Monday, July 27, 2015

Midsummer Favorites

How has your summer been? It's hard to believe it's almost August. I've gathered together a few of my favorite things from this summer so far. I'd love to know what yours are!

1. "Euphoria" by Lily King

My favorite book this summer is Euphoria by Lily King. Inspired by the life of Margaret Mead, it tells the story of a married couple Nell and Fen who are working as anthropologists in New Guinea in the 1930's. When they meet another young anthropologist and decide to work with him, a passionate love triangle occurs. This book tells two fascinating stories: one, about the lives of anthropologists working in the field in the 1930's and two, a dramatic love story that threatens the careers and lives of the three main characters. At only 257 pages, this book delivers a powerful punch with such efficiency. I loved its intensity and passion.

2. "Far From the Madding Crowd"

My favorite movie (it came out in May) is Far From the Madding Crowd. This sweeping, romantic tale is about the beautiful and independent Bathsheba, played by Carey Mulligan, and the three men who compete for her love. Apparently this is the only Thomas Hardy novel with a happy ending. The clothes that Carey Mulligan wears in the film are stunning and so well suited for a young Victorian heroine striding through the Dorset countryside! 

3. Tilda Swinton in "Trainwreck"

 The surprise comedic performance of the summer has to be Tilda Swinton in the film Trainwreck.
This movie is absolutely hilarious and its star Amy Schumer is a comic genius. But who knew Tilda had such comedic talent? Go here to find out how she transformed herself to look like this!

4. Hydrangeas from the garden

This year my hydrangeas have been amazing! It's been so much fun cutting them for arrangements.

5. Finding a new garden ornament

Whenever I go to Montecito, I stop at William Laman who carries the best garden accessories. This wooden obelisk reminds me of ones I've seen in gardens in England.

I also found this lantern at William Laman's

6. Garden plaque

A dear friend gave me this plaque for my birthday, which is going in the garden once I find a place for it. There's wisdom here, don't you think?

7. Aperol Spritz cocktails

We discovered these drinks when we were in Italy and have been making them ever since.

The recipe is simple:

Pour 4 oz. Prosecco into an ice-filled glass. Add 1 oz. Aperol liqueur and top off with club soda. Gently stir together. Garnish with orange zest and mint leaf. It makes the perfect summer aperitif.

8. Garden party inspiration

I haven't had a chance to post my photos from this year's Robinson Garden Tour.
As always, it was so inspiring. I loved this table set for a garden party.

9. Reading the New York Times Travel Section
Photo via here

In the summer this is always my favorite section of the paper and this summer it has not disappointed. Talk about creating wanderlust! There have been so many fabulous articles. I file them away in my travel notebook. This photo is from the article "Dorset, Thomas Hardy Country." I want to be there right now!

10. Rereading Tender Is The Night 

Summer is a great time to reread this classic set in the French Riviera. F. Scott Fitzgerald considered Tender is the Night his best work. And when you go back and reread it, you understand why. The writing is just beautiful. I had forgotten how sad this book is. And how glamorous. It conjures up the 1920's and summers in the south of France -- beaches, villas, and stylish Americans throwing fabulous parties. (Go here to read more about the connection between the Fitzgeralds and Cap d'Antibes.) It also contains one of my favorite dedications:

To Gerald and Sara Murphy -- Many Fetes


Wishing you a summer filled with "many fetes"!


  1. I am swooning seeing your gorgeous is so lush and beautiful.
    I love that plaque with the library and garden message!!

    My garden is going through a major transformation...out of necessity...deer and drought have been the reason. So I have been really focused and busy in the garden which leaves very little time for much else.
    Hope you are enjoying your role as a grandmother...we are waiting for grand baby number 3's arrival which could be any day!!
    Happy Summer Sunday!

    1. Leslie, I am in heaven as a grandmother. I had no idea how much fun it would be. How exciting that your number 3 grandchild is on the way. Just saw a photo on instagram of your garden and it looks beautiful!
      xx Sunday

  2. Each of your summer favorites resonate with me, from books to garden adornments. Those 2 movies sound good too and I am sure we will see them.

    1. Terra, I hope you get a chance to see both movies. And so happy my list resonated with you. Happy summer!

  3. DID YOUR HYDRANGEA's sip up all my water?!!Mine are an absolute MESS this year not even growing into full bloom.WE cut the water back drastically this year cut by half my GARDEN has suffered the MOST!
    Yours are stunning............the APEROL drink I love too.
    Now tell me where in Montectito is this garden shop?Been there many times for LOTUSLAND and to see my AUNT but have missed the NURSERY?
    Your garden is GLORIOUS and yes if you have BOOKS and a GARDEN you are SET!

  4. William Laman is on East Valley Road in Montecito. It's right next to Country Antiques. You have to go, you will love it. Isn't Lotusland amazing! The aperol drink is so refreshing on a warm night. I hope you make it; let me know how you like it.

  5. I really enjoyed Euphoria and or course loved Far From the Madding Crowd. I read the novel, watched the original film, the Masterpiece classic series and the current film. The current film is quite good. Thank you Sunday for all your recommendations. They are always excellent.

  6. Oh-so-lovely, especially your garden and hydrangeas.

  7. So many of my favorite things. Far From the Madding Crowd was beyond beautiful, and I re-read Tender is the Night every few years as well. Hydrangeas, Trainwreck, and William Laman, all so good as well. Didn't know it was your birthday, so a belated Happy Birthday Sunday.

  8. A few years ago, I read an interesting biography of Sara and Gerald Murphy titled "Everybody was so Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy, a Lost Generation Love Story.

  9. What a gorgeous blog you have! I know I'm going to enjoy it. And those hydrangeas!!!! I'm planting white hydrangeas this summer in my little shady garden.....I do hope they like it there! Any tips??



  10. Tender is the Night my HB gave it to me when we first met,loved it ever since. Thought of you when watching the first episode of the Bloomsbury Set on TV ;).
    Lots of fĂȘtes here part of English life sadly our weather has made gardening a tad tiresome lol!

  11. Ooooh, I wondered about that movie. Can't wait to see it.

  12. Watched this after reading your blog post and loved loved it. You are so right about the fashion. Swoon worthy in every way and I loved her in the role...and the lead male as well.