|A Grown-Up's Toy Box|
I'm not Oprah, so I'll not be handing out my favorite things to hundreds of strangers. But I keep thinking that there are some things that make summer just a bit sweeter than other seasons of the year. This summer, these are some of my favorite things:
So You Think You Can Dance: It's rare for my family to find a show that we all enjoy and can all watch together, but this show fits the bill. A loves the dancing, B loves the music, K loves the spectacle, J loves the Broadway numbers and I love it all, most especially the way everyone in my family loves it.
Hemingway: I read Hemingway back in middle and high school, but haven't had much to do with him since. But at the start of this summer, I reread The Old Man and the Sea and loved it. Every word counted, each one mattered, not one extra thrown in there. Now I'm reading The Paris Wife for one book club and about to follow it up with A Moveable Feast for another book club. I don't necessarily love Hemingway the man, but I can see how the words inside him longed to get out and I see how hard he worked to get them out. And I do love that.
Non-Fiction: In a shocking turn of events, I've read two entire non-fiction books in the span of less than a month. The Art of Family affirmed me, encouraged me and inspired me while I Thought It Was Just Me made me feel sane, understood and better armed to live the life I want to live.
Mint Chocolate: I love chocolate of all kinds, but this summer I've developed a particular fondness for mint chocolate. I love the little Ghirardelli squares, I love(d) the truffle ones J and K gave me for mother's day, I love the Breyers mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Yogurt: I've developed a steadfast affection for Trader Joe's European Style Plain Whole Milk Yogurt. It's not sweetened at all. In fact, that's exactly what I love about it. It's sharp. It's tangy. It's like Pinkberry, but not frozen and topped with mango and chocolate. My only complaint? I have a tough time eating an entire 32 oz. container before it goes bad. Yet I keep buying it.
A Relaxed Schedule: I love letting my daughters stay up until 8:30 or 9:00, then staying up until 11:00 myself. I can't do this during the school year. In order to have everyone up and dressed for school, I must be in bed by 10:00. I'm a girl who needs her sleep. But this summer I've been able to stay in bed until nearly 8:00, which means I can stay up later.
Reading in Bed: Sure, I always read in bed at night, but the height of luxury (in my opinion) is to read in bed before starting my day. Those lovely late nights for my girls are yielding a quiet house in the mornings, so I can roll over at 7:30, grab my book and read a chapter or two before emerging from the comfy coziness of my bed.
Sweet Treat Fridays: I inaugurated these in an attempt to limit and direct our eating out this summer. Each Friday, we have a frozen treat from somewhere - Bobbie's Dairy Dip, Pinkberry, Marble Slab Creamery, you get the idea. My hope was that by treating ourselves on Fridays, we would pack lunches or eat at home the other days. This has mostly held true and we've all enjoyed sampling various treats from spots around the city. Next up? Tasti D-Lite (I'll forgive the atrocious spelling of their name only if their treats taste good.)
What have you fallen in love with this summer?