Happy weekend, friends!
Can you believe it’s the first weekend of August?
The kids in my neighborhood go back to school next week.
In early August?!
What kind of nonsense is this?
School should start after Labor Day.
Like it did when I was a kid.
And speaking of nonsense.
What’s all this ‘Christmas in July’ stuff all over the inter-webs?
Make it stop.
I’m living in the moment.
And soaking up in every second of summer.
So Bah Humbug.
And speaking of summer.
Let’s talk about some summer stuff …
ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
Who doesn’t love ice cream sandwiches? No one, that’s who. They’re a fun, easy, and crowd pleasing dessert. Whether its a casual night with the family or entertaining friends … you can’t go wrong serving ice cream sandwiches. And homemade ice cream sandwiches are easy. You can make or buy the cookies, make or buy the ice cream. Either or both. It’s all good. Let me tell you how I do it.
First I make our family favorite vanilla ice cream in my 30+ year old Krups ice cream maker (recipe below). It’s nearing the end of its life and I have my eye on this Cuisinart. Then I transfer the frozen ice cream into this Tevelo container that my niece gave me and pop it into the freezer. Make the ice cream early so it has several hours – or more – in the freezer. Before dinner I put the sandwiches together using Tate’s Bake Shop Cookies … chocolate chip, double crunch and double chocolate. If you live in the Bay Area, Lori’s Legendary Cookies are a great option. You can find them at Diablo Foods (check here for other places).
Take a big round, scoop of ice cream and press it between the cookies. Wrap in wax or parchment paper, and tie with twine. Put the sandwiches back in the freezer until ready to serve. If you’re using different cookie varieties, mark the back of the parchment wrap.
When it’s time to serve, I place them on a platter and pass it around the table. You’ll have everybody oh-my-godding while you smile sweetly and say ‘oh, it was nothing.’
Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2 Eggs
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- Whisk in sugar until completely blended.
- Add, heavy cream, milk and vanilla to bowl and thoroughly combine.
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to machine's directions.
EVERYBODY GETS A DOCK
Do you ever dream of picking up and moving someplace new? Someplace completely different? I do. And recently I’ve been daydreaming about a waterfront community about 45 minutes away. On the California Delta. It’s called Delta Coves. I first learned about this new community early in the pandemic when a major newspaper ran a story on people moving away from cities to more lifestyle friendly communities. How could this amazing place be so close and yet I’d never heard of it? Jim and I went to check it out and tour the model homes. I was enchanted.
We’ve made several return trips. Including last weekend. I love seeing how the community progresses as more and more homes are complete. Jim tolerates my daydreaming and only occasionally points out the drawbacks of the area … which I know to be true, and he usually sobers me up. Until the next time.
Take a tour of Island Camp, the community gather spot. It’s amazing.
If you live in the Bay Area its an easy day trip. And if you don’t, you can visit virtually! And if you buy a house, I’m coming to visit. Often.
GUIDE TO STYLISH ENTERTAINING
Ted Kennedy Watson has written a new book, Guide to Stylish Entertaining. And I’m here for it. It’s the long awaited follow up to his wildly successful Style & Simplicity. My favorite décor book ever. I think I’m single handily responsible for keeping it on the best seller list by buying it for everyone I know and everyone I might know someday.
When we lived on Fidalgo Island, I frequently made the two-hour drive to Seattle to visit Ted’s Watson Kennedy shops. The best places to find thoughtful and unique gifts and fun things for the home. Ted and his partner, Ted Sive, are usually in the shop, along with their dog, Bailey. They’re always friendly and eager to chat, and Bailey tolerates a scratch behind the ears.
I love following the Ted’s on Instagram for glimpses of their homes … The Gainsborough (Seattle), WestWard (Vashon Island) and Hawthorne (Ghent, NY … also an Airbnb). They entertain frequently, stylishly, yet casually.
When I grow up, I too would like to be a stylish entertainer. Maybe Ted’s book will help. You can pre-order it here for delivery on August 23. That’s only 17 days away. But who’s counting?!
