After doing these speedlinks on a weekly basis for the longest time, I reconsidered the editorial calendar here on Beyond the Rhetoric and switched over to monthly speedlinks instead. The idea was that I’d share some of my favorite posts on the last Wednesday of every month, except I totally missed last Wednesday. So, here we are on the first Wednesday of August going over some excellent July content. Let’s get back on track.

I’ve always felt like a fish out of water and this feeling has only been amplified since becoming a dad. Jake Rossen highlights several stories that illustrate the loneliness of paternity leave. “Mommy and me” events and “new mother” support groups are generally plentiful and “while not outright hostile to fathers, [they] didn’t seem very inviting either.” I can relate. And even when I bump into another dad at story time or the playground, neither one of us is very good at getting past a courteous nod and a smile.

How does bedtime usually go with your kids? How about when your partner is gone for the weekend and you have the little ones to yourself? Tales of Two Children shares his experience with a bedtime adventure involving a squished ride on the cattle car, ordering some pizza for supper (since healthy-minded mummy is away) and a thwarted plan for going to sleep early.

When Olivia Lasting shared a story about a coffee house in northwest British Columbia in early July, I was shocked and enraged. The cafe put up a sign requiring nursing mothers to “cover yourself or you will be refused service or asked to leave.” That is not only unwelcoming and disrespectful; it’s actually illegal in BC. I, for one, support breastfeeding rights in public spaces.

You know how I got all excited when Happy Day Cafe opened on Kingsway? Dee de los Santos went over to the original Happy Date location in Richmond (don’t ask why they seem to use Day and Date interchangeably) to try the epic and affordable lobster combo starting at $39.99. She went with her family, so they opted for the $150 combo, which includes five dishes and two whole lobsters.

With summer comes innumerable opportunities for outdoor activities. Social Dad James R.C. Smith provides some key tips and pointers for how to look good while participating in summer sports. I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly one to walk around in name brand yoga pants, so it’s good that James is recommending items like a moisture-wicking and antimicrobial 1/4 zip top.

Remember how I said you don’t have to go far to have a great vacation? Alicia Winnett totally agrees, as she shares ten great weekend trips you can take from Vancouver. Beautiful Bowen Island is just a 25 minute ferry ride away and it only takes about 4.5 hours of driving to get to romantic Penticton and Naramata. I’ve never really spent any time in BC’s wine country. Let’s add that to the bucket list.

Speaking of nearby attractions and adventures, Mary Sheridan recently traveled back in time to visit historic Yale. During the height of the gold rush, Yale was a “thriving trading post” with over 30,000 residents. Today, it’s a humble town of less than 200 and it offers visitors and opportunity to experience our local history first-hand with a saloon, an old church from 1863, and more.

And finally, we turn to Kori Evans who got together with Alicia Mackenzie to discuss some senior photography tips for beginner photographers. It’s important to pay attention to the demographic of your subjects and make sure they bring more than one outfit to the shoot. And if you’re looking to build up your portfolio, gifting sessions as a thank you is a great place to start.