ALL POSTS TAGGED "summer"

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I’m once again suggesting you take the party outsideCrafternoon style this time! My good friend Whitney threw a wonderful crafting party in Washington Square Park last week. The event was a hit and I highly recommend throwing your own crafting party in the park, or any outdoor venue you prefer. After staking out a perfect spot in the shade, the afternoon was comprised of great friends, delicious food, adorable puppies, lots of pictures and beautiful paper flowers. While bringing craft supplies outdoors may seem counter-intuitive, the open setting gives you ample space to create. (Plus it’s so nice to be out in the fresh air during these hot summer days.)

Whether you host a big crafting event or just a get-together with a few close friends, this summer party idea is great for guests of all ages. Here are a few tips to make your own Crafternoon a success:

Throw a Crafting Party

Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Penn

Pick a Convenient Craft
Make sure you pick a DIY project that is nature-friendly — in other words, nothing that requires excessive materials, cleanliness, or, of course, electricity.  Whitney cleverly chose paper flowers for her party craft, which fit both thematically and logistically. The craft itself was simple and the components were easy to transport. Plus, if the petals got a little crumpled or dirty, it just made them seem more realistic.

More paper flower crafts: Fourth of July Wreath, Wedding Bouquet

Other easy outdoor crafts: Coiled Wire Ring, Felt Bowls, Friendship Bracelets

MORE PARTY TIPS

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Summer is a season for travel. I’m not much of a go-on-vacation-to-relax kind of girl, but I do love exploring new places and taking in different cultures. Decorating my room to remind me of the places I’ve been is a fun way to keep those memories alive. Every time I see the mini Dutch shoe I bought in the Netherlands, I remember how wonderful it was to go there with my family. And I love that I can simply look at my shelf to spur those memories, rather than yanking out scrapbooks or browsing Facebook albums. (Although, who am I kidding? I definitely still do that, too!)

If you’ve gone somewhere incredible in the past or you’re heading on a new adventure this summer, consider translating your travels into decor. Whether you plan on completely revamping your home or just incorporating a few trinkets acquired on your journeys, here are 7 tips for creating a room inspired by memorable trips:

Travel Design Inspiration: Start With Souvenirs

Photo: Courtesy of Ore Studios

Start With Souvenirs
You may not have bought that magnificent hand-carved chair you saw in Morocco, but you did bring back a colorful vase. Good news: Small souvenirs are a great way to add global charm to your space without breaking the bank (or your back)! Simply placing your find on a bookshelf or coffee table will add some fun flair. But, if you’re feeling more ambitious, use the souvenir as inspiration to redesign an entire room. Pull some bold colors from the piece, like the orange on this vase, to use for accent pillows or a bright new wall color.

Travel Design Inspiration: Throw in a Textile

Photo: Courtesy of Thibaut

Throw in a Textile
Every country has a unique textile heritage, so while you’re traveling, keep an eye out for traditional fabrics! Whether you bring back a Moroccan wedding blanket, tribal rug, or French toile curtains, use them to transform a room. Like the beautiful French fabric in this space, a textile can be a lovely way to add a sense of your travels.

MORE TIPS

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In case you haven’t heard, it’s National Candy Month! However, June is quickly drawing to a close, which means there’s only 5 days left to celebrate this tasty occasion. You can either gorge on candy from your local convenience store, or you could go for a slightly different approach. In the spirit of Ogden Nash’s wise words, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker,” here are 6 candy-inspired cocktail recipes for you to try:

6 Candy-Inspired Cocktails: Heath Bar Cocktail Recipe

Heath Bar Cocktail: Heath Bars are one of my personal faves, so this toffee-flavored cocktail topped with shaved chocolate looks absolutely irresistible to me! GET THE RECIPE>>

MORE CANDY COCKTAILS

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curbly summer round-up

In last week’s Easy Summer Entertaining post, we started to get ready for our backyard BBQs and mellow get-togethers with our friends and family. Since we plan on keeping the cooler packed all summer long, here is Part 2 of low-key, fun, summer entertaining ideas. To start off, we are diving into a meta moment with this summer entertaining round-up by Curbly in my summer entertaining round-up.

