Summer Resolutions: Live Alfresco

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Windows down. Music up. It doesn’t matter that the wind is making a mess out of our hair, that summer breeze just makes us happy. Let’s take advantage of the euphoric feeling that comes along with the warm weather by spending more time in it. Here are some of the ways we like to spend our summers outside.

Instead of a dinner party, host a picnic. Prepare simple sandwiches that sound fancy like fig and prosciutto or tuna niçoise. Tuck a few bottles of prosecco and a quilt into your basket, grab your Hedy wedges and a sundress, and find the best tree in the park. For a little extra magic, pack some empty mason jars. After sunset, hand them to your friends and see who can catch the most fireflies.

Stargazing is even more fun when you know what you’re looking at. Try downloading Star Chart. It’s a free app that uses your phone’s compass to find out which stars and planets are near you on a given night.

A garden adds character to any home and gives a good reason to spend more time outside. If you don’t have a secret green thumb, start with an herb garden. Some good herbs for beginners are rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, and parsley. They grow easily in most climates and will give you a good assortment of flavors to start sprucing up your meals and cocktails. If you’re nervous about getting started, visit your local home and garden store. In Santa Barbara, ours is Terra Sol. They’ll have specialists that can guide you through the process and help you work your way up to a bigger and tastier garden.

If you need a few more ideas, check out our Live Alfresco Pinterest board but if you’ve already got an idea, share it with us using #SummerResolutions to keep the spirit of summer alive (and outside!).


The Lookback For The Week Of June 16th, 2014

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In case you missed this week’s Summer Resolution to Explore, we’ve handpicked a few of our favorite memories and inspiration for you to browse through.

·      See our Pinspiration for exploring this summer.

·       The Must-Eat Dishes, From Myanmar to Mexico City for the travelling Foodie.

·       Late Afternoon’s Liz takes a leaf out of our book and explores the vast wilderness of the Sierras.

·       You protect your hair and skin when you get outside, but what about your favorite suit? Learn how to care for yours here.

Inspired? Tag your wanderlust plans and ideas with #SummerResolutions on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to make this a summer to celebrate. And follow our Instagram and Twitter for more ideas.


Packing Light

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Ah, the warm breeze of summer. That glorious smell of carefree abandon and adventure. What’s that? You’re stuck at the airport, trying to finagle your full luggage set onto the island’s only prop boat?

When it comes to hopping around exotic locations or traipsing across the tundra, it’s best to leave the overloaded bags at home. Packing light is an art, but its true mastery requires nothing more than a little pre-planning and a solid dose of restraint.

Start with your itinerary. Planning on doing some sightseeing? These Alloway Studded Bow flats will keep you on your feet all day long without inciting any angry blisters. Slip ‘em in your bag with your most tried and true of daywear. Worn-in denim, cotton tees, and linen dresses chart the top of our list.

Sunglasses, swimsuits, and an easy read or two are obvious must-haves for beachy locales, but don’t neglect to factor in stronger sunrays. You may want to work a wide-brimmed hat into your island look.

Once the daytime activities are covered, turn a well-trained smoky eye toward the night. A small toiletry bag packed with your essential styling products will go a long way in complementing your post-sunset attire. Salsa dancing, midnight strolls down cobblestone streets, bonfires down on the sand – choose a pair of evening shoes that are both comfortable and stylish like the Hedy espadrille wedge for her and our Lewiston moccasin for him.

Your vacation high might get you a little wired, but that isn’t likely to replace your more tangible electronic impulses. iPods, iPads, GoPros, and their requisite chargers are easy to forget but hard to get over.

What are you waiting for? Pare down that packing list, abandon the excess, and adventure away!


Summer Resolutions: Explore

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Whether it’s a month-long voyage to an exotic locale or simply a sunset drive to a new neighborhood in town, the trips you take this summer will become memorable milestones that’ll set the bar for every summer hereafter. Not to mention, make for some enviable Insta snaps. The key to keeping summer memories alive long after your tan fades? Documenting your adventures. A few suggestions:

Make a memory box dedicated to every place you visit. Keep ticket stubs from trains or movies, jot down memorable dishes, save the map your tour guide gave you, and keep them all in a hand-painted box. Throw in a few slips of paper with your favorite memories, and a few Polaroids of your Drinas crossing various state lines. Display your memory box on your coffee table and let the reminiscing begin. For inspiration on creating your own, start here.

Collect samples of sand, shells or soil wherever you go. Display them around your house or garden in separate mason jars, or layer them in large glass apothecary jars to create a unique cross-section of all your travels.

Stitch your road trip route onto a map. Create one continuous line, or color in each state, city or country you visited. Frame the map and hang it somewhere in your home to get a hint of that unmistakable summer feeling, no matter the season.

Let your adventures live on. Tag your experiences (or your wanderlust plans) with #SummerResolutions on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to make this a summer to celebrate. Need a little “Pinspiration?” Check out our Explore Pinterest Board. It’s filled with great ideas, if we do say so ourselves.