I don’t want to start every ‘Favorites’ post with a declaration of the disbelief that another month has passed. It’s so cliché. So tired. So overused.
Yet. Every month I have the same thought.
WHAT HAPPENED? Where did that month go?!
And here we are again.
July is over. August is starting.
And I just can’t believe it.
Better not to dwell on it, I guess, and just reflect on what fun memories July brought us.
Taylor Swift Concert
Meghan is one of the biggest Taylor Swift fans you’ll find. We got her tickets for Christmas for the show at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. It was a loooong wait from December to July, but it was well worth the wait.
The show was incredible, and Meghan’s joy made the price of the tickets worth every cent. The picture above shows her face when Taylor first came on stage. It was almost too much for her she was so happy! Meghan sang along to every single song, dancing and not sitting once during the show. I can’t really put into words how special of a night it was. This is probably my favorite memory with Meghan to date.
Family Vacation to Little Compton, Rhode Island
My husband, Tim, grew up spending a week or two in Little Compton every summer, so he loves going back and reliving those childhood memories.
Turns out, my kids love the New England beach life as much as their dad. They spent the week in the waves for hours. Even through the rain, they stayed. Using boogey boards to ride the waves, as I huddled under the beach umbrella, shivering.
When they weren’t in the ocean playing in the waves, they were building sand castles on the beach. They loved it all.
They embraced the ocean and also the fresh seafood. They loved eating fresh shrimp, scallops, fish, and lobster.
Family vacations really are the best.
Tim turned 42 in July! Whhhhaaat? The 40s FEEL much younger than they sound. We celebrated with a store-bought cake. Womp womp. I usually make a cake from scratch, but this year I had a huge deadline the day after his birthday and just couldn’t swing it. (More details on that soon!) I bought these cute gold candles that ended up being sparklers! The 2 burned out before I could get the 4 lit–haha!
I made a solo, quick weekend trip to my hometown in Michigan to celebrate a dear friend’s 40th birthday. This is my group of close high school friends, minus one who couldn’t make the trip. Two of these girls I have barely seen in the last decade, but when we get together it’s like no time has passed. Priceless.
I brought two books to read on the beach and I really wish I would have brought three. Both were really quick, easy reads that were perfect for vacation.
Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave– This is the story of Sunshine Mackenzie, a YouTube culinary star with millions of followers, two published cookbooks, and a Food Network show in the works. All is well until she is outed for making up just about everything about her life and not using her own recipes. Being in the online space made this even more interesting to me. A really good beach read!
all we ever wanted by Emily Giffin-If ever a book made me dread having teenagers, this is IT! It delves into the scary world of teens, social media, and the devastating results of posting the wrong pictures on the Internet. A cross between a whodunit mystery and chick lit drama, this was a page-turner that keep me interested the whole book. Highly recommend!
I love listening to podcasts. I listen when I’m developing recipes and photographing for the blog, in the car, and when I’m folding laundry. It’s a great way to consume content while I’m doing other things. Here are a few I’ve been digging lately that you should check out.
“Your fork, the most powerful tool to transform your health and change the world.” -Dr. Mark Hyman
This podcast has deep conversations about health, wellness, and food. It’s a relatively new podcast, just coming out in May, and I look forward to new episodes every Wednesday. The topics are wide-ranging, from finding your purpose in life, to the future of medicine, to the great debate about protein, to exploring the Blue Zones and longevity. Check it out!
I’ve followed the Wellness Mama blog for years, but I only recently started listening to Katie’s podcast. It’s filled with great information about health, wellness, and natural living from a mom’s perspective.
Bloggity Blog Blog Blog
July was such a busy month with family and travel, I felt like I neglected the blog a little bit. (Okay, a lot…but that’s the beauty of this occupation! The blog is always here waiting for me when I return.) Even so, I look back at these recipes and realize it was a delicious month! Did you miss any of these recipes? (starting at the top left and going clockwise)
Greek Yogurt Frozen Banana Pops A healthy treat that can be made with no added sugar, depending on the toppings you choose!
Sweet Potato Fritters with Avocado Dipping Sauce- You know I don’t like picking favorites, but this recipe takes the top prize for July. I could eat these every day!
Quinoa Caprese Salad You must make this before summer ends! It’s perfect for a light lunch or dinner side.
Banana Bread Date Bars This is another no-added-sugar treat that satisfies my sweet tooth!
Grilled Brussels Sprouts They are crispy and perfect for your grilling menu!
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Your kids won’t notice the zucchini!
Facebook Group Challenges
In the Happy Healthy Mama private Facebook group, we’ve been completing monthly challenges. In June we did the Salad Everyday Challenge and in July we did a No Sugar July Challenge.
I did really well until vacation! We were gone for 11 days, so it was no easy task to remain totally sugar-free during that time. I did have three desserts and a few margaritas. Even though I didn’t conquer the challenge, having no added sugar the rest of the month felt really good. It’s MUCH harder to cut sugar in July than it is in January!
For August, we are doing a Fitness Challenge! We’ll be supporting each other as we set personal fitness goals each week and there will also be daily challenges to complete. We keep track of points and there are prizes. It’s fun and motivating! Join us! This month’s challenge starts this Sunday, August 5th. Click here to request to join the group and I’ll get you approved within 24 hours.
Guys! My Instagram account just passed the 10K follower mark. I was late getting into the Instagram game, so all the other bloggers are rolling their eyes at me right now. That’s okay–I’m so happy to have finally passed this milestone. I’d love to have you follow me on Instagram if you don’t already.
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