Small Town Rumors

Everyone is talking about Jennie Sue Baker and the mess she made of her life in New York. The former high school queen bee—and wealthy darling of Bloom, Texas—has returned home after all these years, riding on a common bus and bearing two bounced alimony checks. In a town that thrives on gossip, Jennie’s fall from grace has shamed her mother, set the town buzzing, and caused old, jealous enemies to whisper in delight. They say she’s taken a job as a housekeeper, gotten a garage apartment, and might be crushing on Rick Lawson, a simple farmer with modest dreams.As romance starts to bud, Jennie relishes what it means to follow her heart, find real new friends, and finally be herself—regardless of all the lying town chatter. But fate has another twist in store. Rumor has it that Jennie now stands to lose what matters most…unless she can convince Rick of one true thing—and that’s love.Review: I very much enjoyed this book. I seem to have a summer beach read ‘type’ because this is a quick, heartfelt read. The last book I read was definitely a rom-com (romantic comedy) but this one allows for a bit more of a rollercoaster of emotions. The main character, Jennie Sue goes through many different struggles that not everyone around her understands or accepts and to go through it with her felt good. You feel her growth as a character coming into her own voice- something we all should aspire to! I would recommend to add this book to your summer reading this!Thank you to Amazon Publishing + NetGalley for my advanced copy.

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Avocado Shrimp *Salad

I made this delicious, light, colorful dinner tonight and I think it was worth sharing. I found the recipe on a Facebook video ( I usually always save them and never make them 🙄) and it is quick and easy. I highly recommend it! The original #Recipe calls this a salsa but we ate it as a salad.

Ingredients

1 lb raw shrimp peeled and deveined*

1/4 tsp Salt and black pepper, or to taste

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 medium limes, juiced

2 medium/large avocados

1/2 english cucumber

3 medium tomatoes

1 small red onion finely diced

1/2 cup Cilantro (1/2 bunch) chopped

Instructions

1 Season shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook 3 minutes total, turning once halfway. Saute just until cooked through then remove from the pan. Transfer to cutting board, coarsely chop and place into a large mixing bowl.

2 Squeeze the juice of 3 medium limes over the shrimp, stir and set aside to marinate while you prepare remaining salsa ingredients.

3 Dice cucumber, tomato and avocado and add them to the mixing bowl with shrimp.

4 Finely dice onion and chop 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro. Add to the mixing bowl then stir together all of the ingredients until well combined and serve.

The original recipe served this as a salsa with tortilla chips. Since we’re trying to be healthy we ate this as a salad.

Original bloggers video: here

A Tiger Among Us

Medal of Honor recipient, Bennie Adkins served this country for more than twenty years in the United States Army, the majority of his time spent in Special Forces (Green Berets). He was deployed to Vietnam three times, and during his second deployment was involved in heroic efforts which eventually led to the awarding of the Medal of Honor in 2014.

He has written a book about his story and 100% of the proceeds go back to supporting and honoring the legacy of courage, sacrifice, selfless service, and patriotism inherent in the Special Forces by providing educational scholarships to worthy soldiers to aid in their transition from military to civilian life.

If you just can’t wait to read it: click here!

To learn more about Bennie Adkins visit: https://www.bennieadkinsfoundation.org

Rumor Has It

ABOUT RUMOR HAS ITThis is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.Touché Jessica Lemmon! Think: How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. I absolutely loved this book and am upset it’s over. Instantly I had a clear picture of Barrett and Catarina, I loved his stereotypical cockiness and so unsubstle charm and her drive and worth ethic were something to aspire to. While the story line was somewhat predictable I didn’t care and was feeling as giddy as Catarina as she began to fall unexpectedly in love. I’d highly recommend this especially as a quick summer beach read. Thank you to Penguin Random House + NetGalley for my advanced copy.

Italy at Home

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest a really long time ago and have been repeating year after year. It was titled Prosciutto Tomato and Olive Spaghetti, I title it Yum.

Every time I search my Pinterest the link is blocked or broken so I cannot give credit to anyone, unfortunately.

It’s light but full of big flavors and when cooked while listening to Italian music you may have feelings of actually being in Italy!

Ingredients

▪ (1 pound) dried spaghetti

▪ (8 cups) cold water

▪ 2 teaspoons sea salt

▪ 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

▪ 5 garlic cloves, finely minced

▪ 2 shallots, finely minced

▪ (~ 1 cup) pitted kalamata olives)

▪ 3 to 4 tomatoes, diced

▪ 1/2 cup dry white wine

▪ 2 tablespoons tomato paste or concentrate

▪ (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut up

▪ reserved pasta water (optional)

▪ FRESH Parmesan cheese, grated

▪ a handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

▪ (less than 1/2 pound) prosciutto, preferably Parma , at room temerature

Instructions:

In a large pot, bring 8 cups) of cold water to a boil. When it boils, add salt and pasta. Cook according to package instructions, stirring often to loosen up the sticky strands.

