Saturday, August 09, 2014

Enjoying Each Season In Its Own Time

A little lunch I set out to share with a friend one sunny morning this week

I love every season - there's something wonderful about every one of them. Right now, I'm thoroughly enjoying summer's long warm sun-filled days, clear nights for stargazing, and frankly, the lack of rain. I love hearing fans blowing in the windows of my home at night; opening windows to let fresh air in (something not possible much of the year in Seattle - brr!), and listening to sprinklers working away to hydrate my lawns. I'm so grateful to be able to run out of the house with just a pair of sandals on, not frantically searching for boots, gloves, umbrella and a coat. I love choosing how to fill a summer evening - reading in the back yard, taking the dogs to the dog park, picking blackberries, going to an evening farmer's market, eating dinner at a restaurant with a patio? I adore fall, but I'm not in a hurry for summer to end.

I'm a cheerful and enthusiastic shopper, but I'm getting very annoyed at seasonal creep. Not only do I not feel the need to see Halloween decorations in the stores yet (let's focus on back-to-school right now, ok?) I'm annoyed that I can't find certain things in local stores any more. I need a new umbrella stand - sorry, they're sold out, and not restocking until next spring. My snow cone maker broke last weekend when I had my nephews visiting - I had to visit five or six stores until I finally found a new one, which was set in a discount/sale area. And when I wander into a bath & body store, I'm suddenly surrounded by pumpkin and caramel scent options, when what I'm looking for is something summery (Mint? Lemon? basil? lavender?)

Let's not rush into the next season headlong. Let's take time to savor and enjoy the privileges of the current season, summer. (I know a lot of my readers in other parts of the country are sick of ultra hot weather though, or wanting forest fire season to go away!) Be sure to do things now you won't be able to do in other seasons (swim in a nearby lake, for example). Don't rush down to Michael's to buy up everything Halloween in sight - you'll have plenty of time, and plenty of goods left to choose from, in October. Live in the moment, today - it's summertime.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Need to empty trash or recycling? Let's freshen our homes for the rest of the weekend.
  • Speaking of that - need to spritz any home fragrance spray, light a candle or open doors and windows to let fresh air in? I think of this often as there are currently four animals living in my house.
  • Do something to take advantage of summertime. Sunbathe (a little bit, to get Vitamin D but not skin cancer!), go for a long evening walk, eat outdoors, go to a farmer's market, go to a lake or beach if you have one nearby, take your kids to the park, go on a picnic, attend an outdoor concert, etc.
  • Weekends are for relaxing - can you carve out time for reading, watching a movie, visiting friends?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Yardwork and Gardening

Protecting two small visiting dogs from the three big wriggly wrestly 60 pound retrievers who might squash them inadvertently

Those of you who live in condos or apartments are feeling pretty smug right about now, I bet. My Saturday afternoon is, alas, going to have to be filled with yardwork. I have two flowerbeds to weed, three dead plants to give up on and dig up from a third flowerbed, mowing to do, and a bunch of yard waste to rake up and put in the yard waste bin. Also, when I get home from dinner tonight, I'll need to set out sprinklers and move them around for a couple hours in the dark.

I do not at all enjoy gardening and yard work, but I do enjoy having a beautiful home and a lovely back yard to work, eat and relax in. So today I'd better get off the computer and get busy. Those of you who are also homeowners, are you joining me in gardening suffering today? Those of you in apartments and condos where your yard work is taken care of, how will you spend your lovely summer Saturday afternoon instead?

LOVELY BLOGS: Misplaced Brit

Steph is a mother of three children. She's British, but her family currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden. I'm enjoying exploring her blog. Her focus is on "Simple, creative family life." She bakes, gardens, and plans parties. Currently she's sharing her experiences with getting her six year old's ears pierced, a recipe for white chocolate and lime mousse with a gooseberry compote, and her enjoyment of one of Stockholm's many summer festivals and entertainments, Circus Imago.

http://misplacedbrit.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Goodnight, Mr. Darcy

This is hilarious! I can't stop giggling. I detest the classic "Goodnight Moon" book, having had to read it hundreds of times to the baby I nannied for in my twenties. Therefore, I love "Goodnight Moon" parodies. Mash that up with Pride & Prejudice? Love it. I'll likely sneak this into lots of my baby shower gifts for friends about to be mamas this year.

Goodnight, Mr. Darcy Book on Amazon

LOVELY FRAGRANCE: Blackberry Bramble Tea

In my efforts to celebrate each season in its own time, I'm resisting buying anything with "caramel," "spice," "butterscotch" or "pumpkin" in the name. My kitchen candle this next week or two will be this summery blackberry bramble fragrance. When it burns down though, in late August, we'll likely still be having good warm sunny weather. Will I be able to replace this candle with a new summery scent, or will I succumb to the siren call of pumpkin spice?

Blackberry Bramble Tea Candle, at Bath & Body Works

LOVELY KIDS: Moulin Roty Grocery Store

This is one of the most darling children's toys I've ever seen! Moulin Roty is usually pretty expensive, so I'll have to file this under "Expensive Best-Aunt-Ever Splurge Gift" in my bookmarks. I know that when I was a little girl I would have nearly died from raptures if I could have played with (much less owned) a pretend grocery store like this. (It needs to come with more pretend groceries, though). And look - it's not all made out of nasty plastic, and it closes all up in a cabinet box when you're finished playing!

Moulin Roty Grocery Store, on Amazon

LOVELY SHOPS: Mr. Boddington's Studio

I think you'll enjoy browsing this quirky stationery store - it's definitely presented with attitude. There are sections for stationery, kitchen, wrapping paper, calendars, entertaining, wedding and baby gifts. I'm not ready to look at Christmas cards yet, but I have to say their selection and tastes are fabulous.

http://www.mrboddington.com/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Candle Cookies Tutorial (The Bearfoot Baker)

Can You Tell If It's Meat? (Boston Globe, video)

Chalkboard Cake Pops (Pint Sized Baker)

Dating-Like Mom Friends Website Helps Moms Connect (Lifewise)

Dutch Plum Cake 1959 Mid-Century Recipe Test (The Mid-Century Menu)

Eight Ways with Fresh Blackberries (Chatelaine)

Fruity Currant Beer Cocktail (Bon Appetit)

Grill the Last Course With Upside Down Cake (Chicago Sun-Times)

Lemon Mousse (BBC Food)

London's Best Hidden and Secret Bars (Stylelist)

Makeup Rules from Francois Nars (Glamour)

7 Refreshing Summer Drink Recipes (Canadian Living)

Teaching Kids Mindful, Not Mindless, Eating Habits (Babble)


--Copyright 2014 Lovely Living

http://www.lovelyliving.com/

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