We celebrated our 1-year anniversary a little early with a trip to Napa and San Francisco last weekend — I was traveling for work in the area so we decided to make a mini-vacation out of it! I know most people visit Napa and drink their way through the region, but I think we actually spent more of our time eating our way through. We wandered through Oxbow Public Market and feasted on Hog Island Oysters (paired with a rosé of course) and then made our way to Gott’s Roadside for burgers (paired with a milkshake of course). And we did manage to do tastings at a few vineyards (Robert Sinksey was our favorite, they had  tasty little snacks paired with the wines and the whole place had a laid back atmosphere).  We ended our day strolling through downtown Yountville — I had perhaps the tastiest salad of all time at Redd Wood — an asparagus, bacon, and burrata salad, yum! Before we left to drive down to San Francisco the next day we made an obligatory stop at Bouchon Bakery, where I had a croissant for breakfast and of course couldn’t leave without picking up some macarons for the road!

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The wedding festivities continue: in between seating charts and dress fittings I squeezed in an amazing weekend with my girlfriends in Newport, RI for my bachelorette party. My friends have mastered the planning of a successful girls weekend: we hit up a local winery, toured the vineyards, and had a decadent picnic after a wine tasting. We walked around Newport to do some shopping and take advantage of the preppy wares; and we topped the night off with some dancing and quite a few cocktails. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have to go through dozens of pictures to find a few ‘blog-appropriate’ versions to share. But hey, that’s what a bachelorette party is all about, right? Now that I’m nearly recovered from the debauchery we’re in the final countdown: just under 3 weeks ’til we say I do!

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Some of my favorite bloggers are sharing their summer entertaining essentials for being a savvy hostess this season, last but not least in the series is Julie of JulipMade!

Hi DomestiKated Life readers, Julie from Julip Made here sharing with you one of my favorite summer party ideas along with the tools to make it happen. For me there is nothing better than spending a day at the vineyards munching on cheese, sipping on wine, and wiggling your toes in the grass. See below for some ideas to make a vineyard picnic come to life…

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1. Haus Interiors round nickel lantern 2. Furbish coral print cocktail napkin 3. Terrain rustic stripes throw 4. Terrain six stems basket 5. Corkcicle 6. Terrain garden croquet set 7. Sabatine tartufo honey and truffle 8. Saint Andre cheese 9. Virginia Chutney Co. spicy plum chutney 10. Anthropologie colorblocked baguette board 11. Sur la Table market umbrella food tent 12. Household Essentials woven willow picnic basket 13. Anthropologie meadowsweet salad plate 14. Anthropologie farmers market basket.

Thank you so much for having me Kate and please stop by for more entertaining, food, cocktail recipes and more!

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My hiatus is over, I’m back from a lovely 4th of July, a very relaxing week at the beach, and have finally caught up on my overflowing inbox that welcomed me at the office. It’s so hard to come back to the real world after days of BBQs, beaches, shopping, and lovely weather.

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The one day of non-beach weather was filled with fun activities: a wine tasting at a local Cape Cod Vineyard and some flea market hunting (an ideal vacation day). The vineyard had beautiful gardens and the property had a precious cottage where we tasted some great wines and jumped on a tour of the vineyard and bottling barn.

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At the flea market I scored a small vintage oil painting of a coastal scene that needs a new frame but was too cute to pass up. At a nearby thrift store my mom found a white milk glass hobnail vase. My mom taught us well: my sister spotted it the second we walked in and we flipped it over, real Fire King milk glass… and it was only $2.00! Nothing is more satisfying than a successful thrifting trip!

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After we got back from Cape Cod, we just weren’t ready to let go of the vacation-mode yet and took a day trip to Newburyport where we stumbled upon Oldies Marketplace, an enormous barn turned marketplace for all shapes and sizes of antiques and treasures. I amazingly walked out of the place without buying a thing, but regret not stocking up on some of the vintage Shiny Brite ornaments and the quirky plastic beads they had displayed.

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Now I’m back to the daily grind, but I missed my blog while I was away and kept a list of post ideas even when I was internet-less, so now that I’m rested and recharged expect more in the coming days!