Five for Friday: Shop Update

Dear Reader,

First of all, I hope you are having a good week. Hard to believe that July is coming to a close and back to school displays are out in full force.  I plan to savor every minute of summertime that remains!

I haven't posted an update on my shop in a while, so I wanted to share five small updates with you.

One. Both the blog and my Etsy shop received a facelift in the last week, and I couldn't be happier with the results!  Danielle Moss assembled a lovely end product in short order, and I am so thankful to her for the updates!  If you follow the blog via a feed reader, please take a moment to look around. 

Two. I haven't put a new set of blocks on Etsy for a bit, but know that I am always up for a custom request or an order of a product that I previously sold on Etsy.

Three.  If you're a Grand Rapids local, you may find some block sets exclusive to Minty Keen (and many wonderful items while browsing - I speak from experience!)

Four. Block production is under way in preparation for a fall craft show where I have signed up for a booth.  Should be fun.  More details to follow.

Five.  A set of duck patterned blocks will be included in an auction taking place August 1 - 7.  Tara and her husband are adopting a little girl from Taiwan.  So excited for them and so hopeful that this auction is helpful!

And that's five.  Happy Friday!


On the Menu: Shrimp-Stuffed Celery

More than any other time of year, I so enjoy appetizers during summer, especially if enjoyed on the patio!  Here is a recipe from my mom that I think is a fresh and delicious choice for a starter.

On the Menu: Cucumbers in Sour Cream

We have experienced one very warm weather week in Michigan!  A summer salad seemed to be the perfect thing to post, and this recipe (from my mom) is a great choice to include at a summer picnic or BBQ.  Enjoy!

Tuesday's Treasury: Woodland Scenery

I so enjoy exploring new themes on Etsy, and this treasury, centering around all things woodland, is no exception.  (And a walk in the woods sounds delightful!)


Dear Reader,

These seem to be the golden days of summer.  Days often full of sunshine and warm temperatures.  Days where daylight seems to stretch just a little beyond expectations.  Days where the tasks at hand are mingled with moments of great relaxation.  My husband, son, and I enjoyed a weekend getaway which offered some lovely family time and time to just relax.

We spent time with my husband's parents at the lake cottage where they vacation each summer.  (This year marks 25 years of vacationing in this town, and I am so pleased for my in-laws to have this vacation experience.)  Fun full-circle moments occur as my husband remembers his childhood vacations up there and now shares these experiences with our four year old son.  And the water there is exceptional, a beautiful shade of greenish blue and clear to the sandy bottom.

We also took our son to a water park for an overnight (part of his fourth birthday celebration.)  He soaked up each moment of fun, and we delighted in his total enjoyment.

This week promises to move by quickly with many scheduled times, but hopefully we hold on to a bit of the calm and contentment of the weekend.

What moments are standing out in your summer?  I'd love to hear. (And perhaps there are more than could be mentioned, and that's all together wonderful as well.)

Linking up with Heather:

On the Menu: Picnic Chicken

Dear Reader,

I love recipes that have quick prep times and are easily modifiable to one's taste.  This is a great example of those two goals while producing a flavorful and tender main dish.  Enjoy!

Tuesday's Treasury

Door County is a place full of fond childhood vacation memories for me, and so this treasury focuses on finds themed around this peninsula in northern Wisconsin.

Currently @ Minty Keen

Dear Reader,

I recently added some additional blocks to the supply at Minty Keen (located in downtown Grand Rapids.)  I am always surprised by the clever displays and the new (or often vintage!) products available at this shop!   Here are some of the sets of blocks you will find at Minty Keen now:

Please consider stopping in.  I think you'll enjoy what you find!

Party with Pinwheels

Dear Reader,

I loved the amount of relaxation that came with this weekend.  My husband, son, and I had a nice balance of time spent with both sides of our family as well as some memorable moments with just the three of us.  Along with celebrating the 4th over the weekend, we had my husband's family over for dinner to celebrate my son's 4th birthday AND my mother-in-law's birthday (which she didn't expect to celebrate this weekend - surprise!)  How delightful to have so many reasons to be merry!

I rather enjoy hosting parties, and I often aim to try a new craft for one of the decorations.  For this occasion I made pinwheels using Emily's tutorial from jones design company (her tutorials inspire me enough to attempt them!)   I made a few tweaks by using ribbon to wrap the pencils and two-sided scrapbook papers (which matched nicely with the party napkins.)  I am so pleased with how they turned out.  I filled some parfait glasses with sand, and these pinwheels acted as a fun and festive centerpiece for the party.

Although the details of a party are sometimes worth a mention, I truly hope that my mother-in-law and my son both felt fully celebrated by our family this weekend.  My mother-in-law is such a giving, kind woman, and our family is so blessed to have her in our lives.  My son is truly my husband's and my delight, and we are overwhelmed by the gift that he is to us!

I hope that today is a lovely day for you.  Thanks for reading.

Five for Friday: Weekend Plans

Dear Reader,

Happy 1st of July!  I have the weekend on my mind, so here are five plans for our weekend:

One. Celebrating my son's fourth birthday with my husband's side of our family.  His birthday is in a few weeks, and he is quite excited about turning four.

Two. Spending time with my aunt and uncle along with my parents.  Always fun.

Three. Enjoying a full day with my husband and son on Monday, which will hopefully include a leisurely breakfast and then hike and beach time.

Four. Taking in some fireworks.  We'll see how my son reacts to the idea this year.  Last year he was not a fan.  (Maybe attending a parade would be a better?!)

Five. Getting an ice cream cone.  Perfect time of year for such a treat.

And that's five.  Happy Friday!  Happy 4th of July weekend!  Any plans to share?  I hope you have a great time!