Summer Bucket List - Update #1


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
  1. Read by the pool. Pending.
  2. Bike to the beach for breakfast. Pending.
  3. 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.
  4. Attend a concert-in-the-park. Pending.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. See fireworks. Pending.
  9. Have a picnic at the beach. Pending.
  10. See a summer blockbuster. Pending.
  11. Make three new summer cocktails. Pending.
  12. 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.
  13. 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. :-)

  14. 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!
  15. 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!
  16. 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!
  17. Get a pedicure (my first, would you believe?!?).Pending.
  18. 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. 
  19. 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).
  20. Visit one new Farmers Market. Pending.
My count indicates that so far I have four of my 20 items completed, seven more in process, and nine still pending. Now that our move is behind us for the most part, I am looking forward to diving fully into summer for the next two months, so be sure to check back on August 21 for my next Summer Bucket List Update!


Comments

  1. So glad you are able to relax now and enjoy the summer remaining. Pinned your Asian salad photo. And think I need to try the popsicles. They look healthy and refreshing.

    As quickly and efficiently as you all made the decision to move and put the plan in action, I have no doubt your list will be completed with time to spare. Well done!

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    1. So wonderful to wake up without that pit in my stomach about all the things that might still go wrong with our escrows, and the enormity of the work ahead. Feels great to be on the other side, and now forward focused on building our new lifestyle at the coast.

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  2. Yes for summer fun and more beautiful sunsets! Love your granddaughter's picture, Tamara, she just exudes happiness. Your salad, Kebabs, and popsicles all look delicious. Your backpacking training sounds challenging. Do you sign up for formal organized training, or do you just design the training program yourself?

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    1. We've been doing long distance hikes or backpacks for a good number of years, and have learned over time what works best for us. We ideally start our training six to eight weeks ahead of time, hitting our max weight and distance two weeks prior to our actually event, than taper back slightly the last two weeks to rebuild our strength. Very similar to training for a marathon, and what we actually modeled our training pattern after.

      This time we are slightly behind the eight ball in that we are starting our training just four weeks in advance. However, this backpack is actually going to be fairly easy at just three nights, meaning less food/less overall weight, so we should be A-OK.

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  3. I have never heard of sun tea before. It looks delicious. And those Popsicles look so refreshing. I may have to make some.

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    1. Sun tea is lovely - very soft, without the harshness of boiled, bottled or instant tea. If you try it, and like it, be sure to let me know!

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  4. Wow, what a great view you have! The popsicles are quite unique and tasty looking.

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    1. We really did buy this house for it's amazing 180 views, from the open backyards of or neighbors, which is what you are seeing in the background of the photo of my daughter, to full on canyon views opposite our yard, to the ocean on the opposite side. We love it all, and spend time outside now almost daily, which we are so enjoying.

      The popsicles turned out amazing, which was so fun!

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  5. What a beautiful sunset. Love it. And who can resist blowing bubbles with the grandchildren. Happy summer Tamara!

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    1. Thank you Christie! And a happy summer to you too!

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  6. Hooray for bubbles and sunsets! And those posicles look amazing! That wrap dress also looks amazing, but YIKES! I would have had to leave it on the rack too! I hope you find some more affordable options. I love wearing dresses. (I'm wearing one even as I type!)

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    1. Hi Michael Ann, yes, I definitely love wearing dresses in the summer as everyday wear. So cool and comfortable! This is on my to-do list for next week. It will be a welcome break from the majority of our shopping right now occurring at Home Depot!

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  7. What could be better than blowing bubbles with your granddaughter. My grandson just loves doing that and chases the bubbles everywhere. I love reading and lately have read some Jodie Picoult and Lisa Genova which I would recommend. Keep enjoying your summer!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.

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    1. If I recall correctly, you are lucky enough to enjoy your grandson on a weekly basis, yes? Such a wonderful thing you lucky girl! Our little girl relocated away from us last summer, and we miss our bi-weekly visits more than I can say. We do go back about every two months for a week, and we FaceTime and Skype weekly, but it's not the same by a long shot. :-(

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  8. Yay for getting stuff done, and I know you did the concert in the park one! I will happily go with you to get a pedicure, hehe. I need one BAD! Looking forward to your next update and seeing what you accomplish.

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    1. Sarah, that would actually be a blast, so if you schedule one and want a pedi-buddy let me know! :-)

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    2. Just don't make fun of my calluses - calluses are a runner/hiker/backpacker's best friend!

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