Category Archives: DIY

Winter’s Bright Side

5 Cold Weather Projects You Can Do Now

If all of this snow has cramped your style, you might be able to channel a different kind of style, for your home. These colder months can work to our advantage, if we use them as a chance to take on a few fun home improvement projects. Here are five big-impact ideas that just might take your mind off the cold.

benjamin moore accent wall
Photo: Benjamin Moore

1. Paint an interior wall (or door)

Maybe your walls took a bit of a beating this holiday season, or maybe you just crave some color to brighten up a room. Painting an accent wall adds definition and interest to a space, without a major time commitment.  A freshly painted interior door can have a similar effect, inviting a new perspective into any room.

2.  Polish your wood floors

Even with regular cleaning, a quarterly polishing is recommended for most wood floors. Polishing adds extra beauty, shine and longevity to your floors, helping to restore a floor’s protective layer of finish. Learning how to polish hardwood yourself is a relatively quick, cheap and easy way to properly maintain your floors. Polishing is different than refisnishing, in that you are keeping the finish that is on the floor intact, filling in microscopic scratches and evening out the appearance.

closet-organization3. Organize a closet

Get ready for the busy season, by doing a little spring cleaning before the rush. After you’ve done the work of sorting (and possibly purging), a closet organizer kit will help you get the most mileage out of your hard work. Snow’s carries a couple of different kits (which are also a snap to special order) that can  expand your storage space and keep everything organized an within reach. The ClosetMaid Closet Organizer, for example, has over 10′ of hanging space and 13′ of adjustable shelving space. You can also neatly stow away odd-shaped items by using a variety of totes and baskets.

copper knob
Shown: Liberty Hardware 1-1/2″ French Lace Knob with copper highlights

4.  Swap out some hardware

Just like great jewelry makes a fashion statement, one of the easiest ways to give a fixture a facelift is by updating the hardware. Doors, cabinets, dressers and vanities will all love being accessorized with some new knobs or pulls. And there are lots of choices – whether you prefer a satin nickel finish, a more vintage-style distressed copper, or something in between.

Snow's has a large selection of new spa products to use at home, including SallyeAnder Almond Goat Milk, Seagrass, Milk and Mint and "No Bite Me" Soaps, and Camille Beckman's Mango Beach No.2, Secret Sea, French Vanilla, Orient Spice and English Lavender collections.
Snow’s has a large selection of new spa products to use at home, including Camille Beckman, B. Witching Bath Co., Pre de Provence and Caswell-Massey for men.

5. Give your bath a spa feel

Now is the time of year when we love the chance to relax in a nice, hot bath – so why not elevate the experience with some carefully chosen spa-inspired treats?  From soft bamboo towels to color-coordinated lotions, soaps and candles, it doesn’t take much to take your bath from basic to beyond.

Get Your Home Holiday-Ready with Ben Moore’s Color of the Year

The holidays are on their way, and so are your holiday guests. To get your home ready for a season of good cheer, there’s nothing that brightens up a space more than a fresh coat of paint.

What’s also nice about painting before the holidays is that you can select colors that do double duty – they play off your seasonal decor, yet remain relevant the whole year through. Sound interesting? Then we have a palette to inspire you.guilford green

Benjamin Moore just announced their 2015 Color of the Year: Guilford Green. 

It’s a neutral , silvery green (how “holiday” is that?) that ties together the other sublime shades in Ben Moore’s 2015 Color Trends collection. Layering these colors throughout your home helps to create a graceful flow from room to room. Four main color families are featured for 2015: Berry, Green, Blush and Blue. Again – gotta love the timeliness of these new colors… Berry + Green = Beautifully festive!

color ideasTo see how some of these gorgeous paint color combinations might look, Benjamin Moore has a couple of great online tools:

Personal Color Viewer – A virtual visualizer lets you see how paint colors will look before you even pick up a brush.

Color Gallery – Color selection tool with access to their 3,500 colors and countless color combinations.

Of course, choosing paint colors isn’t always something that can be done online. It may be a way to get started, but talking it out with a real live person often feels much more reassuring.  That’s what we’re here for…Snow’s paint department is always eager and ready to help.

