7.5 things I learned in July.

7.5 things I learned in July.

Linking up with Emily Freeman to share what I learned in July:

1. Take a risk. I’ve been taking the Nester’s cozy minimalist course (closed for now, but I’ll let you know when it opens back up) and one of Myquillyn’s key ideas is you need to take one big risk in every room. With that in mind, I didn’t hesitate (too long) when my boys asked to paint their room navy. (And guess what? It looks amazing.) Now I’m thinking how to apply this to the rest of the house …

2. My kids like Jane Austen more than I thought. So much so that they agreed to give our new puppy an Austen-inspired name. I never saw this coming. I thought it so unlikely that I didn’t even make an Austen-ish suggestion until day 3 of the Great Name Debate, when we still couldn’t agree on a name everyone liked. I threw out “Bingley” and they agreed.

(A commenter pointed out that our previous chocolate lab was named Harriet—another Austen name, and I hadn’t even realized it.)

reading mudflap girl

3. There’s a reading mudflap girl. I’ve never been a fan of this iconic silhouette—especially when it’s slapped on the back of somebody’s truck. But Will and I spotted a version that’s not half bad when we were out for coffee last week.

4. Mosquitoes adore my Type O blood. I’ve always gotten more than my fair share of summer bug bites, but it wasn’t until this month that I realized there was a concrete reason. Some research suggests people with Type O blood (me) are twice as likely to get bitten as people with other blood types (although this study is still being debated).

4b. We found a DEET-free bug spray that doesn’t smell terrible. It’s called Buzz Away, it works, and it smells pretty good. Vitacost has the best price I’ve found.

5. Drive-through sushi isn’t a terrible idea. When a drive-through sushi place opened in my town, I thought it sounded like a terrible idea. Will works right around the corner so he tried it way before I did and assured me it was awesome. We picked some up for date night last week and oh my goodness, it is amazing. If you’re in Louisville, check them out (on Lyndon Lane).

ice cream flight

6. The ice cream flight is an excellent idea. You know wine flights. You might even know book flights. Now a local ice cream place does ice cream flights: three little scoops for less than $5, so I can try all the flavors without eating my weight in ice cream. We definitely need to bring the kids back before summer is over.

7. Lots of readers love big, fat books. I posted a list of 500+ page books for summer reading this month, and I was blown away by the (100+) comments. It turns out a whole lot of readers want to read long. (If you want to add a lengthy novel to your reading list, check out the comments—there are so many good ideas there.)


38 comments | Comment


  1. Kristen says:

    My blood type is O negative and I always thought that must be the reason the mosquitos love me so much more than other people. Now I’m married to another O negative (and our 3 kids are all O negative) and the mosquitos barely touch my husband and oldest daughter while the rest of us get eaten alive. Maybe some of us just react to the bites more than others? All I know is that they are the worst part of summer for me!

  2. Thanks for the reminder that the link up is soon – also, I’m definitely going to check back for more info on the Nester’s course. Sounds very good.

  3. Barbara LH says:

    I’ve been enjoying your posts (especially about books/reading). Want to add one practical suggestion re: bug repellent. Recent Consumer Reports testing showed that this specific non-deet containing spray is best for repelling mosquitoes and ticks (Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin, Pump Spray – available on amazon)

  4. Interesting thought about mosquitoes. I am O+, and so is my brother, but both our parents are A+. Mosquitoes prefer me to my brother now, and prefer me to my partner or children who are all B+…but when I was a kid, mosquitoes preferred my mom to my dad, brother, or me. This leads me to suspect that women of childbearing age are tastier. Anyone else noticed this effect?

    My favorite anecdote on the subject: A few summers ago, we had a male friend visiting, and he and my partner and I were sitting out in the back yard at night because it was cooler than indoors. I finally said, “I have to go in; I’m getting eaten alive!” and they were completely surprised because neither of them had gotten a single bite. But I was indoors by myself for less than 10 minutes before they came in fleeing the mosquitoes, who had attacked them as soon as I left!

