Saturday, May 26, 2012

On the menu: Watermelon Margaritas

Our Memorial Day barbeque menu is set, and with the help of the folks at Anthropologie, I now have a great summer drink to serve, too. When I saw the recipe for Watermelon Margaritas in their A Magazine, I knew it was perfectly suited for our little holiday celebration.

Image via Anthropologie's A Magazine.

Let's hope it's as good as it looks! Here's the skinny ... I bet it's equally refreshing without the alcohol.

THE BLU BUNGALOW'S WATERMELON MARGARITA RECIPE

3 cups fresh seedless watermelon pulp
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups simple syrup
1 1/2 cups premium silver tequila
1/2 cup triple sec
3 cups ice

Place watermelon in a bowl and use a potato masher to extract as much juice as possible. Transfer pulp and juice to a pitcher and add lime juice, simple syrup, triple sec and tequila. Stir. Add 3 cups of ice and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Stir and serve over ice.

The creators of this recipe, twin sisters Janeen Walker and Josette Christie, who are the proprietors of the Bahamian cafĂ©, the Blu Bungalow, noted that this makes a lot. Don't know exactly how much that is, but we'll make our best effort to finish off the goods before sundown.

Cheers!

Pool pleasures ...

It's not often that I dive into a pool and enjoy an afternoon of swimming (or in my case, playing and floating). Until the opportunity presents itself, I'll just imagine spending some time afloat in one of these stunning pools.

Image via Desde my Ventana.

If I'm going to spend some 'wish' time, I might as well go for grandeur! This pool is situated on a bluff in Asturias, looking over the Bay of Biscayne. It ranks near the top of my list of pool pleasures. Oh, there's so much more to love about Asturias, an autonomous community on the northern coast of Spain. That's why it's on my 'bucket list.'

Image via AnOther Mag.
 The soaking pool above, with submerged shelf and an infinity edge, is stunning.

Image via Best House Design.

The word 'serene' doesn't even begin to do these pools (above and below) justice. Relaxation at its best surrounded by drool-worthy scenery!

Image via Best House Design.

Image via Shelter.

I love the great vintage photo above. Just give me a raft, a cool beverage and a little music ... oh so happy! Some pleasures just stand the test of time.

Image via 22h22.

I never thought floating on my roof would be an option, but I must say it looks like fun. Just a little submersion to the bottom of the pool and you can see who's at the front door. Odd, but totally intriguing.


Coral convert ...

It's taken me some time to become a coral color convert. (Trying saying that fast.) This color inspiration from the sea feels so fresh at home and is making waves in this season's line of accessories.

Image via Chinoiserie Chic of Diego Bed by Oly Studio.

I love the designer's use of tropical wall art and the selection of coral decor to compliment the botanical images. This imagery is making me want a return trip to Jamaica's Montego Bay.

Image via Decor Pad.

Even inland abodes are prime settings for coral. The color works so well with neutrals, giving a fresh, happy vibe to an otherwise monochromatic space. 

Image via Moffly Media.

Coral and navy blue are happy companions in the entry above. But, it may be that coral just loves the company of stripes, be they blue (above) or black (below).

Image via Amber Interior Design.

Designers are making compelling statements with coral. I love the beauty and symmetry of jewels from the sea and am rather taken with the cell phone case as well.


Images above via Zinc Door (left) and Dabney Lee at Layla Grace (right).

Oooh, I'm getting the urge to lounge poolside with a little adult beverage - no doubt a result of coral's coastal charm. Alas, I have no pool. Can I borrow someone's 'Slip-n-Slide?'


Beach bungalow ...

Memorial Day weekend always signals the official start of summer in South Texas. The quaint beach bungalows and seaside condos are filling with visitors and residents alike, all ready for a little relaxation and fun along the Gulf of Mexico. (With coastal waters at Mustang Island at 81 degrees today, who can resist?)

Image via Everyday Minerals.

There are so many great beach bungalows along every coastline, each with its own personality, a reflection of the owner's taste and budget. Even with a predominance of blue in the color schemes, there's lots of room for interpretation.

Nautical and fish themes are predictable, yet comfortable and casual like those above. Images via House Beautiful (left) and Lynn Morgan Interiors (right).


The sophisticated ease of the room designed by Kate Jackson Interior Design (shown above and below) really appeals to me. I love the framed, vintage swimsuit as art! The citron floral and striped occasional chairs look comfy and coastal casual.


The fresh white walls are a clean palette for the citron green, black and white color scheme, and I love the departure from shabby chic cottage decor so often found in bungalows from coast to coast.
Image via The Swanky Nest.

Neutrals are at home along sandy shores, too. Even without a bungalow of my own, I definitely like the beach tabletop for summer dining!

Image via Coastal Living.

Bungalows, with their limited space, often provide novel ideas for guest accommodations. I think the built-in daybed with storage below is a great idea and love the use of baskets to contain guest bedding. Cute, easy to make shell mirror is a winner, too.

Image via Southern Accents.

The nautical appeal is apparent in this bungalow's guest room. Suspended bunks leave ample stow space below, just like they did in steam ships long ago.

Now, I have to plan a quick jaunt to a sweet Port Aransas bungalow to kick off my summer!



Stacking stuff ...

I'm just about over my Spring closet cleaning binge! Our family's over-accumulation of truly unnecessary things has left me with stacks of stuff ... books, artwork, photos, fabrics, event mementos ... well, the stacks go on and on.

Image via The Diversion Project.

After hauling donations a local thrift store, I'm just wondering if I could disguise the remainder as decor accessories.

Image via Sanctuary.

Every magazine photographer has some creative stylist with a gift for displaying junk like it's part of the Crown Jewels exhibit. I'm so jealous.