Cup of Jo refreshing waters

For a cleansing refreshment, try out these three different all-natural flavored waters on Cup of Jo.

watermelon salad

Any watermelon salad is oh-so-summer and just screams refreshing. This one, in particular, looks mouth-watering and delicious. Via Design Sponge.

More Summer Fun

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June is Great Outdoors Month, and for good reason. These warm summer nights are begging us to get out of our homes. So, while the nights are still balmy, why not throw a movie night with the stars? No, I’m not saying you should invite Leo DiCaprio. What I mean is, move the party outside and screen movies in your own backyard! Here are a few tips for making your cinema soirée a success:

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night
Create a Display
First things first: set up your theater. DIY Network shows you exactly how to transform your backyard into an outdoor entertainment center. Renting an inflatable screen for your movie night is a great option, but you can also project the movie on a white drop cloth or large white wall.

MORE MOVIE NIGHT TIPS

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metallic brush stroke balloons

Summer just beckons small gatherings of friends in the backyard, firing up that grill, and sitting back in an Adirondack chair with a refreshing drink in hand. We all want to throw that perfect party, but if you are like me, you’re not trying to break your back with all of the prep and planning. Here are some fabulous party ideas that are low-maintenance and low-cost so you can just focus on having fun!

design love fest metallic balloons

Design Love Fest shows the quickest and easiest way to bring a simple balloon to the next level with these metallic brushstroke balloons.

picnic food ideas

Need some food ideas? Check out Design Sponge’s Best of Picnic Foods.

Even More Summer Fun

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Perhaps it is the warm weather that is causing us to flirt with lighter fare, or perhaps it’s simply the season for veggies. One thing is for sure, however, zucchini squash is definitely seeing its 15 minutes in the spotlight — all for good reason.

The almost ridiculously versatile vegetable has been a long standing favorite of mine in everyday cooking. Not only is it insanely healthy — with only 20 calories per cup it’s almost FREE — it has light sweetness to it that keeps me coming back. It also helps that zucchini squash is easy to prepare, not like that pesky butternut squash I had to deal with all winter.

Lately, I’ve been seeing zucchini pop up in the most creative and innovative preparations. From pasta to cookies (Zukies?) We can’t seem to get enough of this healthy indulgence.

Check out these recipes and get inspired to feature this summertime squash on tonight’s table.

Ricotta and Zucchini Omelet Cake

What better way to start off Food Trend Friday than with breakfast — I’ve made no attempts to keep my affinity for breaki a secret. This recipe from Rachel Ray, whose recipes have stolen a lot of my attention lately, looks too good not to try.

Ricotta Omelet
With a generous helping of eggs this recipe provides ample protein to get the morning started. The zucchini, chilies, and peppers are wonderfully healthy but can also be substituted for almost anything you want. The ricotta spikes these omelet cakes with a creamy sweetness that makes the dish seem far more indulgent than it actually is.

Zucchini Boats

zucchini boats

What an easy and fun looking recipe to try. To prep the zucchini all you need to do is cut it lengthwise and hollow it out. Then fill your boat with as much of the called-for-guts you desire and bake! The walnuts play nice with the zucchini’s subtle flavor while the breadcrumbs, garlic, and tomato give the dish a substantial savory side. You can also switch out the toppings; try a red onion with tomato or even add mushrooms. The possibilities are endless!

Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips

For the frying fanatic — this healthier alternative is the perfect substitute for your usual potato chips. With a buttermilk batter, amped up with oregano and thyme, these panko plated zucchini chips are light enough to let your inner snack monster take the reigns. If you’re having friends over, gain some Guy Fieri cred and serve the cool Garlic Aioli dip as well and finish the plate with a shower of Parmesan or white cheddar shavings.

Sunny’s Spicy Baked Zucchini

sunny Squash
This side had my eye immediately. It calls for zucchini — my fav — and breadcrumbs — which are carbs and are also my fav — but also Hungarian paprika: a gentle but pronounced spicy kick in the mouth. If you aren’t one for fire but need something to stir up this veggie dish, I suggest smoked paprika which will give the zucchini a more robust profile sans the burning sensation.

