Touches of Summer in the Home

I don't know about you but, I have had a wonderful summer!  I have been visiting with friends and family and enjoying a community pool I decided to join this year.  It's been fun but, I didn't want you to forget about me so, I thought I would show you some of the summer touches I have added to my home. Have you changed a few things around your house for the summer months?  If not, maybe these few photos will inspire you!

Adding summery printed pillows to any room is a quick and easy way to change its mood.
The bucket of plastic ware is pretty as well as functional for evening dinners.  Everything is at the ready :).
I wasn't sure if I should add this photo of my front hall bathroom with you but, it does have a Caribbean feel so, I thought, "Why not/"

I decided this summer to do what my mom used to do years ago...change the curtains in my family room for the summer.  Normally, I have heavy red drapes hanging there, which I like for the winter months but, I wanted to add lightness to the room.  So I changed the drapes to these light-weight chartreuse curtains.  Oh, I also changed some of the pillows too!  The room now has more of a summer feel.
I know I have shared my dining room table before but I still love the colors and the table runner is so cheery!  I love the blue vases also.
I am in the process of primping up my screen porch.  You will see what I mean when I, hopefully, share the process with you in a forthcoming post.  However, for now, I wanted to show you what a festive feel these paper lanterns can add to a space.  Aren't they fun?!

These plates do not necessarily exude "summer" but I liked mixing the new chartreuse flower plate with my old tea cups.  I thought the colors worked well together.
I mix-matched the cups and the saucers and liked the crazy effect that resulted!

I added beach sand and sea glass to make these chimney candles.  Can't go wrong with sea glass for a summery look!

Of course, you can't forget what summer is all about...going to the beach or pool and having fun!  I usually have a beach bag ready sitting by the front door so, I can just grab it when I am able to take off.  Remember to pack a towel, reading material, sunscreen, flop-flops, hat and a cover-up, AND, of course, something to eat and drink.  You'll be all set for the day!
Finally, every home needs a blue hydrangea for the ultimate summer touch!  Mine has been blooming all July and I'm loving it!

Well, thank you for the quick "hello".  As I have said, I truly hope you are having a wonderful summer enjoying friends and family and the weather.  Perhaps, these "touches of summer" have lifted your spirits!  I hope so!!

Vacation Sampler

Hi Everyone!  I'm back from my vacation last week.  We went to our little place down on Cape Cod and had a great, great time!  So great, in fact, that I didn't do any work at all; partially because the internet service was sooooo bad; partially because it was vacation, after all. Therefore, I am somewhat behind on my blogging.  However, I did vacation hardy and with the encouragement of my daughter-in-law, Jessica, I thought I would share some of our favorite spots and restaurants on the Cape with you.

 The journey begins at my very humble cottage on Cape Cod.
It could use some tender loving care but when we are on the Cape we just want to have fun.  So, working on the place hasn't been a top priority.  It has, however, given us many, many memorable moments.  And, our little cottage is very close to the beach, which is a huge plus!

Anyway, every morning, part of our routine is to take a bike ride around the neighborhood, usually right after breakfast.  We pass the scene below every morning and take in the river and ocean views.  It is quintessential Cape Cod and we love it!

After the bike ride we usually head out to the local beach down the street, unless, of course, the weather is not permitting.  Two or three times a summer we feel adventurous and want a change of scenery so, we head to Marconi Beach in Wellfleet.

Marconi Beach is one of our favorite beaches.  It is located in the National Seashore Park area of Wellfleet and the views from the top of the dunes are stunning.  My dad affectionately used to refer to it as "Macaroni Beach".  He was always making up silly names like that.  Since  he lived on Cape Cod full time he purchased a season pass every summer.  He often told us how much he loved body surfing in the waves.  That was a funny image for me :).  I can't really remember why but, unfortunately, I didn't discover Marconi for myself until after he had passed away.  Well, Dad was right all along.  Marconi is awesome!  The waves, the sand, the views and the atmosphere are just amazing!   The beach itself has soft sand and all the necessary amenities such as easy parking, changing rooms and decent bathrooms which make for a truly, truly enjoyable to visit.  It's earthy and you feel "one-with-nature" when you are there.  It does, however, have a steep set of wooden stairs going down to the beach that might make it hard for some people to navigate but, in some ways, the steps are part of its rugged appeal.  The cost to get in is $20 for the day and I think they also charge for bikers and walkers.  So, you'll probably want to plan to stay for the day to get your money's worth.  Pack a lunch and sunblock and you will be all set!

