Things I Loved: July Edition

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Best of July: The Top 10 Things I Loved in June 2019 by popular midwest lifestyle blogger Stephanie Ziajka from Diary of a Debutante, cute golden retriever puppy on 4th of July, red gingham dog bow, 4th of July patio decor

Oh, hi August. You literally came out of NOWHERE. I feel like July (and March-June, too, really) completely flew by, and as excited as I am for fall, I’m kind of bummed that summer’s almost over. I realize summer doesn’t officially end until late September, but I’m from the South. We go back to school at the beginning of August, so it’s always been my arbitrary seasonal cut-off. This past July was the perfect way to end summer with a bang, though! In case you missed our proposal story, Kyle and I got engaged in Maine, and we’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions and attempted wedding planning ever since.

All excitement, sweat, stress, and happy tears aside, I’m sharing 10 of my favorite things that made the incredibly special month of July even better–

1. This wedding planner and organizer (the binder version) has been an absolute God send. Kyle’s cousin-in-law Erin recommend it to us, and I love all the scheduling/budgeting worksheets and lists of questions to ask vendors!

2. At the risk of sounding like a huge nerd, I’m really into zoodles right now. We bought this spiralizer on Prime Day, and it’s super easy (and actually pretty fun) to use. In case you’re interested, here is one of our favorite healthy zoodle recipes. We make it as a side with either salmon or grilled chicken, and it’s so good. It’s perfect for meal prepping, too!

3. Kyle lives in Allbirds, so I was elated to hear that they now make cute Allbirds flats for women! They come in 5 limited edition colors (although Marine and Starfish are my favorites), and they’re the perfect combination of colorful and comfortable. They run snug, though, so size up a half size if you order!

4. Our girls shed like crazy, so Kyle and I invested in this cordless Dyson Animal Pro+ vacuum on Prime Day. It’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny. The cordless/rechargeable feature is so incredibly handy for quick clean-ups and spot treatments.

5. These terry fleece shorts are the softest bottoms I own. I bought them in 3 colors on Prime Day, and it was the best $25 I’ve ever spent (they were $8 on Prime Day– they’re normally $12ish)! Also, if you’re bummed the BP. Cozy Shorts keep selling out in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, these shorts are cheaper and much softer. You can check out more popular budget-friendly Nordstrom sale look-alikes here!

6. Kyle and I are on a pre-wedding paleo kick, and the Crock Pot has been both a life and time saver. Check out two of our favorite paleo-friendly crockpot recipes here (Indian) and here (Chinese)!

7. I’ve seen so many people hate on Season 3 of Stranger Things, but I absolutely loved it! I thought it was much better than Season 2, and I was either laughing hysterically or on the edge of my seat the whole time. Plus, Steve Harrington has the best character development in all character development history, and I love him. 

8. Maine was wonderful, but it didn’t do my skin’s hyperpigmentation any favors. So, I’ve been using this REVERSE skincare regimen, which is ideal for reversing visible dark spots and sun damage, for the past week or so, and I’ve already seen a noticeable difference. Full disclosure– I’m not an R+F consultant, nor do I know anyone who is. I just like that their products are cruelty-free and come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

9. Piggybacking off #8, I haven’t gotten a facial in over 3 years (pathetic, I know), so I signed up for a series of 4 Obaji Medical facials at Massage Envy to try and alleviate some of my skincare concerns. I had my first one last weekend, and y’all– their products are so good! My favorites are their Hydrate Facial Moisturizer and ELASTIderm Eye Cream. They fit in well with my brightening skincare routine, so I’m hopeful the full lineup can help clear up my skin for good. Expect an update in a few weeks!

10. These Birkenstock-inspired sandals are under $15 and look just like the real $100+ deal. They come in 3 colors, too! 

What were you loving in July? Any skincare products or paleo-friendly recipes I should try? Shoot me an email or let me know in the comments!

Photography by Catherine Rhodes. Red gingham dog bow from Etsy


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