July Happy Five

It’s July! How did that happen? Now we are in the middle of the Summer season, which means temperatures are getting hotter. It also means people are traveling more. So, this month’s Happy Five I am sharing with you several of my favorites to get you through these dog days of Summer.

A little reminder of my Happy Five I share with you each month:

  1. Recipe I am making for meal prep
  2. Beauty product I am loving
  3. The latest book I read
  4. Something that Brings Me Joy
  5. An EA tip that can help you to be successful
Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Ranch

With the temperatures getting warmer, the last thing I want to do is cook. This doesn’t stop me from preparing meals for the week. So, I have been relying on salads to fulfill this goal. Half Baked Harvest has saved the day with her Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing. I found this recipe while scrolling through Instagram.

This recipe is absolutely amazing. It doesn’t require a lot of cooking. You can also go vegetarian and remove the chicken. In addition, you can bump up the ingredients by cleaning out your produce drawer. I love the avocado ranch dressing because although I love avocados in salads, they can age quickly which can be a problem for meal prepping. So, adding avocados in the dressing allows me to get the health benefits without the ick factor. 

The benefit of this recipe is that you can do it two ways for meal prepping. One option is to put it in a jar. This technique is by layering the ingredients including the dressing in a mason jar then dumping it into a bowl. I also shake up the jar to mix all the ingredients then eat it directly from the jar. Saves the need for another dish. The other option is to put all the ingredients except the dressing in a container. Then have the dressing on the side in a small container. Going this way allows me to pile in more ingredients than in a jar. Either direction is up to you.

Coola SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Lotion

So, while I was in Chicago for my annual birthday trip I got an amazing facial. I mentioned to the aesthetician I thought my skin tone was blah and she mentioned that my skin tone is being drab due to the sun. She asked me what I am wearing daily. I mentioned the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream with SPF 30 I promoted last month. She said that it is a great product but during the Summer months a combo SPF isn’t enough. I need to double up with an additional SPF. So I have added the Coola SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Lotion to my daily regimen.  

What is it? Coola SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Lotion is an organic SPF 50 sun protection that feels as light as a moisturizer. It has a clear finish. Providing daily protection even on the most active days in the sun. Coola SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Lotion is made with Coola’s antioxidant-rich Plant Protection® complex containing Prickly Pear Extract, Raspberry Seed Oil, and Buriti Oil to nourish skin and help fight free radicals.  

Why do I love it? Coola SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Lotion is a stronger SPF than just my Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream with SPF 30 I mentioned last month. So, I know I’m getting extra protection from pigmentation and sun damage. Both are important to me as I continue to prevent aging skin. 

I love how lightweight it is. Since I’m adding another layer to my daily skin regimen I didn’t want to have anything thick. Especially if I wear make-up. 

The President is Missing 

As I mentioned in my June Happy Five post, Summer is such an amazing time to have a reading list. If you are needing to find a book to add to that list, let me recommend the President is Missing by James Patterson and President Clinton. Similar to the President’s Daughter I recommended last month, this is a non-partisan book. This book is a page turner with a stunning twist. Having President Clinton’s contribution brings a level of realism and insight that you won’t get from anyone else. 

Why do I love it? I have been a fan of James Patterson’s writing for years. His ability to bring you into the book as if you are there with all the characters is a talent a lot of author’s don’t have. Similar to his other mystery novels, the President is Missing has twists, turns, and a conclusion that has you thinking, “how did I not see that coming?” What I also love about James Patterson’s books is that I can reread them, even though I know the ending. I do that often, months or years after completing a book, I’ll go back and reread them. When you do that, you know it is a good book. The President is Missing is one of those books. 

This Brings Me Joy and I Think it Will Bring You Joy Too: Shark Fin Silicone Mold

July welcomes my favorite week of the year… #SharkWeek! I absolutely love sharks. It is a fear fascination for sure because I am terrified by their power and ability to kill. Yet, a dream of mine is to cage dive with them. I also wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to be on an episode of Shark Week (can you hear me Discovery channel?), LOL. 

So, it is only fitting that I got this Shark Fin Silicone Mold. I first saw it on Instagram and realized I needed it. I can use it in a variety of ways. One way I am using this fabulous mold is to make cupcakes to take to work. Another way I am going to use the mold is to make dog pops to help keep Brutus cool during these hot temperatures. Another idea I have is to use the Shark Fin Silicone Mold for an ice cream treat for myself. These are just a few ideas I have but honestly the options are endless. 

Get your Shark Fin Silicone Mold today! #SharkWeek2024 starts on Sunday, July 7!

EA Tip: Packing Checklist

Summer Season = Travel Season! Now, I tend to avoid traveling this time of year because Seattle is beautiful in the Summer. This is not to say I know many people are packing up, hitting the roads and airports for Summer Vacation. If you are one of those people, I am sharing with you an EA tip to make packing those suitcases easier. 

Creating a packing checklist helps to ensure the following:

  1. As you know, packing can take FOR…EVER, so to help save time I create a packing checklist. The reason it saves time is because you are putting together the list of items you are planning to pack. This eliminates the “ho hum what to pack” we all suffer when we pull out our suitcases.  
  2. I also hate when I arrive at my destination, I go “crap I forgot…” Creating a packing checklist lessens the opportunity for this from happening. 
  3. Overpacking is a pain point for me, so creating a packing checklist really helps me from doing this. 

To create a packing checklist, I create a doc in Google Docs using checklist format. Feel free to use this template for your future trip. 

Here are things I consider when creating my packing checklist:

  1. Weather
  2. Do I have laundry at my lodging?
  3. Based on the answer to 2, I determine how many outfits I need for the duration of my trip. If there is laundry I don’t have to have as many outfits.
  4. What are my activities? Based on this I ask myself:
    1. Do I need a fancy outfit?
    2. Am I wearing makeup
    3. How many shoes do I need? Heels, Sneakers, Sandals, Boots, etc.
  5. Do I have a hairdryer at my lodging?
  6. What are my items for the day to day? Toiletries, electronics, vitamins, prescriptions, etc.

Based on all these considerations, I make my checklist. I should point out, I make my checklist a few days if not even a week ahead of packing for my trip. Another note about my checklist is I’m as detailed as possible, even down to the sleepwear, socks, etc. This prevents me from missing anything I might need. 

Wishing you a wonderful July! Check out my Happy Five suggestions and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time, have a joy filled day.

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