Red, White, and Cute!

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“Life moves pretty fast. It you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

~Ferris Bueller

My summer goal? To slow down, relax, and do the things I love to do with the people I love. Summer’s the perfect time to recharge. There’s much to love about New England this time of year. With long, bleak winters, when summer comes, you appreciate it. (I love having four seasons!) The garden is planted, the camper is open, and the beach is calling.

School’s out, and my family and I have been on the run. We’ve had a crazy busy schedule, with long hours, out-of-town family visiting, and odds and ends that come up this time of year. After a few particularly crazy-busy weeks, our summer break officially started. My daughter and I decided to unplug and unwind at the beach. The weatherman said “it’s a perfect beach day!” It was perfect, with a warm breeze and cool, not-too-choppy waters. Without a cloud in the sky, we sat under our beach umbrella on an old quilt,  red cooler full of icy drinks. We read novels, watched waterfowl like seagulls, Canadian geese and loons fly and swim, and walked along shore. However, at 4:00 pm, Canadian Geese that were all gathered at the far end of the beach decided to come in like the tide. Suddenly there was an invasion! Hundreds of geese came out of the water, and walked through where most of the beach-goers were. There were families of geese with goslings in tow, large geese, smaller geese, and one out-of-place pigeon.

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The sound of their honking rose above the waves hitting the shore. Groups of geese lined up, as in a promenade, exiting the beach to the grassier areas near the parking lot. One regular beach-goer told us it’s an occurrence every day about the same time. While some people get annoyed by the mess, I loved every second, (though it was a bit intimidating with their sheer numbers and when they got so close).

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Do you think it can smell fear? LOL

At home, we’ve seen baby and adult deer, a large coyote, and lots of little baby turkeys in the last few weeks! (There’s been bear sightings all around, but knock-on-wood, I haven’t seen any)! We especially love to see the wildlife babies – so cute!

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For the last two months, everyday a visitor comes calling – a squirrel that we affectionately refer to as “Smoke Puff”. He’s solid black and shiny, with a puffy tail. He sits beneath the bird feeder and munches the seed the birds drop.  He’s pretty cute for a rodent!

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Yippee! Gidget is open! I’ve already had friends pop over for lunch in the camper.

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Check out her new red bunting sent from Farmgirl friend, Grace (Katmom), from Washington! It’s so perfect, and warms my heart that it was handmade especially for my little, happy camper. Don’t you just adore the red MaryJanesFarm fabric? Thank you again, Grace! I love it!

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The new bunting is Pip approved.

Cuteness overload!

Cuteness overload!

With a vintage camper, there will always be things that need tending, but the decor is officially done! There’s summer red touches throughout. Next to the sink, I wanted to use an old Pyrex for a sponge holder – a faded red “Fridgie” that I found in a thrift store for next to nothing. It had very little original color left, looking more pale pink fading to white. I bought it for the lid, as I needed one. I ended up painting this extra bottom dish red. I figured I didn’t have much to lose. I’m so happy with the result. It’s hard to tell it’s painted, unless you hold it up to the light. For the purpose of holding sponges, it works fine, though I wouldn’t paint something I was going to cook, bake or serve in. To paint Pyrex, make certain you use a tape like Frog tape that won’t bleed through, on the white edges and inside. Paint with thin coats and allow plenty of time to dry.

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 I think Gidget looks adorable, inside and out, don’t you? It’s our summer happy place!.

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We finally put Gidget’s awning out July 4th, when we entertained another family for a classic, fun fourth! The Fourth of July is such a fun time to entertain, as a classic cookout is so easy.

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I love old soda crates, but especially ones with red graphics! You can do so much with them – from storage, to display, to plant or tool holders. I use one to display cards at Christmas and birthdays, and they’re really cute with tableware for parties.

Red’s my favorite color, especially in decor. A touch of red looks great anytime, but for summer, red is right at home! There’s nothing like Americana red-white-and-blue touches for giving a summer vibe to any part of the house, indoors or out- it just shouts “SUMMER”!

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 I display Americana decor at Memorial Day, and leave it out until Labor Day.

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I have red touches everywhere, and in my kitchen as a main color. The kitchen decor changes with the seasons. Red blends with fall decor and keeps things from looking drab, is festive at the holidays, brightens long winter days, stays fresh for spring, and in summer it looks festive and happy. Red looks great all year.

