It’s summer and all I can think about is throwing lots of parties with my dear friends. And when there is a party, there should always be dessert. The wonderful homemade, melt in your mouth, making memories kind of desserts.
All week I have been dreaming about fluffy cakes with fresh cream and fruit, ice cream swirling with berries, sorbets that make your mouth pucker and popsicles that bring reprieve from the hot sun. What is it about summer that has us craving for decadent sugary goodness? Maybe it’s the giggles that pair with each delicious bite. Or maybe, it’s the ease that drifts in after sharing sweet confections with a friend. Whatever the reason, it’s the season for sweets and sunshine. And I am pretty damn happy about it.
My favorite dessert books are Lomelino’s Cakes and Lomelino’s Ice Cream by Swedish dessert blogger Linda Lomelino. Her desserts are so good it’s almost absurd! The books are full of breathtakingly beautiful photos, easy to read recipes and delicious sweets that will have you singing from the rooftops. If you are looking for inspiration, look no further. Lomelino and her decadent desserts will take your ordinary day to something quite special.
Lomelino’s Cakes: 27 Pretty Cakes to Make Any Day Special by Linda Lomelino
” Learn step-by-step how to decorate with frosting, stack multiple layers, create perfect ganache, and make the most of seasonal ingredients. Be inspired to layer your cakes with fresh fruit, top with fresh flowers, slather with buttercreams, and even play with color, ombré style.”
Lomelino’s Ice Cream: 79 Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Frozen Treats to Make Any Day Sweet by Linda Lomelino
“Lomelino’s Ice Cream is your guide to all things sweet, creamy, icy, indulgent, and homemade. Learn to make sinfully smooth ice creams, cool sorbets, and chunky-nutty-chocolaty frozen treats; not to mention ice-cream cakes, floats, sauces, meringues, and crumbles to top it all off.”
Summer has officially arrived and it is HOT!
If you live in Nashville or anywhere in the South, you know that come mid-June the weather is going to suck the life out of you. With temps rising above 90 degrees and 100% humidity, many of us will be shutting-in like it’s the dead of winter. But instead of heavy snowfall, it will be sweat running down every inch of our bodies in the most unattractive way possible. And guess what?! This is only the beginning.
So what to do? Beat the heat and find a pool!
Photo Credit: Kelly Golightly
Instead of standing in front of the AC vent all summer long, embrace the great outdoors and jump into a refreshing body of water. One, of course, that serves cocktails, fresh towels, has divine lounge furniture and is bug free – also known as the glorious hotel pool. For all you nature folks, more power to you for choosing the lake and river. But for me, humidity, bugs and water moccasins are not my ideal way to cool off. Swimming should be a carefree experience, not a battle against nature.
When searching for the right hotel pool, do your homework. Recently, I stayed at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency downtown. Although the hotel was nice, the outdoor pool was not. The pool was on the lower level of the hotel and was completely shadowed by the surrounding buildings. Most of the day the pool was without sunshine. And a pool without sunshine is a very sad thing. So research, find photos, look for a place that has a lot of style, and ask the hotel about all of their poolside amenities and policies. A pool that prohibits alcohol would be just as bad as the lack of sunshine.
Not a hotel guest? Although hotel pools are for “guests only”, you might be surprised that many of them offer day specials to the general public. For instance, the Omni Nashville Hotel Pool gives access to the pool Monday through Thursday if you buy one of their spa packages. In New Orleans at the Le Meridien, the hotel opens their rooftop pool to the public on Sundays from 11am to 5pm for $10. And in Atlanta at the W Hotel, you can buy one of their weekend day tickets.
So wherever you are this summer, and for however long, find a gorgeous pool that serves fantastic cocktails and beat the heat in style.
Below are my favorite hotel pools in the south. Enjoy!
Nashville: Omni Nashville Hotel
Rooftop swimming pool with beautiful views of downtown Nashville. Enjoy the lounge, cabanas and the seasonal bar & grill. And for all you locals, buy a spa package and enjoy the pool M-TH.
Atlanta: W Hotel Wet Deck & Wet Bar
Atlanta’s only all-weather rooftop pool and bar. Sip as you dip into the zero-edge pool and enjoy the panoramic views. During the summer, you can purchase a weekend day ticket and enjoy games and cocktails on Saturday, or chill pool side and do a little yoga on Sunday. Tickets are $18.
