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June 28, 2016

4th of July

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4th of July "Star-Spangled" Sangria Recipe | Star Apples & Blueberries

Today I've been shooting some more 4th of July inspired recipes that I'll be sharing next week.  To get us all in the mood for a festive 4th, here is a re-post from our Fourth of July in Concord, Ma - one of my favorites. 

Sangria is one of my favorite Summer drinks... wait, is it that obvious?  Yes, this is my second Sangria post of the Summer.  This version was created especially for for our 4th of July DIY Entertaining video.  To see the video, more details and recipes (including a Red, White & Blueberry Ice Cream Cake) from the shoot, click here.


1 bottle of white wine (pinot grigio works great)
1 cup of peach brandy
3 red apples
1 pint of blueberries
1/4 cup of sugar

Cut the slices of the apples off of their cores into 4 large slices from each apple. Using a small star cookie cutter, cut a star out of each apple slice. Place the stars into the bottom of a pitcher. Add blueberries. Pour in the brandy and let the fruit soak in the brandy for at least an hour, and up to four hours. Add white wine to the fruit and brandy mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup of sugar, or more to taste.

Serve chilled or with ice.

I served the Spangled Sangria in Mason Jars with Berry Skewers.  Just thread red and blue berries on a wooden skewer.  Not only just for looks, they work great to keep your drink nice and cold when frozen, too.

Here I have a complete 4th of July Help Yourself Bar (my favorite kind) set up on our patio table... after all, isn't the bar always where everyone gathers?  Might as well make it a comfy place in the center of the party.  I added a navy pillow to my light blue and cream to instantly (and easily) update my patio decor for the holiday.

Another simple way to decorate your patio for the 4th?  I plopped some flags in my flower pots for a festive touch. 

I made the star-shaped apple pieces by slicing apples, then cutting them out with a cookie cutter.

Visit here to see the beautiful video they created and all of the details from the Star-Spangled 4th of July Party.

June 27, 2016

4th of July House Tour - Last Day for 4th Orders!

Today is the last day for 4th of July orders in my store.  Take advantage of the Summer Sale (15-30% off, details below) to add some festive touches to your home this week.  I thought I'd take you on a little tour of the couple of patriotic details we have going on in our home this morning.  As I posted last week, I'm taking a more casual approach to blogging this summer, so these photos are unstyled, the lighting isn't great - I just grabbed my camera this morning and took photos of our house as is, while avoiding any messes strewn about : )

Left : On our mantle we have annabelle hydrangeas from our yard in a pewter pitcher.  The 18" taper candles are in Privot Berry Blue (on sale for $12) - my staple for the summer months.  The two flags make the entire room feel dressed up for the 4th.

The front of our house is looking very festive, thanks to 10 small flags + 1 big flag.  All of these were leftover from last year.  Emma and I took 15 minutes one evening last week to put them out and it makes me smile every time we pull into the driveway.    

Here is a link to our home decked out for our 4th of July pre-parade party last year.

Here I have 12" Privot Berry Blue tapers ($8.50, on sale) on our dining room with one massive hydrangea bloom.  

My favorite everyday dish towels look sort of patriotic next to a bowl of cherries : )

A little shatto milk bottle filled with small flags makes the kitchen feel festive.

There are a couple of "Emma" decorations around the house, too.  She's got some style : )  She also created a crepe paper display on the mantle but has since deconstructed it.

My annabelles from our yard... these are almost finished and need to be replaced.

So, today is the last day to get items before the weekend!

These Gold Star cups and straws are some of my favorites for all year long, but will be great for our little pre-parade get together for kiddy drinks and to-go Mimosas for the Moms.

Gold Star Party Cups
Gold Star Straws
 These 6" Red Celebration Candles make anything look special for the 4th.  We'll be using them on our donuts!

