The end of summer countdown begins and each time the temperature drops, so does my heart. I love the sun, I love the beach, I love not having to wear layer upon layer of clothing, I love just being able to hang outside. I swear I’m going to retire someplace where the sun is always shining (Hawaii, is that you?).
Anyhow, looking back on my summer, some of its highlights include:
Going to San Francisco with my bestest friend ever (my twin sister, duh). We don’t get to see each other often, so this was a nice little getaway to a place we’d never been before. I hope that we get to do this at least once a year because it was so much fun!
Finally learning how to drive! As a born and raised New Yorker, learning how to drive wasn’t necessarily a priority when I can take the train, bus, bike, walk, or cab it just about anywhere. I finally decided to bite the bullet this year because being the honorary car “DJ” or navigator (a job at which I’m not ashamed to say I suck at) just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Driving is still a little scary, but I’m definitely getting the hang of it and with my road test in September, I think I’ve got this one in the bag!
Volunteering at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) as a Discovery Garden Docent! The BBG is, without a doubt, one of all-time favorite places in all of New York and getting the chance to volunteer with children and their families was awesome, especially because I’d grown up visiting the garden myself. If you’re also interested in volunteering (they’re recruiting for fall docents, by the way!), find out more here.
Definitely cutting off my hair! This is something that I think was a long time coming. I was desperate for a change, but the thought of cutting off my hair – while enticing – just also seemed really frightening. What if I absolutely hated it and had one of those makeover meltdowns a la America’s Next Top Model ? The only way to find out the answer to that question was to finally take the plunge and I’ve got to say that it was totally worth it!
As I watched clumps of my hair fall onto the floor and get swept into the trash, I felt almost like I was betraying it in some weird sort of way, but it also felt like the start of something new and exciting. I’m still very happy with my decision (although I’m finding that upkeep can be a b*tch), but I highly recommend. So if you’re on the fence about doing something different with your hair, give it a try and you just might love it too!
Getting my pretty red bike. I’m often prone to buyer’s remorse, but I adore my bicycle. I wanted autonomy from the hot, crowded trains and, yes, there are moments when I’m biking uphill and I feel like my heart is going to explode and there are also plenty of assholes who will cut you off, open car doors as you bike past, honk at you, curse you out, etc., but the freedom I feel from not having to wait on a muggy, smelly train platform to get to work (and also saving money on MetroCards!) makes it all worth it.
And of course the beach! Which is actually the inspiration for today’s post. A few weeks ago I went to the beach with my mom and she made this amazing raspberry, mint lemonade and I thought the only way it could be better would be to make popsicles and I was right!
The lemons add a bright, citrusy tartness, which is balanced out by the sweetness of the raspberries. I knew I wanted to add mint like in the original drink, but I didn’t want to blend it into the popsicles and have to continuously spit out tiny chunks, so I decided to make a mint-infused simple syrup, which provided a fresh cooling sensation that made the popsicles irresistible. Add some booze and you’ve definitely got yourself a winner!
As usual, I’ll be bringing these to share over at Fiesta Friday #134 and be sure to say ‘hello’ to Angie’s new cutie pie dog, Skye while you’re over there!!
Raspberry Mint Lemonade Popsicles
- 3 cups of water
- 1 1/4 cups of sugar
- 5 lemons
- 1/4 cup of mint
- 1/2 cup of raspberries
- Add one cup of the water, 1 cup of sugar, and the mint to a saucepan and heat just until the sugar dissolves. Strain the sugar, water mixture, discard the mint, and allow to cool.
- To a smaller saucepan, add the raspberries and the rest of the sugar. Slowly heat as you macerate the raspberries. Allow the mixture to slightly bubble and remove from heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any chunks and the seeds. Allow to cool.
- Squeeze the lemons into a bowl, add the rest of the water, and the minty simple syrup.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the raspberry mixture to the bottom of the popsicle molds. Pour the mint lemonade on top just until you reach the brim of the mold.
- Freeze for about an hour. Remove from freezer and insert popsicle sticks. Return to freezer and freeze until solid.