Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorits from the Sits Girls, Cosy Little House, Simply Delicious Food, Baker By Nature, You May Be Wandering, Town & Country, Julie Blanner and More

Good morning a happy Summer to you! I hope that you are having a fabulous week! As I mentioned this week, "summer weather" has been hit or miss here, mostly a miss. But that's OK I am sure that something better is to come.

Image Here via Pinterest

I have mentioned many times that I love pizza, grilled cheese, pasta and burgers but I might have failed to mention that I am always in search of the perfect sandwich. 

Image Bake By Nature

This weekend I will be making this scrumptious looking Philly Style Italian Hoagie from Baker By Nature

Image Simply Delicious Food Via Pinterest

If a sandwich is not your style than perhaps this beautiful Roasted Tomato Caprese Tart from Simply Delicious Food

Image from The Sits Girls

There is ALWAYS something  to celebrate  even if it just a new day, so why not whip up a batch of these beautiful Champagne Cupcakes from the Sits Girls?

Image Julie Blanner

If you would like a new cocktail to serve at your summer festivities try this Margarita Float from Julie Blanner.

Image from Town and Country Magazone

I know that many people are fans of Jane Austen, myself included so I thought you might enjoy this Guide to Jane Austens Countryside from Town and Country, just in case you are planning a trip to the UK any time soon. 

Speaking of which if you are planning a trip and need help with any of the arrangements like flights, hotels, fun activities or excursions contact Sandy at You May Be Wandering she is a travel expect/guide and can help you plan a small trip and a grand adventure! 

For those of you who will be traveling this summer and staying with friends and family here is a great article about 10 Rules to Every House Guest Should Follow.

Image Angie 40 by 40

I discovered a great new blog this week, the 40 by 40 Project. Angie is almost 40 and has made a list of 40 things she wants to accomplish before she turns 40. 

Image Cosy Little House

I discovered Angie from this post that Brenda of Cosy Litte House wrote about Angie's fabulous 350 sq. ft apartment in New York. I am amazed that this beautiful place is 350 sq. feet.

And last but not least, it is never to early to start thinking about the 4th of July! If you are having a bbq, or a summer party you might want to pick up a few of these fun plates, cups, napkins and more. 

If you watched, read, made, ate or did anything this week that we should know about please share in the comments.

I hope that you have a fabulous weekend.

Note: The above collage contains affiliate links. 


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just Curious...What is on Your Summer Bucket List for 2017?

Summer is finally here, at least on the calendar, the weather not so much. No matter because with all of the crazy rain I have been able to spend a little time thinking about my bucket list. 

For the last few years I have made a list of the things that I absolutely want to do over the summer season and I almost always complete them all but a few things always get away because of time or weather. This year I decided to focus on 10 things only. 

As you can see my list is very simple, no grand adventure although I am open to one if it comes along, I want to enjoy family, friends, and the simple pleasures of Summer. 

Do you have something special planned for your summer? A wonderful holiday, a family reunion, time at the beach or just enjoying life at home? 

Whatever you do I hope that you enjoy it. The season is short and soon winter will be upon us so get out there and catch some fireflies, splash in the ocean, take a hike in the mountains, eat a Popsicle, have a BBQ. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Eugenia Kim Straw Hats, DIY and More

Image and Hat here

The last few years these whimsical Eugenia Kim straw hats have been everywhere and although I like them I don't like the price. If you are a fan of Eugenia Kim, I have put together a collage of a few of my favorite hats.

If you would like a similar look for less I have included a few options as well. 


Hat Nordstrom

Hat Nordstrom

Hat Nordstrom

Last but not least, if you are a DIYer, than here a a couple of links so that you can make your own hat!

Me and Mr.Jones "Wish you were here" tutorial.

Are you a fan of hats? As I age I find myself wearing a hat more and more because although I love a tan I really do not want to have any skin issues. If you do not wear a hat at least remember a little sunscreen. 

