July of 2011 was the only part of the summer that we spent in Ontario. I thought it would be fun to do an end-of-the sitcom, "what have we learned?" kind of post.
1. July is the only "hot" month in Ontario. So eat something cold.
By that I mean we had a week of temps in the high-80s to mid-90s and a fair bit of humidity. Our central air fought bravely, but it was stuffy in our apartment for a while. Our solution to this was to keep the oven and stove off as much as possible and expand "Salad Night" into "Dinner."
A caprese-style salad with mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and arugula.
We also made potato salad for lunches with this recipe and an amazing strawberry pesto pasta salad that I didn't photograph, despite its beauty.
Other salad favorites this month: Greek barley salad and this delicious, extremely simple chickpea salad. Those chickpeas are going to be on the menu again soon, and would be perfect to take to school or on a car trip.
When my parents were here, we decided to show off the fabulous Asian grocery store we've recently fallen in love with, United Market. We bought these red bean ice cream bars as a sort of experiment, and John and I LOVE them! They're so creamy (and full of sugar). It's a totally different context for beans and it's delicious.
The same company makes a lot of other flavors and now I want to try all of them.
2. When it's hot, get out of the apartment and go to the beach.
This one shouldn't take a lot of 'splainin. The beach is awesome and breezy. It's currently John's favorite place to take a nap.
Even though this July had the hottest day on record in London, ON, I managed to give myself frost bite by leaving an icepack on my hamstring and then falling asleep while watching "Kingdom of David: The Saga of the Isrealites." Please enjoy this picture of the back of my thigh, just above the knee. It stung for a day or two, and then went away, kind of like a sunburn. Giving myself frostbite on what was literally the Hottest Day Ever was one of those moments when I felt grateful for my now 8 years of higher education.
That red shape is from the ice pack wrinkles.
3. Say yes to rearranging your furniture.
The above photo was our bedroom, and now it's The Den. The ceiling fan in that room was a plus, but it also has eastern facing windows that allowed Mother Nature to wake us up really early every morning. The sun is so strong that I felt like I was getting a tan line from my pjs. It's also a small room, so we bumped into each other as we got dressed, and I whacked my leg on the bed pretty much all the time (because I'm obviously coordinated; see above).
And now our big, former living room is our big, current bedroom. No apologies for the unmade bed.
From the perspective of the bed. The curtains are temporary and make it look like a harem.
We are in love with the new arrangement, as all of the air conditioning/heat vents are now free and the air circulates better. We also have tons of room to get dressed and exercise in the space near our dressers. It makes sense to keep our living room in the smallest space, since we use it the least of any room, and we rarely have more than 2 people over at once. It actually makes the apartment feel bigger than before.
That pretty much wraps up July.
During August, John and I are spending several weeks in Chicago so that he can do research. I'll be doing school work, too, but from my aunt's couch, thus allowing me plenty of time for general fun in the city. If you have a recommendation for a Chicago activity/place to eat, please let me know! I hope to have some fun pictures and things to post here from that trip.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!