All American Summer Vibes Featuring Head Country Bar-B-Q

This post is sponsored by Head Country but all opinions and words are my own!

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside
— Maud Hart Lovelace

We are soon welcoming summer…my goodness, where is the year going my friends??!

When I think about this season, I of course immediately think of the 4th of July. It was my grandparents absolute favorite holiday and we had plenty of BBQs and poolside parties. Everyone was slathered in sunscreen and chlorine and there was a joyous feeling of celebration in the air and all day the star spangled banner flew proudly in every direction. Of course you cannot forget the stunning fireworks lighting up the sky above! It was always such a special experience sharing that day with so many proud, patriotic Americans roaming the streets celebrating. So many beautiful summers and I will always cherish these memories of my childhood. My fave part about living in the desert in El Paso was that every sunset at the very moment that the sun disappeared over the horizon, everyone watching on would cheer and clap as the last millimeter of sun dropped behind the mountains.

Grandpa Kelsey would fire up the grill and I already knew what we would be having in our picnic basket. What is summer without this American Icon anyway?? You know what I am talking about….cook up a delicious patty of beef and sandwich it between two buttery buns…..

What even is summer without a few cookouts and plenty of yummy burgers?! From the simple cheeseburger to over the top creations, most people will agree that burgers are one of their favorite summer foods! They certainly are mine! And really, for good reason …. from the way the burger is made, to stuff or not to stuff, to how it’s topped – the flavor possibilities are endless! If you are looking for a new burger to try, I’ve got you covered. Going to share more on that including the recipe at the end of this post for those who want it! I am always recreating the nostalgic holidays of my childhood around here even though I cannot be in the sun too much. (I have developed an allergy to it actually over the years so I mostly spend my time indoors as much as possible) Head Country Bar-B-Q is always a main star in our household. Their seasonings, sauces and marinade are just so delicious and shopping local from Oklahoma companies where we live right now is so important to us. I will always use Head Country in my BBQ recipes. For them it all started with a sauce. Simple concept. Not too tangy. Not too sweet. Nothing fancy about it, really. Just a bold, rich, perfectly balanced blend of sweet and savory (with a hint of heat) born in the heartland from the finest Bar-B-Q traditions. Folks say it tastes like home. And I would have to completely agree! It’s why they are in so many of my recipes which you can find here.

Let’s feel all those summer vibes, shall we?! In partnership with Head Country I am sharing everything you need to feel the season of sunshine! From an amazing playlist, podcast list, movie list, and the 3 must have style essentials you need too. And I promise to also share my recipe for those Head Country Hawaiian BBQ Cheeseburgers at the very end! Yes, I did say a Hawaiian cheeseburger! Oh em geee, it’s so so good ya,’ll. Spicy and sweet and tangy!

When I think of American Icons like the cheeseburger, I cannot help but also think of American Pop Culture. Am I right?!

First Things First—THE MUSIC

You’re going to need a kick-butt playlist to blast by the pool so what better way to get hyped up than with some new tunes ? I’ve curated some of the best new songs to add to your list as well as some class favorites of mine…but choosing the official Song of the Summer is all up to you.

Podcasts I AM listening tO

Always on the hunt for new podcasts to plug into my ears to listen to while I am working out, laying by the pool, picnicking with my love, or summer day trippin’! Anytime I can get a daily dose of inspiration is winning to me!



Pardon My French is a podcast hosted by Garance Doré, founder of the eponymous website, author of the New York Times best-selling book Love Style Life, and CFDA award winning writer, illustrator and photographer. Grounded in her love for fashion, creativity and self-expression, here she shares stories and her point-of-view on everyday subjects with her guests, in a relaxed and open conversation. In everything she does, Garance brings a French eye (and accent), with an unabashed sense of humor and authenticity that has made her known around the world. Garance’s readers are her friends, and now her listeners will be too. New episodes released every Monday.


