Saturday, July 2, 2016

Coffee Talk - July edition

Happy July 4th weekend! I am linking up with CocoDeborah, and Lynda for the July edition of Coffee Talk.
This link-up asks: "If we were having [insert choice of beverage here] together, I would tell you..."

I'm not traveling this weekend, but next weekend Adam and I are going to Saugatuck, Michigan. Saugatuck is a beautiful beach town with local wineries, fruit orchards, and art galleries, among many other great attractions. We've visited a couple of times in the past, but haven't explored a lot. Would you believe we've never even been to the beach there? That needs to change immediately!
Aerial view of Saugatuck
Source
Adam and I have an old coworker who lives there and volunteers for Saugatuck's visitor/tourism bureau. How cool is that? We are hoping to reconnect with her while in town.

Incidentally, the timing of next weekend's getaway is perfect because the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon is the following weekend. Translation: a stepback in training next week, so I don't have to worry about doing a long run in Saugatuck. Woo hoo!

It's fun to see locals in action. This morning, I was up at the crack of dawn to knock out a 12-mile run. While wandering through various neighborhoods, I decided to follow part of the Chicago Marathon course. I ran through Chinatown, then continued on through the Bridgeport neighborhood. This led me past U.S. Cellular Field (home of the Chicago White Sox).
The Cell is within walking distance of Chinatown. Wouldn't you know it - there were a bunch of elderly Chinese folks doing tai chi at the Cell's parking lots. I didn't have my phone with me to take a picture, but it looked somewhat like this:
It was a very cool scene, and definitely an unexpected little discovery. Way for people to utilize open spaces, eh?

I am trying to develop a green thumb. A few weeks ago, my mom gave me a gift that keeps on giving - a basil plant. I've tried growing basil in the past without much luck. This time, I read up on the proper way to prune a basil plant - and it has already made a big difference.
It's a good thing the basil has been growing quickly because I have high demand for it in my cooking. I've already made a big caprese salad and have lots of pesto dreams on the brain. Grow, basil, grow!

One good thing leads to another. Xaarlin heard about my basil and mentioned she's growing a pineapple mint on her deck. Earlier this week, she generously gave me a few cuttings to nurture. Look at how adorable they are!
I need to get a pot and some gardening soil so I can plant these little babies ASAP. I'm already brainstorming culinary ideas for them, too. Chiffonades over fruit salad, anyone?

Finally - when I was in DC in March, I went to a create-your-own-succulent-garden workshop with Vanitha and Dina. I've now got this cute mini-garden in my living room:
The dream is to someday be able to grow my own fruits and vegetables - so it's fun taking baby steps to build up my horticulture experience.

I've got a low-key July 4th weekend planned. I've got work to do for quarter-end close. Our friend Lindsay is in town from Pittsburgh, so we'll be meeting up with her at some point. Tomorrow, my mom is coming up and wants to go see the fireworks downtown. Other than that, I'll quote the Fresh Prince in that it'll just be a lot of chillin' out, maxin' relaxin' all cool. (I won't be shooting any b-ball outside of the school, though.) =D
Tell me what you're up to over the holiday weekend!

16 comments:

  1. Margaret has some left over potting soil I bet she'd let you have! I've tried growing tomatoes, peppers and various herbs on my balcony but didn't have much luck. My petunias, however, are growing like crazy this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh, thanks for the tip - I'll reach out to Margaret! I think it's hard to grow anything on our balconies because the conditions can be harsh with the wind. I've had a few plants get blown over on my balcony! Very cool that your petunias are thriving, though - it's always nice to have beautiful flowers at home!

      Delete
  2. Happy 4th! I love your succulent garden - and how perfect for Chicago (apartment/smaller space) living!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy 4th, Natalie! Thanks so much! Yes, succulents are perfect since they are compact and don't require a lot of attention. =)

      Delete
  3. Hope you have a great weekend! Saugatuck looks beautiful! Nice work with the 12 miler. Somehow I still haven't gotten my long run in yet this week. It will have to be a Sunday long run this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kayla, I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy not having to work, too!!! Hopefully your long run went well yesterday. We're in the final stretches in preparation for RnR Chicago - woo hoo!!!

      Delete
  4. Your Michigan stop looks lovely :) I hope you have great weather and some winery fun!
    Sounds like you picked a great long run route. Urban running is very different from what I have around here lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Karen! I hope you have a fantastic July 4th weekend, and a great week and weekend next week, too! Yes, urban running is quite a different animal! It has it's pluses and minuses. Always nice to mix things up where possible, though, yes?

      Delete
  5. I hope you have fun in Michigan! That town looks lovely! I am working all weekend, so we don't have any major plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! I hope work goes smoothly for you this weekend! Hopefully you'll get some other time off very soon to make up for having to work the holiday weekend - you completely deserve it!!!

      Delete
  6. I would also love someday to have a big vegetable garden! Currently not possible due to my yard situation and just not having the time & energy for it these days. But someday hopefully. I might try to join a community garden next summer... Do you have one near you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Completely understand - I live in a high rise building so I have no yard to speak of, and gardening does take a lot of time and energy! There's a lot more science to it than I realized. And for you, with two kids, a husband, and working, there really are only so many hours in the day! I've never looked into a community garden, but that is a great idea! Thanks for the suggestion, I am off to Google now. =)

      Delete
  7. Saugutuck is AWESOME. You're going to have such a nice time there! The construction on my deck (aka the sunny area of my apartment) wrapped up last week, so I bought a basil plant and thyme plant from Trader Joe's on Friday and planted them on Sunday. We'll see how they do. I kept on basil plant alive for almost a year back in 2013, and then almost instantly killed another basil plant in 2014, so I'm interested to see how this one will do. This is also the first time I've tried to grow herbs outside, which I imagine will make a difference. Fingers crossed, though!

    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, thanks so much, Bethany! That is fantastic that the sunny part of your deck is now available! I forgot about Trader Joe's selling herbs, a thyme plant would be terrific to have at home, too. I'd also love to grow some dill and parsley. Note to self for next time at TJ's. =) Good luck with your basil and thyme, I bet being outdoors will help a lot with the photosynthesis!!!!

      Delete
  8. Oh how cool!! A tai chi lesson in progress! that sounds really cool!

    Good luck with your plants!!

    I hope you had an awesome low key 4th of July weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Ana! I've only done tai chi once and didn't understand what was going on, so maybe it's worth it to try it again? Fingers crossed the plants do well. I hope you had an awesome July 4th weekend, too!!!!!

      Delete