Our love affair with the backyard pool

Growing up in the flat suburbs in southeast Michigan, I dreamed of having a back yard pool. I mean, what could be cooler than grabbing a Tab from the fridge and walking out to your own kidney-shaped pool brimming with crystal clear water heated to the optimal temp for doing next to nothing? My friends Renee and Madeline had the perfect pool perched in a courtyard between the wings of their modern ranch house. They also had a stereo console cabinet with speakers that changed colors to the beat of the bass. They hosted more than their share of summer parties, Tab optional.

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, we highly suggest sharing it. 

Grab some giant floats, like this one from High Country Outfitters on Roswell Road. Add some unbreakable tumblers (we love the Corkcicle insulated tumblers in summery hues) and some fine folks. Stir in a warm weather cocktail or mocktail and wait for the sun to set. 

Many thanks to the Ellenburg family of Buckhead for generously sharing their super fine pool for this photo shoot. If you’re ever invited to their house, clear your calendar and pack your suit. Drew and Mary Elizabeth are generous and ever so likeable.

Thanks, too, to our friends at High Country Outfitters who loaded a fully inflated pink flamingo on top of my car. I think everyone should drive around Atlanta with a flamingo on their luggage rack, I’ve never seen so many smiling drivers drive by.

Whereever you are taking a dip this summer, slather on the sunscreen, tend to your tresses, share a slice of pie with your best friends and make July count.


I mean, what could be cooler than grabbing a Tab from the fridge and walking out to your own kidney-shaped pool brimming with crystal clear water …

Our model, Alex Giannini is an instructor at Sculpthouse in Buckhead. She is nearing the end of her studies as a Family Nurse Practitioner (any MDs out there need a fabulous NP?) and is in her third season as captain of the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders. She inspires us!  She is one of the original instructors at Sculpthouse. Their signature CardioSculpt class focuses on different muscle groups each day of the week. This programming on the Megaformer™ allows you to target specific areas of your summer body you may want to target and plan a balanced workout regimen to keep you on track. A new location is opening soon at City Springs in Sandy Springs. 

Alex enjoyed taking a break at the gorgeous backyard pool of our friends, the Ellenburgs in Buckhead.

Slather on the sunscreen, sister!

Whoa Black Betty, Barnsley Resort

This cocktail recipe is prepared in a large batch, perfect for summer entertaining.


3 bottles                      Virgil Kaine High Rye Bourbon

1 bottle                        Cocktail & Sons Oleo Saccharum (Citrus Syrup Enriched with Lemongrass, Ginger, and Cardamom)

1 quart                        Fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 pints                         Fresh blackberries (2 pints)

1 handful                     Cardamom,  muddled

20 leaves                     Fresh mint

5                                  Whole lemon peels

1 gallon                       Aquafaba (chickpea juice)*


Combine first five ingredients in a large serving vessel. “Slap” the mint to release the aromas and squeeze lemon peels to release oils into the batch, then add both to serving container. 

To serve:

Dry shake 4 oz. aquafaba per individual cocktail; add 6 oz. of mixture from large batch to shaker along with a scoop of ice. Shake well. Pour into glass using a strainer. If desired, garnish with a whole blackberry, additional mint and/or slice of lemon peel. Aquafaba may be created by soaking dry chickpeas overnight and reserving the liquid. A simpler method is to reserve liquid from canned chickpeas!


Gotta love these pom-poms!