merry A HANDMADE SUMMER GUIDE
PHOTO BY MAYA VISNYEI
merry CONTENTS 4
THE MERRY TEAM
A MERRY HOME
Country Chic Dining Room Makeover
24-27 D.I.Y. Cheerful Home Art
GOOD EATS & COOL TREATS
58-61 Homemade Popsicles 62
Split Pea Bruschetta
Strawberry Basil Salad
POP, FIZZ, CLINK
Custom Art from Minted
68-73 Summer Cocktails
D.I.Y Outdoor Bar
Playful Patio Makoever
Outdoor Furniture Makeovers
A Bohemian Affair
Colorful Custom Table Setting
Ice-Cream Shoppe Party
Outdoor Movie Night
D.I.Y Summer Party Decor
76-83 Summer Date Style 84-91 Summer Weekend Style 92-95 D.I.Y Style Projects
MELISS AD IR E
WEET ESC HE S AP •T E
EDITOR’S NOTE After such an overwhelmingly positive response to Merry Holiday (a million thanks!) here we are in full bloom with another issue full of handmade inspiration to keep you busy this summer. As you can tell by the title of the magazine, I wasn’t thinking beyond the holidays when I decided on a whim to pull together a team of talented creative bloggers and create a magazine of fresh handmade inspiration. It’s not because I’m not an optimist but I tend to just dive into a project and go. I love how things work themselves out because once I decided that we definitely want to keep sharing the handmade love I realized that Merry is still the perfect name. There’s so much time, effort and love poured into these pages that you can’t help but feel merry. Like the last issue, our purpose is to motivate you to get away from the stress and screens of our everyday lives and spend time with friends, loved ones or solo time to create and express yourself. You’ll find lots of colorful inspiration for your home, D.I.Y projects, outdoor living, entertaining, food & drink recipes, and some great summer style inspiration. You’ll see some familiar faces as well some new talented contributors on our growing and ever changing team so there’s lots of fresh ideas to wow you. Sit back, pour yourself a refreshing drink (see page 66) and take it in, then get ready to get your hands dirty and create something! We would absolutely love to see anything you create from these pages. Tag any of your creations with #MerryMagSummer on social media so we can spread the handmade love. Have a very merry summer!
Melissa email@example.com twitter: @_the_sweetest instagram: @sweetescapecreative
PHOTO BY MAYA VISNYEI
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From delicate wildflowers to the boldest of blooms, fresh flowers instantly transform your tabletop into something truly special. Make your summer soirees really splash with unique arrangements of freshly cut blossoms using a variety of vessels and vases. Here are seven extraordinary ways to showcase your favourite blooming varietals all summer long.
WREATHS TO WELCOME YOU
PEONIES FOR DAYS by Rachel Mae Smith If Instagram has taught me anything within the last few weeks, it’s that peony season should be year round. Really, I don’t know if there’s ever been a more beloved flower on social media. Before those beautiful blooms go out of season, you’ll want to follow these five simple steps for making your peonies last longer. That way you can be sure to enjoy (and photograph) them enough to tide you over until next year! click here for tips on long lasting Peonies on The Crafted Life
CHEERFUL MINI SUCCULENT GARDEN by Melissa DiRenzo I was at my local Home Depot recently looking for something very uninspiring like screws when I came across rows of cheerful plants and it put a smile on my face so I decided I needed to take some home. I thought a cute mini garden would be the perfect pop of cheer for any space, indoor or out. I added a four legged friend for an extra element of surprise and delight. click here to visit the The Sweet Escape for the full tutorial 8
PAINTED WOOD VASES by Sarah Khandjian I just love the look of these vases and have them throughout the house. This project can be done in about an hour and makes it so easy to create something that looks high end and not so handmade. Win, win, right? click here to visit the full tutorial on Sarah Hearts 9
CITRUS FLORAL CENTERPIECE by MJ Kocovski Some of summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best treats come in the warm temperatures, the sun-kissed colors, and the gorgeous florals. Using two glass vases of similar shapes, you can create a lovely combination of all the bests of the season. With a mixture of grapefruit, orange, and lemon slices, the walls of the centerpiece become a showcase of citrus. Pair these circular slices with voluminous peonies for a blend of beauty and a delight for all the senses. click here to visit the full tutorial on Pars Caeli 10
