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8 Satisfying Things I’m Enjoying This Summer

I don’t know about you, but I’m spending an inordinate amount of time at home these days, so today I’m sharing eight satisfying things I’m enjoying this summer.

I’ve always said it is the little things that make me happy and that’s even more true right now.

Eight Satisfying Things #1: Bug Zapper

I don’t know if there really are more bugs outside this summer or if we are just hyperaware of the number of bugs pestering us, particularly while we are swimming.

Handy Husband ordered this ultraviolet bug zapper and thinks it is the best thing ever.

I’m not joking. Find a person who looks at you the way Handy Husband looks at me this bug zapper.

Don’t even get him started on the little brush that comes with it to get the bugs out.

Actually, don’t even ask him about it unless you want him to talk nonstop for fifteen minutes about this bug zapper‘s features (it charges via USB and can last for 30 hours on a single charge!) and how he wants to take it camping.

8 Satisfying Things I'm Enjoying This Summer bug zapper

I’m not quite as enamored as he is (yet), but I’m hoping the bug zapper will work indoors this winter when the stink bugs and lady bugs come back.

You know our house is basically a haven for those creatures and I’m OVER IT.

Eight Satisfying Things #2: Life’s Slow Down

Don’t get me wrong, I wish a global pandemic had never happened.

That said, there are certain things I’m appreciating about our slowed down life. One of those things is all the walking that is happening in our area.

We live out in the country, which is amazing, but it’s not necessarily a walkable area. There are no sidewalks, for instance, and the speed limit is 45mph on the road in front of our house.

However, so many of our neighbors have started to take daily walks. Even if we only wave hello from across the road (no one is getting close without masks) or from our front porch, it feels good to see people out and about and reclaiming the roads for pedestrians.

colonial farmhouse front yard landscaping

Eight Satisfying Things #3: Pasta Bowls

My favorite type of dinner meals are one pot meals where all the ingredients (protein, grain, veggies) are combined together. This includes stir fries, pastas, burrito bowls, salads, etc.

This means we end up eating dinner out of bowls at least four nights a week. It works fine, but after eating a takeout Baja Grain Bowl from Panera the other week, I realized what we really needed were pasta bowls.

They are basically plates with shallow sides. The shallow nature of the pasta bowl keeps ingredients or sauce from getting buried at the bottom of the bowl.

The sides of the pasta bowl mean it is easier to get the food on your fork! Clearly, I should have started with that feature because it is the most important.

We feel so fancy now.

pasta bowl eight satisfying things i'm enjoying this summer

P.S. This fruit salad is what I eat for lunch almost every day. It’s just fruit and some sort of granola or toasted oats.

Are you shocked at what I eat? Or shocked that I eat the same thing for lunch every day? Or both? I also eat the same thing for breakfast every day (toast and berries). I do mix things up for dinner though, so don’t you worry.

Eight Satisfying Things #4: Food Safe Buckets

7 months into a pandemic and the availability of flour is STILL hit and miss at my grocery store. I hope you don’t have this problem.

That’s why we ordered some food safe buckets to use when we are able to stock up on flour. This is my first time ever owning such a contraption.

I’m used to five gallon buckets having a snap on lid that hurts your fingers to open. I know you’ve all experienced this too!

However, the food safe buckets we ordered to store flour (or rice or sugar or anything else) have a really nifty latching system that I’ve never seen.

The lid twists on, but then has a lever to release when you twist it off. It takes almost zero effort. My fingers are grateful.

food safe buckets eight satisfying things i'm enjoying this summer

By the way, since flour is so scarce in my area, I’ve been ordering flour direct from New Hope Mills in New York. They sell pancake mix, yeast, oats, and other items too.

Eight Satisfying Things #5: Scalp Brush

Let’s just say that cradle cap isn’t only found on babies.

Get ready for too much information!

It can also be found on kids that wash their own hair, but don’t really scrub their heads. Turns out, that’s hard to do in a 22-second long shower in which 19 of those seconds are spent protesting taking the shower.

I ordered a 2-pack of scalp brushes to help remedy this problem. I’m speaking about the cradle cap problem, not the protesting of showers problem.

scalp brush eight satisfying things i'm enjoying this summer

Of course I tried the scalp brushes myself! They really are quite delightful. It’s like giving yourself a little head massage in the shower. It’s the closest thing to a spa day I’m going to get for awhile.

Oh, and it’s helping with the kiddo’s cradle cap situation too.

Eight Satisfying Things #6: Cayenne Pepper

I like things spicy, but that’s not why cayenne pepper is on this list.

I’ve been sprinkling cayenne pepper on my hydrangeas and hostas to keep our groundhog from eating these plants. Apparently, groundhogs don’t like their greens spicy. Who knew?

According to Google, you’re supposed to mix cayenne pepper in water and spritz it on the plants. This probably won’t surprise you, but I grew impatient with that approach and for the last month I’ve just been shaking the cayenne pepper directly on the plants.

Shake, shake, shake. Shake, shake, shake. Shake your booty that cayenne. (You read that like how KC and The Sunshine Band sang it, right? Oh, good. Me too. )

That said, you know you shouldn’t come to me for plant advice, right?

cayenne pepper to keep away groundhogs eight satisfying things i'm enjoying this summer

I don’t really know if the cayenne pepper is keeping the groundhog away or if he’s just off munching on someone else’s plants. I do know that the cayenne pepper doesn’t seem to be hurting my plants – yet, but it’s only been a month. Give it time, people! Ha!

In this battle of Annisa vs. The Groundhog, I’m feeling very satisfied with the outcome so far, but I’m not holding my breath either. I’m confident that as soon as I let my guard down the groundhog will be back.

Eight Satisfying Things #7: Glass Spray Bottle

I started making my own cleaning spray while we were quarantined at home. It derived as a matter of necessity more than for any ideological reason. It was hard to find cleaning supplies!

The spray I needed was just something basic for the kids to use to wipe down counters and tables.

The simplest concoction I read about online involved a spray bottle filled with water and a drop or two of dish soap. You could add a drop or two of essential oils if you wanted too.

Since I’m used to wiping down counters with a soapy rag or sponge, this type of homemade cleaning spray made sense to me. Plus, it was cheap!

I refilled my then empty spray bottle of cleaner with my homemade cleaning spray and used that for months. However, that bottle was meant to be single use and the top didn’t come off easily to refill. It hurt my fingers and you know how I feel about things (aka 5 gallon buck lids) hurting my fingers.

Since I was really into my virtually no-cost cleaning spray, I bought some glass spray bottles to up my cleaning game.

I’m smitten with them now and feel oh, so fancy.

glass spray bottle eight satisfying things i'm enjoying this summer

In full disclosure, my 10-year-old did drop one of the glass spray bottles on our wood floor and it shattered. He wasn’t hurt and because the bottle just contained soap and water, it was the perfect time to mop the floor…after I picked up the glass.

Good thing I ordered the 3-pack of glass spray bottles! Ha!

Eight Satisfying Things #8: FreeTime App

Prior to the pandemic, our kids would go to the library to get books or they used the Kindle app on their iPads. The problem is their Kindle app was linked to our adult account. (I’m sure there was a better way to handle this, but we didn’t catch it fast enough.)

Eventually, Kindle started serving up adult titles to the kids as reading suggestions. If your kid likes graphic novels, let me assure you, they can get VERY GRAPHIC very quickly. I’m not a ‘ban a book’ person, but this was stuff that was highly inappropriate for kids.

We ended up removing the Kindle app and giving the kids Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. FreeTime is like a combination of Netflix, Kindle, and YouTube.

It gives them unlimited access to books that are definitely age appropriate. In fact, you can set the age of your child on the app so that it knows what titles to show.

The app also has movies, tv shows, and gamers streaming video game play. Because of the tv show access, we ended up cutting our Netflix subscription.

Not every book your kids will ever want to read is on this app (but there are thousands of books) and my 13-year-old daughter will probably age out of it soon. However, the cost for one year was similar to the cost of half a dozen books, so it made sense for when we couldn’t get to a library.

The only thing I don’t like about the app is that I can’t figure out how to control the amount of time they can spend watching things instead of reading things. I can shut off their access completely though and give them reading goals.

FreeTime would make a good gift to give if you are a grandparent or aunt/uncle looking to give something that isn’t toy-related.

That finishes up my list!

If you’ve been spending more time at home lately are there any satisfying things that have been making you happy?

Do share! Don’t hold back on me now.

I love sharing part of my day with you. Thanks for being here. If you’d like some other things to read, I can hook you up!

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