Saturday Small Talk

Welcome to your (hopefully) long weekend! Any fun plans? We are going to hang out and take it easy. We might head north to pick up the last of the piano studio furnishings. Then again, we might not. I know I want to soak up all of the sunshine northern Michigan has left for me.

I want to try my hand at grilled pizza this weekend.

Gorgeous photos of the inside of musical instruments.

Go into business for yourself, working from home: a list of 101 creative ideas to get you started.

“How was school today?” 25 others ways to ask your kids about their day.

Preschoolers need to play.

Financial advice based on your age. Are you on track?

Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods is officially a movie. I want to see it!

Now that the kiddos are back in school, four lunch ideas, with commentary from a 5 year old.

Dogs in a photobooth. Made me want to run to my humane society and adopt a puppy.

Labor Day is the unofficial start of fall, FYI. Here are 60 recipes to get you started.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Saturday Small Talk

Confession: my weeks are full of good, life-giving things, but the weekends are where it’s at! We’re celebrating a wedding this weekend, and it promises to be a good time with dear friends. I see lots of food, merry-making, and outdoor time in the next 24 hours. Bring it on!

The internet is so fun. Here’s what I bookmarked this week:

Travel habits we all need to adopt.

The math behind VanGogh’s “Starry Night.”

Making art is the trendy way to meditate.

Are the kids back to school in your world? Here are some dinner ideas.

Maybe being successful doesn’t require you to work 24/7.

Is being content all it’s cracked up to be?

 

So much of our lives are spent around people our own age. Is this doing us a disservice?

I love the look of these ear cuffs!

Emily recommended Penelope Trunk to me. I love her blunt, no-nonsense style! Check out her Blueprint to a Woman’s Life. It made me laugh. And cry. And shake my head. And mostly…not sure what to think.

Does making your bed in the morning make your happier? It just might…

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday Small Talk

What are you up to this fine, August Saturday? We started our day canning tomatoes, have a cookout planned for later, and might even squeeze in a campfire. All in all–a perfect summer weekend!

In case you missed it….I made the most delicious and unhealthy cookie dough dip.

You may drink as much coffee as you like.

Single tasking is the new multitasking. Make sure you watch this video–it’s hilarious.

Frozen hot chocolate….mmm, good!

If you’re bored, go for a hike.

Being sarcastic is good for you!

Story tellers unite! Arranging your life into a narrative is good for your brain.

Rescue your photos from digital oblivion. Join the #preserveproject!

I want to try this DIY face cleanser.

A simple phrase will  help you live a happier life.

Enjoy your weekend!

Easy Cookie Dough Dip

Last week, my baby sister came over for a sleepover. Our sleepovers tend to include unhealthy snacks and a movie, resulting in my staying up way later than I normally do. This one held the course. We made cookie dough dip, watched a Harry Potter movie, and I didn’t get enough sleep. Sounds like the perfect sleepover, no?

This dip is so easy. Mix it up, dip something yummy, and enjoy. It’s rich, sweet, and oh-so-delicious. If you have the foresight to make it a couple of hours early, you’ll thank yourself. Chilling it was totally worth it. Even though it tasted great the night we made it, it tasted even better the next morning. It’s a totally balanced breakfast, right? Not.

Cookie Dough Dip

Cookie Dough Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add sugars, molasses, and vanilla. Mix.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Chill for 1-2 hours (or longer).
  5. Serve with graham crackers, pretzels, vanilla wafers, and/or animal crackers.
http://www.balanceandblueberries.com/2015/08/17/easy-cookie-dough-dip/

Recipe based on this buzzfeed video.

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun?

If you’re interested….my favorite chocolate chip cookies and the most lovely spice cookie.

Saturday Small Talk

It’s Saturday. You made it! I’m playing for a wedding this weekend, but mostly hope to spend a bunch of time in the hammock with a book. I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series–it feels perfect for summer! Just the right amount of light and happy and engaging. What are you reading?

In case you missed it…how to freeze blueberries (and most other berries, also).

For road trip inspiration: the best ice cream shops in the US.

5 things every grown up should be saving money for.

14 of the most scenic rail trips in Europe.

How to write a sympathy card.

Toasted marshmallow ice cream cake with salted carmel.

A hammock hot tub (life changing).

Do you feel stuck at work?

Make drumstick ice cream cones at home.

Did you hear? LOL is dead.

Conflict in relationships can be healthy if you handle it well. The best: “I may have misunderstood your intentions, but this hurt me & I’d like to talk about it.”

Enjoy your weekend!

How to Freeze Blueberries

Blueberries are in season here in northern Michigan! And in case you missed the name of this blog…I love blueberries. They’re powerhouses of nutrition, as well as super delicious. Yesterday morning, before work, I dragged my baby sister to the blueberry farm to pick berries. In a little less than an hour, we picked 13 pounds. YUM!

I love having blueberries in the freezer throughout the year. In the middle of January, a blueberry treat is like a little reminder that summer isn’t gone forever. Our favorite is this easy blueberry compote–put it on ice cream or pancakes or smear in on toast. It cooks up quickly, and tastes like heaven. If you’re more adventurous, try blueberry scones, mini blueberry pies, chicken with blueberry sauce (it’s good!), or blueberry muffins. You can make each one with fresh or frozen blueberries.

So, freezing blueberries. First, find your berries! They’re in season in the northern climates now. Check out pickyourown.org for farms.

Wash them in a colander and remove any stray stems. Spread them in an even layer on a freezer paper lined cookie sheet (shiny side of the paper up).

Slide the tray(s) into the freezer and leave them for an hour or two. You do this so they don’t freeze in gigantic clumps, as they would if they went right from colander to ziploc bag.

Once frozen, transfer to ziploc bags and return to the freezer.

Then….enjoy blueberries in smoothies and muffins and desserts and sauce all winter long!

Happy blueberry picking!