I felt like I packed an entire summer’s worth of activities into my weekend. On Friday we took a sail around the Boston harbor on the Adirondack III — a belated birthday treat for the Mr — and it couldn’t have been a more gorgeous night. We had wine and cheese and took in the Boston skyline as the sun set. Then Saturday was filled with lots of celebrations and activities for a dear friend’s bachelorette party. We got blow-outs with the bride-to-be to get ready for the day, and did  a walking wine tour of the South End neighborhood, tasting wines and food pairings at different local restaurants — wine and cheese were clearly the theme of this weekend! And our day of fun was followed by the usual bachelorette debauchery of dancing and clinking of champagne glasses. It was a jam-packed weekend and now I’m paying for it — I can’t wait to get in my bed and catch up on the DVR!

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The summer is halfway over and I have a major item to tackle on my “Kate’s Summer of Fun” bucket list (why yes, I have come up with a theme name for this summer). That item? See an outdoor movie and throw a fabulous picnic while I’m at it. Luckily my neighborhood has a whole movies-in-the-park series this year, I just need to get myself into gear and make it to one. I clipped this great cheese pairings piece from a recent Martha Stewart magazine to use as inspiration for some picnic treats — don’t you just want to try them all?

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Last year after my birthday I wrote up a “30 before 30” list of things I wanted to accomplish and do — and the tastiest of goals on that list was to learn how to bake macarons. This weekend I tackled both by taking a macaron baking class at Sur La Table with sister and our friend! My greatest takeaway from the class was that now I understand why macarons are so expensive — it ain’t easy to make them! But our awesome teacher gave us lots of tips to perfect this tricky baking skill. We made some delicious flavors: mint with chocolate espresso ganache, strawberry with champagne butter cream, and then the wild card… bacon macarons with maple cream filling. I will totally try making them again (on a less humid weekend!) and am already hunting for my next cooking class to take because we had so much fun. And bonus: I now have 2 dozen macarons to snack on this week! Macaron 1Macaron 3Macaron 2Macaron 4 Macaron 5 Macaron 6 Macaron 7

It was finally cool enough to actually be outside and enjoying summer, so the hubby and I (I’m still getting used to calling him that!) went up to Portsmouth, NH for the afternoon and had a delicious seafood lunch overlooking the water.  Our tasty waterside meal was followed by some window shopping, I had to restrain myself not to buy every single thing in Gus and Ruby Letterpress, but did come home with some cute new stationery supplies for an upcoming DIY.  I mean, Sundays are the best, aren’t they?

Black Raspberry Ice Cream Lobster BLTGus and RubyNautical Window

A few snaps from my fabulous cousin’s wedding this weekend — it was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous venue! She had perfect little touches like paper fans to keep guests cool and fun paper garlands and pom-poms on the chairs and around the reception. I’m a sucker for the details! Not to mention I had so much fun with my siblings dancing the night away — what’s better than that?

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I’ve been feeling a little uninspired in the fashion department lately — wearing professional clothes in the heat of summer is a bummer, and when I get home all I want to do is get into the comfiest (and lightest) outfit possible and park myself in front of our AC. So in an effort to muster up a little more effort, I’m going to try to mix just a tiny bit of prints this week. I like the combination of these quintessential preppy patterns: pink gingham and soft postal stripes, with natural tones of cheetah and tortoiseshell. Spicing up accessories is just enough effort for 90 degree weather, right?

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Photo credit: Shorts, Top

I’m getting creative at not using the oven this week, ready for another cool summer recipe? Just three simple ingredients went into this light salad: watermelon chunks, chopped fresh mint leaves, and a drizzle of orange blossom honey over the top. I mixed everything together and served chilled — there is nothing that tastes more like summer!

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I couldn’t bear turning the oven on in our apartment this weekend, (it’s been quite the heat wave) so I had to get creative making a dessert to bring along to a friends BBQ. I picked up a frozen cheesecake at the grocery store and chopped it up into small cubes, and layered the cheesecake bites with fresh blueberries and raspberries in pint-sized mason jars. To make them look a little more special, I used cut up fabric pieces from bandanas to top the lids, and used washi tape to affix mini spoons to the jars. We kept them in the freezer right up until they were ready to be served, and the result was a cool, handheld treat for our day by the pool!
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Happy Fourth of July! This is one my absolute favorite holidays — what’s not to love about a day of  sparklers, classic red white and blue outfits, and delicious bbq? I’m off to spend my day by the pool with friends, and then to see the Boston fireworks tonight. Hope you have a fabulous day celebrating too!

Fourth of JulyClockswise from top left: Harding Lane Nantucket Hat, Striped Anchor Tee, Men’s Gingham Swimsuit, Anchor Tumblers, Breton Stripe Sea Bag, Chandon Summer, Jack Rogers Sandals, Striped Beach Chairs, Turkish Towel, Red Bow Bikini Bottom