Joyous for June!

June 01, 2024

Joyous for June!

The Month That Brings Out Our Inner Sparkle


 At partager la joie, June reminds us of the simple splendors in life—la belle saison, as the French call it. We cherish these moments and linger in the pure magic of this joyful season— blissful blooms, beautiful temperatures, fresh, local produce and more time spent outdoors with family and friends. Although we find joy in every season, there is just something about June and the start of summer that makes us sparkle! Strawberries, peonies, picnics, lavender, a change of pace, longer days, later sunsets, and so much to celebrate… need we say more about why we’re excited for June to begin?


Just A Perfect June Day

We often reflect on what it is that makes a perfect day. Of course, this is different for everyone—but in general we’ve seen that what makes one day better than another is the ability to find balance. To be productive, yet feel relaxed. To spend time with people we love and also enjoy solo self-care time and surround ourselves with the beauty in nature. To have a meaningful conversation, to do something good either for yourself or for others, and to take the time to be present in the moments you enjoy.  At plj we think it's important to strive for our “perfect days” and remember that sometimes we don’t always have to travel far and wide to find them. They may be right where we are… today. 


A Fresh Perspective

As you know, we focus a lot on the impact of making small, positive, sustainable changes to enhance our lifestyle, our homes, and ourselves. Learning, new experiences, and connection with others are all vital to our personal growth and longevity. Whether weyou’re visiting a new county or interested in seeing something closer to home, it's important to vary our daily routines. And the start of summer and the spark we feel in June inspires us to do just that. Make a bucket list for the summer (see last month’s blog for ideas) or look ahead and brainstorm some ideas for another time. Having something to look forward to, and making positive edits to our everyday life (healthy eating, exercise, good sleep routines, etc.) does wonders to facilitate our well-being and to cultivate joy.


Father’s Day Fun


June 16th is time to celebrate our dads and all the father figures we cherish. Let them know how special they are and how much we appreciate the love, guidance, and support they have given to us. Take advantage of the season and plan something outdoors—a barbecue, a day at the beach, play a favorite sport, or take a hike! Remember, it’s more about the time spent together than about what you do.


Summer Solstice 


Mark the longest day of the year on (or around) June 20th with a garden-inspired gathering! This can be as simple as Aperol Spritzes and a grazing snack board or a themed dinner showcasing this season’s fresh market produce. Try our Caprese Pasta Salad or Garden Herb Pasta along with a favorite grilled protein or a family-style seafood paella or our Oven Roasted Shrimp Boil for a larger group. See our Summer Apéro section below for more ideas and shop our home finds for styling your outdoor table.

Looking for curated inspiration for hosting your summer gatherings? Get in touch here and schedule an Inspiration Workshop with us. 

Elevate Your Everyday

Summer Apéros 

June is the ideal month to host gatherings—no need for a special occasion, just the pleasure of a June day or evening is enough! The French tradition of a pre-meal apéritif, or apéro, is the epitome of casual relaxation made festive by sharing a glass and a few nibbles. The weather is temperate, nature is blooming, and gathering to celebrate and relax is the most appealing thing imaginable. Simple, carefree get-togethers are what summer is all about! Now that your outdoor spaces are summer-ready, let’s talk about some ways to make seasonal entertaining joyful. To start, arrange beautiful flowers for your table and serving areas. Set a help-yourself bar with your favorite spirits, wine, and bubbles. Prepare seasonal fruits, a few bottles of fresh juices, sparkling water, and mixers of choice. Don’t forget the nibbles: olives, mixed nuts, assorted cheese, cut fruit, crudités, crackers and chips, sliced rustic bread (toasted or plain, with or without spreads like hummus, tapenade, or herbed butter), and charcuterie… These are all part of a classic French apéro. If you’re planning a dinner, we’ve got plenty of inspiration in our Epicure section, from homemade pizza to our barbecue favorites. Link epicure here 


Summer Travel Spotlight: Marbella, Spain 

Last summer, we visited Costa del Sol in southern Spain. After arriving at Malaga airport, it was about forty-five minutes by car to the resort city of Marbella, where we stayed at Puente Romano. Nestled along the promenade, this was the ideal venue to spend some spirited family time by the Mediterranean Sea. The resort was lively and bustling with plenty of activities, beautiful landscapes, and wonderful restaurants. The hot July weather didn’t stop us from enjoying morning strolls and bike riding along the promenade, shopping in Puerto Baus, time at the beach, and relaxing afternoons by the pool. Marbella is filled with seaside cafes and plenty of places to explore, with something to entice every member of the family—water sports, golf, warm sunny beaches, a visit to historic Old Town, and delicious cuisine. We won’t soon forget our favorites, which included tomato gazpacho, tapas, and paella. 