Another experience we tried this year was to visit the winery in Truro.  We brought my daughter, Brittany, and her husband, Tim, with us this time.  They had never been before and it had  been several years since Tom and I had been there.  What an enjoyable experience we had!  Almost as soon as we got there, Brittany purchased four tickets for the wine tasting event that was soon to be happening.  We had so much fun!  We got to taste 10 wines (5 if you don't want to share with your loved one) from the vineyard while learning a little something about each wine as we sipped.  The whole  experience was pretty topnotch.  We also got to take home these neat wine glasses.  I'll definitely be doing a wine tasting again.  Maybe I'll visit the winery near my full time home in Bolton, MA next.

When the weather is cloudy and not good for going to the beach, we head to Chatham to walk around and shop in the center.  Chatham has one of the nicest centers on the Cape, in my opinion.  It's always bustling with people, features lots of cool shops and has a very chic vibe, as well.  Beware, however, the parking can be tough at times but, it is free and if you wait long enough, you will eventually find a spot.  Our favorite places to have lunch in downtown Chatham are the Wayside Inn and Chatham Cookware.  Chatham Cookware is a great place to bring little ones because they have picnic tables out back and the kids can run around without bothering anyone.  It makes for a more stress-free lunch for the parents :). The Wayside Inn offers dining on an expansive front porch allowing for great people watching.  Fun, fun!

Now to my favorite restaurants.  I have to admit.  We dine out A LOT.  It's just something we enjoy and the fact that my modest cottage is kitchen impaired  (At least that's what I tell my husband!) makes dining out an easy decision.  Therefore, I feel I have some experience when it comes to Cape Cod dining.  So here they are SOME of my favorite restaurants:

Tugboats is on Hyannis Harbor and has a great view.  You really can't beat the atmosphere but,  make sure you get a table on one of the outside decks, if possible, even if you have to wait a little bit.  Dining inside, unless it's chilly or rainy, just isn't the same.  You have to experience the view with the ferries going in and out of the harbor to totally enjoy your visit.  Tugboats offers American cuisine with an emphasis on seafood.  The menu offers anything from sandwiches to a lobster dinner and the food is usually really good.  The beverages are delicious also.

The Marshside in Dennis is another of our favorites.  As you may have guessed from the name, it offers a marsh view as opposed to an ocean view but, is still so lovely.  The restaurant is cottage chic and is more contemporary-beach in its styling.  The food is fantastic and they have an on-site bakery which makes delicious pastries and breads.  You are able to sample some of its creations as a prelude to your meal.  The breads alone are worth a visit to the Marshside.  Their menu is varied but pretty much American cuisine also.  They are kid friendly and offer toys and dolls to keep the kids amused, which is a nice feature.

This is not the view from the Marshside, just a picture of a marsh I had :)

 If you like Italian food, my favorite spot is Columbo's on Main Street in Hyannis.  Their meatballs are delicious and taste the way I remember my mother's tasting, which was enough to bring me back again and again.  The manicotti  is great also.  The restaurant is casual with indoor and outdoor seating available.  They have offered live music in the past but, I'm not sure if they still do or not.  Anyway, Columbo's is a non-stuffy Italian restaurant with really good food and a very nice atmosphere.

More of my own Cape Cod photos.

Finally the last restaurant I'll mention today is Sam Diego's, a Mexican restaurant, also in Hyannis.  The outdoor patio is very nice and is surrounded by plants, trees and flowers which completely hides the fact that the restaurant is next to a major road by the mall.  The atmosphere is fun and casual.  The chips and salsa are delicious and plentiful and the sangria is yummy.  Of all the restaurants  I have mentioned, Sam Diego's is the most reasonably priced, something to consider while on vacation; 

Well, I am going to stop here with my restaurant favorites for fear that you will think I am ALWAYS eating!  I do have a few more I could mention but, I'll save that for another time.  Suffice to say it was a great vacation and I didn't do a lot of cooking :)!

As Always, ENJOY!!!

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