HERB BOX CENTERPIECE by Kristen Sanger Summer is the perfect time to invite friends and family over for an intimate gathering on your patio, deck, rooftop or yard. The shared food over dusk, the candlelight, the smell of grass and earth and dew, mixed with good conversation, laughter and carefree joy. That is the best of summer captured right in your own backyard. Skip the stress and keep the decor simple. Instead of adorning your table with fresh cut flowers, try taking your herb garnishes, dropping them into cute table appropriate vessels and put your decor to work! click here to visit the full tutorial on Storefront Life
SIMPLE RANUNCULUS, POPPIES, AND KUMQUATS ARRANGEMENT by Amy Kim Say the title of this post 5 times fast. What a mouthful! These guys sure are popular in the floral design world, and when I saw them at a recent pop-up farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market, I jumped at the chance to design with them myself. click here to visit the full tutorial on Homey Oh My! 12
FLOATING FLOWER CENTERPIECE by Melissa DiRenzo There are certain things one can refer to as ‘thinking outside the box’, and I believe this may qualify. I was browsing through the aisles of the Dollar Store and spotted a feather duster that had fallen on the ground. Being the good citizen that I am, I picked it up to place back on the shelf but instead jumped right out of the box and into crazy land as I thought: “wouldn’t these dusters not make the most beautiful and fluffiest Christmas wreaths ever? click here to visit The Sweet Escape for the full tutorial 13
a merry home
In the summertime, your home is truly a showcase of all of the hard work you do all year long. It is also the perfect time to spruce things up around the home. Take advantage of the long warm days to finish up all of those DIY projects youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got on your to-do list. And then sit back and soak in that sunshine and admire your beautiful home. You deserve it.
cheerfully madE OVER BY EMILY ARBOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH EVANS
I have always wanted to have a home I could be proud to entertain in. So, when we moved into our new place earlier this year, my first priority was to transform a drab, dated dining room, into a cheerful, eclectic hub for family and friends. This gorgeous floral wallpaper proved to be the perfect starting point. A modern take on your grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s floral walls, it combines bright, bold (hand printed!) flowers with just a touch of metallic gold; elements that I included throughout the room to create a cheerful, yet sophisticated space.
Whether weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re entertaining friends, or gathering as a family at the end of a long day, our new dining room is functional, spacious and entirely elegant. Exactly the room Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always dreamed of having.
Click here to visit Cheerfully Made to see the full makeover story and DIY tutorials
a space for sweet maya BY GEMMA BONHAM-CARTER
Designing kids rooms is so ridiculously fun. When you might hold back on certain things in other spaces (like for instance, painting closet doors bright mint), in a kids room, it’s more like “why WOULDN’T we paint the doors bright mint?!”. This room for my sweet little daughter Maya was all about cheer. I wanted something bright, that made you feel totally happy the second you walked in. Keeping the walls and trim white, and adding in a pink accent wall with ice cream cone decals started us off in the right direction.
Next, I furnished the space with IKEA finds and a dresser I painted (scored off Kijiji), and then added the accessories. DIY embroidery hoop art, shelf ledges for her favorite books, shadow boxes painted mint, DIY felt clouds and raindrops, and of course, the mint closet doors, all brought the happy into the space. The verdict? Squeals of delight (even including some twirling) from Maya, and one happy mama.
Visit The Sweetest Digs to see more of the makeover PLUS a giveaway for a print designed by Gemma!
