Outdoors in the Summer

Last May, Brady, his friend Aaron and I went cross-country to a Creativity Conference in Redding, CA.  It was a life-changing trip to say the very least.  I learned so much and was so inspired creatively.  This website was birthed from that trip.

We went to many wonderful classes. In one of these classes the teacher had a lot of group activities.  We sat in a classroom and gathered around tables.  (OF COURSE we met people and got to know them....we were gathering around a table for Pete's Sake.)  Hillary Treat sat across the table from me.  I instantly liked her!  I even swapped social media info with her before we parted.  

I can't tell you what a blessing that has been for me!  Her art has touched my heart so many times over the past year.  She has a website It's A Treat Life and you can subscribe and enjoy her art as well as her writing! Follow her on Facebook It's A Treat Life or on Instagram. I always look forward to her latest feed! 

Hillary Treat
Outdoors in the Summer

The smell of the campfire smoke. The sound of laughter. Tan lines and wild hair. Relaxed schedules and cloud watching. All of these take you right back to the best things about summertime. For as long as I can remember, growing up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, summer nights outside are the best for gathering together with family and friends. Even strangers become friends over a campfire and twinkling starlight!  



I have three children and my husband and I run a Bed & Breakfast here in lovely Estes Park, CO. Life is certainly busy; I’m never bored, with an emphasis on the NEVER. On our days off it is typical for us to peel our children away from the X-Box (let’s be real here) and go for a family hike up a nearby mountain or for us to bike around Lake Estes. It’s been fun to watch our children grow up into teenagers who also love being outside and feeling the strength and health of doing activities with their growing bodies. But the very best part of that is coming home, having expended our energy and spent the day talking and adventuring together. 

This is their home in Colorado.

This is their home in Colorado.


I try to cook outside whenever I can. We have a fire pit made out of a huge rock and surrounded by felled pine trees hewed into benches. I usually have copious amounts of marinated chicken waiting to be grilled and for our really special nights we make grilled corn on the cob. My husband and I first tried this version of grilled corn while on a weekend getaway in magical Napa, CA. There is a restaurant in the funky little neighborhood of Oxbow, called “Gott’s Roadside Grill”. We ordered the “street corn” and then were utterly whisked away into foodie heaven. Since then, we made it our mission to recreate that magic moment with our children. I have perfected the recipe these days and it’s a staple now.

Outdoors in the Summer


Our family times together have a few unspoken rules that are usually functioning in full force. 1. Be kind 2. Talk 3. Get Dirty 4. Laugh until your sides hurt. Eating bbq chicken and corn while sitting outside under the stars next to people you love is simply the BEST. Dirty hands, happy tummies, and smiles from ear to ear is such an amazing way to bond with neighbors, strangers (not for long), teenagers, and little ones. There is something that draws people together about getting dirty and eating darn good food. Isn’t that really what it’s all about? Being together? My wish for all you readers is this: go outside, feel the sunshine on your face, laugh with a stranger, share a bench with your teenager, get close enough to the fire to smell like smoke, find a few cloud animals, watch for a shooting star, and get some good ol’ dirt on ya. You’ll be glad you did. Happy adventures!


Gott’s Roadside Style Grilled Mexican Corn

DIRECTIONS (Click HERE for the printable version)
8 ears of sweet corn, husk on
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise or Mexican Crema
1 cup grated Cotija cheese
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Trader Joes Chili Lime Seasoning (to taste)


Pull back husks without removing them. Clean the silk from the inside of the cob. Tightly twist the husk together to form a small handle for the cob. Soak the corn overnight or for 10 hours. 

Mix together the sour cream and mayonnaise in a small bowl; set aside.

Grill ears of corn over medium flame until kernels begin to char, 5-10 minutes. 

Apply sour cream/mayonnaise mixture liberally to hot corn.

Place the grated Cotija cheese and salt in a shallow dish and mix with finely chopped cilantro.

Roll the corn in the cheese/salt mixture until it is well covered.

Sprinkle the corn lightly with Trader Joes Chili Lime Seasoning.


I don't know about you but this corn is my next summer recipe!  I feel an Instagram story coming on with this one.  You can follow it at Betsy Pendergrass.  

If you need more summer recipes check out the cool, sweet Strawberry Pretzel Salad.  If you are wanting to fire up the grill try our favorite Turkey Burgers that have feta cheese in them...oh my they are so good!  You can have Hillary's Corn on the Cob as a side and hand out glasses of Homemade Lemonade to drink! Don't forget dessert.  My favorite is Strawberry Cake and one of Taylor's is Lemon Cookies.  This night is going to be off the hook!