Archive for the Summer Category

Jul 27 2015

My 2015 Summer Reading List

Last year I shared my summer reading list so I thought I would do the same this summer, even though we are well into July and I’m not sure I will get much reading done with a new baby. 😉  My goal is to read more and look at my phone less while feeding my little one….easier said than done!  I loved that I got some suggestions from you all last year too!  I read “Sparkly Green Earrings” after several people recommended it and I liked it a lot.  Great read if you are a mom.  I laughed a lot and could relate to what the author Melanie Shankle described.  Here is what I’m reading this summer:

1.  The Nesting Place-This is a quick and easy read with lots of inspiring pictures of home decor…my favorite!  Myquillyn challenges us to stop trying to create the perfect home and just create a place where you and your guests can be comfortable to be who they are.  She gives great tips on how to create a space that you love on a tight budget…even when you live in a rental.  I love how she says “It doesn’t have to be perfect to beautiful.”  Loving this book!


2.  Sacred Chaos-Spiritual Disciplines For The Life You Have– I’ve been reading this for a while and little at a time and loving it!  Tricia Rhoades is the wife of the pastor where we go to church and she is a wise woman!  This book is meeting me right where I am at as a busy mom of two (a toddler and a newborn) and craving to deepen my relationship with God amidst the chaos that is my life right now.  The chapters are short, which I love, and packed full of meaningful insight from Tricia.  At the end of each chapter there are exercises you can do that don’t take a lot of time, but that can draw you closer to Jesus.


3.  31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom– Arlene Pelicane is a family friend of my husband’s family and she has also spoken at my MOPS group.  She’s a great writer and I am so honored to be apart of her launch team for her new book!  It comes out August 1st so look for it soon!  Life as a mom is wonderful, but it can be crazy, hard and draining too.  “31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom” gives encouragement and wisdom to moms.  Arlene’s book is broken down into 31 daily readings and each ends with an action step to take.


You can watch the book trailer here.  And if you pre-order the book anytime in the month of July (you have just a few more days) you can get these 3 free gifts:

10 Pesky Questions

Struggling with questions like “Can I watch just one more show?” or   “Do we have to go?”?  Arlene answers these questions and 8 other pesky common queries in   this helpful resource.

Jump Start cover

Whether you had your baby last month or twenty years ago (ha!), Arlene will help you rid yourself of a few baby pounds.  This eBook is easy to read and easy to implement!


My Happy Chart is a place your child can write their tasks (i.e. homework, make bed, dishes…) and then check them off as completed.  I suggest paying a nickel or dime for every check completed without you nagging.

Find out how to get these free gifts when you pre-order here.

4. Breathing Room-Letting Go So You Can Freely Live– My husband just bought this one for our Kindle because it was on sale for a great price.  Normally I love the physical book in my hand so that I can make notes, but I had been wanting to read this one for a while and couldn’t pass up this sale price.  I had read Leanna’s book Found Art and loved it!  Looking forward to diving into this one, cause let’s face it we all need a little breathing room…at least this mama does!

download (1)

So what are you reading??  Please share in the comments of email me.  I’d love to get some great suggestions!

Happy Reading!

Signature - Marissa

Jul 20 2015

Lemonade Blueberry Popsicles

Hi Friends!

I love summer!!  I love splashing in the pool, running through sprinklers, warm nights, the occasional summer thunderstorms, cute chubby toddler thighs running around in just a diaper, and Popsicles!    I finally got a Popsicle mold so that we can make our own Popsicles.  There are so many yummy recipes out there online.  I wanted to share one with you that I just threw together.  Super easy and quick!


First, I made some freshly squeezed lemonade from lemons from my mom’s tree.  I used the recipe found here.  I poured it in the Popsicle molds, threw in some frozen blueberries,  and popped them in the freezer for several hours and voila!!


They were a hit!


Have a great week!

Signature - Marissa

Apr 22 2015

Zesty Lemon Bars

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

My mom has the most delicious Meyer Lemon tree in her front yard.  Whenever we go over to visit we always come home with a big bag of lemons.  What do you do when life gives you lemons?  Make lemon bars of course 😉 .  If you like super lemony lemon bars, this is the recipe for you (I use a lot of lemon juice)!  They have just the right balance of sweet and tart.  These zesty lemon bars are the perfect refreshing dessert for the spring and summer months.  Whip up a batch and surprise your family with a little treat after dinner this week!

delicious lemon bars

lemon bar ingredients


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2  cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (Meyer Lemons are the best!)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Powdered Sugar for topping


Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix flour, butter and 1/4 cup powdered sugar.  Press in ungreased 8×8 glass dish, creating a 1/2 inch crust around the edge of your dish.  Bake 20 minutes.

Beat granulated sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder and salt until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes).  Pour mixture over baked crust layer.  Bake about 25 minutes, or until no indention remains when touched.  Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares.

Notes: It is important to build up a 1/2 inch crust around the edge; don’t skip this step!  If you don’t, the lemon filling will stick to the sides and will be hard to cut and serve the bars.  Also, the lemon filling is more likely to burn around the edges.

tasty lemon bars

lemon bars

yummy lemon bars

What do you like to make when life gives you lemons :) ?

Signature - Alisa

Jun 25 2014

4th of July Free Printable

Hi Everyone!

Can you believe 4th of July is next week?  It is one of my favorite holidays (I think I say that about every holiday)!  I love what this holiday represents and the chance to celebrate this land I love.  Marissa and I have such fond memories celebrating when we were younger.  My dad would throw a block party every year and invite all the neighbors.  All of us would be dressed in our red, white & blue.  We’d go swimming, BBQ, play croquet, watch the older boys set off fireworks and stay up late listening to the adults talk about the good old days.  Over the years it has become a smaller group, but we continue the tradition each year and I think that would make our dad very happy.  The last several years the kids (and dogs) in the neighborhood ride their bikes in a little parade down the street.  Our dog looks forward to walking in the parade every year and last year Luke participated in it too!

We made this 4th of July inspired printable to share with you.  If you are late with your decorations this year (like us), now you have one!  Click on the link below the image to download.  Hope you enjoy!

Every Heart Beats True Printable

Click here to download

How do you celebrate the 4th of July?  Do you have any traditions?  We hope you have a fabulous 4th!

Check out our Pinterest Boards for more 4th of July inspiration: Alisa’s here and Marissa’s here.  If you are a new reader, welcome!  Subscribe by email to get updates or follow us on Bloglovin.


Jun 18 2014

Summer Essentials

Can you believe the official day of summer is just a few days away!  Though summer just isn’t the same as an adult, is it?!  But, I’m determined to find some time to relax, read and travel.  Today, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite summer essentials to share with you.  Can you tell I’m a bit obsessed with navy? :)

Summer Essentials

1. Maxi Skirt – I’m loving Maxi skirts lately.  They are so comfortable and light weight.  They also work great as a cover up by the pool.  I have just recently discovered that SteinMart has adorable summer skirts.  I usually would only look at their home décor section, but I have found some really cute clothes there lately!

2. Good Book – I love to read, especially in the summer.  There is just something so relaxing about getting caught up in a good book on a warm summer evening, or a lazy day by the pool.  One book that is on my summer reading list is Love Does by Bob Goff.  Not only have I heard amazing reviews, but he was also my Business Law Professor in college.  He was one of my absolute favorite teachers.  He made law interesting and exciting…if you can believe that!  I remember he would invite all of his students over to his house before a big exam to study and his wife, Sweet Maria, would have yummy snacks for us!  He has such a passion and love for God, life and everyone around him.  Read along with me!  If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out Marissa’s summer reading list.

3. Sunglasses – My favorite are Fossil aviator sunglasses.  I’ll let you in on a little secret: buy them at a Fossil Outlet Store, they are a lot less expensive.  They hold up really well; I’ve had mine for over 4 years.

 4. Bathing Suite | Top Bottoms – I have the hardest time finding a bathing suit that fits well…anyone with me?!  I’ve worn the same one for years!  Then I saw a picture that my friend Christina posted on Instagram of an adorable bathing suit she got from H&M.  I checked their website and they have adorable bathing suites in several styles.

5. Sandals – I bought these in turquoise a couple years back and always get a tone of compliments.  I was excited to see that they are available this season again. I love this neutral color…I might just have to buy another pair!

6. Hat – I’ve never really worn hats at the pool until recently, but now I never go without one.  Not only are they cute, but it prevents my scalp from getting sunburned!

7. Sunscreen – Skin protection is a must, especially with fair skin like mine, but I hate greasy sunscreen.  So, when I stumbled upon Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Sunscreen I fell in love!  It is ultra sheer and has dry touch quality to it.  I use the lotion on my face and neck under my make-up and  I the body mist on the rest of my body.

8. Light Make-up –

  • Foundation: I wear BareMinerals for my every day make-up.  I love the light even coverage and my favorite part is that it has SPF 15.  I have really fair skin and since I have been wearing this make-up paired with the Neutrogena sunscreen, my face has not been sunburned and I only apply it once in the morning.
  • Lip-gloss: Neutrogena MoistureShine gloss is my favorite go to lip gloss.  Keeps your lips moisturized all year long.  I love the soft and subtle tint of the Natural Boost shade for Spring & Summer months and the Vita Plum shade for fall and winter.
  • Waterproof mascara: I like to have waterproof mascara on hand for those summer days when I’m at the pool.  That is the only time I wear waterproof mascara, because it can make your lashes dry and brittle. Removing waterproof mascara can also be hard on your lashes, which can cause them to fall out.  I want to keep all the lashes I have, thank you very much!

9. Beach tote – How cute is this tote from Forever 21!  I love a good tote to hold all my summer essentials and large enough to throw in a towel too!

10. Glass Water Bottle – Staying hydrated, especially during the hot summer months is really important.  I always carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go.  I have this same exact one and the best part about this one is that it is BPA, phthalates, PVC, lead and cadmium free.

Here’s to a great summer everyone!

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Signature - Alisa