What’s Up June
It’s hard to find the words to describe June. It was a month filled with emotion, learning experiences, moving two steps forward, then taking a step back. If I have learned anything this year, it is that you can’t predict what the next month will look like. Here is a snippet of what I have been up to this past month. Wishing that your sunny days will outnumber the gray in July and that you are well❤️
What We’re Eating This Month
Anything that included zucchini and can be prepared on the grill…
My husband planted squash earlier this year and we are enjoying the fruits of his labor. I’ve been on the hunt for summer recipes that include zucchini. These recipes for grilled basil chicken and zucchini and grilled ratatouille linguine were simple to prepare and earned the approval of my family. I replaced the white rice with a box of Trader Joe’s organic brown rice in microwaveable bags to cut even more time off of the grilled basil chicken and zucchini recipe. We have prepared the grilled ratatouille linguine twice now. After I prepared it the first time I realized it could be improved if I saved 1/4 -1/2 cup of the pasta water to make tossing the veggies and pasta a little easier.
BBQ chicken is a summer favorite in our house. On this particular night I served it with corn on the cob and my all-time favorite pasta salad recipe with arugula and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette from The New Best Recipe cook book by Cook’s Illustrated. I don’t care for mayonnaise, so this mayo free version of pasta salad is a much more appealing side dish to me during the summer months.
Tip: To keep fingers clean we tear a napkin or paper towel in to strips and wrap it around the base of our drumsticks. Did anyone else grow up using this trick?
What I’m Reminiscing About
We travelled to the Grand Canyon and Sedona three years ago. Sliding down the river at Slide Rock stood out as one of my very favorite childhood vacation memories and I couldn’t wait to experience it again with my kids. If you ever find yourself near Sedona, Arizona I would highly recommend carving out an an afternoon to experience this natural water park.
What We’ve Been Up To
We went to Tahoe for ten days this month. it was chilly the first few days, but the sun came out the second half of our trip and it the fact that it is summer finally sunk in.
We made the early morning trek over to Sand Harbor one day so that we could be there when the gates opened and assure ourselves a spot on the coveted beach. It has always been a popular destination, but due to COVID-19 it can be even more difficult to nab a spot because they have limited park capacity to half the normal number. Being able to lounge and paddle board while soaking in the gorgeous views made the early morning wake-up call well worth it!
Every summer in Tahoe we try to experience at least one new activity and restaurant. This trip we decided to splurge and rent a boat for the day on Donner Lake. We booked the boat for Father’s Day because being on a ski boat is one of my husband’s favorite activities. We also wanted to be able to enjoy the lake and not have to fight the Father’s Day crowds at the beach, especially in light of the need to safely social distance. We all had a blast being towed on the inflatable and it was special to watch my husband share an activity that had been a highlight of his childhood with our own kids.
I updated several Tahoe posts that I had written in the past detailing all of our favorite spots to eat, shop and play! If you are headed to North Lake Tahoe this summer and need recommendations your can check my Tahoe posts out here, here, and here.
What I’m Working On
My daughter and I volunteered to sort two GIANT boxes of crayons for The Crayon Initiative. The Crayon Initiative is a non profit organization that collects and melts down old crayons in order to create new triangular crayons (they won’t roll away) for children’s hospitals. Volunteers typically sort and melt crayons at their facility in Danville, but due to COVID-19 they haven’t been able to open their door to volunteers. Recently they teamed with a few local organizations, including our National Charity League chapter, to have volunteers sort boxes of crayons at home instead. My daughter and I have set up a sorting station on the coffee table, enlisted my son and husband to help, and turned on our latest Netflix obsession to keep us entertained while we work. It’s nice to work on a project that benefits others during our downtime.
What I’m Excited About
Parker Posts is 3 years old🎂 It doesn’t feel like I have been at it for that long. I really appreciate all of your support, kind messages and helpful comments these past few years. Your words of encouragement have always arrived just when I’m feeling the most doubt. I welcome your feedback and always love to hear what you would like to read about. It’s been neat to watch my little blog grow and change. I’ve learned a lot in the process. Thank you for joining me on this journey!
What I’m Watching
Our family has been making an effort to become more educated about racial injustice by taking advantage of the free streaming available in June for several films. Each of the films below highlight systemic racism against black people. Selma, Just Mercy and 13th were all well worth watching. Just Mercy was my favorite of the three and I found 13th to be especially eye-opening. All of these movies will prompt discussion with family members on their own. If you are looking for an additional conversation starters, Common Sense Media has a Talk to Your Kids Section included in each movie review.
The long drive to and from Tahoe, plus a few quiet nights have given me the opportunity to do a little more binge watching than is typical for me. I watched a few episodes of Love Life on the car ride to Tahoe and was so captured by the story that I stayed up halfway through the night to find out what was going to happen next. It reminded me a bit of Sex In the City because it is about a single New York woman navigating her love life.
Sweet Magnolias is a story centered around the lifelong friendship of three women navigating life in the south. I watched this one with my teenage daughter and loved the strong sibling relationships it modeled. Maddie was my favorite character and I adored everything she wore.
Tip: Did you know that you can find out where to buy an outfit your favorite TV character is wearing by going to the website wornontv.net?
I started watching Council of Dads to replace my weekly fix of This Is Us. It doesn’t quite compare, but if you are looking for a weekly tear-jerker, this drama will do the trick.
What I’m listening To
My very first Audiobook…
The fact that the book, White Fragility was sold out everywhere paired with the AirPods I recently acquired encouraged me to finally give audio books a chance. This book has given me an opportunity to see so many things in a different light including how I view racism. If you have committed to being an anti-racist this book should be on your required reading list.
A girlfriend recommended the podcast 1619 for a more well-rounded history of slavery in our country. I’ve listened to 4 of the 6 episodes so far and found episode 2 to be especially enlightening.
Tip: You can skip Introducing 1619 and start immediately with Episode 1. Episode 1 repeats all of the information given in the introduction.
What I’m Reading
I read a book review and listened to an interview with Ashton Kutcher that piqued my interest in Demi Moore’s memoir Inside Out. I had added it to my library wishlist months ago. When the library resumed services this month it was on hold for me. I am a sucker for a good celebrity story (US and People magazine are two of my guilty pleasures). Demi’s revelations made this book a page turner and the perfect vacation read.
What I’m Wearing
Dresses every chance I get…
After wearing a lot of lounge wear this past spring, I’m having fun finding excuses to get a little dressed up. I’ve worn both these dresses out to dinner and to backyard gatherings. I really love that I can pair them with flat sandals and a cross body bag during the day or dress them up with wedges and a clutch in the evening. They are both on sale for over 50% off. The pom-pom dress is available in multiple colors and currently $51. The striped dress is on final sale for only $45.95 right now.
What I’m Doing This Weekend
We are heading back to Tahoe to celebrate the 4th. It will be a much shorter trip this time. Celebrating Independence Day without parades or fireworks will be strange. What patriotic touches are you adding to your July 4th celebrations?
What I’m looking Forward to Next Month
We planned a family get-away to Santa Barbara in July! Do you have any recommendations? I would especially love to hear about your favorite Santa Barbara restaurants, hikes and activities teens would enjoy. We are staying at the Hotel Milo across from the West Beach.
Have a Happy 4th of July🇺🇸
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