The Things I Love 7.14

Things I Love July 14

The things I love for July 14. The podcasts, articles, shows, gear, and other stuff that is making me happy and making me smile.

Note: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links where I may be compensated if you purchase items or click on the links. Read my full affiliate policy. I only link to items I have, use, or want and would recommend regardless of potential reward.

My personal affiliate link guideline: Would I recommend this to my mom?

The Things I Love This Week

Things I Love July 14

Clif Margarita Bloks

My marathon training is ramping back up so I am again thinking about mid-run fueling.

When I started running back in the day, the only fueling option was PowerBars. Do they even make the old-school power bars anymore? I loved the vanilla crisp ones, but they never quite did the trick for me.

But times have changed, and the options are now plentiful. My weapons of choice now?

Gu gel (usually plain, with a few blackberry and mandarin orange to mix it up) and Clif Bloks – always margarita flavor.

I love the Bloks. Having something to chew on (literally) tricks my brain into thinking I’m eating something more substantial than they are. Clif Bloks come in other flavors too, but I always go back to margarita.

Pro Tip: Bloks are also good to have on hand for getting over a stomach bug. They are perfect for when you know you can (and should) eat real food, but you just can’t quite make yourself do it.

Side note: I’ll be darned, they do still make old school PowerBars.


I find myself sniffling a lot in summer. Going from way too hot outside to way too cold air conditioning messes with me – sniffle, sniffle, sniffle.

One of the things I inherited from my grandma was a stack of handkerchiefs. These particular handkerchiefs have turned into some of my favorite things largely because they have been washed every week for 30 years or more.

Decades of washings have turned them into the softest things on the planet, far better than any kleenex around (including the lotion-infused ones).

I am slowly turning into my mother (hi mom!) – every coat I own has a handkerchief in the pocket. Every pair of jeans has a hankie tucked inside. And I am a true Midwesterner, when I have a cold and I don’t have pockets, I tuck a hankie up my sleeve.

Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones

I first got a pair of Bose SoundSport headphones as a door prize gift at some event I was at.

From that point on, I was spoiled and could never use anything else.

I’m always listening to something and I’ve tried every headset and headphone style available. The sound quality of many plummets once I got sweaty. Some fit really strange. My left ear must be shaped funny because there is no earbud on earth that will stay in (the right ear is fine; the left? Never).

The Bose SoundSport sets into your ear like an earbud, but there is also a plastic piece that sets into your ear to hold it snug.

They stay in place (for me, even the left one!), the sound quality is amazing, no matter how sweaty I get.

What more can I ask for?

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Crossword App

As a lover of good pens, I will always have a soft spot for doing real crosswords on actual paper, but convenience sometimes wins out. Having dozens of crosswords in my pocket on my phone is often just the ticket to pass the time.

There is no shortage of crossword apps, but I like Crosswords app from Stand Alone, Inc. It has a wide selection of free puzzles in all levels of difficulty, a good interface, and no ads.

OK, I’ll also confess that I like that you can set up hints and have wrong letters appear in red. As I result, I often can do much harder puzzles online than I can on paper.

My favorite crossword answer is still ‘ossify.’ I don’t know why, but it cracks me up every time it comes up (which is more often than you might think).


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