This and That


1. Maxwell wanted to be a “cool dude” on our Sunday walk.

2. Our garden is growing. I might have overdone it on the basil. Oops!

3. We don’t usually watch soccer, but have been enjoying the World Cup games. There have been some good ones.

4. Question, what temperature do you keep your thermostat at during the summer? Maria likes ours to be at 78 degrees. Why have air conditioning if the house is that hot? ha! I prefer to keep it at 70. I feel like that is a good number.

5. Favorite places to camp in Utah or Idaho? Any suggestions?


1. New this week, a refreshing summer salad and another winning banana bread!

2. The early access Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts today! If you don’t have a Nordstrom card, you can still get one or you can wait until the sale opens up to the public on the 20th, but stuff does sell out. There are SO many good things on sale. I picked out some of my favorites. The prices are so good too! Let me know what you are loving!

3. I can’t stop thinking about these.

4. It’s been so hot outside this week. I want to take the boys to do fun things outside, but one step out the door and I’m like, so you want read a book or play inside? How are you beating the heat? We’ve been eating lots of cold watermelon and hitting the pool.

5. I have been making more time to read lately. I finished this book and this book. I liked them both. I asked on Instagram stories for book recommendations and got some good ones. I will try and post a little round up of the suggestions on my stories later so make sure you are following!

6. Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, I think I need to make this to celebrate, or have a big ice cream party with lots of flavors and brownies! What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

7. I want to eat this for breakfast.

8. Little black dress.

9. Love this necklace and this necklace.

10. I started using this and it’s an easy way to keep a summer glow with little effort. It doesn’t streak at all.

11. YES to this skirt and sandals.

12. I really wanted to go to a drive-in movie this summer but they don’t start until 9:30 or later. That is WAY past the boys bedtime and mine. I guess it makes sense because they have to wait until it is dark, but can’t they build a tent or something?? I guess I better just go to a theatre:)

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I really enjoyed “How to Eat a Cupcake” too. Have you read “Friendship Bread” it’s a story woven around the passed bread but ends with variations on the traditional recipe. Fun read. For a more serious read, I just finished and really liked “Before We Were Yours” and I’m currently reading “Small Great Things”. Per your recommendation I read
    “The Two Family House”–great book club discussion! I think we have similar taste in books!

  2. We keep ours at 72 and its perfect. My mother in law keeps her at 75. And I am totally with you on the drive in theater. I would love to go to one too, but it starts way too late for me.

  3. A temp of 73 or 74 seems to work well for us. If it’s super humid I set it at 72 but it does feel chilly in the house then. Think of it this way. If it’s 88 outside then coming into a house that’s 78 (or 73!) is going to feel so much better.

  4. For hot days,take a cotton kerchief , wrap a few ice cubes in it and then tie it around your neck. It will keep you cool.

  5. For Josh: For one thing, Maxwell already is a “cool dude!” As for the question of your thermostat setting, we live in Central Oregon, which has very mild weather. However, the next two weeks are going to be in the 90s, so we are keeping our thermostat at 70 degrees. At night, it goes to 65. We like it cold, though, so I think you two need to make a compromise!
    And, in my opinion, you can never have too much basil!
    For Maria: I haven’t read that Mary Higgins Clark book yet–I’ll add it to my list. I recently read an interesting book: Before we Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate. Has a good ending!
    Thank you for an entertaining read each week with your blog!

  6. We keep our A/C set to 73 during the summer months, its a nice temp and when you come inside your not freezing but can feel the change from the outside temp.

  7. Maria, I’m with you!  78 is just about right in our house.  My daughter keeps her temperature closer to 70 and I always turn it up some.  I turn temperature back down when I leave!!

  8. hey y’all – great list! The food looks so yummy! Tthe stuff at Nordstrom looks so cool! We usually have our temp about 73 during the day and 69 at night. Couldn’t stand it to be 78. It gets hot down here in Oklahoma. ha crazy weather- Can’t wait for Fall

  9. Since it’s been in the 90’s here in KC I set the thermostat at 77-78. It’s very comfortable.

    Maybe you guys need to start using some of that basil – it LOVES being picked.

    1. We have been picking it, that is the problem. I have been making pesto and basil vinaigrette nonstop:) This week we have moved on to caprese salads and bruschetta:)

  10. We live in Michigan and keep our AC at 75. We have had over 12 90 degree days and it hasn’t been bad in the house. I like being inside. I have been reading Nora Roberts Shelter in Place and if you can get past the first 2 chapters it is an awesome book. I love This & That!

  11. I keep ours at 78 too!  I think it’s perfect, maybe 76-77 on hotter days.  Maria, I just finisjed “I am watching you” by Teresa Driscoll.   It was really good summer read.  

  12. Josh, Welcome to “real” football! I’m glad you’re enjoying the World Cup. I haven’t been able to see many games but Colin and I watched one together.
    We keep our thermostat at 80 degrees. I don’t like to go out in the heat & humidity if I’ve been freezing inside. This way, when I come in from working in the yard, it feels perfect! (It also saves a ton of money in the summer).

  13. Loved the looks of Bacon, Corn, Tomato Pasta Salad. Knew it would be a hit but couldn’t find a few of the ingredients so I improvised. Not a good thing to do when your ingredients are “right on.” Then this week I made it again and followed your recipe to the letter!!!! It was fabulous, got lots of raves and was sure a hit at the light dinner party. I will look forward to trying more of your recipes!!