Browsing Category

Summer Inspiration

Summer Inspiration July 24, 2018

Summer Fun At Home

Ah, summer break: that remarkable time when days are long, cicadas burst into song, and kids have lots and lots… and lots… of free time. Keep boredom at bay by having a list of things to do at-the-ready for the kiddos. That way, they’ll have an array of activities to choose from every day, and you can rest easy knowing “I’m bored” won’t be in their vocabulary for a few months; at least, not until the school year starts.

Entertaining, Home Accessories Ideas, Home Decor & Furniture July 5, 2016


The rainy days of spring have retreated, leaving us to contend with all the fun that comes with summer. Revamp your front and back door areas to make room for summertime essentials. Here are a few tips for transforming your entryway or mudroom into a summery landing pad.

Interior of a white mudroom and carpeted stairs

Swimsuits, beach towels, flip flops and sports equipment are just a few pieces of this season’s ever-present clutter. Need a spot to dry off after a run through the sprinkler, a dip in the pool or sweaty yardwork? Why not transform your entryway or mud room into a cooling spot complete with plenty of areas to stow away gear and seats for drying off? Relief is on the way with some helpful tips for repurposing this space and giving it a warm weather vibe.


Front door or back door, it’s the first place guests see when they enter your home, so it’s worth the effort to clean it up to make a good first impression. Remove anything that doesn’t serve a purpose or isn’t being used—then donate it or trash it. Once you have decluttered the room, add a fresh coat of paint and if you’re feeling ambitious, come up with a theme for the area. For example, you could transform it into a beachy escape by adding plants, baskets and seashells. Make it cheery and bright, a warm welcome for your family and visitors.


Cover the floor as you see fit. This time of year, simple sisal or seagrass woven area rugs are a great choice since they are made for greater durability, come in different sizes and bring warmth and charm.


Your mission is to make the space more useful by introducing designated storage areas for everyday necessities. By attaching shelves with adjustable hooks, you’ll have spots for hanging keys, jackets and handbags right where you need them. The top wooden shelf provides ample space for sunblock, hats and maybe even a seashell or two.

Below the shelf, place a table with a shelf. Add bins on the lower shelf and presto—you now have the perfect spot to hold beach towels, flip flops, pet toys or anything else that gets dropped off at the front door. A lamp or two will help cast a pretty glow over your neat and tidy “welcome center.”

If you have the room, a bookcase extends your storage and display potential. Find one that fits your space and fill it up with bins or baskets and a knick-knack or two.

A storage bench can serve double duty by giving you a place to take off your shoes and put them away all-in-one.

Add little touches like a cart on casters. These come in handy for wheeling in groceries.

Perhaps a stylish coat rack will fit in the corner—a great idea for hanging up wet items.

With an entryway transformation, odds and ends won’t end up in the rest of your home and you’re sure to make great first impressions when guests admire how you’re keeping it all organized in style. How do you rearrange for summer? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section.

Bedroom Ideas, Entertaining, Party & Event Ideas June 30, 2016

Tasty Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

For most of us summer is the season we spend out and about whether it be at a pool party, on the water, or at a barbecue. But with the temperatures constantly rising, we’re always in need of ways to beat the heat! Did you know there are certain foods that will help keep you as cool as a cucumber?Six Children Have a Water Fight Round a Paddling Pool in a Back Garden


By the way…the water and electrolytes found in cucumbers serve to hydrate and replenish your body.



Watermelon is 91% water and a naturally terrific hydration choice.



Juicy peaches also supply vitamins A and C.

Peach isolated on white background

These three food items are perfect eaten individually or combined into a quick, easy, and heathy salad.Cucumber-Peach-Watermelon-Salad

Peach & Cucumber Watermelon Salad
courtesy of Angela Muir





Bleu Cheese crumbles (I prefer gorgonzola)

Fresh Mozzarella slices


Balsamic Vinegar (really really good quality)


  1. To assemble this salad you'll want to cut your watermelon down the center and cut 1" slices.
  2. Then take a cookie cutter and cut out rounds. My cookie cutter was 2.5" diameter.
  3. Take a slice of mozzarella and place it on top of your watermelon round.
  4. Then chop up your peach and cucumber into tiny squares to top the watermelon & mozzarella.
  5. Thinly slice your shallot and place a few slices on each round as well as the bleu cheese, I probably put about 1 tablespoon of bleu cheese on each round.
  6. The last step is to drizzle with a good quality balsamic vinegar.

Craving something sweeter than a salad?

Grab a Bomb Pop and celebrate National Bomb Pop Day! If you’re up to try something new, here’s a recipe for DIY bomb pops via The Little Kitchen.

bomb pops




  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar


  • 3/4 cup sugar water
  • 1 cup chopped seedless watermelon
  • 2 to 4 drops McCormick® Red Food Color (optional)


  • 1 cup sugar water
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Coconut Extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk


  • 2 cups sugar water
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Raspberry Extract
  • 5 to 7 drops McCormick® Blue Food Color




Bring water and sugar to boil in small saucepan on medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.


Pour syrup into blender container. Add watermelon and cover.

Blend on high speed until smooth. Using a measuring cup with a spout or the OXO measuring beaker, pour watermelon mixture popsicle molds to fill 1/3 of the way (for my popsicle molds, that means 0.8 ounce). Freeze for 1 1/2 hours or until set.


In a measuring cup, mix together coconut milk, sugar water and coconut extract. Fill the freezer pop mold until it is 2/3 of the way full.

Add the aluminum top and add the popsicle sticks. Freeze for 2 hours or until set. At about 1 1/2 hours, remove the aluminum top and put popsicle molds back into the freezer.


Add sugar water mixture to another measuring cup. Stir in raspberry extract and add blue food color. Mix well. Pour into the freezer pop mold until full and freeze 4 hours or overnight or until firm. Follow manufacturer instructions on how to remove the popsicles.
After unmolding, popsicles can be stored in zippered plastic bags in the freezer, use wax paper to keep them separated.

If it’s just too hot to handle outside, these tips will help cool you off indoors.

Step up your fan game. Ceiling fans, floor fans, or even small fans on your nightstand will do the trick. Cotton is king. Another thing to consider to help you sleep like a baby is cotton bedding. Cotton is a lightweight fabric that is perfect for the summer months. Ashley HomeStore has many options available in coverlets and throws.

Aldis Coverlet and Sham Set in soothing cotton sateen with a classic basketweave pattern.

Aldis Coverlet and Sham Set

Amare Coverlet and Sham Set is purposefully finessed with a timeworn hem.

Amare Coverlet and Sham Set

Carencro Throw's airy weave caresses with a featherweight touch.

Carencro Throw

Enjoy these fun tips to help you get through this summer the cool way!