Go there: Nantucket

As a New Englander I have loved my summer time in Nantucket.  Instagram does not lie on this one, the island is truly as beautiful as it looks through the curated lens.  The sweet cottages covered in roses, the hydrangeas that look like they can’t possibly be real and the super cute cobblestone streets all make me so happy I could squeal.. and I do! every. time.  Now look, I realize that what I am about to outline may not be groundbreaking for those familiar with the island but not everyone is familiar with this little slice of heaven, so let me break it down for those who have not yet had the pleasure.

Where to stay

Either we rent a house or stay at the White Elephant but there are many other great places as well.  I have heard good things about, The Veranda House and I stayed once at the Jared Coffin House but the room was so small I can’t really comment on much.

I have stayed in the White Elephant main house, the cottages and the village.  All are great. 

The cottages are just adjacent to the property and have a sweet little courtyard in the back.  Many different room and suite options.  I have stayed there with my mom for mother daughter trips.

White elephant main house, convenient and cozy.  Some rooms have fireplaces and balconies. Suites available

The village, perfect for families.  Some have kitchens which is great for families.  Eating some meals back at the pad is a great option since eating out can get very pricy but also not always convenient when you have little one who need to eat, like NOW.  There is also a pool on property.  You can use it if you stay in the main house but it is located at the village.

The cottage I stayed in with my mom

Lounging on the front lawn

The main hotel and the front lawn

Where to eat

Millie’s *kid friendly*, Madaket

Right next to the beach, great drinks and realllly good food. Elevated casual. Beach attire totally fine.

Greydon House, in town

Roman and Williams interiors, great food, great drinks

View of Greydon House from the street

Interiors at Greydon House in the bar area

Interiors at Greydon House in the restaurant

Cru, in town

Kind of a scene but beautiful interiors and great view.  Go for an adult night out for either dinner or drinks.

Great views at Cru

Topper’s @ Wauwinet

Get ready to spend some serious ‘do re mi’ but it is a one of a kind experience.  It is located at Wauwinet, the White Elephant sister property.  I like to go once a season.  If you are staying in or close to town you can make a reservation through the White Elephant for 5pm at the boat, you take the White Elephant boat (dock in front of the White Elephant lawn) to the restaurant and have a three course meal and then take the boat back at 8.  They serve cocktails on the boat on the way there and you can take a cocktail with you from the restaurant on the way back but after the martinis you may not need it! Great sunset and great way to take in the island.  Boat ride cocktails are free but you will feel like you deserve it once you get the bill for dinner.


Boat ride from White Elephant to Topper’s

The lawn at Wauwinet

Martini service anyone? On the lawn at Wauwinet

View from the boat as you walk to the lawn

Sunset and hydrangeas on the lawn

Met Main *kid friendly*, in town

Great hangover food. Great drinks. I like this place for brunch.  You can make your own bloody Mary’s with a mini burger as a topper. Great interior and great patio out back.

Inside at Met Main

Ventuno *kid friendly* but go early, in town

This place has the best Italian food but the back patio turns into a bit of a scene when the sun goes down.  I love sitting on the back patio for dinner and not moving as it gets crowded!

Chanticleer *kid friendly*, Sconset

This place is so charming, from the blue and white gingham table cloths to the carefully thought over garden and merry go round vintage horse this restaurant has nailed it.  The food is great.  I like a table outside on the patio.  After lunch take a walk around ‘Sconset and check out all of the cottages.

Outside patio

The Rose house in ‘Sconset

For brunch you have to go to the White Elephant Brant Point Grill.  Weekends, they have a buffet brunch that is the best.  

Galley Beach, near Jetties

Great for sunset drinks

Galley Beach

The Pearl, in town

Food is very good, Asian fusian.  Very filling!


Where to go: Beaches


This is my favorite beach. Surf is pretty tame. You can park and the beach is right there, you don’t have to hike to lay out your stuff.  The beach is also pretty wide open, you can take a nice walk and hunt for shells.  Always pop into Millie’s for lunch.  They have great Cisco cocktails and the most amazing food.  It is super close to the beach, walkable.  You can also grab picnic food at the store attached to Millie’s.  It has more elevated food choices.  You can also buy kegs here.



My issue with this beach is that it is kind of a hike from your parking spot.  Also, the food shack is the only option for food, picture hot dogs and other greasy options.  There are a couple picnic tables near the shack.  Quick and dirty but gets the job done. Beach is fine, more active surf, if that is your thing.


