Tastes Like Summah

My family and I are about to go on vacation in North Carolina.  Oak Island actually.  Do any of my essential oil friends make their own shark repellent?  We’re renting a beach house with a kitchen so we’re going to cook probably all of our meals.  I’m creating a dream week vacation menu for us.  I love everything on it; I hope my family does too.  Like all of my menu plans, I’m holding it loosely.  I’ll leave room for the leading of our appetites, but my taste buds are so ready for this.

To create this all star eating list I’ve been thinking of the beach and the nice fresh seafood I know we can get there that you can’t in the Midwest.  Also… this is North Carolina.  My Grandma is from Roxboro.  We have a little south in us so we must tip our hat while on vacation to the great food gift to the world that is southern cooking.  Coconut cake, biscuits, shrimp, I wouldn’t mind some grits in there too.

4ec58eedf376f71af5b1d12eb48cfd63Crunch and texture is a must for the beach, so plenty of crisp salads with fruit and nuts.  Summer isn’t summer for me without BLT’s and iced tea and lemonade.  Sandwiches are so Summer.  Really anything handheld for me is beach worthy.

de056d247dd77bb95206fc21864f4030For some reason I’m including a lot of tacos.  There’s something about a warm corn tortilla with spicy meat and lots of cilantro and onions that says summer to me.   They are handheld too, maybe that’s the tie in.

So I have the menu, which I’ve made pretty just for this blog.  It really just exists on my phone in notes.  I also have made a Pinterest board because I cook from my phone, and I plan to then too.  

beach menu

What would be on your perfect summer week menu?  What tastes like summer to you?



Mom took us kids to the library at least twice a week when we were younger, maybe more. It may have been in the name of free entertainment.  Growing up somewhat poor is a life experience I wouldn’t trade, ever.  It could also be because my parents are both constant readers.  Shouldn’t surprise me that I now am as well.

I am always reading the Bible, the One Year Bible has been my go to source for many years now (another inheritance from my mom), a non-fiction, usually something on Christian Living or psychology or a memoir, and a fiction.  My fiction books are my quicker reads (and let’s be honest, so much more fun to read), so sometimes it takes self-control to complete that Christian living book.

The middle book is actually about chastity believe it or not.
The middle book is actually about chastity believe it or not.

Finish them I do, however.  My husband can vouch for me that it takes a lot of ick or a lot of boring to make me discard a book without finishing it.  I’m addicted to accomplishing tasks.  (Use that in your next interview!  Happy employment on me.)

Finding a book really worth reading I think is key to my continued reading bliss.  There are so many sites now that will recommend what you should read based on what you already like.  I’ve struck out a little with the recommendations by Goodreads, though I continue to use their site and app to track my reading and stay social.  Honestly that’s one of my best book finders… my friends who read, and some of them are on Goodreads.

This year a friend of mine who as been blogging for years started a monthly book club, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the variety.  You can check out what we’ve been reading and will read here.

Pinterest is great too.  Lots of people keep track of books they’re reading or want to read.  Right now I’m working through a list created by librarians voting for their favorite books from last year.  Click here for the list.

I like the librarians’ list a lot because most likely my library will carry multiple of these titles and I won’t wait long to get to read it.  I’m not a fan of e-reading.  I love turning paper pages.  I also rarely want to purchase a book so I’m a huge fan of the public library.  It’s easy to request and have your book waiting for you.  I think one of our branches even has a drive-thru pick up!!

IMG_1665Because I am an achievement junkie I also feel the need to track my reading.  I do this on Goodreads, moving books from my “currently reading” to “read” pile, but I love how visually beautiful Pinterest is, so I have a board for each year (i.e. Read in 2013).  I scroll through these boards now and then and just remind myself quickly what I read by the pictures of the covers.

I’ve been trying to up my reading each year (reading more books, but also reading better books).  Before I began using Goodreads, I (of course) kept a database.  It’s not like my movie database where I’ve tried to remember every film I’ve ever seen, I’ve only gone back to 2011.  book database

I continue to update my database.  I score a book out of 10 instead of Goodreads’ 5 star scale.  It’s great because I can view separate queries by year and see if I’m reading a balance of genres and fiction/non-fiction.  I’ve thought about adding whether the author is male or female after hearing that a lot of people mostly read books by their same gender.  Fascinating.  I’m averaging a 9 out of 10 this year as far as my ratings this year.  It’s gone up by .5 almost every year.  I think this means I’m reading better books, but it may mean that I’m less of a critic than I was.  (More on that in a later post I’m sure… How to Read and not be a Jerk.  Ha!)

How about you?  Where do you find what to read next?  Are you a book buyer and saver or do you pass things on?  Or even better… what would you recommend from your recently read pile?

PS – How annoying is the English language that read (present tense) and read (past tense) are spelled the same?