New Orleans: Le Meridien
Relax in a rooftop cabana, order a delightful lunch and enjoy the warm Louisiana sunshine.This hotel has beautiful views and luxurious amenities. Sundays are Adult Swim, which means the pool is open to the public for $10 from 11-5pm.
Dallas: Joule Hotel
Looking for an exciting swim? Experience the glass-fronted pool that cantilevers eight feet beyond the hotels structure. Enjoy your meals and cocktails poolside, or bask in the sunshine while lounging in their luxurious modern furniture.
Miami: Delano Hotel
7000 sq. feet of pure luxury in the glorious South Beach Miami. Enjoy a swim in the deep end or dine in the shallow end of the pool. Direct access to the beach, a decadent assortment of cocktails and a long list of outdoor amenities. This is the perfect modern oasis.
Alys Beach: Caliza Pool
Although located in South Walton Florida, you will think you’ve been transported to an exotic oasis. The Caliza pool area has a 100-foot saltwater pool, a shallow family pool, a 75-foot lap pool, a spa whirlpool, private cabanas, beautiful outdoor furnishings, and an open-air restaurant/bar – a breathtaking experience that is worth every penny. The pool is only available to Alys Beach vacation renters and home owners. But! The restaurant and bar is open to the public for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
In April, I conducted an interview with the enchanting Andra Eggleston and her new textile line, Electra Eggleston. In her interview, she mentioned the collaboration with Otis James and the bow-ties she would be debuting for Fathers Day. Well, the dynamic fashion accessory line has finally arrived and no surprise, they are gorgeous! With bold colors and vivid patterns paired with beautiful craftsmanship, they are a true work of art.
The bow-tie has a lot of meaning to Andra, as it represents the start point of Electra Eggleston. Years ago, Andra took one of her father’s drawings, created a textile and then fashioned a bow-tie for her father, William Eggleston. From there, she began the journey of creating a remarkable textile line founded on rich heritage, storytelling and a means to deepen her relationship with her father.
Collaboration | Electra Eggleston
“I met Andra Eggleston of Electra Eggleston two years ago at a pop-up photography exhibit here in Nashville. She knew of my work and already had the idea for this collaboration in mind. While I knew of her father’s photography, I wasn’t yet familiar with her company. Neither of us were ready, however, to take on this project at that time. It wasn’t until a year later that we finally sat down and began hammering out ideas and logistics. This was the first time I laid eyes on her gorgeous prints, and I fell hard in love. Fast-forward another year, and here we are… presenting the first of our collaborative efforts together: a stunning collection of limited-edition bow ties.
These bow ties embody a lively mix of fine art, storytelling, and craftsmanship. The fabric is a delightful silk+linen blend– smooth to the touch, with a subtle sheen, and just a hint of slubbiness (what’s a good linen without a few slubs?!). Ties up like a dream and holds its shape all night.
The four styles are bold and colorful, with undertones ranging from sensual to whimsical. The designs belong to Andra and are inspired by the paintings and drawings of her father, renowned photographer (and bow tie wearer) William Eggleston. The details and construction are mine, from our standard hand-stitched buttonholes to the unique shell buttons and custom-printed labels to the superfine wool interlining. A lot of time and attention has gone into these ties, and they are truly one of the most special creations I’ve ever put my name on. Only 10 are available in each design. Click images below to see more photos, find more information, and purchase.” – Otis James
*Photo Credit: Otis James
Photo Credit: Ted Baker London
Need an inspiration pick-me-up? Here’s a collection of Summer Pinterest finds I created for 12th and Broad earlier this month. From exotic hotels in Panama to tulip fields in Holland, this collection will awaken your senses and have you planning multiple summer vacations. Enjoy!
Tatler UK Balloons by Luis Monteiro
Recently I stumbled upon a photoshoot by Tatler Magazine and photographer, Luis Monteiro. The composition and colors in these photos are quite stunning – they are the essence of summer bliss, European excursions and care-free fashion. I’m thinking oversize balloons is a must for my next party.
Who is Alfred? Alfred is a delightful coffee shop in Melrose, California. The ultra-chic café is in a renovated 1925 ballroom-dance facility. The design of the space is warm, yet striking with its high-contrast colors of black, white and turquoise. This is where the cool kids go to be seen, and to find some serious inspiration.
American Trade Hotel – Panama
A collaboration of Ace Hotel and Commune Design, the American Trade Hotel is an elegant mixture of mid-century designs and classic styles of Panama. The hotel sits in the town’s main square Plaza Herrera, and looks as though it has been there for centuries. An incredible example of innovative design and historical preservation.
