As we gear up for the 4th of July this weekend, I’ve been thinking about my summer bucket list. It’s usually full of travel plans and weekend getaways, but with this year all about being closer to home I’ve been thinking about all of the special things we can do right in our own backyard. I expanded our garden and love checking in daily on how our green beans are climbing. We’ve already had a lobster bake (get the recipe in my cookbook!), made popsicles, rode bikes to the ice cream shop, and eaten tons of al fresco dinners. The bucket list looks different this year, but it’s making me truly appreciate how lucky we are to love where we live and have this time at home together. I think it’s going to be a summer to remember! Sharing more of what I’ve been to, new recipes, reading recommendations and more below: read more

I have been in kind of a dinner rut lately, making the same things on repeat. As I was thinking about what to make for dinner last week I realized that I’ve been lacking my favorite summer inspiration: strolls through the farmer’s market. Perusing fresh ingredients, taking in the colors and smells, and pulling ideas from what is in season is a huge part of how I brainstorm new recipes. Until I can get back to the farmer’s market, I started to dig into some older summer recipes to freshen up my meal plan. I stumbled upon an “ultimate caprese” board I made last year and decided to give it a revamp. This version is full of sweet peaches, prosciutto, burrata and tons of juicy tomatoes and fresh basil from my garden. I love how the sweetness of the peaches balances the salty prosciutto and creamy burrata — it’s like summer on a plate!  read more

I took Jane last week to the Franklin Park Zoo for one of our first official activity outings since March, and she kept saying to me “Mom this is a REALLY fun day.” I totally agree – it was a really fun time, and it’s amazing what a tiny slice of “normal” can do for your outlook these days. Zoo New England has officially reopened both their locations with tons of health and safety measures in place, and I was so impressed with whole experience.
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I partnered with EatingWell magazine to share some tips and pointers to go along with a beautiful recipe series their editorial team created that celebrates the summer table. All of the recipes feature fun spins on warm-weather dishes and highlight the best ingredients the season has to offer. While I love coming up with my own recipes and experimenting in my kitchen, there’s something really relaxing about working my way through a new recipe that someone else created. I got the opportunity to just that, and recreated all of the dishes from the summer table series at home! I’m sharing a bit more about each summer menu item and the ingredients that made them stand out – be sure to check out July-August issue of EatingWell magazine on newsstands now for all of the recipes. read more

I’ve been thinking lately, with all of these meals we’re eating at home, how to mix up the staple recipes in our weekly dinner routine to feel new. With the warm weather (finally) here, I’ve been turning to the grill quite a bit for dinner-prep. I love that it gives me some time outside in the fresh air, and generally makes quick work of the cooking process. We love a good pasta dish in our house, and this recipe is a fun way to bring the grilled flavor into a quick, weeknight pasta recipe. I made this simple dish with just 10 ingredients: pasta, veggies, tons of fresh herbs from my garden, and flavorful al fresco chicken sausage. read more

Picnics are having a real moment at our house. Since we’ve been spending so much time at home, taking our lunch outside is a welcome change of scenery. It’s also usually a tasty excuse to think about how to make a weekday meal feel special. Now that the weather is feeling more summery, I’ve also been plotting some outdoor activities where a packed picnic is key. I made these simple mason jar salads that were built for backyard picnics and weekend adventure lunches — layered with antipasto ingredients, vinaigrette and Little Leaf Farms lettuce. read more

We have a few summer traditions that are absolute essentials for our family and one is particularly tasty: making my Grandma’s homemade blueberry cobbler recipe. The family recipe is in my cookbook’s summer berry chapter, but I still love pulling out the original flour and butter stained index card that my Grandmother wrote the recipe on years ago. To me, each bite tastes like a burst of summer. I was craving it recently and looked in the fridge to see I only had a few blueberries left — not enough to make the recipe. What I did have was some leftover peaches and strawberries from a rosè sangria I had mixed up earlier. So, I did a little experiment and used my base cobbler recipe to mix up a strawberry and peach cobbler. read more

My journey to “clean beauty” was not a drastic moment of change — I didn’t dump out my makeup bag one day and replace every single item at once. It looked more like a long and winding road, because to start, I never really considered myself much of a beauty person at all. Up until recently I’d had nearly the exact same makeup routine since high school, and my skincare routine was almost non-existent (more on that later). I’ve also never been into the clean-eating trends (oh boy, you can keep your kale, I looove myself a bag of Cheetos every once in a while). But here I am, sharing how I started to educate myself about what was in the beauty products I was using, began to make small changes and swaps in my makeup and skincare, and ultimately got on board with a brand I have been using since — Beautycounter. read more

We have had a lot of drastic makeovers in our house since we bought it and oh man, I love a good ‘before and after’ post to show how far we’ve come. A few years ago we did a major overhaul on our master bedroom (like major-major: there used to be a kitchenette in our bedroom!) which was a makeover for the ages. Off of our beautiful new bedroom was a secret little sunroom that needed some love — outdated carpet over even more outdated linoleum floors, dark brown wood paneling, and an eyesore of a 1970s ceiling fan. I’ve been saying I’ll tackle it for years, but we just never had the time so the door remained shut and the space went unused and frozen in the ’70s — out of sight, out of mind! Then in March when it looked like the stay at home order was about to start, I realized I might finally have all those free weekends I needed to finally give this room the makeover it deserved.  read more

Before we started social distancing, I used to go to the grocery store at least 3 times a week. Popping into the store every few days for last minute ingredients that I forgot or fulfilling a craving I had for a dinner idea. Now I am trying to stretch my grocery trips to last me 9 or 10 days and it’s totally flipped the way I think about my meal plan. I’m leaning on recipes that use up every last ingredient in the fridge and picking proteins that have a longer shelf life. The al fresco chicken sausage has been a lifesaver. I have different varieties stocked up in my fridge to toss into a pasta dish or serve on top of roasted spaghetti squash, to mix into omelets and frittatas, and I’ve even chopped up the buffalo chicken style sausage on top of a loaded baked potato. read more