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Summer in New England also means fairs and markets: county fairs, farmers’ markets, flea markets and antique festivals. My best friend and I “tarted up” our market carts with homemade liners. Andrea repurposed a vintage tablecloth to line hers. Adorable!

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For mine, I repurposed a heavy beach bag that fit perfectly. I added grosgrain ribbon, and for the front I knitted a flower with a vintage button in the center, using hot glue to attach to the cart.

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For a drink holder. I re-purposed the spring from a small critter water bottle holder.

Whether you sew a liner from scratch, or re-purpose, you want heavy material that won’t rip when you put heavy items in the cart. Think bark cloth, oil cloth, or canvas. CHIC! These are not your granny’s granny carts!

When I was in second grade, I had a pair of red patent-leather MaryJane shoes. I loved those shoes! I remember wearing them until they fell apart, literally, trying to staple the strap on without my mother knowing, as I knew she’d replace them. This summer, I fell in love with another pair of red, patent shoes, made by Helen’s Heart. I think every woman should have a pair of red shoes in her wardrobe!

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Dorothy, I “GET” it, darlin’!

Finally, the garden is planted and producing! The flowers have been blooming and blueberries have been plentiful!

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I’ve already picked lettuce, squash, peas, kale, garlic, herbs, and rainbow chard. I can’t wait for the tomatoes to turn RED! I love to make my favorite summer meal, a recipe I created one day while hot, tired, hungry, and having forgotten to take anything out of the freezer. It’s become one of my family’s favorite meals: Toss 2 cups of al-dente cooked rigatoni pasta with chopped fresh tomatoes, a handful of fresh basil and mint leaves, and a ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles.Toss in a medium onion, a clove of chopped garlic, and ½ cup kale that has been sauteed in 2 TBSP olive oil until soft, and finally season the whole mix with a drizzle of whisked olive oil (about ¼ cup), ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, and the juice of one lemon. Toss and serve. You can add any assortment of veggies, such as chopped cucumber, peas, or greens.

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On the menu, as well, is the yummy Gluten-Free Zucchini and Tomato tart found in the current issue of MaryJanesFarm magazine!

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Whatever you’re doing this summer, be it traveling, glamping, or “stay-cationing”, take the time to unplug, recharge, and relax! I do so hope you’ll visit me again, when the next Suburban Farmgirl blog comes out, August 20th! Remember to leave a comment below so I know that you dropped by!

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Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

Leave a comment 47 Comments

  1. Marlene says:

    Just got home from a 10 day stay at the cabin in the Rockies. The lake is full to the brim and the wild flowers are profuse. Color is everywhere as are the deer (and spotted fawn), the, Chipmunks, hummingbirds, fox and, of course, mosquitos. There’s a moose up there but as yet we’ve only seen what he’s left behind. BIG piles of what he left behind. Our guest house is almost done and that’s our little camper, including a red coffee maker.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marlene, oh your cabin and guest house camper sound absolutely Heavenly! That sounds like my kind of vacation. We’ve seen a few little chipmunks, too. They crack me up. I have never seen a moose but I can imagine what they leave behind, lol! I’d love to see one from a safe distant in the wild. Where did you get your little red coffee maker? Sounds adorable. I love my red microwave. :)

      Would love to see the camper when you are finished! Please share a photo with me if you would.

      Enjoy the rest of summer! Thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

      • Marlene Capelle says:

        Thanks. I’ll find where we got the coffee maker and get back to you. I’ll send pictures when the camper/quest house is done. We won’t be going up for a few weeks but I’m on it. Yeah, there are people around here that think it’s cute to go up to a moose and take a picture hugging it. That is, there WERE people around here.

