Dog Days of Summer Tomato Salad

Can you believe that AUGUST is almost over already?!?! Where did the summer go, I still don’t know. Seems like I just finished school the other day and now I’m starting my college course today!

Well, I guess there is one bonus for the end of August – tomatoes! I love tomatoes. And I can tell you that is an understatement. I eat so many tomatoes you wouldn’t believe it! There’s just something so refreshing, tangy, and perfect about these little red pieces of fruit…

I wanted to share with y’all on of my absolute favorite ways to eat tomatoes – Mediterranean Tomato Salad. It really doesn’t get any better!

Ahh, just seeing those tomatoes makes me hungry… This salad has the perfect balance of flavors with lemon juice, olive oil, and mint.

This recipe is actually out of this cookbook which has a ton of other amazing recipes as well!

What you will need for the first part is:

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/3 fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

Mix these together and set aside.

Next, you will need:

3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges (as shown)

2 scallions, coarsely chopped

10 green mint leaves, chopped (or if you don’t have fresh mint, you can also use a tablespoon of dried mint)

After you’ve combined the last set of ingredients, pour liquid on top and mix it together. Enjoy!

This salad is one of my favorites and I hope it becomes one of yours too! I love to eat this with a lentil dish or on top of lettuce as well.

Thanks for reading friend!

Can’t wait to see you on my next post:)

Love from,

Lauren

My 1950s Garden Party

Hello there friends! Welcome back to the blog – I’m so excited for today’s post! A few weeks ago my sweet friend Noel and I co-hosted a garden party themed from the 1950s. I’ve always loved poodle skirts, saddle shoes, and bright red lipstick so this day was a dream come true!

Wasn’t this just a perfect dress? I actually found it at a consignment shop a few years ago, and at least found an occasion to wear it! I think finding dressing up for this party was the best part. I was even more thrilled when EVERYONE who showed up was dressed in vintage attire! It made the party so special.

Please appreciate this fine chocolate artwork – it was not an easy feat to accomplish;)

I guess I’ll begin telling about the party with the delicious food we served. The night before, my friends and I were in the kitchen baking until well after midnight (pro tip: don’t practice swing dancing while you’re supposed to be decorating chocolate strawberries and watching your cake in the oven…) Despite our crazy time in the kitchen, the desserts turned out beautiful as you can see, thanks to Noel:)

This orange cake was the centerpiece of the food – isn’t it gorgeous?
Raspberry thumbprint cookies have always been a favorite of mine – they added a darling touch to the array of desserts.
We didn’t want to have just sweets, so we had some cheese and cucumber sandwiches as well.

Next, we headed outside to play lawn games. We played croquet and badminton for a few minutes, but unfortunately the day was so hot everyone wanted to go inside. So we had a swing dance lesson instead – and that was a blast! 1950s music is my favorite, if you’re looking for a great song, try this one… We used Spotify for our playlist and they have an amazing selection of old music!

For our decor, we wanted light, airy, and vintage, and I think our dollar store pompom garlands did the trick! 🙌🏻 Also, shoutout to my sister for letting us use her pennant banner – isn’t that fabric the cutest?

Despite the overwhelming heat and some slightly melted chocolates, the party went off without a hitch. Hope you find this helpful for hosting your own vintage party sometime – I’d recommend it for sure:)

Thanks so much for reading friend! I’ll see you on my next post.

Love from,

Lauren

Don’t mess with these hostesses…

A Morning Berry Picking Trip

Blueberry picking is for sure a Michigan must-do. One morning last week, I took a trip to some fields not far from our house. To say the least, the fields were magical… In the morning mist, the frosty blue of the blueberries was breathtaking (not to mention delicious!)

Lately, west Michigan weather has been unbearably hot, so it was definitely a good idea to go in the morning! Somehow, my mom and I managed to pick enough blueberries, but I’m sure I ate twice as many as I put in the bucket… they were so sweet and juicy!

On a side note, I just had to share my favorite part of this outfit – these linen shorts. I wore them all. the. time. last summer on my tour of Europe – and they still look amazing – such great quality for the price! I also have them in this beautiful blue.

Back to the berries, if you’re looking for something to do in Michigan, you’re never far from a blueberry field for sure, and I can’t recommend picking berries enough!

Thanks for reading, I’ll see you on my next post!

Love from,

Lauren

Life with My Beloved Vol. 1 – When You Feel Far Away

Happy Sunday friends! I hope your weekend has been lovely. I’ve been camping with friends and hanging out at the beach – so I have nothing to complain about!