GIVEAWAY! Enter for your chance to win a print! (click here)
DIY DRIFTWOOD HANGER BY Gemma Bonham-Carter Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always on the look-out for eyecatching ways of hanging necklaces, scarves, and other favorite things. I had a piece of driftwood laying around that I knew would make a perfect display piece. This is one of those crazy easy DIYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that allows you to customize with the colors and look you want. I stuck with a white, gold, black, teal, and pink scheme and had fun painting my driftwood, and then screwing in the hooks. Rather than just being storage, it totally turned into a piece of artwork! Click here to visit The Sweetest Digs for the full tutorial.
merry HOME (left) WATERCOLOR ART WITH KIDS BY Emily Arbour I’m always on the lookout for projects I can do with my kids. My daughter particularly likes to get in on the action when I’m in DIY mode. This time, when I was trying to create something perfect for Merry Mag (& found myself coming up empty) I thought I’d look to the kids for answers. I’m thrilled with how adorable this piece turned out. Click here to visit Cheerfully Made for the full tutorial
(right) DIY FAUX CORAL BY Shannon Acheson Summer decorating for me means cool breezes from open windows, fresh neutrals and beachy accents like shells, flowers and sailboats. These DIY Faux Corals fit right in and are inexpensive and easy to create - even if you don’t craft much! Click here to visit AKA Design for the full tutorial
To dye for
DIY INKODYE STRIPED NAPKINS BY Amy Kim Summer means more time spent in the sun, so why not use it for our summer crafts? Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s special about dying these napkins is that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no dipping, no binding, no bands, and no clips required. Just some Inkodye, a simple folding technique, and the sun to dye the fabric makes this a very easy project of personalizing your textiles for those summer get-togethers. Try it on table cloths, table runners, or clothing- anything made of natural fibers will work! Click here to visit Homey Oh My! for the full tutorial
TOP ROW :
1. In The Flowers by Lori Wemple / 2. Jardin De Fleurs by Jennifer Wick / 3. Bucket List by Joanne Williams / 4. Dream BIG by guess what? / 5. Greatest Adventure by Alethea and Ruth
1. Ocean Whale by Creaform Design / 2. Super Imagination Boy (Girl version available) by Grace Kreinbrink / 3. Whiskers by j.bartyn / 4. Night Time Garden by Karidy Walker / 5. Birth Order Favorite by Alston Wise
JUST FOR YOU
Trains and bicycles and birds – oh my! The custom art from Minted is the perfect addition to your mini’s nursery or bedroom. With something for everyone, your little one will have a piece of art personalized just for them – a bright and poppy heirloom for them to take with them as they grow. (click to order your favorite piece of custom art from Minted)
BOTTOM ROW: 1. Dreamcatcher by Red Impressionz / 2. Little Explorer by JoBeth Fink / 3. Vintage Bot by Olivia Raufman / 4. Workstation by kat bison / 5. Bundle of Joy by Tara Lilly Studio / 6. Pink Lemonade by August and Oak / 7. Woody by Creaform Design
back yard living The dog days of summer are finally here. The warm sun on your skin, the bold blooms showing up on every corner. The lure of ice cream cones and weekend BBQs; it only makes sense that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d want to spend every waking moment outdoors. After all, summer only comes but once a year.
D.I.Y HAPPY HOUR
DIY DROP LEAF CEDAR BAR BY Kristen Sanger Summer is a season that never lasts long enough. To take advantage of every single summer entertaining moment, we worked with Home Depot to craft a backyard bar built for showing your friends a good time. The Home Depot team made sure we had all the materials and helpful tips to make this project a big success and make sure it lasts for summers to come. This multi tasker has a drop leaf top to save on storage space, and doubles as a prep or space for BBQâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. When the sun goes down, the cocktails come out and the party gets started. When done, the bar can fold back up and move out of the way, ready to spring back in action when needed. Click here to visit Storefront Life for the full step by step tutorial.
Patio Play PLAYFUL PATIO MAKEOVER BY Lidy Dipert Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s officially summer and that means spending as much time outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather as possible! It also means sprucing up our outdoor space after the long winter. I teamed up with The Land of Nod to give our pathetic patio a playful makeover! Before, it felt so drab and obviously neglected. By bringing in some pops of color this space feels like new again! Click here to visit Hello Lidy to see the before photos and more of this playful makeover.
