Friday, June 24, 2011

Combine 4th of July Celebrations With Beachy Decorating Ideas

The Fourth of July is one of the most fun holidays of the year, and is one of the things that makes summer so special. The picnics and barbecues, the parades, the music, and of course, the fireworks, are part of what make this nationwide celebration so exciting. What would be even better would be combining two great American traditions: The 4th of July and The Beach. With the upcoming holiday, it's even more of a reason to pack up and head to the shore!

Get together family and friends and celebrate the Fourth at your favorite local beach. Most beaches have a picnic area where you can set up for the day. Make it a potluck Bar-B-Que and everyone can bring their favorite dish to share. Don't forget the dessert!

There will be a ton of activities going on to entertain the kids. You can play volleyball, horseshoes, or even set up a craft area for the kids to make patriotic favors, not to mention the beautiful ocean to take a swim in. At the end of the day, the beach is the perfect spot to watch the fireworks. There is nothing prettier than watching fireworks go off over the ocean at night.

Not near a beach? No problem. You can still have a little of the beach with you as you celebrate the holiday from home. This is such cute idea for table decorations. Take any old bottle you have lying around the house or can pick up at the thrift store. Then, using cardboard and fabric, or poster board, create 4th of July pennants for your bottles. Put a small amount of sand at the bottom of the bottle for the sign to stick in. If you have them, add a few seashells in as well. If you're going to be decorating various tables with this 4th of July centerpiece, make each pennant a little different. Add glitter, ribbon, and other embellishments, and give each pennant a different message. You can also use this idea with glass bowls or planting pots as well. Don't have the time to make signs? Replace the signs with red, white and blue candles. If you look hard around your local craft stores you may even be able to find red and blue color sand to use for an instant patriotic look.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday, remember to stay safe. It's always wonderful to celebrate being an American. Have a great holiday with your family and friends! Be sure to share your plans and decorating ideas with us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hands Across The Sand - June 25, 2011


On June 25th 2011, the official Hands Across the Sand events will take place. Hands Across the Sand is a movement about protection of the air we breath, the water that sustains us, our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife and fishing industries. Promoting a clean energy future now is the path to a sustaining ouR planet.

On February 13 2010, the first Hands Across the Sand took place statewide in Florida. They protested the efforts of Florida Legislature and Congress to lift the ban on oil drilling on and near the shores of Florida. On June 26th 2010, Hands Across the Sand went national and global in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A website went up, and events were put together in a matter of just a few weeks before the official gathering. It became the largest gathering of people united against the expanding of offshore drilling in the world.

What exactly are you supposed to do on June 25th? Head to your local public beach at 11:00am. Join hands at 12:00 noon for 15 minutes, forming lines in the sand, then leaving only your footprints behind. Afterwards, enjoy a day at the beach and all the beauty it has to offer.

Hands Across the Sand wants to bring together like minded individuals and organizations with the conviction to organize a Global movement to promote a clean energy future for our earth. The gatherings will bring citizens of the world to our beaches and will draw metaphorical and actual lines in the sand.

If you are looking to participate in your area, go to for events in your area and more information. Also check out the Surfrider for additional information.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's National Flip Flop Day!

Did you know that today is National Flip Flop Day? Neither did I, until this morning.

Apparently, National Flip Flop Day was started 5 years ago in 2007 by Tropical Smoothie Cafe. They termed it "a celebration encouraging their customers to kick off summer, and their shoes, by wearing a pair of flip flops." Well, of course, I encourage you to do that too!!

In honor of this wonderful "holiday", I'd like to share with you some great flip flop inspired decor items to bring a little sunshine into your home this summer.

International Surfing Day - June 20, 2011

There is a unspoken unity among surfers all over the world. On Monday, June 20th 2011, they will come together to celebrate International Surfing Day. It is a day for surfers and beach lovers alike to celebrate the art of surfing and the surf life mentality.

In 2005, the very first International Surfing day consisted of 16 events in the United States and one even in Venezuela. Now seven years later, International Surfing Day has over 200 different event locations worldwide. International Surfing Day was established by Surfing Magazine and the Surfrider Foundation.

Often this day is celebrated by holding surfing contests, doing beach cleanups, movie screenings, taking surf lessons, having bar-b-ques and enjoying the beauty of the ocean. It is a day to show your appreciation for the ocean and all it gives to you. This year Billabong and Chipotle restaurants are getting in on the act too. If you are one of the first 25 people to bring in a bag of plastic bottles to a participating Chipotle location you will receive a pair of recycled board shorts!

You can head over to International Surfing Day website for all the information on the day. Look for events on your area, as well as see what the rest of the world is doing in celebration of this day. Also check out The Surfrider Foundation's web site They will also have information on this day, as well as other events that go on throughout the year. Who says you can only celebrate the ocean once a year?

