Checking In…End of Summer Edition

Summer is coming to an end and it seems to go by faster each year. I work at a university and live in a “college town” so there’s a definite slow down to life in Summer. I’m always sad to see it come to a close.

I haven’t blogged much this summer. I have been cooking but have just been taking a little hiatus from blogging. I’m always more inspired to cook in Fall and Winter so don’t worry, I’ll be back at it soon. In the meantime, here’s some terrific recipes that I’ve tried this summer. Some of them are “clean eating” inspired and all are yummy!

SkinnyTaste Salsa Verde Chicken– This is a go-to for me. I use it to make tacos, nachos and taco salad. So easy and SO good. I’ve been making it for awhile but I’m including it in my summer roundup because you totally need to try it.

Veggie Loaded Breakfast Casserole– I was inspired to try this for a friend’s birthday. The friend happens to be vegetarian. You do not have to be vegetarian to enjoy this yummy dish! I plan to make this again and again.

Thai Turkey Meatballs – A delicious and healthy recipe that has a hidden ingredient (zucchini!). I served these with Green Giant Cauliflower “Rice”.

Pioneer Woman Salisbury Steak-I loved salisbury steak as a kid. My mom had a good recipe that used brown gravy mix both in the meat mixture and for the gravy. This recipe is more wholesome, I think.

Pioneer Woman Baked Ziti- I’m always eager to find something that my picky husband will like. When he mentioned baked ziti, I jumped on the chance to try a recipe. And you can’t go wrong with Ree’s recipes! He went back for seconds which is a huge compliment from him! This one is a keeper. It’s definitely not one of the healthier recipes that I’ve tried but you gotta live a little.

So what else have I been up to? Well in keeping with my pledge to make 2017 the year of Fabulous, I’ve been working on some self-care. I started a clean eating challenge in July and successfully completed it leaving 6 pounds behind. And I feel so much better! I’ve been walking more and even added in a little jogging.

Baby Boy who isn’t really a baby anymore has enjoyed summer. He started a new daycare/school at the end of May. Our former daycare changed ownership and we had to move him which was emotionally difficult because we were so happy where we were. But we were blessed to get him in our first choice and it’s been awesome. He loves it and can’t wait to go each morning!

We didn’t travel this summer but we did spruce up our backyard a little. We bought a new grill and I have to say, Hubby has gotten pretty good on grilling steak. We scored an amazing deal on this play set on Amazon Prime Day! We looked at a similar set earlier in summer but I put off buying it then. I’m glad I did because we saved a ton of money by doing the Prime special. Baby Boy loves it! He’s an outdoorsy kind of guy.

I’ve also read some good books since the last Catching Up post. Of the 10 I’ve read since then, these are the standouts:

Eligible is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice and is probably my favorite book of the year so far.

First Comes Love and Here’s To Us are both “summer reads”. Nothing too heavy and somewhat predictable. But I enjoyed both of them and I’m not into heavy stuff anyway.

I had no idea John Grisham had a book out called The Whistler but I enjoyed it. I just started on his latest Camino Island. I guess I need to follow him on social media because I knew nothing of either title.

And finally, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a book about someone who loves books. No seriously, a woman attempts to open a bookstore in a small (and somewhat small minded town). It’s funny and charming.

Other random happenings…my boss of the past 9 years retired after a 41 year career at the university. My colleagues and I threw her an awesome 4th of July themed “garden party”. I made Hershey Syrup Cake and pulled pork.

If Summer must be done, then I’m ready to move on to Fall my favorite season! How was your summer? Tell me all the fun stuff that you did!

*Amazon links are affiliate links meaning purchases made through them may result in me earning a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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