1. Blue hydrangeas in vases.
We have one blue hydrangea in our yard, growing practically underneath the trampoline. That is a sad place for a hydrangea to be.
But despite its unlovely spot, our hydrangea is thriving there—and when we snip the blooms and bring them in the house, you can’t tell where they grew.
2. Mineral sunscreen.
I have extremely sensitive skin, to the point where I have never found a sunscreen my face can tolerate for more than a few minutes. I was talking to a friend about this not long ago, and she asked if I’d ever tried the powder stuff. I had no idea what she was talking about.
I did some research and found this Peter Thomas Roth mineral sunscreen and I love it. It’s a loose powder that you brush on like makeup. After reading the reviews, I opted for the transparent instead of the bronzer. First I bought one, then I bought another for my purse. I use it for myself and for my sensitive-skinned daughter.
It’s not water-resistant so it’s not a perfect sunscreen solution, but it’s such a huge improvement over my previous option (which was nothing). I wish I’d found it ten years ago, but better late than never.
3. This quote.
It’s been a while since I stumbled across these lines from Rilke. (Ironically, this was the epigraph on a memoir I abandoned before the halfway point.)
So good, right?
4. Five-ingredient granola bars.
My friend and I were commiserating about our kids’ nonstop requests for snacks, snacks, and more snacks, and she told me that she had found a partial solution: these 5-ingredient granola bars. (Per my friend’s advice, I use coconut oil, only 2 teaspoons honey, never use wheat germ or chocolate, and sometimes add chopped dried fruit. I’ve been using old-fashioned oats and they work fine.) I’ve been making two double batches a week, ever since, because my kids have been gobbling them up for snacks and breakfast. I cut them into bars and keep them in the fridge.
5. Jane Austen.
I’ve been on a Jane Austen binge, and even though I’m reading these novels for the third to eleventh time each, they are so good.
Italo Calvino called a classic “a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” Exactly.
6. Zucchini noodles.
Always a summer favorite. I’ve been following this recipe (more or less) for years, using an inexpensive mandoline to make my noodles. I would eat these every day if I could. This is the only way my children willingly eat zucchini.
This is a healthy subscription-based meal planning service that I first discovered when they sponsored What Should I Read Next and then fell in love with for its own sake.
Every week you get a shopping list and meal plan in your inbox. The list is organized by category, which makes shopping easy. All the recipes are paleo and/or gluten-free (depending on the plan you follow—your subscription includes both options), easy to prep, and stuff our family actually eats.
(To get a free two-week trial go to the PrepDish site and use the code READNEXT.)
What are YOU loving these days? I’d love to hear about your summer favorites in comments!