Goat Cheese Grilled Zucchini

Goat Cheese Zucchini

This recipe screams summer — it’s super light and gives you an excuse to light up the grill. Grilling is such a fun pass time for me and I can’t wait to try this at my next patio party. A great gluten free and diet friendly option as it doesn’t require breadcrumbs (for any of the other recipes simply opt for GF breadcrumbs) or a heavy dressing. But don’t think that means that these veggies will be plain — the feta and herbs pack a powerful punch.

ZUKIES!

Zukies

Finally! What I have had you guys clawing at the edge of your chairs for since I started this post: cookies! With just a hair more then 65 calories apiece, these are worth trying. Trust me. The warm spices pair seamlessly with the brightness of the orange to hint at fall flavor while keeping to the current season. Take my advise and add carob chips.

If you’re a dedicated zucchini lover like myself, these recipes might give you some new spins and updates on your existing repertoire. However, if you’re a novice at this particular vegetable, these recipes are easy as pie and taste just as good. Try them all, or just try one (Zukies!) but be sure to tell us how it turned out.

It seems as though the whole staff here at Design Happens has zucchini fever. Norman just posted an incredible recipe for a Summer Veggie Sandwich and Kayla’s recipe list looks pretty great as well!

If you’re planning a barbecue, try this simple Zucchini-babes recipe!

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If you’ve ever used or even seen a tube of Watermelon Lip Smacker lip balm, you’ll feel a little nostalgic when you see the punchy colors on the cover of HGTV Magazine’s July/August issue. The bright green and shades of pink, and of course, a slice or two of actual watermelon, scream summer and long days at the pool.

July August Cover

July/August 2014

Inside, the editors are playing it cool in this season’s heat with backyard party ideas, style tips for the front porch, plus the staples like flea market flips and high/low buys. Here’s a sneak peek at some of what you’ll find when the issue hits newsstands a week from today. Get your copy on June 17.

HGTV star Vern Yip knows how to enjoy summer — at his vacation home in Rosemary Beach, Florida with his family. Step inside here.

Vern beach house

Vern with his partner Craig and their two kids Gavin and Vera; the living room

If you love the look of wall stripes but don’t think you could tackle the technique, you’ll be happy to hear there is an answer. (And no, it’s not wallpaper.) Some of our favorite designers showed us how to create common patterns like ticking stripes and ombré. Plus, we’re sharing web-exclusive step-by-step instructions for each at hgtv.com/stripes, making these striped walls easier than ever before. Choose your favorite, then send us a pic of the finished look on Twitter or Instagram using #HGTVMagDIY, and you could be in an upcoming issue!

purple striped wall

Alternating stripes, by Sabrina Soto

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In honor of today’s Season 2 release of Orange Is the New Black, here are a few examples of how you can incorporate orange in your home. This vibrant color is perfect for infusing some energy into your decor. Try pairing it with my personal favorites, turquoise or aqua, for a playful accent.

So, if you need a break from your OITNB binge, peel your eyes away from Netflix and check out some of these design ideas:

Orange Really IS the New Black: How to Use Orange at Home

Top, L to R: Orange Padded Chair, Vintage Book Display, “Goldie” Sunflowers | Middle, L to R: Cocktail Cart, Orange Throw Pillows| Bottom, L to R: Eco-Chic Serving Tray, Outdoor Living Room

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Accent Pillow Collage

Top L to R: Pottery Barn, Pencil Shavings Studio, Lonny | Middle L to R: Yossawat, Design Home, H&M | Bottom L to R: Country Living, Target, H&M

We could use up all of our effort — and budgets — on flawless furniture, but the details are what really bring a room to life. With the summer holidays and parties quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to experiment with new design ideas and tips.

For this warm weather season, many designers are harnessing the impact power of accent pillows. Whether it is a coordinated look, or an eclectic mix of different styles, the beauty of this trend is that you can continuously change the mood and feel of a room by simply switching out a few inexpensive cushion covers.

BONUS: CHECK OUT 500+ LIVING ROOM INSPIRATION IDEAS>>

Try mixing a nautical inspired pillow with a contrasting graphic stripe for a crisp yet bold statement. Or create a more subtle tone with vintage embroidered pieces with a calm color palette. The possibilities are endless with this trend — and they will no doubt impress at all of your summer parties.

