Top 5 reasons to love summer

July 16, 2013

picnic_6447_wide  1) It’s picnic time! Beach & other otherwise. I love the red and white theme and the quiche is an unusual but great idea for a one-dish picnic meal. Healthy, portable food is a great idea. I’m thinking cut-up melon, cherries, a cold green bean salad to accompany that quiche.

Chilled champagne’s a great touch! Pop a strawberry into your bubbly (or bubbly water).

Pillows to lounge on sound good to me.  Keep your day bug-free with botanical repellant.

We’re lucky to have great weather in northern California–it rarely gets super-hot.  In other parts of the country, you need to pick and choose your picnic dates carefully. The beach is always a good choice for a hot day.


2) Summer salads are refreshing even when you’re not picnicking.  So many combinations to choose from.

I get a little hung up on salad being lettuce, tomato and the usual accompaniments of carrots, beets, cukes, etc. Summer’s the time to be daring! Try something more interesting.

Here’s a sweet, fresh and colorful watermelon- mango salad with blue cheese I found online HERE. It’s colorful, healthy, fresh and cool. Most important, it’s different, a step out of the norm for me.

I’m going to try it.

Got an idea for a great summer salad recipe? Share it here and I’ll pick one at random for a prize!


1003) Sunglasses in fun colors and shapes! One of my good friends always buys beautiful, stylish and expensive sunglasses. She looks contemporary and gorgeous. But if I did that, I’d lose them, I know it.

In summer, I love buying cheap sunglasses in different styles and hues. Ten bucks or less is not a huge investment, so you can afford to sit on them, leave them somewhere or just get sick of them.

Make your sunglasses a fashion statement, and with a few pair, you can change them out often, as I do.


Colorful-Flower-Nail-Designs-for-Toes4.)Colorful toe polish!

Any drugstore has cheap polish, stick-on polish art and now even little pots and brushes or pens so you can draw designs on your nails.These glossy, summer toe colors are really fun and even the toe designs are appropriate for any age.

I have to admit that I am a nail polish fanatic who even has a subscription to a monthly box of nail colors (email me if you want to know how you can get the same).

I love different colors and unless I have a special event, I do my nails myself.  Back in the days when I worked, I had gels or acrylics and regularly visited a salon. But after retirement, I wasn’t that interested in a regular salon appointment. I like doing my own and changing out colors any time, for free!

beach-scene-hi5) Tans—fake of course!  So many lotions, mousses and sprays on the market, no need to have that grey, leathery tanning- salon look that’s so unattractive.

I do see that some people still lay out in the sun. It’s hard to believe they do, given what we know about the sun and skin cancer.  We all need about 15-20 minutes a day of sunlight to help our bodies make Vitamin D. But we do not need skin cancer.

By all means, protect your skin. Use that beach umbrella! And a good sunscreen, applied liberally and often.

So there you have it. My top 5 reasons to love summer.

Don’t forget, add your summer salad recipe to the Comments section below and I’ll draw a winner at random next week. The prize will be something summery, too!

16 comments on “Top 5 reasons to love summer
  1. Janie Emaus says:

    I don’t have a recipe, but I love those toe nails!

  2. Ginger Kay says:

    I try to cook as little as possible in summer without starving my family. Here is the laziest salad ever: drain and rinse a can of corn and a can of kidney beans. Put them in a bowl and add a can of Rotel tomatoes. Chill and eat later. My children like it with tortilla chips, and I like it dumped on lettuce instead of dressing.

    Watermelon, feta, and mint make a good salad or appetizer, too.

  3. adela says:

    okay, I have a “recipe,” but I’m kind of a throw it all together sort of cook, so I have loose measurementss:

    a couple handfuls of fresh spinach
    two or three apples (I like something crisp and somewhat tart, but not so tart as a Granny Smith)
    three or four cutie oranges, or one or two naval oranges
    a handful of almond slivers
    goat cheese cubed

    Adjust the ingredients depending on what you like best: more fruit, more spinach, more cheese.

    chopped up fresh basil (three to six leaves) make this really fine
    a little nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamon
    juice from one lemon
    add EVO equal to volume of lemon juice
    whisk together and toss into salad

    Note: when you toss all this together the goat cheese sort of blends in with the dressing making it almost seem like a creaming dressing.

