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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dining Al Fresco

Look at us getting all fancy with our 'al fresco' talk today! In fact, I'm typing this post with my pinkies up, dahling! Do people even say 'al fresco' in real life?! Maybe not...but it was a better post title than 'Eating Outside.' #justsayin

However you prefer to say it, patio dining is a favorite pastime around here, and fortunately, Texas weather offers us plenty of opportunities. Our last outdoor dining set was looking pretty sad after 15 years, and thanks to an unfortunate event involving the glass top and a few clueless teenage boys, we recently got an upgrade. We didn't waste any time breaking it in, and celebrated our son's birthday last week with a cookout by the pool.

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

I looked at countless options before deciding on the Elaine 7-Piece Dining Set from AE Outdoor. Texas Summers can be intense, so durability was my first criteria...followed by design, aesthetics, and size. This table and chairs have a rustproof aluminum frame, and high pressure laminate top...both of which can withstand the harshest outdoor conditions.

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

From the design standpoint, I love the low-profile, curved-back chairs, and subtleness of the woven herringbone pattern. And once I saw a sample of the Sunbrella cushion fabric, I was sold! The mossy green perfectly compliments the backyard, and my new outdoor palm print pillows.

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

Entertaining Tip: Let your cutting boards double as serving trays...the wood adds warmth and texture to your table. And, one less dish to wash!

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

You may remember the umbrella from our last patio...black and white stripes are always a good idea! The woven material of the new dining set coordinates perfectly with our existing patio set...I'm working on a little refresh of that, and will show you soon where they end up in the new backyard.

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

Entertaining Tip: Recycle vintage-looking soda bottles for serving chilled water.

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

World Market is my go-to source of outdoor melamine dishes and serving ware, and I pair them with my everyday indoor pieces for a layered feel. I added the monogrammed cups to my collection this year, and completely adore them...even more since they are dishwasher-safe! (Don't worry, the 'J' is for Mr. SP, not the pool boy.) ;) #MrSPisalsothepoolboy

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

With Summer really heating up, I'm constantly reaching for this tee. It's crazy soft and lightweight, yet isn't sheer and maintains it's shape. It's currently on sale, so I'm adding new colors to my collection! And Turkish towels are my latest discovery...they are absorbant, but dry quickly and fold compactly. And unlike typical pool/beach towels, the patterns are subtle and chic.

Hi Sugarplum |
Watch | Turkish Towel (similar)


Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

Between the new horizontal fence and snazzy dining set, the backyard already feels transformed...and we love spending time in it! (See how far it's come here.)

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Dining

Have you been dining al fresco this Summer?

P.S. Several of you emailed me about how to gain access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Pre-Sale this Thursday...well, that's easy...it's open to all credit or debit cardholders! I'm a slave to earning mileage points, so I opted for the Nordstrom debit card. But in fact, I only use it to gain access to the sale, then I pay with my usual credit card. #tricks

Many items sell-out before the sale even opens to the public July 17, so it's definitely worth looking in to! I've been studying the catalog like it's my job, so I'll be posting my picks later this week! Who shops the pre-sale with me?


{Source List}

Dining Set  |  AE Outdoor c/o
Green Sunbrella Chair Cushions  |  AE Outdoor
Striped Umbrella  |  Home Decorators
Palm Print Pillows  |  Tonic Living c/o
Striped Pillows  |  Ikea
Flamingo Pillow  |  Ikea
Striped Turkish Towel  |  HomeGoods
Cutting Board  |  World Market
Salad Bowl  |  World Market
Monogrammed Outdoor Cups  |  Mark and Graham c/o
Green Flatware  |  World Market
Floral Outdoor Tray  |  World Market
Striped Napkins  |  World Market
Galvanized Drink Tub & Stand  |  World Market
Striped Table Runner  |  Ikea
Outdoor Plates & Bowls  |  World Market

25 comments:

  1. The backyard looks fabulous! We're Texan al fresco diners as well! Hope you're enjoying the summer!

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  2. Your backyard looks amazing, Cassie. Love the black and white umbrella and the palm pillow is the perfect complement! What a great place to spend the summer!

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    Replies
    1. I'm crazy about the combo, too! Thanks so much! xo

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  3. Love it! We eat outside a lot since our backyard makeover. Enjoy!

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  4. Ahh! Thanks for the info about the Nordie anniversary sale. I have a debit card too and thought they would make you pay with the debit - thanks for letting me know I can pay with my credit card! Woot, woot!

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  5. after YEEEEARS of shopping at Nordstrom, JUST signed up for a credit card just for the presales. do you shop the presale online?? (oh goodie, i can still pay with my amex. i like all my points in one place.) i've been searching high and low for an outdoor dining set. no luck yet, i'll have to check out ae. and then... i'll be right over for watermelon....

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    Replies
    1. YES! I shop it online...so much more available...and no crowds!

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  6. Such a great outdoor space! Also, love the tip for re-using vintage-inspired soda bottles to serve water. I have 3 of them that I was just about to get rid of!

    Cheers to summer!

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  7. It all looks so inviting and chic! I love those monogrammed cups!

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  8. Love your dining set and that gorgeous striped umbrella! One question- are the mosquitos not as fierce in your neck of the woods? They're terrible in Dallas, and we can't enjoy dining al fresco as much as we'd like :(

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michele! It depends on the time of day...but we burn citronella candles and torches, and that helps!

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  9. It all looks wonderful! I'm off to check out your 'before' now....

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sara! It's not as dramatic as your backyard transformation...but it's a start! xo

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  10. STAYCATION !!!! Awesome back yard pool decor!!! Have a great Summer !!!

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  11. Love the stripes and the cushions, your work with colors and patternas are just so fresh!

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  12. So when are you having me over? I'd like a nice green salad or maybe chicken salad for lunch. And maybe lemon bars for dessert.
    ;)

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  13. what time can i come over?!!? love this outdoor situation ;) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  14. I'm gonna shop it now with ya sista!! thanks for the heads up - I already pay with my debit card. I luv ur outdoor set - I've always liked that wicker look without the fragility of wicker.

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  15. Love your new patio set! So cute! When are you inviting me over for cocktails and swimming? ;)

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  16. Look at that awesome back yard and how cute you are:) That fence is AWESOME!

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  17. Look at that awesome back yard and how cute you are:) That fence is AWESOME!

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  18. Hi there! Just wondering how this set held up over the past year with all of the rain, pollen, and heat that Texas weather brings. We are looking for a set for our deck and this one would fit well, but it needs to withstand everything that the Central Texas elements can throw at it. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. The table, chairs, and table top are good as new! (If I wash them off, anyway!) ;) The only issue we've had is the squirrels eating the cushions. So those are a little worse-for-wear, but everything else is great. And we get INTENSE afternoon full sun in our backyard, too! Hope this helps!

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    2. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. Glad to hear the table and chairs are holding up. I love the shape and lower profile back on the chairs, as well as the pop of color in the cushions. We had the same issue with squirrels in our last home - I used to think they were cute, but have come to terms with the fact that they're just rodents with fluffy tails. So, my dogs can chase them all they want. :) Take care!

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Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

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