Summer 2015 Non-Beauty Favorites!

by - September 16, 2015

As the summer is coming to a close, I realize that I haven't put much of a spotlight on my non-beauty favorites for the past few months. There's definitely a lot of things I've been loving this summer! I just picked a random selection of TV shows and entertainment in general, some snacks and beverages, and a couple of accessories that really jumped out at me while I was thinking about what I've been loving this summer. I'm not sure that this type of post will be a regular occurrence, but I liked the idea of it so I figured I'd put it out there.

If you're interested in seeing what I've been loving - and I think you should be, because I feel like I have some really good recommendations - keep reading!

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (Netflix)
If not for the recommendation from two of my best friends, I probably wouldn't have checked this out... and I would have been missing out. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an Australian mystery series based on a series of novels set in the 1930s. The main character, Phryne Fisher, is a very progressive, saucy woman who decides in the first episode to become a "lady detective". What I love about this show is that, while it's set in the 30s, it deals with the same types of issues that we deal with today, issues that initially surprised me with their inclusion. Phryne is a feminist woman in a time that you don't necessarily associate with feminism, and she presents one of the most tolerant, progressive, and sex positive characters I've seen on television - perhaps ever. If this sounds like it might be up your alley... or even if you're not quite sure, I recommend giving this a watch, because it really is that good.

American Ninja Warrior on NBC
Though this summer's run of Ninja Warrior just wrapped up (in epic fashion, might I add) this was definitely one of my favorites this summer and I'm sad to see it go. I watched from the first season it was on NBC, but I missed last season, so I was excited to get back to it. We don't watch a lot of TV in my house since we don't have cable anymore, but every week, religiously, me and my boyfriend would hunker down to watch this and cheer on our favorites. They're not kidding when they say it's the hardest obstacle course in the world, and I feel like the people who take on these courses are seriously some of the most athletic people I've ever seen. I'm telling you, this season was EPIC.

The Return Of Superman (Episodes & Clips Available on Youtube)
I stumbled on this show accidentally when a clip from it showed up  in my Youtube recommendations... but as a big fan of Korean variety shows, I was quickly hooked. This show is (adorably) about Korean celebrity dads and their little (adorable) kids. I swear, it's pretty much irresistible. My favorite of the families is Tablo (from rap group Epik High) and his little girl Haru. Haru is pretty much the cutest kid I've ever seen in my life and something about watching clips of her and Tablo just sets my mind at ease. Especially the last couple of weeks, when I've been struggling with grief from a loss in my family, something about this show just eases me and makes me feel happy and calm.

Matt Nathanson - Gold In The Summertime (Video)
I've mentioned my love for Matt Nathanson on the blog before, but I wasn't quite sure how I felt about this song the first time I heard it. I actually tend to prefer Matt live, when he's a little less produced. However, after listening to this song a few times I was completely sold and I've been grooving out to it ever since. It's a great summer song, very easy going and fun, and that's definitely what I gravitate towards at this time of year.

Before We Were Strangers by Renée Carlino (Amazon)
The truth is... I was looking for an eBook that I could read while I treated myself to solo sushi recently and so I went on a recommendation hunt and this popped up and sounded good. And it was. This is one of those novels that occurs in both the past and the present (although, as far as I can tell based on timelines, the present had no choice to be 2012). It was written in three very distinct parts, with the beginning and end of the novel being set in the 2012 present and the middle of the book set 15 years earlier. I love a romance novel, without even a hint of shame, and I felt like this one did a very good job of character and relationship building. It did a little bit default to a trope that I don't particularly like, but it did it in a way that I appreciated. Honestly, I've been having a lot of trouble finishing books lately, but this one had me locked in.

Looney Tunes Dash - iPhone Game
This is my favorite type of iPhone game. It's a running game, but it's set in levels where you have certain objectives and attaining those objectives takes a certain amount of both skill and strategy. I love it. I've gotten to the point now where I've beat all of the available levels, so every month I'm waiting for them to release new ones so I can play some more. Alternately, I'm consistently trying to get 3 stars in all of the levels. If this is your type of game and you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend.