 

Nostalgia, Inspiration and a Peaceful Time Out

Toy trains bring smiles for the holidays

If you grew up in the fifties or sixties, you may have fond Christmas memories of toy trains circling the base of your tree. And somehow – even with Internet-based games, moves, music and even books  – the nostalgia of model trains lives on.

snow's holiday trains
A close up of one small piece of the Snow’s holiday train display

At Snow’s, the holiday train display goes up each year around Columbus Day and attracts people of all ages throughout the season. It’s hard to miss: the layout measures about 20 feet around and is located in the middle of the decorated trees and ornament displays, right as you enter the holiday shop.

Other than it’s size, though, there are several reasons why the holiday train display is something people look forward to when coming to Snow’s this time of year.

Nostalgia and Tradition 

1951 lionel train ad
A 1951 Lionel train ad for Christmas

The railroads have a great history, especially around Christmastime. Even way back in the early 1900s, trains were a symbol of American progress, and to many, traveling by train meant coming home for the holidays.

Toy and model trains have been around almost as long as the real ones. The first toy trains and train sets were developed by Lionel at the turn of the last century – and ever since then there has been a certain “romance of the rails.” Dads were encouraged to join their youngsters in model train enthusiasm, and layouts cropped up in more and more living rooms, especially at Christmas.

At the heart of it, trains around Christmas trees evoke memories of simpler times. The set up at Snow’s includes not only trains running around the tracks, but quaint little villages such as the lighted Starburst Ferris Wheel, Santa’s “Yule Steiner” Brewery, Wyatt’s Wooden Toy Shop and Two Sister’s Bakery.

For some, seeing the trains at Snow’s is a yearly holiday tradition. Longtime Snow’s customer Lee Sullivan says: “I have 5 grandsons…4 of which are “train age.” So we come in at Christmastime – it’s a tradition, and it’s all part of the family.”

DIY Inspiration

trains around tree
If you’re considering building a train layout around your Christmas tree, the smallest circular track configuration would be about 4’ x 50’.

The train layouts at Snow’s also provide some inspiration for creating a set up at home. There’s little better than seeing your child or grandchild’s eyes light up as they watch the trains go by.

If you’re starting from scratch, Snow’s has several starter sets. The sets give you everything you need for a complete layout in one box, and they are more cost efficient than buying each piece separately. Some of the available sets include a Boy Scouts of America Freight Set (now on sale for $299.99, a $90 savings), and a Grand Central Express O-Gauge set for $439.99.

A Break from the Bustle

This year, a late Thanksgiving has added a bit of pressure to get everything squared away in time for Christmas.

So even if you don’t plan to erect a train layout in your home, one great reason to come see the trains at Snow’s is simply to take a breather from the hectic pace of the holidays. It’s great to see entire families come and visit Snow’s…not just to shop, but to gather around the train display and simply regroup.

toy train icon

p.s. While the holiday trains are seasonal, kids always love coming to see our large interactive train display that stays up all year long!

Barbecue that Bird!

How to Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey on a Charcoal Grill

It’s a common Thanksgiving dilemma. Every year, it’s a timing and spacial relations challenge to make room in the oven for stuffing, rolls, green bean casseroles and everything else that needs to get cooked despite the 20-lb. turkey that got there first.

This is where a charcoal grill can come to the rescue.  Although it’s seems untraditional, there are many converts who say a cooking Thanksgiving turkey on a grill is the only way to go. In the Snow’s family, Stan and Bonnie Snow have been doing it this way for years.

grilled turkeyWeber has detailed (but easy to follow) instructions for cooking a turkey this way. The brined turkey with pan gravy pictured here looks just like a traditional roast turkey you would pull out of your oven, only it comes off the grill – and it’s really more accurate to say barbecued than “grilled.” The turkey doesn’t sit directly on the grate, so you don’t have grill marks. A nice touch for a ribeye, but not so much for your holiday bird.