I hope that you have a beautiful Tuesday!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cherry Almond Crumble Bars

Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend? Were you able to spend a little time outside or were you plagued with thunder storms as we were? I made the most of the sun when it was out and then sat under my covered porch and read when it rained. 

I made these cherry almond crumble bars this weekend and they were easy and fabulous! If you have raspberries use raspberries, if you have peaches use peaches, these bars are versatile and you can use almost any fruit!

Cherry Almond Crumble Bars
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

1 stick plus 5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds

3 cups cherries pitted
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt


Line and 8 inch square pan with parchment paper, either butter the pan or spray with cooking spray. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the bowl. Add the salt and then slowly add the flour beat until the dough forms clumps. You can also mix this by hand and then continue. 

Put 21/2 cups of the mixture into the pan and pat into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides. Set aside and mix the filling. 

In a bowl mix together the pitted cherries, sugar, lemon juice, flour and salt. Pour the mixture over the crust, then top with the remaining dough by squeezing together to make clumps. Scatter these around the cherries. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes. If the bars are browning too fast tent with foil. Remove from oven when browned and bubbly. Let bars cool 20 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and leave to cool completely. Cut and enjoy!

I hope that you have a great day and a fabulous week!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Friday Favorites from Closet Cooking, Jo Lynne Shane, 2 Seasons,

Good morning! It's Friday, can I get a hip, hip, hooray! It has been a crazy week here at my house and I am definitely ready for the weekend. What about you? Do you have big plans for the weekend? Or celebrating Father's Day?

Image from Closet Cooking

I will not be celebrating with my dad this Sunday as he will be in Wisconsin but if I was I would be making this fabulous Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Sandwich that Kevin from Closet Cooking made. If you need a few more recipe ideas check out this post from Kevin as well. 

If your dad likes pancakes then I suggest these Vanilla Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Image from Jo Lynne Shane

If you are having a Father's Day brunch you might want to serve The Ultimate Bloody Mary to your dad and your guests. 

Image The 2 Seasons

No celebration is complete without a sweet treat and I think this Classic Southern Pound Cake from The 2 Seasons would be perfect!

Lemon Enamel plates from Pottery Barn

We are doing a lot of entertaining this summer and I love these Lemon Enamel plates from Pottery Barn, I am just curious if any of you have them and how you like them?

Yesterday I shared a few of my favorite Father's day gifts for Grill Masters and Cast Iron Skillet Cooks. I just wanted to share 4 more of my favorites. Cookbooks are the gifts that keep on giving, for not only dad but the whole family!

I LOVE Instagram and found a fabulous new to me page, Jo Rodgers filled with fabulous adventures and photos!

I do not want to be "Debbie Downer" but I read this article and I have not been able to get it out of my mind for days so I wanted to share it with you as well. 
Life is sacred, precious and short. This article from NPR is beautiful and so incredibly moving.

Have a Happy Father's Day and a fabulous and safe weekend. 


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Father's Day Gifts for the Grill Master and Cast Iron Cook

Good morning! I hope that you are having a great week. I am but I am so very happy that tomorrow is Friday. This weekend is Father's day and I don't know about you but I typically have a difficult time buying gifts for people who "buy it if they want it or need it, when they see it." Do you have the same challenging men in your life?

Williams Sonoma Image

Both my dad and my husband are great cooks and grillers and that makes life easy when searching for gifts. If your dad already has a grill  than perhaps a new set of tools or an apron would be something he might need? Or if you have the time you could make your dad some bbq sauces and rubs to use when he makes his next feast? 

I personally think men like cookbooks just as much as women do. After all, who doesn't like the experience of scrolling thru beautiful recipes and photos looking for a scrumptious recipe? Lucky for me my husband likes cookbooks as much as I do and I get to enjoy the ones he gets for himself or for gifts as much as he does. 

Here are a few of the latest cookbooks that my husband has received or purchased that your husband or dad might enjoy as well. 

