Hello, friends, and happy August!
It’s amazing to watch the full color of summer erupting everywhere! We saw it on a recent visit out to Great Falls and are watching it unfold both in our own garden and at farmer’s market! There are tons of blackberries in the woods near our house, fresh cherries, apricots, and peaches everywhere, lots of sweet corn, and tons and tons of perfect garlic. Who would have thought garlic has a season? It does – it’s at its best in late summer and early fall.
We’re looking forward to making a trip out to Hartland Orchard to pick fresh peaches before they’re all down, and we may be making a return trip for apples. So as you can imagine, there will be lots of baking going on here, and hopefully a few new recipes to share!
August is looking like a fairly quiet month for us here. We’re doing a bit of a budget reset right now thanks to some unexpected expenses and a couple of things that went over budget. However, that’s the perfect excuse to get the rest of the painting we started finished, to enjoy inexpensive outings like hikes and picnics, and to get after some of the budget DIY and salvage projects we absolutely love.
So here’s the lowdown on what’s going down here in August…
- Cooking: I picked up an easy recipe for the most beautiful crispy, buttery, garlicky baked chicken back when I used to work for a little Italian kitchen. We used to make it for the staff coming in. I made it for Scott last month and he loved it. So we’ll be sharing that with you, along with some ideas for those beautiful blackberries out there right now. This month’s newsletter will contain three bonus summer fruit recipes for sweet treats!
- Exploring: We shared with you our excursion to Annapolis this month, and we’re hoping to share more local adventures as we keep getting to know the NoVA, DC, and Chesapeake Bay regions! This month we’ll be hiking, revisiting some new Occoquan favorites, giving you our tips on how to create your own food and wine walking tour, and returning to Denver briefly for some fun and a run!
- Building: We’re putting a hold on the floors and on a few other things until we can get our budget back under control! So we’re just finishing up storage solutions in the garage and the mechanical room, which we already have the materials for. However, we’ve got lots of time for design planning and costing, so we’ll take you through some of that process this month – along with when to say NO! to sales when you’re saving!
- Decorating: We may not be building, but we have a few decor projects on tap. I’ll show you how to make candles and lanterns out of those old empty wine bottles you might have lying around and Scott will share his plans for building seating into the entryway.
- Training: We’ve gotten back into the running groove this past month and we need to kick it up a notch this month. We’ll get some altitude experience at the Wicked Wine 5K in Denver, though!
- Reading: I haven’t picked up anything new recently. I’m working my way back through Essentialism by Greg McKeown, who basically tells you how to KonMari your brain to keep you from spreading yourself too thin in life. It’s a terrific book! But I’m also looking for some fun summer beach reading – or in our case, out back Adirondack chairs with a glass of viognier reading.
- Loving: My new Grape Soda Club business cards! We love Moo.com for business cards, and they did a great job on ours. In this month’s newsletter, we’ll tell you the story of the new site logo and the cards. Oh, by the way, if you click on the referral link up there, you’ll get a discount on your cards!
In Case You Missed Them…
Your favorite posts from last month:
- Forest Bathing :: Wash Yourself in Nature
- Bloom Where You’re Planted
- The Big Brick House :: Laundry Room Overhaul
- Travel Decor :: Ways to Bring Your Adventures Home
Your all time favorite post:
It was nice to see, for the first time, other posts catching up with the Bullet Journal post! Those of you out there who blog know it’s a little frustrating to see your traffic increase and find out that it’s for an article that’s not in your typical rotation. Although maybe it wouldn’t hurt to write more on organization. I’d love to hear what you guys think!
We’re offering a free downloadable desktop background calendar featuring scenes from our home state, Virginia! Set it as your desktop wallpaper and you won’t have to use your calendar app or find space on your desk for a calendar to quickly check the date.
This month, we’re featuring a photo we’re just calling “Splash,” taken at Virginia’s beautiful Great Falls National Park. It’s one of an amazing 22 National Parks in Virginia that attract about 25 million visitors annually thanks to their beauty and their history.
For our next parks, we’re looking for an opportunity to get out to Assateague Island to see and photograph the wild ponies that live out there. We’d also love the chance to visit the historic village of Harpers Ferry. Which of Virginia’s National Parks have you visited? Which ones are next on your list?
So how about you guys? What does your August look like?