Summer Reads for 2022

Summer Reads for 2022

We can’t start off the summer without our nod to our Summer Reads for 2022.

Dani and I are HUGE readers. And I confess, with my recent move and sudden lack of friends, reading has really filled the lonely gap for me.

I’ve also realized how much of an introvert I actually am. I could literally speak to absolutely no one all day and be totally fine with it as long as I had a good book to keep me company. While I know many of you are now into podcasts – which I do enjoy as well, I have become an audiobook fanatic.

This is such a huge surprise to me because I am literally the most traditional reader you will ever come across. I love a book store. I love the feel of a brand new book and I love the smell of fresh pages. AHHH – new books.

BUT – reality sometimes intervenes. With audio books, I get to clean the house while I “read.” I can also “read” when my hubby turns out the lights and declares its time for bed 🙂 AND because this year I was the driver for school – I can read while I driving to and from school pick up!

This list is a SUMMER selection. Fun, not too deep novels that can be put down to jump in the pool and layer on the sunscreen. These are not books that are going to keep you up at night nor challenge the brain all that much. That being said, they are fun and entertaining and worth the time in my opinion.

So – here are a few of our summer reads for 2022.

The Guncle – Steven Rowley
The Guncle
Summer Reads for 2022

Ok – so I just loved this book. It is not deep literature, as you might have gathered from the cover, but it is still a meaningful story, with great characters and it made me LAUGH. If you want to try an audio book and you don’t know where to start – start with this one. This story is narrated by the author, who I believe either lives in Palm Springs or spends a ton of time there (where the majority of the story is set). His voices are priceless and made me wish I had a GUP (Gay Uncle Patrick) in my life. GUP is not only outrageous – he is kind and gentle, surprisingly supportive, and grieving. This is a fun, heartfelt story and I didn’t want it to end. To that note, I read Steven Rowley’s other book The Editor, which I also loved… and am looking forward to reading Lily and the Octopus too.

Find it HERE

Delicious – Ruth Reichl
Delicious - a novel
Summer Reads for 2022

I LOVED this book. If you like reading about food, people who love food, or food history – this is DEFINITELY the book for you. If you hate all of those things, but enjoy a good story, you will like this one as well.

This book surprised me. I can’t remember what pushed me to purchase it. Perhaps I was perusing novels narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Julia Whelan? I expected the food angle, I was excited about the magazine angle, I guessed the sister angle, but there were so many surprises in this book I didn’t expect.

I learned a ton reading this book. Who knew food history could be so cool.

Check this one out – it will have you thumbing through old recipe books and motivated to buy local, great tasting, in season food too 🙂

Find it HERE

One Italian Summer – Rebecca Serle
One Italian Summer
Summer Reads 2022

I have a confession to make – I love all things Italian. I love the food, I love the people, I love Italy. So – you see, I might be a tad biased when recommending this book 🙂

Our summer reads for 2022 are just that – summer reads. You won’t find much deep literature in our selections – but hey, that is what summer is for, right? So just enjoy this one. Read it in the sunshine on a beautiful day wherever you find yourself these days. Enjoy the beautiful descriptions of the Amalfi coast and a surprisingly interesting plot twist. A totally unrealistic plot twist, but a twist nonetheless.

If I have one recommendation, it would be this. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT get the audio book on this one. YUCK. I just could not get my head around the narrators voice. Read it yourself and you should enjoy.

Find it HERE

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Summer Reads for 2022

After I read this book (and Daisy Jones and the Six) I decided I had to read all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books – which I did. And while I enjoyed them all, my fav is still The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! This is just such a fun romp through Hollywood with bits and pieces of real life smashed in with fictional characters. I loved how it weaved between the past and present and I loved (and hated) many of the characters Reid created. This is a MUST read. If you like this one, I understand the author has a new novel coming out this summer as well – and I literally can’t wait… link to the info on the new book HERE

Find it HERE

Counterfeit – Kirstin Chen
Summer Reads for 2022

Ok – so full disclosure, I’m still reading this one, but I had to add it to the list. It just came out literally a few days ago and I’m blowing through books so fast, I thought – hey, why not add this one to the list. So far, I am loving it. I’m a sucker for anything to do with high fashion, and a bit of a plot twist, so I’m super excited to see where this one goes. Written around the counterfeit designer handbag game and exploring the Chinese factories these designer bags are made – this book ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Check our insta – I will post some updates when I finish this one!

