Today on Weekend Meanderings, from travel to entertaining it’s all things summer. And a peek at five fabulous kitchens.
Happy weekend, friends!
It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.
Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.
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Can you believe we’re half way through May?
Or May-hem as an IG friend put it.
She’s right, May has been a busy month.
And fun busy.
And I bet you are too.
So let’s get to it …
WHAT TO PACK FOR SEVEN POPULAR VACATION DESTINATIONS
Earlier in the week Kim wrangled six rockstar bloggers for a ‘what to pack for …’ post collaboration. I was lucky to be included and shared my thoughts on what to pack and wear in Napa Valley … Sonoma Valley or any California wine country destination. Be sure to follow the links in my post to everyone’s else’s. My travel bucket list just got a little bit longer, and I bet yours will too!
WHAT I WORE TO A BABY GIRL SHOWER
Last weekend Jim and I attended a couples baby shower for my granddaughter by (former) marriage, Deanna, her husband Tom, and soon-to-be big brother Carter. It was a poolside party and we had so much fun. Blog post coming soon, but I know you want to know what I wore … right now! Ok … maybe I want to tell you what I wore right now. The theme of the shower was Baby in Bloom with a dusty rose/peachy pink color scheme.
My friend and frequent blog photographer, Monica Vargas, came by to photograph the shower … I can’t wait to share more with you in a separate post.
I wore Misa’s Trina floral maxi dress in various shades of pink and orange. It has a shirt-style top, smocked waist and a pretty shimmer detail. Made of chiffon … it’s floaty, light and super feminine. Perfect for a baby shower, wedding, or any summer event. I’m definitely taking it on our Italian adventure next month.
Without revealing too much of the baby shower, a couple snaps of my dress.
BEVERAGE DISPENSER … A SUMMER ENTERTAINING ESSENTIAL
Graduation signs are dotting lawns all over our neighborhood which means only one thing … the summer party season is about to get underway. Last weekend’s baby shower had me scouring my party supplies for cake stands, platters and a beverage dispenser. I love beverage dispensers for big-group entertaining. Not only do they look pretty but they allow your guests to serve themselves which frees you up to panic over other things.
I put mine to good use at the baby shower last weekend. It came from Pottery Barn many years ago and is no longer available, but they have a really nice selection.
Here are a couple with woven bases are similar to mine.
This one’s got a wow factor!
CUCUMBER LIME MINT PRESSE
Speaking of beverage dispensers, Cucumber Lime Mint Presse is the ideal way to fill one up. Refreshing, and alcohol-free, it’s a recipe I turn to again and again for summer parties including last weekend’s baby shower. It’s sort of a large batch spritzer.
Cucumber Mint Lime Presse
- 1 Sliced cucumber
- 1 Slice lime
- 1 bunch Fresh mint with stems removed
- 2 12 oz cans Limeade frozen concentrate, defrosted
- 4 750 ml bottles Cucumber Mint Lemonade
- 2 750 ml bottles Lime flavored sparkling water
- In a large beverage dispenser, add sliced cucumber, lime and mint sprigs.
- Pour in remaining ingredients.
- Top dispenser with ice.
Turn it into adult beverage by adding a shot of vodka. Put out a bottle or small, airplane-size bottles and let your (adult) guests do as they will.
Watch my Cucumber Lime Mint Presse video here.
By the way, this is the beverage tub we use to keep wine and other drinks chilled at parties. It’s on sale right now.
FABULOUS KITCHEN TOUR WITH KIM
Yesterday Kim invited me to join her on the SolMateo Signature Kitchen Tour featuring five gorgeous kitchens in the San Mateo | Hillsborough | Burlingame area. Ooh la la!
We arrived at the first house all bright eyed and bushy tailed, iPhones charged and ready to capture the kitchen eye candy. And then … our big blogger dreams were crushed when we were told ABSOLUTELY NO PHOTOGRAPHY! What’s a blogger to do? Go to the tour website, of course, and scrounge whatever photo tidbits are available. Without further ado, here’s a briefer-than-I-would-have-liked glimpse of the lovely homes and kitchens we toured.
The Modern Makeover … this newly renovated house has a spectacular backyard in addition to its amazing kitchen. But let’s talk about the kitchen … light filled and spacious, I fell in love with the buffet-style serving counter … an entertainers dream.
My favorite features in the kitchen of this adorable Craftsman bungalow are the integrated workspace and open cookbook shelves. Double ovens and a prep sink in the island are big pluses too.
This was the first house we toured and by far my favorite. I think Kim’s too. We could have stayed here all day. It didn’t hurt that there were cupcakes. More on that later. The house, built in 1912, retains many of it’s original features but it’s totally updated for modern function. The kitchen is so charming with windows trimmed in black and sitting directly on the countertops. We wondered if they were the original windows because I’m not sure today’s code would allow that placement … but it’s fabulous and now I want my kitchen window to sit on the counter. The backyard, oh my goodness … shady patios with mature trees, a sparkling pool and outdoor kitchen. The charm of this home cannot be overstated.
Back to the kitchen … look at all those cookbooks!
To assuage our disappointment over the no-photography policy, Sibby’s Cupcakery was on-site serving free mini-cupcakes to tour guests. We immediately availed ourselves of their generous offer. And, no, ten o’clock in the morning is not too early to enjoy cupcakes. Sibby was there herself and just as sweet as her cupcakes. Take a look at all the goodness … and if you live in the San Mateo area, what are you waiting for?
Built in 1918, this grand Tudor estate has had only two owners. The kitchen was lovely, but it was the gardens that has us swooning. Oh, and the library with original leaded glass doors leading to one of the many brick patios. There is just no substitute for mature trees … and this house had them in abundance with twinkly lights wrapped around the trunks. Note to self, turning twinkle lights on during the day is pure magic.
The edge of the granite countertops must have been 4″ thick. Luxurious. And of course I love the cookbook shelving!
I snapped a picture of a (tiny) part of the estate’s back garden. Sorry, not sorry.
Completely renovated in 2019, this is a beautiful home, but after touring the first two old world, traditional style houses it felt a bit … wah wah wah. Kim and I both live in renovated ranchers and they’re nothing to sneeze at … but the transition from mansion estate to ranch house was a little jarring. That said, this house is light and bright, with a spacious kitchen. The stone on the kitchen island is absolutely stunning.
Speaking of stunning, the backyard features a spectacular loggia area with outdoor kitchen and beautiful pool. A new pool house in currently under construction.
Spirited Pots set up shop in the backyard with these wonderful potted succulents.
And that concludes the tour, I wish we could have taken photos and shared more of these truly wonderful homes. It was such a special treat to tour them and I can’t wait to see what Kim has to share about our fun day.
The kitchen tour is an annual fundraiser for the SolMateo organization whose goal is to raise awareness around mental health issues. You can learn more about their work here.
While there was no photography allowed indoors, we snapped away while walking through the pretty neighborhoods. I’m a sucker for a good garden gate.
What a fun day … thanks, Kim! I’m so glad we live close enough do things like this … wish it was closer though.
And that’s what I have for you this week.
Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth …
If you missed last weekend’s post, you can catch up here.
You’ll find all my Weekend posts collected here.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!