After spending Sunday afternoon lounging on the beach and splashing around in the ocean before flying back home to New York early Monday morning, I basically have zero interest in anything other than sitting on the beach this week. In reality, it has been rainy all week and I’m up to my eyeballs working on recipe testing, crafting and shooting for a few deadlines, so the beach? I’m far from the beach at the moment. That said, I couldn’t resist sharing a handful of the cutest pom-pom inspired beachy DIY ideas today! Pin these ones, friends, because they’re so so good. All the pom-pom things for the beach! Totes, bikinis, and cover-ups, oh my!
Why hello, friends! I’m back from a whirlwind long weekend in Florida celebrating my niece’s high school graduation and ready to jump right into the week. It has been a bit since we chatted about books, but as I was standing in the airport bookstore yesterday in search of a new book for the flight home, I realized I have read quite a few lately that I really loved. Easy reads that are easy to get sucked into and that are just really enjoyable. Today I thought we’d boil those down into a short and sweet little summer reading list comprised of my recommendations for really great beach reads this season! Any recommendations I should check out?
All Fall Down, by Jennifer Weiner
If you’ve read any of Jennifer’s other books, this one might surprise you a bit. I actually don’t read her books regularly, but I do know they typically fall along the vein of being light-hearted chick-lit. This isn’t quite that as it explores one seemingly put together woman’s struggles in her marriage and dealing with substance abuse. While it isn’t necessarily light and cheery, it’s a heartfelt and quick-paced read, making it appropriate for lounging poolside with a frosty drink this summer.
Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
This was the first book of Liane’s that I had read, but I have since read two others. In reality I’d recommend any of her books that I’ve read to add to your summer reading list. Her stories are gripping with really unique characters and unexpected, dramatic twists, but all packaged up in a way that doesn’t feel too heavy. I never saw the plot twist coming at the end of this book and Liane’s writing had me sucked in pretty much immediately.
The Vactioners, by Emma Straub
This book makes the list because (a) when on vacation or on the beach, one should read books about people on vacation or on the beach (am I right?), and (b) because the family around which this book centers is so hopelessly messed up it will make you feel totally normal. Or it will make you feel right at home being totally messed up. In all seriousness though, the characters here are quirky and dynamic and they feel completely real, making this family’s struggles feel very close to home, even if you have a much less dramatic existence.
Bittersweet, by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
This pick is actually the book I picked up on a whim yesterday at the airport, and I’ve already breezed through 2/3 of the pages. It’s a classic summer read and I am not ashamed to admit that I am loving every chapter. It’s one part intrigue, one part wealthy kids summering at their extravagant lakefront estate, one part cliche summer romance and one part guilty pleasure. This one is actually topping my list for beach read recommendations, just be prepared to blow through it no time!
Washi tape has become entirely pervasive among the DIY crowd over the last few years and you will never ever catch me complaining about that. I’m a huge advocate of a splash of pretty color and pattern here, there and basically everywhere! That said, I’m particularly crazy about the ingenious ways that crafty people are putting washi tape to work at home. I love that it’s inexpensive, temporary and renter-friendly. Cute Tape is my favorite source for washi tape of all varieties and they even offer a whole bunch of the wider washi tapes designed specifically for home projects. Need a little inspiration? Here are 5 fun ways to use washi tape at home!
[DIY washi tape frames from Maiko Nagao.]
[DIY washi tape jars from Little Helsinki.]
[DIY washi tape door from French by Design.]
I’m pretty excited to see that the pineapple craze that swept the nation (or Pinterest anyway) last year is still going strong. As we head into summer, I am loving tropical-inspired pineapple motifs and party wares for everything from a casual pool party to kids parties, baby showers and luaus. So today, as is my way, I’ve rounded up what basically amounts to some of the coolest pineapple themed party ideas going.
Daydreaming about planning the first big bash of summer? Need more pineapple in your life? I’ve got you covered! Click through for 10 of the coolest DIY pineapple party ideas!
This post was sponsored by Dr. Oetker Ristorante. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!
A couple of weeks ago, B’s sister and I had been at her twins’ baseball game on a gorgeous early summer evening and as we walked home from the school, we realized we were both absolutely ravenous. Luckily for us both, I had a stash of Dr. Oetker Ristorante pizzas in the freezer so we came home and tossed one in the oven. When the folks at Dr. Oetker tapped me to share a whole bunch of recipes and entertaining ideas with you throughout the year, I was pretty excited, because you all know I’m a massive fan of pizza. But that post-game meal sealed the deal for me. As a bit of a self-proclaimed pizza snob, I’m happy to report that the gourmet toppings and crispy crust of this pizza is going to make it a mainstay in our household from now on. It is seriously delicious!
Today I’m sharing this melon basil white wine spritzer recipe with you! It’s the perfect pairing with Dr. Oetker’s Formaggi & Pomodori frozen pizza. Bake up a pizza, mix up a couple of drinks, add a little side salad with loads of fresh produce, and you have the perfect meal for two on a summer evening. Whether it’s your sister in-law who lives next door (like me) or your friend who happens to pop over and ends up staying for dinner, this is casual summer entertaining at it’s best and easiest. The melon and basil flavors are heavenly with the goat cheese on this pizza, and it’s a super refreshing drink for a hot summer night.
- 2 oz cantaloupe melon puree
- 4 oz sauvignon blanc
- 2 oz lemon lime soda
- 2 fresh basil leaves
Begin by chunking up a fresh melon and blending it until smooth in a blender or food processor. I like to add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin out the puree a bit. Then, combine the melon puree, sauvignon blanc and basil leaves in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake until nice and cold, then strain over a glass full of ice. Top with soda, stir gently and garnish with basil. Serve icy cold and enjoy!
And there you have my new favorite drink for summer! (Yes, I realize I crown a new favorite just about daily. Oops!) For more inspiration, recipes, and entertaining ideas, be sure to follow Dr. Oetker on Facebook!
[Photos + recipe by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]