One thing is true, we ALL share the ocean. It's time to come together and celebrate the glorious ocean - the one thing that unites us all.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Art Of Seashell Hunting

Seashell collecting is a popular pastime for all ages. I have wonderful childhood memories of collecting shells with my grandparents every summer. It was always an adventure when I was on the hunt for the most interesting shells I could find. Now that I'm older I want to share that experience with my family.  But what many people don't realize is there is much more to seashells that just simply collecting. Here are a few tips when starting out with seashell collecting.

First and foremost check out the rules concerning shell collecting in the areas that you are interested in. Some places don't allow collecting or allow it only during certain times of year. Some require permits. The last thing you want to do is start out your adventure with a sour note!

Beachcombing is the most common method of collecting seashells, look for bubbling holes in the wet sand. The best time to find them is low tide. One important tip when collecting seashells is to find a quiet beach with few crowds. Walking along the beach after a storm is a great time to collect seashells.

Depending on the location of your beach, you will most likely find some form of a scallop shell. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. Sand dollars are personal favorite of mine, however they aren't as common as the scallop. Conch shells are also popular. It is often said that if you put the shell to your ear you can hear the roar of the ocean. Some of the most beautiful conchs are found in the Bahamas. Pretty much at any beach you will find a clam shell of some sort. Like most shells they too come in a variety of sizes and colors. One thing is true: no two seashells are alike!

Once you've obtained a good size collection, you can use your new treasures for all sorts of things! Seashells can be the starting point for a great craft project for children. Make a sea shell wind chime, use a piece of driftwood as the base, string the seashells and cut them at different lengths while hanging them on the driftwood. Afterwards hang on your porch or somewhere outside where everyone can see. It will be a great reminder of the summer you had at the beach.

There are other ways to use your seashells are great beach decor. Glue shells onto a old picture frame, and bring it back to life. Use the shells to make a wooden sign, suck as "Tiki Hut"? or "On Beach Time" or even your child's name and have them hang it on their bedroom door. You can also decorate candles or make a collage. Get into the holiday spirit and make ornaments. You can make a different one for each family member. The possibilities are endless for what you can do with your newly found treasures!

Share some of your findings with us. Send pictures or comment on other craft ideas as well.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Key Lime Pie Martini

Happy Friday everyone! I'm already ready for Happy Hour today and it's only lunchtime.

My husband bought me a key lime tree last weekend so I can't wait to try this cocktail from Sounds to die for!

If you like Key Lime Pie, or if you have never tried it and the name just sounds intriguing, you have got to try this Martini. The really interesting aspect is the graham cracker rim which soothes the intensity of the flavors of the drink.


  • 2 oz vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 2 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz lime cordial
  • 1/2 lime
  • crushed graham crackers for rimming


  1. Rim a chilled cocktail glass with finely crushed graham crackers.
  2. Pour the vodka, triple sec, pineapple juice and lime cordial into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Squeeze the juice from the lime into the shaker.
  4. Shake well.
  5. Strain into the cocktail glass.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Throw Pillows Can Be An Inexpensive Way To Boost Your Coastal Decor

Hooked Coral Pillow
Whether you want a seasonal shake-up or you're looking for a trendy, vibrant change, it is easy to do with throw pillows. Pillows are an inexpensive way to make an impact on a room, and because they're not a big commitment like furniture or lighting, you don't have to be afraid to change them often.

Stuck inside? If you are looking to give your home a summer feel, you can do so by bringing the outside in. Beach inspired and coastal throw pillows will bring the feel of the outdoors in. If you can't make it to the shore this summer, you might as well have a little of it in your home. Even bright colorful and floral patterns can help bring in the sunshine.

Palm Tree Canvas Pillow
Prefer to spend your time outdoors? Well that doesn't mean you should drop the ball (err... pillow that is)! Create your own personal beach side haven with tropical canvas pillows. Small touches can make a big impression!

Feeling a little square? Well there is more to throw pillows that just being square. There are all kinds of shaped pillows out there, and there is a right one for you, whether you're long and lean, have a sparkle in your eye, or are ready to roll out. Looking for just the right amount of fluff? Try a feather down pillow. They give all the comfort you're looking for yet still have style.

Fish Pillow
Want to add a little fun into your family room or bedroom? Getting fun shaped animal pillows is a great way to start. They give your room a certain spunk that not everyone has. Not to mention they are kid-friendly as well! Of course the best throw pillows are the ones that express your personality. Whether you feeling like relaxing by the shore or ready to hit the surf, the right throw pillow can set the mood!

Regardless of your decorating dilemma this summer, adding a few fun throw pillows can solve your problem in a jiffy.  Especially when you are looking to bring the beach home. Whatever you decide to do, don't toss this idea out!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Follow The Basics For Effective Cottage Style

Home decorators who embark on their first experiences with cottage style sometimes find they overdo it without meaning to do so. The result is often an unhappy experience with a home decorating style that's meant to be friendly and comforting.

