Tuesday, July 29

My Week In Puppy Pics

This week has been rather uneventful, we haven't done anything terribly exciting... yet! I partially blame the heat. You see, it has been a whopping 85 degrees or higher in our house for a couple months now. The heat has seeped into my bones and sapped any last will to do something that requires moving. On Sunday it was so hot we all sat around the kitchen (the one room with an over head fan) with ice cubes on our heads.

The one thing keeping me going was the promise of finally having our broken swamp cooler repaired. Until then there was really only one reliable activity: napping.

Even going outside for some fun in the sun sounded like a terrible idea. We'd only get hotter and how does that feel when you don't get to step into cool air when you get home?

Finally on Monday morning the plumber arrived and found the problem, our cooler was jammed! He fixed the problem and when I came home for lunch it was like a miracle. There was actually cold air. I could feel cold air! Now it actually feels cool enough in our house to move, and cuddling no longer feels like boiling yourself and one other unlucky person. We cuddled and Eastwood got some belly rubs to celebrate.

I hope the puppy pictures added enough cuteness to your day to get you going! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 28

Literary Libations: Flor De Campo

I'm sucker for red wines with hints of raspberry or strawberry and, lucky me, Flor De Campo has both! My house has been so hot I've had to keep it in the fridge so that it doesn't turn, but normally you could keep it on your counter. Keep in mind, most red wine will turn if they reach 80 degrees or higher for an extended period. I actually found that I liked this wine chilled, it made it nice and refreshing against the hot temperatures inside and out!

I know I'm a little late to the party, but I've finally begun to read Life Of Pi. So far it is a very interesting book and I'm intrigued, largely by Pi's knowledge about animals and general acceptance of everything around him. He has yet to get stuck floating in the ocean, which I believe is most of the story, so I'm still in the trial period.

Life of Pi is probably not a book I would ordinarily purchase, however I didn't have to because I'm currently using my 30 day free trial of Kindle Unlimited. At the moment I'm seriously considering joining for a paid description. I normally purchase about 2 kindle books a month at about $8.99 each. With Kindle Unlimited after paying $9.99 a month you get access to the entire Kindle Unlimited library for no additional charge per book. That means as long as there are books I want to read, I come out ahead! Keep in mind not all Kindle books are a part of Kindle Unlimited. I highly recommend doing the 30 day trial and spending some time vetting the reading list. Are there titles you want to read? Authors you like? How quickly do you read? If you aren't going to read more than one book a month, it might not be worth it. However, if you read quickly or have a lot of free time, this just may be the best way for you to whip through several books a month with out stressing your wallet. Worst case scenario you get to read at least one book for free and then cancel your subscription.

Have you read Life Of Pi or watched the movie? If so, did you enjoy it? (No spoilers, please!)

Do you use an e-reader? And if so would you use a subscription service for books?

Wednesday, July 23

Date Night: Build A Fort

Sometimes when you live with someone it becomes really easy to fall into a rut of coming home from work, eating dinner, and watching TV. Lately that has been happening to us a lot. We are tired from work and don't have a lot of energy, so we do something easy. In an attempt to get out of this rut we have decided to have at least one date night each week.

To get things kicked off I built a fort in my home office last night, lit it with twinkle lights and we were ready for some quality snuggle time. I actually made a personalized crossword puzzle (for free!) at this website, all about our relationship for Hubby to complete and I printed off some other free crosswords for us to work on together. We ate dinner and dessert in the fort while puzzling our puzzlers. Then as we got sleepy we went on virtual tours of the Seven Wonders of the World.

It was a lot of fun and it didn't cost a single extra penny! I plan on keeping this fort up for at least a week, I plan on getting cozy and reading in there.

What are some of your favorite stay-at-home dates?

Monday, July 21

Literary Libations: The Pink Lion

Chilled drinks and hot summer days go together like storm clouds and rain. Loosely based on the White Lion Cocktail, I made my drink with ingrediants I already had lion around the house...

