Cool Summer Desserts

The official start of summer is this Saturday! With potlucks and picnic season right around the corner, I thought it might be the perfect time to round up some of my favorite cool summer desserts. These were all big crowd pleasers last year, and they’re all really easy to make.

Cool Summer Desserts | Frock Files

Pineapple Orange Cloud Cake | This recipe uses box cake mix as an ingredient to create a wonderfully moist base for the “cloud” of fluffy frosting and coconut. Mandarin oranges are baked into the cake, and pineapple is mixed into the frosting, both of which contribute a bright pop of freshness.

Cool Summer Desserts | Frock Files

10 Minute Ice Cream Cake | We all scream for…easy ice cream cakes! This is a fun one to whip up with kids. Layer ice cream sandwiches with a simple frosting and freeze for a couple of hours. Easily customizable in size for big or small parties. You could even make individual sized cakes!

Cool Summer Desserts | Frock Files

Vanilla on Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches | My husband, who is a vanilla ice cream fanatic, loves these. Soft, salted vanilla cookies are dipped in white chocolate and then used as a delivery system for ice cream. Heaven!

Cool Summer Desserts | Frock Files

Cookies & Cream Affogato | About as simple as dessert can get, but always very impressive for guests–and interactive, too! Let guests pull their own shots of espresso while you line a bowl with Oreo cookies and top it with a generous scoop of gelato. Pour and serve!

What are your favorite summertime desserts?

Frock Files | More Simple Recipes

Cool Summer Dessert Roundup

I always think that I’ll eat healthier in the summertime, when salads sound refreshing and fresh fruit is in abundance. And while we’ve been eating our fair share of produce, we’re also guilty of having incredible sugar cravings. We live about five minutes from a famous farm that produces some incredible ice cream — I blame it on them.

Since we’re currently in the middle of our third heatwave of the summer (yep, that’s three heatwaves in about as many weeks), I think it’s the perfect time to indulge in all the cool, sweet recipes I’ve been saving up from some of my favorite bloggers. Here are five chilly recipes that you just have to try:

Blueberry Lemon Thyme Ice Cream from Hip Foodie Mom

Blueberry Lemon & Thyme Ice Cream from Hip Foodie Mom. (You don’t need an ice cream maker, just a mixer!)

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches from Squirrelly Minds

Macaron Ice Cream Sammies from Squirrelly Minds

Lulu the Baker: Strawberry Pretzel Jello

Strawberry Jell-o, whipped cream, and a pretzel base from Lulu the Baker. Sweet + salty + cool = heaven.

Sundae Cones from Freutcake

Ice Cream Sundae Cones from Freutcake. (If you, like me, love Drumsticks.)

Mix and Match Popsicles from Oh Happy day

Mix + Match Popsicles from Oh Happy Day!

And in case you missed them, here are a few cool dessert ideas from me:

Boston Cream Ice Box CupcakesHow to Make Mochi Ice CreamVanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

Boston Cream Ice Box Cupcakes // Mochi Ice Cream // Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

How about you? Do you have a sweet tooth in the summertime?

Summer: Unplugged

Frock Files | Unplug Your Summer

I’m relieved and excited that summer is finally here, but what I’m surprised to find is that with it’s arrival comes a whole shift in perspective — that it’s time to step away from the computer and start enjoying the few months we have for dining al fresco, wearing sandals, driving with the windows down, and eating ice cream without needing a jacket to do so.

Everywhere I look, it seems like people are taking the opportunity to unplug in an effort to enjoy their lives more; to restore a sense of authenticity and presence to their days. So when I saw the most recent issue of Fast Company with Baratunde Thurston’s smiling face beneath the words “My life was crazy. So I disconnected for 25 days. You should too.” I thought: of course.

If you haven’t read the feature yet, you should. In it, Thurston, an author, consultant, CEO, and self-proclaimed “cross-platform opiner on the digital life” talks about how he had become generally unpleasant to be around, which resulted in the 25 days away from technology.  As his mind settled down, he found the mental space and quiet he needed. He unplugged from the chatter and found a whole new way of recharging.