View the recipe and instructions (If you’re more of a visual learner, watch the video below to see it done step-by-step).

bird-vid
VIDEO: Cooking a Turkey on a Charcoal Grill

Grilling a turkey involves brining it ahead of time (overnight) in a mixture of apple juice, water, salt and herbs. The effect of brining is sort of a miracle of science: the salt in the brine denatures some of the meat’s proteins, which allows more of the natural juices to be retained.

The cooking process itself is all about indirect, low heat. Over the course of about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, the bird will cook slowly as you add more charcoal each hour.

Other than the turkey and seasoning, preparing and grilling a turkey successfully requires the following tools:

turkey with thermometer
Caption: Safety first: The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 160° to 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone).
  1. Large cooler
  2. Sturdy plastic bag
  3. Ice
  4. Wood chips (optional)
  5. Chimney starter (optional)
  6. Charcoal
  7. 3 large disposable foil pans
  8. Charcoal grill with cooking grate
  9. Meat thermometer
  10. Gravy separator

 

So this year, consider firing up the grill to help with your Thanksgiving spread. Your oven will thank you, and you might even get some of the guys off the couch and outside cooking! :-)

Tables of Content

Five favorites for your fall table

Some people have a great time outfitting their dining room table for a new season. With so many choices in linens, candles, centerpieces and dinnerware, it’s like being a kid in a candy shop. So as the crisp days of fall set in, you may be feeling that urge to autumn-ize your dining room, too, but the fast pace of everyday life just doesn’t allow much time for home decorating.

Fear not, you can have all the ingredients for a gorgeous table in less than 30 minutes. The staff at Snow’s is ready and waiting to help you pull the pieces together, whether you want a traditional Thanksgiving table, a rustic or coastal twist, or want to play off a specific color theme.

Speaking of which, Snow’s home accents and tableware buyer Marie Hannah has put together five of her favorite pieces for a warm and inviting table in shades of caramel. But remember, this is just a small sampling of the goods!

The Kenya dinnerware collection
The Kenya dinnerware collection, in deep hues of brown and rust-orange.

1. Kenya Dinnerware Set

Dinnerware sets the mood of your table, and the Kenya set by Thompson Pottery offers both a natural and sophisticated feel. The gorgeous pumpkin/rust color is a lovely background for your fall foods, and although it’s nice and sturdy, it has the feel of china. Each 16-piece set serves four and is microwave and dishwasher safe.

Available in store: $42.99

 

Eucalyptus Stoneware baskets
Classic Eucalyptus Stoneware baskets: great as a centerpiece or serving piece (shown on bottom in caramel).

2. Eucalyptus Stoneware Basket 

This striking pottery from Del Mar is 100% American handmade. The company has supplied big names like Villeroy & Boch for many years, as well as gourmet shops and specialty retailers (like Snow’s). The baskets have been made famous in popular TV commericals and Hollywood movies, such as American Beauty and Julie and Julia.

The basket is also extremely functional. It’s dishwasher and oven safe, so you can heat and serve rolls right in the same vessel.  They also make a beautiful centerpiece for Thanksgiving; classic white and caramel are just two of the 16 different colors available.

Available in store: $39.99

 

Root tapers
Root tapers burn clean while they cast a lovely glow on your table.

3. Root Taper Candles

Taper candles in fall colors (Mandarin, Buttercream, Crisp Autumn and Rust) lend an elegant ambiance to your table.  Root candles have been crafted by the same family for five generations (140 years), and their quality is second to none. Candles are crafted using pure beeswax, so they burn cleaner and last longer.

Available in store: $3.59 – $7.99

 

 

 

"Harvest Blessing" printed tablecloth
A classic tablecloth, perfect for Thanksgiving – or any fall celebration.

4. Harvest Print Tablecloths

To go underneath those pretty candles, harvest-themed printed tablecloths by Benson Mills are a great way to really amp up the fall theme without busting the budget.

Choose from different sizes and designs, including “Harvest Blessing” and “Nature’s Harvest” and “Falling Leaves.”

