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Summer

Best Camping Recipes! Raspberry Nutella mountain pies from entertaining blog @cydconverse

One of My Favorite Camping Recipes! Raspberry Nutella Mountain Pies

We are leaving out on our epic annual camping trip later this week so I’m currently up to my eyeballs in shopping, packing and prep lists. This is our seventh year in a row spending five days on an island with a huge group of friends, family and our boating family so I’ve got it down to a bit of a science when it comes to packing and prepping. Before we run away and play Gilligan for the week though, I wanted to share one of my favorite camping recipes with you – raspberry Nutella mountain pies!

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I'm On a Boat! How we're living our best lives while living on a boat part time this summer!

How We’re Living Our Best Life On Our Boat This Summer

Many of you have been following along with our boating adventures on Instagram this summer since we purchased our sweet old boat with the intention of living on it part-time a couple months ago. It has been a transformative experience for us since Bob and I both have a lot of wanderlust, but at this stage in our careers and with our kids being the ages that they are, extensive travel isn’t in the cards for us in this current season of life. Making the leap to live on a boat part-time in the summer months allows us to have some pretty incredible weekend adventures while feeding our souls and giving us a place to get away from the stress of daily life. We feel immensely fortunate to have made this huge longtime dream of ours come true, and over the last couple of months we’ve been working on figuring out little ways to make our life on the boat feel both simple and easy, but slightly luxurious, too. Today I’ve teamed up with my friends at Walmart to share how we’re living our best lives on our boat this summer! And if you’re wondering if I’m already dreading fall, that answer would be a resounding yes!

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Click through for this farm to table inspired strawberry lemonade moscow mule made with fresh homemade strawberry lemonade from @cydconverse

A Farm to Table Strawberry Lemonade Moscow Mule

When you live in the Northeast, you live every minute of summer to the fullest because while short, I’d argue that they’re some of the most beautiful summers of anywhere. It’s a season that brings me to life and rightfully so we make it a point to soak up every last second of the sunshine that we can. Hitting the weekly farmer’s market for freshly squeezed lemonade is one of my favorite summer traditions. They serve it up in big cups full of ice and you can sip it while you walk through the stalls collecting farm fresh produce for that night’s dinner. That farmer’s market lemonade is the inspiration behind this cocktail, made with the tastiest homemade strawberry lemonade and Prairie Organic vodka. Taking just a few minutes to make hand crafted cocktails is one of my favorite parts of a weekend happy hour. Fresh, farm grown ingredients totally elevate the cocktail sipping experience which is my way of saying, make this cocktail. Find the ripest local strawberries you can find, make them into lemonade and sip these Moscow mules all summer long.

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Red, White and Blue Patriotic Cheeseboard | 4th of July party ideas, 4th of July desserts and more from @cydconverse

21 Red, White + Blue Things You Should Make for the 4th of July

With a little over a week left until one of my favorite days of the year (yes, we’re obviously talking about the 4th of July again), I’m starting to get the itch! The itch to blow off work, sit by the water, make lots of festive desserts and crafts, watch fireworks and generally soak up summer in full force. While I’m not typically one who is into themes when it comes to entertaining, I will gladly take all the red, white and blue you can throw at me come this time of year. Today I’m sharing 21 super festive red, white and blue ideas for desserts, decorations, cocktails and appetizers all perfect for your upcoming parties and picnics!

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How to make a no-sew blanket! Find the tutorial for these colorful pom pom picnic blankets from @cydconverse! | Click through for more fun summer ideas, entertaining tips, party ideas, recipes, crafts and more!

DIY No-Sew Pom Pom Pool + Picnic Blankets

If you’re a long time reader, you probably know that I don’t sew. It’s one of the few domestic skills I haven’t at least attempted to master, even though I always swear that I’m going to learn. (Technically I learned how to sew back in 8th grade home ec class and did quite well, but I haven’t sewed since!) For that reason I love a good no-sew project! When you tell me I can make something really cool and I don’t have to sew? I’m so into that life. Over the years I’ve learned a few tricks! Namely, that E6000 or Fabric Fusion will hold just about any fabrics together and that iron-on hem tape is my best friend! Today we’re putting some of my go-to hacks to work by making these super colorful and summery DIY no-sew picnic blankets! I’m also calling them pool blankets, because they’re as perfect for lounging by the pool as they would be for picnics, cozying up for fireworks at the park or snuggling up around a campfire.

