This summer Landon and I are spending a lot of time together in the kitchen. We watch a lot of cooking shows together and I think they are rubbing off on him. One of our favorites is "Master Chef Juniors". Those kids are his age or younger, and very inspiring. If they can cook, why can't he? Sharp knives still make me nervous.

He got this map of the world on the last day of school. I guess his teacher wanted everything GONE. In an attempt have some sort of continuing education this summer I suggested we learn about what people in different countries eat. We can mark them off one by one on the map. Cooking was already an interest and I am happy because we are learning about different cultures and countries too.

I thought we would start off with something easy. I don't call myself an expert with European and Italian food, but I know how to whip up a good spaghetti!


There are quite a few pantry staples needed for Italian cuisine. One of which is OLIVE OIL. Look at all the recipes that require olive oil

I've learned a few things about what to look for when I'm out shopping for my EVOO. Did you know that different European countries produce different types of oils? Me either! If I want a fruity-nutty flavor look for a Spanish olive oil with a yellow color. Italian olive oil is a darker green and has more of an herb flavor. I had no idea about any of this. I just assumed oil is oil. They are all the same. 

When you choose a European Olive Oil you are getting years and years of tradition and knowledge. They know the best time to plant and to harvest.

The Flavor Your Life campaign has set out to help educate US consumers on purchasing Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They are backed by the European Union and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture. You can learn more about this at

For our first European cooking lesson we made a delicious herb bread dip to go with our stuffed shells and cheese. One of my favorite things at Italian restaurants are the dishes of olive oil accompanied by a basket of bread. Get in my belly! And yes, I realize by having Landon help make this I cheated him on the practicing his knife skills. We will get there eventually y'all.


1 cup olive oil
3 tbsp fresh or dried herbs (any combination of basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme)
2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh garlic

Combine all ingredients and serve with an artisan bread of choice.

We used Zucchi brand as our EVOO of choice. They have been around for over 200 years and have been family owned for 7 generations. They are known for their high quality. I have to agree. It is delicious. You can learn more about their company and products at


What is your favorite dish to make with Olive Oil? Are you a fan as much as I am? 

** I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links **



Two kids and one on the way this summer. I'm scared. I'm not afraid to admit that. I have two plans I'm working on.

Plan 1. Don't plan anything. Have absolutely zero expectations. Go with the flow and do what fits our fancy each day. The problem with this plan - fail to plan, plan to fail. I'm afraid by not planning anything I will be completely stressed out with two bored children while I'm nursing another.

No thanks.

Plan 2. Over plan. Have something planned for every day and keep everyone busy. The problem I see with this plan is over promising and under delivering.

I need to create some kind of hybrid solution. A loose list of summer ideas with no particular completion date. I've asked Landon to help me put together a summer bucket list of places to go and things to do. It is very interesting to see what he thinks will be a good time. Ha!

How much can we get done in 10 weeks?

What can we learn?

Where can we go?

Summer is for fun, adventures, family, sunshine, and relaxation.

I am going to have each one of us create our ultimate summer bucket list. I am personally going to make two different lists. One for what I want to learn and another list of where I want to take the kids and all I want to do. I will probably ask Landon to make two lists as well.

The learning list doesn't have to be boring or scholarly. I'm talking about learning how to swim the length of the pool, learning to dive, learn how to do origami, learn how to make slime, etc... Whatever you want to learn how to do big or small. The "learning" part will come in the research in finding out how to do it and creating the discipline to stick with it.

I created a quick summer bucket list sheet to keep track of our ideas. You can download your own copy below or make your own.


Here are a few things we came up with. Will we get to them all? Probably not. Remember, just a loose plan to keep summer entertaining. I just want to have ideas on those bored days when we are ready to lose our minds.

+ Strawberry picking
+ Try new foods
+ Make our own ice cream
+ Read 15 books (mine obviously)
+ Swim Swim Swim
+ Go to the beach
+ Learn Yoga
+ Learn Parkour (Landon of course)
+ Go fishing
+ Go campling

What are your summer plans? Any big adventures or small getaways? What do you want to learn this summer? I will be posting our lists in the Facebook Group for inspiration. Make sure you are there!

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