 Available in store: $13.99 – $16.99 

 

 

Napkin rings in amber-colored glass
Did you know that napkin rings became popular in the days before washing machines? They were used – not as “table jewelry – but as a way to organize napkins by family members, so they could be reused at the next meal.

5. Amber Glass Napkin Rings

Napkin rings are one of those accents that can really pull a whole place setting. These glass rings are slightly opaque, so they will reflect a bit of the flickering candlelight, and the amber color is beautiful against a classic white napkin or a deeper color like mustard yellow.

Available in store: $2.99 each

 

Painting a Beautiful New Picture

2014 Color Trends and Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year

Last year it was Wythe Blue. This year it’s Lemon SorbetSo what will it be for 2014? (drum roll, please….)

Benjamin Moore's 'breath of fresh air'Announcing “Breath of Fresh Air,” Benjamin Moore’s gorgeous light blue paint color that’s taking the spotlight as their newly announced COLOR of the YEAR. 

This is the color that urges you to forget the phones, the screens and the email. To take inspiration from comfort and simplicity; to take a moment and exhale.

madeleine with color chip
Snow’s visiting design expert Madeleine Bickert proudly displays bigger-than-life color with an 18” square paint chip.

The color is part of the Benjamin Moore Classic Collection, and for us coastal creatures, it couldn’t be more perfect. It makes a statement, yet it’s subtle enough to compliment the rest of your coastal home decor (stay tuned for that post: we’ll be highlighting 10 seaside-inspired home accents very soon).

The other colors trending for 2014 are a mix of soft neutrals, cool greens and blues, and a few bolder, smokier blues and grays. Some of our favorites are Castelton Mist, Palladian Blue, Mt. Rainier Gray, Sparrow and Flint.

To get inspired, Benjamin Moore has a couple of really great online tools you can play with. One is the Personal Color Viewer – this virtual visualizer allows you to paint a room (or the exterior of your home) and see how paint colors will look before you even pick up a brush.

The Color Gallery is a color selection tool that gives you access to Benjamin Moore’s complete catalog of more than 3,400 colors, and also creates the perfect color combinations for the colors that you choose.

Of course, choosing paint colors isn’t always something that can be done online – it may be a way to get started, but talking it out with a real live person often feels much more reassuring.

Snow's Paint Dept. in Orleans, MAIn Snow’s paint department, we want to make sure all of our customers feel comfortable asking for help. You can come in and see any of the friendly folks in our paint department; manager Peter Terrio suggests bringing whatever you have to work from, like fabric swatches or a single tile for a bath or kitchen. If you know the colors of the existing paint that will be staying (like trim), that’s great, too.

Just stop in or call 508-255-0158 x154 to schedule some one-on-one time. And get a peek at that beautiful blue paint!

Pumpkin on Your Walls?

Bringing the colors of fall inside

cape-cod-cranberry-bog-harwich-Ah, fall in New England…is there anything better? As the weather turns cooler, we’re starting to see all those wonderful ‘harvesty’ signs of seasonal change: pumpkins, chrysanthemums, turning leaves. And it may just be the rich, natural colors of fall that we find so comforting.

If you’re craving a bit of that comfort, your home is a wonderful place to concentrate. You don’t need to do a complete makeover to bring some of the outside in: there are plenty of stunning paint colors that will make you feel like you’re right in the midst of our region’s famous fall foliage!

Certainly, painting your walls can dramatically change the feel of a room.  But don’t feel limited to the flat surfaces; a fresh coat of paint on a dresser, table, bookcase or mirror frame is both rewarding and cost-effective. Benjamin Moore has some guidelines for painting indoor furniture, as well suggestions for choosing as the right type of paint for the job (Regal® Select latex paint is ideal for most).