Park Residence – Palm Springs
Park Residence is a contemporary mid-century style home with a sexy exterior – black and white with bold notes of saffron yellow, and lush tropical plants. This home has curb appeal that likely has the whole neighborhood in envy.
“Fresh, sweet watermelon puree, lime juice, Triple Sec, and jalapeno-infused tequila make these Jalapeno Watermelon Margaritas super summery and delightful.” Yes please! This is going to be my go-to drink this summer. Spicy, sweet, refreshing and enough alcohol to forget your daily woes.
One of my favorite event spaces that I follow on Instagram. A beautiful Victorian farmhouse in the heart of Hollywood, California. Oh the events that take place here! Each one more splendid than the last. An all-white space with simple industrial black fixtures, lots of windows and lovely architecture.
Who doesn’t love Iris? This woman has been charming the world for decades with her iconic style and care-free attitude. I adore all her crazy colors and patterns, but her tropical blue attire in the One Kings Lane feature, has me smitten. Her documentary, Iris, is currently playing at the Belcourt. Don’t miss it!
Mid-century Renovation – Portland
A brilliant 1950’s Portland home renovated to its original glory. Multiple windows and doors, allowing nature and the interior to be one unifying space. One of my favorite features of this home is the use of dark paint on the exterior. The dark color is a striking contrast to the natural elements surrounding the home, and showcases the architecture beautifully.
Tulip Fields – Holland
Bri Emery has been on a six week inspiration vacation in Europe. She’s scouring various cities for new ideas, products, designs and an overall refresh of the mind. One of my favorite photos thus far is the tulip fields in Holland. Follow her travels here.
Top 10 Green Plants for the Body and Soul
Norwegian blogger Marianne de Bourg, gives great tips on how indoor plants can help you have a healthier home. She provides 10 excellent plants that are both beautiful and beneficial to your health.
Taroudant Morocco – The Colors of A French Designers House
Layers of dusty pinks, blush, peachy-cream and vibrant shades of verdant green, all under one roof. This home pairs these colors in way that almost seems magical. An exotic mixture of Moroccan and French designs that is quite captivating.
Threefold Restaurant – Melbourne
A distinctively charming restaurant that emphasizes servery and fresh food in their design concept. The restaurant has a wonderful mixture of eat-in kitchen and high-style café, creating a warm and inviting environment. Simple, yet decadent – the perfect place to spend an entire afternoon.
How to Compost
I know what you are thinking. How can composting be inspiring? Pretty Handy Girl has a darling blog post on how and why you should compost. The post is so cute, you’ll likely forget that she is talking about garbage and worms.
DIY Vanilla Orange Mint Sugar Scrub
A delicious concoction of summer scents that remind creator, Ashley Rose, of a blissful day in Hawaii. Not only is the recipe divine, her photos are equally luscious. Excellent prop-styling that evokes summer in the tropics. I especially love the combination of the vivid orange, pinks and greens with the soft off-white sugar scrub.
Alys Beach Home by Dungan Nequette
Have you been to Alys Beach? If you haven’t, you are most definitely missing out. Located on the magnificent 30A of the gulf coast, Alys Beach is a gorgeous all-white planned community with stunning architecture and landscapes. One of my favorite homes in this area is the home designed by the talented Dungan Nequette. It’s breathtakingly beautiful with its grand Bermudan exterior and luxurious interior details. Click through the photos and be prepared to be wowed.
Yesterday, our lovely city was hit with an ice storm. What was supposed to be 4-7″ of snow, we instead received an entire day of ice rain. Many were unhappy with the snow results, but I found it to be magical. The moment I saw the ice forming on anything it could get its hands on, I knew a photography walk was in order. Bundled up in my favorite snow gear (thank you Montreal!), I grabbed my brother for a two hour walk through Germantown. We stopped at just about every plant, post, and odd object the neighborhood had to offer. The ice was fascinating! Water freezing in motion, creating beautiful ice sculptures.
After a stop at Red Bicycle for a hot drink, we headed home for curry and a warm fire. I am really happy I made the choice to step out and enjoy what nature had to offer. Too many times I have missed out because it was inconvenient (or I was just downright lazy). I do not want to experience life from the window anymore. I want to be apart of it.
So, that was my Monday. How did you spend yesterday’s cold winter day?