Welcome to Progress Report #1 of how I'm doing on my 20 Things Summer Bucket List! And let me just say that I am so, so happy to finally be able to turn my attention away from moving and instead toward checking fun items off my summer bucket list. Summer-at-the-beach bucket list I might add, because . . . I now live just two miles from the ocean!
And just like the last time, I'm linking up with a group of other terrific bloggers to share Summer Bucket List updates, so be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see who else is participating, and to visit their blogs for additional summer inspiration.
Progress Report #1 for 20 Things On My Summer Bucket List
- Read by the pool. Pending.
- Bike to the beach for breakfast. Pending.
- Watch a sunset. Yes! OK, I admit it was a bit sneaky adding this one in in that we are literally across the street from a park where we can view lovely sunsets nightly. However, we do need to make an effort to remember to do so, so I'm giving myself points for that. Plus, we just purchased an annual pass for a beach right down the road from our new home, and we plan to visit very regularly as a result, catching even more sunsets in the days ahead.
- Attend a concert-in-the-park. Pending.
- Read three fluff-books. In Process. I checked our three fluff books from the library yesterday, two cozy mysteries and one current best seller, and I look forward to reporting back on all three in my next update. I will say already, however, I forgot how much fun it is to read an easy-peasy book vs a more meaty one you actually have to work at!
- Make sun tea. Yes! I have made several batches in fact, and it is so much milder and tasty than buying it pre-made from the store, or making it from instant. I drop 7 teabags into a half gallon pitcher of water, cover it with plastic wrap to keep out any visitors (!) and leave it out in the sun for somewhere between four and six hours. This batch, shown below, is Mango Black Tea. So good!
- Blow bubbles with my granddaughter. Yes! I made bubbles from dish soap and water, and used the handle of a pair of scissors as my bubble blower. My granddaughter absolutely loved chasing them down and popping them, and we spent many happy hours engaged during our week together in late June.
This cutey-patooty looooves chasing after bubbles!
- See fireworks. Pending.
- Have a picnic at the beach. Pending.
- See a summer blockbuster. Pending.
- Make three new summer cocktails. Pending.
- Make three new summer salads. In Process. I pulled out my trusty America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook a couple of weeks ago, and made this fabulous Asian Spinach and Shrimp Salad. We ate it outside, and it was absolutely perfect for a balmy summer evening.
- Make three new BBQ recipes. In Process. We had our oldest daughter over for dinner right after moving in, and after a quick search through, again, my America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook, I decided on Grilled Beef Kebabs with Chili-Lime Rice. The marinade was awesome, and I ended up with about half of it still in the marinating bag after removing the sirloin steak tips for skewering, so I froze it for re-usage at a later date. This recipe was stellar, and we all absolutely loved it. (All ATK recipes are behind a paywall, and this time I couldn't find a free link online, so sorry! Just drop me a note via the Contact Form in upper right of this blog, however, and I'll happily send it. :-)
- Make real-fruit popsicles. Yes! I made Lavender-Blueberry Popsicles from this Health.com recipe, and they were delicious! I had lavender on hand from a trip we had taken up the West Coast some time ago, plus blueberries were on sale this week at Sprouts Market, so I knew I had to make them the moment I saw the recipe title. The 'hardest' part if you will, (because they were really very easy to make!) was the 25 minutes it took to make the lavender infused simple syrup. Once they froze and I had a taste though, I was sold. They have a lovely soft lavender taste among the more pronounced blueberry. I'm thinking these would definitely qualify as artisan popsicles, and I would proudly serve them to any of my friends.
My popsicle ingredients and tools ready to go. After making the simple syrup, you simply add it to your fresh blueberries and process. My cute popsicle molds, purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond for $4 each (I had a 20% off coupon). The finished product - absolutely delicious!
- Lose five pounds. In Process. I lost the first five pounds as part of my Spring Bucket List of Items, primarily due to the stress of the move - I pretty much stop eating when highly stressed. I attribute this next pound that has been lost to the physical labor required to unpack about a gazillion moving boxes! Nicely, however, with our backpacking training underway, the next four should come off as easily/quickly as long as I mind my sugar consumption and continue to eat 'real' food. I can definitely feel the loss of the six pounds already, however, whenever I slip on skinny jeans or shorts - they both fit and look so much better!
- Buy three new sundresses. In Process. I popped into my first boutique yesterday, Blue-Eyed Girl, and saw this adorable wrap dress, but admit I was thrown a bit by it's $169 price tag so I left it on the rack and walked out of the store empty handed. I'm thinking TJ Maxx is likely going to be a better place for these, but I need to get crackin' as summer is already 1/3 over!
- Get a pedicure (my first, would you believe?!?).Pending.
- Volunteer for a beach-oriented organization. In Process. I recently stopped in at the Ocean Institute of Dana Point, and completed an online volunteer application. Next step will be to hear back from the volunteer coordinator about when I might attend their volunteer orientation sessions. Have to say the location of this organization can't be beat; smack dab alongside the Pacific Ocean in Dana Point Harbor; and I love that much of their work is with student groups.
- Go backpacking. In Process. We've pulled the necessary permits for a three night/four day backpack along the N. California coastline in August, and we started our official training yesterday, carrying 18 pounds in our backpacks each for six miles. We'll add weight at a rate of two to four pounds per hike till we reach our respective load maximums (@ 28 pounds for me, 40 pounds for hubby).
- Visit three different Farmers Markets. Pending.