I am eagerly watching the weather for this holiday weekend and crossing my fingers for beach time and sunny walks and of course some cocktails on the porch. It looks like we may get at least one day of that perfect summer weather and I’m preparing for some friends to stay over with a few fun celebratory details. Among them is a little icy treat to keep us cool – some blueberry popsicles made with IZZE sparkling blueberry. read more

I’ve noticed this week that all of the neighbors are putting out their American flags and bunting to prep for the Fourth of July. I feel so lucky to live in New England this time of year when you see all of the historic homes putting on their patriotic best. It gets me into the spirit for the holiday, and I look for all of the ways to add a little bit more red, white and blue to the festivities. We typically spend our Fourth of July weekends hopping from pool parties to beach picnics to lakeside BBQs; so casual is the name of the game for entertaining. I thought it would be fun to give one of my favorite All-American BBQ staples a patriotic twist this summer: red, white and blue chips and dip!
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Once summer arrives we pretty much abandon our oven and move most of the cooking out to our grill – especially since we’ve moved to our house and upgraded our grill. We have started a new weekly tradition of making our own pizzas – usually on Friday nights just like I did with my own family growing up. When my friends at Peapod asked me to come up with a fun new grilling recipe, I knew I had to focus on pizza. Pizza on the grill has so many advantages: it cooks fast, the crust gets crispy, and the cheese and toppings get that perfect golden brown. We use an inexpensive pizza stone and experiment with all sorts of different recipes. read more

Do you ever get that feeling of summer-guilt? It’s when it’s so incredibly nice and warm outside, and you have that pang in your gut that says you should really be at the beach or drinking outside on a patio or going for a walk somewhere with a nice breeze. I that feeling this weekend. I think it happens in New England particularly because summer is so fleeting here. A mere 8 weekends, 9 or 10 if we’re really lucky, of that warm air and sunshine that passes by so quickly we feel guilty if we don’t take advantage of every second of it. read more

Is there any better way to kick off the official first day of summer than talking about the beach? Well, maybe actually being at the beach and drinking sip of rosé would be better — go ahead, pour yourself a cold glass of summer water before you read on! In mental preparation for the next few months of (hopefully) beach weather, I pulled my new beach bag out of the closet today. Just seeing it ready to go by the door makes me so happy. This year I’m using a giant Roberta Roller Rabbit tote that I screen printed with the name of our local beach.

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I just looked at the calendar to write out the date for this week’s Friday Download post and almost fell off my chair when I realized that June is halfway over (and gasp! Jane turns 5 months in just a few days). Time if flying, and I know summer will be speeding by too (how come winter never zooms by as fast as these fun warm-weather months?). So I’ve got lots of summer ideas on the blog this week that I recapped below, plus a few other fun thoughts to wrap up the week.  read more

This post was created in partnership with buybuy BABY. All opinions are my own.

I was having a conversation with a family member this past weekend about how I get nothing done with Jane around, because even when she’s sleeping or sitting and playing, I just want to watch her and see what she’s up to. My spying on her has only increased since she’s gotten a bit better at playing with her toys independently. I love to watch her examine them and carefully choose which one to pick up next. It’s fascinating to see her make those decisions and really start to engage and explore them. read more

I think just last week I was crossing my fingers and toes that summer weather would arrive, and then just like that 90-degree temperatures rolled in and I’m already complaining about the heat. Funny how that happens, right? I did find a few fun ways to cool off from the heat wave while recently visiting family though. We dipped our toes in my cousin’s pool, enjoyed some evening time on my parent’s new farmhouse porch, and decided to host a little ice cream sundae party over the weekend. Setting up an ice cream sundae bar has to be the easiest – and impressive – dessert option when you’re entertaining. I thought I’d share a few tricks for how I set up my own ice cream sundae bar when I host, just in case you get the craving for one this summer too! read more

Remember my little farmer’s market weekly challenge I shared as part of my summer bucket list? Week one was a partial sucess: I didn’t make it to our farmer’s market because I’ve been spending some time at my parent’s house in New York. I did, however pop into their great gourmet grocery store and scoop up a ton of bright, fresh local produce to experiment with for my little challenge. My parents are on a health kick, so they were happy to be my taste-testers for a new veggie based recipe, and I was delighted to get to use their brand stove with a built in griddle burner to cook for them. I charred up sweet summer corn, peeled carrots strands, zucchini slices and a bit of red pepper on the griddle before tossing it with a homemade vinaigrette and fresh green onions. read more

I shared my summer bucket list earlier this week and one of those tasks was to dive into my summer reading list! We have been making use of our local library and I’ve been keeping a running list of books to reserve as they become available. I am always on the hunt for book recommendations and thought it would be fun to share a few of the ones on my upcoming list, plus 12 of my favorite summer-reads from the past! I just picked up Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead after loving her book Seating Arrangements last year. Also on my to-read list is The Light We Lost, which seems to be popping up in every article I see about summer reads. Cork Dork is also on my radar, because wine and memoirs are a perfect combination in my opinion. The Futures and The Heirs both look like fun beach-reads. And my friend Alaina that I met through blogging in Boston is publishing her first book which I can’t wait to read called And Then Everything Changed read more