HOW TO DECORATE AROUND AN UMBRELLA POLE
Speaking of stylish entertaining, it’s midsummer and we’re eating outdoors every day. Our back patio table is in the sun most of the day. So, we have a large, rectangular umbrella up all the time. While the shade is welcome, the umbrella pole in mid table is not. How to decorate around it?
When I visited Cindy Hattersley home last year, I noticed her two outdoor tables were adorned with flowerpots around the umbrella poles. She told me her husband drilled holes in the pots to create these lovely centerpieces. Brilliant.
When I got home and looked at our table, I realized it’s not as large as Cindy’s … nor as wide. All the pots I looked at would take up too much needed space on the table. Then one day last week it came to me. Last year I purchased two shallow 12″ diameter baskets at Home Goods. $9.99 each. I never used them and being a ruthless declutterer I moved them to the giveaway/donate pile. Could a basket work? I explained the problem to Jim, and he got to work. Using a doorknob size drill bit, he put a hole in the basket. As if often the case, one solution presents another problem. What to put in the basket? I gathered some a couple of skinny vases and several bud vases purchased at Target and filled them with Gerbera daisies from Trader Joe’s, cut at varying heights. Not as fabulous as Cindy, but serviceable.
I also added this green and white tablecloth that I purchased from one of Annie’s (Most Lovely Things) recent post links. She creates the most beautiful tables. Doesn’t the tablecloth work well with my Serena & Lily pillows? We cut a small opening at the center of the tablecloth. I know, not ideal, but I gave away my sewing machine years ago. At the end of summer, I’ll take it to a seamstress to be properly finished.
What do you think?
Of course, nothing solves the problem of trying to talk around an umbrella pole. But for evening entertaining, the umbrella is removed.
AMAZING WALKING, RUNNING, WORKOUT SHOES
I recently discovered Hoka workout shoes. I’m embarrassed to tell you how I made this ‘discovery.’ A few months ago, two of my toes went numb and I finally had to see a podiatrist. We’re still trying to figure out the source of the problem, but in the meantime, he suggested switching to Hoka athletic shoes for my daily walks, runs, workouts.
I’d never heard of Hoka’s and imagined some sort of black, bulky orthopedic shoe. Oh, the horror of it all. Turns out, Hoka is just an athletic shoe. With great arch support and a wider toe box for comfort. No more jammed together, crushed toes.
In recent years I’ve been frustrated with Nike and other well-known athletic shoe brands. I’ve spent a small fortune only to have them fall apart quickly. In addition to the falling-apart-quickly irritation, they don’t feel comfortable or supportive to my feet. And sometimes the bottoms of my feet felt bruised and sore after walking a long distance.
Long story short, I bought a couple pair of Hoka’s and have been wearing them for about a month. I love them. LOVE THEM. They feel substantial, while still being lightweight. And this is what I want in a workout shoe. Comfort and support. Oh my gosh, I sound like my grandmother. Bless her heart.
Anyway, if like me you’ve suffered with unhappy feet, Hoka’s might be for you. They come in several styles, and tons of color combinations. I bought the Clifton 8’s in black and rose.
You can find Hoka’s at Nordstrom:
I also love these super cushy socks that add to my foot comfort and happiness.
My doctor also recommended wearing Hoka recovery sandals at home. In lieu of walking around barefoot, in slipper or flip flops … which is bad for our feet. Warning, they aren’t attractive, and you may recoil in horror. I did too. Sadly, I’ve been wearing them. And they are comfortable. Hopefully they’ll help resolve my numb toe issue. At least they won’t hurt.
I wanted to learn more about the brand and poked around a bit on their website. They seem committed to diversity, inclusiveness, and sustainability. You can learn more about their brand commitments here.
AND … yesterday my friend Jane pointed out that one of the Pioneer Woman’s 20-something daughters is wearing Hoka’s. Ok then … perhaps my new shoe fetish is on-trend.
So there you have it, some fun things to share this week.
Now let’s see what Elizabeth and Kim have for us.
IN OTHER NEWS ~
-I’m a little late to the party, but if you haven’t already seen it, this series will leave you scratching your head.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!