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A DIY Deck Makeover for Summer

With summer on the horizon, we made it a priority to makeover our deck. It’s never been my dream to have a deck. I’d much prefer a beautiful brick patio, however, now that the transformation is complete I love our outdoor oasis! Sometimes you have to take a step back and rethink a space with a fresh perspective. xoxo Julie Blanner

Our deck was dark, dated and tired when we moved in last summer. I took a chance a strayed from traditional stain or stark white and warmed it up with a creamy greige solid stain, even staining between the slats. For a how-to click here.

I selected traditional wicker furniture in nearly the same color to create a casual, cozy and calming space. The furniture helped transition it from a deck to an outdoor living room, office and sometimes dining room. We spend our morning enjoying a light breakfast and coffee in it and I spend the afternoons working in an outdoor office. I am thankful I opened my eyes to see the potential.

To create a little contrast and break up the furniture set, I added a brass side table and plenty of potted plants. To make the deck an extension of our living space, I’m treating it as such through the use of pillows and throws. I have a rug and copper lanterns on order to complete the space.

You can see more of our home in progress here

Photography: Julie Blanner | Design And Styling: Julie Blanner

Julie Blanner

Lifestyle & Recipes
Inspired by Patriotic Decor

Whats, red, white, blue and totally gorgeous? This roundup of interiors (and a few exteriors too) that gives a nod to the U. S of A without losing an ounce of chictasticness. From bold flag decor to just a hint of patriotic color infusion, these 12 spaces are totally inspiring us to bust out our stars and stripes for Memorial Day. Have a look at this gallery of gems and get ready to hang those flags.

Red, White, Blue and Oh So Pretty
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Red, White, Blue and Oh So Pretty
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Effortless Braid Inspiration for Summer

It’s officially the time of year that we start dreaming about warmer days and flowy sundresses. And what goes perfectly with the long days of summer? Effortless braids of course! The chic and easy braid from Jennie Kay is the perfect answer to the lazy days ahead. Get all the step-by-steps in the video below!





Split your hair into three sections, the sides and the top, and clip the sides out of the way. Separate the back portion into 3 sections, intentionally making each section a different size.


Braid the back portion all the way down to the ends of your hair, and tie with a clear elastic. Spray with a texture spray and gently loosen some of the pieces.


Begin curling the front pieces away from your face, spraying with texture spray as you go.


Twist the curled sections back and tuck into the braid. Repeat this on both sides. Take the remaining hair and tie behind your head in a loose knot, tucking the ends underneath the braid.


For a more formal look, gently roll the braid under and pin at the nape of your neck.

Film: Elysium Productions  | Photography: Ruth Eileen | Hair and Makeup: Jennie Kay Beauty

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How to Pack for a Picnic

As soon as the forecast calls for sunny and warm weather, we’ve got picnic on the brain. Lazing on grassy lawns, alfresco dining (Aren’t picnic foods are the best?), tossing the ol’ frisbee—it’s seriously the best way to spend an afternoon. No stranger to picnics herself, Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha has the art of picnicking down pat, and we’re sharing her best tips below!

From Waiting on MarthaFirst when packing a picnic, keep the menu light, seasonal and simple. I opt for food that is easy to transport and can be eaten with minimal utensils, like a cheese platter and my fresh grilled corn salad. And I love bringing melamine platters and trays such as these to serve drinks on because the ground tends to not be the most even of surfaces.

Don’t forget to factor in the the heat; whenever entertaining in the hot summer sun, I always use festive reusable ice cubes to keep drinks cool without watering them down. And what’s a picnic without the necessities: soft, light blankets and a great picnic basket, of course.

Lastly, don’t forget to pack a little entertainment and outdoor games. Paddleball, horseshoe and a classic kite will provide hours of play and are great for both kids and adults alike. Turns out, I’m pretty skilled at the art of paddleball, kite flying not so much. Tell me Loves, are you planning to pack a picnic this summer? Truly, MKR

For the full post and to shop the story, head over to Waiting on Martha!

Photography: Waiting On Martha

29 Popsicle Recipes to Beat the Heat

Fruity, creamy, boozy—the possibilities are endless and oh-so-delicious when it comes to popsicles. If you’re looking for new and tasty ways to beat the heat, these 29 mouthwatering flavor combos will blow your mind. From watermelon mojito to creamy fudgsicles, plus game changers like black forest cake, winesicles and even creme brulee, these frozen treats are perfect on a hot day.

29 Popsicle Recipes to Beat the Heat
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29 Popsicle Recipes to Beat the Heat
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