Quinoa Salad: A Summer’s Bounty Of Vegetables

Food for Grownups
summer quinoa salad vegetables eggplant cucumber tomatoes

There’s an old joke about August being the month when folks who live in the country lock their cars when they go to church to prevent people from leaving zucchini on seats.

Where I’m living, it’s actually not a joke. The vegetables are coming on hard and fast right now and the harvest is almost too bountiful.

When I went to pick up my farm share at the market a few days before I left for my trip to Europe, Sarahlee, the adorable organic farmer, ordered me to go back to my car for a second bag. She had bin after bin of additional vegetables that CSA members could have for free and urged me to take as much as I could possibly use. I didn’t want to see those beautiful eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, or cucumbers go to waste so I filled my bag to the brim. My refrigerator was stuffed!

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A Breakup Letter…For My Phone

Cherish Relationships
cut screen time

Dear readers: Today, I’m sharing a letter I wrote last week that seemed especially relevant considering my impending international travel. I saved it to post on the blog this week, at the very beginning of my trip, in hopes of reminding even myself that yes, you can put the phone away. 

 

Dear LG V30,

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to say it; I’m breaking up with you. I just think we need to give each other some space, you know? It’s not that you haven’t been or done everything I asked. Because you have. Sometimes you’re actually too good, too compelling. In fact, you’re irresistible. And that’s the problem.

It’s not you, LG. It’s me.

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Triathlon Guide: What To Expect At A Triathlon

Marie's Triathlon Journey
what to expect at a triathlon

In the hours and days since completing my second sprint triathlon, I have been basking in my accomplishment and enjoying the rewards of all that hard work. (You can read about my first foray into triathlons here.)

Eating absolutely anything I wanted after the race was high on the list. Because, let’s face it, this is one of the primary benefits of running a tri. I’ve also spent time admiring my finisher’s medal. It’s big, and pink, and super-girly, exactly befitting of swag for the so-named “Girlfriends Triathlon”.

what to expect at a triathlonwhat to expect at a triathlon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at my pink swag! Thanks Girlfriends Triathlon & Fitness Festival!

 

I’ve spent quite a bit of time sharing dramatic stories and humorous anecdotes about the race with friends and family. The story of how I simply can NOT seem to swim in a straight line is a particular favorite. If the nice man in the yellow kayak wasn’t there to guide me back onto the course, I would have swum across the river instead of down it and ended up in a different state!

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Downton Abbey Recipe: Tea Cake with Blueberries and Lemon

Food for Grownups
Downton Abbey recipe

I have a bucket list trip coming up! I have convinced my husband that we absolutely need to do a walking tour of the Cotswolds and visit the Holy Grail. And by that I mean attend a picnic tea at Highclere Castle, otherwise known as Downton Abbey.

Something else on my bucket list is figuring out how to make afternoon tea parties part of my daily life. I am not sure my husband will be into it, but my fancy dog, Showgirl, most certainly would. She’s a very attractive, slightly spoiled, somewhat prissy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a penchant for the finer things in life. Showgirl has very high standards. And why not?  She’s basically the Dowager Countess of dogs.

While I count down the days for the movie to be released, I’m going to try and re-read the book that inspired the show, practise my British spelling, and peruse through my favorite Dowager Countess quotes. Because really, is there anyone funnier than Maggie Smith?

And here’s why you’re desperately in need of Downton Abbey recipes

Just in case you have been living under a rock, I want to let you know that Downton Abbey THE MOVIE is coming out September 19th. And the King and Queen are coming to Downtown!

Lord, calm my fluttering, Anglophile heart!

Here’s a link to the trailer and all kinds of Downton details.

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Glamping Gear: Upgraded Camping Supplies For Your Next Adventure

Adventure and Travel
glamping gear

So you’ve already decided that glamping is your style. But now you need the glamping gear and you don’t know where to start. It should be no surprise that Marie is here with thoughts, opinions and suggestions.

I’ve long loved the idea of camping more than I’ve actually loved the camping. The great outdoors really is great. And a steaming cup of coffee on a chilly morning as you gaze at the canopy of trees – that is perfection. But a questionable night’s sleep on uneven ground? That’s something I could do without. And skipping a shower just makes me worry I’m easier for the bears to smell, which makes sleeping even more difficult.

Earlier this year, I marked a big item off my bucket list and took my mother on a girls-only glamping trip! Let me tell you, I couldn’t believe how much more I loved nature with just one or two creature comforts.

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Lemon Herb Sous Vide Chicken

Food for Grownups
chicken recipe

A couple of months ago I had some very exciting news.  The Oliso company offered to send me a Smart Hub Combo to see how I liked it!!

Hmm…the crickets I’m hearing after my announcement tell me that some of you may not know what a Smart Hub is.

Allow me to enlighten you.

The Oliso Smart Hub Combo (brought to you by the same people who make those marvelous irons) is a countertop cooking system that combines a single induction burner  topped with an enclosed, cordless sous vide water bath cooker.  It also includes an Oliso Vacuum Sealer with heavy duty, reusable bags. continue reading

Book Club Appetizers: Fast & Fun

Books, Hospitality and Entertaining
book club appetizer

I know a number of people who go to book club meetings just for the food and wine. They never, or almost never, actually read the book. They just like the idea of having a party with smart, bookish buddies every month.

I’m certainly not recommending or promoting this attitude. In fact, if you are that girl I want you to picture me right now, pointing my finger and tsk-ing my tongue at you. Life sometimes gets in the way of our reading schedule but this should not be a regular thing! If you aren’t carving out time to read the book, you’re not holding up your end during the discussion and that’s not fair to the group. You’re also missing out on the fun, which is even worse.

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What to Read Right Now: Beach Reads for 2019

Books
beach reads

There have been years when I measured summer entirely in books. A summer well spent is a summer well read. But this summer is different. I’ve spent tons of quality time between pages and also made time for other important things, like making slime with my grandkids during a weeklong visit in June and taking my mother on a proper glamping trip.

Between the books and the activities, this year I feel like I’ve gone above and beyond taking advantage of summer. I’ve been more intentional about the way I spend my time (thank you, Living Well Spending Less planner). And summer isn’t even over yet! continue reading

Paying For College: Advice From A Certified Financial Planner

Grow in Wisdom
saving money for college how to 529

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m delighted to welcome back my friend Peggy Doviak, fierce and fabulous financial guru and author of  52 Weeks to Prosperity, and turn today’s blog over to her. Peggy’s wise and timely advice on financing education is loaded with tips on how to pay for school without loading up on debt

 

Can you believe how quickly the summer ending? It seems like just last week, my family and I were watching 4th of July fireworks, and making homemade ice cream! Now, back to school activities are top priority in everyone’s mind.

In my hometown of Norman, OK, heading back to school reminds us that University of Oklahoma football is just around the corner. In Oklahoma, football is the most wonderful time of the year–Boomer Sooner!

However, if you aren’t a star quarterback on scholarship, college can be insanely expensive. Trying to figure out how to fund a college education can make you feel like you’ve been tackled. Here are a few defensive moves.

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The Best Strawberry Muffin Recipe Ever

Food for Grownups

When the temperatures rise over a certain degree, I switch from my regular hot mug of coffee to cold brew I make at home. I just heap ground local coffee into my French press, fill with cold water, and let it sit overnight. It is a summer treat that I look forward to every morning when Showgirl wakes me up. I rise giddy and excited knowing that I don’t have to wait the two minutes for my hot coffee to brew. It’s like I’ve gotten ahead of the game.  continue reading