July was a good month for me. We started off on holiday and celebrating our two year anniversary together. When we got back from holiday, we had some insane weather in the UK. It got up to 90F/32C and yes it was hard to live through it. But D and I basically just laid on the couch in our underwear with the fan on us and eating popsicles, or “ice lollies” as the Brits call them. And now we’re working on getting back on track with our fitness and healthy eating because we only have 63 days until our next beach holiday!!
As I had such a great month, I wanted to look back and write down all my favourite parts of it. From food to experiences to drinks and lifestyle, here were my July Favourites!
Mexican Power Bowl
Do you ever get into food phases? This has been a thing for me for quite a while now, since I was a kid. And the first time I made the Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet (that’s the real name of the recipe), I became obsessed. So for the last month, I’ve made a batch of it every Sunday to meal prep for the week ahead for lunches. I add some kale, more salsa and half an avocado to complete the meal. I even bought these natural tortilla chips made from quinoa, corn and seeds that can quickly turn this into nachos of some sort. Even D has started to have a few of these for his lunches and he loves it. Not the kale though, that’s a hard thing to love.
I highly recommend you try out this recipe for meal prep. It takes only 10 minutes to prep and the rest of the time it’s just sizzling on the stove top and then you throw it all into meal prep containers. It’s a no brainer.
For a link to the recipe, click here.
Being able to escape reality and go away somewhere will always be one of my favourite things to do. Even though I don’t technically consider this a “holiday.” I feel like holidays are somewhere everyone goes away together, usually somewhere warm and beachy. This was more like a family visit.
But don’t get me wrong, we still had a lot of fun. And D and I both really needed to get away. We hadn’t had proper time off since Christmas and hadn’t gone anywhere since Thanksgiving. Getting away from the UK to recharge our batteries was highly needed.
We even got some special time for just the two of us in Chicago for a few days, being able to navigate and explore a city together. Even though it was too hot to really function, we still made the best of it and enjoyed our time together, as we usually do.
And seeing my family always feeds my soul. They’re a special type of weird, and the main thing we do when we’re all together is eat, drink, and laugh. Getting the opportunity to have D there with everyone is literally one of my favourite things ever. After being long distance, you start to appreciate those simple things in life.
Arnold Palmer with Vodka
In the US, there’s a drink that is very popular called the Arnold Palmer. Essentially, it is unsweetened iced tea mixed with lemonade. And it’s very refreshing. I’m not too into juices. I’m good with water and wine usually, but in the summer, an Arnold Palmer can sometimes just hit the spot.
I had quite a few when we were back in the States and when I got home, I was still craving that refreshing flavour so I tried to make my own sugar free version. It went ok, but it was quite a bit of effort. In the States, you can go to any gas station or store and you will find one in a can, even the zero calorie version.
However, we did go to the park on one Sunday to soak up some sun and read for a bit. D made himself a gin and tonic, but as I still had some of the Arnie P left, I mixed it with some vodka and oh my goodness, was that amazing.
I wish this was easier to make, or was easily accessible here because it really is very good. Very summery and I think it could pick up over here.
However, the Starbucks in the UK serves this so you can order unsweetened black iced tea with lemonade and that’s basically it.
Plants and Minimalist Vibes
The home decor bug has struck again. Obviously when we first moved into our flat, my mind and internet history was consumed with home decor ideas and inspiration. As we’ve slowly been able to populate our flat, the bug has gone away.
However, I’ve gotten it again and have been looking at posters and prints to hang on our walls, and been overly interested in getting more plants. I’ve never been a plant person because I just couldn’t be bothered with watering them. Although, now that I’ve given the watering job to D, I’m ok with more plants.
They add so much to a home. I couldn’t imagine not having our tree in our living room, and I want more greenery. Need. Plants. Now.
So I think we’re going to start visiting some garden centres to see if we can take home some new babies. And I found a website that has some beautiful Scandinavian-esque posters you can buy that would fill out our walls seamlessly. But I don’t know if D would even like them. He can be picky about art.
Speaking of that, I should probably show him some…. Hmmmm..
Health and Fitness
Rediscovering my Love for Fitness
The month of July was a turning point for me. It’s one of the first times I have gone away on holiday and not only chose to eat some healthy foods because I knew I would feel better, but also came back craving healthy foods. I used to use holidays as even more of a reason to eat whatever I wanted and when I came back, would use the fact that I’m still on “holiday mode” to eat whatever I wanted.
I’ve definitely successfully trained my body to crave healthy foods. And because I take the time to make sure I love the taste of everything I eat, it makes all of this so much easier.
When I finally got back to working out from my holiday, I felt amazing. I’ve definitely trained my body to crave fitness and movement as well. Since I got my FitBit while we were in the States, I’ve become much more aware of how little I move during the week day and have done a lot to try and beat that. For instance, I make sure I get my 250 steps every hour, and sometimes even walk down the stairs just to walk back up them again. D got a FitBit as well so of course we get a little competitive over who’s done better for the day. It’s a great way to stay active and has helped me enormously.
Getting Inspo for Mine
Last and certainly not least was the wedding we went to in the last weekend of July. It was one of D’s close friends from his childhood. They had it outside underneath some tipis near Brighton. It was on top of a big hill so you could see the water. It was incredibly windy, but it was gorgeous. The decorations were beautiful, it was small and intimate and I absolutely loved it. Some people camped out, we did not.
But it made my dream of having an outdoor wedding feel more like a reality. And D absolutely loved it, which was a win for me, because it’s in the same realm of what I would like as well. It just worked.
I feel like I should make it known that we are not engaged and we are not currently planning our wedding. But I’m still a woman and I’ve always loved weddings and this one really gave me the vibes.
July and August usually tend to be my least favourite months of the year because they’re usually super hot. By the time August is ending, I’d go back to school and I’d be sick of the humidity and la da da. But this year, I loved July. We were very busy and August will be the same. I’m trying to keep up my motivation for having plans every weekend right now, but when September rolls around, I’m definitely going to tone it down a bit.
Especially as we’ll have some holiday expenses to save up for and will need to focus on our health before holiday time.
Hope you all enjoyed this post, it’s a new one I’m trying out. Let me know if you’d like to see more!