Here are 10 things that will make June the month you love the most.
- Father’s Day is June 21st. You need to get crackin’ on a gift. I’ve found some easy suggestions below.
- If your state and county are officially “open”, here are three outdoor things you can do right now.
- Two songs I’ve been digging for my at-home workouts.
- I’m almost finished editing Definitely, Maybe. Here’s an update.
- Good karma is a good thing. Generate some of your own by helping this indie bookstore.
- The easiest steel cut oatmeal Instant Pot recipe on the planet.
- The one vitamin we should all be taking.
- Nespresso. Thoughts?
- Sheryl Crow is my new hero. I had no idea she was so f*cking cool. Listen to her interview with Dax Shepard and see what I mean.
- Where is your next vacation? After this gosh dang pandemic is over I will be busting to get out of town. Here are my top three most-wanted dreamy spots.
1. Man Gifting 101
Leather Driving Moccasins, Duluth Trading Company
Duluth doesn’t mess around with any of their products, and these leather drivers are no exception. Classic and cool. It will make him feel like he’s driving a Ferrari (even though it’s a Camry).
The Ultimate Spice Collection, Spiceology via Amazon
Not only is this such a great packaging concept (the Periodic Table of Elements for spices), but these products are legitimately amazing. Here’s what you get with this collection:
- BLACK & BLEU – an addictive blend of warm Cajun spices and real dehydrated bleu cheese. This blend goes on ALL THINGS including making delicious burgers, popcorn, mac & cheese. BLACK MAGIC – a delicious Cajun Blackening blend that’s packed with warm spices, herbs and garlic. Use on all types of protein. CHILE MARGARITA – warm chiles are mixed with citrus and a touch of sugar to give this unique chile lime seasoning a punch of amazing flavor. COWBOY CRUST – red meats new best friend.
- GREEK FREAK – Arguably our most popular blend because you can literally use this herb, garlic and onion blend on EVERYTHING. You need this one in your kitchen or at the grill. SMOKY HONEY HABANERO – the blend that started Spiceology! The simplistic blend is anything but simple. The honey granules crystalize when you cook with this blend making for a delicious crust on anything you put it on. JAMAICAN JERK – a blend of warm chiles, smoky paprika and allspice. Goes on all protein. PINK PEPPERCO
- OH CANADA – our version of a Montreal seasoning that’s incredible on steaks – or anything! RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE – real dehydrated raspberry powder mixed with chipotle chile and a touch of brown sugar. This blend goes on everything and is insanely delicious. TANDOORI GLORY – our Indian curry seasoning that is amazing on all types of protein. KOREAN BBQ – One of our newest blends packed with flavors of soy, sesame, and orange
- Packed fresh in the USA
Seriously, I don’t think you can go wrong with this gift idea. And it’s something your entire household can use.
Dapper Dude|| Bourbon and Caramel Spice soap, Perfectly Posh
A big hunk of boozy-smelling soap? Yes, please.
Okay so maybe this gift is more for the women than the men, but the men will definitely appreciate all the attention they receive after using this soap. It’s a win-win.
Slim Straight Jeans, Goodfellow & Co
A simply-stated, dark wash jean that looks great dressed up or down. You know he needs new jeans, and these are super affordable.
12-in-1 Survival Tool Kit, Amazon
When it’s Dad vs. Wild, this is the kit he needs. He wants this. He just doesn’t want to buy it for himself…you know, man code ‘n all.
Testosterone Movies, Amazon
Sure he could stream them…if they are available. Or he could rent them…for a fee that he has to pay each time he watches.
But if he owned them, well…that’s another story. Put a few of these (or all of them) together in a basket, add some whiskey and maybe some popcorn and get ready to win the award for best gift ever.
There isn’t a man alive that doesn’t love at least the first Die Hard movie.
Okay, so maybe that’s a little extreme, but honestly, these movies are easy to watch, completely quotable, and just fun. Make him a giant bowl of popcorn and put on one of these movies. Trust me.
Daniel Craig made James Bond cool again. No more silly puns or ridiculous stunts for 007. No, no these new Bond movies are the ultimate in action, sexiness, and terrific acting. And of course, there’s a really great car involved, too.
Classic. Pure and simple. Non-stop action, sarcastic dialogue, and an unbeatable theme song. The sequels were “meh” but this one…this one was fantastic.
This movie will always remain a top favorite. I’ve seen it 3 times already and I would gladly watch it again. Not only is based on the true story, but the acting and portrayal of American ingenuity and spirit is incomparable.
Plus, race cars.
Russell Crowe at his best.
This is a movie that will forever be a classic. It’s history and storytelling beautifully woven into a gripping, pulse-racing story that just about everyone I know has loved. There’s a reason this movie won Best Picture.
I just can’t with this movie. Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer? Come on now. That’s not even fair.
I’ve yet to see a better, more intense shootout scene than the one in the middle of downtown at the end of this movie. Definitely turn up the volume.
The only Tom Cruise movie I’ve ever loved.
Harsh, but true. He’s just not my favorite actor. But in this movie, ooooeeee, he NAILS the role of Vincent. Who knew he could play such a great bad guy! And surprise (!), it’s the same director as Heat, Michael Mann.
This is a sure win for Father’s Day.
For more Father’s Day gift ideas check out last year’s post here.
2. Things to Do Outside
Take a walk.
Yes, another one. Just do it. Only this time, bring some gloves and a small bag with handles and pick up any garbage you see along the way. It will make you feel good about yourself and will help clean up an area we are all probably seeing waaaay too much of lately. If your route is already clean, consider taking your camera instead and documenting the changing leaves and flowers. Try a new filter or setting and create a collage.
Sit outside at night and look at the stars.
