I find that some of my most enjoyable party experiences are those that revolve around casual settings and shareable food – and there is no better way to create a casual, shareable vibe than with a taco party! In the spirit of kicking off summer, I have been working on some new taco-inspired recipes for al fresco entertaining. On the menu: quick and easy grilled chipotle chicken tacos that guests can assemble themselves with all of the toppings. And to cool off after a bite of these spicy tacos, I’m serving up big-batch pitchers of frozen peach margaritas – they use frozen fruit for a sorbet-like texture, yum. Head over to the Chinet®brand blog today to get the chipotle chicken taco recipe, instructions for making the frozen peach margaritas, and a few tips for setting up your own summer taco fiesta! read more

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which means it’s time to kick off summer, wheel out the grill, and get our backyard celebrations started! I admittedly jumped on the BBQ train earlier this week when I saw some cute hot dog napkins at Target that quickly inspired our dinner plans. Grilled hot dogs, some macaroni salad, and pickles made for a pretty delicious weeknight treat. Now that the first al fresco meal of the season has been taken care of, I’ve been digging in my archives for more Memorial Day menu ideas and thought I’d share a few of my favorites here as you plan your own long-weekend celebrations!  read more

When I’m styling a table for entertaining, I always start with an inspiration piece — something that sets the tone and palette for the whole scene. When I received this beautiful geranium printed tablecloth in the mail (from Roller Rabbit, my favorite place to source table linens) the bright punchy pinks and deep jewel-toned greens had me hit the ground running for this colorful summer garden party.   read more

Memorial Day is coming up next weekend, and I’ve been thinking about all of my favorite summer BBQ recipes to break out for some grilling and al fresco celebrations. It’s also the perfect time to test a few new recipes too, and one of the ideas I’ve been cooking up takes no actual cooking at all! I made these mini berry mascarpone cakes, and didn’t even have to turn on my oven. Want to know the secret to this magical 15-minute no-bake dessert? A few store-bought ingredients! I used a pre-made pound cake and cut it into little cake rounds, then topped it with a sweetened mascarpone and lemon spread. Fresh berries give the dessert tons of patriotic color and sweet seasonal flavor. Just a little dusting of sugar on top and it is ready to serve. It comes together in just minutes, and can even be prepped a few hours in advance and chilled before your guests arrive. I think this is going to be on the menu for all of my summer parties this year! Get the full recipe below:  read more

I am loving warm-weather this year a little bit more than usual. Life with a toddler gets exponentially easier when the sun is shining and they can run wild in the grass and on the beach.  Because of this, we have been spending as much time as possible outdoors – sidewalk chalk drawing, bubble blowing, nature walking, and a little bit of good old-fashioned picnicking too! I plan to put my picnic-skills to the test this summer and thought I’d share a few of my favorite picnic menu and packing tips to get you inspired for some al fresco dining of your own: read more

I have been feeling little bursts of summer all around this week — a few warm days, lots of playtime outside with Jane, and our yard is coming back to life! It’s been just the motivation I need (getting back on track post-vacation was rough) to get rolling on some new content with summer in mind. Get ready for grilling recipes, outdoor entertaining ideas, and home projects coming up in the next few weeks! And in the meantime, a few links to check out in this week’s download:
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My husband asked if we had any plans this weekend and I answered (maybe too quickly), “The Royal Wedding!”  — as if, you know, I’m going to get up at 6am on Saturday morning to attend these festive nuptials.  The fervor in my response was met with some teasing, but I am genuinely excited to wake up early this weekend to watch the coverage on TV. It might partly be that we’ve just returned from a trip to London, so I’m still riding a buzz for all things British, including afternoon tea and all of the treats that go along with it. In fact, I decided it was the perfect time to make some baked treats to enjoy during the royal wedding broadcast, inspired by our vacation tea time. read more

I had an absolutely, lovely, low-key Mother’s Day. We woke up out in Western Massachusetts where we were staying for my brother’s college graduation the night before. I got to see my own mom in the morning and exchange some hugs and treats before we hit the road, stopping on the drive back for a quick visit to wish my mother-in-law a Happy Mother’s Day too! In the afternoon I took a long walk with Jane by the water, played with her in the yard for a bit, and then my husband got us take-out from my favorite Indian restaurant for dinner. It was a totally chill afternoon where I ignored deadlines and emails and to do lists, and that is exactly what was needed! read more

After quite a few journeys under my blogging belt, I have gotten accustomed to scribbling down notes when we travel now to help me compile these destination guides! It’s sort of like my own little scavenger hunt when we visit a new city; I love finding special spots that I can report back on. We lucked out on this trip in so many ways – the flights were easy (we got a great deal on Norwegian Air), we managed the jet lag well, and we had amazing weather. Locals kept telling us that it was rare to have that much sunshine and warmth the first days of May, and the timing had been perfect to see so many of the spring flowers in bloom. The trip gave me a fresh case of the travel bug, and as I write this recap of our week in London, I’m already scheming our next adventure! read more

Home, sweet home! I got back this weekend from an amazing vacation exploring London and parts of England. It was a wonderful trip, full of beautiful weather, tons of sightseeing, and my fair share of eating and drinking! But it’s true what they say, there is no place like home. It’s been a slow start to the week as I dig out of my inbox and ease out of the jet lag fog, but coming back to what finally feels like spring weather has helped with the adjustment. While I play catch up, I thought I’d share a few links and updates below: read more