Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day

Happy Sunday and a very Happy Father's Day! I LOVE YOU DAD and I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU!

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Friday Favorites from the Cookie Rookie, Closet Cooking, Drizzle & Dip and More

Good morning! A very happy, sunny Friday to you. I hope that your week was fabulous, that you were able to get out and take advantage of some beautiful summer weather. I don't know about you but no matter my age I always feel like once summer comes I am "on vacation", not literally but mentally, just as it was when I was a child. I find myself slowing down, reading more, taking every opportunity to walk in the sand, frolic at the beach, and enjoy sitting out on the porch at night looking for fireflies. 


Image and Recipe from The Cookie Rookie

Doesn't this Baked Cesar Chicken look delicious? I cannot wait to try this. 

Image and recipe from Closet Cooking

I am making this Cocoa Crusted Steak with Shishito Peppers for my husband this weekend because it is two of his favorite things, steak and shishito peppers! Wish me luck because I have never grilled before. 

Drizzle & Dip

Bread is my weakness( that and donuts) and this Cheddar, Apple and Walnut Loaf is something that I would make and eat hot out of the oven slathered with butter. I also think this would make great gifts for family and friends. 



Everest Is OVER. This is sad to read.

Last week was the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. These photos made me cry and wonder how anyone survived.


Can one unlikely bookshop heal two broken souls?

It is 1968 in rural Australia and lonely Tom Hope can't make heads or tails of Hannah Babel. Newly arrived from Hungary, Hannah is unlike anyone he's ever met--she's passionate, brilliant, and fiercely determined to open sleepy Hometown's first bookshop. 

Despite the fact that Tom has only read only one book in his life, when Hannah hires him to install shelving for the shop, the two discover an astonishing spark. Recently abandoned by an unfaithful wife--and still missing her sweet son, Peter--Tom dares to believe that he might make Hannah happy. But Hannah is a haunted woman. Twenty-four years earlier, she had been marched to the gates of Auschwitz.

Tess and Orla have been best friends throughout most of their adult lives. So when life gave them lemons and their loved ones let them down, they pooled their resources and bought a dressmakers shop on the corner of Penny Lane. And they’ve been doing just fine ever since.

But one day, while studying her tired eyes and shapeless figure in the mirror, sixty-two-year-old Tess realised that she doesn’t want her life to be just fine anymore. She wants it to be extraordinary. For as long as she can remember she’s put everyone else first. Now she wants to rediscover herself – and experience the kind of whirlwind adventure that will have the power make her smile when she’s confined to the armchair of a retirement home.

With the encouragement of fun-loving and quirky Orla, Tess joins an over-the-hill dating agency and the two friends book a singles cruise around the Mediterranean. And that’s when their adventure of a lifetime really begins…

A totally uplifting, heart-warming, hilarious page turner about embracing the moment, learning to love again and the joy of second chances. Perfect for fans of The Kicking the Bucket List and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

India, 1926: Margaret is in love, with her new husband and her new home, a sprawling villa amidst beautiful rolling hills, the air filled with the soft scent of spices and hibiscus flowers. Yet she’s unwelcome with the locals and grows close to Archana, her maid, who reminds Margaret of the beloved sister she lost in the great war.

Overjoyed with her pregnancy, Margaret could stay forever, sipping tea, chatting with Archana, painting in the sun beside the stream full of water lilies. But when Archana finds herself in danger and Margaret makes the choice to save her, she doesn’t realise the devastating consequences that will tear her and Archana apart, destroy her marriage, and haunt her for the rest of her life...

England, 2000: Emma’s relationship is falling apart, and her beloved grandmother, Margaret, is dying. Margaret has one last request: find Archana. It’s the first time Emma has even heard the name, but desperate for an escape and to bring Margaret closure, she travels deep into the heart of the Indian hills, to a crumbling house overgrown with vines, searching for answers.

