Hoping for an Endless Summer


Modes à Bagatelle, 1919, from National Library of France

Oh the late days of summer. I’m in denial that school begins in less than two weeks, and that there will soon be a nip in the air. Right now I’m trying to soak in as much sun and heat as I can as the summer days begin to wane.

I have no interest in checking out fall clothing yet which is quite unusual. Bring on more summery clothes and start hoping that Mother Nature misses the memo that fall is coming.

Summer Wardrobe Fading

For me, it’s that point in the year when my summer clothes are feeling a little old, but it’s irresponsible to buy anything new and summery when I know the temperatures are about to change.

And if you go into any of the shops, pre-fall is in full effect. On Saturday, I stopped in Robin Richman, which is undoubtably one of the best boutiques in the city. They had beautiful wool coats and drapey sweaters, but I couldn’t bring myself to give them too much notice yet. It’s too early for me to consider cold-weater clothes when the forecasted temperatures for the week are in the high 80s.

I can’t pull my clothes out of storage because those are either from my fall/winter wardrobe or are too small.

Maybe the solution is a new piece of jewelry to breathe some new life into my summer clothes? I’m in love with the Odyssey necklace by Bjorg above, which I found in Robin Richman. It’s a half circle of black horse hair on a curved metal plate. Unfortunately it’s way out of my price range. So I guess I’m on the hunt for something just as cool, but for much less. Might be an impossible feat.

Anyone else feeling the same way about their summer clothes?

Illustrating Summer

I love these Puck magazine covers I stumbled upon from the 1910s. The illustrations celebrating summer at the beach are brilliant.

I thought they were fitting to usher in the last weekend of August.

Hope you have a great summer weekend! It’s going to be fall before we know it.

Dressed for the Summer Sunset

When I saw this dress from Mikkat Market, I was drawn to its sunset colors set on a black background. With those colors in mind, I created this ensemble appropriate for a summer evening.

1) Silk Multi Color Print Dress | from Mikkat Market $56
2) Seam Front Waterfall Jacket | from Topshop $120
3) Alyson Fox’s Midsummer Collection Necklace in Salmon | from Of a Kind $55
4) Nail Polish in Tart Deco | from Essie $8
5) DV by Dolce Vita Archer in Gold | from Zappos $69
6) Weave Metal Bar Clutch in Purple | from ASOS $24.86 (sale)

A Prairie Adventure

I mentioned in my summer list that I was planning to go on a Little House on the Prairie trip with my mom. And I did this past weekend!

First we went to Walnut Grove, Minnesota. This is where the book On the Banks of Plum Creek takes place. Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family lived there for four years, first in a dugout near the river and then in a house.

Then we headed further west across the prairie to De Smet, South Dakota, like the Ingalls did (but our trip had AC). Laura lived there for a long period of her life. This is where she met and married her husband Almanzo. The books By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years are all set in and around De Smet.

The following are snapshots I took during the trip.

1 can’t go into the woods without some bug juice
2 pretty wild flowers on the prairie
3 Plum Creek
4 likely site of the dugout the Ingalls family lived in

1 more prairie
2 Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
3 beginning of Walnut Grove’s pageant, “Fragments of a Dream”
4 dancing scene in the play

1 South Dakota State University ice cream
2 site of Laura and Almanzo’s homestead
4 surveyor’s house that the Ingalls family lived in
5 historic sites sticker

1 diner menu
2 little girls in sunbonnets abound
3 De Smet pageant, “The Long Winter”
4 prairie dresses, aprons, and bonnets
5 seriously the little girls in sunbonnets were everywhere!
6 gorgeous sunset over the prairie

If you made your own summer list, how are you doing on it? What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done this summer?

Summer List

I’m not a big one for life lists. Some people swear by them, but mostly they just make me anxious.

However, every summer seems to come and go at a faster clip. Last summer a good portion of it was taken over by our wedding, but this summer is mostly wide open. Travis will be traveling a lot for work, since as a photographer who shoots mostly weddings this is his busy season. So in the spirit of not wasting this summer and wanting to keep myself busy, I’m trying out a summer list.

I figure if it ends up being a bit of a failure, well then it’ll only be one summer’s list, and I can forget about it once the trees begin to turn.

So here goes:

1. Watch some fireworks
2. Celebrate our first wedding anniversary
3. Go to Winnipeg
4. See the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in De Smet, South Dakota (going with my mom)
5. Swim in a body of water (that isn’t a pool)
6. Create a wedding album with my husband
7. Get a bike
8. Read 2 books per month
9. Sit on my balcony more often
10. Drink the bottle of wine I brought back from South Africa more than 2 years ago
11. Go to RedHawks minor league baseball games

Turns out, I can already cross one off that list! On Wednesday when I came home from work, this beautiful bike was sitting spotlighted in our entry. My husband surprised me! It’s a beauty.

So a little test ride was in order, naturally.

I guess I should replace ‘get a bike’ with ‘get a helmet’ on the list.

So do you have a summer list? What is on yours?

Transforming Our Balcony

Ever since we moved to Fargo, we’ve had a balcony patio. In our first apartment, we overlooked a strip mall parking lot. Winter that year ran long, and we were only there until the end of July, part of which we were out of town getting married and on our honeymoon. Before that we were so occupied with finishing wedding plans that we never got around to making the patio a pleasant place to hang out.

balcony in our building, photo from HomeFinder.com

In our new apartment we face north on a residential, tree-lined street. It also has a balcony patio, and is dominated by concrete. As you can see above, I found a picture online of another condo’s balcony in our building. Need to get better about remembering to take before photos.

My husband, Travis, and I were up for the challenge of transforming our patio. We were going to make it an inviting space somehow on the cheap.

We had to start by sweeping up the dead leaves and dirt that accumulated over the winter. We already had a wood patio table and chairs, but they needed a good cleaning.

Then we spent a few hours at Home Depot, picking out plant boxes and finding a way to attach them to our railing. We found cedar boxes that match our table and chairs. Travis rigged up a way to keep them secure so they didn’t rotate with weather stripping and zip ties.

We found the cutest strip of mini-lantern lights at Target and hung them up across the space. They made everything look suddenly cheerier. Also, simple cushions made the chairs a little more comfortable.

Yesterday we went back to Home Depot. Together we picked out some pretty pink double impatients. They are supposed to do well in shade, which is good cause that’s pretty much all we get facing north. I think they look like little roses.

We covered the drainage holes in the bottom of the flower box liner with little rocks to keep the soil from washing away. Then I placed the plants equal distance apart and filled the liners with potting soil.

I gave them each a little water with the cute green watering can from Target and swept/vacuumed up the fallen dirt on the balcony.

The patio is complete and is ready for summer living.