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The Little Things Newsletter #419 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

Welcome to the weekend, my friends! It’s grad party weekend for my middle son and I’m pretty excited about it. We have family coming into town and friends coming over tomorrow. There is a whole lot of cooking and baking happening over here today. It’s going to be a fun time.

I’m having a bit of a “pinch me, I’m dreaming” moment at the realization that we have two kids done with high school and our youngest will be starting high school this fall. Parenting older kids has been my favorite part of it all. Who knew teens and young adults would be this much fun?? 

And let’s be honest, that might have something to do with the fact that there isn’t nearly so much active parenting required. Life with older kids is approximately 4,729 times less exhausting than actively parenting babies, toddlers, and younger kids. 

So, if you’re closer to the starting line of parenting, just know that young adults you enjoy and want to hang out with are the reward at the end of the parenting trenches. And the ability to sleep in on the weekends? It’s a beautiful thing. 

Now that I’ve been more sentimental than I planned to be this morning, let’s talk about this week’s eats!

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK:  Cheesy enchiladas filled with chicken and black beans in a green chile sauce is a hearty dinner that always gets two thumbs up from my crowd.

Creamy ranch dressing with a bit of heat and plenty of green chile flavor has become a family favorite over the past few years.

These quick and easy pizza sliders are made by layering marinara sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese into Hawaiian rolls and then brushing them with a garlicky melted butter.

Bite-size chunks of potatoes are tossed in a generous sprinkling of Cajun seasoning before roasting until tender perfection. Then they’re smothered in a blanket of cheese to finish off these cheesy Cajun potatoes.

Garlicky with a hint of sweetness, these simple buttered peas are about to become a favorite last-minute side dish for your dinner plans.

Creamy chocolate ice cream with a marshmallow swirl, crunchy almonds, and chocolate chips add up to a homemade heavenly hash ice cream.

This no-bake cherry cheesecake is a classic dessert, perfect for summer picnics and potlucks. This cheesecake has a graham cracker crust topped with a creamy no bake cheesecake layer and cherry pie filling on top.

What I’m CRAVING: These berry kombucha margaritas! They sound so utterly refreshing, I need to try them this summer. And speaking of drinks that WILL be made this summer, sandia en fuego cocktails (a.k.a. the best watermelon margaritas you will ever taste!) have been in my thoughts for a few weeks. Here’s hoping for a perfect watermelon soon!

My FAVORITE THING this week is this car air freshener. While I wouldn’t recommend buying a case before you’ve smelled it yourself, I’ve been grabbing these in the little 3 packs from the store for a few years now and just realized I could buy a box of them this way. I don’t know that they smell like “leather” but I love the fragrance as it’s fresh and clean and everyone seems to enjoy it. (I barely open the package initially to prevent it from being overwhelming in the small car space.)

What I’m LISTENING to: Deeper Well by Kacey Musgraves. This album has been on repeat again this week. 

What I’m READING: The Magic of Recluse by L.E. Modesitt Jr. This is the first book in his Saga of Recluse series. Sean introduced me to these books when we were dating and I read the first 7-8 books and loved them. I recently rediscovered them and learned that there are 24 books now with 2 more planned for next year. 

Modesitt is a master of world-building and his characters grow and develop well throughout these books. If you’re a fan of fantasy books, this is an author to add to your list. While this series isn’t my all-time favorite of his work, that’s simply because I don’t think any fantasy books will ever beat out the Spellsong Cycle for me.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalm 95:2 ESV

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!

Mary

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