Click here to see Benjamin Moore’s tips for painting furniture

But back to colors. Choosing a paint color can be lots of fun, and the fall palettes are simply beautiful.  Here are some of our favorite colors and combinations*:

first fall dayFirst Fall Day: Cozy, Comforting Colors

  • audubon russet HC-51
  • soleil AF-330
  • paper mache AF-25

Fall Festival: Earthy, Inviting Colorsfall festival

  • roasted sesame seed 2160-40
  • sage mountain 1488
  • sugar cookie OC-93 

first sign of fallFirst Sign of Fall: Grounded, Yet Glamourous Colors

  • azores AF-495
  • simply white 2143-70
  • stone brown 2112-30
Designer Lori Mead helping a Snow's customer with paint colors
Designer Lori Mead helping a Snow’s customer with paint colors

Even with all this inspiration, choosing paint colors can seem overwhelming. But you are in luck if you’re in the area this month or next; you can make an appointment to see one of our visiting designers to help you out.  Unbelievably, Snow’s offers this as a complimentary service, where you can take advantage of a whole half hour of personal guidance on color and more. Click here to register for a consultation in September or October; a design expert is in the Orleans store from 10:00 – 1:00 on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

caramel basketIf you’re really getting into the fall spirit – or if you just love fall colors – you might consider getting some entertaining pieces in autumn colors, too. Eucalyptus Stoneware makes artisan pottery baskets that make beautiful gifts and centerpieces. There are two colors in particular that have the rich fall tones: “caramel” (pictured) and “celery.” The French bread basket, biscuit basket and fruit bowl are available in the Orleans store for $39.99 each.

So grab some warm apple cider, visit a pumpkin patch, gaze at a cranberry bog…and bring some of that lovely fall color back inside with you when you get back home. fall-leaf

 * From Benjamin Moore” “Colors Fit for Fall”

A Glass Half Full

5 great reasons to get juicing, with a juicer that’s just right for you

juicingSaying that juicing is healthy is like saying that eating candy is not. But while the benefits of juicing have been well promoted, sometimes it just takes an impressive stat or two to really get us to stand up and pay attention.

This may be one of those ‘aha’ moments. Did you know that 95% of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need to thrive are found in the juice of raw fruits and vegetables?*  To get these vitamins and enzymes, we could certainly eat our fruits and vegetables whole, but if we did, we may not have time for much else. To get the same amount of nutrients found in a 16 oz. glass of fresh, natural juice, you would have to eat two pounds of carrots, about a dozen apples or eight pounds of spinach. Even Popeye might get sick of that.

Juicing is certainly an easy way to get your fill. If you struggle with getting the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, juicing makes it possible to get them all in in just one drink. And beyond the efficient, time-saving nature of drinking your vitamins, the additional benefits of juicing are many, and are certainly not limited to the following list. But if you are looking for five no-brainer reasons to try it, here they are:

1. Boosted immunityJuicing is high in antioxidants, which not only helps boost your immune system, but it also can help you recover more quickly when you do fall ill.

2. More energyJuicing removes the fiber from you fruits and vegetables, so the juices are more easily digested.  This conserves our body’s energy, so many people feel energized after a glass of fresh juice (opposed to that feeling, say, after Thanksgiving dinner!).  Of course fiber is a good thing, so make sure to include it in your diet aside from juicing. But for a quick burst of energy, juice is the word.

3. Weight loss. The great enzymes in fresh fruit and vegetables are easily converted into energy when you absorb them a natural juice, which helps increase your metabolic rate.  The higher your metabolism, the easier it is for you to burn calories naturally, even while you’re sleeping!

4. Healthier (insert your preference here) Skin, Hair, Nails. The best way to acheive healthy hair, skin and nails is through your diet. Fruits and vegetables known to produce beneficial results include cucumbers, ginger, seaweed (or green leafy vegetables) and lemon. Just think about all the lotions and spa products that boast these foods in their goods. Drinking them is like taking the express train.

5. Drinking your veggies may be a tastier way to go. Juicing helps most people eat a wider variety of vegetables; those that might not be as appealing in their whole form can be “snuck” into a blended juice with tasteful success. When kale is blended with apples, ginger, lemon and honey (as in this juice recipe from Seamis Mullen), it’s pretty darn delicious. 

So, if you’re feeling “juiced” about all of this, you’re ready to take juicing for a spin in your own home. Other than the grocery store or farmer’s market, your first stop is your favorite kitchen department store. At Snow’s, we have several options to fit any use…and any budget.

