It’s hard to believe that we’re only a little more than a month into summer. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m currently editing magazine articles about pumpkins and fall foliage (my favorites). Luckily I need only walk outside for Arizona to remind me of exactly where we are on the calendar. Nothing screams ’tis the season more than cookies baked in the
oven sun at 114 degrees.
Still, it’s a dry heat. 😉 Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
We’ve been keeping busy whether there’s sunshine, monsoon rains or dust storms. A few weeks ago, my friend Lauren came to visit, which is always a lot of fun. (I also got my ears lowered!)
We celebrated the Fourth of July with my family and patriotic Dutch babies for breakfast.
Lauren also joined us on the links, all of us festively dressed in red, white and blue.
And Papa Bender made us a yummy dinner: crab legs, corn and veggies.
The next day, Lauren, Bobby and I took a road trip to Prescott to check out Watson Lake.
It was gorgeous, although kind of crazy how low the water line is this year!
Although we didn’t do any kayaking, I think it would be fun to go back and try it sometime.
On the way home, we stopped at Scoopz for some ice cream and checkers “strategery.”
The rest of the trip consisted of a lot of relaxing and Dawson’s Creek. Thanks for coming, Laur!
The following weekend I hosted a “day in Paris.” It was an idea my friend Sheena came up with after we expressed our mutual love for Marie Antoinette. I mentioned that I hadn’t seen the movie with Kirsten Dunst, and so Sheena, Nicole and I decided to make a day of it. We started with Sunday brunch at Petite Maison. All of us decided to order the croque “mistress,” a sandwich with shaved ham, petit basque cheese, smoked bacon and a fried egg. It was a bit strong on the Dijon mustard, but overall really good!
After brunch we headed back to my house, where together we created quite the dessert feast. I picked up a variety of macarons and some French bread from Whole Foods, while they brought a delicious assortment of pastries and drinks from AJ’s. We spent the afternoon sipping and savoring while watching Marie Antoinette and Moulin Rouge. Loved them both.
The next weekend, it was time for another meeting of Reading Between the Wines!
This month’s book club pick was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Like most of the other reviews I’ve read about this book, mine will be short and sweet. You can’t fully understand the mystery behind We Were Liars until the ending is revealed, so it’s best not to give much away before that. Some people may see it coming, but I had no clue – and it made for a big shock! This was a fast read and I really liked the author’s writing style. I think the Goodreads summary describes it best:
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
If you’re intrigued, check it out and let me know what you think! A few of my favorite quotes:
“Do not accept an evil you can change.”
“He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.”
“Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments. I get the same thing spending an hour with you. Also, here is a green toothbrush tied in a ribbon. It expresses my feelings inadequately.”
My contribution to this month’s book club was a pasta salad, which turned out pretty tasty.
Penne Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Ingredients (serves eight):
- 8 ounces cooked penne pasta
- 1 carton grape tomatoes, sliced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine pasta and tomatoes in a bowl. Sauté zucchini with olive oil in a pan over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes, then add to the pasta mixture. Stir to mix all ingredients. Add balsamic vinaigrette and mozzarella cheese. Stir until everything is well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
July is nearly over, and I’m proud to say that I have now read 30 books and more than 9,300 pages. I’m hoping this means my goal of 15,000 pages for the year is within reach!
There have been some really good reads lately, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on those soon. For now, I’d love to know what you’ve been up to this summer.
What new things are going on in your life?