This beach is great. It is kid friendly and has a beach restaurant with great drinks.  The food is not high end by any means but it is fine.  There is a little shop that you can buy last minute beach things and it has a bathroom.  You walk a little bit to set up your stuff but there is a walkway that makes it a little easier.  

Children’s Beach right next to the White Elephant in town. No surf, just sand.  The only thing that weirds me out about this place is that you are in the harbor basically so there is boat oil etc.  It’s like I protect my kid all day from toxins and then throw him in a cesspool. It isn’t awful or obviously gross but it may weird you out too. There is a playground and lawn toys and a snack bar here too.  

Cisco Not for the faint of heart.  As a grown adult I am nervous standing on the sand as the waves look like they could swallow you.  On a foggy day, I find it terrifying.  If you are a surfer, this is where you want to be.  If you are looking to boogie board get ready to fight for your space brah. 


What to do for adults

Cisco Brewery *kid friendly* More than your average Beer Garden

You HAVE to go to Cisco.  This is not a suggestion.  I remember going over a decade ago when the founders were just starting out and it was a couple of guys playing bags in the back with some beers on tap.  It is now a SERIOUS operation but has still maintained a very cool laid back vibe.  They have wine, beer and amazing aptly named cocktails, The Chad anyone? Also food trucks, oysters and live music.  Kids run around and dance and it is just heaven. They also have the most delish Froze (frozen rose).  

Chicken Box, a little out of town

Ok, I am old enough to be almost everyone’s mother in here and it smells like years of spilled beer and the floor is that sticky floor that, well you get the picture but it is SO FUN! We went last year one night after Cru and the band played old school hip hop all night.  We had the time of our lives.  Go and don’t take yourself so seriously.

Cru, In town by the water

Kind of a scene but beautiful interiors and view.  Go for an adult night out either for dinner or drinks. 

Lola, in town

You need to make a reservation at exactly 4pm for a same day res to get a spot.  At 4:05 you may not get one.  They do not give preference to those who are in line vs on phone, which is annoying.  Or you need to know someone with a standing reservation.  The food is good but you really go for the scene.  Open late and very loud, you can try and pop in for a standing room only drink.


What to do for kids

Critter Cruise, from town docks

Loved this! 



Rent a bike with the trailer for them to sit in.  Great bike trails all around the island.  One of my husbands favorite things to do.  If you are staying in town, it is kind of a pain to maneuver so you may need to walk the bike a bit until you get out of the congestion.

Playground at Children’s beach

Whaling Museum, in town- interesting for adults too

Juice Bar (ice cream shop), in town- what is summer without waiting in line for ice cream while smelling the wafting smell of freshly made waffle cones?  Childhood memories made here.

A little bit out of town you can rent paddle boards, for older kids


Where to shop

Serenella (clothing)

Gypsy (clothing)

David Chase (clothing)

CJ Laing (clothing)


Milly & Grace (clothing)

Skinny Dip (clothing)

Nantucket Looms (interiors)

Bodega (interiors)




Kitchen favs

Sharing some of my favorite kitchen items and brands today.  These are the things I use often and usually keep on the counters. 



Butter keeper

I never knew how much I needed this until I had one.  My step mom gave it to me and now I’m obsessed.  Fresh room temperature spreadable butter all the time..amazing!


Salt Cellar

Salt & Cellar Gift Set

I bought this as a Christmas gift this year and totally forgot I had it.  Christmas passed, I found it, so I kept it and I love it!  I just keep it next to the stove for easy access.


Dish towels

See the source image

I have a minor obsession with dish towels and have a whole drawer filled with them.  I pick them up from William Sonoma, Anichini outlet in Quechee, VT, Farmhouse Pottery and really any time I see cute ones on sale.


The Unpaper Towel

Just bought these and can’t wait to test them out!


Bread Board

I have a lot of different boards from Simon Pearce.  I use them for cheese plates and appetizers.

They are all so beautiful I leave some out all the time!


Marble Cheese Board

Marble Round Board

I like to keep a lot of cooking items next to my stove, olive oil, ghee, salt, pepper, etc.  To keep it organized and looking intentional, I keep everything on this raised marble plate. 


Beehive Crock

Beehive Crock

I have a few of these as well and keep all the various utensils in them. Spatulas, wooden spoons, etc.  I have also used them for flowers.


