Yes, it’s really happening. Summer’s just about here and our genius VP of Merchandising Kate Russell has Memorial Day weekend—and summer in general—all figured out. We’re going to be taking our cues from Kate on what to bring, wear, and perhaps most importantly, eat during the weekend that gets it all started.

From her killer eye for all things covetable to her monster work ethic to her flawless personal style and extreme niceness—the Texas kind that’s slightly naughty and therefore completely endearing—there’s ALOT to love about our Kate. So what better way to mark our first summer kick-off than with a virtual pit stop in Kate’s weekend plans?

What Kate’s Bringing:

Cute plus keeps bottles cold, done and done.

Bottle Tote

Kate says, “This is the perfect gift for a weekend hostess. Stick a bottle of wine or a large bottle of sparking water in and don’t worry about ice. Plus, I love a bright and happy stripe!”

What Kate’s Wearing:

Striped Sarong

Made using soft, traditional Mexican fabrics and recycled cotton, sarongs by Las Bayadas are a must for Kate come summer. “Since I’ll be in a bathing suit a lot of the weekend I’ll be wearing a sarong, which can be used in so many ways—as a towel, as a blanket,” Kate says.

It’s a sarong, it’s a blanket, it’s a towel. Yes, yes and yes.

“You can tie it around your waist or wrap it around your body and tie the ends around your neck to wear as a full coverup after getting out of the pool. The blue and white stripe is so classic looking so it will go with just about any bathing suit color.” Sensing a stripe theme here much?

Tassel Earrings

Socially responsible tassel earrings are a win for everyone.

Earrings and tassels are a thing, but this particular pair is by Gaia, a socially responsible brand that employs refugee women. Not every tassel earring has that going for it! (Other equally covetable pairs come with turquoise and grey tassels, so you might want to stock up.)

What Kate’s Playing:

Ladder Golf

If floating in the pool ever gets old, there’s ladder golf! Play with 2 or 4 people and go to town. BTW, it’s harder than it looks.

Not as easy as it looks.

As a game that Kate says she “never seems to get bored with,” it’s a great interactive way to bring people together. 

What Kate’s Making:

Watermelon Feta Salad

Okay, yum. Kate loves this salad by Jessica in the Kitchen because it’s “super-fresh and light. It’s perfect for an afternoon snack that doesn’t make you feel weighed down. ”

A heavenly combo made even more delish by balsamic.

Bonus: it’s super easy to make so it could definitely go on repeat throughout the summer.

Click through the slideshow for more of Kate’s Summer Essentials

  • Sunnylife Pineapple Float

  • Ban.do Pool Party Drink Sleeve

  • Tuckernuck Triple Lantern Earrings

  • Serena And Lily Beach Towel

  • Sundry Sun Pouch

  • Supergoop! Sun Savvy Essentials

  • Jao Patio Oil

  • Mar Y Sol Tote

  • BaubleBar Fringe Drop Earrings

  • Snake Eyes Bricks

  • White Elephant Designs Canteen

  • Kate Spade New York Salad Set

Download the dearduck app now so you can always find perfect presents for all the pool partiers in your life.

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