I usually share my download posts at the end of each week, but this one got pushed out a few days later because we snuck away for the weekend to celebrate some of our best friends getting married! It was the most beautiful weekend for a wedding, and we had a crazy amount of fun drinking and dancing and partying it up with our best buddies. It was proof that I can still party like a college girl, but also very solid proof that I recover from partying like a 30-something mom of a toddler. I’m moving a little bit slower than usual on this Monday morning; strong coffee and the promise of an early bedtime are keeping me motivated. While I recover from my bridesmaid duties, I hope you’ll enjoy my stream of consciousness on recipes, books, and the end of summer:  Recipe Ideas. I shared a few new recipes here last week – one for a prosciutto and asparagus bucatini dish that fixed up a major pasta craving I’ve been having! I also shared my recipe for the easiest, simple summer sangria. I’ve made it a handful of times when we’ve had friends over this summer and it’s always a hit! That back to school vibe is feeling imminent, so I also rounded up 20 of my favorite easy dinner recipe ideas to get motivated and inspired to cook this fall! It’s helpful to have this big list of dinner ideas ready to go when I’m not sure what the heck to make when 5:00 rolls around! If you need more dinner inspiration, check out my recent post with my favorite cookbooks for dinner inspiration!

Summer Reading. I’m kind of bummed out that I didn’t love An American Marriage. Sometimes when books have such crazy good reviews, I find that I overhype them in my head? I think that’s what happened with this one. But I bounced back with a light read – The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner (I really enjoyed The Husband Hour by the same author). I loved this book, it had everything I wanted – family drama, romance, and a satisfying ending. If I’ve learned one thing from this summer reading challenge it’s that it’s okay just read what I want. I think I used to get caught up in reading what was popular or what was challenging. Reading some fluffy chick-lit is totally fine if it makes me actually enjoy reading. Up next is a book that a friend just recommended to me: A Simple Favor – it looks like it’s going to be a hot movie this fall so I want to read it before it comes out! (PS: Speaking of books, I just got word that I’ll get to see the physical copy of my book in just a few weeks – I can’t wait! Don’t forget to pre-order your copy!)

Labor Day Weekend. I honestly had to double check the calendar as I started to write out “labor day weekend” because it doesn’t seem possible that it could already be coming up next weekend – where has summer gone? I will be savoring every last moment of summer, and hoping for some sunny skies so we can head to the beach! We learned a lot from our first big beach trip with Jane this summer – check out my Beach Vacation with Kids post if you’re headed away for the holiday weekend too! I shared some thoughts on how we’ll pack this time around, what worked well to occupy her on long car rides, and a few of our favorite beach toys. And make sure to check back on the blog next week for some final summer entertaining ideas to send off the season with a festive farewell!