Archive | July 2015

Book Review ~ Summer by Summer

Teenage cliques, first impressions, personal agendas, and being stranded off the coast of Belize:  Summer by Summer, a young adult (YA) novel written by Heather Burch, has them all. A summer trip to Belize isn’t all she wanted her experience as a nanny to be when Summer meets the older brother, Bray, of the family. After making some peace and helping with a diving expedition, they are stranded on an island due to a bad storm. With no rescue party in sight, the two must rely on themselves, each other, and their faith in God as they learn who the other really is while waiting to be rescued.

This is definitely a young adult novel with a market age of 14 and up. It is an easy beach read, no pun intended, of survival, love, trust, and faith. The story line flows as the author alternates between Summer’s and Bray’s points-of-view. Each must let go of the first impression and assumptions made of the other to survive their adventure.

While this is not a must-read, I wouldn’t avoid it. It kept my attention as I knew everything had to work out. I just wasn’t sure how Burch would create the twists and turns to bring positive closure.

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.

4 out of 5 stars


Grief, a thought

Thankfully, I am past the third anniversary of Mom’s passing. I miss her, but the hurt isn’t there as often. In thinking of all who have experienced loss and kept going, I have this thought to share for your consideration:

Grief is a process and quite the equalizer of humanity. Would that we looked beyond the presentation of others to the real person who needs love, true in each of us. — Me

(Her favorite flower)

Recipe ~ Kielbasa Bruschetta Pasta, fast and easy

A while ago I hosted a Pampered Chef party and purchased the Deep Covered Baker (DCB). Isn’t it pretty? I haven’t used it as often as I would like, but last night it was a handy tool. I made Bruschetta Pasta with Kielbasa sausage in less than 20 minutes. This dish was yummy, and my hubby and 3 year-old approved.

Here is the link for the original recipe from Tara’s Go-To Recipes. She used fresh basil, chicken stock, and fresh tomatoes.

Here is my version (the measurements are “ish”):


16 oz. box of spaghetti, broken in half
3 1/2 cups chicken broth


1/2 T dried basil (to taste)
1/2 T minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
Parmesan cheese, garnish

If you want to add meat, I used Kielbasa sausage that I sliced and cooked separately. You could also use cooked chicken or shrimp. Add it at the end and toss together, or plate it on top of the pasta.


Break the pasta in half and put it in the DCB. Add the chicken broth. Cover and cook in the microwave for 8 minutes. Stir. Cover and cook 8 more minutes. (Mine made a mess in the microwave, but it was cooked nicely.)

Meanwhile, cook your meat and prepare your sauce in a medium-size bowl. Combine the drained tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and garlic. When the pasta is ready, add your sauce to the DCB and mix all of those flavors together. Dish it and put your protein on top. Garnish with Parmesan to taste.

*I wish I had taken a picture, but we were hungry. Maybe next time. 😉