Monday, June 13, 2016

~My Spring/Summer Essentials~

  For Spring and Summer, many of us start to make changes in our homes to reflect the season. It may be something as simple as changing out pillows, heavy throws, bedding, curtains and home accessories, for something lighter. For others, it may be the time to tackle major home improvements. For me, it's all about the simple things; and today, I thought that I would share some of my Spring/Summer Essentials.

1. Fresh flowers… Fresh flowers add such a lovely touch to the home. Ideally, it is nice to bring in cuttings from the garden. However, not everyone has a green thumb. That’s when grocery stores, or places like Trader Joe’s, can come in handy! You can score some really economical bouquets on your next grocery run. My favorites for spring/summer are hydrangeas.

     2. Scented candles…I love candles year 'round, especially seasonal scents. I burn candles daily; and they create such a wonderful ambiance.  In the Spring and Summer, I like to use anything that has a light, clean, fresh scent or anything citrusy. And don’t forget your outdoor spaces. I keep a selection of scented candles meant for outdoor use, as well. It makes relaxing outside even more enjoyable! My favorite jar candles for summer have always been the Jo Malone "Wild Fig and Cassis" and the "Grapefruit" candle by Nest.

For more economical candles to burn daily, I love the 3-wick candles from Bath and Body Works. They burn evenly and have a great "throw". My favorites this season have been, "Tiki Beach", "Beautiful Day" and "Endless Weekend". They run various sales frequently; and it can be a good time to stock up on your favorite scents.

via Bath & Body Works

  3. Fresh Herbs…Fresh herbs are a great addition to your garden space, even if they are contained in pots. My favorites are rosemary and mint.  We have 2 large rosemary plants on both sides of the front entrance. When our guests brush against them, they always comment on how good they smell. It is so convenient to pull a small sprig of rosemary and add it to a dish baking in the oven. It pairs well with fish or chicken. It makes the whole house smell so good.  

You can also make a great, all-natural, simmering potpourri. Just take a few sprigs of rosemary, slice one lemon or orange (or both), add a tablespoon of vanilla; and simmer, in a small pot, on low. I start out on the highest setting, to get a good boil going. This quickly gets the fragrance in the air. Then, I reduce the heat, to its lowest setting, to simmer. 
(Just be sure to add more water, as it evaporates.) 
It makes the house smell great! 

Mint has also been one of my favorites since childhood. I keep a large pot near the patio door. (It can be pretty invasive if planted in the ground.)

As a child, my favorite “chore” was gathering a few sprigs to put in the glasses of iced tea. It makes such a pretty addition to any of your summer beverages.

4. Fresh fruit and vegetables…’Tis the season for some of the freshest fruit and vegetables that you can get. Dear Hubby has a raised garden tucked away on the east side of the house that keeps us supplied with a variety of fresh veggies. He usually has an overabundance of bell peppers and fresh tomatoes! 

Place fresh produce in decorative bowls, on the kitchen counter, for a touch of summer color. Not only is it pretty to look at, it is a constant reminder to get your daily intake!

       5. A mortar and pestle set…This one may sound a bit offbeat; but it really comes in handy! Tip No. 3 mentioned using fresh herbs. Well, the mortar and pestle come in handy for muddling your herbs and fresh berries for those summer drinks. It really helps to bring out the flavors. I picked one up at Williams-Sonoma for about $12.

via Williams-Sonoma

         6. Summery Tableware…I like to keep an assortment of melamine dinnerware and acrylic tumblers/goblets, specifically for outdoor use. Paired with colorful napkins and placemats, they bring your outdoor settings to life!  There is no need to worry about breakage, if they are accidentally tipped over.  You can find a great selection of colors and patterns at places like Pier One and Cost Plus World Market.

via Pier 1


  1. Good morning Shenita! I hope you like those drink recipes I posted....we're going to make the summertime drink at my son's for the 4th of July when the whole family visits. He has a wonderful backyard, pool, and gazebo so it should be the perfect drink.

    I love your "summer essentials". A few years ago when I was in Destin I picked up a candle by Capri Blue. The lid says Aloha Orchid and underneath the Capri Blue logo is says Allure so not sure of the correct name but it smells devine! I have one in my kitchen and one in my bathroom. I think you can find them on line too.

    I just bought mint and rosemary herbs for my kitchen windowsill like I do every summer. Right now the rosemary is on a table vignette on my front porch but the mint is on my kitchen window and I love how it smells so fresh...I do use it in my cooking as well.

    I need to try the Jo Malone line of candles...I keep hearing about them but have not bought one yet.

    So happy to see you back to blogging. My blogging has dropped off drastically but I just post whenever I get the "urge" or have something to share. Blogging has changed so much over the last few years and it's just not what it used to be....too much competition!

    Hope you have a wonderful week and thank you for always stopping by my blog!