Behind Closed Ovens on Jezebel - Kitchenette
Not gonna lie, this is swiftly becoming my favorite part of Mondays. Every Monday a new BCO is posted and I am ready and waiting to read it. As someone who worked in a restaurant, and someone who seems to have the WORST luck eating in them now, I can seriously appreciate the stories from mostly food service workers and sometimes from customers. It's good, seriously. Very funny, sometimes shocking, and sometimes downright weird. I don't know what it is, but I love to delve into the strange and ridiculous things in the world whenever I can. Well, to a point, anyway.

McDonalds Caramel Iced Coffee
So... I drank a lot of these over the summer. Some might say too many. But when the medium was $1 for the whole summer, it was hard to justify going anywhere else or having any other coffee when these were so delicious and affordable. I always order mine with light syrup, because it can be too sweet if you get a full shot, and it's always downright delicious. The price has gone up to regular now that we've passed Labour Day, but it's still pretty worth it to me. Mmmm.

Cucumbers? Yep, cucumbers! We grew cucumbers in our garden this year and we had an absolutely insane harvest of amazing cucumbers, to the point where my boyfriend and I were slicing up a whole one for pretty consistent dinners as a side dish and also giving them away to pretty much anyone who wanted them. It's actually only been this year that I've even liked cucumbers (and I really only eat them when they've been sliced and marinated in vinegar) but I'm fully on board now. My favorite way to eat them has been in my favorite meal of the summer... THE EASIEST PASTA SALAD EVER.

Mix together tricolour spiral pasta, Kraft Greek Feta & Oregano vinaigrette, 1 large cucumber (sliced and lightly marinated in vinegar), chopped bell pepper, chopped mushrooms, shrimp, and crumbled feta.

This is my favorite thing to whip together on a busy weeknight for dinner - and it also makes for excellent take to work lunches. Really, you can throw in whatever veggies you want to make this to your own taste.

Miss Vickie's Balsamic Vinegar & Sweet Onion Chips
There had to be a snack in here and this is by far my favorite treat these days. I have to admit, I'm a huge salty snacker and will much more often choose salty chips over chocolate anything any day, and these are my go to. They're a different taste, one that I don't think everyone will be able to get behind, but I like the uniqueness and the depth of flavor quite a lot. I can't even really describe it other than to say that it really does taste like what it's supposed to... and it's delicious. Am I alone in my love here?

Amsterdam Brewery Framboise Raspberry Beer
Since my boyfriend is a huge craft beer guy, we stopped at a couple of brew pubs while we were in Toronto this summer, and one of them was Amsterdam. With my lunch that day, I ordered the Framboise and instantly was in love with it. It's not as sweet or overwhelming as some other raspberry beers that I've tried and I find it really well balanced and delicious. Since then, if I've reached for a beer, I've reached for this one - since it was available over the summer at the LC in Manitoba. I do love a cold (fruit) beer in the summer!

Catharine Malandarino Lily Satchel
I picked this up at Marshall's recently and I'm pretty much in love with it. I was looking for a new handbag that had some structure, handles, a detachable strap, and a zipper closure and this ticked all of the boxes - and it was in the budget, unlike the Kate Spade bag that I fell a little bit in love with. I just think this is a great bag, a little bit more sophisticated than a lot of the bags I am known to carry, and spacious enough to carry everything I need for every day. Not bad, right?

Men's Quiksilver Flip Flops
I know, I know... I should be wearing lady flip flops, and I do. But seriously, my friends, there is nothing so comfortable to me in the summer as a pair of mens flip flops. I picked these up at boathouse after borrowed my brother's flip flops to run something out to my car one day, because the comfort was REAL, and I'm pretty much in love with them. I think it's something about the thicker sole and straps that make these extra comfortable for me, and I got no shame in wearing these pretty much every time I'm running around on a hot day.

Camelbak Eddy Bottle
Sometimes it's hard for me to remember to drink water. The day gets busy and sometimes getting water into my body isn't the easiest thing to accomplish, but this water bottle in my savior in that regard. Now, the bite valve isn't going to be for everyone, but I definitely love it. And I can carry this around easily so that I don't have to worry about dehydration... and trust me, that has always been a bit of a problem for me.

So there you have it... A few of the things that I've been loving this past summer. Now that it's fall, some of these will be sticking around and others will be filed away, but that just means it's time for some new favorites.

I'd love to know what you've been loving this summer and if any of these things would be on your list!

Thanks for reading!

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