Wood Spoons

I have a whole Farmhouse pottery beehive crock filled with different shapes and sizes of wooden spoons.  I use them for cooking and for serving dishes as well.


White Bowls

Colleen Hennesey Bowl: Gloss White Low Bowl

I have a million white serving bowls.  I have a beautiful large salad one from this store in Cambridge.  Everything here is beautiful, stop in if you are local!  I have some glass cabinets and keep some on display.


Berry Baskets


I bought a couple of these years ago and still use them every week.  You can use them to rinse the fruit and then store them in the fridge.  You can even use them to serve for casual breakfast/brunch or just keep them on the counter.

Spoon Rest

Laurel Spoon Rest

Ok, so I am slightly obsessed with Farmhouse Pottery.  Everything they make is so clean, simple and beautiful.. and hand crafted!  If you haven’t been to their workshop in Quechee you need to go!  


Cake Stand

Glass Cake Dome, Large

I have this one from William Sonoma and try to make a fresh treat each week.  Sometimes something healthy like sweetened with dates banana muffins or something more decadent like double fudge brownies.


Fruit Stand


Mine is white from Farmhouse Pottery but it was a one off that I picked up.  This one is similar. Keeps everything organized and in view so you are more likely to use things before they go bad.


What are your must-haves in the kitchen?








Garden Party!

If you are in New England this nor’easter we are having may be hiding the fact that spring is on the way.. but with daylight savings this weekend I am already starting to plan a spring/summer calendar of events!  Check out some of my tabletop inspiration and some of the books I constantly reference for my parties. Cheers!




Salad PlatesParty Bowl



Cabbage PlateBamboo Silverware


Asparagus MajolicaCabbage Bowl




PlacematCocktail Napkins


Multi Cocktail NapkinsGreen Cocktail Napkins



TableclothLinen Napkins

My ‘go-to’ party books


The queen, sorry Martha! Every recipe you follow, it comes out perfectly!

This book is not spring specific but has menus and ideas for all kinds of parties from Sunday brunch to snow day.  She gives tips from what worked, and didn’t work, at her own parties.  My favorite pizza making party is in this book as well.

Buy it!

Ok, truth, I own every single one of her books.  This one I love the kids section and have used these recipes a lot! She has the cutest story of when she threw a mocktail party for a group of young kids. Her mac and cheese recipe is in this book as well and always a huge hit!

Buy it!

This book is packed with great entertaining info! Darcy has worked for Martha Stewart for more than twenty years, soo yeah she knows what she’s doing.  Martha even wrote the foreword.  

Buy it!

I have to admit, I have had this book for a long time and didn’t even open it until recently.  I am glad I did because it has some great and different ideas!  Gives some good tips and how to enjoy the party and not stress.  

Buy it!

This book has some great recipes if you are hosting a group at a summer home or for weekend guests.  Grilled doughnuts with Nutella and Nectarine with cream cheese sandwiches.. yes please!

Buy it!

Camille Styles sets the scene for every season in this book.  Everything from recipes to activities to décor.

Buy it!

I am obsessed with tiny food! It is also a great option when you have adults and children at the same party.  Easy for everyone and sooo cute!

Buy it!

Also, just purchased this 

William Sonoma knows what they are doing, I have used this book many times.  Sometimes, at Thanksgiving, I’ve been known to take the recipe pamphlet from the checkout at WS and just make the whole menu.  I may have done this same pamphlet meal the past four years.  Shhhhh.  Point is, their recipes are tested and are good. This book gives planning, drink and menu tips.

Buy it!

Also a good one.  Party ideas,  a bit more formal but very beautiful.

Buy it!


cover image via pinterest

outdoor entertaining

The kickoff to the summer season starts Memorial Day weekend which is only a couple weeks away! I’ve rounded up some fun summer entertaining ideas that go beyond your typical BBQ.  All of these can be tailored to your guests whether the get-together is for kids, coworkers, friends, etc.  I find that the fun can either come from the activities or the food. Enjoy!

Free Printable Troop Beverly Hills Invite! How cute is this??

1.) Movie night under the stars- I came across this link here from Camille Styles and I just have to do this! They style it for kids but I would totally get together a bunch of girlfriends for wine and movie night while watching one of my all time favorite movies, Troop Beverly Hills!