Today I’m starting my first post series of many – this one called “Life with My Beloved” is filled encouragement for your Christian life. As followers of Christ, our Beloved One, we all have struggles with our faith from time to time, so it is my prayer that with this post (and the many to follow) you will be encouraged and strengthened in your faith!

This post is dedicated to a struggle that I have personally, and I hope you will be able to relate to my thoughts:)

Feeling far from God – sometimes even when we pray every day, read our Bibles and go to church, we can still feel distant.

The key thing to notice is the word ‘feel’. So often we can feel things that are not true. But it is essential that we never take these feelings to heart! In Jeremiah we are told that “the heart is deceitful above all things.” What could be more true? God warns us that there will be temptations, there will be struggles, there will be deceptions, and they is why He longs so desperately for us to cling to Him. When you feel far from God, that is when you must cling to Him and believe that He is never far away. One of my favorite verses goes as follows:

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

So my dear friend, if you are ever discouraged and feel far from Our Savior, please remember that He is always right by your side, just waiting to take your hand.

Blessings as you continue on your journey with Jesus!

Love from,

Lauren

My Summer Reading List

Hey there and welcome back to the blog…. for yet another late post! 😉 I’ve been so busy lately but I’m super excited about this post! I personally LOVE reading – and I hope you do to!

I certainly don’t claim to be as much of a bookworm as my older sister (seriously no one reads like her) but I do love to lose myself in stories – isn’t it a wonderful feeling? Well-written books can do so much for a person, impact, encourage, uplift…

I love the quote, “Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.” That couldn’t be more true, books can bring you to place you could otherwise only dream about – they’re simply amazing.

Well, enough of my rambling – onto the recommendations!

Some of these books I have already read and thoroughly enjoyed, some I’m reading currently, and some I’m looking forward to reading soon! I’ll start by talking about the:

Books I’ve Read:

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

This was such a sweet little romance story – and it was set in my beautiful state! The story follows a successful interior designer, who discovers that life isn’t just about careers – it’s about family as well. I think you’ll love Lane as much as I did when you read this… If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation read, this one is for you!

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

Oh my… what can I say except that this was AMAZING! I seriously couldn’t put it down and read all 400 pages in one weekend. This story is a mystery from WWII, and follows a daughter on her journey to Berlin in the 1970s to discover more about her mysterious, claimed-to-be Austrian mother… And I can’t tell you any more than that – read it and I promise you will love it!

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

This is by the same author as the previous book – I loved her work so much I had to find another! Saving Amelie is a heart-wrenching story that tells the truth about Hilter’s plan to Aryanize Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It’s told from several different perspectives, but mainly from the point of view of Rachel – a girl who discovers that she is certainly not the person she was told all her life she was.

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

“Rilla my Rilla,” oh, you’ll just fall in love with this sweet classic story about the beloved Anne of Green Gable’s daughter… Set in WWI, we see Rilla grow from a frivolous girl, into a responsible woman who makes a difference to all those around her. L.M. Montgomery’s beautiful writing tells this story perfectly…

Books I’m Reading:

Do Hard Things by Brett & Alex Harris

This book is written by two incredible 19 year olds – they were interns at the Alabama Supreme Court at the age of 17, and that was just the beginning of their accomplishments. I’m looking forward to hearing their recommendations for others to go out, change the world, and inspire other! This book just radiates the word ‘motivation’.

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Speaking of motivation – I have never read anything like this! Rachel Hollis is such an incredible woman and she’s inspiring me with every chapter. I can’t wait to finish this and read her next one!

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Considering that I’m planning to study business in college, I thought I should read the ultimate business book! So far, it’s very enjoyable and the information is relatable to any part of life.

Books I Can’t Wait to Read:

Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley

From the moment I heard the title of this book, I’ve been so excited to read Jordans tips for motivation and ‘overcoming the pressure to prove and show up to what you were made to do’. I can’t wait to devour theses pages….

Who Thought This Was A Good Idea by Alyssa Mastromonaco

I really don’t know much about this book, but I’m looking forward to an inside view of the White House. The government is a specific area of interest to me, so I’m sure this will be interesting!

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

This novel is about a Jewish family during the Holocaust in Poland – following their struggle as they are separated by persecution, and reunited at last…

Forty Autumns by Nina Willner

I serious CAN’T WAIT to pick up this book – the Berlin Wall is such an interesting topic that I know so little about. This tells the story of a family who was split by the wall and how they changed because of it.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Another hit by Rachel Hollis – can’t wait to read her incredible tips in this one! Here she shares her action plan for using the info from Girl, Wash Your Face.

Thanks getting all the way to here! I hope you find these book recommendations helpful!

Happy reading and I’ll see you on my next post!

Love from,

Lauren