The Perfect Summer Playlist for Day or Night

The perfect summer playlist is a must-have, not only for sun-soaked days, but for those endless summer nights.  With our playlist for day or night, you’ll celebrate to the dreamy pop sounds of bands like Toro Y Moi, Seapony, Washed Out and Cults.

Our Top 10 Summer Songs:
Girl Problems, Toro Y Moi
Out in the Way, Beach Fossils feat. Wild Nothing
Young Gold, Quilt
Dreaming, Seapony
Origins, Tennis
Go Outside, Cults
Wild, Beach House
Ruin, Cat Power
You and I, Washed Out
Under Your Spell, Desire

Summer Staycation

If a weekend away in the Hamptons isn’t in the cards, look no further. We’ve rounded up some poolside locations in Manhattan-proper to beat the 90 degree heat without leaving the city. So grab your bikini, floppy hat, and sandals and enjoy a fabulous day sunbathing or swimming. Note: You do not have to be a hotel guest to enjoy these spots!

1. Gansevoort Meatpacking
18 Ninth Avenue
Cost: $275 per person (includes 30 minute facial, 30 minute massage + poolside cocktail)

Talk about the ultimate splurge – but worth every penny. This rooftop pool has gorgeous views of the city and you can even listen to music underwater! There is a bar and restaurant on site and a landscaped terrace for lounging after a day at the pool.

2. The Holiday Inn
440 West 57th Street
Cost: $70

Get to this roof deck early, as lounge chairs tend to get nabbed fast on the weekends. A bar and restaurant onsite make this an all-day, one-stop excursion.

3. Le Parker Meridien Hotel
118 W. 57th St
Cost: $150 Day Pass

This could potentially be the best view in the city of Central Park.  42 stories up, the glass-enclosed pool is a dreamlike, and room service can be delivered directly to the sundeck.

4. Millennium Health and Racquet Club
One United Nations Plaza
Cost: $25 Day Pass

The Millenium Health and Racquet Club has breathtaking views of the UN. Covered floor to ceiling with windows, this pool is perfect for private laps at your own pace.

Escape to New York

Bahamas, Puerto Rico or Bermunda not on your summer itinerary? Don’t fret. We’ve gathered some of our favorite beach locations that are less than 2 hours away from the Big Apple.

1. Robert Moses State Park
Babylon, NY
Travel Time: 1 Hour
Hightlights: This beach is on the smaller side and less crowded. For lunch, you can either pack a picnic to enjoy in the park’s picnic area or visit the resident food vendor.
Image via Wikipedia


2. Jones Beach State Park
Wantagh, NY
Travel Time: 1 Hour
Highlights: Jones Beach is famous for its summer concert series (information here). The beach also has over four miles of bike paths, an Olympic sized pool, surf fishing and a nature center.

Image via Best of Long Island


3. Brighton Beach
Brooklyn, NY
Travel Time: 45 minutes – 1 Hour
Highlights: With a round trip total of $4.50 (via Subway) and all the Russian food you can eat, Brighton Beach has restaurants, shopping and of course, the ocean!
Image via Travelpod


4. Rockaway Beach
Queens, NY
Travel Time: 1.5 Hours
Highlights: Surfing and Volleyball? Check. In addition to being a great place for sports, Rockaway Beach is also a great spot for some grub–Rockaway Taco and Rippers are not to be missed.
Image via NY Magazine

Brilliant Beach Reads

The perfect “beach read” is as essential for an idyllic getaway as sunscreen and a swimsuit.  We’ve put together our top picks for summer reading – from classics to romance and history – with titles to suit any vacation personality.

For the Nostalgic New Yorker
Just Kids by Patti Smith
An inside look at Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe’s road to fame in 1960′s New York. The poignant memoir of the pair’s friendship will take you on a heartfelt journey from their first meeting in Brooklyn to the height of their careers.

For the Gourmet
How Italian Food Conquered the World by John F. Mariani
In his latest book, food critic Mariani chronicles the rise of Italian Cuisine from poor man’s gruel to culinary staple, not only in America, but throughout the world.

For the Wannabe Detective
Guilty Wives by James Patterson
Monte Carlo, a five star hotel and a private helicopter set the scene for mystery. Add in the quintessential Patterson twists and turns and you have the riveting thrill of a dream vacation turned nightmare.

For the Book to Movie Reader
The Great Gatsy by F. Scott Fitzgerald
If you didn’t read The Great Gatsby in high school English (or didn’t fully appreciate it when you did), go pick it up before Baz Luhrmann’s movie adaptation hits theaters this winter.  The Great Gatsby, a classic that will never lose its charm, provides a stunning view of the Jazz Age in 1920s New York.

For the Girly-Girl
Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin
Emily Giffin, author of Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Baby Proof, examines in her latest novel the first year of marriage as she battles to overcome the heartbreak of an old flame.

For the History Buff
The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War by Andrew Roberts
If you love history, but can only devote time for one book on WWII, The Storm of War is the book for you. Roberts chronicles key battles, figures and events to illustrate the destruction and tragedy that defined one of the most significant wars of our time.

Weekly Collection Inspiration: Shangri La

This week our floral designs are inspired by Shangri La, the enchanted land of the seven beyuls where a happy and content people live completely cut off from the troubles of the outside world.  View our divinely delightful weekly subscription bouquets below the fold, and stay tuned to the blog for this week’s posts from paradise.


3 Steps to Build Your Own Terrarium

Terrariums are quite possibly the easiest way to garden.  These self-sustaining environments are the perfect project for plant enthusiasts with a less-than-green thumb.  Below are Hannah’s tips to build your own terrarium in 3 quick and easy steps.

Step 1: Choose the Right Container

Choosing the proper vessel is of utmost importance.  The goal is to create a closed environment that will support your plants and allow for easy viewing – a transparent, covered container is best.  For our terrarium we chose a uniquely shaped apothecary jar.

Step 2: Create a Layered Base

In assembling this small, self-sufficient vessel, a layering technique creates the most suitable base for the plants. The components should be layered in the following order, from bottom to top:

  1. gravel
  2. charcoal
  3. sphagnum peat moss
  4. potting soil

Gravel provides drainage, charcoal reduces odors, sphagnum retains moisture and potting soil provides nutrients to the plants.

Step 3: Choose the Right Plants

A wide variety of plants can adjust to this type of closed environment including many small ferns, African violets, bromeliads and many other small houseplants. Be adventurous in your choices, test out your green thumb and don’t forget to give your vessel lots of sunlight!

You need only water three to four times per year, as the closed vessel creates a self-sustaining environment.  The moisture in the terrarium is absorbed through the plants’ roots, then transpired from its leaves.  It condenses on the walls and cover, then falls back down the walls into the soil.  Once initial setup has been completed, maintenance is truly minimal.

Weddings at Terrain

Glen Mills, Pennsylvania holds a treasured spot–a garden store and nursery called Terrain. The property’s idyllic location is the perfect wedding destination for any floral enthusiast and boasts an elegant yet rustic charm–think farmhouse meets curiosity shoppe tucked inside the woods. Pair a lace gown with heirloom accessories and capture photos in front of a restored antique greenhouse, surrounded by natural beauty.

For those who cannot make it out to Pennsylvania, Terrain also has a second location in Westport, CT. Stop by either location (whether you are looking at wedding venues, or not), grab a bite at the restaurant or peruse their selection of plants (from regular to limited edition). We promise that you will not be disappointed.

The details: 1. Terrain Garden Center; 2. Rustic Centerpieces; 3. Bride & Groom; 4. Antique Spigot; 5. Canopy.

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