2. Change up the seating- Instead of serving dinner at a dining table, why not set up a low table or create a backyard picnic. link here


3. Don’t overlook the power of lawn games!  I find them to be a great ice breaker and they keep the party going.  They can be tailored to accommodate any guest list. Link here and here.

Make the food fun!

Shrimp Boil, Southern recipe for Memorial Day




4.) Ever since I saw Chrissy Teigen and John Legend throw a crabtacular  with Chef Roble on Bravo I just fell in love with this idea! It takes away the formality of dining and lets people get a little messy.  Wax paper down the center table, seafood, bibs = summer. To check out clips from the episode with Chrissy and John click here. To try it yourself link here, here and here


Grilled Pizza Party #blackboxsummer



5.) No one likes to see a stressed out host so parties where you can prep in advance are ideal.  This is a great idea where all of the prep can be done in advance.  You can set up the pizza prep station, a great bar station and throw the pizzas on the grill when people have completed their creation. Link here. The link is set up as an ad but their styling is great for inspiration!




Summer BBQ party ideas

6.) Another DIY option link here.  You can prep a fun station and let your guests choose their own adventure.





Kid's Stuff7.) The ultimate BBQ is the pig roast. Link here. My dad has requested this for his 70 1/2 birthday party (actual day is in December) If anyone has tried this, let me know your tips! Would love to hear them before I attempt it myself.

Bring it outside

I am currently in the process of transforming our landscape and outdoor area, outdoor everything really! From paint, to gardens to furniture. I am working with the firm Christie Dustman for the landscape and I am super happy with the initial plans! Hoping to have this ready for summer which is almost completely unrealistic. It’s like I’ve never heard of a lead time before! We shall see how far we get.

Look below for the furniture direction (for now!) and some inspiration.



1. Outdoor Sofa 2.Stool 3. McKinnon and Harris (Trade) 4. Console 5. McKinnon and Harris (Trade)

6. Dining Chair 7.Lounge Chair 8.Dining Table


I really want to cover the house in ivy. When looking through the town archives it seems our 1920s Tudor style home once was, maybe it’s time to bring it back! Some inspiration below.


Stephen Sills-Bedford NY



via Lonny


I was also inspired by yesterday’s talk with Stacey Bewkes and Susanna Salk at the Boston Design Center to look back at some of the classics by the great designers and style makers. Particularly Bunny Williams’ Connecticut Home with John Rosselli as well as Aerin Lauder’s family home in Palm Beach. If you don’t follow Stacey and Susanna on Instagram you should as well as check out the Quintessence blog and their web series ‘at home with’ on YouTube. They are fabulous!!



via Quintessence Instagram Bunny’s Connecticut gardens


Aerin Lauder- Palm Beach

I definitely won’t be planting any Palm trees in New England but how can one not be inspired by this estate!





Summer Hostess Gifts

As people come out of hibernation, in the northeast at least, they want to mingle.  That sad social calendar is now becoming overbooked.  I find, it is always a good idea to have a ‘ready to go’ hostess gift arsenal.  For the stocked gift I never want it to be too large or have the hostess think, “oh great, where am I going to put this?!” I like small thoughtful gifts. Of course for some well planned, close friend’s party you may want to get something special and specific but it is also great to have some special gifts on hand, just in case! Some guidance below of some perfect summer hostess gifts in varying price points, you’re welcome! Cheers!


hostes gifts1. For the millennial sibling or close friend- emoji coasters 2.For the social friend – overserved cocktail set 3.For the hostess who likes her wine (and likes it cold!) – wine cooler 4.For the splurge hostess gift – goyard matchbox 5. For the hostess with kids – beginner chopsticks 6. For the homemaker (can include a fun drink recipe)  – citrus juicer 7. For anyone, it smells amazing, perfect for a powder room – capri candle

New England Beach House, Guest Bedroom

With the weather warming up just a bit, the mind naturally travels to summer.  New England beach interiors are all about blue and white for me. Nautical and brass accents just emblazon this theme even more.  Feeling the summer momentum building, I pulled together this beach house guest bedroom.  Cheap and cheerful and filled with all things New England beachy.
This is the first of a series I will try to commit to on Wednesdays, of either a room’s décor, style focus or a design roundup.  Hope you enjoy!