RETRO METAL PATIO SET MAKEOVER BY Sarah Khandjian Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always adored vintage patio furniture so when I spotted this chair and table combo at a local antique store I knew it had to be mine! The price was great and it was in overall condition was good though it has some areas of rust. With a little elbow grease, and a lot of spray paint I transformed this set into a fun, statement piece for our backyard. I just love how to color and pattern mimic the style of the 1950s! Click here for the full tutorial on Sarah Hearts BEFORE
make it HOLIDAY SUMMER INSPIRED PAINTED ART FURNITURE BY Virginia Fynes Everything about this makeover project excites me. The colors, the burst of summer, the vibrancy of each image, the way the sun was blistering the day I was out painting. Summer was my inspiration for this (trash picked!) painted furniture. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not into summer yet this fun furniture is sure to bring you around! Click here to visit Fynes Designs to see the full DIY tutorial.
summer time socials Well, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cocktail season, folks. Time to brush off your bartending skills and set up a calendar of patio parties for every single weekend. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to get outdoors and string up those twinkle lights and pull out your favourite recipes to share with friends and family.
PHOTO BY MAYA VISNYEI
BY MELISSA DIRENZO & RENEE ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY BY SELINA WHITTAKER
My fellow Merry gal pal Renee and I decided to host a dreamy Boho inspired summer sunset affair on my very own rooftop patio. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m an extremely lucky lady to have this spacious oasis above all the hustle and bustle of the city. It makes staying in the concrete jungle on weekends much more enjoyable, and a lot less traffic!
For the decor we wanted it to be pretty relaxed and comfortable - like the Bohemians that we are (well on Saturdays). We took the Bohemian elements of Moroccan influence, a mix of patterns and textures and then took the color and kicked it up a few notches. We stuck with more earthy and simple flowers to balance out the color explosion. A space and spread like this is guaranteed to get you in a fun summer mood.
What’s a little party without food & drink? I think they call it a meeting. This was the perfect event to have a few friends over for some summer sipping wine and a few light appetizers to enjoy the end of a gorgeous summer day. We chose Kendal Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay for the occasion. It’s great for summer and paired well with our bites for the evening. Cheers to summer rooftop parties!
The light appetizer menu included: (click title or image for recipe)
CREAM DILL CUCUMBER SALMON BITES MINI TOMATO SALAD PARMESAN BOWLS FRESH MANGO SALSA & CORN CHIPS
Click here to visit the Kendall-Jackson inspiration blog for more photos and recipes.
serving up color COLORFUL MODERN TABLESCAPE BY Bree Johnson For this table I wanted the concept to be a mish mash of old plates, different seating and whimsy all put into a modern setting. After spending over two weeks searching for the perfect vintage plates in the colors I wanted with no luck it was Shutterfly to the rescue. I created my own designs and took advantage of Shutterflyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amazing custom home decor options to get them printed as plates and pillows. I decided it would be fun to use the pillows as seating and make the plate and pillow the favour that guests could take home with them. The place cards were done by JDB Mercantile a fabulous shop on Etsy that does laser cutting. The colorful vases and flowers added lots of fun and whimsy. I love that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s modern enough to be a party for adults but bright enough to be a party for kids. Click here to visit Classically Quirky to see the full colorful party and decor tutorials & tips.
I SCREAM YOU SCREAM ICE CREAM SUNDAE SHOPPE PARTY BY Virginia Fynes Come on in for a scoop at the playhouse Sundae Shoppe. This fun birthday party is serving the yummiest treats around. The best part is you get to decorate your cool treat with some tasty toppings... youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re never too big for extra sprinkles! click here to visit Fynes Designs to see the full party roundup.
