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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy!

Our version of Summer Living is to incorporate Hygge in the garden ~ twinkle lights, candles, scents of amazing flowers, a fire in the chiminea, and amazing atmosphere!

Hygee may be the term for secrets for happy living in Scandinavian countries, but here in the states we practice some of the same principles, and because the Berkshire Summers are so short, we are also determined to incorporate Hygee into our summers too. Outdoor living is the key to living a hyggee life in the summer. We consider it a perfect day to be OUTSIDE all day.

Where flowers bloom so does hope. ~ Lady Bird Johnson


Notice the carin sculpture that Jeff made ~ at dinner that night he realized, it is a “Max Angel” .

This sculpture below is another Jeff creation, it was just to showcase the beautiful stone ~ during dinner that  night my Dad realized, it was a “Margot sculpture!”

~ early summer above ~ late summer below ~

“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden. ~ Elizabeth Lawrence

Our wild and wonderful herb garden is a buzz about bees! Sometimes hummingbirds too!

Apparently window boxes date back to ancient Rome.  This year I went with the European geranium in red. Traditional and perfect for our gray shingled, cottage style, summer house.  I could do a whole blog about window boxes!

Of course eating alfresco is a daily event. Even when it sprinkles we move the umbrella over the table!


Our whole yard is a garden, but we especially love to eat in our little vegetable garden!

“Taste is an important element of hyggee because it often involves eating something. And that something can not be too fresh, alternative or challenging in any way.” ~   “And if you want to be more hyggelig, you add more wine.”

~ Meik Wiking

This is a new summer favorite, Soba Noodle Salad – pop over to my facebook page for this simple recipe.

Another Asian inspired Cabbage Salad from The Earth Diet.

Does anything beat lettuce just picked from the garden?

The other night we ate at my sister’s house, and her friend Sally made a Chow Chow salad ~ I was in love! I made it the very next night! #simple#summer#delicious#nutritious#gardenfood

Here is the chow-chow recipe:

4 cups any vegetables ( I like to add scallions and olives too)

1 Tab. Olive oil

2 Tab. White vinegar

Juice + zest of 1 lime

1/2 – 1 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp. Chile powder

1/4 tsp. Cumin


Oregano (if you like )

Mix, cover, refrigerate, marinate a few hrs…. enjoy !! ( I couldn’t wait a couple of hours so we ate it right away!)


Another look and  the feeling of hygge on a rainy day.



The smell…


Our summer living area is our patio!  We truly live out there! If we had a bed out there, that is where we would sleep!  Jeff starts every morning out there with his coffee and his paper.  He is an early riser, and after he feeds the birds he sets up his own little version of relaxation before work.  Did you know that by watching the birds you are actually meditating – it has the same effect on your brain!  Well, summer bird feeding is Jeff’s hobby! When he has the day off, he still feels like he has to get up and get the bird feeders out!  Our yard is bustling with all kinds of birds, squirrels, chipmunks and bees.  Meditation in motion!!

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”  ~ Maya Angelou


Our life is quite simple these days. On our weekends we usually start the day with a hike to our favorite spot,  Kennedy Park. We love to see the dogs run free and we love to be in the woods! We feel like it is not only a great physical activity, but a spiritual one as well.

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” ~ Edward Abbey (And puppies spirits too!)

As soon as I enter the woods my heart sings!  I feel so peaceful and happy. I truly enjoy every moment ~ being in the moment is critical for a happy life, but especially in the summer months.

“The morning has dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer.” ~ George R.R. Martin     ~ oh dear, today this was a sign… be where you are, NOW!

Now back to the patio – and patio living.  After our hike in the woods, perhaps, but not always, a chore or two, we have a big decisions to make about our day! Lately,  I have a new theme about summer living at Crabtree Cottage, ” Do you feel like vacationing at our summer home today?” Invariably the answer is yes! Out comes the latest reading materials, bathing suits , and the cover comes off the pool! We hangout, and take in all of the pleasures of the of this hyggelig atmosphere we have worked so hard to create.

One day after a hike we stopped at an estate sale ~ I walked up and immediately saw this blue and white group of chinese garden stools and two tables. I knew immediately that I had to have them.  We came home and had no clue where they were going, but within minutes they were placed – where else but the patio?

“We didn’t realize we were making memories we just knew we were having fun.”


Since our summer home is in the Berkshires, we have had an exceptional time at the various cultural venues.  Tanglewood, Jacobs Pillow, museums, jazz at gilded age mansions & gardens. Next on our list before summer’s end is The Clark Museum for the Picasso exhibit, and outdoor theatre .  Notice all of this incorporates the outdoors!  Cheers to summer with a grateful heart.

Succulents are one of my newest passions ~ a true trend everywhere these days. Mine is inspired by my visits to see Julia in California.  I take my walks, and take in all of those succulent gardens, and I imagine…

Thank you for coming by my blog today.