Beach bedroom 2

1. Sophia Flushmount 2.Serena and Lily Bed 3.Nightstand 4. Monogrammed Pillow 5.Bedside Lamp 6. Rope Mirror 7. Lee Radziwill 8.Merida Dhurrie


Some other beach bedroom inspiration!

Interior Design: Victoria Hagan- Nantucket- Architectural Digest

Victoria Hagan

Interior Design: John Knott and John Fondas- Summer house in Maine (amazing!) – House Beautiful

blue and white2

Interior Design: Suzanne Kasler/ Architect: Les Cole

Maine, the way life should be – Architectural Digest

Wedding Anniversary

I can’t believe my husband and I are coming up on our fourth wedding anniversary!  We had way too much fun planning the BIG day! And by ‘we’, I really mean my mom and me.  Don’t get me wrong, my husband had voting power on all things but he ultimately trusted us in making our wedding weekend one to remember.  My mother is also an interior designer and we are both extremely detail oriented so we found this came pretty naturally to us.  We definitely learned a few things along the way but really enjoyed the whole experience. I thought I would share some of the behind the scene details that made the weekend such a success.

We had a destination wedding (Santa Barbara, CA) but nowadays all weddings are really a destination for most people.  Even if you have your wedding in your hometown, odds are most people don’t live there any longer.  So first things first.  Save the Dates!  People are busy and have full lives, they need notice about your big day so they can plan accordingly. With the Save the Dates you should be thinking about the overall look of your wedding but keep them simple with pertinent information only- date and website information.  Keep the website link either very simple or catchy.  Most people will still forget and ask you for the information again but this way maybe not everyone will forget.

Next up- Gather your team! Wedding planner, on site event coordinator, photographer, florist, band, lighting, makeup, hair, seamstress.  Some people may not think a seamstress is necessary but I found it absolutely essential.  Our seamstress Mercedes was there to fix any last minute issues. One bridesmaid got lipstick on her dress and another one ripped the hem before the ceremony and she fixed it all!

Lighting is one of those things that people think, eh, is it really necessary?  YES! It highlights the centerpieces and also creates a happening dance floor.  Without spot lighting, key items that you have put time, energy and money into go unnoticed.  Without appropriate lighting it lacks that extra sparkle.

Having a strong team is so important in the outcome of your event.  So chose early and carefully! Do your research and interview people before hiring them.  You will pick up on their vibe and know if they are a right fit.  I met with my photographer, Elizabeth Messina, and her lovely daughter while they were in New York for a project.  We met at a Cuban restaurant downtown and over some amazing corn on the cob I immediately knew she was one cool chic.  I felt the same way with Mindy Rice, she did the floral arrangements for all of the weekend’s events and really made the whole wedding come to light.  She is the one who coined ‘tailored bohemian’ for our wedding and I just responded, YES! She just got it and that is how you want to feel about your team!

Gift Bags- I am pro gift bag in a big way.  Since our wedding was in Santa Barbara we were able to use such fabulous local vendors for our gift bags.  We used a Santa Barbara longitude latitude burlap bag we found at one of the shops in town and filled it with all local treats, chips and salsa, chocolates, lavender, Herban Essentials, the current Santa Barbara magazine, and itinerary for the weekend’s events.  No matter how many times you tell people where to be, what to do and what to wear, they forget. Listen, I get it, I have been there! So I made sure to put this information in as many places as possible.

Another important item to put in the gift bags is water!  I have been to a lot of weddings and I know it may seem small but receiving a bottle of water in a gift bag is huge to me!  You have traveled a long way and they charge like $50 in the mini bar for a teeny tiny bottle of water, if there even is a mini bar.  So yes, I think water is nice in a gift bag. It says thank you for traveling all of this way now hydrate, because I care.

Last note on gift bags, if the majority of people are traveling in and out try and be mindful of what they can put in their carry on.  Most of the things in the gift bag we provided were to be consumed or used during the weekend. Otherwise, people may have to throw out something that took time and money to create, because of its size or liquid amount.  SB Gifting Suites was so unbelievably great to work with. They listened to every idea and made it happen.

If it is going to be a true destination for most of your guests and people are making a weekend of it, it is nice to set up a little something else for your guests.  We had a welcome party the night before the wedding at the San Ysidro Ranch and then an after party at the Four Seasons (Our wedding was at the Four Seasons as well but a different event space).  We also provided picnic lunches for people to pick up the day before the wedding if they were in the area. Anything to say thank you so much for coming! It doesn’t have to be extravagant or super pricey just something to bring people together.  Plan a beach day, yoga in the park, a day of skiing, something that people can join if they want and meet the other guests while spending some extra time with the bride and groom.  The wedding night goes by too fast so this extra time is special.

