Thursday, July 20, 2017

Will to Not Wilt

Before I start this post, may I offer you a cool, fruity drink to sip upon? You'll need it.
Cassiopea Glassware - West Elm

Because it is hot, folks. And not *just* hot - icky, sticky, relentlessly, beating down with all its might hot. Facebook's On This Day app reminded me that this is a yearly occurrence as I scanned through past posts about needing a lake to jump in, a better air conditioner, beach access, or an endless supply of popsicles. Sometime in mid-late July, this unbearable weather takes over for a few weeks and we get melted ice cream and kids finding any spraying water source they can.

Washington Heights, NYC

I will say that when the temps soar above 90 degrees with 98% humidity and not a breeze in sight, I'm finding it slightly easier to cool off in Minnesota than New York City. That's one point for MN on the Big to Minne Apple Move scoreboard.

For one thing, you don't have to deal with the subway system, which in the summer becomes the closest thing to hell that any of us will (fingers crossed) ever encounter.
The Subway Spa - Improv Everywhere

But, despite the higher occurrences of central AC and green space here in the great north, it's still steamy and muggy beyond comprehension. And so I spend many a summer day during this time period trying to figure out how to keep my Irish/Scandinavian body comfortable in the temporary tropics.

Let's turn back to that drink, why don't we? The clean and crisp flavor of a gin & tonic is my go to when it is sweltering. I upped the summer quotient in this cocktail with berries, herbs, & a hint of floral. I promise, it doesn't make it too stuffy. Just prettier.

Thyme & Tarragon Triple Berry Gin & Tonic
(makes two servings):
  • 3 oz gin
  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • 2-3 oz Thyme & Tarragon Triple Berry Syrup*
  • Combine gin, St. Germain, & syrup and shake with ice vigorously. Strain into two rocks glasses filled with ice and top with tonic. 
  • Garnish with frozen berries, lemon, and thyme.
*For the syrup, I simmered 1 to 1 sugar-water, and a handful of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, added a few stems of tarragon and thyme and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes. Strain when slightly cool and keep in refrigerator.

But if you are going to be indulging in alcohol, make sure and match it with as much water consumption as possible. I find having a chic and reusable water bottle makes it all the easier to get in your needed H2O, especially on the go.

Water is really the key to keeping cool. Even being near or gazing at the water chills me out. But my favorite of all favorites is waterfall swimming. I blame my time in Ithaca - it is gorges, after all.
Amnicon Falls State Park, Wisconsin

A waterfall is not always accessible, but waterparks seem to be prevalent around these parts (surprising for a state that has such a short burst of summer), and I've been meaning to check a few out. Some even offer adult hours for exercising, like lap swims and walking the lazy river.

I don't have my own backyard currently, so THESE are out.

But, thanks to Slide the City, I could be slipping and sliding my way down a Minnesota main street this August.
Slide the City

Facial mists and sprays have been my best friend lately. One spritz of this rosewater version will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and it smells divine!

Pajama dressing. It is what I aim for on a daily basis - figuring out how to style pajamas so they look like actual clothes when in society. I'm just that into comfort. Or lazy. Or both? In the winter, it's all about long, all-enveloping cardigans and fuzzy leggings. In the summer? Moo-moos and oversized t-shirts. Light, loose fabric, with no particular shape and nothing that constricts. Something you could easily throw on over a swimsuit.
 Some feasible contenders from MadewellTarget, and Old Navy.

A few years ago, I took a deep breath and for the first time since childhood, chopped off my long locks. I enjoyed the edgy short-hair look for a couple of seasons, but lately I've been in the mood to grow my hair out past my shoulders again. I guess I'm no longer thoroughly modern and instead back in the bohemian romantic mood. I got giddy when I realized that my mane is finally long enough to put into a crown braid. Huzzah! I'll be utilizing this and other easy updo looks like THESE all summer long.

In the winter months, there is no better comfort food than a piping hot bowl of soup. The summer equivalent for me is a big bowl of cold asian noodles. You do have to boil water for the noodles, but other than that, no time spent hovering over a hot stove.

I went with plain old spaghetti, but you can use any noodle of choice. I forgot I had some of THESE sweet potato spiral noodles in my fridge - they would have been beyond perfect - next time! You can go crazy with the add ins; I went for snow peas, cucumbers, jicama, red pepper, rainbow carrots, and scallions. But simply the noodles as is sprinkled with sesame seeds would also do!

Cold Sesame-Style Noodles:
  • 1 lb noodles (see above comment)
  • 1/4 c nut butter (I used natural almond, but peanut butter, sesame paste, etc. will do)
  • Juice of 1 lime (2-3 tbsp)
  • 2-3 tbsp honey (adjust sweetness as needed depending on what type of nut butter you used)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha (plus more for garnishing)
Combine above ingredients, whisking until smooth. Prepare noodles according to package. Toss noodles with sauce. Chill noodles. When ready to eat, mix in any added veggies. Enjoy!

Now that I have my nosh ready to go, it is time nothing. Because doing nothing means not moving and not moving means not perspiring. Perhaps a day of Netflix and Chill? But like, literally chill, not "chill". 

There certainly are a host of shows to marathon and keep me on the couch, not moving. Oh, and reminding me that winter is coming. So maybe I should enjoy this heat wave while we have it?
The Ultimate Binge Watcher's TV Bible - Refinery29

How are you keeping cool this summer?
Do you wilt under the harsh, fiery sun or do you thrive in the heat?

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