July is here and the tropical systems are already brewing. It is hot, it is humid and it is ridiculous. These are the months when being healthy is not as hard and cool salads are the norm. Of course watermelon is always the star of the show at our house, whether it is eating spears at the pool or our favorite watermelon and feta salad that I published back in April. Here is a link to that post with this watermelon deliciousness and some other amazing salads.
I recently tried a new concoction one of my friends mentioned to me. Of course, I have a habit of just throwing ingredients together until it suits my eye and taste buds. It takes a little prep work but it is well worth it. It is chicken salad with a twist and probably the best thing I have eaten in a long time, other than that juicy steak I had on the 4th.
- Cooked chicken. You can use as much of any type as you like. I chose to use a rotisserie chicken and I used the entire thing. If you prefer all white or dark meat, that is fine too. Cut into bite size pieces.
- 2-3 ears of sweet corn cooked and cut off the cob
- 3-4 slices of bacon (more if you are a bacon freak like me) cooked and chopped small
- 2-4 hard boiled eggs (depending on your taste and how many you are serving)
- 2-3 avocados diced
- handful (about 2-4 Tbs.) of fresh dill depending on your taste
- green or red onions to taste (I skip this one but it would definitely add a layer of flavor for those that like them)
Make sure all ingredients are fully cooled and add them to a large bowl. Whisk together the following ingredients and dress immediately:
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice. You may need more for a larger portion.
- Olive oil (same amount as lemon juice)
- salt and pepper to taste
Not all of my summer favorites are food related. Keeping your body and skin healthy and hydrated is way more difficult in the heat of the southern summer. After my mandatory early morning caffeine, water is my drink of choice. La Croix is my go to drink on a hot afternoon at the pool. No sweeteners, sodium or caffeine. Just a little kiss of flavor and sparkling water. On the days when I want a refreshing adult beverage without the heaviness, calories and carbs, I choose plain vodka mixed with any flavor of La Croix and a little Sprite Zero to sweeten the mix. I got my husband hooked on these for our weekend splurges.
For my skin, I use two products to stay fresh and cool between reapplications of sunscreen or to freshen makeup. The first product is one I have blogged about in the past because I cannot believe I have lived this many years without knowing about it. Micellaire water is amazing. From taking off full makeup after an evening out to removing old sunscreen and freshening your skin, this stuff takes it all off with no mess. I have a bottle in every bathroom and in my carry on. I also moisten several cotton rounds and carry them with me in a little plastic bag when we go to the beach. It feels very cool and refreshing, and it decreases breakouts by keeping my skin squeaky clean. To ramp up my hydration level I use rose water. I tend to be more on the oily side, but nothing increases the production of oil more than overdrying, so rose water feels great and keeps me moisturized without feeling greasy. It can be used all over the body, and as a nice side benefit, it acts as a moisturizer for your hair too. Nobody loves those dry and frizzed ends that have been fried in the sun all day. I often spray it on my flyaway hairs and bare face, or even spritz my makeup to freshen it throughout the day. It leaves you with a healthy glow.
July and early August are an odd time of year for us. The late winter and early spring rush to supply all the construction companies with their needed equipment for the season is over, and the days return to a more normal pace until the strong hurricanes start to threaten in the late summer and early fall. This is the time that we have more weekends free to travel or to just lounge around the pool. This is also the time we get to visit the cooler states and see our grandkids. It is my favorite time of year other than the fall when it is less humid for awhile. This year we have discovered an activity that most coastal kids grow up doing at least once. Hunting for shark teeth is really pretty fun even for older adults like us, or maybe we are just refusing to give in to the stereotypes of our age group. Next week we are planning a trip to a beach that is famous for them and we are prepared to do the work and bring a few home. It is technically a real work trip but we have one day reserved just for combing the beach.
I can find something to love or that makes me happy in nearly every season, especially these days when even the worst day is not so bad. I even enjoy visiting the northern states in the months that most flee in droves to come where I live. That is because my family is there. I think it is important to always look for something that makes you happy, no matter how small it is, and celebrate in that rather than constantly finding the negatives. These are the simple things that rock my summer so far.