June 01, 2022
Although there’s plenty to love about every month, June is one of our favorites, ushering in the full splendor of what the French call “la belle saison.” Cherish this moment and the release and comfort it offers. The weather is picture perfect, the landscape is in full bloom, and there is a sense of pure joy in the air! Fresh, local produce can be found in every market and of course, strawberries and pink peonies are in peak season.
A June Full of Joy
During the longest days of the year, make room for plenty of outdoor activities—relaxed routines, flexibility, and that sense of ease we anticipate with the coming of summer. June is full of celebrations—graduations, weddings and anniversaries, the end of the school year, and so much more.
Speaking of anniversaries, at partager la joie we are so excited to celebrate a very special one by spending a little time in Provence this month. We’re looking forward to wandering local markets, vineyards, and the cool of narrow, cobbled streets. We’re planning bicycle rides, picnics, refreshing pauses at terrasse cafés, and spontaneously enjoying whatever beauty comes our way. We can almost hear the cicadas already, humming across lavender fields and olive groves. Be sure to follow along with us on IG as we share this adventure!
Blue Skies Ahead!
With kids out of school, June is an ideal time to focus on creating balance and making space for mindful moments. 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 a calendar definitely helps make the most of the splendid month of June—and beyond. 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.
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, capture the sunset, and 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 summer full of joy.
The arrival of warmer temperatures naturally inspires and fills us with a desire to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. Mark the transition by including outdoor fitness and sports. Early summer is the ideal time to explore something new—a new region, a local cooking experience, a state park or national forest nearby, a museum whose current exhibitions or permanent collections you haven’t seen yet, etc.
One of our favorite June blooms is lavender, which can be grown in many parts of the US but which never fails to remind us of Provence, where lavender marks the seasons and is an integral part of local customs and economies. A popular favorite in aromatherapy, soothing lavender has long been used as a sleep aid, to repel insects, and to give extra freshness to laundered linens. While wild lavender grows everywhere in the rocky, dry Alpes de Haute Provence, the Luberon and Vaucluse plateaus and the lowlands of Provence are marked by the regular gray-and-purple stripes of cultivated lavender fields. A visit to a lavender farm or distillery is a highlight of any visit to Provence, followed up with a few scoops of local lavender-honey ice cream—and we intend to enjoy both during our upcoming trip to Provence!
June is strawberry season! — Plan a strawberry day with your family or a friend and let these jewel-ripe berries inspire you! This month is a great opportunity to learn something new and make strawberry jam. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite strawberry recipes in our epicure: serve them with cream on our Belgian waffles, as warm jam over vanilla ice cream, for breakfast in a parfait with Greek yogurt, or in a classic strawberry shortcake.
Father’s Day — Don’t forget about Dad! As the weather warms up, it's the perfect time to plan a barbecue in his honor (see our Grilled Shish Kebabs and Baked Potato Bar recipes for some seasonal ideas). Remember to give your father, grandfather, and all the special dads in your life a little extra expression of gratitude for their love and kindness, unwavering support, and encouraging guidance on our journey through life. Whether it’s a phone call, a card, a small gift, or a special meal, there are so many ways to let them know how much they are loved.
Flag Day — Make our patriotic cupcakes and get creative with flag-inspired craft ideas. Dress your table in a flag-colored palette to show your pride and patriotism. Invite a few friends around for a Flag Day apéritif with drinks and small bites in a red, white, and blue theme, and raise your glasses to what makes you proud about our country.
End of School Year/Graduation — Plan a picnic or make-your-own ice cream sundae party to bring a festive sense of closure to the school year and reward kids for how hard they’ve worked. Getting them involved in helping you plan this party is a great way to introduce your child(ren) of all ages to the joy of hosting—and to start the conversation about summer planning!
Create an Outdoor Oasis — Revise your outdoors space in preparation for some alfresco fun. Use clay urns, woven baskets, or window boxes to plant beautiful annuals and fragrant ornamental greens. Add some new perennials to your flower garden (we’re completely gone on lavender, so that’s what we’re transplanting this season!) or fill decorative containers to make a creative kitchen herb garden. And if you have the space for a more extensive vegetable garden, now’s the time to get planting! Gardening is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and relieve stress, and your outdoor space is the ideal place for you and your family to relax together and take advantage of the season. Otherwise, be sure to support your local farmers and inspire your culinary creativity through the variety of nutritious colorful produce available this season.
Artfully Arrange your June Blooms — At partager la joie, June marks our season of flower joy. Pink peonies are all about abundance, soft fragrance, and elegantly overflowing clusters — and we are here for it! While they last, capture these blooms and display them in your favorite vase, jar, or any other decorative container. Arrange small, vibrant bouquets of Ranunculus and place them not only indoors but in your outdoor spaces as well, to add their gentle elegance to that morning café au lait or evening barbecue. Add summer style to your home with perennials, Salvia, alliums, poppies, and whatever blooms are making their appearance in your outdoor space.
Set a Summer Patio Table for Gatherings — Add outdoor lanterns, beautiful linens, and hints of woven and olive wood accessories to style a personalized plein-air table-scape.
We’re excited to share what’s new in our summer styles for you and your home! We’ve selected carefree dresses and tops to pair with summer white jeans and fragrant roll-on natural perfumes in fresh, seasonal scents to carry on the go, as well as reusable market totes, woven beach bags and new candles for summer nights in sea salt and citrus and coconut lime. Fresh linens, woven accents for your table and garden, olive wood accessories for your al fresco table, and lightweight throw blankets to keep cozy on patio evenings. Shop partager la joie
June officially begins summer barbecue season and outdoor dining at partager la joie, and we’ve added many creative twists to perennial favorites. This June we’re cooking seafood paella and shish kabobs along with some fresh ideas for sides—try our crunchy quinoa salad or toss those delicious strawberries with burrata to wow your guests. Visit our epicure for more strawberry delights and inspiration for Flag Day and Father’s Day alike.
Breakfast Yogurt Parfaits
Belgian Waffles with Strawberries and Cream
Honey Lemon Lavender Martini
Burrata Salad with Strawberries
Flag Day Sundaes
Beef Shish Kabobs
Baked Potato Bar
Seafood Paella on the Grill
Let the Light Linger
On this last stretch up to the solstice, enjoy the lengthening days and the cool mornings before summer’s full heat arrives. Be kind to yourself; balance is about cultivating room for your own growth, too. 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 joy.
You’ve made it halfway through the year! It’s a moment to look back in gratitude, for all the wonderful moments you’ve shared with your loved ones, and to look forward—to summer’s bounty and beyond.
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