The more Emma learns, the more she sees of herself in her grandmother, and the stronger her need to uncover Margaret’s secret. But if she finds Archana and the truth is finally revealed – the story of a day spent painting by a stream, and a betrayal that tore three lives to pieces – can it help each woman find peace or are some rifts too deep to heal…?


Dan Hollis lives a happy, solitary life carving exquisite Celtic harps in his barn in the countryside of the English moors. Here he can be himself, away from social situations that he doesn’t always get right or completely understand.

On the anniversary of her beloved father’s death, Ellie Jacobs takes a walk in the woods and comes across Dan’s barn. She is enchanted by his collection. Dan gives her a harp made of cherrywood to match her cherry socks. He stores it for her, ready for whenever she’d like to take lessons.

Ellie begins visiting Dan almost daily and quickly learns that he isn’t like other people. He makes her sandwiches precisely cut into triangles and repeatedly counts the (seventeen) steps of the wooden staircase to the upstairs practice room. Ellie soon realizes Dan isn’t just different; in many ways, his world is better, and he gives her a fresh perspective on her own life.


I love this dress! It looks comfortable and stylish. The good news is that is is on sale at the Loft for $44.00.

Flower Espadrilles

Cute pair of espadrilles, 40% off. 

Although I do not typically wear patterned pants I like these pants

Pretty summer Scarf

That is it for this week, I hope that your found something that you enjoyed. Please share your finds, books, recipes and more with us. 

Have a happy and safe weekend. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

10 Great Father's Day Gift Ideas

Good morning! Father's Day is Sunday, June 16 and if you are still looking for a gift for your dad I have put together a list of 10 things that I think would make a great gift. I have personally purchased each of these items and the recipients and I love them. 

You can never go wrong with a piece of Filson luggage.  My husband has this bag and has carried it for over 10 years, it has traveled to Africa, Europe and all over the USA and frankly it gets better with age. 

My husband has this knife and he takes it on most every trip that he takes(obviously not in a carry-on bag). It comes in handy for everything from opening boxes, and bottles to eating. 

3. Yetti Cooler

This is a great cooler, and in fact is one that I keep in my car in case I need it on a hot day to transport groceries. We have used this on road trips, camping and at parties and love it, we also have this one  if you are looking for a hard sided cooler. 

4.  A collection of great grilling books, including Franklins' BBQProject Smoke and Playing with Fire from Michael Symon.

5.  Glasses and bar ware, perfect for cocktails of mock tails.

I received this for Christmas and to be honest I was a skeptical that I would use it, in fact I use it at least once a day. I LOVE this small appliance. I "fry" my vegetables for lunch, I make chicken and burgers in it and occasionally even French fries. It is perfect for summer because it will take the place of your oven. 

7.  A great coffee machine that will let your dad or husband make his favorite coffee shop drinks at home. 

8.  A National Parks Pass, will allow you and your dad entrance into 2000 parks across the USA. Add this book and you can explore each park before your plan your next adventure. 

9.  A picture frame with your favorite photo of you and your dad. 

10. A day spent together with your dad is the perfect gift; make him his favorite meal or dessert, and write him a note letting him know how much you love him.  My dad loves sweet treats and along with his card I am sending him a few dozen of his favorite brownies. 

What will you be doing for Father's Day? Will you be blessed to spend it with your dad? I will not be with my dad this year but I know he will have a wonderful day with my sisters. What will you be giving or doing with your dad to celebrate his special day?

Have a wonderful day!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Friday Favorites from Oh Basil, Foodie Crush, Tin and Thyme, Savory Simple and More

Good morning! Posting on the blog this week has been a little sporadic because I have a full house and I am trying to be present and enjoy my time with my guests. I did manage to gather a few of my favorite things though, I hope that you enjoy them.


Image Here

These Rosemary Salt & Pepper Cashews from Savory Simple look like a great snack to have on hand for guests or for yourself. 

Image Oh Basil

My mom would love this Strawberry Shortcake from Oh Basil.