        • Nicole Christensen says:

          Great, thank you! And your comment on the moose has me laughing out loud! Oh my goodness…to funny! ~Nicole

  2. Mary Pitman says:

    I love red in my kitchen, too! I love your Glamper, too

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Thank you, Mary! I think I got my inspiration from my mama. Her kitchen is always red, and when I was little in the 1970’s, her theme was “strawberries”! Thanks for reading and commenting…enjoy your red kitchen. Makes it a happy place in the house, I think. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Laurel Pries says:

    I enjoyed reading your newsy blog and the pictures added so much. Thank you for allowing us into ÿour world” for a bit!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Laurel, thank you so much. I am glad you enjoyed this month’s blog. Enjoy your summer, thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Debbie Fischer says:

    Hi Nicole~
    I enjoyed reading your blog and how much you and your family are enjoying your summer.
    I love how your home is decorated and all the read, white and blue. It looks so homey and inviting. And Gidget is adorable, I love the way you have her decorated. Red is the perfect color!
    You garden looks so yummy and I would love to pick a home grown tomato.
    Thank you for sharing your summer with us and continued summer fun to you and your family.
    See you in August.
    Farmgirl Hugs,
    Debbie #1582
    Blessed in Colorado

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Debbie, thank you! It’s good to hear from you, Farmgirl! We are enjoying summer, even if it is low-key (which is actually nice)! After last year’s tornado hit the house, we felt like we didn’t have much of a summer last year, and really didn’t feel like we’d ever get the property looking good again! Enjoy your summer, too- I know Colorado must be absolutely beautiful this time of year, too. Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Nielsen,Winifred T. says:

    Nicole, I love how you decorated your camper and home!! I too love red and have lots of red touches everywhere all year long. My passion is Apples and they make the perfect vehicle to add red and feed into that “American as Apple Pie” sort of thinking!

    Enjoy these long hot days of Summer with your perfect get away vehicle and restful porch!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Winifred, thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed the blog. I love the “apple theme” too, similar to my “cherries”. When my mom lived in Texas, she moved to a cute little neighborhood outside Dallas for a while. The “model” home was all done up in red, white, and blue Americana, and the kitchen had apples. It was the cutest, most homey, cozy house! I loved seeing it and never forgot that. Enjoy your summer, too, and thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Dinah says:

    Love your blog so much. Takes me back in time. Going to embrace the color red as you have…I think it will give me some joy! Your camper is like a mini museum, maybe you can start a camper competition!! Enjoy the rest of your summer. #natureismyreligion. Love ya girl. Your neighbor, Dinah

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Dinah, thank you so much! The camper is a bit like a mini-museum – even my toilet paper holder is from the 60’s, lol, with a flamingo on it! I hope you’ll swing by for a glass of something cold soon! Would love to see you. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Elisabeth Perkins says:

    Your Camper is so cute!! I love all the decor!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Elisabeth, thank you so much! It’s been fun to pick out just the perfect this-and-that, mostly all thrifted! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Beverly Battaglia says:

    Very pretty blog with great pictures and a lot to look at! Never saw a black squirrel before.
    I do not like a lot of Canadian geese, a few all right. Nasty at our lake where we walk our puppy. Love your garden and Gidget!

    Love
    Mother

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mom! Thanks! We’ve also seen white, albino squirrels before (and once an all-white skunk), but unfortunately, they do not last long in the wild. Talk to you later! Love you! ~Nicole

  9. Sandy says:

    Everything is so cute! We have spent most of July at our northern Minnesota lake cabin where it has been often hot and rainy. Many gorgeous days as well.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandy, Thank you! We are having spotty rain today, but that’s okay…it keeps everything green and gives us a break from watering! Enjoy your summer and your cabin! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  10. Kimberley Cook says:

    My husband thinks that I am the only one who changes her decor for the season. I love your use of red all year long. Enjoy your summer!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Kimberley, Oh no, you are not alone! My best friend does too! I change things seasonally in many rooms…it keeps things fresh and in spirit! Enjoy your summer! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  11. Charles LaGroue says:

    Enjoyed the blog. Great pictures, especially the bee pictures.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Thanks! I was taking my dogs out one morning, and there it was, like it was waving at me! ~Nicole

  12. Donna Kozak says:

    Loved your red and white decorating – my mom also had red and white kitchens and to this day almost every home we owned has had a red and white kitchen including my present one – I still just love it – so inviting !

