It’s a late post, but it’s still Friday in some locations, so here comes the Five on Friday for this week: “Summer Indulgences” (or “Five Things That I’m Obsessed With at the Moment”)
- Drinking iced coffee. Hazelnut-flavored “brew over ice” K-Cups, to be specific. I’ve got the technique down: Brew it hot on the 8-oz. setting and stir in your sweetener of choice. (I need to cut down my sugar intake, and I recently discovered Domino Light, a half sugar/half stevia blend. Brilliant.) When it’s cooled off a bit, I pour the sweetened coffee over crushed ice in a 16-oz. tumbler. Add some half & half and we’re good to go. Sometimes I can’t even finish it in one sitting and have to save the rest for later in the day. It’s taken me a while to figure out how to make iced coffee that didn’t taste watered down. (Please don’t throw fancy terms like “French press” at me. I can’t relate.) The result is just as good as the coffee shop version, at a fraction of the price.
- Reading. I’m finally getting back into reading subjects other than parenting advice. I’ve always enjoyed current fiction, for example, but just haven’t taken the time to lose myself in a good book. Lately I’ve been reading “real” books, as well as ebooks on my laptop and sometimes my Android phone. I don’t have a Kindle or a Nook, but reading on the phone’s small screen is not as annoying as you might think. I’m still reading Born Digital in a scholarly fashion, but I’m about to give it up in favor of Mean Moms Rule. Yes, it’s a parenting book, but it’s both helpful and entertaining. Then there’s The Lost Daughter, a fictional novel by a local author. Oh, and Goodreads? Where have you been all my life? I finally created an account and then felt slightly guilty about adding another social site to the mix when I’m actually trying to quiet down some of the internet noise bombarding me every day. But it’s a fun community and I love learning about new books.
- Searching for FREE ebooks. Okay, this is related to reading too, obviously, but free Kindle ebooks? Yes, please! I have more than 40 downloaded right now, and some are duds, but I’m also trying out other genres like YA novels, which I don’t usually read. There are a lot of sites–let us know if you have a favorite–but I usually search Amazon every couple of days for their top 100 free downloads. While I’m not actually sitting on the sand sipping mai tais while reading these books, it’s fun to pretend. All that’s missing is my beach chair.
- Choosing easy dishes for dinner. When it’s hot, no one wants to eat a fancy, heavy meal anyway. Main dish salads and light pasta salads are always a big hit. Recently I came across this Real Simple recipe for Basil Spaghetti with Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes. While it’s not a salad, it’s a simple pasta dish that uses sliced fresh tomatoes in place of sauce, and you can add more vegetables if you like. Yum! If only I had my own vegetable garden.
- Taking naps. I’m truly blessed, for I have a child who’s always been a good napper, allowing me some freedom and the time to get things done. However, the temptation to nap often overpowers the motivation to do something more productive. Some recent research is claiming that early birds are generally happier and healthier than night owls. One of my upcoming posts will be about the benefits of being a morning person and going to bed earlier at night (not that I would know), thus making all of this napping virtually unnecessary. In the meantime, a late afternoon nap is sometimes helpful, as long as I can avoid feeling like a zombie for the rest of the day.