Postcard from Brussels 

Postcard from Brussels 

  

It’s been a week since our return from Brussels, Belgium and I’m still processing all we saw and did. Until I post my in depth, detailed Guide to Brussels, here’s a lovely postcard from a city and country that’s stolen my heart!

Brussels’ architecture is stunning.

   

    
   

Brussels’ lovely parks are lush and scattered throughout the city.

   

   

  

Brussels doesn’t take itself too seriously!

  

I heart Brussels!! xoxo

By the way…the deadline for entering the Simply Tuesday book giveaway ends TONIGHT at MIDNIGHT Eastern Saving Time!

  

Click here and complete the 2 steps:

1. Sign up for Oak Grove Social posts,

And

2. Comment in the linked post  what your typical Tuesday looks like!

Winner will be announced tomorrow, Friday, August 21, 2015!

Good luck!

Giveaway is now closed and winner has been contacted! Thanks for all who entered!

Tuesday Tips | Healthy,  Quick & Easy Back to School Dinner

Tuesday Tips | Healthy,  Quick & Easy Back to School Dinner

 

Even better than learning their ABC’s would be my personal minion to make dinners!
 
We are already in the back to school grind around here in Kentucky and one pesky thing that always  catches me off guard is a healthy, quick and easy dinner when everyone’s coming in from all directions and the teens want. to. eat. NOW!

But…I can’t go any further without mentioning…it’s Tuesday! The Tuesday where today Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman is available to buy!!  And,  you can enter here for a chance to win this book! 

OK…back to the quick, easy and healthy school night dinner!!

 

Starvation strategy whilst I’m preparing the said dinner!
 
This veggie/cheese/cracker/whatever appetizer plate has been a lifesaver and game changer when famished stomachs hit the door wanting dinner NOW! (See a theme here?).

 In the morning, I chop up red peppers or cucumbers/carrots/celery and then when we get home, throw the veggies on a tray, add the wheat thins, cubed cheese and pistachio nuts (or olives) and then add my secret weapon…yogurt ranch dip dressing!  I do get the good stuff in the refrigerated produce section because my husband hates yogurt but he loves this dip!!

While they’re munching on this awesome tray, it buys me time to make this simple, fast and health meal…pizza!  Yes, pizza’s always easy & a winner but this is much healthier!

 Bethann’s Tomato Basil Pesto Pizza

This easy meal will add years & sanity to your life!
 
Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat pizza crust (make sure it says 100 % whole wheat)
  • Fresh mozzarella (for extra quickness, buy the presliced version)
  • Cream cheese, softened(I try to always buy organic)
  • Fresh basil pesto (you can find it interesting deli refrigerated area or refrigerated pasta section)
  • Fresh tomatoes (I got mine from my Dad’s garden!)

First, I slice the tomatoes and lay them on paper towels to help dry them out a bit.

 

So delicious!
 
Next, spread soften cream cheese for the first layer.

 

I definitely do not use the whole brock of cream cheese! I could, but then it wouldnt be healthy!
 
Then, spoon and spread on the basil pesto…

Yum! I also sparing spread the pesto…a little goes a long way!

Now it’s time for those gorgeous tomatoes!

  
And finally…the fresh mozzarella!!   

 
You could sprinkle chopped up fresh basil here, but I’m all about easy so I just put some black peoper on top! Then pop it into the oven and bake per the crust’s directions.

 

The finished product!
 
It couldn’t be easier…assembling this bad boy took maybe 5 minutes?!

 

Sooooooo gooooooood!
 
The adults did drizzle balsamic vinegar on top of the slices and that made this simple pizza even more fabulous!!

Of course, you can add any kind of topping you wish.  The cream cheese/pesto base is amazing and I’ve made this pizza with bacon, spinach and shredded Italian cheeses as toppings as well!

What quick, easy and healthy dinner meal has been saving your life lately?  Share in the comments below!!

Simply Tuesday Book Review & Giveaway!!

Simply Tuesday Book Review & Giveaway!!

 

Found my bench/swing for Simply Tuesday!
 
Y’all I cannot believe tomorrow is the book release for Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman !!!

It’s been such an honor for me to be a part of her launch team and some of the first to read this gem of a book!   I cannot wait for it to be released tomorrow and for all those who will be reading it and how it will shape their souls and lives. Emily’s book has already has done that for me. Seriously. 

Emily thoughtfully and thought provokingly writes about all the small, mundane and ordinariness of our lives and encourages us to embrace it. The book’s title in part comes from the recognition that Tuesday is the smallest day of the week where the ordinary everyday life happens.

 
In a culture (including church culture here) where bigger, better, louder and shinier demands the spotlight, Emily points the reader to Jesus and His word picture that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. Small, tiny, little. 

“Small is the position of my soul, the posture by which I approach others, God, and myself. When I’m small, I know I can’t control opinions, manipulate outcomes, or force my agenda on others. When I’m small, I can move into the world confident as a person I most deeply am because I don’t move into the world alone. 

If this is true, then small is my new free.”

-Emily P. Freeman 

Emily divides Simply Tuesday into 5 parts and within those 5 parts she provides the reader with an invitation, a prayer and questions for further reflection.  Her book is food for the soul…spiritual discipleship that guides the reader to reflect, ponder and respond to the Truths shared. 

I could have underlined and highlighted the entire book!  My margins bear scribbles of “YES!!!” and “me too”. 

Nearly every page looks looks like this!
 

Simply Tuesday should also be a must read for those in ministry, whether serving as a volunteer or on staff. Emily writes at length the problem with big=God’s favor and small=not of God in Christian circles.  We are small…we do not control or manipulate the outcomes. As Emily writes…

  
So where does one go when a small thing stays a small thing?

“What if your big break is really a breaking from big?” -Emily P. Freeman

Hmmmmm.

See what I mean, her writing really makes one ponder!  I’m currently rereading Simply Tuesday  again!

Emily’s words have already transformed and shaped my soul by pointing me to God’s Truth!  

It’s definitely one thing to agree intellectually that you’re to embrace your smallness, but entirely another matter to live it out!  Recently, I painfully felt my smallness in a challenging situation.  Emily’s words resonated through my head…yes I’m small…I cannot control this outcome…God is with me in this moment. And through prayer and feeling God’s presence and accepting my smallness, I felt such peace because I didn’t have to make myself big, my presence big or my voice loud.  

Simply Tuesday would also make an awesome small group book club or Bible study book choice! Hop on over to www.simplytuesday.com to sign up for wonderful resources from Emily, including how you can get your own book discussion guide. 

I’m so excited to be able to give away Simply Tuesday on my blog! 

Here’s how to enter:

1. Subscribe to Oak Grove Social’s blog email notification for new posts (located in the right sidebar)

And

2. Comment on this post below by answering the following question:

“What does my ordinary Tuesday look like?

These 2 completed actions will get you entered for the chance to win a free copy of Simply Tuesday

Deadline for entry is Thursday, August 20 at midnight Eastern Savings Time!!

The winner will be announced Friday!!  Good luck!

Giveaway is closed and winner has been contacted.  Thanks for all who entered!

No compensation was exchanged for my opinions, all opinions are genuinely my own!  The giveaway book has been purchased with my own money…that’s how much I love this book!!