One Pan and Done by Molly Gilbert. A fabulous cookbook of easy, delicious, healthy meals all in one pan: be it a skillet, a dutch oven, sheet pan, muffin tin or cake pan. This book is filled with savory and sweet meals that the beginner or seasoned cook could make. 

Grilled Cheese & Beer: Recipes for the Finer Things in Life by Kevin Vanblarcum & James Edward Davis. Grilled cheese, need I say more? To me grilled cheese is the the most perfect meal and if your dad feels the same than this is a wonderful addition to his cookbook library. A great book of photos, beer pairings and interesting cheese, meat and veggie combinations. 

This book is beautifully written with wonderful stories, and antidotes from the Susi who was born in Madison County, North Caroloina and lived for 20 years in France where she earned a degree at the Cordon Bleu. Twenty-eight local chefs contributed to this collection of 100 recipes that the author calls "a blending together of old ingredients and new techniques." 
Field Company

My husband loves cast iron skillets and even collects them so when he heard about the Field Kickstarted campaign from another foodie friend he signed up.  
 The Field promises , "Lighter, Smoother Cast Iron—an American classic meticulously redesigned with a modern twist: The Field Skillet" 

His skillet arrived this week and he loved it, it is lighter(not by a lot), smooth and cooks great. If your husband or dad loves cast iron this might be a great gift, but be aware that there is a little delay in delivery 

Cast iron is the perfect pan to cook with wether it is a skillet or a dutch oven. For many of us, it is the pan that we remember our grandmothers and even mothers cooking with. You can use them both in  your kitchen or over hot coals to bake breads and desserts, simmer soups, or roast meats and vegetables. Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Cooking: 100+ Recipes for Indoor & Outdoor Cooking offers instructions for using the classic Dutch oven to cook more than 100 recipes for breakfast, breads, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts. This book is perfect for the indoor or outdoor cook. 

Last but not least The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: 150 Fresh Ideas for America's Favorite Pan. This book has it all, from the traditional dishes that you might remember like fried chicken and pork chops to new and interesting recipes like naan bread, Korean shrimp pancakes, to sticky buns and Irish soda bread. I have made many recipes from this book and so far I have not been disappointed. 

Do you ever get your dad cookbooks? Do you have any recommendations for books or gifts? 

I hope that whatever you give your dad that have a wonderful day. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Espadrilles the Shoes of Summer

Image Anthropologie

There are certain items that are considered essential for summer, like shorts, sun dresses, sandals, swim suits and in my words, espadrilles. I got my first pair in 1989 while staying with friends in the Basque region of France, apparently these comfy canvas shoes with rope heels originated in Spain in the Basque area. 

Image Here

This inexpensive shoe has come a long way since being invented over 4000 years ago and can now be seen in every major fashion house. I personally love this fun and playful collected from Soludos, they are fashionable and still reasonably priced. 

I think I may need the pair with the lemons and maybe the flamingos as well, although to be honest my favorites are the plain red ones

Image Here

If you are a fan of Tory Burch she has some great ones as well, they are a little more pricy, so be forewarned.

Do you wear espadrilles in the summer? Or do you prefer sandals, flip flops or tennis shoes? Do you have a favorite brand?

Have a great day and stay cool!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Loving Lemon, Round Two: The Saturday Selection

Good morning! It's a bright sunny day here, at least for now; it has been so gray and rainy lately it was getting a little depressing. Now that the sun is out and things are heating up, it's beginning to feel like summer!
Summer calls for a pop of color in your wardrobe don't you think? In years past I would never wear the color yellow and admittedly I do not have many pieces of clothing that are yellow. But let's just say I am warming up to it.

Image and Bag From Target

By that I mean I have not dressed from head to toe in yellow but and adding pops of it here and there, yellow shorts, or a shirt, sometimes even yellow sandals. I found a few fun pieces of clothing that you might want to add to your summer wardrobe.

I hope that you have a happy Saturday! 