Drain the cooked spaghetti, but save about 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.

Wipe clean the same pot and set over medium heat with olive oil. When oil is hot, lower heat to medium-low and sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Increase heat to medium again, add olives, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the diced tomatoes and cook until soft, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the wine and stir until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and butter until dissolved.

Put the pasta back in the pot and gently mix until each strand is coated in the sauce. Add reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too dry.

Toss with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve on warmed plates and garnish with prosciutto slices.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Reduce your Amazon Packaging

Between the packaging, the transportation fuel, and their ability to get orders to customers within a few hours, there’s no denying that Amazon has a huge carbon footprint. The fact is: online shopping requires massive amounts of energy and resources, but there are several things that we as consumers can do to minimize that footprint. Click below for their article and how this quick and easy site contacts Amazon for you to help to reduce plastic packaging !

Contact Amazon: Tell them you want less packaging.

Miso-Ginger Dressing

(⬆️ image is the recipe tripled)

I’d always been a fan of ginger dressing growing up but since we’ve moved a few times I’ve had a difficult time finding the brand I love (even on Amazon!). After going to multiple grocery stores I gave up my search and decided it would be more fresh and probably cheaper to make my own. I originally found this recipe in The NY Times but have since tweaked it here and there based off of what I have available around the kitchen. If you make it let me know what you think, enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

• ¼ cup grapeseed oil

• ¼ cup rice vinegar

• 3 tablespoons miso

• 1 tablespoon sesame oil

• 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

• 1 inch long piece fresh ginger, cut into coins

At the end:

• Salt

• freshly ground black pepper

1 Put all ingredients except salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse a few times to mince carrots. Then let machine run for a minute or so, until mixture is chunky-smooth. (If you want it smoother, use a blender.) Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

The Favorite Sister Review

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When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative—everyone loves a comeback story.

And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off.

REVIEW

I loved the way Jessica Knoll wrote her first novel and so I was extremely anxious to get my hands on this one. I applied for giveaway after giveaway and finally I got it! Off the bat I must say – this is NOT a thriller or suspense novel and perhaps thats where I was thrown off, I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat, biting tooth and nail to get through another chapter the way I was with her first novel, The Favorite Sister should definitely be described as a drama, as any good reality show is. I read another review of the book and he stated The Favorite Sister = When the Real Housewives and Big Little Lies collide and I couldn’t agree more. This book provides pop culture, drama, juicy gossip and mystery. The characters were described very well, I have a great picture of each Goal Digger in my head (Goal Diggers is a reality show that strives to show millennial women successfully undertaking careers, while pushing gender norms aside). Off the bat I couldn’t put all the pieces together for quite awhile. I felt that there was too much being thrown at me at once and throughout felt overloaded with feminist political agenda. There were many times I put the book down and had to try again later but I refuse to NOT finish a book. Reading the ‘behind the scenes’ of reality television was fascinating and disappointing at the same time, I found myself wanting to befriend Jessica just to find out if her research proved this to be true?! At the end, I’m very glad I followed this one through. Once I finished I realized the twists and the turns and I saw the plot for the written reality show that it was, exploring how self absorbed , catty and vindictive women (and the one man in the book) can be especially about their own agendas. But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t want to be on the edge of the couch for the reunion show.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster + NetGalley for my advanced copy.

Beautiful Planning Printables

Happy Monday friends! The great @chirppaperie created our beautiful wedding invitations and she graciously posted these #free printables to her website! I love meal prepping, lists, and most importantly, checking off items on my lists.. Who doesn’t love ✍️ on beautiful paper?? Click here to DOWNLOAD

Have a wonderful week!

New Favorite Appetizer Alert

I went to a party yesterday and the hostess with the mostest had this phenomenal spread out 😋I LOVE entertaining and will definitely be copying some of these apps!

My most favorite dish here was a baked feta, recipe as follows. (Derived from Michael Symon)

BAKED FETA:

• 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

• 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)

• 1 clove garlic (minced)

• 2-3 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (divided)

• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 pound block Greek feta

• 4 scallions (sliced)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, garlic, 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper.

Place the block of feta in the middle of an 8″x8″ baking dish. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has softened and melted.

Remove from the oven and garnish with the remaining parsley and scallions and serve immediately while still warm. This can be placed back in the oven to melt if the cheese starts to firm up again.