    P.S.: Love your red shoes…

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Donna, Thank you! Those shoes are comfy, too! Love that you have had a red and white kitchen and so did your mom, just like me and my mom! I think that while kitchen trends come and go, the red and white always looks retro and stylish, a real classic! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  13. Denise says:

    everything you decorated looks so adorable, inside and out!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Your water bottle on your granny cart is adorable! I love that gal!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Jennifer, thank you! When I saw it, I had. to. have. it! I got mine at Bass Pro shop a couple of years ago. They might still have them. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  15. Beth says:

    While our weather has been a bit cooler and cloudier than usual (Willamette Valley OR), my berries have been producing like crazy and my orange pepper plant as well! Go figure…. I love red as well, and you’ll find pops of it throughout my bungalow-arts and crafts-inspired little house. Love the pics of Gidget!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Beth, you just never know what makes plants happy sometimes! I thought spring was late here, but I am having one of the best gardens ever! I am so glad you enjoyed the blog- thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  16. Nanette says:

    Nicole, your glamper is adorable. When I was growing up we had a silver small camper that the older boys slept in in the summer. When they weren’t using it it became my play house. I spent many hours making it what I thought it should be.

    I too love red. We remodeled our entire main floor last fall, and what started out as a tasteful red rug for the kitchen morphed into the colors I chose for the decor. The decor is now copper and red with yellow accents. Who knew it would all go together!!!

    Thank you for keeping us entertained with your adventures, and enjoy the rest of your summer!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Nanette, Lucky you, having a camper as a playhouse. That is sort of what Gidget is for me now, lol! My little playhouse!

      Your kitchen sounds beautiful! And what a perfect backdrop for seasonal decor, as well. Enjoy! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  17. Carol says:

    I adore your camper! We have used ours a few times this year, but it rained most of the month of June and now July is becoming increasingly humid and hot.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carol, Thank you! But also, I hear ya! When it gets really hot and humid, it is tough to be inside a camper with no A/C. Hopefully it won’t stay humid for too long. Last summer was the most humid summer I ever remember here! Stay cool! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  18. Marilyn says:

    We also change decor for the season. Can’t wait for the fall decor.Glad you are having a good summer. Gidget looks great and so colorful.
    Marilyn

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marilyn, thank you! And yes, I love to decorate for fall, too. Very cozy time of year in New England! Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a great summer. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  19. Pamela says:

    Enjoy your blog-takes me home to New England. I am a transplanted suburbanite from Massachusetts. Have learned to appreciate my 4 acres in rural Kansas. Loved your beach experience-too fun (wish I had been with you), beautiful wildlife pics, and the adorable decorating of your camper. Nice touch with your your love of pink and red especially in vintage pieces. There are so many simple but special times
    with country life. Saw a fawn & mother drinking by a creek
    today. Yesterday took a friend to a breakfast cafe and
    blackberry picking. They are so big & sweet; I don’t
    know if any will make it to the baking stage!! Country Life is good! Pamela

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Pamela, thank you! Sounds like you have a great country life in Kansas, too! I have always wanted to see the Midwest, but so far, that is one area of the US that I have not made it to yet. I hear ya on this year’s blueberries! I have been munching ours too. My daughter and I made a salad for lunch yesterday – garden-picked lettuces, kale, chard, and tomatoes (the little ones are starting to turn now), and mixed in some blueberries. Finished it with a strawberry vinaigrette- DELICIOUS! Then, there’s the blueberries that we just MUNCH! Have a great summer; sounds like you are off to a great start. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  20. Nancy Wagner says:

    I loved the story about the geese on the beach. I never heard of that before. What a trip! I also have never seen a black squirrel. He is quite cute. I have several squirrels that I feed peanuts. I bought a wreath holder for them it looks like a spring from a garage door opener (my son’s description) and goes around a metal wire in a ring and when full of peanuts it looks just like a wreath of peanuts. The squirrels and the birds all love it, and my dog, cat, and I enjoy watching them!

    First time I ever read your blog. Very nice. Looking forward to August 20.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Nancy, thank you, and welcome! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I love how you feed the squirrels peanuts! I will try that. Maybe SmokePuff will enjoy a change of pace from the bird seed. We enjoy seeing the squirrels and chipmunk antics in the yard, too. Thanks again for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  21. Vivian Monroe says:

    Everything looks relaxing and inviting…so charming is your little Gidget Glamper.. :)

  22. Jane Cleveland says:

    Summer fun. Thanks. I enjoyed reading it.
    Jane

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Thank you so much, Jane! Enjoy the rest of summer. Fall is approaching soon, though it has it’s charms, I do so love summer! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  23. Glad I found this in all honesty. I’m enjoying this article pal.

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