30th Birthday Balloons for 30th Birthday Party

Hola amigos! I just got back from co-hosting a fiesta-themed 30th bash for my younger sister. Not only was the party a smash hit on the food/drink/decor front (thank you tacos, tequila, and Pinterest), but it was a beautiful example of the importance of pausing to show the people in your life how much they mean to you.

As someone who is easily caught up in her own schedule and routine, seeing the joy on my sister’s face and sharing this special weekend with family reminded me that nothing is more worthwhile than giving your time to the people you love.

Ben recently had fairly serious shoulder surgery, and we’re in the middle of repainting our house, both of which have taken much of our free time over the last few weeks.

As counter-intuitive as it may sound to schedule time for fun, now that Milwaukee has transitioned into full-on summer mode, I’m striving to take advantage of this beautiful, special time of year however we can. My goals include attending as many free outdoor concerts as possible (with a picnic and bottle of vino, of course), eating my body weight in fresh cherries and peaches, and spending every available evening on our back porch.

To start our summer fun (or should I say continue our summer fun since it’s nearly July, WHAT?), here’s a list of a few of my latest faves. Tell me yours too!

Most Popular Recipe on My Site Right Now. Shrimp Tacos.

Upcoming Blog Recipe I’m Most Excited to Share. S’MORES TREATS, ya’ll. Coming tomorrow!

Best New Recipe I’ve Tried Lately. Michelle’s Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. We baked it for my sister’s birthday, and it is perfect in every way.

Reading. Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I adored his A Man Called Ove, and thus far Beartown is living up to it.

Drinking. This legit Cold Remedy Tea. Because I have a horrific cold. In June.

Hoping to Drink. Jess’ entire list of Summer 2018’s Best Rosés.

Listening toThe podcast Every Little Thing, which explores questions ranging from silly to serious, all tackled with respectable journalistic fervor.

Recipe You Need to Make this Fourth of July. The best Flag Cake. It’s so moist and fluffy. It (and by association, YOU) will be the hit of the party!

Favorite Easy Summer Dresses That You Can Dress Up or Down.

  • I own this maxi in two prints. SO COMFY. Also, if like me you freeze in summer indoor AC, the skirt does double duty as a stylish blanket.
  • This dress’ pretty back detail steals my heart. So many fun colors to choose from!
  • I want to wear this flirty dress on my next date. My sis actually wore it for her 30th bday bash, and it was so fun and flattering.
  • I’m glad pantsuits are still in style because I bought this little number last year and L-O-V-E it. I receive compliments every time I wear it, and it’s so comfortable I feel like I’m getting away with wearing PJs in public.

Life Upgrade. Finally replaced my old running socks with this colorful, affordable set. When is the last time you replaced yours? It had been AGES for me, and I was shocked by how much more comfortable my feet are during and after my workouts, thanks to this small change.

The Georgia Grandma Who Strangled a Bobcat right after attaching a bumper sticker to her car that read “well behaved women rarely make history.” Appropriate, no?

My Mini Fridge Taught Me How To Cook. A short, enjoyable read.

Hair Dryer Roast Chicken. I’m not going to say I’ve tried it. I’m also not going to say I wouldn’t try it.

Anything you are loving lately? LEMME KNOW in the comments below! I absolutely love hearing from you.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I’ve been making these cookies on repeat lately! Plan on making them again this weekend to take to the lake.


  2. Great picture – you can see the love. I have one sister but she’s kind of removed herself from the family. I also have two brothers that are just wonderful. One lives near us and the other lives in Iron Ridge, WI.
    Hope you all had a great time celebrating your sisters’ birthday…sure looks like it.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful birthday for your Sis with your other Sis! i love all the summer suggestions! The cheese board in the Rose article is gorgeous – and I hope to be able to replicate it! The dresses and pantsuit are fabulous! Thanks, also, for the reading recommendations. Love your pretty flag cake, too! Sorry to hear about Ben’s shoulder surgery. Hope he is recovering nicely and really hope it isn’t just the two of you painting the house! Hope you’ll have a lovely 4th! Thanks for the fun (and informative) post!

  4. Are you the sister in the middle OR the right? I keep looking at the picture and I can’t tell. How can someone looks alike and not be a twin?!?! :-)