7.21.2014

Essentials for a Summertime Picnic in the Park

Over the weekend, it was Jeff's birthday. Last year, we spent the day at his new favorite spot here in AZ - the golf course. However due to a lower back injury he's been experiencing, I planned something a little more relaxing to celebrate his birthday and for us to relax and enjoy together: A Summer Sunday Park Picnic. Back in the Fall, we had a park picnic at a spot we came across in Scottsdale, but I wanted to try a different and new to use place. During July 4th weekend, I came across a local park, just 40 mins north of us in a place called Fountain Hills. Since it's a little higher elevation than us here in the valley, it was a little cooler, not to mention the huge lake the park is surrounded by has a huge fountain in its center. When the fountain is gushing, and a wind blows, it creates a mist to help cool down people walking the park or just lounging under the trees - which is where we picked our spot for our picnic.




Different from the picnic we planned in the Fall (read: Enjoying A Fall Picnic In The Park), passing by a gourmet market to pick-up a mix of salads and wrap sandwiches, I prepared the picnic feast at home, with the summer fruits and foods I had on hand. I made us Jeff's fave potato salad the evening before, and I did pick up some better deli meats & cheeses for our lunch. Reusable containers came in handy for packing the potato salad plus fresh cut strawberries, watermelon, and a mix of feta with red grapes. Recycled juice containers came in handy for our beverages I also made: Limeade for me and fresh brewed tea for Jeff. A pretty blue glass wine bottle I also recycled came in handy for a small vase of three Gerber daises from the bunch I picked up during my weekly grocery trip. A burlap tote I had gotten from the Winter Market came in handy to carry the sheet, fabric, napkins, melamine plates, cups, the wine bottle vase, utensils and a cutting board. Tip: Bringing along a cutting board helps to give one flat surface when you're doing a ground picnic. And although the "basket" for a picnic is a must, it may not keep the foods as well chilled as need be (especially mayo based salads & sandwich meats) so we did also bring a small rolling cooler for the drinks and extra ice - plus the handle helped to hold two tie-on covered pillows I brought to help make the ground more comfortable for Jeff... Needless to say he not only ebjoyed the food but the water view too - which is a rarity to be near (in comparison to FL living) here in Arizona...






Although I made the potato Salad the night before, I made hoagie sandwiches in the morning with a splurge (for us) on some special deli meats and cheese. To hold these stacked sandwiches in place for transport, I cut them in half, and wrapped them in parchment paper, before wrapping in a Ziplock baggie.




Jeff was happy - Food + Water view!


Picnic Attire:
Dress in lightweight cottons and linens to help keep you cool...


Making hubs happy makes me happy...


Picnic Tip:
Put that extra flat sheet from your sheet set to use: Bring it along for a park picnic... along with a few throw pillows for added comfort while lying on the ground...




 I know Jeff would have loved to have gone and played golf (like we did last year for his birthday) but that just can't be this year. But we were still able to get outside and actually enjoy the outdoors - more relaxing - and left the park as two happy campers! --or is that picnic-ers? :)


Earlier last week, when I wrote my blog contribution to the Hadley Court blog, I wrote a post about organizing a summer picnic, which included a list of essentials, a link to recipes, and several picnic ideas to inspire you from backyard picnics, to parks, to even a mention of beach picnics. If you missed my post, you can read at: The Essentials for Organizing an Easy Summer Picnic...




 Pulling together your own picnic, for a park or the yard really doesn't take much, it's not expensive, plus it's way to get out and peacefully enjoy summertime outdoors...

Sandwiches cut in half and wrapped in parchment paper before wrapping in a ziplock baggie helped hold these beasts together for transport. I repurposed Jeff's everyday lunch meat containers for sides (such as potato salad and fruits). Cooler packed with ice plus Limeade, Ice tea and water. (Non-alcohol & no soda picnic) -- an important essential to a picnic here in AZ: stay hydrated!


Having a list on the fridge helped keep more organized for Jeff's B-Day... but I don't have any idea what "came" is... lol (hate when that happens!!) I either meant cooler, cutting board or card... Jeff got upset because he tried to bring speakers for his iPod but the batteries were dead - But in all honesty - we didn't need the music... it was such a nice break to listen to a warm breeze wrestle in the trees, birds chirping, ducks quacking and the WATER chopping against the sides of the pond... not to mention the misting cooldown we got when the fountain shot up! (105 temp must have dropped 10 degrees!)


