Red white and blue tee scored on sale here.
Another month is wrapping up (whaaat!?) and our summer break is more than half over. We’re on a year-round schedule, and we actually head back next month (eek!). Here are some favorite things getting me through this month…
1. ROSE GOLD BIRKENSTOCKS.
When these came back into style a couple years ago, I wanted to wait to see if they stuck around and they have! Several friends SWEAR by them as their “Disneyland shoe” (shoe they could walk around ALL day long in), which got my attention. That and this cute color, which goes with basically everything.
It took me a few tries to find the right size–they come in standard width and narrow width. I tried my regular size in standard width, and my regular size in a narrow width, but I ended up going down a size and sticking with the regular width so that the footbed hit me in all the right places. They’re supportive, cute, and comfy. Now I just need to go to Disneyland to put them to the test…(who wants to come!?)
2. A FANTASTIC PODCAST.
I’ve loved Natalie Norton on Instagram for a few years and have REALLY loved getting to listen to her podcast Show Up with Natalie Norton. Natalie shares lots of great, inspiring solo shows mixed with some wonderful interviews. Love her and love that I always get a little boost of happiness or an idea for how to approach something in my life after listening.
3. A GREAT NATURAL MASCARA.
Honest Company makes a GREAT natural mascara. I love that this one comes with primer AND mascara. The primer makes a big difference for me in both length and thickness, and after 1-2 days of getting used to the mascara wand, it goes on REALLY well. I don’t have sensitive eyes, but one of my friends does and says this works REALLY well for her.
Super cute dish towel here.
4. SNACK TRAYS (OR SNACKY DINNERS!)
Everyone is always starving during the summer at our house. We’ve been trying to make snack time count by turning it into a mini meal. Sometimes that means a smoothie popsicle and some trail mix or turkey roll-ups with crackers or apples and a yummy flavored nut butter. Other times, that means pulling out 3-5 different items for a snack plate or snack tray.
We also use this idea for my very favorite summer dinner. Think of it like a giant charcuterie board! For a snack-y dinner, pull out a few plates or cutting boards and fill them with a mix of:
- Seasonal veggies. (Corn on the cobb! A fun summer salad! Fresh veggies + a delicious dip!)
- Plenty of fresh fruit. Everything is good in the summer–watermelon, berries, peaches and nectarines, cotton candy grapes (try them!!!), etc.
- Proteins and healthy fats. This could be deli meats (and cheeses, if you like), leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken, some trail mix, nuts or nut butter, hummus for dipping, avocado or guacamole, a mix of olives, etc.
- Something carb-y. Crackers, a baguette, popcorn, tortilla chips (and salsa!), cornbread, whatever sounds good!
- Extras. Feeling fun? Toss in some pickles or pickled veggies, marinated olives, dark chocolate, dried fruit, fun dressings or dips (honey mustard, a fun jam, avocado ranch, etc.)
Everyone LOVES this dinner at my house. (It’s extra fun for family movie nights!)
5. THE BEST RESUABLE BAGS FOR THE KITCHEN.
I’ve been using these amazing reusable bags in my kitchen for a little over a year and they are the BEST. They’re freezer, fridge, boiling water, microwave, DISHWASHER, and oven safe. Seriously! You can use them to poach salmon, organize toiletries for vacation, pack lunches, store leftovers, freeze smoothie packs, heat up leftovers in the microwave or oven, prep veggies, and SO MUCH MORE.
Plus, they’re dishwasher safe so you don’t have to hand wash them. I have them in sandwich size and snack size, and just ordered their new pocket size, which is great for snacks or small items you’re packing to travel with. (Bobby pins, ear buds, snacks, chargers, etc.) Using these reusable bags in my kitchen has cut down my plastic bag use a TON, and I have nothing but good things to say about them.
6. THE PERFECT V-NECK TEE.
I LOVE that these tees are thick enough not to be the least bit see-through, but breathable enough that they’re light and fresh even in sweaty hot heat. The v-neck isn’t too deep and the cut is loose enough to be really flattering. I have this tee in the blush stripe and blue stripe and LOVE it. (I ordered my regular size. You could probably size down if you wanted a more fitted look.) Plus, they’re fully stocked on clearance for under $10!
7. OUR ICE CREAM MAKER.
July is National Ice Cream month, so ice cream is definitely on my brain! I don’t have a ton of one-use kitchen gadgets, but I absolutely own and love my ice cream maker. We got ours 10+ years ago when we were living in a tiny 400 square foot, un-air-conditioned basement apartment and it’s been cooling us off with refreshing treats ever since. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and doesn’t take up tons of room in your cabinets or cupboards.
(PS – You can totally freeze homemade ice cream in a regular food storage container, but these insulated ones get GREAT reviews and don’t take up a ton of freezer space. A great option for avoiding freezer burn!)
8. THE SALT & STRAW ICE CREAM BOOK.
The best ice cream I’ve eaten in my LIFE was from Salt & Straw. We visited the Downtown Disney store in Anaheim, and the menu is constantly amazing. They always have at least a few vegan/gluten free options, and their roasted strawberry ice cream & chocolate hazelnut cookie ice creams are at the top of my all-time favorite lists. Their new book walks you through their dairy, gelato, sorbet, and dairy-free ice cream bases (including all their secrets for the best texture), and gives LOADS of ice cream flavors. You’ll see classic vanilla and chocolate, but you’ll also get gourmet combos like Salted Ice Cream with Caramel Ribbons to Roasted Strawberry Balsamic & Black Pepper to fun twists like Skittles Rainbow Sherbet! It’s so fun to read a book from someone who LOVES what they’re writing about and Salt & Straw delivers on every delicious page.
9. A GREAT DAIRY FREE ICE CREAM BOOK.
Kelly Brozyna is a dairy free expert, and this book is full of naturally sweetened, vegan & paleo approved ice creams. If you want homemade ice cream with a healthier or naturally sweetened twist, this book is my top suggestion. We use her chocolate ice cream base as a starting point for all sorts of mix-ins–like toasted marshmallows and gluten free graham cracker bits for s’mores ice cream, or generous chunks of my gluten free brownies and a swirl of my vegan hot fudge sauce. (See this Dairy Free Fudge Brownie Ice Cream recipe)
10. THE ILLUSTRATED HARRY POTTER BOOKS.
I LOVE the Harry Potter books and have been waiting for the day I got to share them with my kids! We started Harry Potter this year as a family, and this illustrated edition has been so great. The paintings are stunning and help keep Milo (6) and Sophie (8) engaged while we’re reading. (We’ve read books 1-2 and will probably finish 3 this year, but I’ll probably save the others for later years as the kids get older.)
Most popular new recipe: Healthy Raspberry Sorbet Popsicles. These 2 ingredient popsicles have the most INTENSE, fresh raspberry flavor you can imagine! They’re awesome on their own, but if you want to make them even more amazing, try the 2 ingredient chocolate shell + toppings! It’s a fun, delicious touch your kids won’t stop talking about.
Most popular on Instagram:
- Most commented on: This post about summer reading got LOTS of comments! You guys love books as much as we do!
- Most watched: Flourless Monster Cookie Bars and this BLT salad! And I totally get it. Gooey loaded cookie bars are SUCH a yummy treat. Also: crispy bacon, homemade croutons, plenty of veggies and a creamy dressing to finish things off = one amazing salad. It’s the PERFECT summer dinner!
Your turn! What are you loving lately?
PS – If you love monthly favorites, you’d LOVE the weekly newsletter. I share favorites on a weekly basis (what I’m reading, wearing, listening to, etc.) along with recipes, kitchen tips + tricks, life updates and more. You can sign up here so you don’t miss out!