Last week I took a calligraphy class with one of my friends in Boston’s North End. I’ve always admired the delicate details of invitations and menus done in calligraphy and I was hoping to pick up the skill in time for addressing my own wedding invites. Here is what I learned: it’s a lot harder than it looks! It was great to understand all of the basic strokes and techniques, but I think it’s going to take a lot of practice before I start writing up cards on my own. I had lots of fun though, and loved looking at all of the different styles in Liz’s gorgeous studio space. For all of the Boston readers, if you’re interested in taking a class, check out Lettering By Liz — I recommend it!


I took a mini-break after the Fourth of July and made my way down to the Cape for the weekend. It was perfect Summer weather with warm days and cool nights, and plenty of beach time. I cautiously dipped my toes in the water (have you heard about the sharks?) and enjoyed spending some time with old friends over cocktails and BBQs. What sort of Summer fun did you have this weekend?

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My friend Navya, from the little flower cottage, is back posting her second installment in our flower series:

My husband and I throw an annual party and I like to make sure the house is feeling patriotic as soon as guest walk through the door — but you won’t find any store bought banners or dyed flowers here! To me, the Fourth of July is all about celebrating our American roots, so I think it’s a perfect time to break out a few of my vintage pieces to set the tone.  Since our party is pretty casual I’m often out back with friends (ice cold drink in hand) while guests continue to arrive — so this year these pretty flowers and vintage books will be greeting all our latecomers!

I kicked off the July 4th celebrations a little early this weekend, taking in some local fireworks, bbq-ing with friends (how cute are my friend’s mason jar drink dispensers?) and spent some time by the waterfront looking at the tall ships. I’m ready to take on the week, mostly because it’s a short one — here’s to making it to the mid-week holiday!

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Last weekend my sister and I put together an Americana-inspired tablescape for a family BBQ. We incorporated lots of patriotic essentials like red and white striped straws for our lemonade and tiny American flags tucked into all white floral arrangements. It was a ton of fun and got me very excited for the holiday this coming week!

Now, ready for the best part? One lucky reader will win a party kit so you can host a patriotic BBQ too! Just leave a comment below letting me know how you’re celebrating the 4th of July, and I’ll pick one winner on Saturday to receive a package with striped straws, cupcake liners, American flags, and a few other surprises!

Want an extra entry? Follow me on Twitter @domestikateblog and tweet about the giveaway. Leave an extra comment below letting me know you’ve done so. Best of luck!

Update: Contest closed, congrats to the winner, Jess of Curating Style! 

Some of my favorite bloggers are sharing their summer entertaining essentials for being a savvy hostess this season, up next in the series is the lovely Liz of Sequins & Stripes… 

Hi there! It’s Liz from the fashion and style blog, Sequins & Stripes, and I am thrilled to be here today sharing some of my go-to’s for easy summer entertaining. Because the summer months tend to be crazy busy, impromptu parties are usually the easiest to throw together and the most fun to create. I like to keep a few pieces constantly stocked in my kitchen {like these pretty paper napkins, a book of cocktail recipes, and easy decor} and add a few details to make the party feel special. This summer I dream of bringing a Palm Springs inspired girls brunch to my patio in Chicago…

Design Darling mini vases  //  Macaroons and Sweets from my favorite local bakery  //  Bottomless glasses of champagne  //  Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook  //  Pretty patterned napkins  //  Kate Spade Market Street Plates  //  Bamboo Flatware  //  Pretty Design Darling topiaries for additional decor  //  Society Social Fifi Chairs for seating  //  Colorful bistro tables  //  A striped umbrella to shade my guests from the summer sun

I would request that all of my guests dress in their favorite sunnies and biggest and brightest baubles, wouldn’t that be lovely? A huge thank you to Kate for having me today! Happy summertime to everyone!

I had a perfect little Sunday visiting my parents at home in NY. We had a family BBQ and I broke out paper straws for our cocktails and put together an Americana inspired table with mini-flags and red gingham plates. I took a bunch of pictures and I’ll share them later in the week!

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I took a vacation day and kicked off the weekend a little early with some beach-time, such a treat! Hope you’re finding ways to stay cool during this heat wave too!

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