For the actual wedding itself.  Something I learned- I wish I had packed a little tiny purse.  People had told me before the wedding that I didn’t need one but afterwards I felt I could have used one. I would have put my lipstick, burt’s bees lip moisturizer, mints, eye drops and a little blush stick in there- just for some touch ups along the way.  I would have just left it on my chair so I knew where it was and didn’t have to track someone down for a tic tac.

Something fun- At the end of the wedding night we did a late night snack that was passed around on the dance floor – mini hotdogs, grilled cheese, little French fry cups.  This was just a fun note to end on.

Something I did do during the night, and I’m so glad I did, I stood back a couple of times and took a few moments to take it all in.  Watch your family and friends dancing, laughing and enjoying themselves.  The night will be over before you know it, so this is important!

And lastly, have your planner or bridesmaids have the kitchen or caterer put a plate together for you and put it in your room at the end of the night.  Along with some dessert, a slice of cake, champagne and a little floral piece from one of the tables.  It was a nice surprise to see this in the room when my husband and I got back. We were able to enjoy some of the food while laughing and smiling about our favorite parts of the night.

We had so much fun that we said we would do it all over again for our five year anniversary, so we better get on it!!

The Team

Photography: Kiss the Groom | Wedding Planner: imagine…Weddings & Special Events, LLC | Floral Design: Mindy Rice | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Wedding Cake: Four Seasons Catering | Bride’s Shoes: Valentino d’Orsay | Makeup: Flirt Makeup | Hair: sheila stone | Lighting: Peterson Event Lighting | Officiant: Rev. Jon Ireland | Transportation: Executive Limo | Venue: Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis | Church Pews: Found Vintage Rentals | Custom Save-the-Dates + Welcome Bag Inserts: Lazaro Press & Design | Furniture & Dance Floor: Town And Country | Invitations, Programs, Menus: Ceci New York | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Musician: Laurie Rasmussen | Reception Dress: Jenny Packham | Reception Music: West Coast Music | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Seamstress: Mercedes Trump

More photos to be seen at Style My Pretty: Blushing Black Tie Affair 

Summer Entertaining

I love to entertain, I truly love it. I get enjoyment in coming up with the décor and setting the tone, it’s really fun for me.  Summer entertaining is second only to holiday entertaining for obvious reasons, I mean the magic of the holidays is unreal, the snow, music, presents, the decorations, the parties and the food!  But back to summer, I grew up in New England and spent the summers in Southern Maine. So the season for me means chowdah (no bacon people!), steamers and lobster, in that order with buckets of butter.  It means getting too much sun during the day and freezing your buns off at night while sitting around a camp fire roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.  Living in NYC for the past 12 years hasn’t made it so easy to recreate this theme.  Two years ago I flew in lobster from Maine and made lobster rolls to order in our tiny apartment.  I served them with those throw away cartons with red and white paper to absorb the grease while looking cute.  By flew in I mean ordered from Luke’s Lobster so not so fancy but technically correct.

This year, as I have mentioned, we will be in Nantucket and I am soo excited to have a real New England extended fete.  Before we had our baby we would take a big ole summer trip to Europe.  With Logan still being so young we felt it would be more relaxing to rent a house and stay on American soil. When we arrive on a Saturday afternoon to begin our two week stay I have asked Petite Travelers of Nantucket to stock our fridge with some first night essentials.  Cheese, crackers, local jam and wine of course.  We will go for our big grocery shop on Sunday morning.  I hate roaming around a grocery store aimlessly.  I love getting in putting on a cardigan and getting down to business.  So of course I need a plan and a list.

The Plan

For the first week with family and friends we will have mostly brunch/lunch out and dinner in.  Second week it will just be me, my husband, and Logan with a babysitter for some date nights out.

You don’t ever want your guests to feel like they need to ask permission to eat something while in your home (whether rented or not).  Ask ahead of time any preferences people may have, how do they like their coffee?  Any particular juice or beverage?  Any other must haves?  Some people may be too shy to respond honestly or don’t want to put the host out.  So I just make sure to have everything basic on hand.

