Thursday, August 4, 2016

July Wrap-Up and What I'm Into

I'm pretty sure July went by in about five minutes. I feel like D just got out of school and now people are starting to talk about September! This month, we took a short jaunt to Washington, D.C., I saw Hamilton, and the kids went to Vacation Bible School. We've also been watering our church garden once a week and enjoying lots of cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes as a result!

She's got a necklace, her big brother's backpack, and a giant stack of books.
She's good to go! 

We read everywhere. 

So we are down to five more weeks of summer here in NJ, people. What are your favorite summer activities? What should we try to fit in before September comes calling?

What I Read/Reviewed:
I only reviewed five books this month. This summer has been good for reading, but I'm just not feeling that motivated to write reviews. All of the books that I reviewed were fiction, but I did write a post this month about getting into nonfiction! Four were for review and one was from the library. I am finding a lot of freedom these days in alternating between review books, library books, and my own books while not feeling pressure to review the books in the later categories. 


                 The Fifth Avenue Artists Society     What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours 
                   Summer Days and Summer Nights     The Gilded Years      June

Favorite posts:
I wrote about some easy ways for fiction fans to try nonfiction. I'm also jumping back into some Top Ten Tuesday posts with this one about books that made me want to learn more or try new things.

What I've Been Watching:
I've been watching the later seasons of Glee some nights but, other than that, I feel like nothing is sticking. I tried Crazy Ex Girlfriend and I've watched two episodes of Grace and Frankie, but I'm not sure I'm going to continue with either. 

What I've Been Listening To:
Next to Normal. A lot of Hamilton, obviously. And podcasts! Lately I've been enjoying What Should I Read Next, Overdue, and Book Riot's Podcast and Get Booked. I'm on the lookout for some that are not about books (I know, the horror). What are your favorite podcasts? 

What I've Been Cooking/Baking:
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Icing for a church event (picture from site)

                              Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting | Cooking Classy

Ricotta Berry French Toast for brinner when my sister slept over (picture from website) 

                                          French Toast Casserole with ricotta, berries, and a SUPER EASY homemade dough. no canned biscuits, no cream cheese - just beautiful, easy, real food brunch! |

Easy Chicken Burritos (adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook)
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken breast until no longer pink. Shred chicken and put in tortillas. Then add a quick salsa made of chopped tomatoes, mango, and cilantro and a tablespoon or two of lime juice. Top with cheese and sour cream if you like and enjoy with rice! 

What were you into in the month of July? 

Grab button for What I'm Into


  1. Your cupcakes look PHENOMENAL! i know you said that is the picture from the website, but they still look amazing! and i actually just looked up the french toast recipe because breakfast foods are my favorite to make! i found it on pinterest so thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try it!
    and I'm really jealous you got Summer Days and Nights! I need to read that soon, i LOVED the holiday collection stephanie perkins edited and i managed to snag a UK copy when it first came out. I love collecting autographs from all the authors for it too! I have about half of them right now.
    Hope your kids had fun at VBS! i volunteered for my church's VBS again this summer a few weeks back and it was a blast!
    Emily @

    1. The French Toast was so tasty! I hope you love it.

      Summer Days and Nights was great. That sounds like a great way to collect autographs!

  2. I am so amazingly jealous that you got to see Hamilton. And I'm planning to read The Gilded Years as soon as it comes from the library! I hope it was good!

    1. I hope you get a chance to see Hamilton soon!! It was great. :)

  3. Mmm those cupcakes look amazing! I can't believe summer is half over either! How did that happen?

    1. I have no idea! I've reached the point in summer when I think of all the things we didn't do and try to decide how many we can pack into the last few weeks!