Good evening, dear Internet peeps! How was your day?
After cooking for special events in April that left us with tons of of leftovers of the same food to eat for awhile and all our travels in May, I’m finally back into a routine of cooking. It feels good despite the bit of extra time and effort it takes, but savoring the flavorful gems of summer fruits and veggies is extra inspiration. Here are some great new recipes I’ve scoped out and made that were hits with me and the boys.
Peach Melba Shortbread Bars from Southern Living
I haven’t made this yet, but it’s on our menu to be served with a large salad with lots of yummy fixin’s. My friend, Amy, made it for her son’s birthday party (minus the tomatoes), and it’s some of the best homemade mac & cheese I’ve ever had.
Y’all will have to peruse this post with some of my favorite summer recipes. I made the Steak & Pasta Salad tonight and have the ingredients for Gaga’s Fruit Compote. I know I’ll make the Colorful Black Bean Salad soon, too.
I would be remiss if I didn’t promote one of Blue Bell’s newest ice cream flavors that is a hit in our household: Happy Tracks, which is a creamy vanilla ice cream loaded with chocolate-coated peanut butter cups and a dark chocolate fudge swirl. Dog-gone-dangerous! I am painfully aware that most of you in this country do not have Blue Bell. I send my condolences.
Not sure why I started off with all the food links since I’m full from dinner and nothing sounds appetizing at the moment. Onward I move then to a new discovery:
Oh, yes, I’ve jumped on that bandwagon. And it’s been so much fun and a great source to collect inspirational ideas ranging anywhere from recipes to arts and crafts to awesome gift ideas. Instead of keeping up with a vast number of bookmarks for your favorite websites, it’s a place where you can “pin” a website to a personally assigned “board”. For example, some of my board titles are:
- For the Love of the Nations (for ideas that promote awareness and appreciation of other cultures)
- Food for the Foodie (duh!)
- Sizzlin’ Summer Pastimes (I can’t collect enough creative ideas to do with Brennan this summer, especially in this heat)
- A Cheerful Giver (gift ideas that either we can make or unique/creative purchased gifts)
This is what a couple of my boards look like at the moment (sorry the pictures aren’t very clear).
From the “Sparking Creativity” board I created, so far Brennan and I have made a rainbow card we sent to Mees. Sadly, she hasn’t received it yet! So this might have to be her proof.
And yesterday, we had a great time painting some rocks that you can see was another idea I borrowed from Pinterest.
One of our first summer activities that I tried for Brennan and our guests Alex and Evan, were homemade popsicles. But they were a catastrophic flop…and a bit embarrassing. So I’m hoping this website I pinned, or saved, on Pinterest will come in handy: 50+ recipes for homemade popsicles (picture top right hand corner).
If you’re on Pinterest, let me know, or if you’re interested in setting up an account, I have a few invites left that I can use.
Last but not least, I am so, so, so excited for my friend, Marla Taviano, who launched her eBook last night called The Husband’s Guide to Getting Lucky. Don’t run away from me too quickly! As a brand new momma, the very first book I read was Marla’s Changing Your World One Diaper at a Time. It came highly recommended by Amanda, and I’m so glad I read it. It was funny, light-hearted, insightful, very personable, and relatable. It was nothing short of encouraging as I was navigating through the unknown plains and valleys of motherhood.
She’s also penned a book that I’ve had on my shelf for two years but want and need to read: Is That All He Thinks About? Her desire for healthy, godly, intimate, and FUN marriages is one of her passions, as is missions and the nations of the world, (particularly Cambodia)…yet another reason I love her! I had the privilege of meeting her in person a year and a half ago in Houston. I was the stalker, and she was the graciously receptive one that has been a source of encouragement ever since.
On a personal level without revealing too much or embarrassing my precious husband, as a newlywed, I had specific visions of what our intimate relationship would look like. And well, it wasn’t too long before discovering that life happens. Babies come. I’m carrying an extra fifteen pounds on my body and don’t feel s-e-x-y in the least! Hands off, dude <grin>!
But on a very real level, it’s an area of our married relationship that is precious, God-given and requires effort and selflessness. And knowing Marla and her heart for marriages, this new book of hers (as well as Is That All He Thinks About?) would be valuable resources to delve into with discernment, sensitivity, prayer, and yes, a bit of a sense of humor. Because while I know Marla approaches this topic with the utmost respect and humility, there will be some fun, light-hearted moments to her writing as well! I mean, just take a look at the cover:
Marla is providing one giveaway copy of The Husband’s Guide to Getting Lucky to one of my readers!
Here’s how to enter:
A) Leave a comment telling me one or more of the following:
- A favorite summer activity, trip, or moment you’ve had so far.
- A prayer request.
- Something you hope to get out of reading Marla’s book.
B) Link to The Husband's Guide to Getting Lucky website from your Facebook, Twitter, or any social media you prefer and leave a comment letting me know you did.
Only one entry per person (just choose option A or B). The winner will be selected at random. Giveaway will end at 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 19th and announced shortly thereafter.
Love to each of you this evening!