  4. Joyce says:

    Okay, okay! My current favorite salad that I’ve been making ad nauseum consists of a spring mix, bosc pear cut up, pecan pieces, balsamic and a touch of olive oil. If I’m getting fancy, I’ll roast the pear before cutting it up into the salad, add goat cheese and thinly sliced London broil. Ta-da!

  5. rodalena says:

    Those toesies! So cute…

    Here’s a favorite summer salad:

    Boil two cups of radiatore (or other zippy little pasta shape of your choice), drain, rinse in cold water nd add the following:

    1 diced cucumber (peeled first)
    1/2 cup diced red onion
    1 cup diced (*not* shredded) sharp cheddar
    1 cup sliced black olives
    2 stalks fresh celery, diced
    3/4 cup of your favorite Italian dressing

    Easy, and yummy!

  6. Donna says:

    My favorite summer salad is the simplest:

    Greens (whatever is your favorite; I like baby romaine)
    1 red grapefruit, segmented and cut into bite-sized pieces
    1 avocado, diced
    Almond slices for crunch

    I either make a quick balsamic vinaigrette or use a favorite store bought dressing (my favorite is a fresh tomato dressing they sell at our local Whole Foods). This makes four first course servings or two entrees (add grilled chicken or Gardein nuggets for protein).

  7. Thanks for reminding me of all of the wonderful reasons to love summer!

    I truly enjoy summer and I try to stay in town each summer just to make the most
    of summer in the city and all of the free and cheap things to do including summer picnics and
    concerts in the park.

    Speaking of picnics and summer picnic fare, my favorite salad is a Raw Shitake Mushroom Kale Salad. I generally make variations on a theme using whatever I have on hand. That keeps things interesting!

    Raw Shitake Mushroom Kale Salad


    1bunch of organic kale, sliced thin

    1 organic red pepper, diced small

    1 organic red onion, diced small

    2 organic scallions, sliced thin

    10 shitake mushrooms, sliced thin

    Organic sesame seed seasoning, sprinkle to taste

    A pinch of sea salt

    Juice of 3 organic lemons

    2 tbspns organic, raw apple cider vinegar

    2 tbspns organic flaxseed oil


    Place kale, onion, scallions, mushrooms, red pepper into a bowl.

    Add sea salt, sesame seed seasoning, lemon juice, vinegar, and flaxseed oil and toss well.

    Massage and mix the kale salad mixture thoroughly with clean hands to break down the fibers and blend the seasonings into the vegetables.

    Transfer to a glass bowl, and cover.

    Refrigerate the salad and let it marinate for several hours.

    I like to serve my kale salad with quinoa, avocado slices, raw marinated mushrooms, sliced scallions or whatever compatible flavors I have in my refrigerator.

    The massaged, marinated kale becomes so tender, you won’t believe it’s raw!

    Happy eating!

  8. Susan Cooper says:

    As a foodie, I am always looking for a great recipe. During the summer I love to entertain on my patio and have easy to assemble meals. I love the photos and your red and white ensemble is beautiful. 🙂

  9. Ahh…summer salads. No hot kitchens and lots of fresh ingredients to throw in. Here is a tasty side salad that utilizes summer’s bounty of veggies and is good for you.:
    Gazpacho Salad

    1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    2 medium cucumbers, diced and seeded
    1/2 red onion, finely chopped
    2 green onions with tops, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, shredded or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
    1/2 cup salsa
    2 tablespoons Italian fat-free dressing

    Combine veggies in a bowl. Mix salsa and Italian dressing and pour over vegetables. Mix lightly. Chill before serving.

    P.S. Nothing says summer like a cute pedicure!!

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