Note: Linked items are available in our online store. All items are available at our retail store in Orleans. 

What’s the Best Juicer for You?

black & decker citrus juicerBlack & Decker Citrus Juicer $19.99

  • Basic electric citrus juicer
  • Squeezes directly into a refrigerator-ready serving pitcher
  • Adjustable pulp control
  • Small & Large Cones For Differing Sized Fruit

cuisinart juicerCuisinart Citrus Juicer with Pulp Control $29.99

  • Brushed metal finish is a stylish addition to a stainless steel kitchen
  • 3 pulp control settings
  • “Auto-reverse” and “final spin” features to extract the maximum amount of juice
  • Includes recipes

waring pro juice extractorWaring Pro Juice Extractor $79.99

  • More efficient juice extraction gets more out of your fruits and vegetables
  • Extra large feed tube and large, 32 oz. stainless juice catcher
  • Safety interlock system: won’t start until lid is securely in place
  • Includes Waring’s 5-year limited warranty on motor and 1-year limited appliance warranty
  • Sleek stainless steel finish; solid die cast base and cushioned feet

breville compact juicerBreville Compact Juice Fountain $99.99

  • High quality; Breville is a respected brand name in juicers
  • Heavy-duty juicer in a compact size
  • Extra-large feed tube
  • Stainless-steel micro-mesh filter

breville plus juicerBreville Juice Fountain Plus $149.99

  • Professional-grade power juicer
  • Brushed die-cast metal base
  • Different speeds for soft / hard fruits & veggies
  • Keeps cold as fruits & veggies turn into juice
  • Juice pitcher includes froth separator
  • Large pulp catcher (less trips to empty it out)
  • Juices whole fruit and vegetables – no cutting or chopping is required
  • Patented extra large feed chute

Hurom Premium Slow Juicer  $399.99

  • Newest generation of “slow juicer” models: low-speed crushing & pressing mechanism produces highest juice yield
  • Unique technology maintains up to 60% more vitamins when juicing certain fruits and vegetables
  • Makes smoothies, slushes, blended drinks and purees in addition to any kind of juice
  • Maximum pulp control
  • 2 strainers (1 fine, 1 coarse) to juice softer fruits like bananas and avocados, or rougher ingredients like kale, wheatgrass and even nuts and soybeans (strainer is made of ULTEM plastic, 8x stronger than other plastics)
  • Durable (& quiet) 150-watt motor with 10 year warranty

 

With a juicer in hand (and the motivation to add to your healthy lifestyle), all you need are some recipes. There are more out there than you could ever possibly use (a quick Google of “juicing recipes” yielded over 2.5 million search results!), but we hand picked a few to address some specific concerns. Happy juicing!

Juicing Recipes

FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Sweet and full of healthy nutrients, this juice will keep you full and help you slim down. From Juicing for Weight Loss & What’s Cooking America.  

Ingredients:

  • Shredded coconut for sweetness
  • 2 small zucchini
  • ½ medium cucumber
  • ¼ small red cabbage
  • 1 peeled orange
  • 2 red apples
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 4 white cauliflower florets
  • 4 kale leaves

Everything can go into your juicer whole, just peel the orange to remove the skin (but leave the nutrient-rich white pith).

FOR ENERGY

A wide variety of mineral-dense fruits and veggies can help increase your energy level. A key tip: always include greens, and beets, too – they are a secret weapon. Beets have many benefits, but one of the best is that they can increase the body’s production of glutathione, which helps detoxify cancer-causing poisons. Recipe from Linda Wagner.

Ingredients:

  • 4 beets (you can include the green tops too!)
  • 5 carrots
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • 1 large handful parsley
  • 2 apples
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tangerines
  • 1 large bunch of mint

Simply run all ingredients through a juicer, serve over ice and enjoy! This recipe made a LOT of juice, over 64 ounces. If you want less juice, simply cut the recipe in half.  This juice is delicious and you’ll love the pretty pink color!

