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A monthly list of good things to see, do, buy, read, watch, and more.

Good things list 52

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And just like that it’s August.

For us in the Pacific Northwest, it’s still the middle of summer – kids don’t go back to school here until after labor day, so we’re in full-on warm weather playing mode for the next month.

Plus, it literally just got warm for us this last month so I want all the summer we can get!

Last month was a mix of some hard things and fun things, like most months. But there are always good things to find and be grateful for – if we remember to look!

Good Things List

excavator removing farmhouse cement pad

Outdoor Cement Projects Started

We started our next outdoor project at the farmhouse – removing some decaying cement pads before laying cement walks, new pads, and building wooden stairs from the driveway to the sunken garden area and backdoor.

Our neighbor came with his excavator to dismantle the cement pad closest to the farmhouse. He could just pick up huge pieces with it – SO much easier and quicker than using a jackhammer like we’ve done in the past.

We’re having the broken cement pieces moved to where our new kitchen patio will be to use as fill since we need to raise it up a few feet. Plus, it’s a huge savings over paying to have it disposed!

So excited to see this process begin, since then we will be able to finally work on the area that still has black plastic by the back door.

This is the summer of #allplasticgone for me – some of the areas covered with plastic have been there for three years!!

Once we get these areas done, we’ll be able to add the gravel fire pit patio and hopefully have the driveway graded and graveled in the near future.

healthy garden basil mid july

DIY Insect Spray To the Rescue Again

My homemade insect spray again saved the basil plants in our veggie garden! Our cool, wet spring was hard on the bean and basil starts which allowed bugs to wreak havoc on them.

They were pretty sad looking, but as soon as I sprayed them with the DIY bug spray they looked better in less than a week!

And that’s all the boost they needed to be able to grow beautifully (well, and the warm weather that finally came, ha!).

The photo above was taken about a month after I applied the spray once.

That’s probably the #1 question I get about the spray – how many time to use it?

I always answer to spray once and wait to see.

For me once is usually enough, sometimes twice. I’m not looking for perfection (you can see there are still some holes in the leaves in the photo above), I’m just wanting the plant to grow enough to be healthy and sustain a bug bite or two on it’s own.

The pole beans have also responded well to one application.

I love having this spray in my gardening arsenal!

Have you tried the DIY bug spray in your garden? I’d love to know your results! (You can go here to see other people’s results that have shared, too – it’s pretty amazing.)

pacifica beauty lip tint with lid off-fig

Pacifica Beauty Color Quench Natural Lip Tint

I discovered Pacifica Beauty recently and am trying some face products from them. They are cruelty free with good reviews and decent prices.

While ordering, I found their Sugared Fig Natural Lip Tint which I hoped would replace my favorite Burt’s Bees Fig Lip Tint which is becoming hard to find and has a mint flavor that’s been irritating my lips lately (sadly).

I’m happy to say I love it the Pacifica Beauty tint! It’s really moisturizing and is a great color – very similar to my natural lip color, but just a bit darker which is perfect for me.

I wish it stayed on longer, but you can’t have everything. It’s a good price so I can grab one to carry in my purse too, to refresh as needed.

Pacifica Beauty Color Quench Natural Lip Tint, Sugared Fig – Amazon (cheaper if you have Prime because of free shipping)

Pacifica Beauty Color Quench Natural Lip Tint, Sugared Fig – Company Website

leather like white tissue box cover on toilet back

Leather-Like Square Tissue Box Covers

For years I’ve bought the bigger boxes of tissues – they are the best deal and we go through tissues, especially in the summer.

But with our bathroom remodel, the box wasn’t fitting well on the toilet so I decided to go with smaller, square boxes.

I can’t stand the colors and designs the boxes come in though, and I remember seeing some fake leather looking tissue covers on another blog somewhere, so I found a set of t that would work as covers for the square boxes.

They’re pretty cheap so I wondered what the quality would be – I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived. They are pretty heavy duty and fold out easily to hold the box.

I really like how they blend in with their surroundings – so much so that I added one to my desk in the kitchen. Now I don’t need to go to the bathroom every time I need a tissue. #winning.

2 Pack Tissue Box White Leather-Like Covers. (They come in other colors, too, like brown, gray, and black.)

July Reads

July 22 Reads covers

Finding Me, Viola Davis. This memoir is read by Ms. Davis and the story of her youth is harrowing to say the least. I don’t think I’ll ever look at rats the same way again. And I have so much compassion for the kids in school who may be hard to be around because of hygiene, language, and roughness. Just a whole lot of new things to think about. Hearing about her determination to make it in theater and movies was interesting, but it was the stories of her growing up that will stick with me for a long time.

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis. I’ve read this book twice I think, but I decided to listen to it this time (I’ve found it’s great to listen to a book I’ve read in the past, it gives me another way to think about the content). I always gain insight from this book on how to live and think as a Christian.

The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, Ron & Clint Howard. This is a fun look at Ron and Clint Howard’s childhood acting and how their parents grounded them and steered them. It’s refreshing to hear how principled they were – they managed them, but only took 5% – all the rest went into a fund that they accessed when they turned 18. You also get a lot of behind the scenes look at Ron’s movies like American Graffiti, and later shows like Happy Days and how he always wanted to direct and found ways on all his acting gigs to learn and network.

The Matrimonial Advertisement, Mimi Matthews. I just discovered this author last month and she’s a really good writer of historical romance stories that make you want to keep reading. This book is set in the Victorian era and really hooks you in right away with the heroine answering a sort of mail-order bride advertisement. There is a mystery about why she is doing it – she’s afraid of someone – and why he is advertising. He’s a war hero with scars and so there’s that angle, too. Best of all, the story focus is about them and their friends and lives – not about some outside “evil” or mystery. This is a “closed door” romance and just a fun read when you want something light with a happily ever after ending. This is a 4-part series and I’m reading the second now, which also hooked me in the beginning.


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Marry Me, Amazon. I knew exactly what kind of movie this would be – which is just was what I was wanting! It’s sweet and funny and light. JLo sings and look amazing. It’s not very believable, but that’s not the point, is it?

Old Man, FX/Hulu. Wow, this is violent. And I’m so amazed that Jeff Bridges can do all this at his age (and with his medical issues). It’s an interesting story, though, with lots of mysterious backstory.

Nightmare Alley, Hulu. We learned that this dark film noir-ish movie was based on a book written n 1946. The name is terrible, because it made me think it was horror. It’s not, but there is violence and it’s a sad movie full of great performances with a “you reap what you sow” conclusion.

The Northman, Peacock+. Brian really wanted to watch this movie that is the source material for Shakespeare’s Hamlet and it’s as violent as I thought it would be. Yikes. But I also found it really sad by the end. So yeah – dark and sad. Not the best recommendation is it?

That’s it for another addition of the Good Things List!

If you’d like to see more of what I’m enjoying, you can check out all the Good Things Lists here. I’d love to know what you think – if you’ve tried any of these or what you’d recommend. Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

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