For the Morning Beverage

Coffee (decaf and regular), cream, milk, sugar in the raw, white sugar, stevia.  Also, an array of tea options- Green, English Breakfast, lemon zinger, sleepy time (don’t forget honey!).  And because it is vacation your obligatory Bloody Mary Mix (and vodka), Fresh OJ (and champagne).

For the DIY Breakfast

Everyone wakes up at different times and likes to start their day a different way.  You don’t want to make a formal morning breakfast every day but rather have more of a ‘choose your own adventure’ feel to the morning.  I like to provide the tools for people to do what they want.

Things I like to have on hand: Eggs and the fixins, various cheeses, fresh Chives, bacon, sausage, peppers, mushrooms, Pillsbury biscuits, pancake mix, maple syrup, and fresh whipped cream. With these items stocked, instead of a formal breakfast it usually becomes more laid back and impromptu. Someone usually takes the lead with making a big batch of scrambled eggs or omelets to order.

Some other easy breakfast items to have handy- granola, yogurt, bread (a thicker bread like challah as well in case someone wants French toast), English muffins (raisin and regular), butter, peanut butter, bananas, fresh fruit, cottage cheese.

Whenever we are hosting a longer stay I like to go out the second day and pick up some local breakfast and dessert treats to just have on hand. Donuts, cinnamon buns, whatever is local, fresh and good. Desserts usually fudge, a pie- again whatever is local fresh and good.

For the DIY Lunch- so you can say, hey let’s grill, hey let’s make some sandwiches, hey let’s pack a picnic and go to the beach.

Burgers, hotdogs, cheese (sliced American, swiss and provolone), buns, fixins (ketchup, relish, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes)

Salad fixins – a few different lettuces (romaine, arugula, spinach, bibb), various veggies, cheeses, croutons, and dressings (can also make your own vinaigrette)

Sandwiches- a couple different sliced breads whole wheat, rye, white, deli meat- ham and turkey

The DIY Snack- for just hanging around the house

Things to have stocked so people can help themselves- chips, salsa, nacho fixins (who doesn’t love an impromptu nacho fix!), nuts, and kind bars

Easy Apps-The after beach pre dinner time

Cheese, crackers, grapes, charcuterie, jams, pears, Pillsbury crescent rolls (brie), almonds


Dinners do need to be a bit more mapped out.  I like to write out a little list of the nightly events, either on a chalkboard or on one of Emily Ley’s Printables, that way people can get excited about the night and/or voice any opposition and give special requests early.  Some of the dinner ideas planned for Nantucket so far are- Lobster Bake, Steak tips and Grilled Chicken, Seafood/pasta night, and Pizza Night.

Pizza night is always a hit and if I am hosting people that don’t know each other very well, I do it on the first night of the trip.  I usually pair up couples or friends to each make a pizza and everyone chips in with getting all of the toppings ready.


Always, always have a well-stocked bar! Various white and red wines, beer and hard liquor depending on what your family and friends drink.  Also, always good to be stocked with lots of fillers- flavored sparkling water like la Croix, Pellegrino, etc. and of course, lemons and limes a plenty.  I also like to have fun straws or cute drink decorations depending on the season (American flag, plastic monkey, whatever – it’s fun!)

Fun Food

I like to have some fun items on hand for people to make if they want. Cookies (ice cream sandwiches), make your own doughnut kit, ice cream and everything to make an awesome sundae.  I also always have graham crackers, Nestle Chocolate (easy to melt) and Marshmallows for s’mores!

Some nights I will leave open for leftovers, or if people want to do their own thing.  Sometimes guests will want to come up with their own idea for dinner and cook for everyone. The plan is to be well stocked and have suggestions on hand but not too rigid that there isn’t any wiggle room for some vacation fun!


Blog entertaining 3


Entertaining Essentials

Ina Garten Parties is always a great reference! • I think aprons are as fun as they are practical! This Eat Cake for Breakfast is cute! • Always need a good cocktail napkin for every occasion. These Caspian Splatterware Cocktail Napkins are perfect for summer. • McClure’s Bloody Mary Mix is a bit elevated and always good. • William Sonoma’s Doughnut Mix is a must. They have a lot of great DIY kits that can be geared towards guests’ interests. • Simon Pearce’s breadboard makes for a perfect charcuterie board.  • Lobster Placemat Pads are easy for adults or children.