I've been taking a walk every evening once the sun starts going down and it's not so hot. Everything is so alive and vibrant this time of year...yards are exploding with color and lush greenery, baby bunnies are hopping all over, cicadas are buzzing, kids are outside riding their bikes, and well, mosquitoes are competing for human flesh. All can't be perfect.
Most evenings, my walk takes me down to the lake. That's where I like to pause for a few minutes and reflect on the beauty around me.
We celebrated Brian's birthday this weekend. After talking with Brian and Tim, we decided it'd be best for the three of us to just chill at home on Saturday instead of going out to dinner. The boys fired up the Weber and grilled pork tenderloin and corn-on-the-cob and I made all the sides, plus dessert.
Brian's plate...that corn was delicious. We had gone to the farm stand earlier in the day and got the first fresh corn (non-GMO!) of the season. I simply brushed the corn with olive oil, sprinkled with a little salt, pepper and chili powder and the corn was put on the grill just like that - without the husks. They only took about 10 minutes to cook, but Brian and Tim turned them every couple of minutes to prevent total charring.
Brian's favorite birthday cake is banana cake - his mom used to make him banana cake on his birthdays when he was growing up. We've ditched white sugar, so I searched the internet for a banana bread/cake recipe that didn't have sugar in it. I found a recipe on Yummly here that uses honey. And then I searched for a cream cheese frosting recipe and found one that used pure maple syrup instead of confectioners' sugar. You can find that frosting recipe here. We agreed that this cake was really good. We didn't miss the white sugar at all - and so much healthier using an unprocessed sweetener.
After we stuffed our guts, we headed to the family room to watch a movie. We were in the mood for a comedy, and after looking through Netflix, we somehow decided on Hi Fidelity. I think it was seeing that Jack Black was in the movie that did it for us.
On Sunday, we took a day trip and had lunch at our favorite little pizza place, hit some sidewalk sales, relaxed at the beach and read for awhile, walked around a beautiful neighborhood so I could take photos of gorgeous homes and gardens (I'll save those pics for another time), and happened upon a pretty little park filled with roses.
We did great at the sidewalk sales. I got this handmade pendant on a sterling silver chain for only $4.
Found some cool thrifting stuff for 25 cents each, like this rooster pitcher...
A pretty fall pottery vase...
A shallow vase that I'll use for succulents...
and this interesting, large green tray. It's much prettier in person than in the photo. I had my mom and her house in mind when I saw this. I can picture it on her buffet and possibly filled with candles or plants. I'm going to her house later this week, so we can play around with it and see how it looks. If she doesn't like it, no biggy - I'll just donate this piece. For 25 cents, it's worth a try!
And the best bargain of all...FREE! A little book and music shop had everything outside listed for $1 each, but let us know that at 4:00, everything that was left would be free. We did buy a couple of books and a CD at the dollar sale...and then we showed back up at 4:00 and got all these books, two DVD movies, and a few music CDs (Smithereens and Sting). Score! There were a ton of LPs too, but it was so crowded, we just grabbed what we saw at first and got out of there. The owner of the store kept putting out more boxes of stuff. He had a booming voice and was joking around with everyone about taking all they could carry. He yelled, "Heck, if you have a truck, pull it up to the curb and fill it up - I'll even help you load it!"
Happy Monday - hope your week is off to a good start!