Tuesday, 30 June 2015

summer party

One of my (many) favorite things about summertime is the outdoor eating and entertaining.  Whether it's coffee, fruit and yoghurt for breakfast on the deck as the sun peaks through the trees (ideally with the kids still fast asleep in their beds).  A 'mezze' for lunch, with a table filled with cheeses, homemade bread, selection of meats and chutneys and fresh fruit.  A dinner with family and friends with delicious salads, steaks or fish on the grill, chilled wine and little lights glowing all around.  It's all good.

Paperless Post - the creators of beautifully designed unique invitations and cards that make organizing your own event that little bit easier - asked if I'd be interested in compiling a post on my inspiration for summertime entertaining, from color schemes, what I'd wear, food, styling etc.  How fun is that?  I mean, just take a look at my Pinterest SummertimeEats & Drinks and Outdoor Space boards to start with.  How could I resist?

My dream entertaining space would be a sandy beach with a long table lined with flowers and candles.  Cream, tan and white, with and a touch of gold, and lights strung overhead.   Invitations would be gorgeously simply and have to include the softest bluey/grey with with flecks of gold.

Party à la plage         beach party

Dinner At The Beach             eventful | simple white set-up on the beach

A stylishly relaxed dress 'code' on a warm summer night.  Shoes kicked off (why would you need heels on the beach?), sand between our toes, soft fabrics ….. I would absolutely be wearing a dress…. which one of these would be hard to decide …..

4-in-1 trapeze dress | Gap     block-printed silk dress
Image 4 of Glamorous Printed Maxi Dress with Lace Up      Christophe+Sauvat+Chica+Bandeau+Maxi


Citrus & Basil Sangria

Citrus and Basil Sangria via What's Gaby Cooking

And a delicious spread of food…

This is the best coconut shrimp recipe I've tried and you won't believe how easy it is!  sallysbakingaddiction.com  Heirloom Tomato, Peach & Burrata Salad

Coconut Shrip  |  Tomato, Peach & Burrata Salad

Strawberry Goat Cheese Crostini on Foodess

Strawberry & Goats' Cheese Crostini

Followed by a sweet treat. 

Vanilla Bean And Salted Caramel Fudge Recipe. This stuff is addictive, so delicious! And super easy.

Of course, you're all invited!

Happy Summertime Friends.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

ice ice baby

I heart summer

Summer is well and truly here.  Kiddos have finished school in a crazy week filled with end of year exams, field day, class parties, talent shows and 'school's out' parties.   It feels like the quickes school year ever (but I'm sure I say that every summer!).  It's good to know we have no early morning alarms to contend with, packed lunches to make and no late night homework schedules to deal with.  Twelve (yes 12!) weeks are ahead of us and I am taking a deep breath and diving in, and hoping I come out the other end still breathing!!!

The sun is shining here and its hot hot hot here (I'm hoping we haven't peaked too soon with such good weather).  The demand for ice-cream and popsicles is on the rise too, and there's only so many mini-Magnums I want my kidds (and me) to eat, and so I've been browsing homemade ices for them and some that have an extra kick for the grown-ups too!

Happy Summertime!

Blackberry, Rosemary, and Yogurt Ice Pops


iced coffee popsicles 1

Friday, 5 June 2015

doughnut day

blue star donuts portland
via Pinterest

Yes, its National Doughtnut Day!

I think my son may have got there early.  We made a visit to Blue Star Donuts last weekend to break up his finals studying, and then we picked up 2 dozen doughtnuts from Krispy Kreme on Wednesday for a class party - apparently he ate at least 3 of them!

Here in Portland we are kind of spoilt in the doughnut (or is it donut?) market. Voodoo Donuts has the bright pink boxes and a eyepopping selection of crazy color and crazy flavors - covered in Froot Loops, the 'Cock-n-Ball (yes, really in that shape!), Maple Bacon (with a slice on the top), a Voodoo doll etc.  And there is always a line of customers snaking down the street and often around the block!

Blue Star Donuts is a more upscale, minimalist doughnut store with a selection for the more discerning doughtnut fan - quality over quantity is the promise.  With flavors like Bluebery Bourbon Basil, Poppyseed Lemon Buttermilk, Vegan Pistachio Cake with Raspberry Hibiscus, Cointreau Creme Brûlée.  Definitely worth the indulgence.  Mmmmm!

Of course, we have a Krispy Kreme where the kids still like to go and watch all the doughnuts being churned out, deep fried and moving along the conveyor.  It still has a very retro feel about it that they love.