Pulling together most picnic essentials the night before helped me get ready quicker Sunday morning - even-though I did edit (not take all in above pic) most everything fit perfectly in the burlap tote...



What does it cost to have a picnic (for two)?

Groceries - Let's say $30 (or less)
and below is a list of using what i already had, but for some items, in new ways -
Picnic Basket - Gift from Jeff's mom (2009)
Stripe Sheet (RL queen) + Stripe Melamine sq. Plates + Cutting boards - HomeGoods (2011-2014)
 Ikat Blue Melamine Plates + Blue cups - Target (2010)
Polka-Dot Tea Towels - Pottery Barn (2014)
Natural Linen Euro pillows (covers) - Ikea (2012)
 Buffalo Check Napkins + Plaid fabric + Denim pillow - Goodwill Thrift Finds (2013)
and my plaid strapless dress was also a thrift find - $5 at Goodwill during 50% day.



Find an ideal location to suit you and your mate or your family and enjoy!





Thanks for stopping by!






7.13.2014

With Gratitude and Many Thanks!

Although life doesn't always turn out the way you had planned, you can't let those disappointments get the best of you. You also can't let the disappointments blind you from the good that does happen in, let's say, your career life. Case in point, recently I've hit a few milestones in building my social media presence (such as acquired 2000 likes on my Facebook page and 5000 followers on Twitter!) along with being featured by a few other bloggers - from home styling to Pinterest features - plus being invited to be a blog ambassador for up and coming new Design Network and hired to create graphics for two website redesigns! I never would have guessed when I left the brick-and-mortar world of visual merchandising in retail (almost four years ago now!), that those experiences plus my design style eye would lead to a whole different world of opportunities ... and for that, I am humbled, honored and grateful...




Many Thank You's to...




 I am grateful to be selected and listed on Designer Carla Aston's Directory of "Must Follow Interior Design Pinners On Pinterest" !!! Check it out! There may be some NEW to YOU pinners to follow as well. Thank you Carla! I'm truly honored!




 FLOORED! Thank you FlooringHunt.com for featuring me as one of your Top 12 Decorators and Designers to follow on Pinterest! In some great company along with Emily Henderson, Holly Becker, and Paloma Contreras to name a few! -- See ALL here: 12 Decorators and Designers to follow on Pinterest! 
-- and Join me on Pinterest here: Lynda | Focal Point Styling




 Ralph Lauren Home - Joined Pinterest this June and is following me! Thank you! I'm honored!


  5000+ Followers on Twitter! Woot!! Thank you!



2000+ Likes on Facebook!




I was happy to be invited to participate in a Focus Group panel, and thrilled that it lead to being invited to become a Brand Ambassador for the Design Network! Look for my post coming up in July! You can start to watch + join + share by clicking: the Design Network.


 Thanks for featuring one of my coffee table styles in your post how to Style A Coffee Table at Beneath My Heart - during the "How to Decorate 5 Day Series" hosted by Beth Crabtree Hunter of Home Stories A to Z - You can read at How to Style A Coffee Table




Grateful to have been invited to be one of three Happy By Design pinners for HomeGoods to Host a Pinterest Party - coming up in August!


Thank you Lucky magazine for featuring my Jewelry Organizing With Teacups as part of your 75 Creative Ways To Organize Your Jewelry 




Thank you Mitzi & Leslie! Here is one of seven new graphics I created for the redesigned website of MitziBeach.com. Read and see more on her site!




Happy to be part of the Hadley Court Blog Team as a Content Contributor - Noted as Top 25 Home Design Blogs To Follow For 2014!

Especially thrilled to be attending the upcoming Design camp as a Guest of Lori & Kelli's - during Summer Market in Las Vegas, happening at the end of this month!


 Also grateful for a few other invites in the works -

Blog for HomeGoods and Fall HPMKT, as well as local invites to write for local magazine, East Valley Magazine plus may be doing a little special merchandise presentation locally at Sweet Salvage! So stay tuned and THANK YOU for keeping up with me and Focal Point Styling!




Always look at the bright side!
Thanks for stopping by!


