These Are a Few of my Favorite Things…
I always love reading favorite thing blog posts, and I’m excited to be sharing my current summer faves! During my busy season (hello summer and fall!), I’m guilty of letting my blog remain largely business and image-focused. While this obviously makes sense (pictures are definitely my thing), I’m excited to be sharing more behind the scenes details this season. I spend a ton of time behind my camera, but it’s certainly not all I do. Let’s take a peek at some of my current favorite things!
When I was a kid, I spent as much of my free time as possible reading. I would devour one series after another and then read them all over again. When I started high school, and there was so much required reading, I let my love of reading slide. My early twenties were full of way too many self-improvement books, and when I had two toddlers underfoot and a new business in the works, reading didn’t happen much either. I had great intentions- my nightstand was piled high with books that I never read. Now? My kids are old enough to entertain themselves (sometimes!), my business is a bit more streamlined, and I’ve rediscovered my love of fiction. A huge thanks to my friend, Geneveive for her role in this change. If you aren’t following Gen the Bookworm, you should be! This summer, I’ve been reading a ton, and I’m excited to share some of my recent favorites.
Things You Save in a Fire was my July Book of the Month pick, and I absolutely loved it. If you haven’t checked out Book of the Month, you should! It’s my favorite (and only) monthly subscription box, and I love the pre-selected books to choose from. They’re always hardcover (which I love) and many of them are released before their official publication date. I don’t like to read anything heavy in the summer, and this book was the perfect light summer read, with enough context and a happy ending. Just as I like them!
The Flatshare was another favorite read of mine this summer. I loved the unique storyline, character development, and light-hearted vibe. I’m choosy about my fiction reads. I don’t like books that are “fluffy,” but I also don’t want to have to think too hard. There are plenty of other opportunities in my life for that! This book was the perfect combination of engaging and enjoyable.
I just finished Do Less on Audible, and I really enjoyed it. I tend to listen to non-fiction books and save my actual reading time for fiction. I loved this author’s thoughts on how doing less can actually free up room for more of what matters most in our lives. Her thoughts and ideas are unique, and definitely worth a listen if this topic appeals to you.
Inferno Hot Pilates
I’ve been a regular exerciser in some capacity for all of my adult life. This has been a priority as much for my mental health as physical. Over the last 15 years, I’ve tried it all- running, yoga, biking, walking, step class, weight training, and more. The one thing I thought I’d never like? Hot exercise classes. In January of this year, a good friend (who never steers me wrong), invited me to check out a Hot Pilates class at Queen City Yoga with her. I was super nervous, had no idea what to wear, and wasn’t sure what to expect. After my first class, I immediately signed up for their trial one-month membership and went 20 times in those first 30 days. I’m hooked- totally and completely obsessed. The workout itself is amazing- fast-paced, a great combination of strength and cardio, and the environment is the best. The instructors are amazing and there is something super special about the community Queen City has created. I never thought I’d enjoy an exercise class with up 60+ people, 90 something degrees, and an outfit that basically looks like a bathing suit, but I do. If you live locally, definitely check it out!
Garden Harvest Basket
This is my second year of gardening, and I absolutely love it. My girls and I have so much fun planting, watering, and harvesting together. It’s been a huge learning experience for all of us, but I find it so rewarding. This year, most of our vegetables haven’t even made it into the house, as my girls eat it all straight from the garden. A bigger harvest is coming, and when it does, I always love collecting everything in this harvest basket I picked up at Gardeners Supply.
Give Me All the Jam!
I’m a bit obsessed with berry picking this time of year. The season is so short, and I can’t resist any of the fruits that summer brings. I’ll admit I do tend to get in a little over my head- the sticky mess I made pitting cherries for hours the other day is the perfect example. While it’s a bit of a process, I try to set aside some time to preserve the amazing flavors that summer brings so we can enjoy them throughout the year. Before purchasing an electric water bath canner last year, I was totally overwhelmed by the process of canning. The details seemed like way too much for me. The boiling hot water and glass jar combo still freak me out a little, but this canner is one of my favorite things in my kitchen. It’s super easy and makes canning more enjoyable. I also have a huge supply of 4oz canning jars as I love sharing what I make with neighbors and friends. The smaller the jar, the more I have to give away!
A Little Maple with My Coffee
I didn’t sweeten my coffee at all until I discovered Runamok Maple, and I can’t say I’m feeling bad about it. Their infused maple syrup is the best. I’m a huge fan of the cinnamon+vanilla as well as the cardamon infused syrups. A little goes a long way, and I make sure to hide it from my kids. This stuff is way too good to get dumped all over their frozen waffles. Definitely check out their products!
Heal All Salve
I met Braelyn of Bee Love Herbals last year at the Woman’s Festival of Crafts. I have since purchased several of her products, and they’re all amazing. Her shower scrubs and body oils have replaced all lotions for me, and I love how soft they leave my skin feeling. This Heal All Salve is my personal favorite. Both my youngest daughter and I have sensitive skin, and we use this on everything from bug bites to dry skin. It works amazingly well and heals irritations so quickly!
This post wouldn’t be complete without a photo reference! I’m a huge fan of all the Artifact Uprising products, but my current favorite is their wood calendar. It sticks to my stainless steel fridge and you can easily order replacement photos year to year. I love the simplicity and both my girls love having a calendar in the kitchen.
Thanks for stopping by! If you want to share one of your current summer faves in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!