Move over Voodoo, there's a new donut shop in town - Blue Star Donuts!  The two pictured are blueberry bourbon basil & passionfruit cocoa nib.  Amazing!

Portland | Blue Star Donuts • 1237 SW Washington / Laurens Latest
via Pinterest

Anyhow, if you are partial to a doughnut, today's the day.  What's your favorite?  Original glazed?  Maple Bacon?  Sprinkles?  Chocolate?  Filled with jam or custard?  Whatever it is…   E N J O Y!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

rainblow colored salads

Banish those salads made from limp lettuce, cucumber and tomato (memories of which still haunt me!).  With the bounty of gorgeous vegetables and fruits available as summer approaches, these salads are sure to get your tastebuds buzzing and asking for more.  And of course they look pretty good too.  Enjoy.

Beet Salad with Honey-Lavender Dressing


Quinoa, Mint and Stone Fruit Salad via A House in the Hills

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

basket case

Beach Days.  Picnic Days.  Pool Days.  And especially Farmers' Market Days. All on the horizon with Spring here and Summer up next. Time to fill a basket with everything you'll need to take with you, or take home filled with fresh goodies from the market.  These are my favorite baskets.

Farmers Market Basket Black {The Little Market}

Casablanca Basket

Provence Market Basket in Dark Wash Gray.  A steal at $35.

H A P P Y   D A Y S!

Monday, 27 April 2015

spring greens

Fresh bright greens.  Immediately appealing for this time of year.  New shoots.  New beginnings.

I've been adding more plants around our home.  From a huge Fiddle Leaf Ficcus, to cut branches with green leaves, cacti and succulents and ferms in my terrariums. Opening blinds to let in as much light as possible and feeling spring in the air.

My favorite daytime item of clothing has become these Gap cargo jogger pants. 
Super comfortable and  I love the narrow ankle. 

Teamed with my favoroite vintage style Nikes…
Women's Nike® Vintage Collection pre-Montreal racer sneakers - shoes - Women's new arrivals - J.Crew

Hope your Monday has a Spring feel to it.

Monday, 30 March 2015

sunshine state of mind

We have just returned from a family vacation in Florida.  Visiting an old favorite place, staying in the same familiar blue and white beach cottage.  Walking the same path to the beach.  Visiting tried and tested restaurants, cafes, doughnut shops and beaches.  All lovingly familiar and making us feel right at home immediately on arrival.

We've stayed at Indian Rocks Beach on the Gulf Coast 6 times now.  We vacationed in other places for  the past two years and thought we wouldn't miss our little beach cottage.  But we did. Of course.  The sun shone and we all have a healthy 'glow' to bring us into the summer and outdoor pool time once again. We are rested from lazy mornings, exercise really not much more than walking to the beach and along the beach!

The light in Florida is amazing, giving photographs that beautiful brightness that you see in magazine spreads.  Greens are greener.  Blues more azure.  White sand so soft, almost like flour, reflecting the sunlight.  

My favorite meals always include coconut shrimp and Grouper fish tacos!  Of course, a Margarita or two on the side is the perfect partner!  Some local live band playing (not always good) music and the warm air and sunset.  I could live here, without a doubt.

We're already planning a return trip next year.

H a p p y   M o n d a y.

Monday, 16 March 2015

tan and white

Yes we're still a little way off from summer, but I've been spoilt by a few wonderfully unseasonably hot days over the past few weeks (Spring sprung early and kind of tricked us into thinking (hoping) it might stay - of course it didn't!  This week temperatures dropped and rain lashed down (good for the garden I keep telling myself!).  But with a vacation to sunnier climates on the horizon I'm ready and raring to go.

This is how I envisage my look to be this summer.   White and Tan.  With some blues mixed in. I already have a few items in my closet that go perfectly with this style.  More than a few pairs of sandals in tan (I'm always attracted to them.  Every year.), a crisp white shirt, embroidery anglais shirt (seen last year on Le Catch - a fabulous fashion style blog - and snapped up at the click of a mouse!), a perfect Trina Turk white dress from last Summer's sales, a beautiful tan Cowboys bag that the Huzz purchased in Amsterdam for my birthday, teamed with jeans, a gold or silver cuff and that's about it.

Fresh.  Relaxed.  Classic.  Crisp.

Image Via: Crush Cul de Sac

cool dress

Summer style- White eyelet partial button front belt with shirt collar, side seam pockets, full sweep and paired with a nice   caramel structured belt.  LOVE THIS LOOK!!

hermes bracelet

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