8 (mostly) little things I’m loving for mid-summer

8 (mostly) little things I’m loving for mid-summer

I like to keep a list in my bullet journal of the (mostly) little, everyday things bringing me a disproportionate amount of happiness these days. A recent sampling:

1. Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales. This middle grade graphic novel series was highly recommended by the women of Houston’s Blue Willow Books, and for that they have my eternal gratitude.

My third grader devoured this series this year—and because he always knew what to read next, he was always reading. In fact, at school conferences this spring, his teacher thanked Will and me for introducing Silas to the series, because he’d in turn convinced all the third grade boys to give it a try, and now they were all reading. That’s the power of a good series, friends.

Other great series my kids have devoured this spring: King of the Bench, The Story Thieves, the Moon Base Alpha series, the Framed! series, and Marissa Meyer’s Renegades series.

2. Pencils. I’ve been on a giant pencil kick lately, and—inspired by CW Pencil Enterprise—I’ve been saving my spent ones in a jar on my desk. How long do you think it will take to fill it up?

3. Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. I have sensitive skin, which means I’ve had issues with sun and sunscreen since I was a kid. This stuff isn’t perfect—after a week at the beach my face felt like it could use a break for all that slathering—but it’s the closest to perfect I’ve ever found.

4. DoorDash. I used this food delivery app in hotels across America this spring, which—bottom line—meant I could keep working on my book without leaving my hotel room. Copious thanks to Sarah Bessey, who turned me on to this (and made it possible for this Kentucky girl to enjoy Torchy’s in Denver).

5. Fresh herbs. From year to year, I forget how magical it is to have big planters filled with fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary, and basil just out my kitchen door. (Although we’ve depleted the parsley—is it too late to plant more?)

We use sprigs here and there, but my favorite thing to make with all these herbs is this lemon herb quinoa. When I plan ahead to buy all the ingredients, I also love this quinoa recipe with sugar snaps, radishes, and mint.

6. 10 Things to Tell You. I’ve enjoyed Laura Tremaine’s new podcast, particularly this skin care deep dive with Jamie Golden.

7. A souvenir wooden bookmark. When I was in Oxford, Mississippi this spring I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Faulkner’s home Rowan Oak, which is just minutes from the center of town. I fell into conversation with the curator, who sent me on my way with a unique wooden bookmark bearing an old-fashioned typewriter. It’s become a family favorite (and that’s saying a lot, because we have a ton of bookmarks around here).

8. This linen dress. This easy shift looks dressy with a pendant and earrings, casual with flip flops, and—the clincher—has pockets.

What (mostly) little things are bringing YOU a disproportionate amount of happy lately? I’d love to hear in comments.

P.S. Previous editions of little things I’m loving: 9 little things I’m loving this September6 things I’m loving for early summer6 (mostly) little things I’m loving this spring5 late fall/early winter favorites7 little January favorites9 October favorites, and 7 not terribly exciting things making me really happy these days.

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  1. Amy says:

    I’m loving my local Y. Treadmill, Yoga, AC, and kind people. Good year round- great right now. Calms the body, clears the mind. And my teens love it too. Total bonus.

  2. Renae says:

    If you are looking for a great face sunscreen, I use EltaMD clear products for my face, ears, and neck. You can get the clear or untinted…it doesn’t smell, doesn’t leave my skin greasy, and layered under my tinted moisturizer, provides an extra layer of protection that my freckled skin desperately needs!! I buy mine on Amazon, but I’m pretty sure you can find it everywhere!!

    • Ashley says:

      I just tried the Elta MD clear on recommendation from my dermatologist! It is awesome, and my skin is super sensitive to sunscreens!

  3. Jana Botkin says:

    That dress is almost perfect! I like my dresses below the knee; does anyone know where to find a pattern so I can make my own?

    Something I am loving is the fact that my Mom taught me to sew and I can make simple summer dresses that are just right for me.