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Kiwi Lime Mint Sangria Recipe | Click through for cocktail recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas, party recipes and more from @cydconverse

Say Yes to Summer with this Kiwi Lime Mint Sangria Recipe

Now that it’s unofficially summer, I think we can officially call it sangria season! It’s likely that sangria season is my favorite time of year. Fruity, boozy, winey, super refreshing and perfectly party-ready! Sangria is made for front porch sipping, slow and easy back patio happy hours, and prepping in advance for all of your summer parties. This kiwi limi mint sangria recipe might just be my favorite one I’ve whipped up yet! It’s made with fresh kiwi purée (which is a cinch to make) and loaded with refreshing lime and mint so it’s basically summer’s new best cocktail recipe. Don’t be intimidated by the kiwi purée, friends, please! The addition of simple but fresh ingredients like that make a cocktail recipe come alive and it’s really easy to do. Scout’s honor! (Ooo! Do we think I could earn a badge in cocktail mixing?!) I’ll toast to a long, hot awesome summer with a glass of this one, pals, I hope you do the same!

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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad | Summer recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Hi, friends! I hope everyone here in the States had a great Labor Day weekend. We spent our second weekend in a row camping with family and friends and now we’re slowly working on getting back into the groove over here. The kids are all back to school this week and on Thursday we have our first photo shoot to start shooting some great fall content and get back to the usual posting schedule. I’ve been taking a lot more time off over the last few weeks and it was a really great way to reenergize and slow down. Today I’m sharing one final summer recipe, a roasted sweet potato salad that you’ll want to make all year long. It’s really simple with just a handful of ingredients and the flavors are just so great. To take it to the next level, use leftover grilled corn instead of boiling it and your family will be begging for seconds.

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Blueberry Mojito Recipe | Summer cocktail recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas, summer recipes and more from @cydconverse

Make Mine a Blueberry Mojito

You guys know by now that I simply can’t refuse a well-made summer cocktail. Trying out new recipes and making friends act as my personal test subjects while sipping cocktails on our back patio is one of my personal favorite things! Today I’ve teamed up with Master of Mixes to share this perfectly summery and seasonal blueberry mojito recipe with you. Because of their sincere commitment to quality, Master of Mixes allows you to enjoy naturally flavored, scratch-quality cocktails at home, even if you’re not like me and concocting your own simple syrups from scratch sounds like zero fun. And let’s be honest! Even if that is fun, sometimes you just want something quicker and easier that’s still crazy delicious, and that’s where this mojito comes into play!

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Coconut Pineapple Rum Slush Tropical Cocktail Recipe | Tropical cocktails, cocktail recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Coconut Pineapple Rum Slush

A few years ago Bob and I made our maiden voyage to Key West, which sparked a completely unexpected love affair with the Keys. I’ve been back since and have only fall more in love with the carefree, Cuban meets Caribbean vibe each time I go. This frozen tropical cocktail is entirely inspired by that same salt air in your hair, Jimmy Buffet music playing in the background experience that makes you never want to leave the Keys. In essence, this cocktail is a vacation in a glass. Because it’s sweetened with Truvia Nectar, it’s also a reduced sugar alternative to the typical sugar laden frozen drinks that seem to make the rounds ad nauseum in the summer months. Take it next level with a garnish of fresh pineapple and you’re ready for vacation mode.

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Champagne Mojito Recipe | Cocktail recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas, party recipes and more from @cydconverse

Summery Champagne Mojitos

There’s a great beachy, open air bar a few miles from where my sister lives in South Florida and the mojitos there are a force to be reckoned with. To be honest, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing special about their mojitos except for the fact that you sip them under palm trees overlooking the water, but that fact alone sets them apart. These mojitos are special not because they make palm trees appear in your backyard, but because they are made with champagne (or your favorite prosecco) and that elevates them entirely. You can skip the traditional rum or keep it in the mix. You can make one just for yourself or a pitcher for all your friends. (I’ve included recipe variations for all of the above.) The key is a good simple syrup, all the fresh mint and limes you can get your hands on and, of course, those bubbles. Bubbly makes everything better and these champagne mojitos are proof of that!

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