What I’m Loving Lately: Summertime Edition

Is it confusing how I talk about loving summer but also loving fall, oh and loving spring, too?¬† And how in the midst of any of those seasons, I claim it to be my favorite?¬† I know, I’m seasonally confused.¬† (For the record, I’m pretty clear about not liking winter.)¬† But seriously, summer really is my favorite.¬† The mental confines of the work week melt away and every day suddenly feels celebration worthy.¬† Monday night concert?¬† Tuesday night Rockies game?¬† Wednesday night brewery excursion?¬† Yes to all of that!¬† So I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I should’ve called this post¬†“What Am I NOT Loving Lately?!” because my summertime mood has me loving it all.

But specifically…

These Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Strawberries.

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You know how there’s those dumb people that actually believe just because something is gluten-free it’s better/healthier for you?¬† Yeah, no, I’m not one of those people.¬† But I am totally dumb enough to believe vegan things are!¬† Please don’t ask me to confront the hypocrisy of this.¬† These cookies are the bomb.¬† They are so easy to whip up on a Tuesday night at 8:30 when you decide you must have a freshly baked cookie.¬† They are so chubby and cute and they taste incredible!

Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles.

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Um, remind me why I did not already own this live John Mayer album?¬† I’ve been lucky enough to see JMay at Red Rocks three times but I think anyone whos saw him at this concert in 2007 has me beat.¬† A few Fridays ago, Joey and I went out, took an √úber home, then listened to “Bold as Love” in bed so that I could correctly tweet something John¬†says¬†mid-way through the song.¬† It’s pretty perf, so you should take a listen.

Summer hair, don’t care.

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As in I haven’t dried or straightened my hair in a week and it’s all wavy and natural looking and I don’t even hate it.¬† Anything to avoid extra heat because: #LifeWithoutAC.¬† But also because it gives me extra time in the morning to do things like go for a run or you know, make chia seed¬†jam.¬† Or as Joey would say, makes me think I have extra time¬†in the morning…

Which reminds me…

Morning running in the outdoors.

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Thank you, brain for tricking yourself into thinking that waking up at 5:30 AM to go to the gym in the wintertime isn’t the worst thing ever but come summertime and the return of outdoor running in the cool quiet of the morning it becomes very apparent that it was.¬† I’m in my morning run groove and it’s everything.

Summer reading.

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But I’ve already geeked out enough about that.

Iced coffee.

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Summer = iced coffee season!¬† I restocked us big time on cold brew last week and like to pretend I’m saving us money but when you go through the whole pitcher and have to buy more coffee beans every week, are you actually saving anything?¬†¬†Yeah, I choose not to think¬†about that.

This candle.

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It’s just subtle enough that I can burn it in my office without assaulting¬†everyone in the office with the scent of¬†black cherry.¬† P.S. Note that cute last day of June calendar page.

Our house.

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Okay, I know¬†I’ve been a homeowner for almost two years now and the novelty should’ve worn off by now but it definitely hasn’t.¬†¬†And even though it’s fricken hot right now, I love love love our little home.¬†¬†Walking out into our kitchen every morning makes me giddy, reading in our quiet bedroom gives me happiness shivers and throwing¬†open all the doors and windows and letting¬†summertime stream in makes my heart explode.¬† I’m totally embracing this life stage of domesticity.

One last thing I’m loving:¬†Three day summer holiday weekends!

Go enjoy yours!

The Big Bad Mother-Daughter Book Club Reading List

Okay, that title is kind of a mouthful but I felt like an epic list of must-read books needed an equally epic title.

During our BBQ last Saturday, my mom¬†handed me this self-typed self-printed list of books that we’ll be¬†reading for our mother-daughter book club, and maybe it had something to do with the pitcher of sangria I’d consumed, but at the very end of the night, I sat up in bed reading this list out loud to Joey and was SO GIDDY about it.¬† It takes a particular kind of nerd to get giddy over a list of books, and that would be the bookworm type of nerd.¬† GUILTY.

So without further adieu!

