On the nightstand: I usually read fluffy novels during the summer but a friend recommended John Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth and so I started it this past week and thought my pen would run out of ink before getting to page three. Usually I blaze through books unless they’re super thinky but he recommends taking one chapter per week and thinking through some of the applications he has so that’s the plan for the next few months. My favorite quote for the week is “..if you focus on goals, you may hit goals but that doesn’t guarantee growth. If you focus on growth, you will grow and always hit goals.”
In my makeup basket: One of the fun things we did in New York was get makeovers at the Yves St. Laurent counter at Bloomingdales. My friend Cheryl swears by their products and scheduled appointments for all six of us so we could get gussied up and look fabulous for our night on the town. I ended up buying a few items. He put me in navy eyeliner and mascara (“as you get older, brown washes you out”) and a berry lip color ( “Ma’am, please step away from the nude lipstick”) but my favorite purchase was this paintbrush highlighter pen (size of a mascara tube) called Touche Eclat. It’s super easy to apply and blends in like a dream and doesn’t leave you looking racoony under your eyes. I’m a big fan and will definitely be replacing it when it runs out. Good news is I don’t have to go back to NYC for the refill – our local Sephora carries it.
In the kitchen: Craig and I gave up wheat and other grains about six months ago after I read The Wheat Belly Diet (and when I say “gave up wheat”, I really mean “when it’s convenient” and definitely not when someone made pound cake or asks “How about some chips and guacamole?”). At first it was hard not having toast in the morning or biscuits and gravy on the weekends but we’ve adjusted and feel a ton better so it’s no longer a hardship. The hardest part is no cereal which has always been a go-to breakfast but I’ve fiddled with a few recipes and have come up with a good nut-based granola that we enjoy and satisfies the craving for crunch.
1 cup (each) raw almonds, cashews, pecans
1/2 cup (each) pumpkin seeds, walnuts, unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup (each) whole chia seeds and sunflower seeds
Rough chop the almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds (alternatively, process for 6 pulses in Cuisinart) and stir in the coconut flakes, chia, and sunflower seeds. Set aside.
In a small microwaveable bowl, combine the following and heat for 45 seconds:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Add warmed honey mixture to nuts and stir well to combine.
Pour onto rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in 325 degree oven. Stir, return to oven for 8 more minutes until toasted and fragrant.
Remove from oven, gathering the nuts and compacting with a spatula and let cool, then break apart and store in an airtight container.
We love this as a topping for Greek yogurt, baked fruit, or simply as a cereal with milk. I double the recipe and wind up with three quart jars which will last us for a while.
From the camera roll
My nephew was married this summer in an outdoor wedding on my brothers’ shared property west of town. It was a beautiful event made even more meaningful to see all of the family pitch in to pull it off. This is my favorite picture of the night, shot by my sister-in-law while formal family portraits were going on (hence the father of the groom – the one in a tie – leaning in for the quick snap).
Say it with me, I love my brothers.
Have a nice day.