Thursday, July 31, 2014


Summer is quickly coming to a in I go back to school today and the kiddos come Monday.  I'm trying to beat the back to school blues, while still trying to figure out where summer went exactly.  I've decided to extend my Summer Bucket List deadline until September.  First of all, August is still summer even though school has started, right???  Secondly, I'm hoping this helps to ease those said blues.  Until the next bucket list item, I thought I'd focus on some summer time fun we've had so far.....

We have 5 or 6 different hummingbirds that are regulars at our feeder.  I LOVE seeing them, and have been trying to capture an image all summer long.  I've failed so far.  I promise there's one in this picture.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PSA: Chalkboard Markers -- Beware!

Chalkboard markers....they sound like a great thing....easy to use, looks great with sharp, crisp writing, and erases.....or so one might think.  During a quick trip to JoAnn the other day I picked up a couple Bistro Chalk Markers.  I was extremely careful to read the packaging to make sure I didn't accidentally pick up a marker not meant for chalkboards, for fear that whatever was written might end up being permanent.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Little Birthday Gathering and Aunt B's Shrimp Spread

Over the weekend we had a long, long overdue birthday celebration with dear friends D and S.  I worked a 13+ hour day for a tournament benefitting Riley Children's Hospital the day before, so it was a little simpler than I originally envisioned, but the point was we were together and were able to enjoy each others company (finally)!

We recently added Hubby's Grandmother's chest to our dining nook.  I love it, although am still trying to determine if this will be its permanent location.  (Please pretend you don't notice there are no candles in my grandmother's brass candlesticks....I forgot to pick some up, and the ones in my stash were too thin.)

Friday, July 25, 2014

In My Lunchbox [Avocado Drizzle]

I've been so busy playing catch up after our 50th Anniversary of the Tennis Program that I haven't had a chance to blog....or spend much time in the kitchen. But I'm back today with a quick and easy lunch that's one of my very favorites.  Bestie MHDRL introduced it to me when I was out visiting her last spring.  It's a keeper!

Monday, July 21, 2014

What's for Dinner [Garlic Shrimp Bake]

In search of what to make for dinner the other night, I just started pulling things out of the fridge and pantry.  The end result, if I do say so myself, was pretty yummy, and was pretty simple to boot.  Unfortunately, since I was just wingin' it nothing was really measured, but still should be pretty fool-proof.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Celebration Continues....

The 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend continued Saturday evening with a banquet dinner.  It was a beautiful, loving tribute to one of the most generous, giving, and loving people I have the honor of knowing.  The room was filled with nearly 400 people, all wishing to pay tribute to our program's founder, the "Queen of Tennis".

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Celebrating 50 Years

The tennis program I have been a part of for many, many years is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this summer.  It's a very special place, and although I'm biased, I can confidently say there's really no other program like it in the country. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY Vanilla Coffee Creamer

After making the Pineapple Shrimp the other night there was nearly an entire can, minus 1 Tablespoon, of sweetened condensed milk left over.  I didn't want to just discard it (or eat it with a spoon) and I vaguely remembered seeing something about using it to make coffee creamer on the beloved Pinterest.  I got out a mason jar, poured in the sweetened condensed milk, some regular milk, and some vanilla, and low and behold, DIY Vanilla Coffee Creamer.  It could not have been simpler, and doesn't have all the wacky ingredients regular coffee creamer does.  (Although, I'm NOT professing that this is particularly healthy, just a better version....and I figure I'm only putting a dash in one cup a day, right??)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Happy Hour [Cape Codder]

I will wrap up Hubby's Birthday Weekend celebrations by sharing one last "recipe" (if you can even call it that).  We kicked off the evening with a little Happy Hour on the back porch, serving some of his favorites: brie, goat cheese, and crackers.  (Side note, have y'all had the Everything on a Cracker or the Rosemary Raisin Crips from Trader Joes???  Delish!!) 

We pull out the special Happy Birthday plate a couple
times a year for the birthday boy or girl!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What's for Dinner? [Pineapple Shrimp with Walnuts]

Hubby and I had a special dinner out a couple years ago and had the most divine dish, Pineapple Shrimp with Walnuts. I knew while we were enjoying it that it would be something we would try to replicate at home.  Thanks to the power of google, we found a recipe, tweaked it a bit, and now make it once or twice a year for something special, like Hubby's birthday.  (About two weeks before his b-day Hubby started not so subtly hinting he wanted this dish for his special dinner.)  I know that pineapple, shrimp, and walnuts don't particularly sound like they would go well together, but trust me....they do!!! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Caplinger's Fresh Catch [Lobsta Rolls]

Over the last couple weeks, Caplinger's Fresh Catch kept popping up on my Facebook feed.  Finally, when three friends posted something about it in one day, I knew I had to try it sooner rather than later, and Hubby's B-day Picnic was the perfect opportunity.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

The big 3-2....again.....

We kicked off Hubby's birthday weekend with a surprise picnic on the boat on a gorgeous Friday evening.  Hubby was not expecting it (or at least that's what I tell myself) and was pretty happy to cruise on down the river. 

We enjoyed the scenery.....

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Garden to Table [Jalapeno Popper Dip]

As I explained yesterday, Hubby and I had a wonderful evening playing cards and visiting with our dear friends D and S.  What I didn't mention is that they are both incredible cooks!  We always know when we go there that we will not only have terrific company, but also a terrific meal.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Contract Rummy

Hubby and I both love playing cards!  In fact, we have a summer long marathon Gin Rummy game going on at the moment.  (I'm winning!)  But what we really love to play in Contract Rummy, which we play with our dear friends D and S.  We so enjoy our time with them and the game's a win-win situation!  We had a competitive match last night.  Somehow I ended up winning. (I got lucky the last hand!)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Garden Update

Back in May I showed you a glimpse of our garden after we first planted it.  We have started harvesting some goodies, and I thought I'd give you another little peek at just how much it has grown.  (Unfortunately, the weeds seem to grow just as quickly, if not quicker....please just pretend you don't see them! We don't treat at all for fear of harming our bees.  As a result, they tend to have a mind of their own.)

So far we have harvested okra, beans, peas, hot peppers, sweet peppers, and jalapenos. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

On My Bookshelf [The Fault in Our Stars]

The Fault in Our Stars has been on my list for a while now, although I'm a little late to the party and really, really late to the party for an Indianapolis native.  John Green, the author, lives nearby and the story takes place close to not only where I grew up, but currently live. It certainly was fun to read about some of our city's landmarks and the settings formed a clear, vivid picture in my mind as I read.  Hoosier pride aside though, it was a completely enchanting story.  Soulful was a word a friend used to describe it, and I have to agree. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays!  I am so proud and grateful to be an American.  Last night Hubby and I kicked off the holiday weekend watching the firework show on the river. When I was little we used to watch these same fireworks from our front yard.  We were never exactly sure where the show was, but loved them.  Fast forward many years to when I met Hubby....turns out he's been watching them for many years, too, at a friend's house directly across from where they shoot off the fireworks.  Now every July 3rd we head to the river, sit on the boat, and enjoy a front seat show. 
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