It’s been a wild couple of weeks and I have lots to share — from fun events and projects, to summer finds, new recipes and lots of updates on my reading list! Scroll down to read more in this week’s download:
A Floral Bridal Shower. I’m finally in recovery mode from my sister’s bridal shower! It was such a blast to host this with my mom and her bridesmaids – pretty much a dream team of ladies who came together with the best ideas to celebrate our girl. I shared some of the easy DIY ideas we used to customize elements of the party, and shared a big recap of the bridal shower with tons of pictures too. (PS: If you’re looking for more summer party inspiration, check out the nautical flag tablescape I styled recently!)

Our Veggie Garden. I have long been notorious for my black thumb – even a cactus or succulent didn’t stand a chance under my watch. I set out with a big goal this year to turn that black thumb into a green one and plant our first-ever veggie garden. My husband built me one long raised bed that runs alongside our driveway and we got to work (if you’re looking for a good tutorial I used College Housewife’s raised bed plans as a starting point!).  I’m very proud to report that I’ve been able to keep tons of herbs and lettuce alive, and my tomatoes are looking promising. I owe it all to Jane who loves playing with her garden tools in the dirt – thus, keeping me involved in actually weeding and watering it. We got this set of Melissa and Doug play bugs that we hide in between the plants, and Jane hunts for them while I water – it’s a fun little summer game!

Summer Reading List.  I am elated to report that I’m halfway to my reading goal of 30 books in 2019! I just finished The Immortalists and it was one of those books that really stays with you after you finish it – the main characters are a set of four siblings who find out from a fortune teller the age when they will die, and that information shapes the path of each of their lives moving forward. It was such a compelling, complex story and I highly recommend it. I’m almost done with My Life in France, Julia Child’s memoir of her time living abroad and working on her masterpiece of a cookbook – it’s so enjoyable and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read it! And I’m mid-way through Cape May by Chip Cheek, which I kept seeing pop-up on summer reading list recommendations. It definitely has a Gatsby-esque cast of characters set in the 1950s, and the beach-y backdrop is perfect for a summer vacation read!

Summer Faves. I’ve done a little summer shopping and have a few favorites in the mix as the weather turns warmer. The simple gingham dress I wore to my sister’s  bridal shower was so comfortable and got so many compliments; I’ve been living in these new summer pajamas in the most darling print; and I jumped on the coral Birkenstock wagon – they’re proving to be the best beach shoes! My best purchase of the summer though has been this Land’s End black eyelet bathing suit; it’s so slimming and keeps everything in place (key for chasing a toddler down the beach). Definitely the most flattering swimsuit I’ve owned in years! And speaking of toddlers, I reordered my favorite dress of Jane’s from last season in the next size up – the lobster print t-shirt dress is preppy perfection!

Dinner Ideas. I am all about keeping things simple for dinnertime in the summer and have been making this delicious caprese salad with burrata and pesto on repeat. I also just started following PlanAndPlateIt on Instagram for some great meal planning and easy weeknight dinner inspiration (she has a new e-cookbook out with a comprehensive weekly meal plan – use PLANPLATEKATE for a discount on the download!).