ROOFTOP PATIO MOVIE NIGHT BY Melissa DiRenzo Something Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve wanted to do ever since I moved into my place with a big rooftop patio is host a movie night up there. It only took 5 years but I made it happen! My short guest list were all music lovers so we chose the classic Almost Famous, which is a great summer flick. No movie night is complete without the snacks. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more like what movie will you be watching with your snacks, right? I set up my own little snack bar and even used some chalk board paint and an old frame to create a DIY movie night marquee. Gather up all your pillows and blankets or ask your guests to bring some. I found the beautiful and big rug at a thrift shop and it was perfect. Use a portable photo backdrop and stand or a big white sheet hung or taped to a wall for your big screen then get cozy and enjoy!
click here to visit The Sweet Escape for more photos and resources
(left) DOLLAR STORE PHOTO BACKDROP BY Jesseca Hallows Add some pizzazz and an automatic people pleaser to your summer barbecue with a DIY photo booth. You can make this fun floral setting in record time with materials you can find at a dollar store. Get ready for your selfie! click here to visit One Sweet Appetite for the full tutorial FRESH FLOWER PARTY HATS BY Melissa DiRenzo These hats will add cheer to any summer party or bridal event. Buy some extra flowers when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re shopping for your centerpieces to whip up some of these pieces of party flair. They are an easy project with a big wow factor and will make your photos even more memorable. They even double as a takeaway gift for your guests. click here to visit The Sweet Escape for the full tutorial 53
good eats & cool treats Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s summertime and the eating is easy. Simplicity is key when you are planning your day-to-day menus. Pro tip: Keep things cool by rotating through fresh salads, popsicles, ice cream and tasty cakes and pies. Repeat daily.
WHIP IT UP NO CHURN HOMEMADE ICE CREAM BY Melissa DiRenzo Photography by Andrea Hunter
Is there anything that says summer more than a bowl or cone of ice-cream? The more flavors, the better. If you’re an ice-cream-o-holic this will be the best news you’ll ever hear. You don’t need a machine to make ice-cream at home. In fact you can make it in minutes with only two ingredients plus your favorite flavor. Too good to be true? The proof is all over this mouth-watering page. You’ll be making ice cream faster than you can eat it with these delicious no-churn recipes.
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click here to visit The Sweet Escape for all the recipes
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RED, WHITE & BLUE FRUIT POPS BY Jesseca Hallows Summer is quickly approaching and what better way to cool down than with these festive red white and blue fruit pops? Fill your Popsicle molds with your favorite fruits and top with a surprising ingredient for a sweet way to beat the heat. Click here to visit One Sweet Appetite for the full recipe
LEMON LAVENDER POPSICLES BY Jeran McConnel
These easy 2 ingredient popsicles have a sophisticated flavor. Serve these as a cool Summer treat or dessert and both kids and adults will be pleased. Click here to visit Oleander & Palm for the full recipe
LEMON BLUEBERRY CREAM POPS BY Dana Bueno We moved to Nashville last summer, and Jeniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ice Cream became an instant favorite stop of ours. An indulgence of mine is the Lemon Blueberry. The first time I tasted it, I was inspired to create a non-dairy popsicle version thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quick and easy to make for summer treats for my boys. Click here to visit DanaBueno.com for the full recipe
merry EATS PISTACHIO CREAM POPS BY Melissa DiRenzo One of my favorite ways to cool off in the summer is with a cool treat. Pistachio gelato is my all-time fave and here I tried to recreate in popsicle form. It makes a perfect sweet and nutty treat. Click here to visit The Sweet Escape for the recipe
SWEET PEA BRUSCHETTA BY Dana Bueno Fresh green peas make a brief appearance at the market each spring, Fortunately, they can be found throughout the year in the frozen foods section! Use the pea spread as a base, and let your imagination run wild for the toppings. Enjoy!! Click here to visit DanaBueno.com for the recipe
merry EATS STRAWBERRY BASIL SALAD BY Jesseca Hallows This picnic favorite combines sweet strawberries, cucumbers, and balsamic for a new summer staple. Serve it as a side to chicken or beef and watch it disappear. Click here to visit One Sweet Appetite for the recipe
NAKED LAYER CAKE WITH SUGARED BERRIES BY Ashlee Marie As a baker I eat pretty heavy food year round, but when the weather getâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warm you want to lighten things up. I grew up in Oregon so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a huge fan of fresh berries. Adding berries to cake fillings is a delicious way to bring in bright bursts of flavor to each slice. And no need for fancy cake decorating skills when berries are in season. Sugaring the berries and candy coating the strawberries is an easy, and impressive way, to add texture and a sweet crunch to your cake. Click here to visit AshleeMarie.com for the recipe and candied berry tutorial
SOUR CREAM LEMON PIE BY Ashlee Marie This pie is sweet, tart and creamy, all at the same time. Literally perfection on a plate. Everyone who tries it loves it and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our go too summer dessert for any gathering. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve even been known to eat an entire pie myself... so make two! Click here to visit AshleeMarie.com for the recipe
pop fizz clink!
