What I Liked In July

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Believe it or not, another month is gone.  I, once again, am in shock as to where the month went.  It feels like we were just gearing up for the 4th of July, and now it’s basically August.  I am of course looking forward to August (hello birthday month!), but first a look back on some of the things I liked in July.

Taste of Chicago: Every July, Chicago hosts a huge food festival in Grant Park that features restaurants from all over the city.  You walk around, you try delicious food, what’s not to like? Neither M nor myself had ever been, so we decided to give ourselves a tasting budget and check it out.  It was a gorgeous day, not too hot and not too crowded.  We ate pizza, ice cream, bourbon glazed chicken, nachos, grilled cheese – all that stuff that you really shouldn’t eat, but is too darn tasty not to.

Second Anniversary:  This month marked two years together for M & myself.  To celebrate, we treated ourselves to a comedy show at Second City, a great improv and sketch comedy theater.  The shows are always hilarious and Second City has given rise to some big time comedic stars (Tiny Fey, Steve Carell, Bill Murray, just to name a few).  It was a  great two hours out laughing together.  After the show, we intended to hit up our favorite tapas restaurant that is close by, but there was a two hour wait.  So we improvised and stumbled into this super casual burger joint called Butcher & The Burger.  So yummy and such a great find!

Easy Breezy: The weather this month has just been amazing.  As a born & raised Georgia girl, I am used to summer being synonymous with sticky, hot, and uncomfortable.  I guess that polar vortex from January really is coming in handy.  We’ve only reached temps over 85 degrees three times this summer, and only once in July.  We’ve had so many days with temps only in the 60s & 70s, sunshine, and cool breezes, perfect for long walks along the lake.

Frozen Yogurt Wednesdays: Wednesdays are something like Fridays for me.  I’m done with class for the week and I use Wednesdays to do what I want to do – read on the couch, catch up on missed TV, shop, or just go for a long walk.  I’ve mentioned it before, but having a frozen yogurt shop less than five minutes from my apartment is so. freaking. tempting.  I’ve been good about only treating myself once a week, on Wednesday nights.  My current fave? Mango yogurt with brownie pieces, cherry boba or fresh strawberries, and vanilla yogurt chips.  Yum!

Chai Tea Lattes (sans Oprah): I have really been loving chai tea lattes lately.  I typically associate chai tea with fall or winter, but I have totally jumped on board the iced chai wagon.  Starbucks calls their version the “Oprah Chai Tea Latte” (but I’m not sure what exactly Oprah has to do with it) and it’s great, but at over $4 for a medium size, it’s hardly wallet friendly.  This month at Trader Joe’s, I found their Spicy Chai Tea Latte mix.  It costs less than one Starbucks drink and makes 7 or 8 drinks.  Plus it’s nice to be able to whip one up in about two minutes at home.  It’s a win all around.

Switching Up Dinner: Keeping the food theme going, I’ve been trying out some new stuff in the kitchen lately.  I love cooking and I think that usually the simple dishes are the best.  This month I loved making sesame ginger grilled chicken, balsamic roasted edamame, and baked egg muffins stuffed with cheese & turkey.  All simple, all easy, all delicious.

Harry Potter Marathon: My summer reading that I planned has been sidetracked in favor of an old favorite.  Earlier this month, I decided on a whim to reorganize my bookshelves by color, and of course I stumbled on my collection of Harry Potter books.  Then, I gave in and started a trial of Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited program (which, I’m still totally on the fence about).  Harry Potter is part of Kindle Unlimited, so I decided it was time for a reread.  I tore through the first two books in four days and am already on the third.  It’s been a few years since I’ve read the whole series, so I’m amazed by all the stuff I’d forgotten about in the books and loving all the memories that these books bring back up.

Those were just a few of the things I liked in July.  What did you like?

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2 thoughts on “What I Liked In July

  1. Re-reading Harry Potter again all these years later was great (I just finished a re-read of my own!). When I got to the fifth book, though, I was surprised at how much eye-rolling Harry inspired. I remembered it getting a lot of flack for “whiny Harry” when it came out, but when I was a teenager myself, it didn’t seem so bad to me. Now that I’m in my late 20s, though, I thought Harry needed to chill out and get over himself. But when you go through them all in a row, you get a new appreciation for how well-plotted they are…seeds are planted early in the series for things that come later and I didn’t realize that nearly as much when I was reading them as they came out. Did you ever wait in line to pick up a pre-order? I remember going to a Borders (RIP) release event for the last one with my sister. I just don’t feel like something like that would ever happen today.

    1. I’m having a similar reaction. When I read them as a teenager, I thought that Harry was basically perfect, but even now just being on book three I’m definitely noticing myself becoming annoyed by some of the things he says / does. But it’s so amazing to me how every time I reread the series, I notice new things. Plus, I didn’t realize how much stuff I had forgotten – I completely forgot about Peeves, and all the stuff about Filch being a Squib. Not that those are huge things, but I think the movies started to replace my memories of the books.

      And yes, I did midnight release parties at Borders for the 5th, 6th, and 7th books. I still have the stickers and quizzes they passed out for the 7th book where you could decide if you were Team Snape is Good or Team Snape is Evil. It’s a shame there hasn’t been another series that inspires the need for midnight book release parties.

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