 

Images above via The Diversion Project (left) and Decor Pad (right).

What am I doing wrong? I've leaned framed art against the walls. Objects are stacked atop one another. But, somehow it all looks as if I'm readying for a garage sale.

Image via Chic My Shack.

I'm going to continue my quest for finding tabletops and wall space for all of my accumulated 'treasures.' After viewing enough decorating photos, I'm bound to learn the secrets to styling. Geez, how hard can it be?

Image via Eclectic Revisited.

If I can't master 'Stacking Stuff 101,' then I'm off to the donation station with the rest of the goods!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chain gang ...

Working on a chain gang may be tougher than you think. For artist Yeong Deok Seo, his chain sculptures take form as a result of extraordinary creativity, fastidious attention to detail and months of planning and execution.



To know the sublime topography of the human body is masterful. Transforming that knowledge from bicycle chains into human form is brilliant. 


Korean artist Yeong-Deok Seo welds bicycle chains and industrial steel chains  to create imposing figurative sculptures that relate stories of the human condition.


 

Much of the artist's work reflects upon the fragmented world we live in. Some of his pieces lie on the ground and some of their parts are fragmented - broken, yet still beautiful - a mirror image of life that is both turmoil and triumph.


He spent an entire year welding a mile of bike chains, worth nearly $40,000, into a sculpture of a giant head over 24' tall. 

 


Yeong-Deok Seo graduated from the department of Environmental Sculpture at the University of Seoul in 2010 and is currently exhibiting across the globe.


His latest project 'Dystopia' is currently touring the world, having been exhibited in Seoul and most recently shown at the SODA art gallery in Istanbul.

All photos via Yeong-Deok Seo.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Midas touch ...

All that glitters may not be gold, but I am a golden girl. I simply love the color and metallic sheen - always have, always will.

Images via designer Naheem Kahn (top photos), Eva Masiero pendant lamp shown by Trend Hunter (bottom left), and ginger jar table lamp in D Magazine (bottom right).  

I can't think of a better way to light up a room - confidently wearing a little something (stunning, of course) in gold, or accessorizing a room for dramatic effect.


Delicious mirror image via Architectural Digest.

Image via Portland Monthly Magazine.

Interior designers seem to have mastered the Midas touch. They always seem to know how to use bits of the brilliant ore to perfectly showcase furnishings and occasional pieces. Never too much to look gaudy, never too little to look cheap!



I love the gold Bloom Rug featured on HGTV at left. And now, I'm going to confess to a (somewhat odd) secret longing. I've always wanted a gold painted bamboo chair like the one above. I have no clue how or why this desire emerged, but I always keep my eye out for the project chair of my dreams!

Image via Mires Paris.

I would, however, happily settle for a colossal, gold silk headboard like the one above. Move over Midas, I may just create an oh-so-indulgent golden bedtime luxury of my very own!

Creature comfort ...

I'm a 'dog' person, and I jokingly call my BFF a 'cat lady.' It's funny how we often identify ourselves by our pets. It seems most humans seek the companionship of furry, feathered or scaly creatures, and we're happy to provide our sidekicks with lots of creature comfort.

 
My furry child, Kahlo.

For over 30 years, we've raised Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and for over 30 years, I've pampered every pooch (sometimes to my husband's dismay). But, this lovely lady named Kahlo is special. We adopted her as a young puppy from a rescue organization that saved her and her litter mates who were being abused.

Kahlo loves, loves tennis balls!

There's nothing I wouldn't give her. I'm such a pushover and love to see her happy! Luckily, she's low maintenance with simple tastes. She loves to play fetch with her toys, particularly tennis balls.


But, one look at the beautiful bowls (above) designed by Rae Dunn, and I'm thinking I should spoil my doggie with some special dinnerware of her very own.


Dog obedience training a la Rae Dunn's clay napkin rings (above) might work well for dinner guests, too. Her clay work is sold in her Etsy store.


Image via Mungo & Maud.

There's no dog carrier big enough to carry my pooch, but if I had a little tail wagger, a great bag would be a must-have.


Cute, cuddly toys always appeal to pups large and small (though our Chesapeake abandons them after a few moments). No matter what I buy, my dog seems to find the greatest happiness with simple tennis balls.

If you're into designer doggie duds, check out Mungo & Maud, Dog and Cat Outfitters ... they give equal attention to kitties with lots of glamorous goods for fancy felines, too.




Vintage wicker ...

Vintage wicker feels comfortably at home on a welcoming wraparound porch. But, it's equally appealing in a romantic bedroom or thoroughly modern loft. Its familiar feel makes wicker a perfect casual partner anywhere, just like those well-worn slippers that are too precious to toss.

Image of the Kingsley House Bed and Breakfast.

Vintage wicker appeals to our country roots and always looks farmhouse fresh. Bring me a cool glass of iced tea, and I'll just sit a spell here on the front porch.

Home of designer Naja Lauf, located on Bellevue Beach, North of Copenhagen.
Image via Afflante.

But, don't be fooled. Wicker is a worthy companion for contemporary lifestyles, too. Clean lines and woven naturals appeal to modern sensibilities as well.

Image via Tropical Occasions.

I'm a big fan of wicker at the table. From humble chargers on the dining table (above) to classic seating (below), wicker creates a casual ambiance that puts guests at ease.

Image via Coastal Living.

Is it the tactile quality of wicker bottle covers, or the rustic simplicity of woven fishing creels that appeals to me most? 

 

Images above via Tara Bradford (left) and Hound Hill Design (right).

 

Images via Skonahem (left) and Platform Bed (above).

No, no, I love the practicality of wicker baskets more. Although, vintage headboards are truly romantic ... 

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