  2. Shenita, it's great to see you back!! What wonderful summer tips:-) I just went over to BBW and ordered some candles, so I can't wait to get them.

  3. Shenita, so good to see you posting again... welcome back! :) You have been missed! Great ideas for Spring and Summer Essentials! Thanks for sharing them! I've never tried the natural potpourri... will have to follow your recipe and give it a go! :) ~Rhonda

  4. Love your list of essentials, Shenita! Really helpful ideas we all can try! Great to see you blogging again!

  5. You really know how to do summer in your home so beautifully and so deliciously!....thanks for sharing your summer essentials....I can just imagine how wonderfully your garden looks and smells and the house too with the delightful scents of candles and homemade potpourri!....Have a great week Shenita...keep cool!

  6. I guess I don't really transition my home much except by the kitchen with some little deco changes on my plate rack and table. I too love candles and was just burning my new favorite called Japanese Cedarwood by Root. I'll check out those at BB&B. I should grow some mint! I've done something similar with the simmering potpourri but more for fall. I'll have to try this recipe!

  7. Shenita, I have missed your blogging, welcome back! Great essentials and many are also my summer essentials. I love any Jo Malone fragrances, they don't bother my allergies. Fresh herbs and veggies, a summer must! Have a great week! Pam @ Everyday Living

  8. Doesn't Trader Joe's have the best flowers? And so inexpensive compared to many others. Beautiful Day is one of my favorite scents too.This summer I'll be sure to try the others you mentioned. I've always wanted a mortar and pestle and for that price I need to run to WS! Thanks for all the wonderful tips!

  9. Love seeing your summer essentials and I can almost smell the mint! Happy to see you back!

  10. You are so right, fresh flowers and citrus candles, and produce really set the house up for summer. I bought a big bag of apples this weekend. My idea was to use half of them in a bowl on the table and the rest would be in the fridge for eating. Wow did that "advertising" work. All the ones in the fridge are gone. Back to the store...

  11. Hey Shenita! So nice to see a post from you! Hope you and your family have been well. I love fresh herbs too. I planted lavender and rosemary. I love simmering them in a pot too, like you mentioned.

  12. Love, love all your Summer touches. It is so good to see you back on the blog. :) Take care, Maria

  13. Welcome back! A great post yo welcome summer and your comeback...Christine

  14. Dear friend I'm so happy to see you around again. I love your Summer tips and those dishes are so happy and so pretty.
    I too love mint specially in food. Citrus is the most delightful scent all year round too.

  15. Hmm, it makes me happy to have cute summery napkins, the perfect light summer scented lotion, clean windows, and hamburgers from the grill. :)

    1. So glad you shared this at Thoughts of Home!! :)

  16. Shenita,
    I adore your Spring/ Summertime essentials, dear friend!
    Herbs are one of my favorite things to grow in the Gardens!

  17. Jo Malone and Nest candles are great choices.... Add Dyptique to that list. xoxo

  18. Those are all such good ideas. I have a mortar and pestle that I rarely use. I should think of more ways to use it! I think fresh fruits and vegetables are something I gravitate towards in the warmer months.

  19. Hi Shenita! It was great to see you on the blog. Been a long time. I love your summer essentials. The candles look especially good.

  20. So great to see a post from you ... I've missed seeing your gorgeous home! Thanks for sharing your summer faves ... I'm off to Bath and Body works tomorrow and will definitely scout out your favorite candles!

  21. Awesome tips for the Spring, Summer season. Love your choices of candles, they do add ambiance and fresh aromas. We have tons of rosemary and I also have a big pot of mint growing. Have a fabulous weekend and thanks for joining DI&DI.

  22. Great tips for summer. I love cooking with fresh herbs in the summer and there is nothing like a tomato straight from the garden! (or farm stand in my case!) Enjoy your week!

  23. Great tips for summer! Thank you for visiting my FrenchGardenHouse blog today. Happy Monday!

  24. Awesome summer essentials Shenita!!! I love anything to do with fresh veggies and herbs from the garden. This year we are growing rosemary, basil and oregano along with an ongoing supply of sage. (From the mint family so it keeps coming back year after year!) Wishing you a wonderful day and glorious first official week of summer!
    XO Barbara

  25. Some of my favorite summer essentials! Your hubby has a green thumb! Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  26. Beautiful, beautiful, Shenita! You know a thing or two about summertime living! Thanks for sharing your great ideas for creating a lovely summertime home.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at the Grace at Home party. I'm featuring you this week!

  27. Love all your ideas to make a house more summery. Love candles and flowers, they can have such a big impact on a room. Thanks for sharing all these ideas!!

  28. Excellent blog! Really loved all your efforts that you have put in to make spring season alive in your house. I too love spring season and these days my entire garden is full of beautiful flowers. Recently have Deliver Flowers to my friend’s house as she wanted them for her birthday party decoration.