Summer entertaining should be as easy as the day is long with little time in the kitchen and lots of time in the pool. Especially when you’ve got a pretty flamingo floatie like this fella to play with. I paired up with my friend Emily from The Best of This Life for a pool party earlier this week and really, the hardest part was choosing which recipes to make. Our inspiration: Lick Your Plate, the fun and colourful new cookbook with 160 family-friendly meals from Canadian sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat of Bite Me More. It’s designed for busy bodies who want fresh and healthy (and sometimes healthy-adjacent) meals and desserts they can prepare in a flash. There’s everything under the sun from appetizers you can eat with your hands to quick and satisfying pasta, rice and grains and more salads and veggie dishes than you can shake a carrot stick at (‘tho I’m not sure why you’d do that). Julie and Lisa share tips for saving time, swapping ingredients and using leftovers and they’re funny too. (Funny ha-ha, not funny strange.) Today Emily and I are sharing two of Julie and Lisa’s recipes and a little decor inspo from the book. Let’s take the flamingo a go-go and get to it! Bonus: you won’t have to lift a finger, except maybe to scroll. … A summer splash with Lick Your Plate + Thai turkey sliders with peanut slaw
In his second book, Bright.Bazaar’s Dream Decor: Styling a Cool, Creative and Comfortable Home, Wherever You Live, British designer, stylist and globetrotter Will Taylor pairs design fundamentals with decor inspiration for an educational and entertaining guide to help readers determine not only what they like, but how to put it together. A lesson in “dream elements” (colour, pattern, texture, furniture and lighting, storage and display) makes up the first part of the book, followed by a look at 11 “dream styles” (e.g. Coastal Retreat, Hollywood Chic, Italian Rustic, etc.), each with practical tips on how to mix and match components to create your own dream space. “Try not to let the physicality of your current home deter you,” Will writes. “So you love the tall iron cabinet from Industrial Loft but lack space? Introduce the look via a small side table, or a lamp instead. Or maybe you long for an all-white floor in the living room but are unable to make such a major change. Easy: invest in a large-scale area rug instead. A savvy approach to a decorating project will lead to dream schemes.” These are dreams made do-able with how-to’s, decor recipes and page after page of inspiring photos from stunning locales around the world. … Bright.Bazaar’s Dream Decor by Will Taylor + A giveaway!
There are plenty of ways to bring botanical style into your home without spending a lot of green. Here are some of my favourite fresh and affordable takes on the trend, including Valerie McKeehan’s new Chalk-Style Botanicals Deluxe Coloring Book and a chance to win a copy of your own. … My favourites in botanical style + A giveaway!
From fashion to home decor and everything in between, botanicals are bigger than ever. It’s one of my favourite trends for spring/summer, so naturally I looked to nature to freshen up our gallery wall for the new season. Leaf it to Minted to have botanical prints for every style under the sun, whether vintage, boho or (my favourite) tropical greens. I spent a contented couple of hours last month tilling the site for a selection of plantastic prints to complement the ones we already had. Who says blue and green should never be seen? You’ll see plenty here and I think it’s fab! … Leaf it to Minted for botanical style
Lauren Conrad throws the parties that dreams (my dreams!) are made of: lavish, flower-filled fêtes that spare no expense with breathtaking decor, even prettier food, and a thoughtful consideration to every last detail. If that’s your ideal too, then you’ll love Lauren Conrad Celebrate, the new party-planning guide and pretty picture book from the former reality-TV star, designer and author. … Lauren Conrad Celebrate by Lauren Conrad
Grab a cup of tea and settle in for some major design inspo with today’s look at Ellie Tennant‘s second book, Chic Boutiquers at Home: Interiors Inspiration and Expert Advice from Creative Online Sellers. The UK-based interiors journalist takes us inside the homes of 12 designers, makers and curators known for their stylish online shops and shares a wealth of advice on how to set up your own. These are carefully curated, impeccably styled homes in New York, the Netherlands and the UK that still manage to be homey and warm, spaces designed for work, rest and play by entrepreneurs with style and substance. Show me to the guest room — I want to move in! … Chic Boutiquers At Home by Ellie Tennant
Besides getting back to the gym (I’ve been once in the past month, oy vey!), one thing I’d like to do in the new year is send more snail mail. I love sitting down with a tea and writing to a friend, even if we see each other on the regular. A big part of the fun is choosing just the right card or stationery. And lookie here! A whole lotta right just arrived in the mail!
It’s Happy Mail, the new paper goods subscription service from A Beautiful Mess. I ordered the December pack to try it out, ‘tho I already knew I would totally love it. Do you want to see what’s inside?
Oooh, so perfect for a crafty friend! It would look pretty cute framed too.
Can you guess what this says? My mom taught me finger spelling when I was a kid and it stuck with me, so I got it in a minute or two.
That’s right! Thinking of you!
“Brunch” as a verb. Love this one.
And some cute sticker tabs! These are going to be so fun to use in my planner!
And there’s more! You can see the entire contents here in this video. The girls do one around the 10th of each month so you can know exactly what you’re getting. They’re also working on a subscription service for scrapbooking supplies, which I am totally going to try out for you guys. Um, even ‘tho I don’t scrapbook. But I might be so inspired I’ll start!
Do you like to send snail mail too? What do you want to do more often in the new year?
Good news, mes amis! No, great news, friends! This week Urban Barn announced the winner of its dining hack contest and wouldn’t you know, it’s me! The gourd tea light holders I made for sofawned won me the title Hostess with the Mostest and a $2,500 gift card to spend at the store. So fun, right? I’ve been wanting to replace our living room chairs for a couple of years –they’re an eyesore after a decade of wear n’ tear — so I think I’ll put most of it toward a new pair. But which ones? Will you help me decide? These are the four in the running:
I’ve had my heart set on the Chester (#1) for months, sitting in it whenever I was in the store and trying not to drool on the upholstery. It’s got a gorgeous tall back, elegant lines and it’s incredibly comfortable, but when I look at it here with the other chairs and our couch I wonder if it would be the best fit. It’s much more traditional in design, while our couch has a mid-century modern feel. It’s this one here, from eQ3. (You can also see it here in our living room.)
See what I mean? We should probably go with something more boxy, no? The upholstery is another thing altogether, but we’re probably best to choose a solid since living room is already a cacophony of pattern and colour. The couch is teal against a peachy-brown brick wall and faces two chairs set against a white-and-black wallpapered wall. (Gosh that sounds hideous! But it works. Really.) Maybe I’ll get your thoughts on the colour when we’re at that stage.
But for now, which chair? Should it be the Chester, the Devon, the Groove or the Russ?
Thanks again to Urban Barn for the chance to win and the very generous prize. I can’t wait to go shopping!
While we’ve still got a few weeks left of summer, part of me is itching to put away this season’s clothes and fill my closet with my favourite cozy layers. Part of it is the compulsion to get organized that always comes with this time of year, part of it is the real need to pull out light cardigans to wear in the cooler evenings we’ve been having.
One thing I’m not eager to tuck away: my summer accessories. And who says you have to when they’re as versatile as these?
Aldo wallet, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail colour in brisk blue, and my Joe Fresh aviators.
Alright, maybe not the sunglasses. What do you think? Can you wear white after labour day? What accessories do you wear all year round?
Oh! And speaking of accessories, I’ve got the perfect one for your first-day-back-to school photos. Check it out here on So Fawned!