A SWEET SUMMER TABLE DESIGN

set your table for summertime fun

So, you may have guessed from other posts that I’m a little bit obsessed with these Clare V. Salad Plates from Anthropologie. I know, it’s weird. I generally steer clear of anything cute or candy pink.  As an only child and grandchild, I feel as though I have officially satisfied my ruffle-filled, isn’tshesweet, pretty princess obligations.   

But this past year has been rough. Maybe it’s time to reclaim some of that unrelenting optimism little Jennifer had while pirouetting around the back yard in a tutu. Or maybe I’ve just finally lost whatever was left of my f’ing mind and in a few months, you’ll find me twirling through the halls of a local psych ward. Either way, I’m not ashamed to say that I LOVE these plates and the joy they bring me. 

PINK IS NOT THE PRIMARY POINT OF THIS PALETTE 

Since pink is not one of my go-to colors, I focused instead on those luscious red lips This table setting was going to be fun damn it, so I added bright primary colors to complete my happy-go-lucky summer vibe.  

added blue to each place setting by incorporating the Lina Striped Dinner Plates from Crate and Barrel and popped some bright yellow into the mix with my go-to Cotton Slub Napkins from World Market.  

Then, to keep things grounded, I anchored everything with these great Bali Round Placemats. Seriously, I needed some neutrals. Any more color and this place setting might have started shooting rainbows out of its glass. (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.) 

TONE IT DOWN 

Speaking of neutrals, when you go this heavy handed with bright colors, it’s wise to mix in a few neutrals and softer tones. Obviously, the placemats brought in a bit of natural brown, as did my vintage wood candlesticks. The pink plates and soft aqua tablecloth bridged the stark contrast between all my primary colors, and I chose clear glassware to keep things simple.

These Impressions Cooler Glasses and Link Wine Glasses literally came out of my own kitchen. You can buy a box of 12 Impressions Glasses at Crate and Barrel for a whopping $24, which is a big deal to someone like me who talks with her hands and tends to break things a lotI say for $2 a glass, break as many as you like. Opa! 

FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS FROM AROUND THE BEND 

In keeping with my fun summer theme, I opted for wildflower arrangements. I wanted something that looked like it came straight from the side of a country road, so I used yellow Yarrow, Golden Rod and Ammobium, aka the cutest little daises you’ll ever come across.

You can often find these varieties at your local grocery store or florist in the summer months. I picked these up at Trader Joe’s, but if you’re up for a walk, you can probably pluck similar stems along your favorite path or trail. Just beware of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and an unrelenting urge to skip down the lane and drink lemonade on a wide covered porch.

As for food, one of my all-time favorite summer recipes is this Curried  Cauliflower Egg Salad. Serve it on its own or with crackers, biscuits or bread. Seriously, this is not your mom’s egg salad! The curry really takes this lowliest of mayo-based salads and turns it into a stunning main or side. I dare you not to get addicted to it. 

Shrimp is also a crowd pleaser during hotter months and this Lemony Shrimp with Capers doesn’t disappoint. Plus, it tastes great at room temperature and stands up to hot summer days. Serve some Lemon Rosemary No-Knead Bread so that guests can sop up the sauce from their shrimp.

Last but not least, how can you have a summertime bash without a decadent summertime dessert. These Mini Blackberry Ricotta Cakes are as darling as they are delicious – just be sure to make extra. This dessert has a tendency to disappear quickly. I’m not proud to say it, but I ate 6 over the course of Liz’s last birthday party. Zero f**ks given. 

Cheers to hot summer decadence! 

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