All the Things: Summer Favorites

Just a few little things that…
lighten my load
make me laugh
stir my heart
make me think
bring me joy….

I think you might like them, too.


Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette, your local grocer, $2.98

If Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette were water, I could get in my recommended daily allowance much easier. Brianna’s fly goes perfectly with summer’s fresh. Strawberries, cucumbers, body lotion: works for everything.

Melissa’s Second Favorite Salad

-some kind of spring salad mix (I like the arugula and spinach mix if I’m feeling sassy which, let’s be honest, is always)
-sliced strawberries or blueberries
-thinly sliced red or sweet Vidalia onion
-toasted sliced almonds or pecans
-a heaping helping of goat cheese
-a big swirl of ground garlic salt and ground black pepper

Give the onions a generous bath in Brianna’s and set in the fridge until time to serve (or just move to the next step if you’re that impatient already). When you’re ready to throw your mouth a party, toss salad with garlic salt and pepper, add the freshly bathed onions and mix it up like you used to do in college. Throw everything else in and you’re welcome.

Le Petit Marseillais, around $5 at your usuals (Walmart, Target, Walgreens)
Cotton Milk and Poppy Body Wash and Body Milk Lotion

You don’t know how I couldn’t stop giggling setting up this sexy photo shoot in the backyard with the neighbors wondering what the heck. 

When we have overnight guests, we do what regular people do and kick our kids out of their beds and bathrooms. Shopping for last-minute guest guacamole one night, I considered that maybe Aunt Chesley might not prefer bubble gum flavored everything like my girls do and threw these two into my buggy (I’m from the south and it’s not a cart, y’all). It would turn out to be one of those decisions that makes me feel particularly chosen.
The first night she came down the stairs I said, ’You smell like a unicorn. What is that?’ She told me it was whatever I had put on the girls’ counter. After she went home, I made sure to put the good stuff where it belongs: in mama’s bathroom.
Keep your flowers, have your fruits: I prefer fresh scents with just a hint of magic and lotions that don’t leave my skin feeling like it’s wrapped in a plastic bag.
You don’t have to come spend the night with me to try this combo out, but if you do: I’ll leave it on the counter for you.

Fair Trade Friday Box, $31.99 (or $14.99–depending on box)

(20% off Mercy House Global purchases right now!)

Some people celebrate Christmas every December but I think it’s just because they don’t know it actually comes every month. I love this box so much I treat it how I do my good chocolate: I save it to open when I’m by myself so I can actually taste it.
Kristen Welch founded Mercy House Global with the purpose of empowering women and teenage mothers around the world through partnerships and sustainable fair trade product development. 100% of every purchase made goes straight back to Mercy House Global.
Last month, one of the things included in my Fair Trade Friday box was this cute Joyn bag I have to keep snatching back from my daughter’s room:

This summer-for-Christmas the boxes had everything from a buttery soft suede clutch, a hand-embroidered globe pillow cover, and my new favorite apron. Each item comes with a tag that carries the name (and sometimes the photo) of the woman who created each piece. While I enjoy a long string of necklace beads that go with everything, sure I do, I treasure the sweet smiling face of Elizabeth from Kenya more.
I also hide away some Fair Trade goodies to keep in my gift stash and am very famous for giving the best gifts.
Host a party, shop the catalog, send the gift boxes…every purchase empowers another woman and her family.
Give good.
20% off all purchases in the store right now! Go to Mercy House Global. Seriously. Hurry.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Sometimes I fantasize that someone will ask me this question and genuinely be interested in the answer:
If you could have a dinner party with any seven people, dead or alive, who would it be?

I like to talk about people and things that jar the soul and mess with the mind, pick at the seams of the status quo (just ask my tired husband at the end of his work day). Everyone sitting at my table, I would explain, has shifted my foundation: opened my eyes, broken my heart and put it back together in some different and better way.
And usually makes me laugh right out loud.
If someone were to ask, I would have Maya Angelou sit next to me. And I would pull her chair closer to mine before she sat in it. I would keep her coffee hot and full, probably squeeze her arm like I do too much, and would cry at the privilege.
Every once in awhile I will read something that causes me to close my eyes and the book for a full minute to say a prayer of gratitude that God made a person with honest eyes for beauty and pain alike and paired that with something that reaches far beyond a simple gift for words.
I closed this book several times.
Just a word of caution: if you find awful-beautiful truth sharp as a razor, white privilege, or words with wings off-putting, this book probably isn’t for you.
But if you don’t?
Please sit with Maya Angelou.

Momagenda Day Planner, prices vary

Behind every successful woman is a cup of strong coffee, anti-inflammatories and a hand-held family organizer telling her what time hot yoga starts. My Momagenda is the reason kids get picked up from school, I call my sister on her birthday and I remember to say the N-O word to most things. If I’m the heart to our family, she’s (the desktop planning version of) our brain. My favorite features are:

*travels easily
*has individual schedule blocks for each person in our family (and also dinner notes!)
*I prefer paper everything to digital
*the inspirational quotes for each week
*it’s practical and not foofy
*I actually use it

Go on and order you one and get yourself to hot yoga.
A note: it starts with the school year month (August) and goes for 18 months so you have either an extra bit of calendar or you can get it 1/2 off in January.


And in case you need a giggle:

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  1. Erica | 9th Aug 17

    You are a hoot! Loved it!

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