For my drink I used 2 parts white rum (Bacardi is my rum of choice, but use whatever you have in your pantry), 1/5 part triple sec, 1 part lime juice, 1/5 part raspberry syrup, and 2 tsp fin white sugar. Then I threw everything into a shaker with ice, shook until cold, and strained into a glass filled with frozen berries, add a straw, and you're done!

Last week I had just started reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a pen name for J.K. Rowling) and gave you a quick summary. Now that I'm most of the way through the book I thought I'd tell you what I think of the story so far.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Unlike many mystery novels, Cormoran Strike novels keep you guessing the whole time, but don't seem so far fetched that you wonder how the heck the detective could even parse the evidence together. There are so many possible suspects, all with decent motives, not to mention surprise twists as new evidence comes to light and new characters step from the shadows. The mystery in and of itself is a wonderful reason to read The Silkworm.

The mystery revolves around an author, Owen Quine, who has suddenly disappeared. He does this frequently, traipsing off with his mistress, so no one is overly concerned at first. Eventually Owen's wife, Leonora, hire Strike to find her husband and bring him home to help support their handicapped daughter, Orlando. When it turns out Owen isn't at a writers conference or his mistress's house people start to become a little concerned, but it isn't until Strike finds Owen's brutally mutilated body in his abandoned second house that the family and the literary world begins to realize all of Owen's past.

Just before his death Owen had finished a new manuscript, Bombyx Mori, which insulted pretty much everyone he new, including big wigs at his publishing firm. The police are blaming Leonora, saying she had motive and opportunity, but they have yet to find enough evidence to arrest her. Strike doesn't believe Leonora could be behind the murder and is racing against the clock to find evidence against someone else.

Beyond the case, Strike and his beautiful assistant, Robin, continue to develop their relationships from the first novel, The Cuckoo's Calling. This gives the book many layers of interest and development. The characters feel real and relatable. Even if I knew who the murderer is (which I don't, yet) I would keep reading just to see where Robin and Strike's lives take them.

Thursday, July 17

Strawberry Lemonade

On Monday I talked about making Watermelon Lemonade. Really it can be any flavor of lemonade, so long as you can find the flavored syrup for it. Since the watermelon syrup has to be ordered I bought some strawberry syrup (this is the exact strawberry syrup I got) to tied me over. Monday's pictures only showed McAlister's lemonade and I understand being unsure if you can really re-create the same results at home, so I thought I'd show you how my strawberry lemonade turned out.

Start by filling your glass with ice. Add the syrup. For most glasses I only use 3 pumps of syrup, but since this was a large glass I used 4 pumps. Top up with chilled lemonade! This is absolutely delicious and you can see it also makes a pretty ombre effect. Perfect for summer!

Wednesday, July 16

Ridiculously Practical Meals: Lasagna Grilled Cheese

'Quick and Simple' is my after work dinner mantra. I thrive off of meals that are delicious and under 20 minutes to make. In looking for inspiration there are some people that never fail to deliver and one of those people is Joy The Baker. For today's recipe I just went ahead and made it as is, with only one accidental alteration.

Yes, I accidentally altered the recipe. You see, I had originally intended to make this recipe last week, but some unexpected things came up. I had already bought all of the ingredients when I was originally planning on making this for dinner and when it was postponed I didn't even think of the basil going bad. Unfortunately when I pulled it out of the fridge it was dark green in color and no longer the type of freshness I require (it was also floppy and gross, bleck).

Despite the basil set back, the end result being that I simply skipped adding basil, the dinner was absolutely delicious and definitely well received. My husband doesn't even like grilled cheeses and he liked this one, although he did mention that the tomatoes made it. Just imagine how he'd of felt if I'd have had all the ingredients! This is such an easy recipe I think I may play around with it in the future. All you need is bread, unsalted butter, olive oil, part-skim ricotta cheese, basil, salt & pepper, cherry tomato (Joy uses canned tomatoes, but I used fresh ones and they turned out perfectly), and shredded mozzarella cheese. For the original Lasagna Grilled Cheese recipe be sure to visit Joy The Baker by clicking here!