Take a load off and sit back in your lawn chair with an ice-cold beverage handcrafted just for you. From fruit-infused cocktails and delicious non-alcoholic juices, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve thought of everything you need to shake, stir and blend. It is permanently happy hour, so cheers to that. Bottoms up!
PHOTO BY ANDREA HUNTER
Thirst Quenchers BY Melissa DiRenzo Photography by Andrea Hunter
It’s not officially summer until you’ve had your first patio cocktail (or two, or five). I’m going to help you kick off summer with these refreshing and relatively healthy summer cocktails. Dreaming up cocktails is a lot like cooking, there’s alot of room to experiment and have fun with your favorite ingredients. I personally tested each one and can assure you that they’re all as delicious and refreshing as they appear ...hiccup! click on your favorite drink or visit The Sweet Escape for the recipes
STRAWBERRY PEACH SANGRIA
PINEAPPLE MANGO SMOOTHIE
BLUEBERRY KIWI MOJITO
WATERMELON JALAPENO MARGARITA
CUCUMBER BASIL GIN AND TONIC
BLOOD ORANGE FIZZ BY Jesseca Hallows Who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like a fun refreshing summer time drink that takes only a few minutes to whip up? Even better, one that can be easily adjusted to an adult beverage with just one simple ingredient? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exactly what this Raspberry Blood Orange Fizz is. I took a simple soda and made it something spectacular with the addition of just a hand full of ingredients! Click here to visit One Sweet Appetite for the recipe
merry CHEERS PEACH LEMONADE BY Shannon Acheson Lemonade is such an iconic sign of summer. Although I don’t like to mess with a good thing, it’s nice to change things up a little every once and awhile. Adding some sweet peach flavors balances out the tartness of the lemon and makes for an extra refreshing drink. It’s also easy to make in a really big batch for summer celebrations. Click here to visit AKA Design for the recipe
ORANGE BEET BREEZE BY Sarah Khandjian Before you turn up your nose at the thought of putting veggies in your cocktail, let me tell you how delicious this stuff is. This juice is super fresh and made with only beets and orange juice. Nothing else! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s super versatile and can be used in salad dressings and beverages like this one. So the next time your doctor asks if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting all your fruits and veggies in you can now tell him yes! Click here to visit Sarah Hearts for the full recipe 72
merry CHEERS STRAWBERRY RHUBARB FIZZ BY Kaylee Giffin Inspired by a cocktail I saw at a live cooking challenge, I decided to go home and put my own twist on the mixer. This strawberry-rhubarb fizz has got to be the best cocktail I have ever made, and it will definitely be a staple in our house for hosting guests, or just for a hot summer evening when there is nothing better than having a sweet cocktail in hand. Click here to visit The Blondielocks for the full recipe
style central It goes without saying that the summer is a time for romance and long weekends. There is always opportunity for that summer fling to blossom into a long time love and weekends spent under the sun. For every summer event you can be sure that there is a fabulous outfit to go with it. And our resident style experts Kaylee Giffin and Dana Bueno have you covered for all of those sweltering summer dates and weekend plans. SUMMER DATE LOOKS Style by: Kaylee Giffin, The Blondielocks Photographed by: Raelene Giffin Photography SUMMER WEEKEND LOOKS Style by: Dana Bueno, Dana Bueno.com Photographed by: Amy Cherry
Dates that involve going for dessert or coffee normally go hand in hand with a new relationship or a first date. For this type of date wearing something bright and fun is the perfect way to go. Mixing prints like this blue crosshatch top and floral yellow skirt play really well off of each other and are sure to put you in a good mood, which is key for making a great first impression. A comfortable, neutral heel will also keep the look balanced and stylish.
