Here’s how to enjoy the simple life on the patio with mosquito prevention, music, a natural table setting that you can leave out in the dining area, and Pasta Primavera to eat al fresco.
There is also a touching comment from a reader at the end that choked up both my sister and me. I am going to try to add things to these posts that we all have in common…like a mother’s love.
Welcome to our Five Faves with Annie and Cindy!
1. Mosquito Bite Prevention
I’ve voiced my concerns about mosquitos now that we are back in Florida. Is it a problem where you are? Here’s what we’ve done for now before springing for the automatic spray system or roll-down patio screens.
Native Body Wash
Howard read an article saying that natural Native Body Wash scented in coconut and vanilla is repellent to mosquitos. They especially hate coconut. So, he bought some. Perhaps this is like Avon Skin So Soft (what happened to that?).
DynaTrap DT1050-TUNSR Mosquito & Flying Insect Trap
Howard also bought this, too. DynaTrap is supposed to cover 1/2 acre. It gets good reviews but you must run it 24/7 and away from main seating areas like the conversation area or dining table.
Bugs are in the trap, including flies and moths. So far so good! We shall see if it works long-term so that we can keep enjoying the “Simple Life On The Patio.”
2. Portable Music To Move From Room To Room
I’m so excited about the Bose Soundlink Revolve II Speaker that I was given for Mother’s Day. It sounds great. I move it from my office to the bathroom to the Ladies’ Loft and other outdoor spaces.
Search “French Cafe Music” on Apple Music or Spotify for some relaxing tunes.
3. Everyday Natural Table Setting For The Simple Life On The Patio
This table used to be in our dining room in San Francisco, but we needed a bigger one with leaves for our dining room in Florida. Since this is a covered patio (and the style resembles a picnic table with the x-base) we are using it on the patio.
The plastic rubber fish placemats are from a little French store on Coronado Island in San Diego. You could probably message them on Instagram to purchase and have them sent to you.
Instead of candles (which blow out with the ceiling fans), I’m using these KDG 2 Pack Cordless LED Table Lamps (less expensive than many similar models) and they are fun to have! Waterproof, and dimmable too. To turn it on, you just tap on the top.
The string lights across the back are on the remote with a timer. It’s nice to hear the splashing of the pool fountains here.
4. Pasta Primavera
When was the last time you made Pasta Primavera? I love the textures and it’s great to have the fresh herbs taking off in our garden!
We ate this on the outdoor patio.
This Spring pasta recipe is adapted from the NY Times.
- 1/4 lb. sugar snap peas trimmed
- 1/2 lb. asparagus, ends snapped
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup fresh English peas (or frozen)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced Spring onion, white part only or use shallot
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt plus more as needed
- Black pepper
- 12 oz fettuccini or tagliatelle fresh if possible
- 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano room temperature
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche or whole milk Greek yogurt room temperature
- 3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped tarragon
- basil leaves for garnish
Bring large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
While the water is coming to a boil, slice snap peas and asparagus stems into 1/4 inch thick pieces, leave asparagus tips whole.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add snap peas, asparagus, English peas and onion. Cook until vegetables are barely tneder, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook one minute more. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
Drop pasta into boiling water and cook until al dente (1 to 3 minutes for fresh pasta, more for dried pasta). Drain well and transfer pasta to a large bowl. Immediately toss pasta with vegetables, Parmigiano-Reggiano, creme fraiche and herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper if needed.
5. What We Have In Common: Cherishing A Mother’s Love
Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and I wrote about Memorial Day gathering ideas. Phyllis left this touching comment:
“I love the ideas. THANK YOU for remembering what Memorial Day is really about. It is a time for family, friends, and BBQs but also to remember and honor our Fallen who have sacrificed for our great country. For some of us, every day is Memorial Day.”
Gold Star Mother, Phyllis
Of 2LT Justin Sisson, KIA 2013 AFG
I asked Phyllis if I could republish her comment. She said yes and also sent this photo of her and Justin on the day of his commissioning.
If you are new here, each Sunday I share my top five favorite things along with my friends, Cindy and Annie. It’s like our weekly “catch-up” phone call. If you would like to receive this series every week, please sign up HERE.
Let’s see what Annie and Cindy’s Five Faves are this week: