Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Confessional ~ Plus a Recipe

FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE

It is Friday and you all know what that means? Yep, you guessed it, time to fess up. Come join the fun over at Aubrey's High-Heeled Love. She host this little party every Friday. 

I confess...

Last Saturday on way back from our adventure, Todd and I stopped and picked up our print we purchased at the Art Festival.  I took it in the weekend we bought it and had it custom framed.  I absolutely love it!


I confess...

The honeysuckle vine I Todd planted a couple of weeks ago is beginning to bloom.  I hope it attracts humming birds like in my print.


I confess...

My day lilies are finally blooming and I love the variety I have.
 My favorite Day Lily ~ Joylene
I confess...

While Christian was in the dentist office I found a recipe I tried this past Sunday.  We loved it and it will be made again.  I cannot give credit to the magazine I was looking at unfortunately.

 Peach,Tomato, and Basil Salad
Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp of white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium pitted, peaches.  Each cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 medium cored, sliced horizontally 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. In a small bow, whisk together vinegar and olive oil.
  2. Arrange peach wedges and tomato slices on a platter.
  3. Drizzle dressing on top.
  4. Sprinkle with basil.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately.
What do you have to confess this week?

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Literary Friday ~ The Registry


The Registry


This book was a freebie for me on my Nook and it was worth every penny... the synopsis was better than the actual book.  I was very disappointed in it, seriously I forced myself to complete it. 

The Registry is about America in the future, how the men went to war and many people died here in the United States while the war was going on.  In this new America, the girls are raised to be bride and sold to the highest bidder.  The boys are taken away from their families and raised to be soldiers and after their time serving they are allowed to purchase their bride. 

The main female character Mia Morrissey is eighteen and has been sold to be married but she convinces her best friend to escape with her to Mexico where there is hope of freedom.  Mia was warned by her older sister how horrible being a wife can be.

Mia and her friend does have help from a boy who worked on her farm and they fall for one another.  This book is the first in a series of books that I do not plan to complete.  The plot was horrible I thought and way too predictable.  I just did not enjoy this book at all.  I am glad it was a free download.  The book sort of reminded me of a poor Mad Max combined with a poor Hunger Games feeling.  I do not like to write bad reviews and try to find something that I liked in a book, but this one, I could not find anything. 

I am linking this up to Art@Home's linky party.  You can click on the icon below to find other book reviews or if you write book reviews you are welcome to join in on the party and add your review for others to enjoy.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

July Goals



It is a blog hop, so click on the Monthly Goal button and you will see those who play along post as well. Come join along!
 Monthly Goals

RECAP OF JUNE GOALS
  • Focus on some alone, quality time for Todd and I.  SUCCESS  I am enjoying the weekends a lot.  If you have not checked out my post this month, Todd and I have been getting away on Saturdays and seeing parts of Iowa never seen before. 
  • Focus on some "Me" timeSUCCESS
  • Finish my seasonal painting.  FAIL  I have only one panel done but I am in hopes to at least complete 3 in the month of July.  Focus! I really want this series done.
  • Work in the gardens.  SUCCESS
  • Waterproof the tent for the two nights we will be camping outdoors in Yellowstone. FAIL However we are doing it this weekend.
  • Go to the Strawberry Patch. SUCCESS
  • Work on the deck.  FAIL We have been having fun this month and the Sunday's have been bad weather where we can not work on it. 
  • Update my Garden Blog  SUCCESS   Our Slice of Heaven is my garden blog.
  • Work out 6 times a week.  IN PROGRESS  I am not going to say fail on this.  I have been working out 5 times a week so far this month.  Not too bad!
  • Lose at least 10 pounds.  FAIL
  • Begin strong the new 10 week Biggest Loser Weight Competition at work. SUCCESS
  • Read two books.  FAIL I am slowly getting through one book.  I have been bad and not set aside time to enjoy myself and read.
  • Save for vacation. SUCCESS
JULY GOALS
  • Attend the Jazz Festival
  • See Loverboy perform
  • Waterproof the tent for the two nights we will be camping outdoors in Yellowstone.
  • Post all of my scheduled post while I am on vacation.
  • Yellowstone or Bust!
  • Complete Seasonal Painting
  • Lose 10 pounds
  • Work out 6 times a week
  • Celebrate our Anniversary
  • Celebrate Todd's Birthday
  • Work in flower gardens
  • Prep for new flower beds.
  • Update my Garden Blog
  • Read at least one book.

What type of goals do you have this month?


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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Independence


 

One thing Todd and I love about our Iowa Adventures is seeing the country side.  We both love seeing the small towns, the farms, and the farm houses.  We loved doing this when we took our trip up the Great Iowa River Road and it is what inspired our weekend trips and to have fun getting away and doing something just the two of us since we do not spend time with one another during the week.  (I plan to recycle those post while I am on vacation.) On our adventure to Burr Oak (Click here to read about it) we passed this little town called Independence, Iowa.  We noticed this adorable Information Center.  On our way back home after stopping in Deorah's Dunning Spring Park (Click here to read about it) I told Todd I would love to stop at the Information Center to take pictures.  I have such a wonderful husband.  I was not even paying attention when we came upon it and he pulled off so we can get a closer look.  He thought it was pretty cool too.

Another beautiful building with beautiful details.
The information Center is a historical building in Independence.

We just love things like this and I am so happy we both love history. Alright he probably would not have thought to stop to take pictures like me and I love how my husband is agreeable and enjoys it too.

Independence is 1 hours and 13 minutes north of Iowa City.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Decorah ~ Dunning Springs Park.


 
On our Adventure on June 27 to Laura Days in Burr Oak, we thought we would stop in Decorah.  You, know where the famous Bald Eagles are on video.  This city is absolutely breath taking.  It is found in a valley between hills.  Iowa is very hilly.  I am sure it is so pretty in this city during the fall when the leaves are changing colors.

Our mission was Dunning Springs Park one of Todd's employees told him about this, I also read about it in the book but did not imagine the beauty.  I also do not remember the book mentioning the waterfall.  Yes, Iowa has a waterfall.  I was so surprised to find this.  Oh, I have seen spillways which are beautiful here in Iowa but this is a natural waterfall.  It was well worth our stop.  There was so much beauty here.  We went to the Ice Cave first because there was a wedding taking place next to the waterfall.  The Ice Cave is actually that, a cave you can explore and ice can be found on the walls well into Mid-August.  At one time, one could crawl all the way through the cave, but now they have bars to end the exploration and make them turn around and go out another opening.  We did not go to far into the cave.  Well Todd chose not to, I told him to go ahead without me, I would just return to the car.  I could not go any further because in order to get around, one had to crawl on your knees something I cannot do at all due to the intense pain.  
Above: The cave's entrance.
Below: Inside where ice was on the cave's walls.
Below: Our stopping point.  At this point to go further one would need to crawl through it.

I hope we go again with the kids, this way Todd will explore the caves more.

After the caves we headed towards the waterfall.  We stalled a little and took in the view where the stream flowed into the river.



On the road to the waterfall, I came across this little butterfly.
I love butterflies!

There was a stairway one can go up to see the top of the waterfall.  We chose to do this while the wedding was finishing up.  Todd went all the way up to the top.  I was able to get a little more than half up,the steps were a little too steep for my knees.  (I am concerned about our trip to Yellowstone due to all the aches in my knees.) 
By the time Todd came back down the wedding was over and we went to check out the waterfall. Todd climbed the rock while I took pictures below.  Todd took a few pictures with his phone and told me the water came from an opening in the cave.  This would explain why the water was ice cold.  He also said there was a spot at the top it felt like there was an air conditioner blowing from the cave. 

The little valley at the base of the waterfall the temperature was cooler.  I can see why someone would have a summer wedding here.

Below: Todd near the top of the waterfall.
Below: Todd took a picture of me taking a picture of him.  
One of our selfies for the day.
We just loved this place and had a great day.
This is definitely a hidden jewel of Iowa.  If ever you find yourself traveling through Iowa and have time for an hour stop, definitely make sure you stop in Decorah, Iowa and check out Dunning Springs Park.  They have several hiking trails as well.

Decorah is 2 hours and 41 minutes north of Iowa City.

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