Rebecca Minkoff Mini Fiona Bucket Bag, Saks Fitfth Avenue, $171
Mejuri Fence Of Venice Cuff, Blossom Lounge, $205
Polly Sleeveless Top, Darling London, $40.25
GET THE LOOK A DESSERT DATE
Gentle Fawn Sonoira Skirt, Blossom Lounge, $76
Wooden Platform Wedges, Charlotte Russe, $35.99 77
PICNIC PLUS ONE
Picnics are meant to be carefree and fun, and your outfit for this type of date should reflect that. Opting for a jumpsuit in a light fabric will not only allows you to stay cool, but it will also allow you to easily sit on a blanket and enjoy your company. Of course the sun will be shining so a big hat is a must. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget shoes that are easy to slip offâ&#x20AC;Śjust incase you want to play footsies with your date.
Straw Hat, Joe Fresh, $12
Giovana Leather Tote In Brick, Brave Leather, $240
GET THE LOOK A PICNIC
Jenny Bird Gypsy Triple Wrap Bracelet, Blossom Lounge, $85
Heartloom Keap Romper, Blossom Lounge, $156
Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Venezia Ice Leather Peep Toe Dress Flats, Soft Moc, $59.99 79
What could be more fun than an evening barbecue on a rooftop patio? If you get invited to go on a date like this, chances are it will involve meeting your crushes friends. This is the perfect time to show your date that you fit in perfectly with his crew, so something easy like a romper layered with a denim vest is a great way to keep your outfit casual and fashionable. Add some playful elements youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re your accessories. Something like a bold statement necklace, printed sandals and mirrored sunnies are the perfect way to show that you are one cool gal. 80
Denim Vest, American Eagle Outfitters, $62.12
Bora Bora Bib Necklace, Baublebar, $48
Clear Plastic Mirrored Sunglasses, Charlotte Russe, $6.99
GET THE LOOK ROOFTOP BBQ
Rebecca Minkoff Avery Crossbody, Blossom Lounge, $198
MINKPINK Romper, Bloomingdales, $62.98
Dollhouse Gold-Tipped Triple T-Strap Sandals, Charlotte Russe, $25.99
WEDDING RENDEZVOUS You will know your relationship has really made it to the next level if your sweetie invites you to a summer wedding. A wedding is time for you to play dress up and feel your best. Leave the white to the bride and opt for a bold coloured dress in a light fabric so that you will stay cool all day and can dance freely all night. A bright clutch in a contrasting colour will also look amazing against an already bright dress.
Gorjana G Ring Set, Blossom Lounge, $65
Winnie Strappy Dress, Darling London, $88.55
Mackage Zoey Mini Leather Crossbody, Blossom Lounge, $250
GET THE LOOK WEDDING RENDEZVOUS
Sillly Dress Heel in Blush, Steve Madden, $80
Gorjana Crescent Layer Necklace, Blossom Lounge, $70
CHAMBRAY COOL To stay cool in the summer, lightweight chambray is your daytime LBD (little black dress). Wood bangles highlight your sun-kissed skin, while natural toned, yet city-ready sandals and tote complete the look.
Karen Walker Harvest Sunglasses, ShopBop, $280
Lucy Bangles, Kayce Hughes, $38
GET THE LOOK COOL CHAMBRAY
Sleeveless Chambray Shirt Dress, Mother, $220
Madewell Crisscross Freda Sandals, ShopBop, $158
Camel Tote Bag, Vovo Bags, $225
GARDEN PARTY This is a dress to remind you of garden parties and everything summer! The prettiest print and feminine silhouette make this Kayce Hughes dress my summer favorite! I added a green patent clutch and white patent heels, cork bangle, and a contrasting royal blue island raffia hat to be garden party ready.
