Our Summer Bucket List {Featuring Scout!}

Happy Hump Dayyyyy, Friends!

I know that summer does not officially begin until June 21st, but we have officially declared it summer in our home. We sat down last night to come up with a "summer bucket list" and we got all excited for the fun season ahead.

Here are some examples, as shown by our favorite red-head, Miss Scout:

Swimming and spending time outdoors

Tanning and listening to good music (like, Pandora's 1990's summer hits)

Traveling, even if just a few miles away

Reading and resting (while trying a new cocktail. none for scout, she's underage)

Being active and trying new sports or games

Exploring new places

And just spending some good quality time with your pack.

We have started a pinterest board of ideas for our family's summer bucket list. {LINK HERE!} If you pin, would you consider adding yourself as a contributor so that we can share ideas? We've already added new foods, places, books, acts of kindness, and other adventures, but would love your input!

Love y'all!

Summer Cookout {With Recipes}

Good Morning!

I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend.

Sunday night, we hosted a cookout at our house for a big group of friends. The reason it's called a cookout and not a barbecue is because we served burgers as the main dish. Never invite a southerner to a "barbecue" where no actual barbecue is present. It's just cruel. ;)

Here are the recipes for what we ate...along with some blurry iphone pics!

Sour cream dip with crudites

Pigs in a blanket (we used deer sausage)

White wine sangria (I use pinot grigio)

Venison burgers 
(ground venison from A's kill this past winter, mixed with worcestershire and black pepper)

Grilled squash and zucchini (in packets with olive oil)

Macaroni and cheese (the best, always)

Berry crumble with vanilla ice cream

Homemade dill pickles for party favors (just used recipe on packet from store ;))

What have you been cooking lately?

Memorial Day.

Happy Memorial Day, Friends!

 I've always known that Columbus has all these little facets of great American history, yet I feel like I am discovering more of them the more time we spend here. I just love it.

This morning, on Memorial Day, we ventured to Friendship Cemetery, which is about a 15 minute walk from our house. We went early before it got too hot. ;) We learned that in this cemetery was the first recorded Memorial Day. On April 25, 1866, group of women living downtown decided to decorate the graves of both confederate and union soldiers in attempt to show unity and respect.

I loved walking around the graveyard (during the day) and seeing the tombs of Civil War, WWI and WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans decorated with ole faithful.

So thankful for this country!

Summer Veggie Quinoa.

Hello, all!

I want to share a quick and easy recipe with you. I made this the other night in order to use up some cooked quinoa and fresh veggies we had in our fridge. It was a hit at our house, so maybe it will be at yours, as well.

For those of you that are new to quinoa, I would describe it as a "light" rice. Somewhat similar to brown rice, but not quite as "chunky". Does that make sense? It is great served warm, like rice, or cold in a salad, like pasta. It also has some great health benefits as well.

So for this recipe, let's call it...

 "Summer Veggie Quinoa"

1 cup of dry, uncooked quinoa
2 zucchini squashes (green or yellow), cut into crescent moons
1 medium onion, cut into small slices
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Begin cooking your quinoa according to package instructions. Much like rice, you cook 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is fluffy and translucent.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat up a large skillet (I prefer cast iron for this) with your tablespoon of butter. You can use all olive oil for this, but we liked how the butter added a little "naughty" to this healthy dish. Plus, I tend to like butter/find it necessary when caramelizing onions, which is what you will do next.

Sautee the onions and garlic on medium heat for around 15 minutes until they are getting clear but also a little bit brown. Think low and slow with this, especially because you don't want your garlic to burn. Then add your sliced zucchini and half the olive oil. Let this cook, stirring around with wooden spoon, until the zucchini look soft.

Once this is done, pour your cooked quinoa into the skillet and stir, adding the rest of the olive oil and removing the garlic cloves (or you can add to your plate and eat like a crazy lady, like me). Add a dash or two of parmesan cheese on top when serving.

{Click here for the PDF printable recipe!}

Yum! Do y'all have any fresh summer recipes to share? I am loving these days of  lighter cooking!

Kentucky Derby Party.

---Playing catch-up with some blog posts. Oops!--

A few weekends ago, we attended a Kentucky Derby party with some of our C-town friends.

It was a beautiful Saturday to celebrate a fun southern tradition and get together. Here is my favorite lady pilot and some of my favorite pilot wives. Such a fun group!

Our friends hosted the party at their new house on the river. They have a huge back porch and it was a wonderful and sunny day! The hats came in handy. ;) 

Before the race, we had lots of yummy food: hot browns, cheese grits, benedictine dip, and bourbon meatballs. I had never gone to a Derby party before, so I made some mint julep sweet tea and some double-fudge brownies with a splash of bourbon added to the mix...that counts, right?

The hostess also made a traditional mint julep bar. Complete with "silver" cups! Too cute!

We drew horse names out of a hat to "bet" on them. I think our horses had about 26:1 odds each, so needless to say, we didn't win anything. :) But it was still fun to dress up for "a day at the races"

Did y'all celebrate or watch the races? I never have before and thought the story of California Chrome was the sweetest!


Bread & Wine.

                                                                                                                       Image source

My sweet friend, Ali, gave me a copy of Bread & Wine for my birthday. I couldn't put it down and I finished it in a short three days, sneaking reads on the back porch on lunch breaks and at the kitchen counter while supper was simmering.

I love Shauna's descriptive writing and pure honesty in this book. I love how she was so transparent with her life's tales- the ups as well as the downs- and how she pieced together such a lovely, uplifting story. I especially loved how she claims feeling God's presence the most when surrounded by loved ones at her table. Such neat perspective. I did a lot of underlining, a lot of "mmmm"ing, and I took away some great advice about love and faith.

In the spirit of transparency, I sometimes struggle through "Jesus books". Sometimes some of them are so heavy that I either don't understand, flipping back to pages to slowly re-read, or I can't flip the page because I need to just sit and reflect. They are still GREAT books, they just take me awhile to finish and "wrap my brain around" them. However, with this book I felt like not only did I enjoy every page, but learned so much about a relationship with Jesus and forming loving, faithful relationships with others. I got a little misty as I thought about the community God has blessed us with through our college years and now our time here in little C-town. So many great conversations over delicious meals. So many loyal, lifelong friends who surround us with prayer and love. He is so faithful and I am so thankful!

Adore this canvas from Lindsay Letters.

Also, almost every chapter of this book includes a recipe! I have already made her homemade vinaigrette and looking forward to trying the others.

What book have you enjoyed reading lately? What should I read next?

"Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other." Romans 12:9-10

Ps- Shauna has two other books, Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet. Excited to try them soon!