Find it HERE

So now you have a few books to get you started and a few authors also that we enjoy. The one thing I didn’t include in this list was any autobiographies. It seemed a little redundant to add FINDING ME – by Viola Davis to the list given that anyone who lives anywhere near social media will have heard of it and its amazing reviews. I read it. I loved it. Yup – add me to the hype on this one. It was hard to read, hard to imagine a person with that much resilience. I confess, I didn’t know much about Viola Davis’ work prior to reading this but wow – she is quite a human being. So much respect for her. Worth the money all day long.

If you want to look back at one of our other book lists, check out:

Our Top 10 Reads for Summer (2019)

Our Top 5 Reads on Menopause

Now go forth and read… and don’t forget the sunscreen 🙂

mojo and moxie
Summer reads for 2022
5 decadent desserts for Valentine’s Day



To Meat or Not to Meat

To Meat or Not to Meat

So I am going to start this post with a disclaimer. The topic of eating meat has come to be a controversy in the last few years. Based on health, climate and ethics. All can be strongly debated in a yay or nay way. I wanted to bring attention to a few things that I have personally learned in the last few years based on the nutrition basis of eating meat. My background in holistic nutrition has me constantly educating myself as things change and fast. With extra time on my hands the last few years, I have been reading, listening to podcasts and doing my own research. What got me to this point..Well one word..HORMONES. Is a plant based diet better for hormone balance or meat based. So the question is to meat or not to meat..

Continue reading “To Meat or Not to Meat”

Makeup Tips for Women Over 50

Makeup Tips for Women Over 50

My makeup routine for years consists of some powder foundation, a little bronzer with a little extra around the cheekbones and some mascara. If I feel a little crazy, I add some eyeliner. And for those really special occasions some shadow on the eyelids. Lipstick, almost never. Maybe some gloss if I happen to have it. And that’s it. But now I have my own personal makeup artist in the house (having kids is finally paying off) with my daughter now a certified makeup artist. Her interest in make up and her artistic expression has led her to this growing field. And who doesn’t want their own make up artist..Me please!! And I have learned so much from her and have enlisted her knowledge to bring you some make up tips for women over 50 (AKA mature skin) to you.

Continue reading “Makeup Tips for Women Over 50”

Five Decadent Dessert Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Five Decadent Dessert Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Ok – poo poo Valentine’s Day all you want, but who doesn’t love a day dedicated not only to LOVE but also to CHOCOLATE 🙂

While Danni isn’t really a dessert person (she hasn’t met a crème brûlée she doesn’t like, but other than that, she doesn’t really eat sweets) I, on the other hand love everything about dessert.

Bring on the chocolate, the donuts, the cheesecake, the cupcakes, the tarts – you name it – I LOVE. In fact, the more carbs the better.


If you are at a restaurant with me – please don’t ask me to share my dessert. I REALLY, REALLY want my own!

So – today, in honour of Valentine’s Day we are bringing you FIVE decadent dessert ideas.

Nope – these are not our creations, but let’s face it, when we are looking for ideas, we all check out google. Well – I’ve googled, sampled and tested and these are the five BEST we’ve come up with and all in one place, just for you! We’ve got our vegan friends covered, and one that is pretty kid / family friendly – if your definition of a Valentine’s celebration includes the littles. And guess what? AIR FRYER dessert anyone – yes please?

Read on friends… read on

Air Fryer Mocha Pudding Cakes

How many of you have joined the AIR FRYER craze? Um – everyone?

I’m late to join the obsession, but I do know that if you LOVE your air fryer – you LOVE your air fryer.

