Hello there strangers! Sorry for being completely MIA the past two weeks. I’ve discovered (the hard way) that I’m not very good at blogging when traveling.

While I work on this, I’ll be featuring a series this week of blogger summer favorites in celebration of the Summer Solstice (aka the beginning of Summer) beginning on Tuesday, June 21st! I thought I’d introduce to you what questions I’ve asked my fellow blogger friends by answering the survey myself and then handing the reigns over to them the remainder of the week.

Hope you enjoy it!

Fave Summer Shoes: Cognac leather flats by Steve Madden ($42) – I needed a cute pair of flats to walk around in for all the trips we’re taking this summer (Chicago, NY, LA & SF). Plus, I’ve always wanted a cute pair of flats like these and this season was the perfect excuse to purchase them. On a final note, these will also transition nicely into the Fall. (image via 6pm)

Fave Summer Drink: Anything related to a smoothie has my name written all over it! But my favorite summer sip is a virgin strawberry pina colada. It’s like a dance party in my mouth that shows no signs of stopping. (image via Pinterest)

Fave Party Idea: When I posed this question to fellow bloggers, I asked them to share what party they’d like to throw or attend. There’s a long list of parties and weddings (destination anyone?) I’d love to be invited to or host, but at the moment a tastefully done Fiesta is sparking my interests. Three reasons: 1) Mexican food is generally affordable to cook for big crowds 2) It’s an easy excuse to incorporate a lot of bold color 3) It often times can be so overdone and chaotic that I’d love to host it with a modern and simplistic twist. View here, here and here for additional inspirations. (image via Katy Elliot)

Favorite Summer Pastime: Jon and I really enjoy spending our summers traveling. While we’re both teachers and don’t have kids, we figure it’s worth saving our money and time to explore however we can. We always do things budget friendly (more on AirBnB in a future post), enjoy getting to know a city, and eat a lot (and some more after that). It’s never anything extravagant as much as it is just a good time together enjoying a change of scenery and…. oh yeah, eating a lot (a Chicago update is in the works!).

Must have Summer nail polish: I first have to admit to you that up to last month, I had not painted my nails for a good number of years. Thanks to the blogging world, I couldn’t help feel like maybe I was missing out on the fun of having a lil’nail color and decided to join the party (or jump on the bandwagon as some prefer to call it). I’m loving the colors Scotch Naturals has and couldn’t decide on just one, so I chose four.

Must-have summer piece: The 2011 summer for me is all about the hat. My parents are uber concerned about skin care and with my ever tanning skin, they assume I never wear enough sun screen so my dad literally gave me money for our Chicago trip and said “Please Vivien, go buy a hat!” As the obedient daughter that I am, I obliged. I purchased the fedora on the right from Urban Outfitters, but I think I’ll buy some fabric to change up what’s wrapped around it. Here are some other summer pieces on my wish list: 1, 2, 3, 4

Must-have Summer read: I’m admittedly not a big reader, but these two books are at the top of my priority list. Blue Like Jazz is an oldier(like 8 years or so) but goodie that I sadly have to admit I never finished. Now that a movie is in the works, I’d love to pick this back up and see how it is adapted into a film. What Difference Do It Make To Me is the follow up book to Same Kind of Different As Me and if you haven’t read it yet, I would highly suggest it. Just have a tissue box nearby!

Dream Summer Destination: Europe! It’s not out of the ordinary, but Jon has never been before and I would love to have the opportunity take him next summer (fingers crossed). I think I’d pee my pants if we were wandering the streets of Paris and saw hot air balloons dancing above. (photo print by IS Photography)

Stay tuned for bloggers around the blogosphere and map sharing their answers beginning tomorrow!