New This Month: July

The summer is flying by before my eyes, but not before before I discovered these newbies!

  1. Degno Di Nota Etsy Shop – I’m relatively new to shopping on Etsy, but I really love the idea behind it.  So many people have so many amazingly creative talents and it feels good to be able to support them in that.  I recently purchased a journal as a gift from Degno Di Nota.  Abby, the shop owner COULD NOT HAVE BEEN NICER and the finished product was absolutely beautiful.  Check out her shop for loads of cute journals and travel accessories.
  2. Figs – Nature’s candy is back in season.  For just a couple months a year, figs are widely available in this area.  I typically buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but there is also a fig tree on the base where I work, and I’ve been known to snag a few from that.  Figs are sweet and delicious on their own as a snack, but also when paired with other ingredients.  Check back this week for one of my all time favorite pizza recipes!
  3. The Susquehanna Bank Center – July was a big concert month for me but the absolute highlight of the month was seeing The Lumineers at the SBC in Camden, NJ.  Camden isn’t exactly known for being the safest of areas, but my friends and I took the PATCO (New Jersey public transportation) across the bridge from Center City Philadelphia, and it virtually dropped us off at the door of the venue, making getting in and out a breeze.  I absolutely adored the outdoor lawn seats, complete with a stunning view of the Ben Franklin Bridge and plenty of space to lay our blankets.  Since it wasn’t overly packed, nobody seemed to care as we twirled and spun to the folky rock music all night long.  What I didn’t love was that they were charging $12 for beers and $13 for Crab Fries at concessions.  I grumbled a bit, but then willingly paid.
  4. The Mann Center – Speaking of outdoor concert venues, I saw Fun. at the Mann Center this month as well.  The Mann Center is tucked into Fairmount Park on the west side of the river, and is surprisingly large for its location.  We just had lawn seats, but the pavilion itself is absolutely beautiful and the sound projects incredibly well up the hill.  Nate Ruess, the lead singer of Fun., has the most pure and powerful voice I’ve ever heard, so it was the perfect venue in which to see them.  I’m not sure that an enclosed arena would do his voice justice.  Oh and to top it off, the view of center city from the top of the hill at the Mann Center is reason enough to go to a show, but be forewarned, traffic coming in is a nightmare.
  5. Fun. Station on Pandora – While on the topic of Fun., their Pandora station is crazy good.  In addition to the namesake, you get lots of Mumford and Sons, Lumineers, Cage the Elephant, Imagine Dragon, and Foster The People.
  6. Glass Castle – I totally forgot to bring a book along with me to the shore this year, but good thing I found The Glass Castle hidden at the bottom of my beach bag.  Small One lent it to me last year and I totally forgot about it.  What a gem of a read.  Its a beautiful and  tragic memoir, that will absolutely tug at your heart strings.
  7. Target Slip On Shoes – I am currently OB-SESS-ING over my favorite slip on shoes from Target.  They are pretty much all I wear anymore (I have them in 2 patterns and almost impulse bought a third) so for approximately $16 a pop, I think they are a great deal.  Even better, I discovered that they are an excellent knock off of these $40 Madden Girl shoes.
  8. Welcome America 4th Of July Celebration – I normally am back home visiting my parents for 4th of July, but it just so worked out that I was in Philadelphia for the holiday this year.  And really, is there a better place to celebrate Independence Day than the BIRTHPLACE OF AMERICA??  I think not!  My friends and I brought blankets and coolers down to the parkway and found a nice spot in the grass to listen to the free concert (John Mayer, Hunter Hayes, Ne-Yo, The Roots, Grace Potter, and more!) and watch the fireworks.  I truly could not have asked for a better 4th… Philadelphia really has got it right with this event!
  9. More Summer Jams – I told you about some of my favorite summer songs last month but I’ve got a new list for this month.  I currently can’t get enough of Safe and Sound by Capital Cities, Round Here by Florida Georgia Line, and Running Out Of Moonlight by Randy Houser.  Blast them in my car on the way to work.  Every.  Day.  I’m pretty sure the guards who let me onto base in the morning hate me for it.

NOT SO NEW THIS MONTH:

  1. TAYLOR SWIFT – This one is old hat around here as everyone knows about my Taylor Swift infatuation.  Ok, I get that there are valid reasons that people find her annoying but, in reality, I sort of want to be her.  (Does that make me annoying too?)  Well my T Swizzle obsession rose to new heights this month when I… SAW HER IN CONCERT!  Roommate and I were able to get our hands on some last minute tickets to her sold out Saturday night show (at a discounted price, mind you).  I felt a little creepy and old considering most of the audience fell in the “tween” age bracket, but I loved every minute of it.  And I now all I want to do is wear her signature high wasted shorts everywhere I go.
  2. Village Whiskey – I went back to my favorite burger joint in the city, and once again confirm that the hefty price tag is totally worth it.  This time though, I upped the ante.  Instead of ordering the plain duck fat fries to go with our burgers, we ordered the… wait for it… wait for it… Sly Fox Cheddar Short Rib Duck Fat Fries.  Whaaaaaaaat??  I think I’ve died and gone to foodie heaven.
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