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. Summer kick off for me happens when school is out … then I feel like summer is started because I am on holidays for 2 months.

  2. Happy Memorial Day! It’s not a long weekend here, but we have the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next weekend so I’m not *too* jealous – though our weather is amazing right now so I wouldn’t mind an extra day in the sun! Have a lovely weekend!

  3. Summer is laid back time for our family with early dinners, simple foods and lots of outdoor fun. I absolutely love to be out in the hot sun as often as it is out and taking the boys down to the beach on those 100 degree days where they can skim board and I can lay out and drink iced coffee. Those are awesome moments in the summer which provide lasting memories!

    I bought ingredients for your artichoke dip to bring to my sister’s house tomorrow. Will let you know how it is received! Have a great weekend, Averie! xo

    1. keep me posted how it goes! And I know you know this but don’t be afraid to doctor it up with garlic, onions, or any spices you like but that I didn’t happen to use :)