Summer time means different things to different people and age groups. When you are a student, it is three months of freedom from a schedule, unless you are going to summer school or participating in swim team or some other summer sport. When you are working, it is the continuance of the “norm.”
As an adult with no children in school, I look at it as a time to not travel when all the families are doing so, but to just sit back and enjoy the fruits of a new season, i.e. wear seasonal clothing, fun sandals, hats, eat lighter and healthier and enjoy some fun summer dishes and drinks with friends and family.
Brush off and clean the patio furniture, set out colorful towels and tablecloths and generally add LIGHTNESS to your life. Throw in some summer reading and enjoy being a tourist in your home town or nearby areas.
Whatever you choose to do with your summer, remember to relax, enjoy, and smell the roses.
FUSE LIFE STYLED — Weaving Style into our daily living with great Food & Recipe Ideas, Home Decor Pointers, Travel Tips and contemporary suggestions for Health & Wellness.
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Life Styled Editor
What is it about reading in summer? Perhaps it is the fact that we have more time, especially if we are going on a trip, or that we make more time so that we can indulge in pure relaxation even if we are not leaving our favorite chair. But isn’t that what reading is all about — taking us to someplace else. So while some people go light in their summer reads, I am offering an eclectic list of book titles. Enjoy.
1. East Lynne - By Mrs. Henry Wood A victorian novel with lots of characters and events, twists and turns. (Note: The joy of this book for me was the fact that my grandmother’s signature, dated 1916, was written in it; and it was published in 1905.)
2. Behold the Dreamers - By Imbolo Mbue A story of an immigrant couple from Cameroon (by an author from Cameroon) about their adventures in coming to the United States at the time of the Lehman Brothers fallout.
3. The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem - By Sarit Yishai-Levi One girl’s journey to understand her family through four generations of love, loss and acceptance.
4. Caribbean - By James A. Michener Long, but worth the read. Michener does such a great job of researching the history of each of his novels. This is about the discovery, settlement and development, and struggles of the islands in the Caribbean, through the people that lived it, spanning several generations.
5. The Japanese Lover - By Isabel Allende In a San Francisco, Bay Area setting, in the dual time periods of the 2000s and 1940s, this is the story of an elderly, eccentric woman living in a nursing home and her decades old love affair with the son of her family’s Japanese gardener.
6. After You - By Jojo Moyes A follow up to Me Before You.
7. The Eighty Dollar Champion - By Elizabeth Letts Even if you don’t like horses, this is a book worth reading if you haven’t discovered it yet.
8. The Aloha Quilt - By Jennifer Chiaverini Definitely a light summer read. While this is part of a formularized series, it is the first one I have read. With another season of Elm Creek Quilt Camp coming to a close, the owner faces a new set of circumstances with her quilt shop out of business and her divorce looming. (This is a nice escape to Hawaii.)
9. The Buddha in the Attic - By Joyce Otsuka A telling novel about Japanese picture brides immigrating to America in the early 1900s.
10.The Woman Destroyed - By Simone De Beauvoir A collection of three stories focusing on women who, having passed their youth, are experiencing unexpected crises. Written in three very distinct styles.
Slice of orange
3 parts Prosecco (or any other dry sparkling wine)
2 parts Aperol
1 splash of soda
THE BEST SUMMER
WITH FRESH FRUIT
Fresh Watermelon Margarita
4 oz Tequila Don Julio Blanco 12
6 oz seedless watermelon
juice 1/4 lemon and 1/4 lime
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
Sprig of mint for garnish
Blend together tequila, Grand Marnier, watermelon, lemon and lime juice. Pour into shaker filled with ice and shake well. Rim two glasses with salt or sugar. Pour in margarita mixture and garnish with mint.
This is a refreshing Fruity Cocktail perfect for any Summer Gathering.
Pineapple and Sage Gimlet
Created by Bombay Sapphire North American Brand Ambassador, Gary Hayward.
7.5 oz Bombay Sapphire gin
3.75 oz lime juice
3 oz simple syrup
7 sage leaves
5 oz pineapple juice Build with ice in punch bowl and stir.
Serves 5 people.
4 EPA Tips to Staying Cool—and Save Money—This Summer
1. Install and Set a Programmable Thermostat
It doesn't make sense to have the a/c cooling your house while you're not there. Sure, you could switch it off on your way out, but it's no fun coming home to a hot and stuffy house. Set a programmable thermostat to a few degrees warmer for when you're out, and then have it cool the house to a comfortable temperature about an hour before you get home.
$ MONEY TALK $
3. Maintain the Air Filters
The EPA recommends checking the air filters in your HVAC system every month. If they're dirty, replace them right away. Dirty filters slow airflow and make the system work harder, which in time can lead to costly maintenance or system failure. Plan to replace air filters at least once every three months, the EPA says, to keep dirt and dust out of your system.
4. Make Good Use of a Ceiling Fan
During the summer make sure the fan is spinning counter-clockwise so that it creates a downward airflow. This produces a windchill effect and stirs up the denser cool air near the floor. Keep in mind that a fan does not lower the temperature of the room—it simply cools the people in it by about 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
By Andy Arthur
2. Seal Leaks and Insulate Ducts
Leaks in your home's building envelope and its HVAC ducts allow precious cool air to escape, overworking your a/c. Sealing major leaks can improve the efficiency of your system by up to 20 percent. If you can access your HVAC ducts, fix any leaky seams with duct tape, foil tape, or duct mastic. Insulating ducts in areas that get hot in the summer, such as garages and crawl spaces, will further increase your system's efficiency.