Summer is here! I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying leaving the house wearing only one layer of clothing, going for walks and not getting frostbite, going to the farmer’s market, and being able to sit outside and enjoy a nice dinner. Of course, summer also means intolerable humidity here in Minnesota, swarms of mosquitos and truly insane road construction, but I’ll take it.
I have a LOT of favorite things right now, almost all of them summery! (As always, I have to disclaim that I’m not being compensated for any of these reviews)
I never thought I liked hard cider. I’d only ever had Strongbow and to me it tasted like carbonated apple juice. The cheap kind. But I’ve changed my tune now that I’ve tried Crispin. They make ciders that are drier and more adult-tasting than the traditional British kind. Delicious. Crispin also has an artisanal line of ciders and I’m telling you, the Honey Crisp flavor will rock your world. It’s as complex as many wines, incredibly drinkable, and goes with just about any kind of food. These ciders are a blessing as my husband has become allergic to beer and most wines (the horror!) and he can happily drink Crispin.
Wedges are hot, hot, hot right now. But I’ve been a bit chicken to wear them. I don’t wear high heels in general, thanks to the flattest feet on the planet. I’m terrified that I’ll keel right over in a pair of wedges. These shoes have completely changed my mind. They’re insanely comfortable, go with everything from jeans to dresses, and feel secure (watch me jinx myself and turn an ankle today). They make me six feet tall and feel like I can conquer the entire universe.
DIY Sea Salt Spray
You’ve heard about the brilliance of sea salt sprays like Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray, yes? Basically they’re salt, water and a few other additives. And they’re MAGIC for hair. For those with wavy hair, a few spritzes in your wet hair and you have those beachy surfer-girl waves you’ve always dreamed of. For women like me with stick-straight, fine hair, they magically add enough body that you don’t need to blow dry. Just spray, scrunch and go. The only problem is that stuff is EXPENSIVE. $24.00 for 4 ounces. Ouch. That’s 24 bucks for salt and water. Surely we can do better, right?
Turns out, it’s easy as pie.
- Get a generic spray bottle from Target or similar.
- Add 1 cup (8 ounces) of warm water.
- Toss in 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Don’t use just regular old salt.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil your hair likes, like jojoba, argan or coconut.
- Optional: Add a few drops of nice-smelling essential oil like vanilla, tangerine or lavender.
- Shake well and spray.
You’ve just saved a TON of money and you still have awesome hair.
Speaking of pie…
Key Lime Pie
This is the ultimate in summery desserts and it’s so easy that even I can make it and I’m baking impaired. This is the kind of pie you want to eat on the porch as you watch kids run through the sprinkler.
1 premade graham cracker pie shell
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup key lime juice (do NOT substitute regular lime juice–it just doesn’t taste the same. I use Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice and it’s delicious)
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
Whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks.
- Add the condensed milk and mix well.
- Whisk in the lime juice and blend well. The mixture should thicken a little.
- Pour into the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool for about 20 minutes and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Serve and enjoy! It’s very good with whipped cream and I’ve heard rumors that key lime is great with good vanilla ice cream.
Speaking of being baking impaired, I’m also blush impaired. I’ve never been able to wear blush without ending up looking like this:
Powder blush and I just don’t get along. But I’ve discovered that Tarte’s cheek stains are just right for me. They’re very sheer and easy to smooth on the cheeks, giving me a lovely blush (hence the name!) and even the semblance of cheekbones. My favorite color is Blissful, which is a warm peachy-pink (that magically smells like pink lemonade), but there are 8 shades. At $30, it’s not cheap stuff but it lasts forever and you’ll never have to worry about looking like Alexis Carrington Colby.
What are some of your favorite things right now?