What's On My Bookshelf

I love having a little more time in the summers to catch up on some good books! Whether I'm packing a book in my beach bag or travel tote, I'm always looking to read and learn something new. A couple of years ago, I set a goal to complete at least one book per month, and it's become a good habit to get into. Most of the time you'll find me reading non-fiction and personal development books, but I'll throw in a few fictional stories from time to time.

Here's a few of the good ones I've read recently:

Everybody, Always--Bob Goff
This is a book that I think everyone should read. Basically anything by Bob Goff is going to be a home run. He's an incredible communicator, hilariously funny, and a big-thinking dreamer. This book will challenge you to see and live life differently. Double thumbs up. Also, if you haven't already, go pick up his first book, Love Does. It will quickly become a fave!

Becoming the Boss--Lindsey Pollak
I discovered this book while reading an article that Lindsey had authored on business and leadership and was interested to read more from her. She has a lot of great advice and practical insight for the next generation of leaders coming into the workforce, and her background in millennial (I know, I know) career success is actually very fascinating. If you're looking to take the next step in your career, wanting to know how to better communicate with those in other generations, or leading for the first time, I think you'll find this book to be helpful.

What Every Body Is Saying--Joe Navarro
This was another book discovery from an article I had read, and I'm so glad I picked up his book! Joe Navarro is a former FBI agent who is one of the leading experts in deciphering human body language. The stories he shares from his extensive career are incredibly fascinating, and his tips for better understanding the inaudible yet globally spoken language of body language were really cool and insightful.

Relentless--John Bevere
John Bevere is another author and communicator who just gets you to think differently. His writing always challenges me to be better and to connect with God in a deeper way. John's ministry has had a global impact on a major level, and he's a gifted teacher when it comes to helping others to discover their true calling and purpose. If you've ever wanted to grow and expand your faith, this book is a great place to start. I'd also suggest his book Killing Kryptonite.

The Fred Factor--Mark Sanborn
I've heard Mark speak a number of times, and I am always a fan of how he communicates success principles in a way that is fun, engaging, and practical. This book is all about success and  how to win in business and relationships all told through the story of a very unlikely hero, Fred the mailman. It's a quick read, but very memorable and fun! I'll definitely be revisiting this one again.

What's on your bookshelf lately? I'm always looking for good recommendations! 

Swiss Summer

Summertime in Switzerland is the most wonderful thing ever. The countryside explodes with blooming flowers and trees in every color, the mountains reach high into the bright blue skies, lakes are clear and cool, and the faint sound of cowbells and twittering birds makes the perfect soundtrack to the peaceful scene. We ventured by train into the winding mountains and were greeted by the most charming of villages brimming with history, beauty and picturesque views everywhere you turn. I often bring along a special piece to wear in beautiful places on my travels, and this gorgeous floral maxi was the prettiest pop of pink against the grassy hillsides. 

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July Inspiration

Happy July and Happy Summer! We're in one of the most fun seasons of the year, and I'm especially excited for this month since it holds travels, birthday celebrations (today, actually!), and lots more! Here's a few ideas and thoughts that are inspiring me this month! What's been inspiring and motivating you lately?

Celebrate: Stars & Stripes

I love the Fourth of July! It's always been one of my favorite holidays since I was a little girl. It's such fun to celebrate the spirit of the country, the bravery of those who fought so valiantly for our freedom, and the beauty of this place that we are blessed to call home. This year, I decided to throw a simple patio party to celebrate. Entertaining at home doesn't have to be tricky, and when it is hot out, it's best to stick to simplistic, refreshing menu items that can be assembled in a flash...just in time to catch the fireworks! ;) 

 A summer salad comes together easily with spinach, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, fresh strawberries, pine nuts, and a generous sprinkle of goat cheese. Whisk up a simple dressing with olive oil, pear-infused vinegar, honey, and a dash of S&P!

Keep guests refreshed with some sparkling water (we like flavored La Croix and San Pellegrino!) or flavored lemonade. A black bean and corn salsa makes for a delightful appetizer that guests can enjoy before the meal. (This particular recipe is so easy and always a hit at parties!) 

1 Can black beans (drained + rinsed)
1 Cup mild salsa
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 large avocado, chopped

Combine all ingredients (aside from avocado) into a bowl and mix well. Fold in avocado last. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips
End the evening on a sweet note with fresh fruit parfaits (yogurt can be swapped for vanilla ice cream, too!) in patriotic colors! 

Happy Fourth of July! How will you be celebrating? 
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