Enjoying the Final Days of Summer

We're now about half way through the summer, with August set to arrive at the end of this week. While I'm sure most of you have already had an eventful summer thus far, there is still plenty of time left to enjoy the warm weather and sunny skies.

My summer has been pretty jam packed so far... everything from spending a week at the beach, to shark fishing (uhhh pretty cool), to attending a country concert, eating at some of my fave brunch spots, and preparing for the big move next month. It has been a crazy few weeks, with my planner offering very little relief over the next month and a half. To fill the little time that I do have, I put together a list of a few things I hope to do before the new season begins (although I am rather excited about fall). You should be able to accomplish these five things no matter where you live. So get to reading and start the planning. Summer isn't over my friends, so enjoy every minute of the time that's left.

Visit a Local Winery or Brewery
Who doesn't love spending a day taste testing some amazing wine or beer?! Did you know that there are wineries and breweries right around the corner from you? Odds are, there is one close enough to you for a day trip out of town. Especially in DC; there are tons if wineries within an hour or two of here. Here are two that I've been looking at visiting later this summer: Stone Tower Winery or Hillsborough Winery (both at recommendations from friends).

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Be a Tourist for a Day (in your own city)
Depending on where you live, there are bound to be sites and places you've yet to visit. Even for my friends in good ole Knoxville, Tennessee. There are plenty of museums and attractions you probably haven't visited before, like The Museum of Appalachia or the home of John Sevier, Marble Springs. For myself, I definitely plan to do some more touristy things here in DC. I've still never been to the Jefferson Memorial or the National Arboretum. Make sure you do some research about places in your town, and then get out and explore. You never know what you might find.

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Summer Picnic 
It seems as of late, the picnic is making a huge comeback. I've seen some friends who have attended very chic picnics, minus your typical checkered blanket and basket. Check out a few that I've followed via other blogs here and here.

Image Via It's Julien
Spend a Day By the Water
You probably should have accomplished this one already, so for this one think outside the box. Head to your local water park, go tubing in a nearby river or head out to the lake/ocean for a day of fun in the sun. The opportunities to be "by the water" are endless. Summer is always better when you can get out on the water, not to mention it helps you stay cool during the high heat and humid days.

Host a Summer Dinner Party
I posted a few weeks ago about a workshop I attended called The Gathering Project. At this day long event we learned how to host our own summer dinner party. You can read a few of my tips here. Once I make it through the big move coming up, I plan to celebrate the new place by throwing a summer dinner party. So stay tuned for a post later on this summer for that. We're thinking an upscale shrimp boil!! I'm already getting excited just thinking about it. The planning will be so much fun.

I'm always down to add new things to the list, so comment below if there's something fun you're looking forward to this summer.

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Homemade Blackberry Cobbler


Over the Weekend I visited one of my favorite places here in D.C., Eastern Market. I shared with y'all some tips on Tuesday for picking out the best and freshest produce. Now that you've got your goodies from your local farmer's market (or for others, from your grocery store), it's time to start making some scrumptious meals with them! In true Kristyn fashion, dessert comes first! So I thought I'd share with y'all one of my favorite summer desserts that my mother made. Whether you're a fan of blackberries or not, this recipe can be done many different ways. However, my favorite has been Blackberry Cobbler. It only takes a few ingredients to make a wonderful impression after any meal is done!

What You'll Need:
1 cup of self rising flour
1 cup of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 stick of margarine
2 - 3 cups of fruit (up to 1 quart)

Now Follow Me:
Melt the margarine in a long baking dish. Mix the flour, sugar and milk until well mixed. Pour over the melted butter. DO NOT STIR!! Pour the berries over the mixture, and again DO NOT STIR! Bake at 350 degrees until crust rises and browns. Around 30 minutes depending on your oven. You can use any fruit you want, such as blueberries or peaches.

Serve with some vanilla ice cream and enjoy!


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*Photo via


When the Sun Goes Down

Photos by Zack Royster

One of my favorite country musicians is the great Kenny Chesney. I remember my high school summers were spent by the pool, listening to his album When the Sun Goes Down on repeat. It most certainly is not summer till I have heard that song at least once. You better believe it was the first song I listened to when I headed to the beach last week. It's just something about that song, well really any of Kenny's songs, that make me feel like I'm on vacation even if I'm stuck sitting at home or at the office. I'm a huge fan of music that can take me out of my hectic and busy life, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Do you have a favorite artist or song that helps you escape from the hustle and bustle?

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Summer Entertaining with The Gathering Project

A few weeks ago I attended a fun workshop with another one of my blogger friends, Julien. I first heard about The Gathering Project when Julien posted on it back in early June. Her post made me want to sign up immediately for a fun day of workshops, all geared toward throwing a summer dinner party. The Gathering Project was founded by Chelsea Rose Moore, to gather individuals together who have a passion for entertaining and learning from those in the business.

When we arrived to The Loft, where the day long event was held, we were greeted with an appetizer buffet of breads, cheeses, fruit salads and fruit flavored water. I was already in heaven.

At The Gathering Project we participated in three workshops… bread making, painting pottery and dessert making. In the first workshop we learned how to make homemade focaccia bread from Knead and Know's Melinda Friend. You can learn how to make your own homemade bread from my recent post, here.

In the next workshop, we hand painted our own pottery plates. It was such a fun and simple workshop. We learned which paint to use, how to set the plate so that it's usable in either the microwave or dishwasher, and how to customize our own summer dinner party by making a great take home gift for guests.

After several hours of making bread and painting plates, we all worked up an appetite for a great summer dinner. Everyone there for the day long event then moved over to the beautifully decorated dinner table. We enjoyed a meal of summer fresh salads and were able to really get to know all of the attendees who were there. The guests ranged from your average entertainer, events coordinators, bloggers and some who just wanted a fun day learning new things.

Once dinner was over, Carlene Thomas from Healthfully Ever After, taught us how to make a scrumptious summer fruit crumble. For someone who is trying to change her eating habits and also incorporate fresh fruit into her meals, it was the perfect dessert for me to make at home this summer.

The Gathering Project was a fun day of learning new things and meeting some wonderful people. I had the best time, gathering together to learn new projects with fellow bloggers and entertainers. I look forward to hosting my own summer dinner party soon, and hopefully working with some of the girls I met that day. Stay tuned for more posts over the coming weeks!!

Have a happy hump day y'all,


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Over the Weekend, Freedom and Fireworks

For the past week or so you may have noticed fewer posts and less frequent social media coming from me. That is because I spent the past two weekends and all of last week in one of my favorite places, Hilton Head Island. I attempted to do what someone is actually supposed to do on a vacation, unplug from the world and relax. While I still posted here and there, I was actually able to enjoy the few days away from DC and spend time relaxing with family. If you know me at all, you know that is not very easy for me to do (relax, that is!).

After a fun week of hanging out on the beach, spending time with family, shark fishing (more on that later this week) and eating a ton of seafood, I came back to Washington, D.C. refreshed and ready to tackle the work week. Now, here are some more photos from my trip...

Happy Monday y'all and hope you have a great start to your week!!


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