Here are some suggestions from interior designers on how to achieve cottage style without going overboard.

Keep Window Treatments Simple:

One of the goals of cottage style is to bring nature indoors. The easiest way to do this is with plenty of sunshine beaming through the windows. To avoid blocking out Mr. Sun, use light, airy window treatments. For example, bamboo blinds could be flanked by organza panels to soften the room. When the breezes blow, the gauzy curtains flutter freely, a lovely effect.

Fearlessly Mix Old and New:

Part of cottage style's charm is that sense of heirloom items combining with the furnishings of a new generation. Familiar things blend with fresh additions, such as pairing your wedding silver with Grandmother's summer chintz china. Pair a wicker love seat with a modern area rug in a foliage pattern. Mixing antiques and vintage furnishings with newer additions takes a little skill, but the experimenting is fun.

Blend to Harmonize:

Key to the blending of old and new is the ability to balance the scale and patterns of various furnishings. For example, a large-scale pattern would work best in an area rug, where it could be fully appreciated, while smaller-scale patterns below on pillows or perhaps a chair.

Display the Things You Love:

A home isn't a museum, carefully controlled and cataloged. A home is meant to be a reflection of its owners' personalities. With Cottage style there's freedom to have more artwork, more collections, more of everything, but try for an eye-catching display, not a hodge-podge. Instead of your entire collection of souvenir silver spoons, exhibit the best examples. This way, the collection can change periodically to give the room refreshing interest.

Use Color in Unexpected Ways:

Cottage style often evokes a pastel or muted palette with many people, but they forget that variations make bold use of color. What's more, vivid colors can energize small spaces, such as walk-in pantries or small hallways. For example, try painting the inside of a closet in bright yellow, especially if the walls outside it are white. Cottage style welcomes whimsical touches.

Layer on the Texture:

Beaded-board paneling makes a terrific addition to any cottage style room. Its vertical grooves can help elongate a small room, especially when painted white to visually expand the space. Some bright pillows on the seats will spark interest.

Welcome the Wicker:

Few things say "cottage" as eloquently as wicker accessories, from chairs and love seats to baskets for everything from logs to flowers. What's more, wicker can be painted to match any color scheme. A pair of wicker bookcases or shelves are ideal for displaying some of those collections mentioned earlier.

Keep it Warm:

Finally, what's a cottage without plenty of throws and quilts to wrap up in when the evening cool descends. Adding these touches will help decorators create a cottage style that's just right.

Article Source:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad

This wonderful summer salad recipe is so amazing. Bright, juicy and perfect for the coming warmer months!

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Place walnuts and sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves into a light brown liquid and coats the walnuts. Remove walnuts from skillet, and spread them out on a sheet of aluminum foil to cool.
  2. Place in a large salad bowl the mixed greens, cranberries, cheese, vinaigrette, vinegar, and olive oil. Toss gently; add candied walnuts, and toss again.
Recipe courtesy of

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Get Creative With Your Summer Entertaining

It's summertime! And that means it's time for pool parties, BBQ's, beach picnics and gatherings of all kinds. Of course we all know that the food is the center of attention at any party, but it's the decor that really gets people talking. You can make your summertime get-together even more fabulous with a great table setting. Here are some great ideas to make your summer gathering a memorable one.

Scallop Placemats and Napkins
For those little touches that always leave a lasting impression, decorating a table top is the place to start. Summer always gives off a beachy vibe, but throwing some sea shells and sand on a table doesn't hack it! Try adding cute coastal placemats that have simple, yet elegant ,designs. If you have a plain wood table, you can use placemats and napkins as an opportunity to add a pop of color. Bright blues and greens with hints or browns and sand colors are sure to give off this great beach feel!

Sea Life Napkin Rings
Other simple but creative ideas for your table setting might be to use beachy napkin rings. Simple yet chic! It's always fun to have a variety as well. Make a game out of it. Have everyone randomly seat themselves at the table and whoever chooses the setting with the pre-chosen (but surprise) napkin ring, get's a prize! If you have a regular get together, change up the designated winning item each time. It keeps guests guessing and having fun at the same time, not to mention all while admiring your beautiful table setting!

Everyone knows a great party has great drinks. Make your drinks even more fabulous with decorative wine glasses. These days, everyone is drinking their favorite drink out of their new favorite glass. And plus, it's always more fun drinking out of a pretty glass than a plain one.

Shoreline Hand Painted Wine Glasses
If you are really looking to step up your game when it comes to your summer entertaining, try looking for a new set of dishware. Whether you are hosting a four course meal for the Captain of the Queen Victoria, or having a lunch in with the girls at your coastal cottage by the shore, the right dishware help you go from ordinary to extraordinary!

Regardless of the of occasion, there are endless ways you make your summer gathering a memorable one. Of course the best way of all is the company that you keep!