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Meatballs with Sauce

If you have been reading the past two weeks, you now have a new summer cocktail and a go-to appetizer. Today, it’s time to get to the meat of the menu, literally. This installment of the Summer Entertaining Toolkit features an entree of rich pork meatballs. If this doesn’t strike you as an ideal summer main dish, let me explain the value. The key selling points to this recipe are ease of preparation and versatility of serving. Meatballs are not much work to assemble and can be cooked in advance of your gathering, then simply sauced and reheated when guests arrive. These specific mounds are bold in flavor and succulently juicy thanks to the rich fatty bacon and pungent herbs that pulse throughout. The combination of flavors are not only delicious on their own, but allow for easy pairing with a variety of sauces. Whether covered with a favorite red sauce, creamy garlicky white sauce, such as Alfredo, or Asian-style sweet and spicy red chili sauce, these meatballs compliment both savory and sweet tastes. Serving options are also customizable. Nestle the meatballs atop hot cooked pasta, grilled fresh vegetables, or hearty risotto and ferry to the table spread on a large platter, family style, or serve individually plated. Also, try slicing and layering them on fresh pizza dough spread with a spicy red sauce. Top with fresh mozzarella slices, then bake, grill, or broil to cook and crisp the dough and melt the cheese. Finish with a light covering of torn fresh basil leaves and freshly grated Parmesan. Any way you try them, they are a welcome departure from typical summer proteins and will give your guests a pleasant supper surprise.

Get the Recipe

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If I’m throwing a summer party, I’m not about to blow my budget on a tiny strand of decorative string lights (I’d much rather splash out on the food!). With this in mind, I set out to make some custom lantern string lights out of simple paper bags. The results, if I do say so myself, are pretty adorable. Watch the video to learn how:

YouTube Preview Image

These lanterns make a cute centerpiece as well. They scream summer to me! Just the thing to kick off Memorial Day weekend.

DIY Paper Bag Lantern String Lights

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Briana’s tropical-inspired Defend the Trend post from Friday had me dreaming of ocean waves and the coastline (which is six hours away from me). I’ve resorted to Pinterest-ing images of palm trees and ocean sunsets. That’s not a bad way to start a mid-May Monday, wouldn’t you agree? I figured I would share my favorite finds with you all.

Mood Board Monday: Palm TreesTop, L to R: The Daileigh, Etsy, Free People | Middle, L to R: Brides of Adelaide, Stacy Brandford | Bottom, L to R: HelloHowdyHiya, The Lane, Studio M Interior Design

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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As our EIC Sara explains inside the June issue of HGTV Magazine, finding the right paint color can be much like finding “the one.” It’s not easy, but we think our biggest paint index EVER should help. You’ll find a total of 126 hues on our pages and an extended section devoted to coating rooms and furniture with color! We can’t share everything just yet, but here’s enough inspiration to tide you over until June hits newsstands on May 13 — just one week away!

June 2014

How could we have a special paint-centric issue without Mr. Color Splash himself? We couldn’t! David Bromstad is answering your biggest color questions.
David Bromstad

David wasn’t the only HGTV star hard at work in the painting department. Which expert do you think recreated this old lamp into something chic and unique?
green and gold lamp

We hope this issue makes you want to have a little fun with color. This house tour proves there are zero rules when it comes to decorating. Live a little!
fun house living room

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag and on Pinterest, here.

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Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? Yep, an entire month dedicated to summer’s arguably greatest treat. Maybe you’re a FroYo fan [wildly raising my hand over here]. Maybe you prefer full-flavored gelato [mmm, still craving that Pistachio gelato I had in Italy]. Or maybe you stand by the never-fail regulars like strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla [OK, I'm hungry]. No matter your favorite, now is the time to chill out with an ice cream sundae and bring a scoop of childlike sweetness into your summer.

These cool accessories will bring fun and color to an easy desert at your next outdoor party. Just add one thing: You guessed it — ice cream!

ice cream collage

Sundae dishes | Pint holder + scoop | Shake maker | I Scream bowlsChevron spoons | Paper party set | Faux waffle cone | Ice cream maker | Striped scoop

*Originally appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine.

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Clearly, great minds think alike here at Design Happens! Last week, Allie showed us five crafty and delectable ways to use watermelon, and this week, I’m in a sea of watermelon myself. Fourth of July weekend (although rainy over here) was a beautiful summer salute. For many summer is just starting, so let’s keep the seasonal fruits, hues and landscapes coming.

