In our industry it is not about perfection, it’s about capturing the essence of a scene. The same idea should apply to our everyday lives. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to duplicate the perceived excellence you see on screen, in magazines or in pictures. (I assure you just out of your line of sight are lots of big belly grumpy guys, a testy assistant director and we Trash Lassies eating up craft services!) So this summer, go for funky instead of flawless. Don’t just tolerate but relish the chaos of kids being home from school, air conditioners breaking down and the super low cost of gas, (as compared to 4 years from now). And to capture the essence of your summer, here are a few low cost solutions to creating enchanting surroundings and frame warm memories to last through winters chill.
Beach towels that all match is SOOO 2012! Grab the new stylized eclectic look of summer and save money at the same time. Simply choose your principal color base; blue or turquoise, red or orange and stick with patterns that play off your chosen hues. Keep your eye out for deep discounts at every store you shop. Look for the last of the batch in your chosen color scheme, and you can stock up for a song on fresh, cozy comfort to brighten those long summer days and shelter wet kids from the cool evening breeze.
Save up to 60 % by waiting until the end of summer sales, to re-plant your garden or re-vamp the yard. Tolerate what you have in the ground just a little longer, make due with the old patio furniture until late August, and you will grab over TWICE as much outside gear for your coin.
Everyone has Adirondack envy, but to purchase a deck full of authentic wooden custom comfort can run into thousands of dollars. Capture that classic style with high quality plastic seating. They come in gorgeous colors, are weather resistant, extremely comfortable, and made from recycled materials! Available at select home and garden centers, and AdirondackChairs.com and OutdoorLivingShowroom.com
A big money grabber during these hot summer months is air conditioning! Cut electric costs DRAMATICALLY by setting the thermostat at 80, and using fans to circulate the air. Check your local weather report each week, and only use the oven on the coolest days. Make two or three main dishes then simply re-heat in the microwave, stick with cold dinners, or use that barbecue! The cooler your home is overall, the less money wasted.
Tiki torches are inexpensive and very versatile! Remove the lighter fluid canister from the top of the torch and insert a plastic party cup, (12-16 ounce depending on the size of your torch). Once the cup is inserted, you have a perfect vessel to use as a holder or vase. Add foam to build a beautiful floral firework, as buffet service to present utensils and napkins, or secure a platter on top with double stick tape to serve appetizers!
Lanterns quickly transform special occasions into summertime fantasy. Drape from trees, suspend from the ceiling in your home, and hang throughout the back yard to enhance summer gatherings. This is one fast track to instantly elevate any event, big or small. They come in an array of colors, various shapes and sizes, and turn every party into a magical setting. Available at local party stores, and on-line and the best thing about them…they fold flat for minimum storage!
Buy inexpensive non-illuminating lanterns; use Christmas lights to make them shine. For larger light strings (C-6 & C-9) insert one light into globe and secure lantern around the top of the socket. With smaller twinkle lights gather 3-4 individual bulbs from the string, fasten together with thin coated wire and insert into the top of the lantern. Use the light string as your source to drape lanterns from point to point. Black out lights in between with electrical tape, or simply let them shine!
Don’t spend a lot of money on food and beverages to entertain the neighborhood, host a good old fashioned Ice Cream Social! Keep it simple by having only 2 flavors of ice cream and 2 toppings. Serve lemonade to balance the sweetness of the ice cream, and make clean-up easy by eliminating bowls and spoons and serve on cones. Kids will love this super cool summer party theme, and adults love it too!
The very best summer treats comes from a box of JELL-O! Simply make according to package directions, pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Kick up the sweet and good for you factor by using chilled fruit juice instead of cold water…UM UM rich and delicious!
• 3 oz. box of JELL-O
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 cup cold water (or fruit juice)
Place JELL-O granules into a bowl with a pour spout, or pitcher
Add boiling water and mix till dissolved
Stir in cold water or fruit juice (add fruit chunks if desired)
Freeze and enjoy!
Take time to indulge in your own big girl summertime treats with these refreshing and delicious taste sensations. Here are a couple of our favorite finds to refresh your soul, lift you spirit and chill your belly with frosty goodness.
CRYSTAL ICE COSMO
• 1 1/4 cups citrus-flavored vodka
• 1/2 cup Rose’s lime juice
• 2 cups cranberry juice
• 4 ice cube trays
Mix all ingredients with 2 cups water and stir
Pour into ice cube trays and freeze (mixture will not freeze fully)
Empty trays into a shallow pan and break up with a fork
Scoop into glasses and enjoy!
• 5 kiwifruit
• 1/4 cup light rum
• 1/4 cup Midori (melon-flavored liqueur)
• 3 tablespoons Cream of Coconut
• 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (use whole can with the juice)
• 3 cups ice
Peel all kiwifruit
Cut 1 into 6 slices and set aside
Cut 4 into quarters and drop in blender
Add liquor, liqueur, and pineapple, pulse to mix
Add ice and blend till smooth
Pour into glasses and garnish with fruit slices