I am eating up every last bit of summer this month. We had a perfect 4th of July weekend with some beach time, meals by the water, and a friend’s pool party to top it all off (Jane put those toddler swim lessons to the test and was paddling around like a fish!). This week we’ve been eating from our veggie garden every night and I’m loving it; it turns out the way to get me to eat my veggies was by growing them (and occasionally by mixing them with pasta). And there’s more summer fun in the mix coming up: I’m tackling the outdoor movie night from summer bucket list, gearing up for more beach time, and packing a picnic for a summer concert series at our local library! Summer is sweet, and I’ve got a few more warm-weather updates for you below:   New Recipes. I’ve been sharing a few of my easy summer dinner ideas on the blog recently, including a Grilled Garlic Shrimp, Corn and Polenta recipe that is so tasty (the shrimp cooks on the grill in just a few minutes, and instant polenta is ready in a jiffy, so it’s great for busy weeknights!). I also updated my Trader Joe’s Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi recipe with a twist for summer, check out my Sheet Pan Summer Veggies, Sausage and Cauliflower Gnocchi for a simple, easy clean-up dinner that’s full of flavor. I’ve also been loving on all of the summer produce and have a tasty corn pasta dish coming up on the blog next week, stay tuned!

Summer Beauty. I rarely change up my make-up routine, but a few products have caught my eye recently and I’ve bene using them as part of my low-key summer make-up routine. Instead of a heavy powder, I’ve been swapping in a Clinque Chubby Stick for a little warmth and color on my cheeks — it’s got a dewy look without being too shiny. (My other favorite Clinique product is their mineral sunscreen, it’s the only sunscreen that doesn’t cause breakouts on my face). I also picked up a new BeautyCounter lipstick when I visited their shop in Nantucket recently and the color is the most lovely summer pink, I’ve never been able to pull of a bold lipstick before but this one is a winner. And my sister is a beauty guru and recommended Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Eye Crème to me after I was complaining about the bags under my eyes. It’s a total game changer, I haven’t had to use under eye concealer all week — she has me hooked on it!

Vacation Packing. We’re spending a few days on the Cape next week and I’ve already got my nerdy packing list printed out and ready to go. I have two new finds that I’m tucking into my overnight bag: a new sun hat that I took a chance on from Amazon that I ended up loving (especially for $15!). And the MOST comfortable pajamas I’ve ever owned. I have been eyeing the darling striped Lake Pajamas forever and finally splurged on a pair; I was so obsessed with them I ordered a second pair the very next day. Be sure to check out my beach bag favorites post for other beach vacation packing ideas (like eco-friendly beach toys and our favorite beach gear)!

Kid Favorites. Most of our days are spent outside this summer, but I have a few fun activities we’ve been playing inside with when we need a little break from the heat. Both of these were gifts from sister, so props to Jane’s Aunt for finding all of the cool toddler stuff: Jane loves this Ice Cream Puzzle, and because the ice cream “flavors” can be mixed and matched it’s simple enough for her to do it on her own; she’s also obsessed with these kids pop-up “cookbooks” that show the steps for making things like cookies and pizzas and tacos — she loves pulling out the pieces and memorizing the steps!

Reading List. When I’m not reading the cookie book with Jane, I’ve been working my way through my summer reading list (see my full list here with lots of good beach read recommendations!). I finished Cape May which admittedly wasn’t my favorite read of the summer but had an interesting set of characters, and just wrapped up How Could She which had a Sex and the City-meets-Mean Girls vibe to it with lots complicated female relationship drama. I just started The Mother In-Law and it’s looking like the summer-thriller I wash hoping for! Next on my list is Elin Hilderbrand’s Summer of ’69, a WWII-fiction piece called Dear Mrs. Bird, and  Tell Me Everything, written by a local author and my Instagram-buddy Cambria Brockman!