This afternoon I was looking at all the pictures on my camera from my travels so far this summer and realized I have so much more to post. So, for the next several days I will feature a bonus post – a picture I took in my travels with some related thought.

Like today’s pic from the great Gold Coast Art Fair in Chicago I attend again this year. I love this picture as it captures the essence of the fair and the great city as a backdrop. It also reminds me of one of the great joys of summer – attending art fairs. There are many more art fairs going on all over the country – find one near you here.

 

 

On my little vacation last week I was fortunate to make a day trip to Provincetown (at the very tip of Cape Cod) via Bay State Cruise’s fast ferry from Boston. Once in P-Town, I made a pilgrimage to Mad as a Hatter, one of my favorite shops where I have purchased many hats over the years.

FF: The Orange Spice Cleansing Body Bar from Moon Valley Organics:

There is nothing better than a long shower after a hot summer day spent out having fun. Well only one thing better, a long shower with an awesome soap, like the Orange Spice Cleansing Body Bar I found from the fine folks at Moon Valley Organics.

About the Orange Spice Cleansing Body Bar from Moon Valley Organics:

“Our Orange Spice Cleansing Body Bar blends Red Palm oil’s natural restorative power with Clove to soothe and Plantain leaf to promote healthy skin. These medicinal ingredients are combined with Beeswax and decadent, mineral and Vitamin-E rich oils to seal in their goodness and provide a luxuriant, natural moisture barrier.”

Find the Orange Spice Cleansing Body Bar from Moon Valley Organics here.

See all the great products from Moon Valley Organics here.

FF: The Raspberry Milkshake Soap from Lush

Meanwhile, if you want a soap that is almost good enough to eat – you must try the Raspberry Milkshake Soap I found from the fine folks at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.

About the Raspberry Milkshake Soap from Lush:

“Who doesn’t like milkshakes? This creamy slice will leave skin feeling divine and smelling delicious. Fair trade organic cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil and almond milk deliver super soft, moisturized skin, meaning you’ll be looking to lather up day in, day out. An uplifting blend of Sicilian lemon oil, sweet vanilla and fruity davana oil smells oh-so-decadent, and the pièce de résistance — fresh raspberry juice — gives skin a comforting cleanse. It’s milkshakes all round!”

Find the Raspberry Milkshake Soap from Lush here.

See all the great products from Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics here.

Well, things are going fine with my 2018 vegetable garden – despite being away for 10 days and temperatures hovering around 100 here on the Kansas prairie (just across the river from the great city of Kansas City, MO).

It is had to see in the picture (below) but my raised bed garden is flourishing with lots of new growth since my last update.

It looks like I am going to have a ton of great tomatoes (right) and the basil is in full mid-summer foliage. The squash plants are really taking over and I hope they yield something, and the various pepper plants are growing high but little evidence of producing anything yet – but there is still time.

It is gazpacho season, as if it really is ever not gazpacho season… anyway, there are many variety you can make, but none as colorful and as fun as the recipe for Red Grape Gazpacho I found from the fine folks at the Food Network Magazine.

About the recipe for Red Grape Gazpacho from Food Network Magazine:

Puree the grapes, cucumber, bread, olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, the vinegar, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until very smooth, at least 1 minute. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.”

Find the recipe for Red Grape Gazpacho from Food Network Magazine here.

See all the great recipes and tips for the kitchen from Food Network Magazine here.

While waiting in line for takeoff the other night at Boston’s Logan Airport for my return back to KCMO following my little summer vacation, we were treated to a pretty sunset…

My fondness for food served on boards and platters is well documented on these pages, so you can understand why I am in love with this book: Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen, with Wyatt Worcel.

About Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen:

“This visual cornucopia of a cookbook is the guide to entertaining with effortless style. Celebrated author and food blogger Shelly Westerhausen shares the secrets to creating casually chic spreads anyone can make and everyone will enjoy (and envy). Organized by time of day, 40 contemporary arrangements are presented with gorgeous photography, easy-to-prepare recipes, suggested meat and drink pairings, and notes on preparation and presentation. Helpful advice includes tips on portioning, picking surfaces and vessels, pairing complementary textures and flavors, plus a handy chart featuring board suggestions for a variety of occasions (from holiday parties to baby showers). Platters and Boards is an inspiring housewarming or hostess gift and resource for throwing unforgettable get-togethers.”

Flipping through this book has given me tons of great ideas to spice up my own boards and the courage to try something daring.

Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen, with Wyatt Worcel is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

When my life-long friend Lynda came to visit me last month, she pulled out a really cool reusable bag from a little pouch. The bag had a great design with a fun colorful print and it was just perfect for carrying the items we were buying at the time.

I was all: “what fresh awesomeness is that?” And she told me it was a reusable bag from the fine folks at Baggu. Before I knew it, as a thank you gift for hosting her visit, she sent me two of my very own (below).

About the Reusable Bags from Baggu:

“Our best-selling reusable bag is not just for the grocery store. Carry in your hand or over your shoulder. Holds 2-3 plastic grocery bags worth of stuff. Folds into a flat 5 in. x 5 in. pouch. Holds 50 lbs.”

See all the cool Reusable Bags designs available from Baggu here.

See all the modern funky fun accessories from Baggu here.

While walking on the beach on my little summer vacation I cam across this message left by a fellow beachgoer…

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