Summery favorites, July 2020

I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite things at the moment. It's full-on summer here in NW Indiana, and I've found a few new things that I love, specifically, or incidentally this time of year. Not surprisingly, since I'm writing this just before lunch, a lot of it is food-related:

This blueberry banana muffin recipe for Cooper. He loves them. Plus, they're grain-free and have no refined sugar, since they're sweetened with bananas. I love the protein and fat from the additional eggs and ghee, respectively. And that boy is a blueberry fiend, so they're great, especially on days when he's a bit more particular about food.

Rediscovering shorts from the bottom of my dresser drawer. For so many years, I've preferred to wear skirts and dresses (some pants too), but I'm finding shorts to be oh so very practical in this life season.

A daily walk, right after breakfast, before Coop's first nap. We manage to (somewhat) beat the heat and it feels good to start the day with some movement.

Noticing the sky. When we lived in Texas and I was working 12-hour shifts, it was a big, refining thing for me to notice recurring beauty that happens every day. I want to notice these newer-to-us skies too.

This Instant Cottage Pie [Paleo, whole 30] recipe (akin to Shepherd's Pie). Easy and so tasty.

Cocokind mymatcha all-over moisture stick. I love this for my lips.

Making snack plates. For a fun date night in the other night, I picked up some bits at a local specialty grocer. Olives, meat, cheese, kite hill cheese (for me), gf crackers, grapes, kalamata olives, etc. We had mini snack plates the next couple of days with the leftovers.

A post-baby-bedtime girl's night on a friend's back porch. It felt quintessentially summery, with the sun setting, a citronella candle, sparkling water, paleo chocolate chip cookies, and an appearance from fireflies. So good for my heart to catch up with a friend in an uninterrupted space.

Freezer Cashew fudge. So easy and tasty! Next time, I think I would make it with maple syrup instead of the honey.

Chicken salad. Made with leftovers from a whole chicken, with mayo, red grapes, dill, s+p, walnuts, and chopped onion.

Dressing Cooper in blue.

Hearing his little "hi," a brand new word for him. The best.

Watching him learn new things, like being able to drink a smoothie independently!

And watching him explore his new pikler's triangle.

Afternoon fika, consisting of hot coffee plus a slight modification of Summer Harm's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I made them into bars (see this post), and since we were out of chocolate chips, I added about 1 tsp each of cinnamon and cardamom, and they are so good. Also, Nicholas and I both agree that serving something, anything, on a tray makes it special.

Coffee and tea out of a special mug that was a gift from my Grandma Donna. Perfect shape and size and I love the color.

Still getting acquainted with my new bullet journal, and using my bound quilt as you go patch as a mug rug.

Being part of a two-person book club with a friend. We're reading Risen Motherhood. It's a challenging and encouraging book and it's helping me stay engaged to know that I will discuss each chapter with a friend.

Playing around with sourdough bread. I think the finished products are gradually improving! Not to say we haven't enjoyed the last several loaves. ;)

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