Summer Food

In these muggy days of Summer here in California, I've been trying to come up with farm-fresh meals that feel light and healthy. Yes, you read that right! It's been sooo humid here! We are indeed having humidity here that makes me feel like I'm in the South. Any-who, This gem of a cookbook,  Summer Food is the perfect inspiration for easy, elegant, Summer cooking. Featuring beautiful recipes for dining alfresco, this cookbook celebrates the flavors of the season. Filled with gorgeous photos to inspire you and unique recipes that just invite a try. How about, lamb burgers drizzled with pesto or watermelon chili salsa? I can't wait to set a pretty table and give a few of these a whirl! Check out: Summer Food at

Looking for some outdoor table setting inspiration? Entertaining Al Fresco might be just what you need:

Trends in Cabinetry Finishes

Here's some shots from a kitchen remodel in-progress. This is a big beautiful kitchen with so much potential. We did custom cabinets with a gorgeous hand-rubbed glaze. I love the elegant look it has. Notice the columned detailing on the end cabinets. In these pictures we were in the process of determining a backsplash treatment. The Calcutta Fantasy marble on the countertops is one of the most beautiful marbles that I have ever used. It has a hint of brown veining that ties it back to the walnut floor.

A paneled refrigerator blends seamlessly with the cabinetry.

I love this corner bookcase for cookbooks. The glass makes it a little more glamorous. We used these oversized designer handles for all of the cabinets. The overall look of this kitchen is decidedly French. I'm thrilled with how it's coming together. Think about glazed cabinetry for your next kitchen project!

Shelter Company Glamping

So, I love the idea of camping. Breathing in the fresh air, toasting marshmallows by a campfire, and sleeping under the stars. What I don't love is all of the work that goes into it. Somehow that seems to defeat the purpose of relaxation. Enter The Shelter Company. This husband and wife created company brings glamping to a new level. The Shelter Co. will give you that amazing Out Of Africa feeling(the movie w Robert Redford) at the location of your choosing. This pop-up lodging service caters to groups of all sizes looking for an overnight outdoor experience. Now, this is my kind of camping!

The Shelter Co. will provide fully furnished canvas tents and all of the necessary amenities for small groups, weddings, family reunions, corporate retreats, and music festivals. These events provide the simple joys of stargazing, roasting marshmallows, and playing games without the hassles of typical camping. You can even rent a Camping Butler to light your fires and cook your breakfast! Check out The Shelter Co. for your next outdoor adventure.

On a little tighter budget, take a look at El Capitan Canyon, just outside of Santa Barbara. I can personally vouch for this one. Several years ago, our family spent a blissful few days here. This is a glamping getaway on the coast. Tents or cabins are available. With bikes for rent, the ocean within walking distance and an upscale general store on the premises, El Capitan is a fantastic weekend destination. 

They have live music and barbecues on the weekends and gourmet goodies are available at the market, if the only thing you feel like cooking is marshmallows.  You can even have a massage therapist come right to your tent or arrange for a horseback ride in the area. All of the fun, with none of the hassles of traditional camping. We made some lasting memories here and I know you will too. 

Lamp Love

I don't know about you, but I'm in love with the new quatrefoil shape that I'm seeing everywhere. It's on everything from rugs to wallpaper. With a design element that's slightly trendy I think a small dose is always best. This Regina Standing Lamp from would be a great way to add in a touch of quatrefoil without committing in a big way. At $438, it's moderately priced.

Want the same look but on smaller budget?

This Gold Leaf Moroccan Floor Lamp from should do the trick. It also has that high style quatrefoil motif but rings up at only $198! I believe there's a doppelgänger for everything!

Charm & Chain Calendar Cuff

I don't know about you, but I'm constantly looking for the perfect gift. I take my gift giving pretty seriously and I always want to give something personal and thoughtful. Many times that's a tall order and I find myself stumped. That was until I came across this gorgeous and meaningful Dalla Nonna Calendar Cuff from Charm & Chain. Accent the month with a sapphire to commemorate a special date: birthday, anniversary, engagement, graduation, etc.. I LOVE this idea. Available in 3 finishes, this is sure to be a treasured momento for any recipient!



Mindy Laven

Just a simple mid-western girl with a love for making things lovely. I create inspired, personalized, interiors on a budget. It's a beautiful life! Let me help you decorate it.

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