It’s Friday! How is it July? My friend Kyla has started doing a weekly review of her favorite blogs from the week…I’m going to use her idea and post some of the stuff I’ve recently seen online and liked. Maybe you will too.

This is the start to a long weekend with Monday being the Fourth of July. Although I’m not a patriotic person, I do love a good themed celebration! I think I’ll let myself celebrate being an American more this year than I have in years past, because that is part of who I am, just not something I tend to elevate or promote. So the red, white, and blue, the stars and stripes, it’s all looking so celebratory and has me thinking of what I will make to take to my annual family reunion.

Recipes I’ve looked at…

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with video instructions (Pillsbury)

Root Beer Baked Beans from Southern Living, 2004 (MyRecipes)

Golden Coconut Peach Pie (Allrecipes.com)

Balsamic Roasted Red Potatoes (Allrecipes.com)

Speaking of family reunions, I started wondering what the proper relationship titles were for some of the people I will see there. Under “Cousin” on Wikipedia, I found a Cousin’s Chart which can help sort out all those weird 1sts and 2nds and once removed questions. I am planning on taking a picture to send to one of my favorite blogs at my family reunion with one of my second cousins, who I formerly thought was a second cousin once removed.

I don’t normally read the New York Times, but a great writer and optometrist (blog: Ocular Fusion) posted a link to an articles on Facebook this morning. I met “Mike the Eyeguy” on a mission trip to Guatemala this spring and learned a little bit about eye exams from him (eyes are one of my weaknesses). The NYT op-ed piece reflected on the connection between medicine and fairy tales. I think it’s so true and reflects the point that stories form us, and that each person has a unique story of their own. Read it here.

You will laugh out loud for real with Austin’s post Dollywood–A Day in Pictures on his blog What’s Left Out. And if you live in the South, you can believe all the glorious sadness of it. So good. Austin and I went to college together, and he is a superlative writer…he has a great blog and e-book.

Lastly, I stumbled upon a blog I love called Make it MAD. Max writes about a lot of great topics including some Gentleman’s Guides which I would recommend, but I really connected with this: Good Woman’s Guide to the 21st Century. Well-written and full of truth.

What are your Independence Day plans??