Updated: Jul 9, 2021
photo - Hood Canal, WA
I love the change of seasons when we spend many more of our daily hours outdoors!
In the Pacific Northwest, at the end of June, the temperatures seem to be just right. Although we have had our share of "June-u-aries", when the rain won't let up, and coats are still required. It is not uncommon to find a Pacific North Westerner with sandals and a puffer coat on!
In June, I pack up, and take a ferry across the Puget Sound, and head to my getaway on a beautiful Washington State waterway, Hood Canal. Eagles, oysters and nature views a plenty.
In the Pacific Northwest temperatures can
drop 20 degrees in the evening,
so we dress in layers and gather
around our fire pits to watch the sunsets.
Life is casual here, "beach hair I don't care!" is my motto. We do a lot of home cooking, and get plenty of sunshine & exercise outdoors.
We enjoy entertaining family and friends at our "Summerhouse"! This place is a space to just hang out, and share the waterside vibe.
Summertime! Time to bring our daily routines outdoors!
Living by saltwater, there is a bounty of fresh clams and oysters right in our backyard. We have an oyster farmer in front of our place, who's oysters can be ordered in fine restaurants across the country. Hood Canal is famous for their oysters. We started our own "oyster bed" and it has grown and expanded a little bit every season. We enjoy the "fruits of the sea"! Manila clams can easily be found just below the sandy surface in our cove, it is best to harvest clams as the tide is going out.
As you can guess...
Linguini and Clam Sauce is a favorite!
Harvesting the clams makes the dish even more tasty!
My husband has a secret Linguini & Clam Sauce recipe of his own,
but this recipe is very similar; here
Shhhh...my husband adds bits of pancetta to his clam sauce, with home made garlic bread on the side! Yum photo- A Food Lovers Kitchen
Dining alfresco! Bring your dining outside!
"Table for two"? In the garden? On the deck? Or out on the patio?
Why do flavors taste better in the fresh air?
Creating an inviting outdoor dining experience creates memories and a sense of occasion.
Having our meals outside has become a summer routine.
This fun outdoor table setting is in my courtyard at the top of the stairway heading down to the beach. It is quiet & private over here, and the view isn't too bad either! I have a small canopy perfect for creating a special outdoor dining nook!
This outdoor setting, is full of color, pattern & texture. The Randi K. (r.k.c) Indigo Table Runner sets the tone for the beautiful table scape! Woven placemats are layered to add texture, while the crisp blue and white table linens & pillows, fit right in with the natural surroundings. The table centerpiece could be objects you simply picked up right off the beach! Finally, the Randi K. Tasseled Napkin Rings and Garland complete the look! I love how it turned out, so organic & unexpected!
Get the r.k.c look, and shop the featured items here
For this outdoor centerpiece, I wanted to keep things natural and casual. I usually have fresh flowers on my dining table, but I decided to bring in some live greenery for this table setting. I love how the Driftwood & Seashell votives compliment the frilly air plants, creating this beachy boho vibe! This centerpiece may be one of my favorites!
I just discovered air plants! They are beautiful, and easy to care for.
Here is how I created this beautiful centerpiece.
Air Plants & Plant Vessels
1. Purchase air plants, I found mine online. here
2. Choose air plant vessel ie; shell, teacup, even driftwood.
3. Soak top side down at room temperature, spring water, for 10-20 minutes. Repeat every two weeks.
4. Shake and dry, let dry for about 4 hours.
Add to vessel, make sure plant is completely dry.
*After soaking my air plants, they literally opened up!
Air Plant info and care here
Summer nights are longer, and our patios and decks become an extension of our living spaces.
We enjoy our outdoor seating area at "Summerhouse". We bring outdoors all the creature comforts; pillows, blankets and have plenty of end tables for food and beverages.
The sun goes down, the fire pit goes on, blankets are passed around, and the summer nights continue long into the evening. Randi K. Indigo Pillows are perfect for a crisp, fresh outdoor setting. You can't go wrong with the navy and white combo, it is neutral & the color scheme goes with every decor!
Shop featured Randi K. Indigo Pillows here
One can never have too many candles for your outdoor tables or walkways.
It is so charming to lead your guests to the gathering with lanterns along a pathway or stairway.
I like to scatter them around the tabletops for sparkle.
I created these fun can lanterns for my deck area. I like them in groupings. I chose high heat spray paint; flat black for the outside, and a warm copper for the inside. I do like the glowing effect they give. For a more rustic look, you can simply leave them unpainted.
Here's how to make your patio votives:
washed tin cans, permanent marker, large nail, hammer, dish towel, spray paint
Wash and clean tin cans, fill with water and freeze overnight.
When frozen, draw your design with marker (or draw design before frozen)
Place frozen can on folded towel to prevent denting and table damage. Hammer nail along your design.
When your design is complete, run with hot water to melt ice, then dry. Hammer bottom flat, it may have bulged in freezing process.
Purchase outdoor spray paint.
Spray inside first. (I chose high temp spray in copper). Let dry. Next, spray outside of can. (I used flat black high heat spray used for BBQs) Let dry.
Now add your tea light! I found citronella tea lights to keep the bugs at bay.🐝🦟
When the temps rise inside, we head outdside to dine. As hostess, I love to create fun outdoor table settings with plenty of fresh flowers. This simple floral arrangement adds such a bold statement to any table setting. The arrangement is simply carnations arranged in clusters.
*Keeping blossoms in one color scheme, creates a definite wow factor!
This arrangement is so simple, and easy on the wallet too! By keeping dining table arrangements low, everyone can see and converse with others around the table. I lined up glass cube vases, (can be found at any craft store or dollar store), cut the stems just long enough for the blossoms to stand just above the vase rim. (you can hold next to vase to measure)
Fill the vase with as many blossoms as you can to create a plush, full look.
Summer is here! Longer days and warmer temperatures, which means we will be bringing more of our daily routines outdoors! Exercise, dining alfresco, firing up our BBQs and gathering around the campfires!
State & National Parks offer hiking trails, boat launches, picnic areas and restroom facilities, making it easy and safe to enjoy the great outdoors! Cities have beautiful parks with picnic areas too. Why not take a tech free day, and get your outdoors on?
Being outdoors is good for us! According to WebMD the outdoor living promotes good mental health, improves sleep and strengthens our immunity! We owe it to ourselves to get outside especially after our gloomy 2020. Learn about more benefits of outdoor living here
When I return to my condo in the city after Labor Day, I hope to have a little sun on my face, a restful & peaceful mindset for the start of the next season.