Things I’m Loving Lately: Summer 2021 Edition

I recently realized that it has been (literally) months since I read through my Feedly – where blogs collect on my phone – and as I was scrolling through the ninety-some posts that had piled up there in that time, I saw that Modern Mrs. Darcy recently did one of her periodic posts on the things she is loving in the current season. And it occurred to me that (1) I haven’t done one of those in awhile; and (2) it would be a good topic for this otherwise unplanned week. So here we go: a few things I am loving in summer of 2021.

My paddleboard! This is the biggest one for me. My board (it’s an NRS Thrive 9.1 iSUP) and paddle (Werner Zen 85) were Christmas gifts from Steve, and I waited more or less patiently (okay, less) until the weather warmed up enough for me to get out on the lake. I’ve been going out as much as possible since early May – mostly in a small local reservoir, but once on the Chesapeake Bay. Lately I have to sneak out of the house because if Nugget sees me leaving with the paddleboard, he wants to come and ride along… but he has a kayak of his very own coming soon, so I’ll be getting my board back to myself and still be able to get out on the water with my paddling buddy.

My desk. Another big one – ya girl has her own workstation! When we all went home for the pandemic I thought – like many – that the WFH life was going to be short-lived, and I didn’t bother to set up a desk. I worked from the kitchen table from March until June 2020, and then moved into the dining room when we moved houses. A year of working from my dining room table was aggressively unpleasant – the chairs are comfortable for a meal, but not for 10+ hours a day, five or more days a week, for an entire year, and the workstation made it impossible to eat family meals. I recently learned that my boss has planned for me to continue working from home for the foreseeable future, so it was time to get a real desk. It’s nothing special – just an IKEA desk and a chair from Home Depot – but the difference it has made to my work life to actually have a dedicated workstation has been incredible. The best part has been my standing desk converter; I had one at my old law firm, and it has been the thing I’ve missed more than anything over the last year of working remotely. This standing desk converter was inexpensive, it’s super sturdy and easy to use, and I’m now back to standing for most of my workday. As I told my boss (during a 1:1 webconference that was mostly just me picking up and tilting my laptop awkwardly so she could see the converter and watch me raise and lower it) I LOVE it and my only regret is not buying it a year ago.

My Birkenstocks. Here’s something smaller but still significant to me – while I am doing all that standing at my desk, 98% of the time I’m wearing these – my Birks. After I wore out my old Mayaris, I decided to switch it up and went with the classic Arizona model. (The color is “Earth red” or something – I wanted a nice warm brown but these were on sale, so. They’re growing on me.) I’ve been pretty much living in Birkenstocks the past few years and I’m not even mad about it. Is it the 1990s again? Maybe.

Summer running shoes. While we’re on the subject of shoes, when I’m not in my Birks I’m probably in running shoes. I like to alternate between pairs (my excuse is that it helps prevent injuries; I hope that’s true, but I also like matching my shoes to my outfit, a little bit). For most of my summer runs, I’ve mostly been wearing Hoka Cliftons (LOVE THEM) and Brooks Launch – I recently got this limited edition #BraveLikeGabe pair. On top of looking really cool, part of the proceeds go to rare cancer research. Okay, enough about shoes.

Grain-free granola. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of granola. I am sensitive to grains (even gluten-free grains) and I try to avoid them for the most part because I just feel better when I do, and I also don’t eat much sugar (just not a sweet tooth, and don’t need it). So granola is pretty low on my list of breakfast foods, but that could change. I have a few different flavors of grain-free granola in my pantry right now, and it’s been nice to mix it up and sprinkle these on my morning yogurt for crunch. I have two bags of Nature’s Path, which are good, but this Paleonola is my new favorite – all real food, no grains (of course) and lower in sugar – and carbs – than most store-bought granola options, so not overly sweet. Yum.

Pure Placid candles. I love this local Lake Placid business, which makes heavenly-smelling candles, home products, lotions and shower gels inspired by the Adirondacks. Lately I’ve been burning the Mount Marcy candle, and every time I light it, Steve comes sniffing into the room and says “That’s the best-smelling candle I’ve ever smelled, will you get me one for my desk?” I’m almost down to the bottom of the jar now, so I’m going to have to pick up a few more when I’m in the Adirondacks later this summer.

Adventure Annie. Finally, one last biggie to wrap this post up – I am loving weekend mornings spent shredding the gnar on my new mountain bike. After a year of trying without success to buy a mountain bike so I could ride with Nugget, I stumbled on the very bike I’d been eyeing online – now named Annie – a Specialized Rockhopper, size XS. (The bike shop employee who fitted me said “You’re almost too tall for the XS” and endeared himself to me forever.) I was desperate enough to not be too picky about the color, but as luck would have it, this colorway (“gloss blaze/ice papaya” – looks like that’s no longer on the website, sorry guys) was my favorite of the options. Meant to be?

What are you loving for summer 2021?

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