Summer Corn Salad & Salsa

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Every summer on my Summer Checklist, I try and come up with a few new go-to recipes that I can bring into my rotation to make my life easier as time goes on. I like these recipes to be easy, quick, and healthy – and this summer corn salad/salsa is exactly that!

My mom always makes this salad and eats it right out of the bowl She’s a vegetarian, and the dish has a decent amount of protein, which is always a concern for her. Mike and I use this as a salsa, and actually brought it along to a neighborhood dinner as an appetizer recently, to great feedback!

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Read more for the recipe for this fresh-tasting, filling, summery deliciousness!

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Painted & Stenciled Wedding Signs

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There’s no getting around it – wedding costs add up. All of the little things – votives, menus, signage, candles – build into a crazy decor monster that you’ll never be able to use again.

Even on the resale sites, wedding signs cost about $15-$50 each. To use one time! I absolutely refused to spend that amount of money on anything so small for my wedding, which is where my DIY day came in. I decided to shop around and buy blank wood surfaces on which I could stencil my custom signage instead.

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These craft wood surfaces were so cheap at Michael’s – no more than $6 each!

For a wedding of our size (way bigger than we expected) at a venue like ours (essentially, a gigantic field), it’s definitely necessary to have signage to show people where to go. Plus, cute rustic signs are so trendy right now, and so easy to make! I did my buying before I did my planning, so it took me a bit to go through and decide what wording I wanted to include where.

Supplies:
– Craft Wood Signs (I got mine at Michael’s)
– Small letter stencils (I used Martha Stewart’s Typewriter Font)
– Large Letter Stencils (got mine at Lowe’s)
– Stencil Dauber Set (Also Martha’s)
– Craft Paint

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Bridesmaid Proposal Pinatas

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Anyone who knows me knows that, for a while there, I fell deep into the recent unicorn craze. That’s why, when I asked my 8 bridesmaids to be in my wedding, I chose these precious unicorn pinatas! (Purchased, as always, on Etsy.)

Each pinata had inside it starburst candies, pink and white tissue paper confetti, glitter gold diamond ring confetti, and homemade wedding confetti I drew up. (Super easy – word doc, scroll font, wedding buzzwords like the town you’ll be married in, “Maid of Honor,” “Bridesmaid,” and your wedding date – cut out and accordion folded.)

Alongside the candy and confetti I included a personal note to each girl, written on these beautiful mini letterpress cards from Missive.

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These mini pinatas were such a hit, and a great way to send a little celebration along with the sentiment of asking my closest friends to share my special day.cropped-profile_picture_symbol

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Crowdpleaser – Easy Summer Sangria

Guys – it’s coming. Summer is almost here in the Northeast! (Friends in the South, just keep your mouths shut and your Instagrams beach-free for a couple more weeks, ok?) Outdoor get-together season is just around the corner, and for me, nothing is better than a sweet glass of sangria on a warm afternoon.

It’s funny – as a 29 year old who spends most of her day surrounded by classmates in their early 20’s, I hear a lot about weekday afternoon drinking and Senior Spring stories that refer to 2017. Even though my Senior spring was in 2011, I still have such fond memories of all 4 years at Brown spending every afternoon on the Main Green and Lincoln Field with my friends.

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One of my favorite places on Earth, Lincoln Field at Brown University

Some of my favorite afternoons were spent grilling out with our larger group of friends, playing Beerbee and Cornhole, drinking Sangria out of a huge bucket on the lawn. Every time I drink Sangria I think of these carefree times and smile.

This Sangria recipe stayed with me through college and even into my early years in New York City to rooftop parties and to Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park. Now, I’m passing it on to you! It’s been honed and perfected throughout the years, and requires only as much effort as you want to put into cutting up fruit. I recommend oranges, apples, pears, and watermelon – and you can grill some of those pears too for a healthy snack!

Summer Sangria

Photo Credit Lincoln Field Photo Christopher Sewell, whose beautiful photo I found through a Google search.
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Stonington Vineyards – Surprise Party on a Budget

Wine and cheese plates are sort of my family’s “thing.” In a time when other families packed tuna sandwiches and PBJ’s, my parents were packing entire charcuterie boards in the picnic cooler, with multiple types of cheese, crackers, grapes and meats.

That’s why this year, when my mom turned 60 (sorry mom!), we decided to throw her a surprise bash at Stonington Vineyards, a local winery that receives nothing but rave reviews.

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Picture from Stonington Vineyards site

It was a perfect day – 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, the quintessential Rhode Island Indian Summer. Mom had no idea, either…. she thought that just our immediate family was going out to eat somewhere outdoors, and wasn’t expecting a party of 10 waiting for her around the corner!

The winery was so accommodating. We had initially booked a tasting, thinking the event would take place outside — all of the wineries I have been to (on Long Island) did outdoor tastings, so I didn’t think about it when I booked the reservation! When we found out the event would be indoors, we decided to skip at the last minute in favor of sitting with our huge wine and “nosh” spread on the porch. Cancelling so last minute wasn’t a problem at all, and we went ahead and got a big sampling of their full range of wines.

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It was a rose kind of day, but by far the favorite was the Seaport White, a reasonably priced white blend that even the non-wine-drinkers enjoyed.

I didn’t get the chance to snap a photo, but here’s what I included in my spread… a massive, high quality charcuterie spread for 11 people that cost me less than $100!

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