And we’re off!

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We are headed to the lake today for nearly 10 days and we are all very excited.
Just like last year I will be posting daily photos with no words.
I hope you will follow along!

Stripped down summer decor

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In the summertime my home usually reflects how I want to feel in the warmer months… light and cool. I prefer my hair up and my skin exposed as much as possible, wearing light fabrics and flip flops or sandals.

At this time of year I tend to strip down with my decor as well. I put things away for a while which gives my home a little more of a lighter feel. While thrifting I find myself attracted to pastel colors and fabrics. Seashells and beach finds are scattered about and my houseplants go on a little summer vacation outdoors onto my porch and patio.

Baskets of wool blankets are replaced with pool and beach towels and hooks that were once full of jackets and scarves are adorned with sun hats and fresh herbs hanging to dry.

Although we have been blessed with mostly pleasant temps, it’s these little things that help me feel just a bit cooler during those dog days of summer.

A simple summer snack

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Just a quick post to share an easy and refreshing recipe made with three of my favorite summer flavors. It’s a perfect appetizer to bring to any picnic or party this summer. And it’s pretty too.

Watermelon, feta and basil. Stack up the three ingredients and hold together with a toothpick. Sprinkle with some cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and voila!

I brought this to my Aunt Patty’s birthday luncheon today and it was quite the hit.
I also gifted her a little homegrown basket of goodies. Cucumbers, yellow squash, tomatoes, fresh herbs, eggs and homemade pesto.

Also don’t forget to visit Tend to gather all sorts of garden tips, stories and inspiration. I write on Fridays.

A fourth of July tradition.

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What a beautiful, unseasonal cool and windy day we had on the 4th of July.
I can’t remember the last time we donned sweaters on what is usually one of the hottest days of the year.
It rained all morning but luckily cleared up in time for our annual festivities.
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When I first moved in there was a cyclone fence dividing our yard from our next door neighbor’s yard and then another fence diving her yard from her next door neighbor’s. We decided a while back to take those fences down as a neighborly and friendly gesture. Although we each have our own gardens and spaces to tend taking those fences down has opened things up and given such a warm and welcoming vibe especially when we throw our neighborhood gatherings and parties.

We set the food up in the paper street/alley that runs behind our garages and everyone mingles throughout the three yards. We get a permit to close the street each year where the kids romp around with sparklers and play four square. When the sun sets everyone gathers around for the show.

Folks from around the corner and several streets down walk down to sneak a peek. Even one of the police officers on duty showed up to watch (luckily everything was legal).

A sneak peek of Norah’s room

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When Hannah moved up to her new room last year we promised Norah a little room make-over.
She has been so patient as she has been sleeping up with her sister and living out of baskets over the months. As her room sits at the top of our stairs, I always had the door closed to hide how much work was to be done.
It feels so good almost a year later to have finally made some major progress.

When we first bought our house our budget only allowed us to put in new hardwood floors in the downstairs only. We put a cheap sisel rug down in the upstairs with the intent of one day putting hardwood in. Finally this spring Chris started that process and put floors down in Norah’s room and out into part of the hallway.
It made such a difference! I can’t wait to do the rest this fall!

A few weeks back I painted the walls this color and I cannot tell you how much I love it. It is so calming and peaceful and looks great against the wood pieces in her room.

Norah’s little Jenny bed was my mother’s when she was a girl and her bureau was her great, great, great grandmother Gladys’s.

We hung white dotted Swiss curtains which brightened things up a bit along with a white cotton quilt for her bed. My mom gave her a beautiful antique hooked rug and I found a little side table on craigs list which I want to eventually paint grey.

There are still shelves to be hung along with some artwork. And Chris is working on making an extension to the radiator cover for a makeshift desk.
We are also working on renovating her closet with both shelving and hanging.

I now find myself going upstairs for no reason at all but to just reach the top of the stairs with a door wide open and a happy little girl inside.

The Media 5 Miler

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Have I mentioned how much I love my town? There is always some sort of event or celebration to look forward to throughout the year, one of our favorites being the Media 5 Mile Run.
Since our home sits right on the course with over 1600 runners racing by twice, we make sure to throw a big soiree each year. We aren’t the only ones who celebrate though. The whole town is like one big party!
Some years I have run and some Hannah has too. But this year we sat back and cheered until we were hoarse.

