August Coffee Date - Skillful Cook
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

August Coffee Date

August coffee date… or more like Summer Recap Coffee Date. I think I skipped July? And is it even August anymore? When does summer officially end? I don’t even know.

Kayaking at sunset.
Any affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. ♡

August coffee date... or more like Summer Recap Coffee Date.

I think I skipped July? And is it even August anymore? When does summer officially end? I don't even know. Cabins and beaches and evening walks and staying up too late watching dumb TV and ordering appetizers and drinks on a restaurant patio instead of properly making dinner... it's all sort of running together.

It's been such a good summer. The sun, the long days, the warmth... all of it is life-giving for me.

Today I'm drinking an iced jasmine green milk tea with boba - but other favorite summer drinks have included iced decaf lattes, big bottles of Pellegrino, those juicy little sparkling Izze's, and straight up LEMONADE. My weakness.

What have you been drinking? More importantly, what have you been DOING because, like, wow. Summer is closing up shop and three months have gone by in the blink of an eye and what's your season been like and are you a summer lover like me?

Okay, I'll start.

Vacationing With Babies

Road trip to the cabin.

We took two vacations with Solvi-Lu-Who this summer.

Vacations might be an ambitious term, but they each involved about 3-4 hours of driving, and 2-3 nights of sleeping in an unfamiliar place. That counts as a vacation, right?

This poor girl. We have not taken her anywhere outside of the immediate vicinity since day one. Before she was born, I thought maybe I'd be chill about traveling with a baby. Spoiler: I am the opposite of chill. I'm the type of person that gets freaked out if we are more than one mile away from the nearest hospital or if there is even a slight chance of a meltdown that would interfere with our schedules, feeding, leisure time, or above all else - naps.

But even with a poorly timed teething situation, and a cabin in the woods very far away from a hospital, a car meltdown, and several skipped naps, we survived! And we had fun. ♡

Special shout out to this super easy-to-use travel crib*, these travel blackout blinds*, and the little grassy area next to the McDonald's off the highway where we spent some special family moments changing diapers and eating string cheese.

Have you taken any summer trips? Do you travel with kids? What works for you?

This Is What The Office Looks Like

Bjork in his office.

So Pinteresty!

Okay, actually, the truth is that we've set up some makeshift workstations to hold us over until the real furniture arrives, and we are thisclose (did I say that last time? I think I did) to ordering the stuff for each of the offices.

I am super hopeful that I will have more to report back next month, including the progress of the kitchen design! whee!

This Was Very Back-To-School Of Me

Meal prep containers with food.

After eating brats and chips and Taco John's potato oles and puppy chow for two weeks straight, I came home and immediately went to work in the kitchen.

I prepped:

And it felt amazing. My End of Summer Self can't be bothered, but my Back To School self is here for this kind of thing. A chill in the air, a light sweatshirt, windows open... girl I am all over this.

Which reminds me of two things.

  1. If you like EASY and HEALTHY as in FREEZER MEALS, you need to look at this post. It is a huge resource of all our best recipes that work amazingly well when pre-assembled and frozen. They are all no-cook, meaning you don't have to cook anything to prep them, and they all transfer FROM FROZEN to the Instant Pot. Like, no thawing. We compiled them all in a free printable for you so you can just mix and match the ones you want.
  2. How do you do meal prep? Do you have a good system? Do you have struggles? Even though I want all of us to eat dinner together, I find it so hard to get dinner on the table now that we have Solvi bombing around all over the house. I'd love to create more resources for myself (and for you!) around this idea of meal prep and easy dinners, but would be so interested to hear from you in terms of what you think would be helpful.

Now I'm An Adult Who Can Do My Hair

Lindsay using Tyme Iron.

Okay, the ads finally got to me.

I bought a Tyme iron.

I have never really curled or styled my hair before for two reasons:

  • My hair is thick so it would take me - not joking - 45 minutes to curl my hair with a regular curling iron.
  • My hair is also the kind of hair that falls flat 1-2 hours after curling. Complete and utter waste of time. Nope.

