July 2020 goals

1 July 2020

Happy July, friends! This middle-of-the-year month is always sweet: I get to celebrate some of my favorite people (we have 6 birthdays in 6 weeks between our family, siblings, and parents!), I usually get to spend time in some of my favorite places, and I get to enjoy some of my all-time favorite things… peach desserts, homegrown tomatoes, blueberry picking, swimming holes, and boat rides, to name a few.

No matter what your calendar holds — whether it looks like any other July or totally new — I hope you get to enjoy a few of your favorite things this month, too!

P.S. I mention this below, but feel free to sign up for the new EFM “newsletter” right here! It’s just a simple email alert every time a new post goes live (and the formatting is admittedly wonky), but it’s something many of you have asked me for for years, so I’m happy to finally deliver!

On my calendar this month:
— The birthdays of my two best guys! Looking forward to celebrating them both.
— Road trips to Maine and Connecticut! I can’t wait to spend time in two of my favorite places with some of my favorite people.

What I’m loving right now:
— If you’re still in need of a mask (or need to add to your collection), this one shipped super fast and is comfy! June and I also have a matching blue floral pair :)
— I have used whitening toothpaste for years, but never really felt like it made much of a difference (I’m also a wimp and can’t stand the sensitivity from things like white strips). This toothpaste has made a noticeable difference in the last month with NO sensitivity – highly recommended!
— Right now, growing the faith of my children is the weightiest and most intimidating responsibility in my life (thank God I’m not doing it alone!). I really appreciated this episode from Nancy with encouragement and a few simple ideas.

As a reminder, you can find allll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here – including the recipe for that delicious peach and blackberry crumble up there!

What I read in June:
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | I have been talking about this classic with Lisa for years, and I’m so glad to have finally experienced it! As she joked, it’s a book where nothing really happens — and yet, you grow so attached to the characters.
World Without End | The massive sequel to my favorite fiction read of 2019. It did not disappoint, though many people who’ve read both told me they prefer this one, and I think I enjoyed them equally! The plague is a major plot element, which made for interesting reading in this season.
Just Mercy | I am three chapters in and know this is going to be an incredibly impactful read. If, like me, you have grown weary of the hot takes, gleeful shaming, and educational oneupmanship that has accompanied June’s racial justice movement on social media, you might find it equally refreshing to be educated by such a wise, compassionate expert in long-form.

My library just reopened for grab & go books, so I’m excited to get back on track with my 2020 reading list as best I can!

Revisiting my June goals:
Add more diverse faces to our family library (Our latest additions have arrived and been thoroughly enjoyed!)
Finish reading Matthew with John
Set up a simple email newsletter for EFM (Yes! You can sign up here! It’s still a little wonky, but this is a really simple way you can be notified of new posts if you don’t use a service like Feedly. Enjoy! :))
Write some entries in our COVID-19 family journal. (Did not get to this!)
Photocopy favorite recipes from cookbooks to round out our recipe binder
Book our camping trip for this fall (Confirmed a date but have not booked yet!)
Have a little three-person game night every Friday this month with June, after Shep goes to bed. (She and I spent time coloring our gigantic print from Camp Castle instead! Planning to try this goal again in the future!)
Use the Peloton app to move every day this month on days we don’t ride our bikes or otherwise exercise. (Yes! This was a huge success!! Loved doing 5-minute arms and a stretching session almost every night with John – having him onboard was a game changer. Will continue with this as a daily goal in my PowerSheets!)

July goals:
— Begin reading Mark with John
— Hang artwork bulletin board in the loft
— Book our camping trip for this fall
— Sort through my SCC secretary responsibilities and make an easy-to-follow yearly checklist
— Watch Just Mercy with John after finishing the book
— List chairs for sale
— Buy a new handbag (more on this soon…)
— Edit June in June, Volume 5!
— Have a walking date with my new neighborhood friend Elaine
— Post my photo organization guide (!)

Keeping things (fairly) simple for this month with lots of travel! I’d love to hear: what’s your absolute favorite dessert? John always chooses an ice cream cake for his birthday, and I’d say I’m split between the peach and blackberry crumble above and homemade chocolate cream pie… yum!!

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July 1, 2020 8:01 am

What an incredible month you have coming up! July is one of my all time favorites as well. That peach/blackberry crumble looks incredible. My favorite is probably just berries and cream!! Followed closely by our neighborhood macaron shop!

July 1, 2020 8:20 am

I am 6 chapters into “Just Mercy” – wow!

July 1, 2020 8:28 am

My favourite dessert is anything chocolate – cake, cupcakes, brownies, ice cream…I’m not picky! I also love fresh fruit, especially in the summer. Your goals for this month make me feel SO much better about the short and simple list I made for myself this month!

July 1, 2020 9:41 am

I’m going to have to make this peach and blackberry crumble — it looks amazing!

Related to your toothpaste comment: Do you use an electric toothbrush? I felt the same way about the ineffectiveness of whitening toothpaste until we bought Quip toothbrushes last year. When I compare photos pre- and post-Quip, I can see a huge difference in my teeth. (I feel like this sounds like an ad but I just really love my toothbrush, ha!)

July 1, 2020 9:48 am

My favourite dessert is chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream x

July 1, 2020 4:17 pm

Dying to discuss ATGIB with you!! Also, more interested than I want to admit about your search for a new handbag, ha! :)
My very favorite dessert is chocolate chip cheesecake, though carrot cake is a close second!

Kate W.
July 1, 2020 9:31 pm

My favorite dessert is blueberry buckle. Recently though my 4 year old & I have been making yogurt freezer pies. Cool whip, 2 Chobani cups & a prepare graham cracker crust. Easy for him to help with and we have fun trying different yogurt flavors and decorating with fruit. Has been a nice treat especially while we await a new oven to replace our recently broken one. No time like summer for grilled food & no-bake pie!

July 2, 2020 3:26 pm

Hello Em!
I am so excited to sign up for your email list! I was just thinking I wish you had one last time I popped over and it was so joyful to be able to sign up and I excitedly await your next post and email!

Loved your July update and yes I was drooling a little over that cobbler!

Kiana Yeasley

July 5, 2020 1:57 am

The Just Mercy film was great after reading the book. I’m biased, but I also recommend True Justice, the documentary Kunhardt Films made about Bryan and his work. You can watch for free here: https://www.kunhardtfilmfoundation.org/film-archive/true-justice. I’m also excited to hear about your handbag search, as this is on my list too! Happy July :)

July 8, 2020 2:01 pm

I thought of you and your Maine/Connecticut visits when I saw that this area has started restricting incoming travel from North Carolina (hope that’s not too weird, ha!). I hope you’re still able to make your trip and that everything goes smoothly! For us it likely means we won’t be leaving this region to visit family this summer, though I’d honestly have been super anxious about traveling anyway!

July 11, 2020 2:42 pm

I always love reading your goal posts — my favorites! Thanks, as always, for the inspiration. I’m eager to try your peach and blackberry crisp recipe and I’m even more eager to read your photo organization guide. You mentioned working on this months ago, and I’ve been anticipating it ever since. I’ve already integrated your Social Print Studios “best of the year” photo practice into my home, and it has brought me so much joy… both looking at the photos, and watching my 1.5 year old look at them. She likes nothing better than staring at our magnet board, pointing to each photo, one at a time, and having us tell her who/what/where is going on in the picture.