Summer Potpourri

I keep waiting for inspiration to strike and fill me with enough deep, meaningful insights to craft an incredibly rich and thought-provoking blog post. However, lately most of my creative juices have been directed toward preparing for our largest conference of the year (which takes place next week), so I’m lucky to be able to string together one or two coherent sentences when I come home. And so I’ve put together a few quick insights into my summer thus far (hey, at least it’s not yet another book review).

• Food-wise, summer is my favorite season because of the abundance and variety of fruits and vegetables available. Nearly every Saturday during the summer I’m at one of the local farmer’s markets to pick up locally grown produce. Let’s face it–most tomatoes at the grocery store cannot hold a candle to a fresh, homegrown tomato, and a BLT made with tomatoes from the farmer’s market may be one of God’s greatest culinary gifts to mankind. Surely there will be BLTs on the heavenly banquet table, right?

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“House Hunters International” has been dethroned as my favorite show on HGTV and “Fixer Upper” has now assumed the role. My sister introduced me to this new show in which husband and wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines help people find and renovate rundown homes. I really like their design aesthetic, but even more I love their family dynamic. They seem like a truly down-to-earth couple who juggle work with their four young children (who are often seen on the show and are absolutely adorable). On a couple of episodes they’ve mentioned going to church and have prayed, so it’s encouraging to see a Christian family getting to live out their faith to a pretty wide audience.

“Fixer Upper” airs on Thursday nights on HGTV, in case you want to check it out and see what all the fuss is. And you might also want to read Joanna’s blog; I particularly enjoyed her recent post on celebrating your gifting.

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• Someone please tell me I’m not the only one who the mosquitoes love to feast upon all summer long. In the approximately 2.8 seconds that it takes me to open my back door and put the trash out in my trash can (which is right next to the back door), I can get bitten about half a billion times. Let’s just say that I am running low on After Bite and am wondering if Costco sells it by the gross; that may not be a bad investment for me.

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• After hearing about it from a friend at work, I finally jumped on the Stitch Fix bandwagon and ordered my first box, which is due to arrive in a few weeks. In a nutshell, Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service in which you complete an online style profile, pay $20 and a stylist sends you five items that are selected for you. You try on the items, pay for what you like and send back what you don’t like. If you end up buying something, the $20 that you paid for the box goes toward your purchase, and if you decide to keep all five items in the box, you get a 25% discount. 

Some people use Stitch Fix because they hate shopping, but I actually like to go shopping. However, I tend to get into a style rut and gravitate toward the same items over and over, so my main reason in trying Stitch Fix was to see what someone else would pick out for me, particularly if they choose items that I wouldn’t necessarily pull off the racks myself. I’m looking forward to seeing what I get, and I’ll do a review of my box and of the service overall when it arrives. 
In the meantime, if you’re interested in checking out Stitch Fix for yourself, click here. If you happen to order your own Stitch Fix box using my referral link, I’ll get a $25 credit, and you will in turn get your own referral link. Note that this an unsolicited shout-out to Stitch Fix; they did not pay me or ask me to promote them–I’m just excited about giving them a try!
• I think I am one of about six people who have not taken a vacation yet this year, and I am really hungry to get out of town. Last year my big trip was the one my sister and I took to Seattle. So far the only plans I have this year are a beach trip in September, which I am very much looking forward to, but I’m craving exploring a new city (or rediscovering one I haven’t visited lately). Anyone want to join me, or at least underwrite my travel budget? Anyone??
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