    • Anne says:

      That is funny/horrible that nobody else was getting bitten because the mosquitoes were only interested in YOU! I’ve also read that pregnant women get bitten more; I wonder if age is a factor also, and not just pregnancy.

  5. Anne says:

    We’ve had welts instead of bites this year! Yeesh. Also, this reminds me to return to the Cozy Minimalist course. I haven’t finished yet!

  6. Heather says:

    I think that the O blood study has to be true because I am O+ and whenever I go out I get eaten to death and hardly anyone else does :). Here in Portland most ice-cream shops sell flights of ice-cream, but I haven’t gone that route yet, since I tend to get ice-cream after a meal and I only have enough room for a kid sized scoop! I think that I need to plan an outing just for ice-cream so that I can do this 🙂

  7. Stacey says:

    So interesting about the long books. I just discovered the absolute opposite about myself. At least for now, I just can’t make through long books… And I would LOVE an ice cream flight- what a perfect idea!

  8. Dawn says:

    Did I miss the half-a-thing she learned? The title of the post is driving me nuts without the extra half thing! Save me, Anne! Add a half a thing, please!

  9. Sarah says:

    There’s a new craft ice cream place in lex that does flights too and I love it! (Crank + Boom) Which place in Louisville is doing it? Because a trip to Louisville most always calls for ice cream, whether the kids are with us or not! Lol

  10. Sunny says:

    When my son moved out, his room became a guest room. My husband thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to paint it navy. Now we both think it’s the prettiest room in the house!

  11. Kate Unger says:

    I love that bumper sticker! I might need to get one. 🙂

    Hmm. I’m Type O and I hardly ever get bit my Mosquitos.

    We have a place by us that does ice cream flights too. Pretty cool.

  12. Jennifer H says:

    Pretty please with sugar on top, tell me who does the ice cream flight.

    That’s interesting about the navy bedroom. When we were re-painting all rooms in January, Samuel wanted orange walls, but I would not even entertain it. I was just so worried about being able to paint over such a bright color in the future. Maybe I should have given in.

    • Anne says:

      Comfy Cow!

      And I hear you on the orange walls … except my friend painted her son’s room a very vivid orange a few years ago (his choice, but she went with it) and it looked fantastic. (She had light on two sides, south and west, and I think that helped a lot.)

    • Anne says:

      That’s not how I tabulated it. Finally realizing Harriet had an Austen name probably should have gotten its own entry!

  13. Esther says:

    We live in Japan (although my husband hails from Louisville) and we have a conveyor belt sushi restaurant within walking distance of our home. It’s awesome! The various sushi just moves by your table on a mini conveyor belt and you take off the plates as they pass. It’s so much fun and the kids love it!

  14. I have type O blood, too. And I definitely believe it. I got so many mosquito bites once all over my body but especially one of my ankles. I had to go to urgent care and get crutches and antibiotics because it had gotten so big and inflamed. Crazy! I had crutches for a week and antibiotics for ten days. I will never forget that.

  15. Heather says:

    As I’ve traveled the country, I notice that I’m more or less interesting to mosquitoes in various locations. I think that mosquito populations have definite taste preferences.
    Eating a lot of garlic, so that the scent seeps out your pores, will keep them away. This is a good plan for a backwoods camping trip where there’s no one around. Maybe also useful at certain family picnics.

    The reading mudflap girl – very popular here in Portland, OR. Come visit Powell’s Books!

  16. liz n. says:

    I am adding the phrase “ice cream flight” to my vocabulary. Previously, it’s been known as a bowl of “I can’t make up my mind.”


  17. That’s funny about the blood type. Our family is all O+ and I think skeeters love us all. My son is allergic to bug bites so this summer we’ve been pretty strident about bug spray. I’m using one made with essential oils (homemade) and it’s been just as good as any store bought one I’ve used.

    • Anne says:

      I’m glad to hear that. We love the spray that works on oil not DEET, but I’m still getting a few bites. But I remember I always did with the Off! stuff, too.

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