  4. Aldea says:

    Cherries! Usually, they’re pricier than other fruit, but this month I have decided to go for it, and just enjoy my favorite summer fruit.

  5. Angie H says:

    I’m enjoying fresh juicy peaches every day, and beautiful lilies that make the house smell good. I’m grateful for A/C that keeps up with the Atlanta heat. And I enjoyed finally reading Where the Crawdads Sing!

  6. Lyndsey G says:

    We are loving our fresh peaches from Georgia thanks to The Peach Truck. We live in northern Indiana, and this delightful family owned company drives trucks full of fresh picked peaches to several states during the summer months. Bonus- they just came out with a cookbook so I have lots of new ideas for how to use this 1/2 bushel of yummy peaches!

    • Suzanne says:

      The Peach Truck came down to our area (N. Florida) for the first time this year and we loved their peaches! I have 3 gallon bags frozen, theoretically for ‘the winter’. Somehow I can’t see them lasting past August, lol. The peach cobbler is just too delicious.

  7. Erica says:

    I’m loving being a kid again and jumping in the waves with my kids and niece and nephews! Usually I sit on the beach and read but it’s been fun to let loose and be silly for a change. I’m also loving a nice chilled rose (just realized I have no idea how to add an accent mark!).

  8. Sheila H. says:

    I’m loving how happy my 12 year old daughter is at the Girl Scout summer camp she is participating in this week. Every day she gets in the car and is full of stories and fun happy things. The young women working with all of the girls are such a God send. I’m trying my best to ignore the 80 miles I’m driving a day getting her there and back and myself to work and back.

  9. Kim A. says:

    It felt brutally hot yesterday in NC. Finished Where the Crawdads Sing (which gave me a craving for grits). Currently reading City of Girls and picked up Educated from the library. Feeling a little more up to date in my reading choices.

  10. Melanie Beisert says:

    1. One of my absolutely favorite things in life is to have a cup of coffee in the morning at our river house. But what makes it truly spectacular – the gentle breeze, the shade of ancient elms and cypress, the ripple of the water just a few feet away. I could sit her all day in this simple paradise.

    2. Sweet compliments from friends and acquaintances about my amazing daughters. How’d I get so lucky?!?! I know they are absolutely wonderful, but when my friends and others reach out time and again to comment on their kindness, generosity, humbleness, charisma, it just reminds me of how incredibly blessed I am.

    3. Frixion Clickable Erasable Gel Pens in extra fine. These pens are amazing!!! http://pilotpen.us/categories/frixion-erasable-ink-pens/frixion-ball-clicker/

    4. Time & To Do Planner. https://timeandtodoplanner.com/
    I love the arrangement of this monthly/weekly calendar. It has room for 15 min increments of the day and several areas for to do lists and notes by both month and week. I especially love to use my Frixion pens because things change and I can easily erase those changes or mistakes. #plannerhappiness

    5. The lazy days of summer. So many favorites about this – getting little things done around the house, stopping to watch a daytime show, getting up late, vacationing during the week when things are less crowded, wearing my FAVORITE blue jean shorts from Kut by Kloth every single day (I have several pairs). https://kutfromthekloth.com/

  11. Ruth says:

    Parsley – certainly you can pop a new plant or two (I wouldn’t do seed) in your pot. My parsley doesn’t get depleted but perhaps I don’t use it as much. I harvest about half of it at a time and the plant just regenerates. I pop the bunch in a small pitcher of water on the counter or frig so it’s always at hand and ready to use.

  12. Anna says:

    Finally enjoying some sun in London without being too hot.
    Can’t wait to start growing some fresh herbs when I am back from my vacation in August!

    xx A. |mylondonandbeyond.wordpress.com

  13. Jennyearle says:

    Random thought: people who do a medical reimbursement program, see if your plan allows you to reimburse sunscreen. That’s made it easier for me to buy a more expensive brand if I need one.