I haven’t heard much about the air fryer in terms of dessert, but I’m willing to try anything – especially in the name of SUGAR (and research of course!)

These Air Fryer Mocha Pudding Cakes are number ONE on our five decadent dessert ideas for Valentine’s Day. These are Yum, Yum and Yum – and I’m a sucker for a great, soft, chocolate, pudding cake and an even bigger sucker for a dessert that is quick with an easy clean up. Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year, so this is the perfect after work dessert.

Why not give an air fryer dessert a try this year?

Find the recipe HERE

5 decadent dessert ideas for Valentines Day

Nutty Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Chia Jam Cheesecake – VEGAN

Ok – so full disclosure, I am NOT Vegan, or even vegetarian – but hey, we know those of you that are, need a scrumptious dessert for LOVE day too, and we are here for you.

This amazing dish is a must try because it is the brainchild of one of our fav. YYC food bloggers, Food By Maria, and hey – it’s cheesecake – need I say more? I love that this is a vegan recipe that isn’t too crazy difficult, and doesn’t take much time (no soaking the cashews for days on end).

I’m pretty sure this one would be “Danni-Approved!” As a side note, if you are vegan, you should be following Food by Maria. Not only does she offer this wonderful dessert, she’s got lots of other great recipes you will enjoy as well.

FInd the recipe HERE

5 decadent dessert ideas for Valentines day

FAMILY FRIENDLY: Saltine Cracker Toffee – Valentine Version

There may be a few of you that know this recipe all too well. I’ve heard this lovely snack referred to affectionately as “Christmas Crack” but I really love the Valentine spin Kylee from “Kylee Cooks” has given it. Kylee is my perfect definition of a home chef. She just loves to cook, and loves to share that with her followers. Her recipes are made with simple ingredients and seem really doable. I love that.

This Saltine Cracker Toffee is totally simple and cheap to make. I love this kind of recipe because it is totally old school. It’s the mushroom soup casserole of desserts… 🙂

The thing I love about “old favorites” is that you know they will taste delish, and you can pretty much guarantee to please a crowd. Also, this is a fun one to make for teens or young adults and leave on the counter for after school. Totally unexpected, but so FUN!

Ok – this one probably wouldn’t be approved for an everyday after school snack, but on Valentine’s Day – come on Mom, this will be great!

Find the recipe HERE

5 decadent dessert ideas for Valentine's day

Ok – I know, I know – this is supposed to be 5 decadent dessert ideas for Valentine’s Day – but I have to tell you – I just could not decide which dessert was the most swoon-worthy on this amazing food blogger’s site.

I am fairly new to “HANDLE the HEAT” and I’ll tell you how I happened upon Tessa’s blog.

Being new to AZ, at the beginning of my time here, I received all my news from Canada still. I got updates from CTV and CBC, and still checked in on my food favs in YYC. But as I started to settle in, I realized that I had to really immerse myself in what is going on here, in my new home. As I started to shift, I pointedly visited quite a few blogs – both on the food side, and on the “happenings in AZ” side! Wow – there are a ton of talented people in this valley sharing their passions.

I LOVE Handle the Heat because it is ALL yummy treats and baking – my ultimate weakness. And hey, if you are going to make something sweet – it better be worth the effort, right?

One visit to this site, and you will totally get what I mean, when I said I just could NOT decide on one dessert to feature on the blog. Should it be the Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes? OR what about the Cookie Dough Hearts? Oh never mind – guess what – Tessa has an entire section of her blog dedicated to Valentine’s desserts. And I couldn’t recommend her ideas more…

Find the Valentine’s section HERE

What about your friends Mojo and Moxie??

Not to brag, but hey, we’ve got a few recipes here on the blog that will work for you too – just sayin’

Have you tried our HEALTHY Light Chocolate Mousse recipe?

How about our AMAZING Heart Shaped Chocolate Cake?

No matter how you celebrate Valentine’s Day – make sure you cap it off with a special yummy treat and make sure you share those treats with us by tagging Mojo and Moxie.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!

“Besides Chocolate, you’re my favorite!”

mojo and moxie