Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Life Lately | July

Life Lately | July

July was a fun month for us. We finally decided to head to our neighborhood pool a few times and swim lessons started up again as well. Those two things, although small, really helped us feel like we were finally having a summer! 

Shows I've Watched
Unfortunately I haven't been able to read much this month, but I have been watching some shows on Netflix and Amazon! Here are a few series that have been entertaining me! 

  • Alone- if you are a fan of survival shows, this is a good one. There are seasons on Amazon Prime and Netflix. It's about men and women who go out into the wilderness with 10 chosen survival tools and try to live as long as possible. The winner gets $500,000. I've watched a few seasons and really like it! I also enjoy watching Naked and Afraid. Don't get me wrong though, I would NEVER do anything like that. But it sure is interesting to watch!
  • Unsolved Mysteries- another season of the old classic on Netflix! I think there are only 6 episodes, but each and every one were fascinating!
  • Crazy Delicious- A British baking/cooking show on Netflix with inventiveness and creativity the main focus. If you like cooking shows, this is fun to have on in the background. 
  • The Floor is Lava- This is a Netflix series that is fun for the whole family! Although if you have young children, be prepared for them to attempt to recreate the show in your home! Contestants attempt to get from one side of the room to the other without touching the floor.
  • Sweet Magnolias- This is a Netflix series that I believe is based on a book series. It's reminiscent of a Hallmark movie, but exactly the kind of thing I want to watch in the summer! If you like chick lit, you will like this series! 
  • Hart of Dixie- This is an old series that is about a New York doctor who heads south after her prospects of residency fall through. She falls in love then out of love, then in love again. It's a fun-loving romantic comedy type show. Pretty cute if you haven't watched. 

Products I've Been Using 

  • Nightfood Ice Cream- I was able to try this out and was reimbursed by the brand. Honestly it does satisfy a craving. It's not the best, creamiest ice cream I've ever had, but it certainly isn't the worst. It's nice to have a big bowl of ice cream with no guilt. Sometimes after dessert I have to fight myself because I want more. I did not have any issues with this and I think that is because the protein and fiber included.

  • Yeouth Retinol Serum- I received this free to try from the brand. I started using Retin A cream in my early 20s to help with acne and once that went away began using over the counter retinol. It helps with a variety of issues that I have like occasional acne, fine lines, and sun spots. I had literally just run out of my retinol serum the other week and was starting to see my skin breaking out and sun spots reappearing (I do use sunscreen daily). After a week of using this at night my skin is calming down again. The price is right and I really appreciate the hyaluronic acid which helps counteract the drying effect retinol can have. I really prefer the pump dispenser they have as opposed to the dropper most others have. It makes it so much easier to get exactly the right amount. One pump covers my face and neck perfectly. The only downside is there is a slight scent to it that I don't really care for-but I'm pretty sensitive to scents. 
  • Tinkle Razors- I know these have been around forever and a day, but I'm finally trying them out. I wanted them for some peach fuzz I have on my face. They work really well and are a great price on amazon. The reviews on them are amazing and I can see why. 

Recipes I've Tried

  • Thai Peanut Chicken Ramen-My husband especially loved this. The flavors are delicious and it was a quick, easy meal. The only negative is that it was very soupy when I made it. I'd recommend letting it cook longer so the sauce can cook down and thicken.
  • Slow Cooker Crack Chili- I normally don't cook soups or chilis in summer, but I needed a quick slow cooker recipe and this seemed like the kind everyone would love. It is essentially a dump and go meal which was perfect! 
  • Chicken and Potato Foil Packets- Foil packets are so fun to make with all the flavors mixing together. The chicken turned out so tender in this one! I liked the taste of potatoes, too. I used chopped red potatoes instead of those called for in the recipe and they came out great!
  • Cheesy Sausage Gnocchi Skillet- This is possibly my favorite new recipe I tried this month. It was absolutely delicious and SO fast! I highly recommend adding in zucchini or yellow squash for extra vegetables. 
  • Rhubarb sauce- We had breakfast for dinner one night and tried a Rhubarb sauce on top of waffles to switch it up. YUM!! It cooks up quickly and I think is better than syrup! We made it from frozen rhubarb and it was easy-peasy! 
  • Zucchini tart- Katerina from Once a Foodie has tons of delicious and good-for-you recipes on her blog! I had this one saved for a while and finally had the chance to try it. We really liked it! I made a few alterations based on what I had and needed to get rid of, but it turned out really well! It was a nice, light meal for a hot day. 
  • Asian Meatballs with rice- The sauce was really good. We served it over noodles and vegetables. We would call it a make-again recipe! 
  • Ice Cream Sandwich Cake- Claire and Aveline made this for dessert. Claire altered the recipe and used mint ice cream sandwiches and Junior Mints sprinkled on for a different flavor. It was yummy and lasted forever! 
  • Rhubarb Raspberry Pie- I had a graham cracker crust to use up and found this recipe. With our rhubarb plants outside it was perfect. I used strawberry fruit and gelatin. I couldn't make it into a pretty swirl on top, but it still tasted really good! 
  • Snickerdoodle Cake- I made Snickerdoodle blondies last month and this month I made a cake. It was very good, especially the frosting! I think Matt liked it the most though. It could have used just a little extra frosting on top. 
  • PB Lasagna- Funny story about this one! Claire made this for dessert last week and we had it in the fridge in our laundry room. Aveline somehow found it and got handfuls of it 