However, my hair has always responded really well to a straightener, so I decided to give the Tyme a try. It's like a straightener / curling wand combo, and guess what? I can do it in ten minutes, and IT HOLDS THE CURL.

Lindsay with curled hair.

I could not only wear these curls all day, but go to bed and sleep and wake up and shake out my hair and wear them for a SECOND day! (I mean, they don't look suuper awesome, but still! The curl is there!)

This is a game changer for me. Honestly I've always just felt a little lost with styling my hair, like all the things that worked for other people just didn't work for my hair so I've always defaulted to straight hair. ut this has given me so much confidence in doing my hair curly and fancy and having it actually last.

You can find the iron on Amazon* or on their website. It has pretty mixed reviews online, which, honestly, is really surprising to me. I'm a vote in favor!

Now I'm An Adult Who Can Do My Hair... And Eat Puppy Chow

Frozen puppy chow in a container.

Crunchy, cold, salty, sweet, peanut buttery and chocolatey... oooooh baby.

You still have time to make this. Summer's not over yet.

Very Fancy Recipe: Melt 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Mix with 6 cups Rice Chex. Toss in a big paper bag with 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar. FREEZE (essential!) and enjoy. You are a true Midwesterner now!

Thank you to my friend Angela who made this, and my friend Angela's mom Linda who provided the recipe of our dreams.

Words From Sage

Sage after swimming.

With drool and a piece of grass hanging off her lip, Sage wants you to know that you are beautiful. Look at you! A human soul that can love and learn and give and heal and stretch and bend and forgive and grow.

You are spectacular. She's proud of you.

We love you guys (we being me and Sage, since currently we're the two ding-dongs staying up late to write this post) and we're excited to hear how your summer has been.


Filed Under: Life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just looove following your blog and these posts. Love your recipes. They are essentially all that I make these days.

    I have a baby one year older than solvi, and had similar emotions her first year of life. The only thing I can say is traveling gets harder as they get older! (I think until she has the ability to reason lollll) but this year we decided not to let that bog us down and we took a five hour flight to the west coast and a ferry and a car ride and just lived our best lives. We stayed in baby friendly air bnbs with beauty views to enjoy after she was asleep. I’m trying to not let baby rule our roost as best as I can, but it’s a work in progress. You are amazing!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I have a nine month old and also try to not have our whole lives be about the baby, but it’s a work in progress.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Ahh summer. This one was extra sweet because I was on maternity leave and I am so sad to see it end. We have two kiddos, an almost 3 year old and an almost 3 month old. We did several trips up north this summer and boy it was tough. There was one incident where after a 4 hour drive we had to stop in a Starbucks 10 mins from our house on the way home so our toddler could poop and I could nurse the baby. Yikes. I read somewhere once that when you travel with your kids you are training them, I’m hoping in a few years we will be able to do big trips with them. Also someone gave me the advice that when you travel with kids it’s a trip, not a vacation. Making those family memories is always worth it for me, it will get better!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I am 100% in the camp that you are training your kids when you travel with them! Those early days with nursing, potty training, etc are HARD, but SO worth it in the end. My kids are on the slightly older end of the scale now (elementary aged) and we can travel anywhere with them. We’ve done cross country flights, cruises, long car trips, etc and they have done fabulously. I fully credit it not to my chillness (I’m not at all chill), but to the fact that we’ve been traveling with them forever. Stay strong! It’s so worth it.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Did I imagine it, it did one of your recent emails mention putting together a second freezer meal post? I’m 34 weeks pregnant and having a Freezer Stocking Party on 9/21, I’ve already bookmarked several of your recipes to make but would LOVE more ideas! The detox lentil soup is a fave around here 😁

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I second this!!! Would love more freezer meal prep ideas for the babe on the way ❤️

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Working on adding a few recipes to the existing version, with a few new printable resources to boot! Hoping to publish it next week – wheee! I’m excited!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    How adorable! Those kind words by Sage really made me smile. Those curl look so good on you 😀 Anyway, summer in New Delhi is going to at least a couple of months more so making the most of it 🙂 Had not checked out your freezer meal recipes yet, but doing that right away 🙂

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Longtime reader here. I’ll tell you what I’ve been drinking all summer— your June coffee date cold brew. I’m obsessed and so is my husband.