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I’m only¬†halfway through Flowers for Algernon right now, but I’m already excited for so many of the following books.¬† Specifically, Catch-22, To Kill a Mockingbird, Anne of Green Gables (Mom, can we watch the movie afterwards??), The Handmaid’s Tale, The Little Prince (we’re reading it in French, right?) and For Whom the Bell Tolls.¬† You know, because Hemingway is the way to my heart.¬† I also have a feeling my mom and sister will quit our book club after our first meeting, when they realize I’m way to enthusiastic about all of this.

Have you read anything on this list?

Weekend Things: Summer Kickoff BBQ

You know how it’s seemed like we’ve been working overtime to get our front yard in tip top shape?¬† Well that’s because in preparation for throwing a Summer Kickoff BBQ, we have been working overtime to get our front yard in tip top shape!¬† Nothing like hosting a party to motivate you to get a big project done.

The good news is we got the landscaping done, the grass looking green and lush, the fence painted and reassembled and all six tons of rock moved by Saturday at 5 PM, then it was straight summer BBQ-ing time!

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Curtis is our new door stop.¬† A few people had never seen our house before so Joey was impressing them with the opening line of “we have a black widow!” and I was saying stuff like “welcome to our 85¬į home!”¬† What is wrong with the both of us?¬† P.S. My house was/is so clean right now, that I’m afraid to do anything that will mess it up.¬† I want it to be this way forever!

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Also, we both managed to pick out sherbert-colored shirts.¬† Like Bobby so honestly put it, it was mostly embarrassing because we were in our own home and one of us easily could’ve changed but didn’t… I’m claiming we were just trying to make it easy for everyone to locate the party hosts.

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This way to beer!

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My tried and true sangria recipe.

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Thanks for showing me how to cut a watermelon, Geoffrey Zakarian.

We brewed a “knockoff Blue Moon,” hauled the kegerator outside, mixed up some sangria, cut a watermelon and cooked some baked beans for the occasion.¬† We also grilled burgers and brats and may or may not have run out of propane mid-BBQ.¬† We definitely knew better than to not refill the propane tank.¬† Joey claims I drank that entire pitcher of sangria by myself.¬† All I know is I had a wine flush like whoa.

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We did things pot-luck style and everyone brought such good stuff.¬† I’m still kicking myself for not grabbing a deviled egg right away because they were totally gone by the time I got a plate of food.¬† I should’ve known they’d be the first thing to go — they had bacon in them!¬† Mom brought¬†coleslaw, potato salad and¬†mini oatmeal cookies.¬† Then she left the leftovers with me.¬† I’m not complaining.¬† And Becca made sangria cupcakes!¬† They were so good that I¬†was¬†immediately compelled to hug her.

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Of course we broke out the fire pit later in the night.¬† Then we listened to Third Eye Blind, talked about Ashley Parker Angel’s butt and you know… drank some more sangria.¬† Or was that just me?¬† After¬†everyone left, Joey and I cleaned up, hauled the kegerator back inside (which, for the record, is harder to¬†do after you’ve had a few drinks) and chilled in the hammock while John Mayer played in the background.¬† Translation: PERFECT NIGHT.

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Joey left to go¬†golfing at 7 AM the next morning and I was like “okay cool, I’ll just sleep in then.”¬† Then I rolled out of bed, took myself on a slow and steady 3-mile jaunt — I must’ve been in a good mood because twice someone’s dog ran after me and I¬†wasn’t even mad — then ate breakfast and read¬†on the front porch.¬† It doesn’t get better than that.

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I’ll be real honest, I basically read, napped and watched TV for the rest of the day.¬† Though I did get Joey to go on a post-nap¬†evening stroll with me.¬†¬†I was¬†saying how nice it was to basically do¬†nothing all day and¬†Joey pointed out that this was¬†our first taste of real (yard work-free) summer.¬† More, please!¬† Wrapped up the evening with a summer squash soup, Food Network Star, Big Brother and a slice of cherry pie because, SUMMER.

Happy Monday!

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