Take Chances

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Remember the first time you tried sushi? We do. That introductory piece of ginger-laden goodness was met with a very skeptical palette, but by the end of the roll, we were hooked – and well on our way to the land of sashimi. As the old adage goes, don’t knock the uni ‘til you try it! Seriously, if you haven’t given your local sushi spot a shot, get in there immediately. And that goes for (almost) everything else, too. This summer, we want to pack in as many new experiences as possible, and officially invite you to join in the fun campaign.

No one wants to waste a sunny day inside the gym. Skip the elliptical and get your workout on the trail, in the water, or even in the air. Horseback riding, canoeing, paddle boarding, and paragliding are just a few of the outdoor adventures calling our name for a beginner’s course.

Dying to hone your domestic skills? Start making your way through those Pinterest boards. Get artsy and make your own potato stamps or experiment with chalkboard paint. Channel your inner mother earth and plant a garden. Soon you’ll be able to spice up those recipe pins with homegrown herbs.

If you’ve ever been bit by the performance bug, now’s the time to practice, practice, practice. Enroll in dance classes or take up a new instrument. Most local music stores offer lessons. If you prefer life behind the camera, seek out live shows in new genres. You might just stumble upon a new favorite or the next big thing.

These are just a few suggestions to get the bocce ball rolling. We’ll be sharing more ideas on our Take Chances Pinterest board and would love to see yours, too.

Capture and tag your photos with #SummerResolutions on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and show us how you’ve been making this summer the season of yes.


4th of July Fireworks You Won’t Forget

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Tomorrow is America’s 338th birthday, and we’ve found the most unique places to watch her blow out those pyrotechnic candles. Not sure where to go? Where to sit? What shoes to wear? We’ve got you covered.

Contrary to popular opinion, fireworks aren’t relegated to the night. Mt. Vernon, the home of our nation’s first President offers some glittering displays of smoke and fire before golden hour sets in. Best of all, when the explosions end, you’re close enough to stroll over to the Washington Monument, the premiere viewpoint for D.C.’s annual show. A full day of festivities calls for comfortable (and cute!) footwear. Try our Alloway Crystal Bow flats. Pair with a white shift dress and our red and white striped Lucianna scarf for a perfectly patriotic ensemble.

Lake Tahoe has taken the idea of great seats to a whole new level – horizontal. Reserve one of their beachfront cabins and discover the delight that comes with having the best beds in the house. Snuggle up by your windows or walk down to the water’s edge to take in Lights on the Lake, an unbeatable event. It can get a little chilly at night, so we recommend our Classic short boot with blue jeans and a slouchy sweater.

Can’t decide which show to attend? Catch ‘em all! If you’re in the LA area, the Baldwin Hills Overlook in Culver City delivers a 360° view of all the fireworks in the city. It’s a quick hike up some steep stairs to get to this gorgeous view, so you’ll likely work up an appetite. Pack some eats for a gourmet picnic. Akasha is a favorite local spot for flavorful comfort food to go. Speaking of comfort, all that walking will require a sturdy shoe, like our Drina in Smooth Blue. The boat-shoe-meets-moccasin silhouette is perfect for the traditional occasion.

For a fun night out away from the masses, sign up for a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan. You can catch Chicago’s fireworks as they burst from Navy Pier. Work a white pant with our Tomato Soup Lucianna Stripe wedges, a blue pashmina, and a glass or two of champagne.

Let us know where you’ll be celebrating, and have a very happy Independence Day.


Game Night

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The eternal conflict of summer – you’re dying for a nice, relaxing night at home, but the warm, dusky evening beckons at your door. The solution? Host an outdoor game night!

Deck the yard with blankets and cushions, wipe the dust off your board games, and fix up some snacks and Sangria. We had our guests stack their sandals by the gate in preparation for our barefoot adventures in Backgammon. The colorful arrangement made for one very chic, seasonal Instagram. We’re pretty sure our Indah Burlap flats culled the most likes.

What are you waiting for? Call up your friends and unleash that competitive spirit as the sun sets on another gorgeous day.

How-to Pack the Perfect Picnic

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The magic of a memorable picnic lies in the culinary selection. After all, Mother Nature’s already taken care of the decorations.

Start with a few easy ingredients that can be snacked on a la carte, turned into a light, summer salad, or stacked into a sandwich. Our go-to spread consists of well-documented crowd-pleasers: Arugula, sliced peaches, thinly sliced prosciutto, a thick wedge of brie, and few freshly baked baguettes.

Pack these delectables in a roomy basket, grab a large, lightweight blanket, and slip into your favorite sandals to be on your way. Our Brias are perfect for stretching out underneath a shady tree and watching the world, in a comfortable bliss.

To prep for our guests, we toss the peaches and greens in a bowl, slice the baguettes in half, and arrange the charcuterie and cheese on a cutting board, with a jar of honey on the side for a sweet spread of flavor. A quick vinaigrette can dress your salad, or even the sandwiches. See below for our favorite recipe.

Pro Tip: Bring a few candles along, so the fun can carry on well into the evening.

Vinaigrette Recipe:

2 tsp olive oil
1 . tsp honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 . tbsp. lemon juice
1 . tsp salt

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!).