July 01, 2022
Hello July! We’re ready for a quintessential summer—how about you? At partager la joie, we are all about celebrating the summer blues. July means bright blue skies, beautiful blue hydrangeas, juicy blueberries, clear blue waters—and we’re here for it!
Summer inspires us to plan a seaside gathering or farm-to-table dinner outdoors. Whether it be a sunset beach dinner, a barbecue on the patio, a clambake, or a picnic in a field or vineyard… let’s set our sights on a long, lovely summer of sharing joyful moments with family and friends in relaxed, spontaneous ways.
It’s time to gather
Have a Happy 4th—Celebrate the 4th of July with a red, white, and blue-themed sunset cocktail party or a garden barbecue featuring loads of grilled seasonal veggies—or by the sea, with a festive beach picnic. Refreshing and in season, our table features plenty of summer faves for all your festivities: make-ahead corn chowder, blueberry cobbler, and sea-salt dark chocolate chip cookies are easy ways to please a crowd. Grilled vegetables, a patriotic watermelon, blueberry, and feta salad, Mediterranean chopped salad, or our no-mayo potato salad are perfect picnic staples! Ready to sparkle? Add nasturtiums to your salads for their color bursts and brightly spicy notes, sprinkle fresh lavender buds in your lemonade pitcher, and craft your cocktails with a blueberry simple syrup—all super easy ideas to evoke a classic summer vibe.
Plan to Unwind
As you know by now, at PLJ we love to be organized in order to make the most of joyful moments anytime they arise—spontaneously or planned. We’re sharing our beach picnic supply list for you to use as a template for your own outdoor gatherings and we’re highlighting many simple and creative ways to get together this summer. Here are a few tips:
-Organize your seasonal outdoor tableware in advance—linens, plates, cutlery, beverage glassware, candles, baskets, servingware, table decor, vases. Outdoor dining will happen more often and with less hassle if everything is ready to go!
-Pack a picnic basket—s’mores supplies (roasting sticks, marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars), flashlight, bug repellant, blankets, simple, sturdy tableware (plates, napkins, beverage glasses, linens, serving utensils and cutlery) fire supplies (wood, lighter, paper, small shovel), serving baskets, cheese/cutting board, knife, bottle opener, cooler, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, paper towels. For ambiance and entertainment—games, speakers, and lanterns/candles. Folding chairs and a table can make a picnic more comfortable for aging family members, and more luxurious for everyone!
-Set aside a beach bag—Fouta towels, beach mats, refillable water bottles, a book, and sunscreen—so you’re ready at a moment's notice for whatever kind of fun summer has in store for you and yours.
-Prioritize fun family time—School’s out, so make the most of the long days together and set sail, play a round of golf or tennis, spend an afternoon at the beach, take a bike ride or a hike, and organize some lawn games. Whether it’s roasting marshmallows, splashing in the pool, or a patio barbecue or outdoor pizza party—take advantage of every opportunity July offers to enjoy outdoor summer fun with your family. To involve children in the responsibility and satisfaction of planning, let each child choose an outdoors activity/field trip for the family and devote a whole day to it!
-Schedule time to just BE—Although this may seem obvious, a busy summer packed with fun activities and joyous gatherings will fly by before you know it, so leave some down time in your schedule just to nap, read, or sit in a beautiful and relaxing place doing absolutely nothing. You deserve it.
Summer is Served!
Host a Midsummer Soirée: Gather friends together and make pizzas outdoors. Change up the summer barbecue game with a clambake, whether the venue is the beach or your own patio. Organize a sunset cocktail party—one of our favorite summer traditions, and a good reason to have all your outdoor provisions handy!
Outdoor Movie Night: This is a special event for the whole family. The kids love it! Delight is in the details: a popcorn machine, candies in vintage jars, comfy cushions or chairs outside on the lawn, an outdoor movie screen. Now is the time for those homemade ice cream sandwiches or our favorite waffle cones filled with local organic ice cream. With the children deep in the magic of the movies, the main attraction for grownups might be as simple as a few delicious amuse-bouches, chilled rosé, and conversation with friends! Be sure to keep everyone toasty with our lightweight summer blankets as the chill sets in late on a summer evening.
Summer Picnics: Although we’d love to enjoy that summer feeling all year long, we know the season goes by quickly, so we like to take advantage of dining en plein air—and at PLJ we think picnics are a perfect choice! Let your creativity take over here. Coffees or breakfast at the beach, simple sandwiches and zesty snacks and fruit for a lunchtime basket, or a candlelit dinner extravaganza… There are so many ways to make the most of the long days and gentle nights we enjoy at this time of year!
July Design Notes
It’s time for flower power: At PLJ it’s hydrangeas, hydrangeas, hydrangeas! These bombshells in blue are top of mind when we think of July’s heatwaves and buoyant celebrations. They are stunning as part of a patriotic theme arrangement, but are also simply charming for seaside or garden gatherings. Team them up with fragrant lavender in your indoor bouquets. But don’t stop there. If you love flowers, this is your season to shine, with so many bright blooms to choose from for your beautiful table arrangements—dahlias, delphinium, cosmos, and daylilies, just to name a few!
Set the summer table: Think simple and seasonal with your table design. We love our neutrals at PLJ, but blue and white make a fabulous July-inspired summer table! With Independence Day on the horizon, it’s time to show a patriotic flair with blue and white dish towels or checkered napkins, red tin plates, and mini-flags. Integrate a little rustic charm and texture with mason jars for glasses, paper straws and woven table accents. Seasonal fruit displays, olive wood trays, small planters, and fresh lavender buds in a lemonade pitcher—mix and match these possibilities to create a carefree summer style that’s all your own!
Sunshine Styles for the Season
It’s travel season! Our organic cotton travel set is making a debut, featuring a travel blanket and eye mask in a handy pouch for slipping into your carry-on bag. Inspired by our recent fabulous visit to Provence, we’ve got new linen market totes, white marble cheese and charcuterie boards, fresh cotton dish towels, and linen table runners—along with loads of olive wood and woven table accessories and planters in our home section.
Light and lovely summer dresses, woven totes, and gauzy cotton and tops in white and floral patterns are new in our chic styles, and summer-scented candles and roll-on fragrances highlight our wellness collection. Come take a look around!
Our Summer Menu (bring on the picnics!)
July means fresh summer produce! Supporting local farmers and eating seasonal fruits and veggies is never easier than at this time of year. Local economies everywhere are in recovery mode these days, and we can all be a positive force by taking care about where we choose to be patrons. Aside from being simply delicious, making a commitment to eat fresh, local, and minimally processed foods is great for teaching children cooking skills and helps to facilitate healthy eating habits, with benefits that will last a lifetime.
July epicure favorites:
Blueberry White Balsamic Dressing
Watermelon, Blueberry, and Feta Flag Salad
Sea-Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza
Grilled Summer Vegetables
BBQ Grilled Chicken
Summer Corn Chowder
Mediterranean Chopped Salad
Watermelon and Peach Panzanella
joie de vivre
One of the things that most impressed us during our Provençal sojourn last month was the gentle, joyous pace of life that permeates everything. Is it because the summer heat forces everyone to slow down, relax, and enjoy what’s essential? Whatever the case, this joie de vivre goes hand in hand with our philosophy at partager la joie, and we want to share it with you.
Ride that summer wave, relax, and enjoy the long days and all those special moments with the loved ones who matter most. Even the simplest shared joys can become sweet memories for a lifetime.
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