Island Raffia Hat, Kayce Hughes, $40
Kenneth Jay Lane Large Cork Print Bangle, ShopBop, $60
GET THE LOOK GARDEN PARTY Lyndal Dress, Kayce Hughes, $148
ALDO Bowlick White Peep Toe Platform Pumps, asos, $63
Watercolor Clutch, Zazzle, $49.95
For weekend style, simple and effortless are what I look for. A lightweight muted tone top and an always classic white denim short, paired with calf hair two strap sandals and a leather tote are my picks for shopping the new store openings in my Hillsboro Village Nashville neighborhood.
RITA hat, Janessa Leone, $160
Ray-Ban Shrunken Aviator Sunglasses, ShopBop, $150 Brushed Gold Hexagon Bracelet, Jill Michael, $65 Helms Top, Feel the Piece, $84
GET THE LOOK URBAN CASUAL
The Loosey Fray Short, Mother, $122.50
Dolce Vita Veya Flat Haircalf Sandals, ShopBop, $120
Wyeth Raw Tote, Cari Hoover, $455 89
DATE NIGHT Summer is here, and this breezy, backless dress saturated with color is so much fun for a date night! Pair with flats or go glam with a pair of silver platform slides.
Made Birds Nest Bangle, Whistles, $55 Stirling Silver Bangle, Michael Hill, $209 Hematite & Sterling Silver, Michael Hill, $19 Wanderlust Dress In San Miguel, TYSA, $297
GET THE LOOK DATE NIGHT
Doreen Metallic Leather Wedge, Ralph Lauren, $109
DIY PEONY FLOWER CROWN BY Bree Johnson The flower crown is one of the prettiest signs of summer. There’s something about wearing a crown of flowers that can make you feel airy on your feet. They are remarkably easy to make for how stunning they look. It’s hard to make something that looks bad when you’re using such beautiful materials. These crowns I made for a summer photo session use the queen of all flowers, the peony along with some other lovely stems and greenery.
Click here to visit Classically Quirky to see the full tutorial
DIY TROPICAL HAT BAND BY Stephanie Lee There’s something about bold leafy prints that really gets me in the mood for summer. Leafy patterns evoke visions of lazing in resort deck chairs surrounded by tropical foliage, sunglasses on and a mojito in hand. And while I’m not able to indulge that way all year round, I’m all for injecting that carefree spirit into my dayto-day with colorful projects like this tropical leaf hat band. Think of it as an instant burst of summer without the price tag!
Click here to visit Make and Tell to see the full tutorial
DIY CONCRETE JEWELRY DISH BY Renee Elliott A girl can never have too much jewelry and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll admit I have more than my fair share. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always taking my jewelry pieces off at the end of the day and misplacing them, so I was big time in need of a few jewelry trays to keep track of my precious metals. I like a pretty + edgy combo so I decided to use concrete and a little gold and neon pink paint to create some fun trays! Click here to visit Re: Creative to see the full tutorial
My favorite thing about summer is... ...summer evenings on the patio with string lights.
...hosting backyard potlucks with friends (and great cocktails of course!)
...a weekend up north at the cottage with great company, cold bevies and lake side views.
Renee ...seeing or experiencing something new in the good company of family and close friends.
Amy ...barbecues, snow cones and campfire s’mores with friends.
…weekends outside with the kids. Running them ragged in the fresh air all day makes for some excellent bedtimes!
…long days at the lake, the smell of sunscreen and sun tans.
...all the beautiful colors that come out to play.
…all the sunshine and spending time near the lake.
…longer days and outdoor movies.
…extra time to explore new places.
...spending time at our cottage, swimming, BBQ’ing, making s’mores and camping.
...long summer nights with good food, drink and friends.
...going on road trips!
..sundresses and ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream.
Rachel ... Late night cocktails with my husband on our back porch.
...morning coffee out on the deck.
…evening patio dinners in Nashville full of my favorite ingredients.
…every day is like a weekend with the kids. We get to stay up late, play board games, watch movies and sleep in.
...yard sales and spending weekends at the cottage reading, eating, and jumping in the lake.
merry HANDMADE SUMMER
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