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Hey everyone! I can't believe July is over! I hope you are all enjoying this summer. For me, it's going so fast and I just want it to slow down a little more. This is my favorite time of year, and I want to hold on to it a little longer. 

The weather has been so hot, and not enough rain. So I've been out in the garden spending a lot of time trying to keep things watered. The garden is small this year, as we have had some big projects looming and I didn't want to get too far into it and not be able to grow too much and lose it. We still have a few seeds to plant to continue the growing year. 

We are adding a pool to the property, and it's been crazy trying to get all of that going during the pandemic. I had no idea how many things would be delayed, it took over 7 weeks just to get the permit! 

But my garden is growing well, and it's producing some delicious fruits and veggies.  We have had a ton of tomatoes this month and I've been canning like crazy!

I'll be sharing more of my canning recipes in August and some new cocktail/mocktail recipes we have been enjoying on the deck!

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This was a yummy soba noodle salad with imitation crab and some mangos. It was too hot to cook, so tossing together a few things resulted in a cool summer salad.

What I'm Listening To:

I am all over the board when it comes to music. But at the time I started writing this, I'm listening to Taylor Swift's new Folklore album and loving it. It's perfect for writing and just relaxing. 

I'm also addicted to The Unlikely Candidates' newest song High Low. They are a new band that I really love. 

What I'm Watching:

I love TV, it's how my husband and I wind down at night.  Our favorite show is Psych. Which was a great comedy on the USA network a few years ago. This year we went back and watched all of the episodes again and finished last week with the Psych 2 movie which had all of the old cast and guest stars make appearances.  I loved it so much.  

Things have been stressful, and I love being able to go back and laugh at some of the older episodes. 

What I'm Reading:

This summer I've gone through a lot of books, but I discovered a new favorite author in Maria Semple.  Her book “Where'd You Go, Bernadette” was fabulous and everything I didn't know I wanted. I related so much to the main character Bernadette Fox and her life and troubles acclimating to life in Seattle.  Then she goes missing and through emails, memos and transcripts we learn how to all leads to an epic adventure. 

And from there I moved on to another book by Semple called Today Will Be Different.

Semple has a way of creating characters that I relate to, and her description of the people and places of Seattle are spot on. I found myself laughing out loud and grinning widely as she reminds me of some of my favorite places, like Lola.

 

My Favorite Recipe:

I tried a new recipe this month, and I think it might be one of my new favorites. We made Grilled Shrimp with Sishito Peppers and I am going to write the recipe, but it is so simple that I could make it all the time without one.  As soon as I finish writing the recipe, I'll tag it here for you. 

It's on my Blog To-Do List! 

But it's so good. I know you are going to love it.

Something New I Tried:

I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen this summer working on canning for the rest of the year. One of the new things I made was Strawberry Vanilla Lemonade concentrates. 

I made a few batches with different variations and it is so easy now to mix up a batch of fruity cocktails or lemonade with fresh fruit. I'm so happy I tried it.

 

Cool Deals I found:

I discovered The Conundrum Box is a monthly adventure box for adults, well.. not THAT kind of adult box. It has adventures, escape room games, and some puzzles. Every month you get a box full of clues, ciphers and story driven narratives along with recipes and music playlists! 

If you hurry, and use the code JULY there is a special discount. Or message me, and I'll look to see if I can find another discount with them directly through my aff link. 

 

What's On My "Home Projects" List?

Here are some of my Pinterest inspiration photos of what I'd like to work on. 

When my kids were little, August was always so exciting. There was the trips to get new school clothes, supplies, and haircuts. We would plan last minute adventures, pack in more trips to the pool, and start gaining momentum for another school year. 

Now that all of the kids are out of their teens, August has a different feel for me.  This year it feels like we still have summer days ahead of us, and I'm busy with canning the produce from the garden and writing new recipes.

Typically, I usually take every summer off from blogging and spend it with the kids. But this year has been a lot of ups and downs and while I took some time off in June, I feel like I need more time to write and connect with other people. 19 weeks of being “safer at home” has left me with a new appreciation for social events and missing dinner nights with my friends.

This summer I'm working on my home projects more and trying to make staying home more fun for Michael and I. 

LOL, and as a result I've done a lot more online shopping than ususal.  Check out some of the cool finds I saw:

Cute things I found:

These were my favorite finds this month.  I am always looking for unique items that have great textures and unique stories.

I love turkish towels. They get softer with each wash and I love how light they are for summer days.  And that tray is perfect for setting out necessities in the guest room like an extra toothbrush, washcloths, and the wifi-password. 

And I couldn't pass up an air plant terrarium! I love the way they hang in my office window.  

 

What Blog Posts Am I Working On?

In August we have a couple great reviews to share.  From a beautiful rolling pin that imprints patterns onto your dough, to luxurious bath bombs that were almost too amazing to use and let them wash down the drain!

I also have a recipe for gazpacho, coconut shrimp, and some mocktails you won't want to miss!

 

Who Or What Is Inspiring Me Right Now?

This summer has been an emotional time and to be honest, I have had to stop and learn a few things.Or rather “un-learn” a few things. I'm going to take some time and write a longer blog post about that.

But to address the question what is inspiring me right now are the brave people who are willing to be beaten, abused, arrested, and maybe even killed in order to bring attention to the gross atrocities that happen regularly in the United States.  Willing to spend day and night in the heat, the rain, and the dirt, the protestors are out there relentlessly fighting to bring about change that will create a better world. 

And with that, I am going to end this with a new video that really moved me by The Chicks that really addresses how I'm feeling about the protests.

Thanks for reading,

C. 

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