June 01, 2023
Although there’s plenty to love about every month, June is one of our favorites. 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.
We like to relish this moment and the release and comfort it offers. During the longest days of the year, let’s 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.
A Perfect June Day
Start this month off with a mindfulness exercise we love. Take a quiet moment to reflect on what it is that makes a perfect day. Of course this is different for everyone—but overwhelmingly what makes one day better than another is the ability to find balance… To be productive, yet feel relaxed. To spend time with people you love and surround yourself 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. To this general outline, add your own details to paint your own personal picture of perfection. 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. We may find that what we’re looking for is right where we are!
Speaking of right where we are, June is the ideal month to host home gatherings—no need for a special occasion, with temperate weather and nature in full bloom all around us. Simple, carefree get-togethers is what summer is all about! Once 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. Stock a self-service bar with your favorite spirits, wine, and bubbles. Prep some seasonal fruit and herbal garnishes, a few bottles of fresh juices, sparkling water, and mixers of choice. And don’t forget the nibbles! Olives, mixed nuts, assorted cheese and charcuterie, fresh bread, cut fruit and cruditées might be enough to make a refreshing, light meal, what the French call an apéro dînatoire. If you’re planning a proper dinner—we’ve got plenty of inspiration in our epicure section from homemade pizza to barbecue faves. To learn more about of Inspiration Workshops here
June is Strawberry Season!
Plan a market day or schedule a strawberry picking day and let these sweet-ripe berries inspire you! Did you know that strawberries are one of the most hydrating fruits you can eat (91% water), right after that other summer classic, watermelon? In addition to drinking plenty of water, it’s important (and fun!) to get hydration through what we eat, so 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: 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
The day we celebrate our flag and for those of us who celebrate our birthdays this day is an extra special day. Make our patriotic cupcakes and get creative with flag-inspired gatherings. Dress your table in a flag-colored palette to show your pride and patriotism. Invite a few friends for a Flag Day apéritif with drinks and small bites in a red, white, and blue theme. Stay tuned for Flag Day sale items🇺🇸
Father’s Day Fun
We look forward to this day (June 18th this year) to celebrate our own dads, granddads, and all the other father figures we know. 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, playing a favorite sport, taking a hike—remember it’s not so much about what you do as it is all about spending time together.
Summer Travel Spotlight: A Weekend in Provence
Last June we spent some time in the South of France and absolutely fell in love. The pace of life as we wandered the narrow, cobbled streets of Provence and shopped in the markets redefined our idea of perfection. Fresh produce, lavender everywhere, French linens and other beautiful artisan products… These are the memories that float to the surface, a year later. A lovely bicycle ride with a packed picnic basket was an exceptional moment(with a funny tale to tell). Making a stop along the Luberon valley to see the breathtaking lavender fields by the Sénanque Abbey and enjoying a lovely plein-air lunch on our checkered tablecloth was simply delightful. We thoroughly adored our stay at Airelles Gordes, with its picturesque views and rich heritage—time to explore, refreshing pauses at terrasse cafés, time for a poolside glass of champagne in the gorgeous gardens and time for spontaneously basking in whatever beauty came our way. Just hearing the humming of cicadas, makes us reminisce and brings us right back to these splendid moments.
One of our favorite June blooms is lavender, which marks the seasons in Provence and is an integral part of its local customs and economies. While wild lavender grows everywhere in the rocky, dry Alpes de Haute Provence and the Luberon and Vaucluse plateaus, a typical postcard-perfect scene in lowlands of Provence features the regular gray-and-purple stripes of cultivated lavender fields. A visit to a lavender farm or vineyard is a highlight of any visit to Provence. A few sips of rosé and a scoop of local lavender-honey ice cream—does it get any better?
Soothing lavender, a popular favorite in aromatherapy, has long been used as a sleep aid, to repel insects, and to give extra freshness to laundered linens. Try a few drops in your shower for some extra-soothing summer joy!
Smooth Sailing into Summer
One of the reasons we love traveling is the way we feel when we can fully immerse ourselves in the culture and beauty around us—living in the moment. Whatever your destination this summer, whether it’s an unknown locale from your bucket list, a much-loved traditional vacation spot, or some quality time at home—take the opportunity to immerse yourself in where you are, to notice and appreciate the details and to be present with yourself. Let that inquisitive traveler within find joy in your surroundings, wherever you are.
Bring on the Summer Sunshine
Whether you have travel plans or are staying close to home— 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.
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. That being said, a loose sense of structure and purpose actually helps most children relax—and you too!
Set Aside Time to Nurture through Nature
What is it about getting out into nature that makes us feel so good? At plj it’s an essential part of our daily routine. Every morning we open up our living space and let in the fresh air. This ritual sets the stage for us to create time for more outdoors activities during the day. Remember those mindful moments we talked about last month? Our connection to the natural world is one of the best ways we know of to practice self-care and cultivate mindfulness. This nurturing connection can be found in many ways—gardening, a hike in the woods or a local park, a walk on the beach to start or wind down a busy day… With the longest days of the year approaching, let June be about grounding yourself in the natural world around you.
June Design Notes
Peonies, Dahlias, Ranunculus, oh my!
At partager la joie, June is peak flower joy season, and we are here for it! Pink peonies are all about abundance, 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 bundle with bold hues. Place small, vibrant bouquets of ranunculus in jars and line them along a table. Bring them into your outdoor spaces to add their gentle elegance to your morning café au lait or evening barbecue. There are endless possibilities when it comes to styling summer flowers. Choose perennials, Salvia, alliums, poppies, or whatever blooms are making their appearance in your outdoor space to find your inspiration.
Seasonal Curation Inspiration
We’ve stocked our go-to summer styles and incorporated a few new seasonal items just for you and your home! 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 french-inspired tablecloths that are perfect for hosting at home or keeping in the car for that impromptu picnic. Take a look at our woven beach bags and totes, super cute sarongs, gauzy tops, beautiful cotton table linens, and so much more! Shop partager la joie
June officially kicks off 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, 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, juicy gems are perfect for smoothies, homemade jam, and a classic shortcake. We’ve been experimenting lately with fruit ice cubes for craft cocktails and creamy sorbets—be sure to follow us on IG and visit our epicure to see what we’ve come up with for strawberry season!
Strawberries & Cream Sorbet
Breakfast Yogurt Parfaits
Belgian Waffles with Strawberries and Cream
Greek Salad Bowls
Flag Day Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
Seafood Paella on the Grill
Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri
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; remember that 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. 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, the many joys this summer brings and beyond.
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