FOR AN IMMUNE BOOST

Recipe from bodyandsoul.com 

When it comes to the immune system, two vitamins are particularly crucial: A and C. This juice has both and gives you more than 100% of your daily recommended intake.

Ingredients:

  • Thick slice of ginger
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 4 kiwi fruit
  • A handful of parsley

ONE THE KIDS WILL LOVE

This is so easy, and it’s a good way to sneak in something green. Nice and light, so the kids won’t turn their noses up at the heartier juices ou might be enjoying. From Disneybaby.com: they call it “Giggle Juice.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 thick slice of watermelon

*source: livinggreensjuice.com

 

Savor Summer’s Siesta

Vote for Snow's! Finalist: Best Garden Center

Five out-of-the-box activities to add to your summer bucket list

1. Be Happy Home Campers
Pitch a tent in your own backyard

backyard camping funGetting ready for a family camping trip can be a daunting task, but setting up camp in your own backyard is relatively simple. Without much effort, you can have an authentic taste of the great outdoors… with a little equipment and a lot of adventurous spirit.

Here are a few ideas to get you rolling:

  1. Collect leaves from around your property (kids will love this) and paste them into a nature journal; you can research them later to identify each.
  2. Star gaze! You can even do a little pre-Google work to pick out some constellations you might be able to make out in the night skyTell stories around the campfire. They can be as elaborate as the history of your town, or las simple as sharing something great that happened that day.
  3. Play games: Bring out the Scrabble, the cards… what a great chance to spend quality time sans technology with your family and/or friends!

Another benefit to camping at home is that you can raid your own pantry with ease. So maybe branch out from the dogs & s’mores (although they do taste delicious!), and try something a bit more “exotic” like this recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad 

To set up camp, here’s a short list of equipment and supplies that will make your backyard expedition feel like the real deal:

Even more items are available in our Orleans store:


View Larger Map

2. Refresh with a New Lemon Twist
Help the kids with a fun take on a lemonade stand

lemonade standNational Lemonade Day was this past Tuesday, August 20th (who knew?), but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to celebrate summer’s most refreshing beverage. And, if you want to help the kids or grandkids achieve rock star status selling roadside lemonade, give tradition a little shakeup by making it fizzy!

You may not think of soda when you think of lemonade, but the neighborhood clientele will delight in a cup of this Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade. Simply combine 2 cups water, 1 cup granulated sugar, zest from one lemon (zest one prior to juicing below), 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (6-8 lemons) and 2-3 cups club soda. Helping your wee entrepreneurs is also the perfect time to break out your SodaStream (if you don’t yet own the SodaStream system, click here to see how it works); your club soda component just got more efficient and more environmentally-friendly!

SodaStream products at Snow’s

3. Take it from Farm to Blanket
Farmers’ market finds for a perfect late summer picnic

farmers market on cape codFarmers’ markets have literally cropped up all over Cape Cod, so it’s easier than ever to find local, in-season goodies. Head over to one of the many weekly markets (our town of Orleans hosts theirs on Saturdays through November ), and collect a delicious array of ingredients to create this fabulous outdoor meal.

And don’t forget your pic-a-nic basket, Boo Boo!

For more Cape Cod farmers’ markets, see the full list, courtesy of Edible Cape Cod:

4. Make Some Seashore Decor
Turn your beach finds into beautiful home accents

amazing twisted driftwood candle holderSeashells, beach glass, driftwood…we are compelled to collect them on our beach walks, so wouldn’t it be nice to turn them into something worthy of year-round decor?

Here are a few great ideas from around the web:

5. Spiff Up Your Sitting Area
Relive your vacation year-round with a great coffee table book

“Coffee table” books reside in plain view – usually where you would entertain guests – and are often thoughtfully perused during casual conversation or while dinner is cooking. So certainly, a beautiful book that takes you back on a photographic journey through your favorite summer spots is one worth displaying, and it’s no wonder Cape Cod has been the inspiration for many such books.

Here are a few Cape Cod gems:

 

What’s your favorite way to capture the end of summer? Let us know…we’d love to share your ideas.