Monday, July 10, 2017

Sweet Summertime Reads with Estelle & Beating the Heat in the City + GIVEAWAY

This week's Sweet Summertime Reads post comes from a veteran blogger, who actually started this summertime feature with me several years ago. I'm excited to have Estelle from Rather Be Reading on the blog today sharing some of her tips on how to beat the heat in the city.

Summertime is not always about beach vacations, time off from work, and lazy days by the pool. We all come from different walks of life, from different corners of the world. I thought it would be interesting to see how Estelle spends her summers in New York City.

Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win a book of choice from one of Estelle's fave local indies + a pretty cool book to treat yourself with.

It’s always a treat to celebrate another round of Sweet Summertime Reads! Let’s be real – I’m not sure if I’ll ever get on a regular blogging schedule again – I’m mostly sharing book recs on Twitter @thatsostelle or Instagram @readinggals these days – but despite that, I’m still thrilled G asked me to contribute. On with the show!

Summertime is probably when I miss the suburbs the most. Growing up in New Jersey, I was always spending time in the backyard, swimming in the pool with my sister and my friends, and enjoying a BBQ. Living in Long Island for a few years, my husband and I lived so close to the beach, close enough to bring dinner there on weeknights after a commute home from work. There was always sand in our house. These days, we’re sweating it out in Queens and making the most of the quiet weekends when so many Manhattanites are in the Hamptons or on fancy vacations.

So I thought I would share a few ways I stay cool (duh, I’m always cool but you know what I mean):

1. Going to the library.

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you may have seen that I challenged myself to read these 40 books that have been in my apartment forever. In the past year, I’ve been in a read and pass along type mood so it’s a nice way to cull and make someone else happy to. Of course, this also means saving my dollars for #2 and #3 on this list and heading to the library. It’s air conditioned! You can stay for a few hours! You can borrow books and go to the next door coffee shop. (Something I do all the time.) It’s a win win.

On my list: Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (currently reading), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and Summerlost by Allie Condie. I also just finished Sarah Dessen’s Once and for All and Jamie Brenner’s The Forever Summer – which were both fantastic.

2. Investing in a lot of sundresses.

Sure, they are cute but they also sweep up all the sweat too. And are breezy – if the wind ever starts to blow. I basically live without pants all summer. You can quote me on that. Here are a few of my favorites: Lace Up Shift Dress (American Eagle), Off the Shoulder Maxi (Unique Vintage) and Leafy Ruffle Dress (Loft).

3. Trying new craft beer bars.

For the last couple of summers, my husband and I buy a beer passport for July through early September. For under 40 bucks, we can go to a 38 bars on this passport and get a beer FOR FREE. It basically pays for itself by beer #5. The passport has been an incredible way to support local businesses, explore new neighborhoods, and challenge ourselves to beat our record from previous years. (We have yet to finish the entire passport.)

While this is a limited NYC kind of thing, I recommend putting together your own challenge and get out there and support some new businesses.

4. No-bake treats!

It’s utter hell to turn on the oven in our tiny apartment. It’s actually hell all the time because our oven sucks, but it gets extra toasty in the summer. Time to TREAT YOURSELF. It’s true that my place of work is publishing this book (on August 8) but I’ve tried other no-bake recipes and NOTHING is quite as good as this crispy rice treat recipe made into a fun shape. (Even my mom liked it and she doesn’t like rice crispy squares.) I really want to make a Kermit the Frog – more to come on that. (Oh and you should follow @mister_krisp on Instagram because her updates always make me smile.)

5. Go to the beach or the burbs.

Coney Island! Rockaway! Since we don’t have a car, it’s a long-ish subway or bus ride to both but this means more reading time. We love heading to either of these for a change of scenery. And, of course, there’s always visiting my parents for some pool time, BBQ, and, ya know, catching up with the family and some of my hometown pals.

Nothing says enjoying summer in the city like GETTING OUT OF THE CITY.

I hope whatever you end up doing, dear reader, includes enjoying a chilly beverage, escaping into a book, and surrounding yourself with people who bring you joy.


How fun was this post from Estelle?! Here's your chance to win a book of choice from one of her favorite local indie bookstores: Astoria Bookshop ($20 limit) + TREAT YOURSELF! by Jessica Siskin (will be delivered after 8/8/17). This giveaway is open to US residents only -- good luck!

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  1. Desk fans and sun dresses and ice cold water!

  2. I drink LOTS of water during the summer! Air conditioning is also my best friend.

  3. Ice cream! I eat waaaaay too much in the summer!

  4. Air Conditioning is the best way to beat that summer heat.


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