7.08.2014

20+ HOME DECORATING IDEAS WITH ROPE

Including some type of rope into your home's decor has become increasingly popular over the past three years. It's a key textured element in another decor trend, which has increased in popularity this Summer as well: Nautical. I happen to really like the texture rope can add to a space. Rope can be applied in so many ways, in form and function, from something as simple as a rope trimmed lamp shade to a rope wrapped occasional table to even a stairway balustrade or railing. Rope is also very transitional - It can work as a nautical element in Spring and Summer, but it can also work as rustic treatment in Fall or Winter. Rope can work in a coastal home - or a home in the southwest just as well. If you like the look of nautical style for summer, but you don't want to get as themed as displaying anchors or life savers, consider layering in a rope decor detail or two into your home...




R O P E
20 ideas of where and how rope can work for you in your home...



1. This simple vignette is probably on of my favorite ways to layer rope details into home decor. I actually tried this for a rope globe on our coffee table (Fall 2012)


2. You can make your own rope accented lanterns and vases like these from Made In A Day...


3. Or you can buy them already made from several stores online, such as wayfair.com or find locally at decor stores such as HomeGoods...


4. With so many people pickling and canning, mason jars can get yet another life with rope and become a rustic light fixture like above found on Etsy...


5. Love the simplicity of these rope wrapped side tables - Also a great way to transform an old existing table or a thrifted wicker find...


6. Rope can add a wow factor as a unique top treatment to window panels - Excellent for panels with grommets and also a great no-sew solution to extend panels and create height in a small space...


7. Wrap bottle in a textured pattern using both rope and string twine...


8. Update old hardware with paint and twine rope wrap like these from House Rivals...



9. Create a rope handled caddy, or simple switch out drawer handles for the rope pulls - Could be fun on a kids dresser or a night stand!
 


10. Wrap the chains of your porch swing with rope!


Besides decorative accents, another creative idea for using rope in your home decor is to incorporate rope into the design of your stairway...


11a. LOVE these rope railings from Belk Farm, a rebuilt farmhouse in Chester, South Carolina...



11b. Perfect for a beach house, more themed, but still functional is to use rope as the balustrade (also known as a banister - the uprights holding the railing) such as this unique staircase using rope + boat cleats designed by C Designs...


11c. Love the texture mix in this gorgeous stairwell, published in House Beautiful Magazine, which shows how Thom Filicia used heavy sisal rope in place of a traditional railing. I especially love how the rope ends, wrapped around a large cleat and tied in decorative knot at the bottom of the stairs!



12. Based on the idea of a childhood rope swing, another creative use of rope is seen in Traditional Home's Alys Beach Designer Showhouse where hanging shelves were created using jute rope and driftwood...



13. Layer in a touch of rope texture as a fruit bowl for the kitchen like this one from Kate at Centsational Girl...


14. Recycle coffee cans and grow your own herbs in these rope wrapped herb pots from My House and Home 


15. Or simply wrap tired terracotta pots in rope for your porch or patio - and even add color with a painted stripe. Very nicely done from House by Hoff!



16. Upcycle an old lamp you have (or one you picked up thrifting) by wrapping it in rope like Martha Stewart did - shown above. The same process can also be applied to a glass vase you may not want to part with because you like its shape - but maybe don't use as often because it's stained inside. (I'm guilty of having a few and would like to try this trick for them!)



17. Or just simply rope wrap a basic white drum shade with rope for a new look...


18. Rope can also be added in a powder room - Add a touch of rope in this small space, using Martha Stewart's example of a rope towel holder and mirror...



19. A simple rope wrapped mirror may be all you need - Check out all of these you can DIY at Completely Coastal, a tutorial at Shabby Creek Cottage or you can also find rope mirrors at Bliss Home & Design...

  20. And last but 'knot' least - go all out nautical and wrap that life preserve in rope, and stencil the call to the BEACH! See how to make this personalized life ring at Rustic Crafts - Chic Decor

Speaking of nautical knots...


BONUS Rope Decor Idea: This tie back is a nautical knot called a 'Monkey Fist' -  You can watch a video called "How to Tie a Monkey's Fist - Nautical Knot" and apply to making a few of these rope knots to add to a bookcase, a bowl, or a console table.

Rope railing - Kate Jackson Design - featured at Decorist!

Ship-tastic hanging beds!

 Do you use rope in your home decor?
HOPE you're inspired to give ROPE a try!


Thanks for stopping by!










LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails