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Cate’s Corner

Cupcakes, Patio Sets, and Summer Fruit Dip

Daily Life

The hot, hazy days of summer are officially here in New Hampshire.

I can’t tell you how much I love, love, love walking about while the breeze blows warm and the sun kisses my shoulders. Soon enough, winter will be back to keep us stuck indoors, so I treasure every glorious heat-filled day this season brings.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks resting and relaxing after the craziness of the Aftermath Of Secrets launch. Sharing stories with you is so much fun, but I’ve learned that taking a break before the start of a new novel keeps my soul happy and my mind fresh—a pretty big deal when you spend a large majority of your time lost in your imagination, making stuff up for another book!

I can’t pretend I didn’t spend a couple of days lazing around on the couch, binge-watching the long-running TV show, Bones, but I also had a great time spiffing up our back deck. Flowers in pots and lights were a must. We lucked out when we were able to snag the very last outdoor dining set at Home Depot. I’m still trying to decide on an area rug, and our umbrella has yet to arrive, but dinners outside are the best.

 And what would a break be without a couple of days playing in the kitchen? Treats definitely happened because I really wanted to try out McCormick’s no-artificial-dye food coloring. The cupcakes turned out delicious, and the frosting was a success! Woo hoo!

I also broke out the makings for our favorite fruit dip. If you’re looking for a two-ingredient dip that comes together in five minutes and is insanely delicious, this one might be for you. All you do is mix a 7.5-ounce jar of Marshmallow Fluff and a 7.5-ounce container of Philadelphia’s Strawberry Cream Cheese. I usually let the cream cheese sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to make combining easier. An electric mixer helps, too. Mix until smooth and refrigerate what you don’t eat.

This little break was wonderful, but all good things must come to an end. On Monday, I officially got back to work. Starting a new novel is always exciting. Research and plotting will take up the next several days. Then it will be time to put words on pages. Before long, a new story will be ready, and the process will start over again.  

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