How is it possibly already the end of July? How?
Anyway - it's been a C-R-A-Z-Y month, but here are a few things I learned in July.
Dollywood has an amazing guest assistance program. If you travel with a child with any sort of disability, you know how difficult it can be to face long lines, loud crowds, and staring patrons. We spent two days at Dollywood this month and we were very impressed by their attention and care for their guests with disabilities. A quick stop at the ride accessibility office provided us with a card that gave us easy (and fast) access to all the rides, as well as a phone number we could call if we needed anything, or wanted access to Dollywood's new calming room. The Calming Room was fabulous. Thirty minutes of peace, quiet, books, comfy places to sit, and a break from the crowds. It was just what our girl needed to get through the rest of the day. Who am I kidding…it didn't hurt me, either!
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Cacao Nibs are amazing. They are my new favorite writing snack. They are tiny, it doesn't take much for me to feel like I've had enough (unlike milk chocolate which I can eat in large quanities and still want more), and they have the crunch from the cacao nib that makes them simply delightful. I'm a fan!
Lavender Oil is the BEST thing for burns. I promise I'm not going to turn into an essential oil evangelist, but despite my original skepticism toward them I have been blown away by how well Lavender Oil works on sunburns and kitchen burns (which I have a LOT of experience with). Our youngest managed to get a pretty bad burn after a day at the lake. I slathered him in some coconut oil that I mixed with the lavender. No complaints, no drama, and next morning, no redness. Even my husband was amazed. I keep Lavender in my kitchen for when I splatter myself with grease or attempt to reach into the oven and burn myself on the rack (don't ask). It works every time.
Chocolate Avocado Smoothie - I can't call this health food because people have checked the calorie/sugar counts and shared them in the comments (just look), but this is way better for me than a milkshake, and it satisfies my sweet tooth. Even better, my kids hate it. :) Probably because of the flax seed, or maybe it's because I don't use as much honey as called for so it's not super sweet. Regardless, I don't have to share!
Buy the big pot. I have several recipes that are part of our regular meal rotation. I make them often, and I usually double the recipe and freeze whatever is left to save myself some time and trouble later. The problem has been that I haven't had a big enough pot to double the recipe without having to divvy it up into multiple pots or deal with lots of spillovers. I finally broke down and bought a BIG pot. WHY did I wait to do this? It made meal prep so much more enjoyable and cleanup so much easier. Take my advice…by the big pot.