I know June hasn’t quite hit us yet, but it’s getting pretty close now that we’re nearing the end of the month. And I wanted to get a jumpstart on summer ideas. So I created some summery gin and juice slushies that are also kind of perfect for Father’s Day (especially since they involve making your own homemade gin).
You can gift the bottle of gin to Dad (my video tutorial for how to make your own gin batch is over on Darby Smart now), make him a few gin and juice cocktails on June 19th, and you’re golden!
You might want to make a second batch for yourself too because these slushies are dangerously delicious!
Head over to Darby Smart to see the full video tutorial for your own homemade gin and the recipe for gin and juice slushies.
The weather has been so beautiful lately, it’s been making me want to go on a picnic. And I’ve been trying to take more time out to myself to just think, read a book, relax, etc.
So, when Ghirardelli got in touch about a subscription box they put together with Quarterly featuring their (seriously delicious) Intense Dark chocolate along with a signed copy of a summer must-read book, it seemed like the perfect excuse to head out on a little adventure…all the way to the park…which is really just a few minutes from my house.
I packed up my backpack, went on a bike ride and plopped down by a tree for the afternoon. After a couple of hours, I realized I had too much food / drink to finish all by myself, so I called Jeff to have him meet me at the park before I ate myself into a food coma. Haha. But it was really nice to have a little bit of ‘me time’ first.
Here’s what I brought with me on my picnic (which also includes a summer cocktail recipe FYI)…
Getting my polka dot on today with a new nail tutorial that I’m pretty in love with. It’s really simple, but looks kind of fancy. And since I’ve been on such a pattern kick anyway, this one was bound to happen eventually.
Here’s how to give yourself polka dot nails on your own at home…
Really quick before jumping into today’s DIYs to try, I wanted to say THANK YOU so much to everyone who has sent me a comment here on the blog (and on social media) about Gertie. The outpouring of support has meant so much to me. Truly! Thank you.
And on a lighter note, since there is no easy way to segway from that to DIYs, let’s just get to it. Cool? If you’re looking for some weekend DIYs to try, I have you covered. Here are 6 DIYs for you to try this weekend…
P.S. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this prior to now, but I’m actually headed to Europe with Jeff for almost two weeks starting this Monday. The trip couldn’t have come at a better time and I’m really looking forward to exploring Amsterdam, London, and Paris. If you have any suggestions for places to check out during our travels, let me know. Would love to hear your favorites spots, shops, restaurants, etc.
P.P.S. I’ll be sharing our entire European adventure on Snapchat and Instagram, if you want to follow along.
I try to keep things light and fun around here with cheerful content each day, but life isn’t always cheerful and light. And that reality came crashing into my lap just days ago, when my sweet little Gertie passed away at just three and a half years old.
To say it was unexpected feels like such an understatement. She was so young and (seemingly) healthy. Yet, one minute she was cuddled up next to me on the couch, like always, and the next minute, she was gone.
I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around it somehow, but all I can come up with are thoughts of how unfair it feels to not have been able to spend more time with her. I’ve lost pets before and it’s never been easy. But this one, this one is different.
The first night we brought Franz and Gertie home with us, Gertie had a runny and nose and would sneeze over and over again very quietly (and cutely). She sat in my lap until she fell asleep and then I moved her next to me on the couch so I could do some work. I brought my laptop up to the armrest and started typing… and before I knew it, I felt a soft little kitty crawling back onto my lap. She nestled her way underneath my laptop, into my crossed legs and stayed there until it was time for bed. She did this for countless days after that, long after the sniffles went away, until she was too big to fit in her favorite spot anymore.
And as she got older, when Jeff and I would come home from work each day, Gertie would be sitting in the window waiting, then come to greet me as I walked up the stairs, lay next to me on the couch each night until I was ready for bed (without fail), sleep right by my head at night. Sometimes she would purr so loudly, Jeff and I would make fun of her and tell her to ‘turn off her lawn mower’ at night because it would sometimes be hard to go to sleep, with her right next to us purring. And I honestly can’t believe that I’ll never hear that lawn mower purr again. Or stare into her slightly crossed eyes, pet her big mitten paws, rub her soft little belly…
I just don’t know how I’m truly going to be able to say goodbye to a family member who I thought would be with us for so much longer than she was able. If any of you have any recommendations for how to cope with a loss like this, please please let me know. I am so torn up – she was my little buddy and I already miss her more than I could have ever imagined.
Gertie – you were the most uniquely sweet and unusual kitty I have ever known. We were so lucky to have you in our lives and we will love you always.
The new studio has a great outdoor space that I’ve been meaning to get some use out of, especially since the rooftop deck at our house is currently out of order until the pavers are fixed (long story). So, we threw a little get together over there, to kick off summer in partnership with Duraflame.
I’m a big sucker for summer bonfires, campfires, etc – especially when it means guests can roast / cook some of the food themselves by the fire, etc.
So, we kept everything simple, with a three-ingredient cocktail recipe, some yummy shrimp kabobs, and a fresh corn and asparagus pasta salad. Click through for all the outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes.