Take It Outside

this summer with alfresco dining at home. Let’s just say June is officially summer!  There is nothing better than firing up the BBQ and having friends over to enjoy the long summer nights.  It is the best time to entertain.  Summer gatherings can be simple and festive with little prep or you can go full-out gangbusters. Spending energy on creating a lovely and inviting atmosphere will delight you all summer long.  You will just need to clean up the space and make of list of the items you will need to make entertaining fuss free and easy.  After this it will be a breeze!  Here is a helpful tip:  clear out a designated space to hold all your summer dining essentials to make it easy on yourself and for those that are willing to lend a helping hand.

Make your next reservation at home! Get creative with whatever space you may have.  All spaces can be turned into a summer oasis.
Pick flowers and fresh herbs from your garden or go to an outdoor market for fresh local flowers.
Gathered utensils in a container to pass around is simple, functional, and casual.
A folding table (great for pop up dinners when you have more guests than your typical dining set can accommodate) covered by a simple white table-cloth.  Get clever with seating if you don’t have enough matching chairs by mixing in pieces from your indoors space.  Benches work really well too.
Melamine plates and glasses are worth the investment.  This would also look just as lovely with colorful paper plates and napkins. Outdoor dining can be what you want it to be.  No rules!
Light it up with string lights and candles!
Her smile tells it all!  A dear friend who just happens to be my neighbor (thank my lucky stars!) kicked off summer with an outdoor set up that has me planting flowers , dusting off summer plates , and hanging lights!  Thank you for the inspiration!

Here are a few places to check out online for your summer alfresco evenings.  Happy Summer folks!

Crate&Barrel could be your one stop shopping for all your alfresco needs.

Ikea for some Scandinavian inspiration.

Target for string lighting options and folding tables (so handy to own and can be tucked away).

Check out this great piece from RealSimple.  Lots of tips to get you excited for all your summer entertaining.

Urban Gardens That Will Delight You

Here is a Sunday escape post that hopefully will have you marking your calendar for next year: The Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill Annual Tour.  This year, ten gardens and two ribbon gardens (these you could just peek at) were showcased and open to the public with the purchase of a ticket.   A delightful self-led tour that allows you to meander about into the private gardens of this lovely old Boston neighborhood.  Without doing the tour there is no other way that you could experience these hidden gems.  A yellow flag marked each of the homes that awaited your viewing.  This year marked the 90th Anniversary of the tours.  You will forget for a short bit of time that you are in a city.  It is amazing to see how a bit of nature can transform small city spaces into an urban oasis.  Here is a peek at the wonderful charming spaces that were in all their glory!

You see how effortlessly nature folds into the life of Beacon Hill.  The gardens range in size and style but all are functional and inviting.  They all play off each other in the most intimate way.  Modern elements such as a living wall are complimented by the functional qualities of brick and steel backgrounds that make up this landscape.  The old trees with their twisting roots remind you of time.  Small ponds and trickling water create a sense of tranquility.  You wish to have brought a coffee and blanket to just sit and soak in the peacefulness.

The lovely faces along the way.  Such a wonderful afternoon to stroll and march the paths of Beacon Hill.  You should always be a tourist especially in your home town.  This is a charming event that you could easily let years pass without experiencing.  Grab a gal pal, walk the tour, sip coffee, chat, and finish off the afternoon with a tasty lunch on Charles Street.  Beacon Hill Garden Club