Monthly Round-up: July

Does anyone else feel like the summer is flying by? It feels like we just spent last weekend celebrating Memorial Day and here we are, almost in August. I’m not complaining; I’m actually not a fan of summer. Give me fall and winter when I can breathe, go outside without my hair springing into a mass of frizz, and drink hot coffee or turn on my oven without wanting to die. And I don’t understand what people are talking about when they refer to the “lazy days of summer”. For me, summer is no lazier than any other season. I still have to work 40 hours a week, I still have to spend my weekends cleaning my house and doing laundry…what exactly do other people do that allow them to be “lazy” for three months straight? I’d like to know!

But it’s not like I haven’t enjoyed myself. I’ve been making good use of my pool membership, I’ve been hanging out at farmer’s markets, and barbecuing with my family despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to ruin our plans (it’s rained every time). Here’s a list of things I’ve been doing in the few “lazy” moments I had in July.

Reading

Everyone’s always trying to find the perfect summer read. The summer after I graduated high school I read Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, and every summer since I’ve eagerly scoured bookstore shelves for something that would match it. I always came up short – until now.

The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan is exactly the book I’ve been trying to find for the last 20 years. It has literally everything you would want in a summer read. I’ll be doing a full review next month, but I urge you to go out and pick this up now, while there’s still a few weeks left of summer. You’ll thank me.


Listening

I was only seven months old when she died, but I’ve always liked Natalie Wood. One of my absolute favorite movies is Splendor in the Grass (featuring the debut performance of an incredibly hot Warren Beatty). This month saw the debut of the podcast “Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood”. It explores old information, new information, and attempts to solve the mystery of what happened that night off Catalina Island, when a beautiful, famous actress who was so terrified of water she never learned to swim ended up drowning in the middle of the night. Only two episodes have been released so far, but it’s certainly making my traffic-jammed commute home feel a lot less torturous. I listen to it through iTunes.


Cooking

I get home from work late – usually just before 7 pm. The last thing I want to do at 7, after a long day at work, is cook a full meal – plus my husband works nights and usually leaves mere moments after I get home, so I’m almost always cooking for one. And in the summer, I don’t want to turn on the oven or spend any time hovering over the stove (nobody likes sweat droplets in their food). So I make ample use of my slow-cooker in the summer. On Monday, I made the jerk chicken tacos from the original Skinnytaste cookbook, and they were so good! The recipe says to cook on high for two hours but I did low on 8, and then my programmable Crock Pot kept them warm until I got home. All I had to do was shred the chicken, cook some rice, and eat!

The recipe includes a Caribbean salsa made of mango and avocado, but I’m not a fan of mango and even less a fan of warm avocado so instead I served them with leftover pineapple salsa from the Skinnytaste Teriyaki-Glazed Pork Chops (also from the cookbook), which I’d made on Sunday. Both recipes delicious, perfect for summer, healthy and easy. 


That’s it for July! I’d love to hear how you’ve been spending your summer. Leave a comment!

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