7 Things That Are Bringing Me Joy This Summer

I’ve made my peace with mostly being at home this summer. So here's a list of simple things that are bringing me joy right now.

7 Things That Are Bringing Me Joy This Summer
Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. / Unsplash

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As you probably guessed from my screeds against family travel, I don’t have any big all-family trips planned this summer. I will admit that I am having a lil bouts of envy of friends who are in different life and financial stages who are going on family trips to Europe and Costa Rica, but alas, I’ve made my peace with mostly being at home this summer. So this week’s newsletter is a list of simple things that are bringing me joy right now. As always, nothing on this list is sponsored so you know my recs are 100% genuine.

New Cooking Gadget: I decided I wanted to see if air fryers really lived up to the hype before I committed to buying one, so I borrowed my mom’s while she was away for the summer. My previous position was, “aren’t they just convection ovens? I have a convection oven setting.” My verdict: they do live up to the hype. I probably use it 5x per week at least, and I love that it heats up quickly but doesn’t heat up the house, needs minimal/no oil, and it’s fuss-free while cooking, especially while you are multitasking to get different things ready for a meal. My favorite things to make are crispy cauliflower hashbrowns, putting spices on shrimp that cook in 4 minutes, and jazzing up store-bought french fries. It’s also great for basically any vegetable. FYI, I didn’t do any particular market research since it’s borrowed.

Printed Photos! I had in my mind that getting photos printed was always a laborious process, but I recently learned you can get photos printed for FREE with the Shutterfly app, which easily synced with my iPhone photos. You just have to pay for shipping. I guess they do this with the hope of upselling you on framed photos and albums and other more expensive products, but anyway, getting some 4x6s printed and mailed for $3.46 total definitely makes my bargain hunter heart sing.

Easy Money: After my conversation earlier this year with Ashley Feinstein-Gerstley and reading comments from Double Shift members about managing finances once you have kids, I decided to open a High Yield Savings Account (here’s how they work) for our emergency fund which is making 4.15% interest rather than having it sit in our Chase savings account doing nothing. It’s making me feel like a real financial whiz watching the interest compound in there. I used Lending Club and it has no fees, is easy to transfer money back into our regular account and took literally less than 10 minutes to set up.

What I’m watching: Beef. This Netflix series is incredible, unexpected, demented, and also has very complex depictions of motherhood and career issues. I’ve always been a big fan of Ali Wong’s comedy and her acting in this series is next level.

Pods I’m enjoying: I’ve started listening to two new podcasts this summer, Scamfluencers and Foretold. Scamfluencers is a Wondery show that takes you through epic stories of scam artists (check out the two-part series on the Brazilian congresswoman, gospel singer Flordelis who adopted 55 children) and I also loved the limited run series, Foretold from the LA Times produced by former Double Shift team member Asal Ehsanipour, about the Romani community in California. I honestly didn’t know there were Romani people (also derogatorily known as Gypsies) in the US, so this show was very fascinating. Please email me with YOUR pod recommendations, I'm going on a solo road trip this weekend!

My Summer Uniform: I’m so obsessed with these lightweight, quick dry joggers that I have them in two colors, green and blue. I initially got one pair for hiking in Iceland last year on a whim at Dick Sporting Goods, which I’ve literally never shopped at before, and they’ve quickly become the best summer staple. I’m not really a shorts person and these keep me cool, have lots of pockets and basically work for all summer scenarios... over a bathing suit, getting sprayed by a hose by one of my children, super hot North Carolina summer outings, or working in my office. I generally pair them with an Old Navy T-Shirt. I know, just call me a fashion goddess.

New Summer Recipe It’s always nice to have a new recipe to try out for picnics and potlucks, so let me recommend this Tahini Coleslaw from the NYTimes. I’ve been embracing Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors this summer, and this one is a winner. Plus, it’s vegan, and you don’t have to worry about letting a mayo coleslaw sit out in a summer buffet spread.

For this week’s members-only thread, I wanna know... what’s bringing YOU joy this summer? Is a new ritual, clothing item, food or other simple pleasure doing it for you right now? Members, check your inboxes for that conversation tomorrow, as if you want in on the fun, become a member! You get members-only threads, audio newsletters, hangouts, and my undying appreciation. It starts at $7/mo.

Hey, moms who aren’t employed outside of the home, I’m looking for ya! (Also known as stay-at-home moms, or full-time moms, but both of those terms are kinda weird) I’d like to do a newsletter focused on your experiences. If you’d like to participate, tell me a little about yourself and I’d specifically like to know: "what are misconceptions people have about you? And what would you like moms in the paid workforce to know about you?" Feel free to shoot me an email at askthedoubleshift@gmail.com with your stories and I may be able to feature them in an upcoming newsletter.

Cool Job Alert: The Better Life Lab at New America (where I am a reporting fellow) is hiring a communications associate/editorial assistant. This could either be a full-time hybrid job for someone with a few years of journalism/communications/social media experience OR a part-time flexible, remote position for someone with more experience, like, for example, a mom with social media savvy who’s getting back into the paid workforce. You’d get to be integral to some of the most exciting research, ideas and conversations around work, gender, family and care in the country. Plus, BLL practices what it preaches about creating a culture where team members can thrive professionally within the realities of caregiving and family life. BLL is looking for someone creative, independent, and self-starting. Applicants from diverse racial and economic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Feel free to check it out and spread the word.


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