July Coffee Date

A large white plate of blueberry pancakes with butter melting over them as some cook in a skillet next to it.

Hello, hello! I am sneaking in at the end of the week for a coffee date because I just looked at the calendar and it is the end of July! Like, who is in charge of time around here?

It has been a month of sun, and outdoor lunches and dinners, and walks around the lake, and book reading (maybe we’ll hit that topic next time)! And in the drink department, things have stayed pretty consistent:

I still love lemonade.

I still love green smoothies.

I still love decaf iced coffees, lately with a pinch of sugar AND salt. I know.

One small development that you should know about, since this IS a coffee date post, is that we got a new bubble tea shop in by our house this month, and it has some of that really good Thai tea or royal milk tea that is kind of milkshake-level sweet and creamy. Know what I’m talking about? It’s just kind of ridiculous and so very good. I’m just drinking water at the moment (sad) but I’m going to PRETEND it’s a dreamy Thai tea with those big fat chewy pearls.

One other development is my newfound obsession with the fluffiest blueberry pancakes (pictured). You must make them, and SOON.

What about you guys? Drinks of choice today? Whatever it is, grab a coaster and settle in. Coffee date starts now.

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Cold Press

A small jug of half-caffeinated coffee.

Drink-obsessed much? I’ve been making cold brew for the last month or so, and the short story is that it’s awesome.

Okay, I know there are rules about “grind your own coffee” and stuff, but honestly, I am scrappy. I have a bunch of pre-ground coffee right now, so that’s what I’m using. I mix 4 cups of water with about 1 cup of ground coffee and let it sit overnight (12 hours). Then I run it through a paper filter (or a tea filter, or lately, a filtering pitcher) in the morning and voila! Cold brew ready for the week.

I do one batch of decaf or half caf and one batch of regular, and honestly, having it waiting for me in the fridge makes waking up feel like a small party. I love it.

Cold Brew Tools (not essential, just some of my faves):

(These are affiliate links on Amazon, just cause we have them and use them a lot. ^ Feel free to search them out on your own if you ‘d rather not give us any referral credit! No prob.)

Do you guys make cold brew? Am I criminal for using pre-ground coffee?

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Pedicures Are Life

Feet of a woman having red nail polish, wearing sandals can be seen on the green grass.

I’m sorry in advance for a foot pic – I just need you to know that this month I spent $25 on a pedicure.

I probably haven’t had a pedicure for, like, 2 years, but WHY WHY WHY do I not do this every month. It was so wonderful. I sat and read my book in a massaging chair while my feet got beautified. This needs to become a new ritual. Absolutely worth $25.

Are you Team DIY nails or do you go get them done?

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Staycation Vs. Vacation

A man and a woman smile in front of a dock.

This month Bjork and I took two days off of work to try to celebrate summer… even though we can’t go anywhere (pregnancy / travel restrictions) or do anything (pregnancy / activity restrictions).

Staycation, we said! It’ll be so fun, we said!

And then it rained both days, and we ended up doing semi-sad things like eating Jimmy John’s for lunch while watching Parks and Rec at home instead of going on scenic drives and lakeside picnics.

Spending time with Bjork is always a win for me, and I’m more than happy not to push any of my travel or activity restrictions to have a healthy pregnancy, so I really can’t complain at all. I guess I just felt like maybe I’d come away from the experience loving staycation, and I think I more came away from the experience loving vay-cation a little more.

Are you guys staycationers? Maybe you can teach me how to do it better next time.

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Freezer Meals

Ziploc bags full of different dishes having labels over them.

Ooh, classy! Love a raw meat pic.

Okay, here’s the deal. I’m kind of thinking about prepping some freezer meals for maternity leave, but, uhh, I don’t really DO freezer meals. Or I haven’t before. I’m trying to learn, and so far I feel pretty proud of my stash, but there are so many things I still don’t know.

Questions that linger:

  • What is the best general method for freezer meals? Crockpot? Instant Pot? Sheet pan? Lasagna every time?
  • Right now, I have the meats/sauces frozen, and then the thinking is that I’ll build a full meal by adding extras (potatoes, rice, salad, etc.) at meal time. But is there an easier way? I kind of want stuff that’s just, like, ready to go.
  • Thawing. It’s kind of annoying (planning ahead is really hard for some of us, okay?!) and I get nervous about food safety. What are your tricks?
  • Related: is there a resource that you like for freezer meals that are NOT a 1 can + 1 package of chicken kind of thing? You guys KNOW I love easy meals, but I’d rather make these an easy meals meets real food kind of thing, and I have had a hard time finding recipes that are both.
  • What else can I use to store this stuff besides gallon plastic bags? Anything glass or reusable?

Thank you in advance!

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Maternity Leave, Blog Posts, And Your Thoughts

Daisies (white with gold center) close together on a bed of greenery.

Hey! Speaking of.

I’m planning to take a maternity  leave this fall, and I am so excited.

I really want to protect what I think will be a really special and disorienting and un-showered time. As a result, I’ve decided not to post during my maternity leave. I’ve also decided not to stress myself out in between now and then by drafting 900 posts in advance.

I’m just keeping it simple – working like normal till baby comes, taking a leave, and coming back in January.

So here’s my question: What would feel good to see on the blog during that time?

Currently we have a few post series in the works that continue to bring valuable content to YOU, except instead of being written by me, it’d be coming from others on our team and in our community. What are your feelings on that? Are you excited / not excited to see new photos, new voices, and new types of content here? Sometimes I feel like my role here is not only content creator but “protector of POY,” which really means “protector of POY readers,” and making sure that everything that gets shared here is valuable and interesting and REAL and fun for you.

Gimme whatcha got!

A Few Words From Sage

Sage has one more thing to add.

A brown dog lying on a soft chair with green plants nearby.

She would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the value of a nice rest.

There’s only so much pushing forward, hustling, getting-it-done-ing that a person can do from day to day and week to week. We have limits. I mean, look at her. This is a girl who KNOWS her limits. She is straight goals with her limits.

She wants to remind you to take a rest when you need one. You’ll probably come back to your job, your kids, your stress and your difficult situation with a renewed energy to be awesome. We can’t all go, go, go forever. Breathe, close your eyes for a second (or a month), and watch a dumb TV show just because.

Rest is good.

Bonus – Come Work With Us!

A group of people posing for a photo.

Oh, hey! PS. We’re hiring! Sage wanted you to know in case you wanted to apply OR send the job posting to someone you know who should apply.

This is a remote, part-time position for Food Blogger Pro (our awesome membership community for food bloggers) and it involves helping people and being friendly on the internet! Fun stuff. You need to be a good writer because we do all our communication online, and, obviously, you need to be a nice person because you’ll be supporting lots of FBP-ers.

You can check out the official job posting here!

That’s all for today! See you next month for the last coffee date of the summer months umm SAY WHAT?! I can’t even talk about that right now.

Live your life! Eat that popsicle! Enjoy the sun!

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