Interesting Articles

Image Here
Art takes many forms and Kunit92 on Instagram makes latte portraints of his birds.  You can read more about this work on Colassal.

Books I am Reading This Week

Cobb, a devoted teacher and nature-lover, takes a sabbatical from his New England boys prep school seeking to experience what Henry David Thoreau and the transcendentalists did in the early nineteenth century. Kayaking to the last known spot where the American writer and philosopher camped four years before he died, he encounters the beautiful free-spirited Mary. Also a teacher, avid bird-watcher, and deft adventurist, Mary is flirtatious and beguiling, and the two soon become inseparable. Mary is like no one Cobb has ever met before, but he gets the feeling that she is harboring a secret. Eventually she shares her fears with Cobb—that she may be carrying the gene for a devastating, incurable illness that runs in her family. Finding strength in their commitment to one another, the two embark on a journey that is filled with joy, anguish, hope, and most importantly, unending love.

Fom one of the sharpest observers of the modern scene, comes this witty, intelligent, and irresistible novel in the tradition of Gosford Park and Snobs.
A man of wealth and privilege, Anthony Anscombe has everything he could ever want: an exquisite family estate, enviable social standing, and a desirable inheritance. But with all of his money and privilege, Anthony still has an aching desire for one thing: the perfect match. Running headlong into marriage is Anthony's forte…and his greatest weakness.
As Anthony surveys Winchford Priory, his beautiful Elizabethan house in the English countryside, Anthony has the distinct feeling that he's under siege. And he's absolutely right. He may be surrounded by his sprawling estate, but lurking in the village are more than one or two reminders of his complicated past, including three ex-wives, a mistress, and a legion of children and stepchildren, all dependent on him and all determined to do whatever it takes to get what they want.

Meet the wives
Amanda: the ravishing first wife. Unpredictable and mesmerizing, she dared Anthony to fall in love with her, and he took her up on the challenge. Anthony was head over heels from the first night they danced on the rooftop of his family home. Of course, the free-spirited Amanda was never cut out for country life, but young love is blind.
Sandra: the steadfast second wife. Sturdy, dependable and domesticated, Sandra pulled Anthony back from the compelling chaos that surrounded his first wife. Sandra had plans to turn Anthony's estate into a proper family home, until a stunning secret forced her to make a life-altering decision.
Dita: the snobbish third wife. A true force of nature, Dita was smart, tough, rapaciously social and high-maintenance. She enthusiastically stormed through Anthony's life, organizing and rearranging, and rubbing plenty of people the wrong way, particularly the previous Mrs. Anscombes and their children.
With the entire cast of his life roosting in the village, it's no wonder Anthony doesn't have a minute's peace! Adding to the crazy mix is the mistress, Nora, a new age hippy and acupuncturist, whom Anthony seduced with disastrous consequences.
A Much Married Man is a wickedly funny social satire with memorable characters that will stay with readers long after the final page. Like a modern day Edith Wharton or Anthony Trollope, Nicholas Coleridge delivers a sensational glimpse inside the salacious world of the upper classes.

One moment, the World War II hospital ship Benevolence is patrolling the South Pacific on a mission of mercy—to save wounded American soldiers. The next, Benevolence is split in two by a torpedo, killing almost everyone on board. A small band of survivors, including an injured Japanese soldier and a young American nurse whom he saves from drowning, makes it to the deserted shore of a nearby island.

Akira has suffered five years of bloodshed and horror fighting for the Japanese empire. Now, surrounded by enemies he is supposed to hate, he instead finds solace in their company—and rediscovers his love of poetry. While sharing the mystery and beauty of this passion with Annie, the captivating but tormented woman he rescued, Akira grapples with the pain of his past while helping Annie uncover the promise of her future. Meanwhile, the remaining castaways endure a world not of their making—a world as barbaric as it is beautiful, as hateful as it is loving.

With the blend of epic storytelling and emotional intensity that distinguishes him as a unique talent, John Shors reveals a powerful story of redemption focusing on unlikely lovers, heroes and villains, and war-torn countries—all, in their own ways, fighting to survive.