P.S.: This post contains affiliate links, if you click on any of the above photos I will make a few cents. On that note, if you like any of the items you can click on the photo to be taken to the the item directly. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Favorites from Mimosa Lane, The View From the Great Island, My Beautiful Paris, The Thrillist, Elements of Style and More

Good morning! A very happy Friday and weekend to you. It is supposed to be sunny and hot here so a day at the beach with friends is in my plans. 

The Ultimate Iced Coffee from Simply Delicious

 Coffee lovers this is for you, This Ultimate Iced Coffee from Simply Delicious, the perfect drink on a hot summer day. 

If you would like to sip something a bit stronger you might want to try the Bootleg Cocktail from Garnish with Lemon, this lemon, lime thirst quencher is a favorite for Minnesota summers. 

Image from The Thrillist

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hamburgers and was so excited to see that 3 of the 
100 Best Burgers in America  are in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have eaten two of the 3 and plan to try 3rd place when I go home next. I also have many of the burgers bookmarked as they are in cities that we frequently travel to. Check out this list from The Trillist to see if your favorite burger joint made the cut. 

Image from The View From the Great Island

Strawberries are the quintessential summer fruit and I would bet that you have never had Strawberry Jalepeno Salsa. Serve this with chips at your next bbq for a fresh, spicy summer snack. 

If you need something sweet you make one of these scrumptious Chocolate Cakes with Fudge Filling and White Buttercream Frosting.

Image You Did What with Your Weiner

Barbecues are a family affair and that includes the pups. Often times dogs end up eating people food even if you do not want them too, here are 7 Easy BBQ Recipes You and Your Dog Can Eat.

Image from Mimosa Lame via Letterfolk

Are letter boards the new chalk board? I am not sure but they are fun, can be used anywhere and you do not have to have nice handwriting to use them!

Is Florence, Italy on your list of places to visit this summer? If so check out this post by My Beautiful Paris.

Erin from Elements of Style 

Erin from Elements of Style wrote a beautiful book review of The Bright House : A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs. Nina wrote this book during the two years that both she and her mother were dying of cancer. The book was publish just days after she passed. If you would like to read the last interview that Nina gave you can read it HERE.

If you have anything to share, a book, movie or a recipe please do. Have a great weekend. 


Thursday, June 8, 2017

15 Fabulous Summer Porches

Summer, sweet tea, lemonade, lazy afternoons and naps on the porch. Is there anything better than visiting with the neighbors as they walk past your front porch or spending time with family and friends in the seclusion of your back garden eating a home cooked meal?

Image Southern Living

I love summer especially long summer afternoons sitting in the sun on my front porch. I love walking in sweet Southern towns taking in the beautiful front porches with the white wicker furniture, huge ferns in cast iron urns and the homey feeling that bubble up as I walk by.

Image Pink Pogoda

I could spend many hours sitting on any of these porches reading, relaxing and visiting with friends. A pitcher of lemonade between us or even sweet tea or an aperitif.

On cool days I would curl up with a quilt and on hot days perhaps get a little respite from the hot humid weather from the ceiling fan.

Image Southern Living

Image Here

Image Segreto

Dining with friends and family is one of my favorite things to do. I love to bake treats and my husband of course likes to man the grill.

Image Southern Living

Sometimes we will make the meal special by getting out our crystal, china and linen napkins. More often than not it is a casual affair. But each time it is a great time because we are outside with the chirping birds, fireflies, friends and of course scrumptious food. 

Image Magnolia

After lunch or dinner a nap might be in order. Any one of these porch swings would be a comfy place to curl up with your kids or even your pup.

Liza Bryan Interiors

Leah Bailey

Image Home Bunch

Image House Beautiful

There are so many ways to make your own porch homey, beautiful and a place to relax, rest and spend time with friends. If you would like to see more porch ideas visit my Porch Pinterest Board

Image from Pinterest via The Distinctive Cottage

I hope that you have a wonderful summer and find time to relax on your own porch, deck or lanai.

Have a great day!

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