Tag Archives: things to do

Seven Ways to Make July Great

SunflowersIt’s July! Can you believe it? Here are seven small ways you can make the month great.

1. Treat yourself (or someone else!) to flowers

The power of a $5 bouquet of flowers is highly underrated. Treat yourself to a fun bouquet from the Farmer’s Market, or check out the seasonal selection at your local supermarket. I scored the prettiest trio of pink peonies a couple of weeks ago for less than four bucks, and I smiled every time I walked by them the rest of the week.

2. Play with sparklers

July is the month of fireworks, and sparklers are the perfect way to celebrate. Pick up a basic box and (safely) enjoy. Bonus points if you can snap a Pinterest-worthy photo with friends.

3. Enjoy a cocktail (or mocktail) outside

Whether on your porch, deck, or a restaurant patio, whip up a fun and fruity drink and enjoy the summer sun while pretending to be on vacation, if only for just an hour.

4. Take an evening walk

Taking an evening stroll around the neighborhood is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the warm weather. It’s a great time to disconnect from technology, decompress, and enjoy the sights and sounds of your community.

5. Challenge a friend to a round of mini-golf

A round of mini-golf with a friend or partner is guaranteed to be filled with competition, laughter, and if you’re as bad as me, a little humility. This is also a fun and fairly inexpensive weeknight activity, perfect for breaking up the monotony of the work week.

6. Paint your toes a bright color

Treat yourself to an at-home pedi and gussy up those toes with a bold color. I’m currently loving OPI’s “I Eat Mainely Lobster”.

7. Make homemade popsicles

Don’t have a fancy mold? No problem! Popsicle sticks, plastic wrap, and paper dixie cups will get the job done. Get creative with your flavors and add-ins, or check out this article from The Nest, which rounds up 10 easy and delicious recipes. The champagne raspberry pops sound awesome!

 

Looking for more ideas on ways to make the summer extra special? Check out my Summer Bucket List. What will you do to make July great? Anything you’re looking forward to this month? xx

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Mid-Week Peaks

Phew, Wednesday already! If you’re just joining me you can check out the story behind Mid-Week Peaks. Here are a few highlights from the past week:

-Discovered a “Hidden” Gem

A coworker invited me and J to come hear her boyfriend’s band play at a bar in Chinatown Friday evening, so after work we got ourselves together and decided to be social. Amidst the hustle and bustle of Chinatown on a Friday night, we ended up at Jackpot DC, a great laid-back basement bar with a good beer list and free popcorn. We would have walked right by if we weren’t looking for it, and it’s somewhere we’ll definitely be back to.

-Saturday in the City

J needed to do an errand in Northwest DC on Saturday, so we planned the day accordingly and headed out to enjoy the gorgeous weather. We spent the afternoon strolling through neighborhoods and enjoying each others company, even ducking into the Corcoran Gallery for a couple of  hours to take advantage of Free Summer Saturdays. The Corcoran was recently purchased by GWU, and its collection is being absorbed by the National Gallery sometime in the near future. Neither of us had been before, and the free admission was a great excuse to see one of DC’s original galleries in all of its glory while we still could. We wrapped up the day at Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill, enjoying burgers and a milkshake for two. It was one of those perfectly ordinary, fantastic days.

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-Honeysuckle

Aside from maybe cookies in the oven, because… um, cookies!, my favorite smell in the world is probably honeysuckle. I was walking through our neighborhood Monday evening and honeysuckle blooms were everywhere. The smell reminds me of being a kid, playing in the backyard with my brother, and picking the flower and tasting the “syrup” on walks with my mom down to the Dairy Queen for an after-dinner ice cream cone. Ah, summer.

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-J is Home!

This probably should have made the peaks-list last week, but J is officially on his summer hours at work and he’s home in the evenings! From late August – mid-May, J works until after 9:00pm each night. Add in his commute, and I’m lucky if he makes it home by 10. During the summer, he works a normal-person schedule and is home around 6:30. It’s so nice to have my buddy back in the evenings, and he’s a much better conversationalist than the cat.

So there we have it! How’s your week been? Any great highlights to share?

Summer Bucket List

With Memorial Day Weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, I found myself sipping my coffee Monday morning with a breeze blowing through the screen door, contemplating what the season would bring. J and I have some really wonderful summer plans ahead, including a day trip to NYC, a week in Cape Cod with his family, and a trip to England and Scotland. Even with our planned travels, I can’t help but feel the itch to make this summer one to remember. Behold, my summer bucket list.

-Read 8 books between Memorial Day and Labor Day

I love to read, but I have noticed myself picking up a book less and less over the last couple of years. I blame Netflix. There are 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so I have a little less than two weeks to get through each book. I’ll share my summer reading list in an upcoming post!

– Go to Six Flags

J and I live just a few miles away from Six Flags America here in Maryland, and we haven’t been. This summer it is!

– Attend at least one outdoor concert

There’s nothing better than sitting under the stars listening to live music. I need to scope out touring dates and see what my options are, but I hope to get to at least one outdoor concert, big or small.

– Try three new restaurants in our area

We are lucky to be surrounded by amazing food and restaurants, but we find ourselves heading back to old favorites. Between options in DC, Annapolis, and Baltimore, we should easily be able to check off some new spots by summer’s end and hopefully add a new favorite or two to the books.

– Visit two new local Farmer’s Markets

On the same note, there are Farmer’s Markets everywhere you turn around here during the warm weather months, but I tend to end up at the same ones. Two specifically on my list are the Annapolis Market by the water and the Fell’s Point Market in Baltimore.

– Go to Sandy Point State Park

Sandy Point State Park is a Maryland State Park located right before the Bay Bridge. It includes a sandy little beach on the Chesapeake Bay, as well as hiking and picnicking opportunities. We drive by it all the time, we just need to stop and make a day of it.

– Visit a local winery

There are tons of local wineries in the area, but the top of my list is Boordy Vineyards. Their Good Life Thursdays were on last year’s bucket list and I never made it, so I’m determined to get up there at least once this summer.

– Make homemade doughnuts

I don’t know why I’m so fascinated with the idea of making my own doughnuts, but I am, and it’s making the list. I hope you’re as excited to see how this turns out as I am.

– Have a picnic outside on a blanket

Easy enough, right?

– Make caprese salad using basil and tomatoes from my own plants

Urban gardening is tough, y’all. Currently I have three medium sized pots filled with basil, a tomato plant, and mint. So far, so good. I love coming home everyday to see how they’ve grown! The end goal is caprese and mojitos for everyone! BYOC – Bring your own chair. Our little nest has limited seating.

– Craft something

Anything will do. I’ll keep you posted.

– Buy a piece of artwork while traveling

Last but not least. As I mentioned above, we have some pretty stellar trips planned in the coming months, and I’d love to fall in love with a piece of artwork to add to our little space and help us remember the great summer of 2014 while we shiver during whatever polar vortex next winter has in store for us.

So there we have it! I imagine this will be a nice working document with some things added as we think of them, but if we accomplish all of this between now and Labor Day I’ll call it a win. What do you have planned? Anything on your summer bucket list?