Summertime!!!

We like to create a beach house atmosphere in our home to enjoy year round. In the summer, we expand on the beach theme with some fun, additional decorations. This mid-summer week, we share ideas for refreshing summertime drinks, a couple of easy crafts using shells, our garden update and more.

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As the featured image shows, our library table has been transformed into a beach-themed summerfest. We love the lighted mini-palm tree shading two relaxing Santas and a lounging, swimsuit-clad lady. She was originally part of an ashtray belonging to Kevin’s grandfather, Gus. The ashtray broke years ago, but the lady endures! There is also on open Adirondack chair for unexpected guests. We started with a dollar-store rimmed tray and filled with “decorative stone granules from a craft store” (aka sand). For a closer look at any image, click on the photo.

FRESH AND FRUITY LEMONADE

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A simple way to jazz up your lemonade is to add fruit!

We try to limit sugar, so we use a sugar-free lemonade mix, but use your favorite homemade, mix or bottled lemonade. The fruit adds a new dimension and is good for you!!!

For the blueberry lemonade: Use one-quarter cup of fresh blueberries per 16 oz. glass. Muddle (it means mash) half the blueberries and combine them with the whole blueberries and add to the lemonade.

The glass pictured above is rimmed with blueberry sugar that we received as a gift (thanks Chris and Bernard!). The sugar was bought at The Spice and Tea Exchange in Newport, RI (spiceandtea.com). Check out their website or look for flavored sugars at your local tea shop.

For the strawberry lemonade: Add two chopped medium strawberries into a 16-oz. glass of lemonade. Stir well, until the lemonade starts to turn pink. Garnish glass with a whole, split strawberry.

To make a pitcher of fruit-flavored lemonade, add a cup of fruit to a half-gallon of lemonade. For the blueberry version, use 1/2 cup mashed blueberries and 1/2 cup whole blueberries. For strawberry lemonade, chop the whole cup of strawberries and add to the lemonade.

Hint: Add sparkling water and white wine to make a refreshing wine/lemonade spritzer or vodka for a great summertime cocktail.

Hint II: Adding fruit to ice tea is a great idea, too!

A SHELL OF A GOOD CRAFT!    

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Decorating with seashells is a great way to bring the shore through your front door. Shells can be used to make a variety of items for your home decor. In a previous blog, we used shells to decorate a picture frame. This week, we offer two additional shell crafts. To create the bathroom cup holder, glue shells onto a ramakin and spray with sealer. (Hand wash only!) Another inexpensive, easy way to bring seashells into your home is to glue them onto clothespins. Our “Life’s a Beach” sign is attached to the curtain with shell clothespins.            Both items are simple and useful!

GARDEN UPDATE

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A lot of growth in the garden this week! The marigolds we planted from seed are doing well, and the basil looks good. The pansies, well we are hopeful, maybe a bloom or two by fall! It’s a learning experience for sure. The shishito peppers are growing like crazy (we’ve harvested 15 so far and there are 20 in various stages of growth on the plant!), and the fragrant chocolate mint requires daily pruning. We have picked five cherry tomatoes so far from our tomato plants. Roy just counted the tomatoes on the vine, and at this point, there are 173 ripening tomatoes on the two plants! WOW!!

A VIEW FROM OUR WINDOW

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This is a view from our kitchen window. The hummingbird feeder, flowers and plants add a lot of beauty and color to our lives and help extend our living space.

SILLY PICTURE Here is a fun face picture we made using our home-grown peppers and tomatoes. Making veggies more fun!!!

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JOKE OF THE WEEK                                                                                                                               What do frogs like to drink on a hot summer day? Croak-a-cola!                                            Source: Bestfamilyadvice.com

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The Bears are enjoying a week at the beach!

Enjoy – but don’t forget the sunscreen!

Roy & Kevin

 

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