I got a great response from this “download” style post last week and think I’m going to add them into the mix a few times a month now. It’s a great way to talk a little bit more about what’s going on in my life! Like this week, we’ve been busy starting some renovations on our house that I can’t wait to share with you. Miss Jane turned 4-Months old, knocked it out of the park at her check-up, and even started sleeping in her own crib (turns out it was way harder for me than it was for her, of course!). We’re also gearing up for a busy long-weekend packed with barbecues and get-togethers, and celebrating our 4-year wedding anniversary! Thus the peonies featured in this post — one of my favorite flowers because they remind me of our wedding day. Here’s what else is going on:  read more

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Just about every post I’ve been sharing here this week has one thing in common: joy over the impending kick-off of summer this holiday weekend! Summer has an extra special feeling since we moved to our ocean-side town outside the city last year. We get an influx of friends coming down to see us (ahem, use us for our beach passes) and family members pile up their visits during these warmer months to make use of the waterfront. read more

I’m so excited that Memorial Day is coming up soon, because it means that summer activities like beach days and picnics and barbeques aren’t far behind. Those summer cookouts are at the top of my to-do list when the warm weather arrives, because there’s nothing better than a casual backyard gathering with all the tasty BBQ classics. read more

I have a mental arsenal of our weeknight dinner recipes; they’re so engrained in my head I never think to actually write them down. My friends at Peapod asked me if I had any easy recipes that I’m leaning on as a new mom with a busy schedule, and I knew just the one to share. It’s a quick and easy turkey burger, packed with flavor from BBQ sauce, spicy hot sauce, and chopped up scallions. read more

Every year at Christmas our family friends serve these amazing meatballs as an appetizer at their annual holiday party. It’s one of my favorite food traditions, and I was thinking about how delicious they were recently. I got the idea in my head to rethink the flavors in this tasty appetizer and give them a warm-weather spin to serve at summer parties. We’re huge fans of spicy food at my house, and drizzle hot sauce on just about anything we can get our hands on, and adding some heat to a meatball appetizer seemed like just the perfect idea. read more

All right guys, we’re talking about something a little bit out of the ordinary here today: working out. This blog is usually a space for my latest adventures in putting donuts on things. I’m also the farthest thing from an expert in health and fitness. I do however love to share things here that are relevant to what’s going on in my life. Working out has been a new addition to my lifestyle, and I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about how I worked out before having Jane, and how I’ve found some ways to reintroduce it back into my routine post-baby. read more

A red gingham table cloth at picnics, white hydrangeas and tulips on my cookout table, and tons of little American flags tucked everywhere from our yard to on top of cupcakes – an Americana-inspired party theme is one of my favorites for summer! The nice thing about these red white and blue party details is that they work all summer long, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with the Fourth of July and countless barbeques in between. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite red white and blue party supplies get you inspired for summer celebrations! read more

The temperature hit 80 degrees yesterday and I’m now summer-crazed. It might be that we were a bit cooped up this winter with a newborn? Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m working for myself this year and know I’ll have a bit more flexibility to spend time outside. Whatever it is, I’m so excited for summer. Last night Mike and I were sitting on the couch talking about how we want to host a big clambake this summer. We also pulled all of our outdoor furniture out of the shed and got our yard set up for dining al fresco. Jane even had a little quality time playing on a blanket in the grass. Summer is the best. I have a few favorite tricks I lean on for setting up an easy, casual summer party, and as we gear up for Memorial Day weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to share a few of them! read more

When I say hostess gift, what’s your go-to idea? I bet it’s wine! I love giving a bottle of wine when I get invited somewhere for dinner, or a bottle of bubbly for brunch. I was thinking recently about ways to jazz up this traditional hostess gift with something a bit more fun and unexpected. Warmer weather is right around the corner, and I love a glass of fruity, crisp white sangria. My DIY light bulb went off and I thought how fun it would be to make a sangria kit to bring along to parties. read more

I’ve been thinking about starting a new weekly post series here for all of the little random thoughts I have that don’t always qualify for a full blog post. I love to share products I’m using, articles I’ve read, and recipes I’m trying out and this seems like the place to do it! I see other bloggers calling this their weekly round up, or their Friday links, but I think for me we’ll call it what it is – a download of all of the stuff in my brain that I can’t wait to tell you about! Let me know what you think of this and if you want to see more of it!  Let’s give it a try:  read more