and roll in the decorations to cover completely. Store in freezer for up to 3 days

(photo from countryliving.com)


To Paint or Not to Paint...

THAT is the question.  I've been looking for another project and I think I've found it!  The inside of the house is pretty much done for now so I'm moving to the outside.  In the front of the house I always do monochromatic colors of flowers, chairs, etc.  In the back I decorate with all kinds of colors.  Multicolored tablecloth, chairs and flowers.  I love color. 

My chairs have seen better days because they are totally exposed to the elements.  I've thought about buying cushions to spice them up, but then the cushion would just get dirty. 

Then I found these ideas from BHG for painting patio furniture!  They are so colorful and bright.

Love love the polka dots and daisies below!

Ss_100160283 

I have a beverage tub like this.  I think this would be a lot of fun to paint.

Ss_100160284 

The cool blue stripes below go great with the pool.

Ss_SIP944244 

So I've painted designs on wooden furniture for indoors.  My question is would this sort of thing work on chairs like this??:

769455742070md 

According to BHG you use acrylic paint then seal with a varnish.  I've heard of plastic paint too.  Anyone ever painted outdoor furniture before?  Mine would be in the sun and rain so I'm wondering if the designs would fade and/or come off.  The chairs are not expensive so I'm thinking it will be fun to try it and if they get messed up it won't be a huge loss!  Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!


Fruity Arrangement

We've seen fruit arrangements, flower and fruit arrangements, and fruit filled vases.  Have you ever seen a flower arrangement IN fruit?  I've seen this done with pumpkins but never a watermelon!  I love it.  What a great idea for your summer tables.  BONUS-you get even more use out of your watermelon after you eat it!  

1879164-melon-xl 

First cut the top off of a watermelon.  Scoop out the fruit and enjoy. Then fill with soaked florist foam.  Trim the flowers of your choice and insert into the foam.  Here they also added fruit using florist picks.  Voila!  You have a fruity, summery centerpiece!


(photo from myhomeideas.com)


Summer in a Glass

I wish I was fortunate enough to live where some of you are still referring to this season as "Spring"!!  Where I am, it has been reaching 90 degrees with 90% humidity everyday and will continue to climb.  So to me it is Summer! 

On a steamy day there is nothing better than an ice cold beer..... Well I thought there was nothing better until I found the Shandy.

Lemon Shandy

Top5_beercocktails_03 

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • four 3-inch strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs
  • chilled beer, such as pale ale

Preparation

In a small saucepan bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and stir in zest. Cool sugar syrup to room temperature.

Transfer syrup to a small pitcher and stir in remaining 2 cups water, lemon juice, and mint. Chill lemonade until cold. (Makes about 4 1/2 cups lemonade.)

Pour 1/4 cup lemonade, or to taste, into each of 4 chilled beer glasses and top off with beer.

The combo of lemonade, mint and cold beer-you can't get anymore refreshing!


(photo and recipe from epicurious.com)


Summer Wine Tasting

I've been thinking about having a white wine tasting next month.  I would like to have it on our back deck.  Ladies only.  My inspiration came from a butterfly bottle stopper I bought for my shop.  The green jewels reminded me of green grapes which reminded me of white wine.  The butterfly is perfect for summer decorations.  I put together a little inspiration board for the occasion.

Whiteresize



I haven't decided if we should taste more specific wines this time like all Chardonnay or all from California.  Before everyone just brought a variety of reds.  We may do that again just with whites.  I will have a cheese tray again.  The cheeses from Whole Foods were delicious and the people were so helpful matching them up to the red wine.  My friend Bonnie has offered to make shrimp pasta which will go wonderfully.  She also found chocolates specifically to taste with certain types of wine. 

What am I forgetting?  Do you have any tips or ideas for a white wine tasting?  I'd love to hear them!



(Images:  green grapes from wikipedia, butterfly stopper coming soon to Hostess Jo, butterflies and moss centerpiece from hostessblog.com, white wine image from myrecipes.com, cheese tray fromwikipedia, shrimp pasta from myrecipes.com, bottlesfrom marthastewart.com, butterfly place card from marthastewart.com


The Well-Rounded Tomato

We have our very first vegetable garden this year!  I'm so excited to eat fresh vegetables grown in our own backyard.  We already have squash coming out of our ears and the tomatoes are right behind them.  I feel like Forest Gump when he and Bubba were talking about all of the different ways to cook shrimp, but for us its squash and tomatoes.  Squash casserole, fried squash, boiled squash, sauteed squash....... 

So I've been looking for new squash and tomato recipes.  Here are a few unique tomato recipes I've found.  I'll be sharing some squash ones soon.

Hot Tomato Grits

I cannot wait to try this one.  It sounds delicious.  I've had tomato gravy but never tomato grits.

Hot-tomato-grits-l 

Tomato Watermelon Sorbet

This one is so unexpected.  Probably really good though.

Tomato-watermelon-sorbet-l 

Fresh Peach Basil Vinaigrette

This one is different too.  Sounds tasty.  Perfect for summer.

Peach-vinaigrette-l 

What do you think of these recipes?  I'd love to hear of your unique tomato recipes.


(photos and recipes from southernliving.com and myrecipes.com)