Kicking Off Summer


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I always grew up thinking of Memorial Day Weekend as the kickoff to summer. Paradoxically, the weather in San Diego is usually pretty miserable during this time and during most of May and June.

We have what’s called May Gray and June Gloom. Lots of cloudy, dreary overcast skies with rain and chilly winds. Not what most people probably think of when they think Southern California.

Overcast sky and palm trees

I ran with two shirts, a fleece, and gloves on yesterday as mist and wind were pelting me. Definitely not beach weather or the summertime kickoff weather I was hoping for, but we’ll get our summer. In September.

Kicking off summer means:

1. New scents. I am loving Malibu Heat because it makes me smell like a pina colada. If you don’t want to smell like a pina colada, Carried Away is fresh and clean and it was my summer scent last summer. Summer scent, yes, I just said that.

Into the Wild is something the salesperson recommended; I’m still on the fence about a particular note in it. I just I don’t know what note that is. Overall, the scent is growing on me. If nothing else, I love the color of the bottle.

Malibu heat, into the wild, and carried away bath and body works perfume

2. Easy salsas and salads like Sweet Corn Salsa with Mango, Lime, Red Pepper (vegan, GF) that play on summer’s abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit.

Sweet Corn Salsa with Mango, Lime, Red Pepper
Sweet Corn Salsa with Mango, Lime, Red Pepper

3. Time at the beach. I wish it was this beach.

The beaches here are still way too cold to even thing about going.

Aruba beach with ships

4. Less cooking, more no-cook type meals. Not turning on the oven (unless it’s to bake cookies) and keeping everyday meals as simple as possible.

Fresh fruit for snacks. Srawberries, peaches, apricots, and watermelon.

Watermelon half and watermelon slices

Steamed Brussels’s Sprouts & Broccoli with Cheezy Coconut Sauce is a fave

Steamed Brussels’s Sprouts & Broccoli with Cheezy Coconut Sauce

5. Making time for pleasure reading. Yes, cookbooks can be like novels and are definitely my pleasure reads.

For example, Lindsay’s book is fun, light, easy, and would be perfect to read on a chaise lounge. The cookbook equivalent of a light-hearted yet engaging read, Jennifer Weiner-style.

The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook by Lindsay Landis

6. Running in shorts and sports bras and ditching the heavy layers (usually this happens by July after the June Gloom is over) is the best.

Having the sun beat down on my skin is just the most invigorating thing. Some people say the heat slows them down but it makes me faster (up to about 90F).

Blue and green sports bra

7. Seeing everything in bloom and all the pretty flowers alive and vibrant makes me giddy. Yes, I’ve turned into my grandmother and getting excited about what’s in bloom is something that reminds me of her.

Pink Flower

8. Cold drinks that go down smoothly and easily.

Peach Mango Pineapple White Sangria

9. Longer days and more sunlight means a happier me. I feel like most people are just happier and in better moods overall during in the summer.

The world smiles with summer.

Clear skies and palm trees

10. Ice cream tastes better in the summer. Recipe coming.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

What things mean summertime kickoff for you?

What are your Memorial Day Holiday weekend plans?

If you need ideas for parties or what to make, check this 20 Memorial Day Party Recipes post.

Thanks for the Gluten and Allergen-Free Baking Cookbooks Giveaway entries

Be safe and enjoy your holiday weekend!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. I just picked up that Malibu scent too in shower gel, love it! Our weather can get wacky in May and June too, last year we had a week of non-stop rain in June – crazy! Summer kick off for me is lots of cheap watermelon, a flourishing garden, the scent of sun lotion, and lazy days at the lake.

    No Memorial Day plans here except for gardening and tackling a few house projects.

    1. No way…we have a product in common! I didn’t know you wore BB&BW stuff. I don’t feel so bad loving it now :)

  2. Opening the pool and grilling out symbolize the start of summer. Oh, and our beach vacation as it’s almost always the first vacation of each year.

  3. oh kicking off summer means having a bad back from all the weed pulling. LOL
    every beginning of summer it happens–i do too much.

    1. LOL…that, or pool openings. Will kill your back and body one way or the other!

  4. I just spent the day pleasure reading on the beach – bliss! Hope your weekend is off to a good start!!!

  5. Hmm, you know, once I start seeing ripe peaches in the grocery store is when I feel summer coming on. Although, since I live in FL, it’s basically summer from April – October so what do I know! ;) And you’re totally right – I never knew SoCal ever looked gloomy! Learn something new every day, I guess! :)

  6. Into the Wild is my favorite vacation scent!!! It is a little heavy but perfect for a trip to the Caribbean!
    The Soldier Field 10 Miler and Bike the Drive are the start of summer for me! They make for a super fun wekeend and tomorrow we are hosting a fiesta BBQ. So excited!

  7. Avery – have you tried the lemon gingersnap ice cream from TJ’s yet? Yesterday they were giving out samples with caramel sauce on top – soo delicious!

  8. I love cookbooks as pleasure reading! Summer means lots of lounge time by the pool, and ice cream (of course!).

  9. i have a “summer scent” too:) mine’s Ralph Lauren Blue. I love it! I’m sorry its so cold there right now!! My family’s up in northern Wisconsin for Memorial Day, and it was so cold yesterday that my mom wore her snow suit to go out on the boat!! hahaha enjoy your weekend!

    1. Now THAT is a true Wisconsin person or Minnesotan…will do anything to sit out on the lake in a boat or freeze in their cabin for the weekend but you GO, period. To not go to the lake would be sacrilege on a holiday weekend no less :)

  10. I never knew California had icky weather during May and June–hopefully these months fly by for you so that you can enjoy the sunshine again!

    1. People are usually surprised when I mention it. I know I was surprised when I first moved here and experienced it!

  11. Summer: lemonade, tennis, popsicles, sweat, sun, beach, swimming, watermelon, iced tea, smoothies, burgers…

  12. I think summer has kicked off here in IN–90 degrees yesterday and for the next few days. My oven is definitely not getting turned on this weekend! I plan to relax by working on my hobbies and puttering around in the kitchen some. I have a big container of mushrooms waiting for a marinade (loving those lately) and my cashews are soaking for the choc coconut cashew butter!

    1. Oh enjoy the kitchen time, the mushrooms, and the nut butter! Blendddddd forever! :) Keep me posted!

  13. We are having beautiful weather here in Ireland at the moment. So I’m going to try and squash everything you just said into this weekend (cause to thats probably how long this weather will last and it will probably be our “summer”) Hope you have a great weekend anyway!

    Shirley x

  14. I love the picture of the flower! It’s so pretty!!!! :) Also, if you haven’t smelled it, my new fav from BBW is the Sunflower Citrus. I’m obsessed. Hadn’t bought anything for myself from BBW for a few years and then bought that ENTIRE line instantly!!! :)