Five July Favorites

I feel like the month of July flew by faster than any other month so far. But, that’s sort of how it happens, right? As the end of the year approaches, days and weeks and months just sort of slip by faster and faster and before I know it, I’m sitting down in front of the computer and typing obligatory year-end blog posts. It doesn’t help that I’m struggling with being present and living with intention. Everything just sort of feels like auto-pilot right now, and I don’t know how to turn it off. So, as usual, I am taking a moment at the end of the month to reflect on all of the great things that happened because sometimes I just need a little reminder. Here are my five July favorites:

Oliver’s New Toys

“New toys” also happened to be one of my May favorites because let’s be real– they are just as much for me as they are for my toddler. I can only play with pipe cleaners so many times before I need to hide them in the back of the closet so Oliver can’t find them. Our new batch of toys include jigsaw puzzles, counting bears, color-sorting activities, and a 500-count sticker book. And, you know– “500 stickers” sounds like a lot, but in the hands of a toddler, it’s really not. Despite all of the new toys, coloring remains Oliver’s passion.

Speech Therapy

During Oliver’s 18-month wellness visit, we were referred to a speech therapist because Oliver only had three words, and he was very reluctant to use any of them except “no”. At first, it was one of those moments when I felt like I was failing my son, but following a particularly vulnerable Instagram post a few weeks ago, I learned that speech delays are actually really common. I was astounded by the amount of tea friends who reached out to me and let me know their kiddos went through speech therapy too, and it made me feel less alone.

As for the actual speech therapy, Oliver kind of loves it because he gets to play with someone who isn’t me for 45 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, he felt frustrated at first because he’s never had to use his voice to get something before, but after 6 or 7 appointments, he’s experimenting with a bunch of new sounds, and he has even added three new words to his vocabulary– “nana” (banana), “yeah”, and “cee-cees” (Reese’s…peanut butter cups). His voice is so gosh darn adorable!


It’s my birthday month, and I may have gone a little overboard in purchasing tea. Highlights include the Idris Hot Chocolate Chai from Calabash Tea, Sleigh Ride from DAVIDsTEA, the Chocolate Spice and my new latte kit from Just Be Tea Co., and of course, the Birthday Tea from Adagio Teas. Seriously though, the Idris Hot Chocolate Chai and the Chocolate Spice are deserving of their own post or their own TeaTube video, so watch out for those as the weather starts to cool and Chai season settles in.

The Crime Junkie Podcast

My dad introduced me to the Crime Junkie podcast during my recent visit to Ohio. He mentioned that two of the episodes were about a serial killer that prowled the streets during the 1980s…about an hour from where he used to live. After listening to those two episodes, I was hooked, so I have been binge-listening the podcast. Unfortunately, the only time I get to myself these days is after everyone has gone to bed, which means I’m listening to true crime podcasts until one in the morning. The episode about the Monster of Miramichi was especially horrifying, and every creak and cat-paw shuffle sent electric jolts of panic shooting through my body.

Making Time to Write Again

I noticed the dust settled on my blog again, but that’s my usual M.O. I contemplated abandoning BGO! because I wanted to invest my limited me-time on my TeaTube channel, but…I just can’t seem to let go of this space. It’s been my writing outlet for far too long; even just thinking about abandoning this blog for good made my world feel out of balance. So instead, I’ve turned myself into a night owl again just so I could write! (and/or create, in general) The only downside in every creak and cat-paw shuffle sends electric jolts of panic shooting through my body even when I am not listening to the Crime Junkie podcast.

Honorable Mentions

My birthday • Dropping Oliver off with family, so Jon and I could go on an almost-proper date (we ordered takeout and then ate in the middle of an abandoned parking lot because I’m not about to mess with the Rona) • Sharing tea with family • Sipping Hou Kui for the first time • Tea lattes • Park days • Sipping Laoshan Green Tea for the first time • The handwritten note from Just Be Tea Co. thanking me for being part of their community and wishing me a happy birthday • The unexpected (free) 1 oz. bag of Chocolate Spice from Just Be Tea Co. because it was my birthday • The best chicken soup I’ve ever eaten • Finally finishing Beowulf

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Jackie A.

Michigander. Bookkeeper by day; blogger by night. Some of my favorite things include: travel, photography, video games, sweater-weather, reading, and tea. The Harry Potter books are my favorite, and I can never have too much peppermint tea.

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