Summer’s winding down. I’m not sad – I think I’ve made it explicitly clear that I am a much bigger fan of the approaching cooler months. Call me basic if you want, but nothing makes me happier than seeing pumpkin spice on grocery shelves (and everywhere else).
And I’m hoping that the coming drop in temperatures will give me a boost as far as writing goes. It’s hard to write about Christmas when you’re sweating through the summer’s eighth or ninth heat wave! But the temporary lack of motivation to work on A Holiday Gift left me some time to do other things. This past month, I took a long weekend from work and actually made it to the beach for the day. Weekends have been rainy so my pool membership has gone mostly unused in August, but I hope to get a few more trips in even if I have to go after work and soak in the dwindling daylight. I’ve been reading, and baking, and trying to get into new TV shows so that my Netflix subscription doesn’t go to watching all 10 seasons of Friends over and over again. Here’s what I enjoyed in August.
I was late to read this book. I’ve always had a certain love for Anne Boleyn, and was intrigued by the idea of a son of hers on England’s throne. When the first two came out, I devoured them immediately and loved them. But somehow I missed the third book. I knew it was out there, but for some strange reason, I didn’t pick it up until now. And it didn’t disappoint. Fans of Tudor history will thrill at the conclusion to this trilogy. I’ll do a full review of all three books next month, and I’ve already started reading the follow-up trilogy about Elizabeth. Look for a review on them in the future!
Something else to which I came late, but I’m glad, because it meant I got to watch the entire season over the course of a Friday and Saturday night (yes, I’m a party animal). This show was fantastic. I don’t tend to gravitate toward psychological thrillers; I’m more of a sitcom girl (and then only if it’s been off the air for at least 10 years). But so many people recommended this show that I felt like I couldn’t not watch it, and now that I have, I feel like I’m going to seek out more shows like this. I’m probably not saying anything anyone doesn’t already know, but if you haven’t watched this, do it. Do it now. It’s on Netflix, and Season 2 is now airing on USA.
cooking & Baking
One of my goals this past month was to cook things that helped me to clear out my refrigerator and pantry. I know that too much food is a problem millions would kill to have, and believe me, I’m not complaining. I just have an issue when I grocery shop: I buy too much, and then I don’t use it. This month, I went through my cabinets and decided what I could make using ingredients I already had. What I ended up with was oatmeal cookies, spiced applesauce bread, banana nut muffins, and slow-cooker split pea soup. It was a raging success, and I plan to keep doing it until my pantry doors are able to close all the way without me having to put any weight behind it. The oatmeal cookies were a huge hit and I still have a ton of oatmeal left, so I’m sure I’ll be making those again. I’m also looking forward to making pumpkin bread (finally!) and some more soups.
How are you spending the last days of summer? What are you looking forward to?