026 – Summertime Favorites

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Episode Summary

12 of Amy’s summertime favorites.


Items Mentioned

Helen Corbitt’s Chicken Salad


Welcome to the Piano Pantry Podcast where together we live life as independent music teachers. I’m your host, Amy Chaplin. In this space we talk about all things teacher-life related from organizing our studios to getting dinner on the table and all that comes between. You’ll get loads of easily-actionable tips on organizing and managing your studio while balancing life and home.

The day this episode drops it’s July 5, 2022 – the day after Independence Day celebrations. Since we are now officially in the dead of summer, I wanted to share with you just a lighthearted list of summertime favorites and then send you on your way for the week!

Here is my rough list of summer happiness.

  1. Corn fences. Living in Northeast Indiana my whole life except for the three years that we spent in Melbourne Australia, country living brings us a simple and yet beautiful comfort. Every other year our country property is lined in the most fabulous cozy corn fence. It’s a simple thing that feels like home.
  2. Cold drinks. Around mid June I switch up my mid morning cup or two of hot coffee for a large iced coffee. Over the years, I’ve gone from enjoying sugary sweet flavored ones to preferring it quite simple. Fill a large glass with ice, add 8 to 16 ounces of cold coffee whether it’s leftover brewed coffee from the day before or cold brew , and top it off with a splash of your milk of choice. Personally I like either cow’s milk or oat milk for iced cofffee. Coconut milk is OK but not great and Almond is a big no-no in my coffee. If the coffee is a little bitter sometimes I”ll had a small dash of sugar (coconut sugar is nice as it adds a little nuttiness). Either frothed or poured in works for me.
  3. Wendy Steven’s “America the Beautiful” rhythm cups resource. I used this for the first time last summer but my students really enjoyed it and it was a fun fresh activity to do over the course of two or three weeks in July.
  4. Iced tea. My family did not drink iced tea growing up so it wasn’t until a couple years into my marriage that my husband actually mentioned that he enjoyed ice tea. I had no idea! I just never made it because we never had it growing up. Now he’s got me hooked on unsweet tea. The more you drink drinks with less and less sugar the more you get acclimated to it and the more refreshing it is. The best place to get a good unsweet tea while on the run in our opinion is McDonald’s. It’s lightly brewed and not bitter. Besides that we have a little room for Micky D’s but their unsweet teas are a win and cheap to boot. Several years ago. I discovered a wonderful tea recipe from Ina Garten called “herbal iced tea.” It’s not even really herbal so I’m not weight sure why it’s called that but it is so refreshing I make it almost anytime someone comes over in the summertime. Now don’t worry, everything I mention today will have a link in the show notes.
  5. Strawberries, strawberries, and more strawberries. Enough said.
  6. Flip-flops. Now, I am completely picky when it comes to shoes. The older I get the more I value comfortable ones and I’m happy to spend more money and just buy less shoes. For the last five years I only wear one flip-flop and that is the Sanuk women’s yoga joy metallic flip-flop. They’re about $30 on Amazon and the base is made of yoga mat material. The crazy thing is even though they don’t have a lot of built-in art support, I can walk in these flip-flops most of the day and comfort!
  7. Fiction books. Well let’s be real here – I enjoy fiction all the time as much as I can. There’s something about reading it in summertime though that just makes me happy. Psychological thrillers are my absolute favorite although I do try to expand my reading repertoire as much as I can. I’m currently working my way through worse Ruth Ware‘s books. If you have any favorite psychological thrillers, send me a voicemail at the bottom of the show notes and let me know or contact me on social media!
  8. Salads galore! I think we eat a salad for lunch 3 to 4 days a week in the summertime. More so than even just lettuce-type salads, we love eating ham salad, egg salad, and chicken salad. Outside the months of June – September we almost never eat these things. Seasonal eating is the best. I also find it funny how each type of salad lends itself to a different delivery item. This is just personal preference of course but I love chicken salads on croissants, ham salad with crackers, and egg salad on bread. I have no logical explanation for any of those!
  9. Porch time. I cannot imagine living in a home without some kind of porch. I could sit for hours and hours on a porch. They’re even better with a porch swing or rocking chair. Unfortunately the porches at our house don’t lend well to either of these but I still love sitting in the space despite. I think my husband is OK with it because I tend to be a vigorous rocker. IF I get on a porch swing – there’ no stopping.
  10. Camping. Like iced tea, this is something I didn’t experience growing up but once my husband and I got married, he got me into. His family loved camping. We just tent camped for years but once we hit 40 it just for some reason wasn’t as fun. We bought a Bushwacker Plus 17’ teardrop shaped camper and are excited to put it to use with hopefully some big cross-country trips next summer. Camping is just a great way to get away from home, be in nature – depending on the type of campsite you’re at – and chill out.
  11. Downtime with friends and family. I’ll admit, this one is a hard one for me just because I can be a bit of a workaholic. Since we just got our camper, we decided to go camping for a full 8 days as opposed to our usual 2 or 3. Not only that but we’re doing it with a group of friends. Here’s to getting away!
  12. Grilling. When I was making this list I told myself I didn’t have a special number, I just wanted to lay out what came to mind first but then when I stopped I realized I was at 11 and just had to round it off at 12. Grilled burgers, brats, hot dogs, chicken, pork chops, portobello mushrooms you name it – it’s good on the grill.

I hope you enjoyed this short list of summer favorites and that you have a lovely holiday week with friends in family. Let’s keep this one short and sweet so you can enjoy the weather!

See you next week!