Puente Romano Beach Resort 


Sunshine and Smiles

We’re all busy and wear many hats during any given day. And although we don’t love to use the words schedule and summer in the same sentence, planning out even a very flexible itinerary helps to prevent time from getting away from us (does “Where does the summer go!” sound familiar?) Here are a few ways we like to approach summer planning at plj.  If you have young children, plan some time when they have structured but creative summer activities with playgroups, educational activities, summer camps, sports, or art lessons. If you have teenagers at home, talk to them about how they envision spending their summer days—travel, volunteer work, a summer job, sports, leisure and enrichment activities, and so on. Remember, the idea is not to schedule all their time. Keep activities and commitments flexible—after all, it's summertime, and many young people have had a busy, challenging school year and will need the space to rest, to do nothing, to just let themselves be. However, a loose sense of structure and purpose actually helps most children relax (and you too!), so it’s helpful to get their input and organize some activities with and/or for your child. 

Summer Rituals


Whether you have travel plans or are staying close to home— plan some summertime gatherings with family and friends. And don’t forget to schedule in time for your own activities, too! Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a beach read, savor the sunset, or enjoy a picnic dinner or outdoor movie. Finding a healthy balance between spontaneity and the stability a schedule can provide will put you and your family on track for a healthy, rewarding, and joyous summer full of joy. 


Nurture with Nature

What is it about getting out into nature that makes us feel so good? Well, it’s become part of our daily ritual. Every morning we open up our living space and let in the fresh air… by making this our mantra and creating time for more leisure activities outdoors during our day we are able to facilitate those mindful moments we talked about last month. Gardening, a hike in the woods, a walk on the beach especially in the early morning or evening is a great start or a lovely way to wind down the day. 


Food Favorite Spotlight: Strawberries!

June is strawberry season and we simply can’t wait. ​Plan a market day or schedule an excursion to a pick-your-own strawberry farm and let these sweet-ripe berries inspire you! This month is a great opportunity to learn something new and make strawberry jam or sorbet. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite strawberry recipes in our epicure. You can serve them with cream on our Belgian waffles, as warm sauce over vanilla ice cream, for breakfast in a parfait with Greek yogurt, or in a classic strawberry shortcake. We are planning to try out easy homemade strawberry ice cream this month and can't wait to share it with you!


It’s best to wash strawberries right before you are ready to use them, and freezing is our preferred method to preserve their bright bounty for enjoyment all year round. Here are three methods we found for cleaning fresh strawberries, followed by freezing tips. (source: Whichever washing method you use, don’t soak the berries. They’ll absorb too much water, which will affect the texture and flavor. A quick rinse is all they need.


Cleaning Strawberries with Water

Washing strawberries with tap water is the easiest and most effective way to rid them of bacteria and residue from packaging and processing. First, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water (always start with clean hands!). Then, either holding them or placing them in a colander, rinse the strawberries under running water, rubbing gently as you rinse. Dry on a clean paper towel.


Cleaning Strawberries with Salt

Even if they look clean and ready to eat, little critters might be hiding in and enjoying your punnet of berries. Who can blame them? Soaking strawberries (and other fresh berries) in a salt-water bath can draw out bugs and other contaminants. Fill a bowl with about two cups of warm water and two tablespoons of salt. Let the salt dissolve and the water cool, then add the berries. Allow them to soak for about five minutes, but no more. Rinse under running water and pat dry.


Cleaning Strawberries with Vinegar

If you get your produce from the farmer’s market, you might notice a little extra dirt on your strawberries. According to the CDC, a vinegar wash helps remove grime, spores, and bacteria and prevents the berries from getting mushy. Wash berries in a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar and 3 cups water. Then rinse your berries with clean water to remove any leftover vinegar. Pat dry with a clean paper towel. (Pro tip: a vinegar bath is also a great idea for lettuces, mesclun mixes, radishes, sweet baby carrots, snow peas, and any other market produce that you plan to eat unpeeled and raw, as crudités.)


