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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

There is an agreement that one has to sign when they decide to pursue adulthood in New England.   It will be very hot in the summertime and it will be a cold, snowy mess in the winter.  If you don’t like it, you are free to move to the promised land, aka San Diego, but otherwise, you kind of just have to shush your mouth and deal.

I’ve got serious ants in my pants for some outside time.  It has been way too long since our beach looked more like this:

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and less like this:

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I’ve tried to think of all the fun, warm weather stuff that is just around the corner and remembered that I never told you about my beautiful sister-in-law’s bridal shower last summer.

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I was the hostess and as such, got full and complete control over decorating.  I LOVE party planning.   Love it.  For Katy’s (that’s my sil) shower, I actually started collecting stuff for decorating months beforehand.  It was like curating an art show, each little piece was thoughtfully selected.  The party was held at our beachfront club house, so I stuck with the beachy chic theme for the event.  I stalked e-bay for beach glass colored tulle and was rewarded with a football fields amount.  I created a Pinterest board just for ideas.   I had visions of sheer curtains floating over the guests heads with beautiful tulle twisting around everything in an ethereal dream scape.  Had I known that the tulle would end up being a total nightmare and the ephemeral feel would turn slightly weird and dangerous because the hand weights we had to hold it in place kept crashing down to where people would be standing later, I would have stepped away from the e-bay auction.  It was a learning moment and in the eleventh hour, we scrapped the sheer overhead curtains for safety’s sake.

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I made sure to incorporate a lot of what I already had on hand so that I could put more of the budget towards the food [and booze].  I busted out my army of blue mason jars and hung starfish from them with twine.   I had bought a ridiculous amount of starfish off of the internet and when they arrived, they completely freaked our dogs, Piper and Neuman, out.  I wasn’t expecting that, so they got several days of freebreeze and fresh air before they came back into the house, the starfish that is, not the dogs.

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I stuck the starfish into my giant Ikea lanterns around tall pillar candles.

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Lemon sugar cookies in the shape of starfish and sailboats with gold sprinkles were baked and packaged up for favors with pretty, beachy colored ribbon and some chocolate kisses.

One of my absolute favorite parts of the party were the floral arrangements.  Thankfully, the party was right smack in the middle of peak hydrangea season.  We had giant clusters of the most beautiful deep purples and blues.  My kitchen looked like a jungle for a few hours while I wrangled everything into containers.  Since our neighbors sometimes pop in here to read this, I feel it is important to mention that no neighborhood hydrangea were hurt in the making of this blog post and/or party.

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I thought it would be a lovely idea to feature pictures from the bride’s childhood on the beautiful stone fireplace in the room.

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I enlisted the help of my mother-in-law and grand-mother-in-law to provide pictures which I then put into frames and put all over the fireplace.  I was also able to incorporate the flowers, lanterns, and that silly tulle and some of the living dead starfish too.

After:

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It was a rainy night outside, but inside it turned into a great evening celebrating the marriage of my amazing sister in law.

I have a feeling that before we know it, the beach will be back to looking like this again too.

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I can’t wait!

-Kate

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Justin and I joke about how when he was a wild, rebellious youth, I was at home reading. This is a pretty accurate statement. I LOVE to read and can easily go through a book a week. At one point I belonged to two separate book clubs, but ironically, being assigned reading totally killed my desire to read. If that makes any sense.

After much thought, I left both book clubs, gave myself some time off and wouldn’t you know, I’ve been back on the Reading Rainbow Bandwagon ever since. My favorite thing about summer when I was little was being able to go to the library as often as I wanted and checking out handfuls of books. Not much has changed since then, except that instead of carrying around a worn paperback with pencil notations in the margins, I’m an avid Kindle user. Not the separate, bulky device Kindle, but the iPhone app.

Since I’m always on the lookout for the next great read, I thought I would share what is sitting on my virtual bookshelf these days.

If Tina Fey knew how much I loved and admired her, I suspect that I would have to stay 500 feet away from her at all times. This is an excellent memoir. It helps though if you are a 30 Rock fan, but isn’t necessary. If you just really liked her when she was on Weekend Update with Jimmy Fallon, you’ll still like this.

Do you like hearing stories about Martha Stewart from former employees? Do you like reading about restoring old houses, cluster flies (Welcome this is a farmhouse, we have cluster flies, alas), farming and baby goats? This was a fun book. Josh, the author has written previously about his time as a drag queen in NYC. This book is not about that, although the book about the drag queen was quite good too. I was inspired to garden this year because of Josh and his partner, Dr. Brent.

Just in case you were laboring under the idea that Ernest Hemingway was a good guy….HE WAS NOT! This book is written about his first wife, Hadley and the time she spent being the best damn wife ever in Paris while Ernesto was getting started with his writing career. I think if you combine this book with Woody Allen’s upcoming film, Paris After Midnight, you’ll have a good sense of how much more fun everyone was having then we are now. I loved this book.

Suzanne Collins is a Connecticut resident. She also clearly read Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. The Hunger Games is the first book in her young adult trilogy. Now, the truth is that if you lost your damn mind over the Harry Potter series and found yourself greedily reading them whenever you could and maybe, sort of, caused a scene the day the book was released and your copy was delivered via UPS late… you would enjoy this series. Just make sure you don’t have plans for about a week because once you start them, you probably won’t be able to put them down.

If you like to cry sometimes, just because it feels good, this is the book for you. It is also the book for you if you spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating your own death, the death of your family members/friends and the deaths of random strangers who may or may not be your organ clones. I kid. It isn’t that dark until the end. I read this book during the winter while I was dealing with a personal loss. It haunted me, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Is your mom a psych nurse? Is your best friend a licensed, clinical social worker? Reading this book is like hanging out with them on a night that they are being candid about work after a few glasses of wine. Funny, sad, moving, maaaaaybe a little more truth then you are used to. If you don’t answer yes to the first two questions, read it anyway. It is good to understand how prevalent mental illness is in our society and to reduce the stigma surrounding it.

So there you have it, the Redefining Decor Summer Reading suggestions. What are you reading? Leave recommendations in the comments!

-Kate

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