Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Secret To Lasting Hydrangeas

Aren't hydrangeas just the summeriest flower? They speak of bike rides to 'Sconset, visits to the shore and sunny mornings in the garden with a cup of coffee and some shears...


They can be a bit finicky, though, and even when I split their stems carefully, oftentimes their heads start to wither and droop after a couple days.

But my friend Dana (she of the blue and white) gave me the best tip - bring a container of ice water with you when you go out to cut hydrangeas. Plunge them in as soon as you've clipped them. You can split the stems later when it's time to arrange them. It totally works! Now my bouquets last for days...

These little guys have been in my powder room for nearly two weeks and are still going strong.

Do you have any tips for making garden-fresh flowers last?

Hope your Wednesday blooms beautifully! XO

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Wauwinet Welcome: Your Nantucket Home Away From Home

Did you have the chance to lounge this weekend? Our weather shifted towards gray, but there were still sunny moments for impromptu wine country picnics and dinner at a sidewalk table in our neighborhood. But with clouds in the forecast this week, I'm wishing we were joining our friends Gen and Denis on Nantucket. And whenever Nantucket comes up, so does our theoretical perfect Nantucket house...

Not too big, but just the right size to fit all our guests. Cozy, welcoming interiors. A big porch to sip coffee in the morning or play scrabble on a rainy day. A beach for walking. A stretch of lawn for lounging or playing croquet. Lovely flowers all around. And amazing views of the sunset...

Of course, that just about describes the Wauwinet, the lovely inn on the northeastern point of the island, where guests have been welcomed since 1875. Checking in there, you feel like you've been invited to stay at a friend's home that's been in the family for years... and happens to have a spa, a fantastic chef, and the luxury you'd expect from a Relais and Chateaux hotel.

Perhaps we don't need a house in Nantucket after all as long as the Wauwinet is there to welcome us!

Where is your favorite beach retreat?

Happy Monday! XO

Friday, July 18, 2014

Garden Style Inspiration: Ralph's in Paris

Summer is just made for alfresco dining and long evenings with friends, sipping rosé on the terrace, don't you think? Our garden redo rolls on, and we are far from being photo-ready, but last weekend, a hot Saturday night called for dinner outdoors. So much time had been spent choosing materials, okaying hardscapes and planting plans, that the styling of it all - taking it from a pretty blue stone terrace to an actual garden room - hadn't been given much thought.

So out came the old picnic table. The dining room chairs moved outside. A quick trip to Red Ticking yielded the perfect blue and white napkins. A new table cloth from Anthropologie delivered a French vibe - but it was the detail of tying a pretty ticking stripe ribbon round the napkins that inspired - it brought to mind Ralph's in Paris.

Have you been to Ralph's? The restaurant in the Ralph Lauren store in St. Germain des Prés boasts one of the loveliest courtyards ever. The blue striped pillows and cushions and iron chairs have an unmistakeably Frenchie feel... but at the same time would be equally at home on a veranda in the Hamptons.

It's this perfect marriage of French and American style that I would love to bring to the new terrace of our shingled home, which is full of vintage Parisian finds. Here's some inspiration: 

Vintage iron furniture is definitely in order. Some grain sacks and tickings, a miss-matched collection of blue and white transferware...perhaps some rattan and a blue and white garden seat or two for good measure...

Where to find it all? Red Ticking, Atelier de Campagne, French Larkspur, My French Country Home Brocante all serve up lovely bits of French Vintage. I'm sure Ralph Lauren Home would be good for a pillow or two et voilà: hopefully by next summer our terrace evenings might be mistaken for dinner at Ralph's.

What's happening in your garden these days?

Hope you get to enjoy the outdoors this weekend! XO

Images: 1&2/My photos, 3/via, 4/via, /5/via, 6/7/via, 8/via, 9/via, 10/via, 11/via, 12/via, 13/via

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Butter, Sugar, Flowers

It was back to The London Plane last night. This time for a food and wine pairing class with chef Matt Dillon and wine guy Marc Papineau. Too much deliciousness - in our glasses, on our plates and in the good company all around - to leave room for much to say. But aren't those the best nights? The ones that remind you that there are only a few simple ingredients to a well-lived life?

If you live in Seattle, The London Plane offers all sorts of yummy things - breakfast, lunch, wine, nibbles, treats to bring home and wonderful classes. Check them out if you haven't already.

What are your key ingredients to a well-lived life?

Happy Wednesday! XO

Monday, July 14, 2014

Vive La France

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Ours was full of sun drenched-moments - yellow sunflowers, newly planted lavender, hunting for the perfect tomato at the farmer's market, sipping rosé on the terrace with dear friends and dining alfresco on a long, hot evening we never wanted to end. It was almost as if we had found ourselves back in Provence...

Summer seems to be the best time to celebrate all that we love about France - and especially today, which is Bastille Day. The perfect excuse to pop a bottle of bubbly or maybe go buy yourself a little something from Chanel.

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! Hope you have a lovely week with plenty to celebrate XO

Friday, July 11, 2014

Have A Seat!

Happy Friday, all! Are you feeling inspired? Seeing the way my girlfriends have been using blue and white garden seats in their decor has been inspiring me lately...

In the garden, of course - looks fab poolside...

But love them indoors, too, as little extra perches or side tables at my friend Dana's home...

But I think my favorite is as an accent piece in the shower a la my friend Elizabeth, which is what I'll be doing with the new one I ordered this week from One Kings Lane where there are several sales for outdoor furniture and the blue and white bedroom happening now.

Or, there's the secret resource one of my friends swears by - you will never believe where: Sears! They look really good, too.

Happy weekend! Hope you'll be able to take a seat in your favorite spot and relax a bit. XOXO

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Morning At The Market

How was your Fourth of July? We spent the holiday in the mountains of Whistler, BC, celebrating our seventh anniversary with killer hikes for Mr. H. and a lovely hotel for me. But before heading North, we stayed the night at the Seattle Four Seasons (which has an amazing pool, perfect for the very rare day when the temperatures climb into the 90s) with the Pike Place Market right on our doorstep.

Do you ever play tourist in your own hometown? Taking your time in a spot your city is known for, but you rarely have the time to really see and explore? A lazy Wednesday morning wander through the market made us feel like we were out-of-towners, discovering it's delights for the first time.


We left with a picnic of fresh raspberries for the road and a new appreciation for the beauty that is only about 15 minutes from our door.

What's your favorite place to be a hometown tourist?

Happy Wednesday! XO


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