When’s the last time you did that? It had been awhile for me so I wasn’t prepared at what I saw. It all looks a heck of a lot bigger now! Plus, depending on where you live, you might be able to see a comet or a satellite whiz by.
Take a hike.
State parks are opening up again and so are hiking trails. Find one near you and get out there. If you need new hiking shoes, this is the style I always use (and they are on sale right now). I know they say trail running, but this is honestly the best hiking shoe I’ve ever found. No break-in period required.
3. Two Fab Songs
Into the Ocean – Blue October
Everyday is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow
4. Definitely, Maybe Novel Status
I’m getting closer.
Round two of edits and I’m currently on Chapter 22. Right now the novel has 29 chapters, so I’m definitely in the home stretch. I had to take a break over the last week to work on this newsletter, but as soon I publish this baby it’s right back to work on the novel. Stay tuned!
5. Generate Good Karma
Speaking of novels, this little bookshop could use some love.
Independent bookstores are a rarity these days, even before the pandemic hit. And there is one in my favorite little town of Sisters, Oregon (where my novels are based), that needs your help.
Paulina Springs Bookstore is a gorgeous small town gem of a store that could use some extra support right now. Please consider donating to their Go FundMe campaign, stopping by if you are local, or giving them a call and ordering a book.
Your karma will be so happy.
6. Recipe: Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot
A big winner in our house. It’s fast, it’s delicious, and it’s good for us. P.S. Bob’s Red Mill has the best steel cut oats I’ve found so far.
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk — or milk of choice or additional water
- 2 cups steel cut oats — do not use any other kind of oats
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey — optional; add more to taste
- Toppings of choice — fresh fruit, chopped toasted nuts, chia seeds or flaxseeds, additional maple syrup or honey, splash of milk
In a 6-quart Instant Pot, stir together the water, almond milk, oats, salt, and maple syrup. Cover and seal. Cook on HIGH pressure (manual) for 4 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully remove lid.
Give the oats a big stir. Carefully taste (they will be hot!) and add additional cinnamon and/or maple syrup to taste. The oats will continue to thicken as they cool. Ladle into serving bowls and serve hot with any desired toppings.
Do you need an Instant Pot (or, like me, a SECOND Instant Pot)? Here is my favorite one. It’s worth the investment, I swear. It has over 70k reviews, is the number one best seller on Amazon, and it’s currently on sale for $79.00!
7. Take Your Vitamins
Vitamin D is, in my opinion, probably the most important supplement you can take right now. Here are 3 reasons why:
- Studies show Vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth (source: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/)
- Vitamin D helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, both are critical in the building of bone. (source: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/)
And now there is discussion surrounding Vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19.
“[a study] in New Orleans found that 84.6% of COVID-19 patients [in ICU] had vitamin D deficiency compared to 4% of patients not in ICU.” Source
The sun is the best way to make Vitamin D naturally in the body but with the use of sunscreens (a good thing, btw), and the fact that we are all indoors most of the day (especially now), the sun is just not the most efficient way to go any more. Especially if you have dark skin and are better able to withstand those needed UVB rays.
Do your research and make your own decisions, but I am now taking 4-5000 IU of Vitamin D every day.
In case you are wondering, here is the brand I use.
8. Nespresso: The Best Coffee?
Recently I listened to a podcast where one of the hosts was talking about her obsession with Nespresso espresso/coffee.
Now, normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to someone saying they had a love affair with something other than traditional coffee. After all, you all know how much I love my coffee and would never even consider cheating on it, right?
But here’s the thing: this gal loves her coffee just as much as I do. So when she said she now loves this Nespresso stuff MORE than regular coffee, I nearly drove my car off the road.
And then I Googled.
Apparently a Nespresso machine (a combo of the parent company name, Nestle + espresso) is basically a Keurig coffee machine. It uses the same little pods and a similar single service process. Some reviews say it tases bitter and it bad for the environment (i.e. the pods), and others say it is the best thing they’ve ever tasted. I think the claim to fame is that it comes from Switzerland and I’m pretty sure it was the first “pod” type coffee system.
Okay so I’m so curious about this. Have you tried it before? Is it good? Tell me everything you know because I’m curious to see how it holds up against my tried and true, Kicking Horse Kick Ass Coffee from Canada…which, I have it on auto ship now, eek!
9. Why I Love Sheryl Crow
I love her for so many reasons. I could probably write an essay about why I think she’s my new hero. She’s a health nut. She’s a mom that lets her kids play video games. She’s a breast cancer survivor! And she’s so friggin COOL! But in a nutshell, I love her because she’s real. She’s probably the only real celebrity left on the planet. She’s someone you listen to and think, “we could be real life friends”.
Give her interview a listen and see what I mean. I bet you will be surprised.
10. Dream Vacation Spots
I’ll just leave these photos here for now while I go into another room and bite my fist. Gah!
I mean, look at those mountains! And the Fairmont Hotel.…oh yeah, such a definite bucket list item for me.
Sedona Spa Retreat
Mii Amo Spa. I don’t need the meditation part. Just the relaxation part.
Actually I do need the meditation part but I’ve never been any good at it. My brain doesn’t understand how not to think.
Like I said, I probably need the training.
But a cocktail by the pool with a book can be highly meditative, so I’ll stick with that.
Or maybe a big hike and THEN a cocktail by the pool with a book. Yeah, that sounds better.
Do you have any plans to go anywhere? I threw these bucket list items up but I’d also be just as happy taking a two-hour road trip in any direction from my house. So don’t be shy to share. I’m honestly curious to know where everyone might be going.
Have a beautiful June, darlin’ and don’t forget your assignment: taste test the Nespresso for me and report back!