Posts tagged summer
Posts tagged summer
This weekend signals the official start to summer. Something about the warm weather and fresh fruits inspires me to get healthier. It’s the ying to the yang of winter’s desire to bake dozens of cookies and curl up with a good book or Bravo marathon. D introduced me to a free app that he’s been using called Lose It! to track calories and exercise. It sounded pretty cool, so I downloaded it.
I tracked the food I ate a little bit here and there for a day or two, then I realized this really needed to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. So for the past three days, I have diligently recorded everything I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I knew I immediately liked this app when it listed snacks as plural. I haven’t lost any lbs yet, but it’s only been three days since I started tracking everything for real.
The app calculates how many calories you’re allowed each day based on your current weight, height, and goal weight. Then you can search for the food you’ve eaten OR scan the barcode of anything packaged. I love doing that. Plus, you immediately get more calories allotted if you record exercise for the day. For me, the most eye-opening thing about this app has been serving sizes. I’m actually measuring out what 1/4th of a cup of almonds looks like instead of just grazing on almonds for half an hour. I’m hoping to retrain my brain on serving sizes and hopefully, hopefully, hopefully see some results (I would like to lose 30ish lbs). Let me know if you’re starting any diet or exercise plans for the summer!
“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
— Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
I made it last night (when I should have been reading for Minority Literature). These pictures are small and low quality, because I uploaded them from my phone, but you should get the idea.
In order from top to bottom: Some strawberry slicing required. // Arranging slices on the first layer, so there will be delicious strawberries in the middle of every bite. // Garnishing the top (I only added a little coconut because my family is crazy and doesn’t like coconut). // Slicing into the pretty pink cake (my iphone doesn’t have a flash, so it looks pinker in person).
Overall, this cake is a beautiful alternative for someone who loves the look of Red Velvet cake, but isn’t crazy about the taste of Red Velvet (ahem, me). This may become my go-to dessert recipe for summer parties.
Happy Fifth of July. I doubt I will have the focus to accomplish anything productive today, which is the sign of having had a good Fourth of July, I think. I made stars and stripes pies to bring to Ducky’s family’s celebration, but they pale in comparison to the sugar cookies in the shape of the continental United States that we made with his nephews and nieces.
Now if we can just keep the back-to-school ads at bay for another two weeks, I can stay in summer mode a little while longer.
First official night of summer, and I see my first lightning bugs of the year. How appropriate. Also, I do not believe anyone had a childhood if they don’t know what their hands smell like after catching lightning bugs.
I finished reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, and I loved it. I know every nerdy brunette wants to claim camaraderie with Tina Fey, but unless you have passed out or almost passed out at your first pap smear, then you can’t join our special club. Yeah, I said it.
She’s also one of those rare cool moms. I love this:
"Let’s talk about hair. Why do I call it ‘yellow’ hair and not blond hair? Because I’m pretty sure everybody calls my hair ‘brown.’ When I read fairy tales to my daughter I always change the word ‘blond’ to ‘yellow,’ because I don’t want her to think that blond hair is somehow better."
So, yes, you should read Bossypants.
I read about 1/3rd of The Wilder Life before it had to be returned to the library. Basically, a woman who loved reading the Little House on the Prairie series as a kid decides to travel to different former homesteads of the Ingallses. I think she also rereads the books. Unfortunately, the book lacked direction and purpose, a bit like wandering through the wilderness in a covered-wagon. I don’t know if I will try to recheck out the book and finish it or not.
I’m currently about 1/2 way through Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye. Anyone familiar with Dessen’s books knows what to expect. Same writing style, same character prototypes, same fictional town. Still, the familiarity can be enjoyable for a pleasant read that’s heavy-handed with a-ha moments.
What are you reading?
I am so ready for summer nights again. Lingering daylight, warm night air, conversations over the cicadas, swimming in public fountains (is that just me and Lindz?), hanging out until the early morning hours, walking barefoot outside, games of badminton, reading on the back porch, fireworks in July, and outdoor theater in St. Louis. Bring on the season change.
I bought this dress yesterday, because I believe a white dress in the summer is just as important as a black dress during any other season. Admittedly, I look like a 1960s cult member in this particular silhouette (it didn’t help that my hair was in pigtails while I was trying it on in the dressing room), but I kind of like looking like the 1960s sweet and innocent girl-next-door who just so happens to be in a cult. Would it be wrong to say my summer style’s inspired by the Manson Girls?
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
I don’t consider myself the outdoorsy type, because I dig things like indoor plumbing, air-conditioning, and not getting bitten by bugs. However, I can’t deny that when I think of moments in my life when I’ve felt the most content or the most alive, those moments were outside in nature.
I basically lived outdoors as a kid. We had a backyard filled with tall, mature trees that led downhill to a creek. The creek divided the land like a zipper and on the other side was a steep hill. We’d climb that hill, seriously it was like a straight, 90 degree angle wall of earth, by grabbing tree roots that weaved in and out of the dirt. If I had spent the amount of time I spent playing outside doing something productive like playing the violin, then I could’ve gone to Julliard.
So, I have many fond childhood memories of simple things like lying in the snow mesmerized by the shapes of individual snowflakes that remained undisturbed or picking handfuls of wild, Sweet Williams in the summer.
As an adult, I spend considerably less time outside pretending to be Karana of The Island of the Blue Dolphins. It’s a shame.
In August, I went to LouFest, an all-day outdoor concert, with Lindsay, Ross, and Liz. St. Louis, if you don’t know, has the kind of humidity that clutches you in its fist and rings you out like a sponge. That particular day was a scorcher, but the heat actually felt drier than most dog days of summer.
During Cory Chisel’s performance, I was lying on a blanket between Ross, Lindsay and Liz. I stared up at the blue sky and found shapes in the clouds with Liz. The music belted all around us, and I felt the contentedness that’s pretty damn evasive in the real world. The sun beat down on my exposed limbs, but it wasn’t oppressive. I felt restored, like I’d been given the exact thing I needed. It wasn’t exhilarating or profound, just a moment I sincerely enjoyed being alive.