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We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

  • Alina Gersib

S’mores with Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows Taste Test


Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe comes courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

www.thefrankincensetree.com

info@thefrankincensetree.com

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!


Wow! These marshmallows are absolutely a treat. They turned out as the fluffiest dessert I've ever consumed. The vanilla flavor is strong, which I love, and gives the s'mores a dimension that isn't usually present with the store-bought variety. A tried and true summer and campout classic, this s'more tasted more like something you'd find at a starred restaurant.


A few years back a friend introduced me to using Whole Foods Milk Chocolate instead of the usual Hersheys, and this is one thing I HIGHLY recommend. The chocolate is much more flavorful and enhances the whole experience.


If you make the homemade marshmallows (which are insanely delicious) just be careful when heating, they dissolved and melted much faster than store-bought marshmallows, and I was left with a bit of a sticky mess. I visited three different stores and they were all out of corn syrup so I substituted agave syrup. This could have caused the extra stickiness. If you're able to find corn syrup, definitely opt for that. Overall, these tasted amazing and you're in for a real treat!


S'mores with homemade vanilla marshmallo
Download • 1.90MB

Makes 16 servings

Preparation Time: 4 hours 15 minutes (With 3 hours rest)

Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

Cost: $17 (If you make the homemade marshmallows)


Ingredients for S'mores:

*1 box graham crackers

*8 milk chocolate bars (Recommend Whole Foods Milk Chocolate)

*Homemade marshmallows (Ok, we are getting fancy here. You can always just use

store bought marshmallows, but these homemade ones are awesome!)


Ingredients for Homemade Marshmallows:

*Vegetable oil, for brushing

*4 envelopes unflavored powder gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)

*3 cups granulated sugar

*1 1/4 cups light corn syrup

*1/4 teaspoon salt

*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

*1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar


Preparation:

*Brush a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with oil.

*Line with parchment, allowing a 2 inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil, set aside.

*Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan.

*Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.

*Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238F on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.

*Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle with gelatin.

*Let soften 5 minutes.

*Attach bowl with gelatin to a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

*With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high. Beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes.

*Beat in vanilla.

*Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with a spatula.

*Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.

*Sift 1 cup confectioner’s sugar onto a work surface.

*Unmold marshmallow onto confectioner’s sugar, remove parchment.

*Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. (Oiled knife keeps from sticking to marshmallows.)

*Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl and roll each marshmallow in sugar to coat.


For S' mores:

*Light fire.

*Break graham crackers and chocolate into squares.

*Roast marshmallow on a stick until light brown.

*Sandwich chocolate and marshmallow between two graham crackers.


Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib