Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Snowfall and a Sale

It is snowing here in Upstate New York.


We hope you have spent most of the day playing in the winter white. Once you come back indoors to get toasty while sipping a mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course), we hope you will visit our online store to snatch up holiday inventory that has been marked 40% off.

That kind of deal should help warm you up.

INSIDER TIP FOR THOSE HOSTING A NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY: We still have the Gold Glitter Ball Tree in stock. At 40% off, it can easily be worked into your New Year's Eve decor.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Did I remember?

When it comes to shopping for those on your list, we at next summer have endless possibilities. But we know good design and living the good life extends beyond our shelves. Check out our gift ideas - from fun products in our store to an innovative style setting company to our top charitable picks - all very carefully curated to help you find the perfect something for those in your life. 

1. Warby Parker Gift Card ($95): Stylish, hip and forward-thinking. For every pair of glasses they sell, they give away a pair to someone in need.

2. Joseph Joseph Large Double Dish ($28): The perfect gift for all the hosts and hostesses out there throwing parties throughout the holiday season. It allows for multiple items to be served and a tiny holder for toothpicks; not to mention a larger hidden catch-all for pits and shells so you don't have to see your mess and the host can spend less time cleaning up and more time with guests.

3. Liberty Puzzles ($88 - $108): The locations depicted on these beautifully crafted wooden puzzles will stir fond memories for the giftee... sailing on the water, the paddock at Saratoga Race Track, skating on a frozen pond. It’s a gift that will last generations.

4. Christine’s Originals Rings ($68): Outwardly fun, these rings bring a little whimsy into the life of a confident, sophisticated wearer.

5. Lindsay's Pick (Visions of Sugarplums danced in their heads) JDRF:JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Giving a donation helps move this important research forward. 
Matthew's Pick (I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas)  The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : The Trust dedicates itself to the protection and preservation of Africa’s wilderness and its denizens. A monetary donation helps endangered species such as elephants and black rhino (but no hippos). 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Traditions. Come December, they are blissfully unavoidable. One of my all-time favorite traditions during the holiday season revolves squarely around cookies.

Baking them. Exchanging them. Delivering them. Eating them.

As a kid, my friends and I would gather in the kitchen at a cozy farmhouse up on top of a very big hill. We would bake dozens upon dozens of cookies, all while eating our healthy share of dough and giggling our way through sugar-high versions of our favorite Christmas carols and hymns. Once cooled, the cookies would be packed up and delivered around our sleepy little town to those simply needing to know someone was thinking of them.

Today, cookie making is still an important part of my friendships during the holidays. While we no longer bake in that cozy farmhouse up on top of a very big hill, we still eat too much dough and laugh until we cry. Our generosity has evolved, though dropping off cookies still happens on occasion.

We at next summer hope your traditions continue this holiday season. And, for those of you without traditions, we hope you consider starting some of your very own. They are part of living a good life.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix 1 cup softened butter, 1 1/3 cups light brown sugar, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  3. To the mixture, stir in 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Mix in 3 cups rolled oats and 2 cups of white chocolate chips (Hello, White Christmas!)
  5. Spoon equal sized bits of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes.
  6. Eat one… or two, but save some to share with friends and neighbors. And don't forget to bring in a few for us to try as well. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Butler's gotta drink too

Lindsay and I have been doing a lot of work on our home. We've promised to show you as we updated and . . .well, the updates have been few and far between. It's not that we haven't done anything. On the contrary, we've done a lot, but until recently, we hadn't completed much. We've finally completed our "Butler's Pantry" - well, at least that's what Lindsay's mom, a Southern Belle through and through, calls it. 

Here's the Before picture. 

I really like this one, mostly because Izzy is in it, so I couldn't resist. As you can tell, it's less of a "before" picture and more of a "during" picture, but you get the idea.

I've included this picture to show you just how bad the floor was. The unfortunate thing is that neither photograph shows just how bad the wall color was. 

So here are the "after" photographs. The project broke down into four phases, 1) doors; 2) painting; 3) counter; and 4) carpet. This picture below is a "panoramic" shot that I took to show the overall view. No, our walls are not bowed in real life. 

The first thing we did was remove those doors to open the cabinets up. Then we painted the walls a light grey color which made the white trim stand out more. After that we painted the interior of the cabinets a hot pink that was a perfect background to our bar accessories.

 We then had to get rid of that horrible countertop. Putting in soapstone, slate, or quartz counters was not in our budget for this little space, so Lindsay came up with an ingenious solution. She decided to get a mirror cut to the exact dimensions of our countertop. We just fit that in over the old linoleum counters and it instantly transformed the space. To finish the counter's front we bought an inexpensive piece of molding, gave it a high quality glossy finish, and glued it to the front of the counter. 

Finally, we covered that terrible floor with Flor carpet tiles to match the back of the cabinets. This gives the overall space a more modern and sophisticated lounge feel. We love it. Hope you do too!