    Also, not related but still relevant: your Migas recipe is a top five recipe in our house which is a big deal.

    As for traveling with kids, it always seems challenging when you’re in it but the memories are worth it. We had a stressful two weeks in China with our eight month old (now four), and I look back on this like it was spectacular. So, it’s all worth it!

    Thank you for the great recipes!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      LOL – looking back on it like it was spectacular – yes. This is very me. So glad the recipes have been a hit! ❤️

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so intrigued by the Tyme curling iron! I bought a Lange’ wand after similar rave reviews and was unfortunately not wowed (my hair is like yours in that the copious amounts take a long time to curl with a regular iron and hardly hold through a couple hours!). As far as meal prep I just menu plan for one week, chop/prep stuff while my little girl is napping and/or snacking/playing in her learning tower near me and make sure to schedule 1-2 leftover nights per week. Now once baby #2 arrives come December this is all out the window so I’m definitely checking out your freezer meal link!!!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have a tyme iron and it just sits in my closet because I can’t figure out how to use it! Did you use a tutorial video or something??

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes, I watched probably 15 videos before I really got the hang of it! Some were tutorials and some were just random people using it to curl their hair. The angled-lines-on-the-mirror visual in one of the videos really helped me (it should be angled like a house). I am much faster at it now after a month or two of practice.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Our household has discovered the joys of toodlerhood. My niece, her husband and the 8 MO old moved in last year. They moved here then a job fell through, so we offered an alternative. We have a farm, there is always lots of work to participate in… (: It’s been an adjustment but I wouldn’t change it for the world! It’s been a year now and the little monkey is a bundle of grinning, chattering, running (oh, the running) and occasionally tears, bundle of energy, AKA Baby. And the best news is…he’s a foodie! He will try anything once. He loves most of it, fruit, veg, meat and cheese, although cooked mushrooms, not so much. He even eats surprisingly hot and spicy food…??? He is pretty much an organic free range child limited only by his vocabulary (meat of any kind is “chicken, chicken”). He runs through the house, making a surprising amount of noise… earning the moniker Thunderpaws… chanting applesauce, applesauce. It never fails to put a huge grin on my face – best way ever to start the day!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m another dedicated lemonade lover! So glad I’m not the only adult who drinks it. And fresh mint-muddled lemonade is killer in the summer.

    I also love what I call “muddy buddies” and what you call “puppy chow” – when I’m feeling particularly OMG PEANUT BUTTER! I use peanut butter chips instead of chocolate, for a double-dose of peanutbutterawesome. It’s also good on popcorn, if you want to swap from Chex to something else or don’t have Chex, but have popcorn (and an air popper or microwave popper).

    Thanks for always making me smile =)

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi Lindsay,
    I’m new to your blog and it’s become my go-to for many dinners. I’m a mama of 4, and one has some allergies, so I’m grateful for your quick variations at the end of most recipes! When we just had one kiddo, we lived abroad and traveled. A lot. She visited 13 countries before her 3rd birthday. Now, it’s not as easy as hopping on a cheap flight to somewhere exotic. But we take a trip every summer because it’s good for everyone to have that time together away from normal routine-y life. I pack snacks for the car. Lots of them. And something new from the dollar store! Also, the game- changer this summer was a reacher-grabber that let me pass things to the way back, or reach my son’s matchbox car that he dropped on the floor for the 4th time in 5 minutes. Travel with littles isn’t easy, but I’m so glad we do it!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love this puppy chow recipe once I realized it’s not actually dog food.ha ha.And I am so excited that this recipe fits low fodmap guidelines for we IBS folk. Bless you for this. By the way, as a mom of five, believe it when I say that first year when your baby is toddling around is hard . You have to do everything when they are napping or sleeping. But they are sooo cute!!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love your end-of-summer coffee date! It’s wonderful that you took two little family trips with Solvi this summer. We have two young boys, ages two and five. We’ve been traveling with them since they were young. Our first family trip was to Hawaii when our eldest son was six months old. It was incredible, and a great way to ease into family travel. Since then we’ve traveled as a family throughout the US and Canada, to Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, England, and Scotland. Traveling with children definitely has a lot of challenges, but to us it’s so worth it. Some of our best memories as a family have been on our family trips. I understand that it’s not for everybody though. Those blackout blinds look awesome for traveling! We could’ve used those when we were in Norway with our one year old during their “midnight sun.” And in other comments — that hair curler looks great! I never style my hair myself because I’m too lazy and also have trouble keeping curls, but I love how my hair looks the rare times I get it styled. Oh, and I love your idea of freezing puppy chow. I keep buying Rice Chex with plans to make it — and then my sons devour the cereal before I get around to it. Whoops. 😉 Good for you with all your meal prep. I have high hopes of making freezer meals and/or prepping ingredients in advance. Hopefully soon! Especially with another baby coming, I definitely need to make some of your freezer meals.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Ah thank you for posting about travelling with baby! I am alllll about the nap schedules and routines, and we’re getting ready to take little one on a short trip to the mountains. I’m already panicking about packing and everything. Good to know that everything will be okay! Also fave quote: a vacation with children is called a trip, not a vacation 🙂