  14. jere says:

    I enjoy just waking up and seeing the sun..i am nigh on to 93 years old. Every morning is a blessing even if it is raining.

  15. Kitty Balay says:

    Well, this is a true fangirl observation:
    I clicked on the linen dress and noticed the clutch in one of the shots. You need to have it because the colors look so much like the graphic designs for your podcasts!

  16. Ashley says:

    My third grader (who kept insisting that he didn’t like to read) LOVED those books this year! He read one right after another. My favorite moment was when he rushed down the stairs to tell me that Boston was under siege and did I know that they called the British “lobsterbacks”? I also remember listening to a very detailed explanation of Japan’s naval strategy and the names of all its warships before the Pearl Harbor attack. Thank you Nathan Hale!

  17. Kristian says:

    I’m in a super rural area so haven’t used Door Dash or similar programs really before. However, there are a lot of allegations and accusations that Doordash (and Amazon and others) are using tips to subsidize base pay, and not giving the works all of the tips that are electronic (ie from a credit card). You can read more here: https://www.vox.com/2019/3/8/18253378/doordash-tipping-food-delivery-gig-economy-worker-rights

    However, if you want to keep using Doordash an dother similar services, here is a way to make sure the people delivering the food CAN keep 100% of tips. Tip in cash.

  18. Jayda says:

    My 10 year old son devoured the Nathan Hale series too! I was a little worried about the “Donner Dinner Party” book but it was handled well. Love how reading these graphic novels can teach so many amazing facts from history! His favorite was “Lafayette!”

  19. Jennifer Maynard says:

    My 3rd grader fell in love with that series too this past year (we are in Houston, so maybe they are a Houston love). We had to watch a 2 hour documentary on the Donner Party when he saw it on TV. It was quite interesting!

  20. Alice Viator says:

    I absolutely love Nathan Hale’s books! This past school year, he came to one of our middle schools to do a presentation where he drew the tale- as he narrated it- of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The students were enthralled. He ended the day by doing a Writer’s Workshop in one of the classes. Absolutely amazing! The students developed a love of reading, writing, and history.

  21. Kelli Roberts says:

    I’m so happy that you had Caroline Weaver on the podcast so I could learn about CW Pencil Enterprise! When I was in NYC last summer I bought some jasmine-scented pencils and they are THE BEST! Even if I’m not using a pencil, sometimes I just smell them while I’m working and it makes me happy 🙂

  22. Joy Hicks says:

    Very hot here in WV. But freezing in this office! Wish there was a happy medium! Love the podcast! But my TBR list has grown by leaps and bounds. Need more time to read! Maybe a bullet list would help.

  23. Ellen W says:

    My boys also love Nathan Hale – I was at your book signing in Houston and Blue Willow sponsored an event for Nathan Hale’s newest book soon after your visit. I’ve already pre-ordered the one that will come out in December about John Wesley Powell who was led one of first expeditions through the Grand Canyon. I enjoy reading them as well – especially the one on WWI.

  24. I love these lists – it’s so lovely to see so much joy, much of it derived from the simplest pleasures, in one place! Right now, I’m getting mine from my new bookshelves (all that room to fill with great new reads! so much promise and potential!), and a pair of sneakers. I have to walk a lot, and it’s been a wet winter here in Sydney; I finally splurged on a pair of proper, enclosed, waterproof shoes and they’re the best investment I’ve ever made.

  25. Wendy S. says:

    Dropping by to say thanks for the Nathan Hale rec! I convinced my 8 year old son to try reading them and he has devoured the entire series. He’s a very avid reader, but never takes my recommendations (even though I’m a librarian), so this was a double win. He has to bring his favorite book to the first day of 3rd grade tomorrow and he’s bringing his favorite Nathan Hale!

  26. Courtney Jorstad says:

    I also wanted to thank you for the Nathan Hale recommendation! I bought the first one for my nine-year-old boy for Christmas, and he told me yesterday that he wants more.

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