Freezing Strawberries

Choose berries that are dark red, firm, and fully ripe. Discard any moldy berries. After you’ve cleaned them using your preferred method above, use a sharp knife or hulling tool to remove the stems and caps. (Here’s how to hull those strawberries quickly!) If your strawberries have mushy spots, slice them off. Lay the strawberries out in a single layer on clean kitchen towels or paper towels and allow them to air dry. Strawberries can be frozen whole, sliced or crushed, and with or without sugar. For whole, unsweetened berries, first freeze the strawberries in a single layer on a baking sheet. This will keep them from getting stuck together. Once they’re solid, place the berries in airtight containers or freezer bags. To prevent freezer burn, remove as much air as possible by either completely filling the containers or gently pressing extra air out of the bags.


June Design Notes

Flowers Galore

At partager la joie, June is the height of our season of flower delightjoy. Peonies are one of our favorites—with their array of pale colors, sweet soft fragrance, and elegantly overflowing clusters. While they last, capture these blooms and display them in your favorite vase, jar, or any other decorative container. Dahlias also take center stage this month, artfully arranged in a monochromatic bunch or a vibrantly hued bundle. Place small, lively bouquets of Ranunculus in jars and line them down a table. Add them to your outdoor spaces to make their gentle elegance part of your morning café au lait or evening barbecue. 

There are endless possibilities when it comes to styling summer flowers. Choose perennials, lavender, salvia, alliums, poppies, or whatever blooms are currently making their appearance in your garden or local farmer’s market to find your inspiration. Pro tip: potting summer cooking herbs is not only convenient but adds flavor and freshness to your favorite recipes.

Gather Around a Summer Table 

With plein-air dining in full swing, let’s elevate our everyday by adding outdoor lanterns, beautiful linens, and hints of woven and olive wood accessories to personalize our tablescape. We’ve sourced lovely new cotton table linens in beautiful patterns and added stylish new woven tableware, as perfect for hosting at home as it is for that impromptu picnic.


Classic Summer Style

We’ve stocked our go-to summer styles and incorporated a few new seasonal items to all of our collections: oversized woven beach bags, white breezy cotton pants and shorts, gauzy tops, new cotton baby blankets and travel accessories, bright and fresh wellness essentials and plenty of stylish finds for the home. *Shop partager la joie here



Memorial Day weekend has officially kicked off summer barbecue season and outdoor dining to launch us into June, and at partager la joie we’ve added many creative twists to perennial favorites. This month we’re cooking seafood paella, tossing lots of veggie and grain salads, and creating a picnic-style grilled board to celebrate our dads. Strawberries are our inspiration for many of our recipes this month. These delicious gems are perfect for smoothies, homemade jam, and a classic shortcake. Creamy sorbets and seasonal fruit cocktail creations are also on our summer agenda. Be sure to follow us on IG and visit our epicure to see what we’ve come up with for strawberry season! Tag us if you try any of these recipes or put your own special twist on them; we love to see what our community is up to in the kitchen!


Strawberry Jam

Strawberries & Cream Sorbet

Breakfast Yogurt Parfaits

Aperol Spritz

Belgian Waffles with Strawberries and Cream

Caprese Pasta Salad

Berry Cobbler

Calypso House Salad

Flag Day Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream  

Seafood Paella on the Grill

Five-Ingredient Energy Bars

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri

Baked Potato Board

Oven Roasted Shrimp Boil

Blue Skies Ahead


It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the year! On this last stretch up to the solstice, enjoy the relaxed and carefree feeling that nature brings. Be kind to yourself, and remember that balance is about cultivating your own sparkle and leaving room for your growth, too, alongside that of everything in your garden! YOU are the brightest bloom of la belle saison. Take some time to breathe in deeply and savor the beauty of your surroundings, which you’ve worked so hard to cultivate as a setting for experiencing and sharing joy. Cherish this time and look back with gratitude, for all you’ve accomplished— the wonderful moments you’ve shared with your loved ones—and to look forward to the sunshine, the blue skies, and the many joys this summer will bring. 


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