What a month! I’m not sure we could have packed one more thing into July if we tried. All the traveling, events and late nights have surely caught up to me. But I keep telling myself that it’s summer and it’s okay! There will be time for rest and relaxation when the weather turns inclement later. For now, here’s what we did in July.
Since the bathroom project was finished last month, we’ve had a little bit of spare time on our hands here! Dearest Carl worked really hard to get the upstairs cleared out and the spare bedroom cleaned up and now our upstairs looks pretty amazing, even if it’s not all finished and styled yet. I kinda forgot what the hallway looked like. Otherwise, I did a little painting with my watercolors, Dearest Carl mowed the grass, I cleaned the couch covers. It was pretty laid back in the projects department and it was very nice.
July has been all either easy peasy cakes or very intricate cakes in the kitchen. No in between. I bought this cake server to help me transport my bakes more easily and I’m quite pleased with it. Worth the money for sure, especially when we have all the Fall birthdays just around the corner. My favorite cake this month was the Cassata Cake. I took it with us to Chicago and not only did it survive the trip, it looked great when we got there! Highly recommend that one. The cake above is this Afternoon Lemon Cake. So simple and delicious, it would be a lovely treat for a Saturday brunch!
Menu wise, we’ve been eating a lot of leftovers and homemade Chinese food (because I always have rice and ramen in my pantry). And cheese plates! Cheese plates seem like the most summeriest thing you can make because you just throw a bunch of fresh produce on a tray with some cheese and you’re done and it’s delicious.
Garden update: We’re getting some good stuff this month! I’ve picked several cucumbers, all ginormous, and made a big jar of quick pickles. Also, after eating several tomato sandwiches and giving some to my mom, I still had more tomatoes than I knew what to do with. So I made this tomato soup recipe and stuck it in my freezer for Fall along with the seafood stock I have in there. Soups are gonna be good this year! Oh, and we’re still picking strawberries. We had a break the couple weeks it was super hot but now their back in force and we’ve eaten them with meals a couple times. Not complaining.
While this is called #thewatkinsathome, we started the month off away from home. A week in Tennessee held lots of trail exploring, niece hugging, candy eating, sidewalk walking, picture taking, game playing and movie watching. It was a nice getaway even if it was a million degrees. The week we got back, Dearest Carl’s grandmother passed away while we were in the midst of preparing for his twin’s wedding. It was tough on everyone but we made it. The wedding was beautiful. The funeral was beautiful. There were tears shed for every emotion. We’ll all remember that week forever.
We also made a weekend trip to Chicago to hang out with our nieces and nephews. And we ate spicy chicken wings and we road on the boat and jumped in the lake and stayed up too late talking. The kind of weekends summer is made of.
In other news, my sister-in-law helped me dye my hair blonder. It was a good move. There hasn’t been much time to read since we’ve been so busy with work, chores and spending time with friends and family. I’ve almost completed the vampire quest in Skyrim (I think) and when I haven’t been listening to my July playlist, it’s been the classical masters for hours. Another sister-in-law and I went to Bath and Body Works, armed with coupons, and I came out with this for me and this for Dearest Carl. And I got to smell the Fall candles… I’ve started watching my baby niece two days a week for a while which has me pretty stressed out. Between all our commitments and working now three jobs, it’s a little much. But it’s not forever so I just have to remind myself to do what I can and leave the rest to tomorrow. It’s probably a good thing that I bought a new planner. More on that later this week.
I think that’s all I have to share. Even though it was incredibly hot for some of it and incredibly busy for most of it, July ended up a pretty golden summer month. The kind you look back on fondly. Like summers should be.