Welcome to the sixth installment regarding my monthly favorites.
It’s hard to believe that August has come and gone, and with it, many of the sweetest reminders of summer. Sure, the heat is still sticking around, but every afternoon there are now kids wearing backpacks, adverts for pumpkin spice on all my feeds, and many transitions from bare skin to plaid.
I love fall, but I’m having a hard time letting go of this sunshine season. Maybe because it’s been so, so good to me.
This month was one for the books. August started with an exciting new development at work, as we promoted a brand new water ride at my favorite hot springs, and held a media event for journalists. Mid-month, I helped to throw my best friend a surprise birthday party; it was carnival-themed, had a magician, and was pretty much the best thing ever. I started a new workout program, and have stuck to it every single day. Fantasy football? Drafted. Now, I’m applying for freelance writing jobs in hopes to buckle down and save money in a really serious way.
Maybe the best part of August has been an appreciation of where we live. Chad and I have hiked, experienced, and enjoyed much of Colorado’s beauty, and I feel so fortunate for that time together.
August is wrapping up with me jumping on a plane, by myself. I’ll be meeting up with my parents in Washington, then riding in their Airstream toward Montana. Along the way I’ll get to spend time with my brother and his family (all the way from India!), and I couldn’t be more excited to have a quick-but-quality travel experience.
On the blogging end, I started reaching out to more brands (cross your fingers for me!), am almost to 700 followers on the gram (follow me at @sunshinewithsavannah if you’re interested!), and have been creating content I care about. It’s bliss.
And with that, here are my top picks for the month of August.
Bucket List Item: Maroon Bells
After living in the area for two years, Chad and I finally took a trip to the nearby Maroon Bells. Located just past Aspen, the Maroon Bells are two 14,000-foot peaks with a shimmering lake at the base; it’s the most photographed spot in North America.
It’s beyond gorgeous. We woke up at 4 a.m., admired the early-morning glow on the mountains, and went on two hikes. Despite intense morning crankiness, this was a one-of-a-kind bucket list experience. And check out the moon in the picture! So cool.
Event: Surprise Party
My best friend turned 25! To celebrate, her girlfriend (my other best friend!) and I teamed up to plan a carnival-themed surprise party. It was so fun, filled with games, prizes, Polaroids, plenty of White Claws, and even a live magician! I’m still so hyped up about this event. Too much fun.
Recipe: Egg Scramble
I’ve never been a breakfast person, for one very key reason: eggs have always made me want to puke. And when you don’t like eggs, breakfast can be pretty hard—it’s a focal ingredient for so many classic dishes.
HOWEVER, this month, I tried them again. And, when mixed with green peppers, onions, and slathered with salsa, I can both tolerate and enjoy a good scramble! This has completely changed what my meals look like during the day, and it’s a healthy choice. I’m very happy about this taste bud evolution.
Album on Repeat: Lover
Full disclosure: I went into Taylor Swift’s newest album as a seasoned fan. Despite her country roots, she has always been my musical guilty pleasure, and I’m still able to jam to “Picture to Burn” with the windows down, blaring my car stereo. With Lover, it’s the same thing. I can’t help it—I love it. My favorite songs are the titular track, “Paper Rings,” “The Man,” and “I Forgot That You Existed,” though I honestly like ’em all.
Workout: Focus T25
This month, I started a new (to me) Beachbody program. Focus T25 is led by fitness trainer Shaun T, and it’s a brutal cardio-heavy program. I sweat, then cry a little when the sweat gets in my eyes. The best part, besides Shaun T’s encouragement and the fact that his husband is in the videos, is that it’s only 25 minutes a day! Of torture, sure, but it sure does feel good to complete one of these bad boys.
TV Show: Jane the Virgin
A few years ago, I clicked play on a show just to appease a coworker. I had no idea the impact that Jane the Virgin would have. Not to be Overly Dramatic, but in addition to Jane being my number one favorite television series of all time (I have a VERY hard time ranking shows, so this definitive reaction means a LOT), the series helped me to realize my own dreams and passions and how possible it is to achieve them.
This show has everything that matters. Representation, characters that you can relate to, crazy plot twists and turns, gorgeous actors, emotional/silly/hilarious/heartbreaking/triumphant/normal moments, and just damn good writing.
This month, Jane the Virgin ended. It’s all on Netflix now. I feel empty now that it’s over, but I also feel complete, sans many, many tears. It’s hard to imagine a world without these characters, but I’m a better person and writer for watching the show and dumping all of my feelings into it.
Best Decision: Date Day
Chad and I made a pretty big decision this month, to commit to saving enough money to buy a house by June. This is a huge undertaking, but can be made possible with several money-saving cuts. The big one: rather than eating out once a week, our goal is to only go out once a month (this is tough, especially on the weekend). This day is hereby dubbed “date day.” Our first date day included a meal at Las Margaritas , drinks and live music at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and a soak at Glenwood Hot Springs. I already can’t wait for next month’s!
Book: Evvie Drake Starts Over
It’s official: I’ve been invited to a book club and I’m so dang excited. The book up for discussion is Evvie Drake Starts Over, written by Linda Holmes. I was a fan, and read the entire thing in about five hours. It involves a lot of fun elements that I enjoy, including a small town, baseball, smart dialogue, platonic soulmates, a hint of romance, therapy, and easy-to-consume writing. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this novel.
And that rounds out my August favorites! Thanks for tagging along on my pursuit of sunshine.