one of my favorite things about owning a home is having my own garden and outside dining space. i’ve come to realize spending time outside, gardening and entertaining is one my greatest joys — i could spend all day out there puttering around and planting new flowers and now vegetables, too! i shared my container garden earlier this year, and now i’m planting a whole lot of fresh herbs. there’s nothing quite like inviting your friends and family over and making them a meal from stuff you’ve grown yourself — my pride is obnoxiously overflowing! i now pick fresh herbs on a daily basis, and am growing zucchini, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, kale and onions. Target invited me to share some of my summer entertaining ideas, and outdoor dining with what’s practically a fresh salad bar picked from the garden paired with BBQing is high on my list. gotta love eating al fresco with friends on warm summer nights!
to set the mood for entertaining i’ve hung these great globe lights around the patio and it’s created the prettiest dining ambience for nighttime parties (i put them on a dimmer switch for setting the mood just right!). for my overflowing herb garden i chose these really cute galvanized planters and trays from Target — and how cute are these herb stakes? and there’s also a matching watering can — and both match my container garden perfectly. i love this big wood tray for displaying fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden, or using it as a serving piece. growing your own herbs for summer entertaining is the coolest — add sprigs of mint and slices of cucumber to your water to make it taste great, and it looks so much prettier too. it’s so nice to serve your friends your own spa-like water and feels like you’ve taken that extra special step to make them feel pampered. so to get your summer prep started right i highly recommend planting your own herbs and veggies — it’s easy and so, so satisfying!
• photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay.
beyond the culture and the history, one of the things i am most interested in seeing when i travel to cuba is the color. that well-worn, faded patina finish that can only come with years of weathering. there’s a certain vibe architecture and interiors take on when they’ve been left untouched for a long time and i find it so beautiful. parts of tulum had that, and bri’s photos of hong kong had it, too. i have this vision in my head that cuba will be filled with that special color — like this faded but bold hot pink, and i can’t wait to photograph it. these images give me that feeling and although i’m not so sure i could exist day to day in some of these spaces, i can definitely admire their unique beauty and eccentricity.
i’ve been wanting to see cuba up close and personal for ages, and now, thanks to new travel regulations, i’m excited to tell you my friend joni and i have just booked a trip for thanksgiving week! we booked the trip through a tour company called coast to costa based out of los angeles, and our itinerary looks so great. We’ll be peeking behind the curtain of the long since prohibited island exploring the magical culture of Cuba, and will be spending our time between the capitol of Havana, the well-preserved colorful colonial town of Trinidad and the lush tobacco and farm region of Viñales — we even have a lesson in rolling cuban cigars. i’m so thrilled to be seeing what we have been forbidden to see for the last 60 years, so if you’ve ever been to cuba i’d love to hear your suggestions — the tour has a lot for us to see and do, but offers us free time, too so i’m so excited to capture the faded colors and beauty of cuba with my camera. do tell what I shouldn’t miss!