Mood Board Monday: Watermelon PinkAdd a Pinch | Pearl Kinda Girl | Hemlangtan | Huffpost Taste | EclecChic | Miishka | Whale You Be My Friend | Etsy | Shades of Light

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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I celebrated an early Fourth of July on Saturday night with tipsy ice cream (alcoholic ice cream + toppings) and a fireworks* display at Hannah‘s house. I’m not sure if there’s a better way to spend a summer evening. I truly forgot how much I loved fireworks until I sat there on the steps of a nearby building, far away from the festival crowd, and watched them explode into the sky. There’s something about fireworks that makes me feel reflective, sentimental and nostalgic. Will your Fourth of July festivities include a fireworks display?

Mood Board Monday: Fireworksvia Pinterest | OneWed | Spitalfields Life |  Mr. P Blog | Wedding Chicks | Coral and TuskPEG | via Pinterest | Moon to Moon | Mommy Poppins

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

*Trending topic courtesy of Yahoo! Web Trend Expert Carolyn Clark

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It’s finally summer, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been racking your brain for warm-weather solutions. Sure, the heat is great for going to the lake or pool, but there comes a time when enough is enough: cue the A/C and iced lemonade. And for those of you with sliding glass doors, you may be looking for a way to cover them up and eliminate the excess heat that is so stealthily creeping in. Here are some of my favorite solutions:

Plantation Shutters:

Not only will plantation shutters bring an easy-breezy southern charm to your home, they’re also energy efficient in both the winter and summer months.

Sliding Panels:

Because they are so easily adjustable to cover any or all of the sliding glass door, these panels are the perfect solution for someone wanting to save on energy bills while also letting in some of the beautiful scenery summer has to offer.

Shoji Screens:

These Japanese screens are made of rice paper, which does allow some light in the house. However, what these panels lack in heat resistance, they make up for in delicate, oriental style.

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Next time I’m in New York to visit Lili, Briana and Alyssa, I have a few hot-spots on my list to check out: PDT (Please Don’t Tell), Milk & Honey, Little Branch and Gwynnett St. Some of these bars accept guests by reservation or referral only, or only allow members after a certain time. For some reason, that makes them so much more intriguing. I’m dying to check out the drink menu more than the atmosphere, though. Over at Milk & Honey, for example, fruit juices and extracts are all made by hand; mixing glasses are stored in the freezer to keep drinks cold; and ice is cut by hand using an ice pick to create imperfect, jagged pieces. If I know that’s the process going into my cocktail, I can certainly wait a few minutes for it.

So, are you ready for 5 p.m. to get here so you can wrap your hand around a refreshing, warm-weather concoction? I’m with you! Let’s celebrate the start of summer with four delicious drink recipes from renowned NYC mixologists (or alchemists, rather).

UP ALL NIGHT COCKTAIL:

Summer Solstice Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Lauren Schell, Little Branch, NYC

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces Reyka Vodka
1/2 ounces rosemary-infused cognac
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce cane syrup
bar spoon
rosemary sprig, for garnish

Directions

Whip and strain into iced Collins glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with large rosemary sprig.

STEAM 75 COCKTAIL:

Summer Solstice Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of John deBary, PDT, NYC

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces Reyka Vodka
3/4 ounce Art in the Age Rhubarb
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce strawberry puree
1 ounce Brut champagne
lavender sprigs, for garnish

Directions

Shake and strain into chilled coupe. Top with 1 ounce Brut champagne. Garnish with sprigs of lavender.

More Cocktails

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I could seriously use one of these frozen treats right about now. For the past four days I’ve been camping on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn. for the 12th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. If you’ve ever been to Tennessee in the summer, then you know it’s hot, hot, HOT … especially when air-conditioning is absent. What’s your favorite summer treat? To me, there’s nothing more refreshing on a scorching day than a fruity, chill-inducing popsicle.

Mood Board Monday: PopsiclesOmbre | String Lights | Wine | Girl Eating Popsicle | Champagne + Raspberry Popsicles | Garden Bites | Popsicle Sticks | Raspberry Cheesecake | Printables

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

POPSICLE IDEAS FOUND ON HGTV.COM:

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