  • Choosing- Recently we have been debating between the educational options for our oldest daughter for the year (or at least the first semester). We have to choose between an online option or 2 days a week with every other week being 3 days. Yes, it's a little confusing. Ultimately through a lot of discussion and weighing the pros and cons we registered her for the 'hybrid' option which is the partial time in class and then the off days are online learning at home. Good luck to all the parents out there with school and changing schedules and choices this fall! It's not easy. 
  • Consuming- Lately I have been hooked on Walmart's Great Value drink sticks. They have a lot of flavors to choose from, but the Watermelon Rose and Strawberry Guava are my favorites so far. I add it to 32 oz. of water instead of 16 oz. and they are still very flavorful. The only downside is they take about 10 minutes to fully dissolve, but it will!
  • Enjoying- Last summer Matt and I planted many different colors of day lilies going up our driveway and walkway. We purchased them after they bloomed so it has been so fun seeing all the colors this month as they bloom! My favorites are the peachy-pink and dark purple! They are stunning! 
  • Ordering- Well it looks like we will be ordering some new trees. I'm so disappointed! We had to cut down 3 of our large evergreen trees this summer and replanted evergreens close to the spots. We ordered from Nature Hills Nursery. I would not recommend them. Two of the trees started turning brown within a week or 2 after receiving them. I've reached out several times and they won't replace them. They said we should pay 50% which I think is wrong given they were probably damaged in shipping. Evergreens just don't die that quickly after planting unless they were in poor health prior to planting. So be warned everyone! We were trying to avoid going into the store at the time, but I'll be purchasing from the chain stores or local nurseries that stand behind their products more! 
  • Remembering- What it was like before this darn COVID and quarantine! It feels like a lifetime ago when we were able to go to places freely and not worry about getting sick. 
  • Family update- 
    • Matt- He had his first business trip since late February this past month to New Jersey. Thankfully they are restricting travel to the locations with higher rates of Covid cases. He said he was pretty impressed with how the AA lounge handled everything and he felt pretty safe. 
    • Me- I've been running again. They had me start with 1 minute of running and 2 of walking. I'm up to 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking for a 3 mile route. At least it feels like I'm actually exercising! 
    • Claire- Claire has been becoming more interested in the American Girl books. I have a few sets from when I was a kid and we read through 3 sets of them this past winter, but now she is becoming interested in them again on her own. My parents also saved all my old American Girl magazines from when I was a girl. Unfortunately they don't publish them anymore which is really too bad. They were so cute and Claire absolutely loves them! 

    • Avie- Now that we started back at Goldfish for swim lessons Avie has really taken off with her skills! She is becoming more confident and brave with back floats with less support and even pushing off the wall to me when I'm 1-2 feet away! I can't believe how well she can climb out of the water-almost completely independently! Claire is a strong enough swimmer to now go down the slide at the pool on her own!

July Goals
  1. Research and try at least 2 new weightlifting exercises- Done! I've added 2 new ab exercises to my routine!
  2. Get a pedicure- No, I had an appointment and was there...but they were not...Mistake with booking on their end. Oh well. 
  3. Paint the office- Done! Although I truly can't take credit. Matt took off Friday and Monday last weekend and did it himself. And it looks FANTASTIC!!
  4. Do my hip exercises 5 times a week-Done! 
  5. Organize my jewelry-Done! 

August Goals

  1. Weed the yard- It's actually not too bad, but there are a few areas that could use a little bit of work. 
  2. Eat outside at a restaurant- We've gotten take out, but haven't eaten at a restaurant since February. It would be so nice to be able to get outside and enjoy the summer weather-even just once!
  3. Eat fruit as part of my lunch everyday- I used to be so good about this, but have just fallen off the wagon. 
  4. Do something special for Matt's and my birthday. Not a grand goal, but I think an important one! And I'm leaving it at that-only 4 goals this month for my birthday month! 

linking up with Anne & Gretchen + KristenWhat's Up Wednesday

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