You may be thinking this is the part of the post where I bid you adieu for the rest of the summer — but it’s not. I’ll still be here five days a week. (I have too many things to share with you not to.)What I really want to advocate is more enjoyment of these warm days. Asking, “What do I get to do today?” is just the beginning. The rest comes from actually putting things on your agenda that you’re excited about!

I realize that this is a somewhat strange thing to advocate as someone who creates a space online in hopes that you’ll visit regularly. I do hope you’ll come hang out here, say, between your Pilates class and the doughnut date you later make as a reward for said Pilates class (or is that just me?). Or the other real-life things you love.

Here are a few unplugged ideas from Baratunde Thompson’s article, which I think would be great to try out this summer:

baratundeAsk for advice from a human: “As I chatted with my massage therapist, I discovered she had lived for several decades in the Prospect Heights neighborhood where I was staying. Since I couldn’t query my online network for local dining and culture options, my massage therapist became my recommendation engine.” — Baratunde Thompson

dolfTruly leave the office: “We have a ‘no email’ rule every weekday after 7:30pm and at all times over the weekend. Employees can spend more quality time in their personal lives without worrying about the office.” — Dolf van den Brink, President and CEO of Heineken USA

domPower through: “Go until your laptop or phone runs out of juice, and then stop for the day. And leave your charger at home.” — Dom Sagolla, CCM of Chaotic Moon (Co-creator of Twitter)

tiffanyCreate a technology Shabbat: “Unplug one day a week, Friday night to Saturday night. It’s our tech Shabbat. This amazing thing happens: time slows down. Every Saturday morning we get to do, like, six things…It’s changed my life. My films are better, I’m more productive, I’m happier. I’m more balanced.” — Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker and Founder of the Webby Awards.

How are you unplugging this summer?


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Summer Wardrobe Overhaul

Frock Files | Summer Dresses to Keep Cool

Clockwise: J.Crew / Piperlime / Bloomingdales / ASOS / Forever21

Usually when we pull our seasonal clothes out of storage I get really excited about all the things I’d forgotten about but still love. This time, that wasn’t the case. I’ve been wearing those same dresses for a few years now and my style has shifted since buying them. So even though I feel a little guilty about buying more than one article of clothing at a time, I’ve decided it’s time to invest in a new summer wardrobe.

The criteria: dresses that I can wear every day and for special occasions. It just so happened that most of the dresses I’ve chosen so far are in the blue/green family. Could I be dreaming of my island home? I may be a teensy bit homesick.

Are you breaking out the frocks and flip flops yet? Adding new pieces to your wardrobe?

Eating Al Fresco

Frock Files | Outdoor Party

We had a couple of warm days this week — I even went without a coat on Wednesday! So, of course, now I’m dreaming of summertime. (Yep, I forgot about that whole season in between.) I’ve always dreamed of spending the summer in a cottage on a lake; one with a lawn that slopes gently down toward the water, perfect for Adirondack chairs and a hammock or two. I’d love to have lots of friends over for simple dinners that stretch into the late, still lit evenings. And I want s’mores. Lots and lots of s’mores.

This weekend we’ll begin making some summer plans, which will involve dreaming up the ways we want to fill the warm months. What are your plans?

If you have kids, you should definitely check out MJ’s post on the way she and her kids are preparing for summer vacation.

Outdoor Light Fixture: Amazon / Outdoor Curtains: Pottery Barn / Contemporary Picnic Table: Crate & Barrel / Break Resistent Goblet: Target / Floral Plate: Anthropologie / Hammock: Home Depot / Whale Pillow: Thomas Paul / Patterned Pillow: Meijer

Are you participating in Project Postal? Don’t forget to visit inspirationCOOPERATIVE to see who’s involved, with links to their blogs! Thanks to Theresa for putting together this comprehensive list.

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