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    “Ding dongs” made me laugh! My grandma used to say that, and my dad still does! Love it. 🙂

    And Sage’s words at the end and sweet pic gave me all the feels. Tell her I needed to hear that – today is the first day back at school with students, and I am all kinds of nervous! Deep breaths…

    Glad summer was awesome for you. Same here! Just enjoyed the downtime and spent lots of time with my nephew, dog, and the rest of the fam jam. What could be better? Xo

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Meal prep strategy:
    1) ROTISSERIE CHICKEN – wrap it up in butter lettuce + dip it in some kind of sauce like sweet thai chili, or honey mustard, or ranch. If it’s not filling enough, I like to add some cold, boiled baby potatoes.
    2) CASSEROLE – make a lasagna, chicken enchilada bake, baked pasta, chicken & rice…whatever. Cook once, and for two people, you’ll eat for 3+ days. The trick here is that it can’t be too healthy and has to have a good amount of cheese – the “too healthy” stuff seems really unappealing after day 1, but somehow, reheated lasagna always sounds good, even 4 days later…

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I so enjoy your blogging, these coffee date emails and your recipes. I feel like we’d be friends if I actually knew you cause I so enjoy the way you write like I can actually hear you saying the words out loud. You always make me smile! Thanks Lindsay – keep on keeping on girl!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    We just took a trip to Disney for the first time with our two-year-old (almost three). Everyone was right when they said to lower my expectations. He did good, but we still needed to go back to the hotel for daily naps. You guys are good for taking two road trips with an infant.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Well, road trip is a little generous. No car time longer than three hours. So… baby steps. 😂Disney sounds fun and tiring and fun!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    I want to like meal prepping but it always falls short for me. Family of 5, with long work hours for my husband, dinner prep is often me with 3 kids to watch. What works best for me is having a realistic meal plan. I have a list of meals that I can easily get cook in the midst of chaos. I do prep tons of fruit and veggies to supplement meals and snacks.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      “Meals that I can easily get to cook in the midst of chaos.” This needs to be framed on your (and my) kitchen wall!

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Where did the summer go? Sounds like you had a wonderful summer. Will definitely be trying that puppy chow, I am a New Englander and need to incorporate a little midwestern charm into my life. Love these coffee dates that you have with us. I am drinking my ice coffee with a splash of chocolate milk (along with little half&half & sugar) I do love summer. I realized that I enjoy it way more than I can remember.Don’t you love how we still do back to school even when we don’t have to go? It is for sure a season it itself.

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    You’re delightful ❤️ Thank for this super fun post. I love your honesty and ease with your life 🙏🏻 Gratitude

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so glad your summer was great, I love the coffee date posts and was sad thinking you were calling it quits on them last month! (Lol. I noticed). I’m the ding dong staying up late in my quiet house (kids sleeping, hunny out of town) to read it.

  22. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love the freezer meal post but I don’t have an insta pot. Would these recipes works in a crockpot? How much time would you recommend? I’d love to try them out!