In an expensive London restaurant, Julia Lovat receives a gift that changes her life. At first glance it is a book of exquisite seventeenth-century embroidery patterns belonging to a woman named Catherine Ann Tregenna. Yet in its margins are the faintest diary entries; they reveal that “Cat” and others were stolen from their Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves. Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Cat’s mesmerizing story. There, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, amid the sultry heat, the spice markets, and exotic ruins, Julia will discover secrets long buried. And in Morocco—just as Cat did before her—she will lose her heart.

Though they live almost 400 years apart, the stories of these two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that begs the question, is history fated to repeat itself?

The Medina -- the Old City -- of Fez is the best-preserved, medieval walled city in the world. Inside this vibrant Moroccan community, internet cafes and mobile phones coexist with a maze of donkey-trod alleyways, thousand-year-old sewer systems, and Arab-style houses, gorgeous with intricate, if often shabby, mosaic work. 

While vacationing in Morocco, Suzanna Clarke and her husband, Sandy, are inspired to buy a dilapidated, centuries-old riad in Fez with the aim of restoring it to its original splendor, using only traditional craftsmen and handmade materials. So begins a remarkable adventure that is bewildering, at times hilarious, and ultimately immensely rewarding. 

A House in Fez chronicles their meticulous restoration, but it is also a journey into Moroccan customs and lore and a window into the lives of its people as friendships blossom. When the riad is finally returned to its former glory, Suzanna finds she has not just restored an old house, but also her soul.


I love this dress from J. Crew! So colorful and fun for summer. 

And last but not least this striped dress too

I ordered these earrings for a friend, they are a great statement piece. 

That is it for this week. I hope that you share your recipes, books, articles, podcasts or whatever else you enjoyed this week. 

Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

75th Anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy Landings

Good morning. Today is the 75th Anniversary of D-day, the day 156,000 men, from the UK, the US and Canada, along with the French attacked the Germans. 

This was the largest military operation ever attempted and in the simultaneous landings at 5 beaches in Normandy, the Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword marked the start to liberate Nazi occupied Europe. 

On D-day 4,000 men lost their lives and 9,000 were wounded or missing. 75 years later there are not too many survivors left to tell their stories. Today I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge all those who lost their lives on D-day as well as all of those who fought in WWII, including my own relatives, one of whom liberated Dachau. 

I have been to Normandy and it is a sight to behold. Row upon row of white crosses, it is moving, sobering and overwhelming. 

We owe a huge debt to these brave souls so today I hope that you take a minute to honor their sacrifices. 

Have a good day. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Smoked Chicken Salad with Apples and Cranberries

Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend and that your week is going well so far. I had a great weekend, we went on a road trip, spent time at the beach, I read a couple of the books (which I told you about on Friday) and we relaxed.  

My husband made a batch of smoked chicken salad with apples and cranberries yesterday and it was delicious. 

Typically people add grapes and pecans to their chicken salad, this recipe is a littler different. It came to us by way of a friend who has a bbq restaurant in Austin, Texas. He serves this chicken salad at his restaurant and I love it. That said, the recipe is not exact because he makes in it much larger quantities and it is a little hard to break it down into a family size recipe. I have listed the ingredients and the quantities that we use at home, but you can tweak around with it to suit your taste, add more mayonnaise if you like or cranberries and apples which is what I do. 

Smoked Chicken Salad with Apples and Cranberries


1/2 cup Dukes Mayonnaise, add more to taste
1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon pepper or to taste
2 cups smoked chicken breast chopped or shredded
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped green apple
1/8 up chopped onion
The juice from a small lime 


In a bowl mix together the mayonnaise, the salt and pepper. Then add the chicken, cranberry, apples, onion and the squeeze of limes juice. Mix well. 

Serve on fresh bread, cracker or on greens. I like to eat it with cranberry, nut bread or on a salad. 

Have a great day!

This post may contain affiliate links.