To keep the dishes to a minimum we served mostly finger snacky foods. And with an over abundance of mint growing in the garden, Mojitos were the featured drink of the evening. Our muddler got a workout!

But maybe not as much of a workout as those runners. Especially the hamburger and hotdog.

We can’t wait for next year already.

A few of my favorite thrift stores

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Life has been busy. Busy enough that I haven’t been thrifting for over a month. A record in my book!
I broke that spell this week with a little trip to a few of my favorite spots.

1. Studio pottery bowl, perfect for summer fruits.

2.Wooden handled silverware tray. Just in time for back porch parties.

3. Large cotton madras tablecloth. I plan to use this for summer picnics and for the beach.

4.Blue striped mixing bowl. One of my favorites recently broke so this was a timely find.

5.Wooden handled wire basket for the farmers market and our CSA share.

6.Cobalt blue and grey studio pottery vase for summer wildflower  bouquets.

7.Woven basket case perfect for the pool, the beach or as a summer handbag.

For the local folk, as promised a list of my favorite spots…….

Riddle Thrift

Not only the closest in proximity to me but also full of high quality goods. The top floor is full of clothing, handbags, shoes and bags all in impeccable condition  and the bottom floor, full of housewares. This place has washed and ironed linens!

Note: Riddle is closed on Saturdays in the summertime.

Neighborhood League

High quality beautiful goods many of which are antiques. Some of my most treasured pieces of pottery and kitchen wares come from here.

Note: Neighborhood League is closed for the summer months and opens right after Labor Day

Pennywise

A great mix of collectables and housewares as well as clothing and jewelery.

Note: Pennywise closes in the summer  months but reopens after Labor Day

Bryn Mawr Thrift

Some of the best furniture around!

Nana’s Attic

This one has a bit  more “junk” to sift through than the others but I still have found many treasures here. All proceeds go towards the Domestic Abuse Project.

Harry’s Treasures and Collectibles 

This is an antique store but the basement is full of 1/2 off treasures. Some of my favorite pieces of furniture have been found at Harry’s.

Sunday Scenes

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Happy June!
Yesterday was a relaxing one with time in between for hanging laundry on the line, making a big batch of granola for the week and arranging little bouquets from the garden to scatter about the house.

Making pretty with what you have

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We hosted a little birthday celebration for my mom yesterday.
As we were driving back from the beach in the morning my mind began to wander as to what needed to be done once I got home to prepare for the party. Bake a strawberry rhubarb cobbler, clean the bathroom, marinate the chicken and asparagus for the grill, make a few flower arrangements…..

I wanted to be able to entertain mostly outdoors since it was going to be a warm evening but I began to get into a funk as I thought about our back porch which is looking a bit run down (plans to rebuild it next month!) and the fact that we needed new outdoor furniture and that I wished there was some money in the budget for some new plants and …… you get the point.
I stopped myself and said “Amy you can do this. You can get creative and make a beautiful outdoor experience with what you have. I know you can!”

After the car was unpacked and a visit to the market I got to work.
I swept the patio and porch clean (what a difference a clean swept space makes!) and unearthed the patio umbrella from the garage. I brought out a woven rug and laid it out on the porch. To serve hors d’oeuvres, I set up my antique ironing board with a pretty cloth napkin and glass jars filled with stems of Solomons Seal and Honeysuckle. I placed a piece of large flagstone on top of a clay crock and one on top of the stand that holds our fire pit to make little tables to set food and drinks on. I used a basket tray to place on top of one the tables for a homey feel and set out a bouquet of flowers and a votive. Instead of buying flowers, I made arrangements from my own garden of Lambs Ear, Catmint, Hosta leaves, Enonymous and Comfrey. I got out the birthday flags and stuck them in arrangements and planters and set out a chalkboard wishing my mom a Happy Birthday when she arrived.

When I was finished I stepped back and fell in love with the cozy outdoor party space made entirely with things found around my home and garden. Later that night as I was blowing out candles and cleaning glasses off of my makeshift tables I realized I hadn’t noticed all night how run down the porch was. I sort of like it now.