Shop the 4th of July collection, here >

June 14, 2016

Summertime Fun Collection | Pink, Blue & Aqua

Summertime Fun Collection
Throughout the year I tend to gravitate towards neutrals and classics. Something happens with the sun comes out - all of a sudden I'm buying fun print dresses and swimsuits, selecting bright bunches of flowers and going wild with pink, blue and aqua.
I've put together a little collection with a couple of linens, pot holders, aprons, candles and ribbons that feature this combination of feel good summertime colors. The are the perfect backdrop for your casual (and fun!) summer get togethers.
Shop the Summertime Fun Collection >

Shop the Summertime Fun Collection >

June 02, 2016

Summer Favorites are Back! Willow Serving Baskets (3), Hanging Basket, Willow Vase, Flower Buckets

I've just restocked a couple of items that went too quickly and some (like these serving baskets) that weren't available until now!

These baskets have been a favorite of many of you for the last couple of years.  The baskets make nothing look like something special, when grouped together.  Suddenly, plates and napkins look charming when put in a basket, and nuts and pickles become an appetizer : )
For me, Summer Entertaining is all about ease and bounty.  These serving baskets are exactly what I envision when I think about a breezy, easy summer party.  They make anything from appetizers to stacks of plates and linen napkins look inviting and lovely.
I love lining the basket with a nice linen tea towel.  
Set of 3 :  15" Round, 11.5" Round, 10" Round.

Hanging Willow Basket, $38.50

Another favorite is back!   You might remember last year when it was filled with hydrangeas for a Shower we hosted.  I love it with flags added for the 4th of July!
The secret to using fresh branches and blooms in the basket is using floral tubes to keep them fresh.  I've included 10 large clear tubes with each basket. 

This vase gives such an earthy and casual look to anything it contains.  I will use it for flowers and also to put candles in, mixed with the Large Willow Vase with Handle (also available). 
4.5" T x 5.5" W

Garden Bucket Set of 2, $28

I've already found so many uses for these buckets - besides flowers.  Last weekend, I used the large to chill a bottle of rose and the small to hold roll-ups of silverware.  Of course, they look great with flowers, too.  

Large : 8.75" x 8" x 7.75"
Medium : 8" x 7.75" x 7"

June 01, 2016

Penne with Grilled Chicken, Spinach & Cherry Tomatoes in a Lemon Parmesan Sauce

While everyone else is posting about burgers and brats, I'm sharing a pasta recipe - aren't you so glad?!  Yes, I love love love classic summer food, but sometimes I need a big bowl of comforting pasta in the summer, too.  I just can't help it.  This recipe is the sort of summer comfort food that I love on days when we're worn and torn, and hot, and sometimes I just want to sit in the air conditioning and have a giant bowl of pasta : )   I can't imagine I'm the only one.

At least once a week I come up with some sort of chicken (or shrimp) pasta - usually with a mixture of similar ingredients.  Every once in a while, I land on one that is the perfect mix of everything and is really worth sharing... like I did last night.   

The grilled chicken gives it an automatic fresher taste (there's your summer plug!) and you can load it up with more tomatoes and spinach if you're going for a lighter feel.  Maybe this is actually a great summer recipe.

Penne Pasta with
Grilled Chicken

1 pound of Chicken
1 tablespoon of olive oil
sea salt & cracked pepper
1 box (pound) of penne pasta
1/2 stick of butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
4 cups of fresh spinach
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/2 cup of cream
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

For chicken, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill on a medium-hot grill for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Season with salt.  Cook penne according to directions.  Give a quick rinse with cold water... I know, I will get some resistance from this, but I think the sauce gets just a little too goopy if the pasta is not rinsed.  You can use your personal preference!

For the sauce, melt butter in a large saute pan.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes and spinach and cook for 1 minutes.  Add lemon juice and cream.  Cook for 3 minutes until it begins to simmer.  

Lower heat and add cooked pasta.  

Slice chicken and add to the pasta. 

Add parmesan cheese and toss together.  Serve with more parmesan cheese on top.
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