Is it just me or does it seem like summer is almost over once the 4th of July passes?  Adult summers feel nothing like the endless kid summers I used to have!  Either way, here’s what I’ve been obsessing over recently…

Gone with the Wind

Books!  I’m not joking when I say that the library was where I hung out every summer as a kid.  I was obsessed with reading: Nancy Drew, The Babysitters’ Club, Anne of Green Gables (the entire series), Encyclopedia Brown, and Superfudge (and anything else written by Judy Blume), Sweet Valley Twins and eventually Sweet Valley High were some of my favorites.  I took part in my town library’s summer reading club every year until I technically outgrew it after 6th  grade (which I really didn’t think was fair) and after that my friend, Jen, and I used to meet there on our bikes.  We didn’t have pools or A/C and it was the coolest spot in town so we’d hang there for at least a few hours almost every day, sometimes after grabbing a slice down Main St. at Geno’s.

These days, I’m trying to go back and read a few of the classics I somehow missed reading years ago.  I’m in the middle of Gone with the Wind (my mom’s book, printed in 1964 – vintage!) and am going back and forth between that and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (to keep things light and modern) depending on which book is closer.  Last summer I devoured Gone Girl and I’m looking for some new ideas this summer for must-reads.  What’s on your summer must-read list? And, what were your favorite books as a kid?

Land's End tankini suit

Land’s End tankini suits.  I can honestly say that I have been exclusively wearing bathing suits from Land’s End since the mid-90s.  They have never, ever let me down.  For a plus size woman, their selection is awesome and the modest coverage for those ahem, trouble areas (i.e. back fat), is amazing.  Since we put our pool in this year (guys, I should buy stock in sunscreen at this point!), I’ve picked up a few new tankini pieces that I can mix-and-match, a couple swim shirts with built-in UPF 50, and a gorgeous cover-up – all on sale!  And for the guys, Kyle is loving their Volley Swim Shorts, which in and of itself is amazing since this man is the pickiest bathing suit shopper and wearer ever…so of course I bought him three pair in various colors/styles.  They have another huge swim sale going on right now – 45-65% off all swimwear!!  (And shipping over $50 in purchases is free!)

llbean towels

L.L. Bean beach towels.  While we’re still on the topic of beach and pool necessities, there’s also these Seaside Beach Towels from one of my all-time stores.  I went back and forth for a couple of months between these towels and the ones from Land’s End (who takes months to decide on beach towels??) and based on the reviews and past experience with L.L. Bean towels, I decided these were the better buy even if they were slightly more expensive.  Turns out they are sooo worth the price!  Plush, soft, and enormous (36″ x 68″), I know we’ll have these towels for years to come.  My mom has had two L.L. Bean towels like these for about 15 years (she has them in her regular towel rotation) and they are the only towels I reach for when I’m visiting.  Seriously, the best.  L.L. Bean also has a sale going on until July 8th – 10% your entire order – and shipping is always free – no minimum purchase!

The Killing on AMC

The Killing.  AMC puts out some of the greatest series these days, don’t they?  We haven’t gotten into Mad Men or The Walking Dead yet but we got hooked on Breaking Bad on Netflix last year and before that, we found The Killing on Netflix as well.  Neither of us had heard of it before but it sucked us in from the start and after just two seasons, we were shocked to hear it had been cancelled.  However…AMC brought the show back with a new plot line (a new homicide case) for at least a third season with the same main characters (homicide detectives).  If you love shows like SUV or suspenseful psychological thriller-type movies, you’ll love this show!  Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Netflix and Amazon and new episodes air on Sundays at 9 ET.

Erin Condren planner

Erin Condren Life Planner.  Who would have ever thought that in the digital age I would have returned to using a paper-and-pencil planner?  Actually, it seems that a ton of people are too because these planners are hot right now.  I first heard about the Erin Condren Life Planner from Kristen at Dine & Dish last summer and finally pulled the trigger on one of them during a sale in January.  I loooove this planner!!  First off, I was able to customize it to my favorite color scheme (lemon and gray) but for those not so picky, there are a ton of gorgeous designs available and you can upload your Instagram photos to integrate into many of the designs as well!

Without kids we don’t have much of a hurry-hurry activity-filled life but in addition to my keeping my personal schedule (and not in any way linked to my work Outlook calendar like my iPhone calendar was doing), my gardening journal, and my workout journal there, I’ve been using it for all of my blog planning: creating and [mostly] sticking to a posting schedule, keeping track of advertising and income, jotting down quick to-do lists and ideas for new meals.  It’s been a great addition to my life and it allows me to [mostly] de-clutter my brain from all these things I was trying to mentally organize.  Coupons are available relatively frequently, so keep your eye out for a great deal.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of these companies.  I just love their stuff and want to tell you about it.

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  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    July 6, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    I looooove to read too and used to live at the library as a kid, also (and some of your fave books as a kid were also mine!)

  • Cara
    July 6, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    I went to the library this past week and forgot how great it could be! I also must order an Erin Condren planner at some point! I was a meeting recently and 3 people sitting at the same table pulled one out– it’s a sign 🙂

    • taraliptak
      July 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Definitely a sign, Cara! I need to rediscover the library as an adult. The one in our new town is so nice and I’m sure they have lots to offer – maybe some great programs too!

  • Angie Frazzini Gazdziak
    July 8, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    1. Gone With The Wind. Love. Also, we would have been great friends growing up, since I read alllll those series and cried when I was done with them. (Especially the Anne books.) Have you read Summer Sisters by Judy Blume?

    2. I ordered the same EC Life Planner in mocha & pool. Mine is due to arrive this month, and I’m irrationally excited about it. This time I ordered the pen holder to attach, and just clicking that little radio button when I ordered made me happy. (Dear God, what’s happened to my life????)

    • taraliptak
      July 8, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      1. I wept my way through the Anne books – hormonal pre-teen/teenager, I suppose. At some point this year, I’d like to go back and re-read the series. I read Summer Sisters many years ago – good read!

      2. lol I had the same level of excitement! Seriously, it’s the little things these days that make such a big impact, especially when they help you get through the day.

  • Ann
    July 10, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    “Pride and Prejudice”.

    I would like to echo what Angie said. We would have been good friends because I own the Anne series, Babysitters Club books and Nancy Drew. I love Matthew Cuthbert and weep every time I get to “that” part of the first book. I used to read two series by Enid Blyton- Mallory Towers and St.Clare’s. Hope you have a great rest of the summer.

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