Dare I Say

Hosted by Olivia Wilde with Harper's Bazaar, Dare I Say is a new podcast that places the most influential women, from Jane Fonda to Rosario Dawson, in the center of society's most pressing issues. After all, it's girls who run the world.


Call Your Girlfriend

Five years later, and Call Your Girlfriend continues to be that fierce, intelligent and unapologetic female circle of support that we as women need in our lives. Hosted by long-distance besties, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, the podcast is discussing everything from Instagram anxiety to abortion rights in their latest season.


Kick back with these 10 timeless films that remind me of how special the summertime really is. These movies make me want to head to the beach, explore new destinations or just throw up my hands and ride the rollercoaster that is… summer vacation! Discover those ten movies now.

3 Summer Style Essentials

  1. Sneakers are meant to be uncomplicated. Like, wake up late and throw on any pair you have in your closet with any combination of clothes you can conceive and know that it will look good and, more importantly, intentional. That’s the uncomplicated beauty of these Vagabond shoe makers cupsole sneakers. 💕💕Crafted from off-white mesh textile with a slightly chunkier white outsole for a timeless, yet contemporary look. So looking forward to them carrying me on my travels this summer 🌊 🌞 🇪🇸 🇫🇷 

  2. Every one of Sensi Studio's hats can take up to three days to finish - this 'Brisa' style is intricately handwoven by artisans from natural toquilla straw. It's inspired by traditional boater styles and has a small, frayed brim that will keep you shaded from the sun. Loving all the long grosgrain ribbons under the chin I am seeing too all though I am loving the ones without the ribbon too. The idea here is just pick something with frayed edges!!

  3. Block out the sun with these oversized square framed sunglasses with tinted lenses and cutout details on the sides. The bigger the better!

Feeling summer yet my dears?!!

Now as is that recipe for my Head Country Bar-B-Q Hawaiian Cheeseburgers! I mean of course you can keep it simple with this American classic but I love using local seasonal produce this time of year. There are lots of reasons to eat seasonally and locally, of course it is better for the environment and is often more sustainable, but really it just tastes better! I want to encourage and inspire more people to eat seasonal local produce for the flavor rewards. It always frustrates and confuses me when I see anyone eating food that is out of season because I think just “why would you?” “it must just taste …… well underwhelming to be frank” wait for that gorgeous corn on the cob to come into season and celebrate the full flavor reward. And pineapple just screams summer!


¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon Head Country Champion Seasoning – SWEET AND SPICY (love this rich blend of herbs and spices)

2½-inch slices pineapple

1 poblano pepper, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds

1 avocado—halved, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices

2 grass fed beff patties

2 tablespoons Head Country Original Sauce

2 slices pepper Jack cheese

1 tablespoon butter, melted

2 brioche buns, sliced


1. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, and Head Country Seasoning to create a spicy marinade. Use a brush to coat all sides of the pineapple, poblano and avocado slices. Brush this spicy marinade on the corn on the cob I recommend serving with this dish too.

2. Heat the grill or a sauté pan over medium heat and place the pineapple, poblano and avocado slices over the heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until you get some nice browning or grill marks. Reserve to the side.

3. Next, cook the burgers over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reads 165°. In the last minute of cooking, place a slice of pepper Jack cheese on each of the burgers. Spread the melted butter on the cut side of each of the buns and grill for up to a minute until golden brown.

4. Assemble the burgers by placing a patty on each of the bottom buns, spooning some Head Country Bar-B-Q sauce on the cheese and then layering the pineapple, avocado and poblano slices before finishing with the top buns.

Enjoy immediately. We made some Friday night and had a little picnic on The Sophian grounds while planning a summer vacation! The fresh fruit was a nice addition too.

Happy Summer to you! I cannot wait to hear about all the things that you have planned this summer. Have any podcast, movie, or music recs for me? Even some fantastic BBQ burger recipes you care to share? Let me know in the comments! I always love hearing from ya’ll!

Find Head Country sauces and seasonings at your local super market. You won’t be disappointed. They are a huge part of all of my summer memories!