Simple Summer Eating

Aug3With as many mouths in the house as I have, “Easy Summer Eating” becomes overwhelming.  I stand in front of all the raw veggies in my refrigerator and my mind goes blank. I try to plan meals.  No other planner follows the same method of my madness, though.  My eating pattern is very light at the beginning of the week and then relaxes into the weekend.

The pin I chose to work on today was meal planning, pinned from Tatertots and Jello, but with my own planner.  The recipes below are all from summer magazine issues and feature fresh yummy fruits and veggies.

Monday Menu (vegan, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, low carb)

Shaved Fennel, Zucchini, and Celery Salad from Martha Stewart ( I may sub in cucumber for the zucchini), and Corn on the Cob.

Tuesday Menu (vegan, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, high protein carb)

Plum Spritzer from Diner Journal
Tomato, Radicchio and Grilled Peach Salad with Basil Oil from Food & Wine
Big Bowl unshelled peanuts

Wednesday Menu (no sugar, no meat, high protein carb or nuts)

Mixed Pepper Pasta from Food & Wine
(I will be using half whole wheat and half white pasta for this. Cook whole wheat for the first few minutes, then add the white and cook until finished.)
Raw Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes and Hard-Boiled Eggs from Food & Wine
( I will be subbing in vinegar and Kalamata olives for the anchovies)

Thursday Menu (no red meat, lower carb)

Watermelon Slushie from Martha Stewart
Chicken, Artichoke & Orzo Lettuce Cups from Martha Stewart
Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Friday Menu (no red meat, low carb)

Iceberg Lettuce w/ Roasted Tomato Dressing Food & Wine
Picnic Basket Dinner from Portland Monthly Magazine

Saturday Menu (no restrictions)

Sausages & Onions Food & Wine
Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie Bon Appetit

Sunday Menu (no restrictions)

Grilled Chicken w/ lemon & Coucous from Bon Appetit
(subbing in bell peppers, carrots, sugar snap peas, shallots, zuchini, and peaches)
Apple Tart Poilane

Just click on the links and print the recipes.  Write the day on the top of each menu, staple the stack together for this week, and you are ready to go!

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The Grand Escape

August 2nd, 31 days of living my pins

August 2nd, 31 days of living my pins

I’m caught in the circle of life.  Not the grand circle of birth and life and death, but the ones that run inside the grand scheme.  The whirlpools that run every day.  I stripped the laundry off 7 beds, and started the long process of washing.  We went to a party, got groceries and came home to put them away. While we were out, something oozed in the refrigerator.  So, I had to wash it all down before putting the groceries away.  Of course, I didn’t want to put the lethal cleaning clothes anywhere but directly in the washer, but, of course, it was still full of the last load.  So, instead of putting away groceries, I started with the laundry.

Does it feel like that circle gets played out every day, all day for you?  The pin I chose to achieve on pinterest today was reading.  I rarely step out of my circles to the relaxing place that reading resides.  Today I did! Last night I made my mango salsa and today the munchkins got the chips.  I acted on my summer reading pin and picked up a book that my girlfriend Patty loaned me.  The $64 Tomato.  It is hilarious, but mostly because it’s so terribly true. A few years ago both Patty and I happily announced to each other that we’d just planted our gardens.  It promptly hailed the next day and killed every single plant.

This year I have a garden plot with 40 tomato plants.  Half we carefully planted from seed and labled and watered.  Half I got from an organic gardener off of Craig’s List.  The munchkins cheerfully offered to plant them while I was out of town taking care of my sister.  When I got home the garden was beautifully planted, weedless and green.  The lables were in a neat pile at the corner of the garden.  I guess we are just going to enjoy mystery tomatoes this year.

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August Pinterest and Parties


August Pinterest Parties

I am terrible at remembering names. Remembering your birthday would be even more impossible.  However, I have no intention of not giving birthday gifts to people I love.  So, thanks to Patty having a birthday 3 days after mine, I’ve gotten into the habit of giving gifts to others on my birthday. (Shout out to my birthday twins Tara and Sylvie too!)  I’m also giving myself a gift, the gift of memories and accomplishments.

For the entire month of August I am not pinning on Pinterest, but rather, making all the time I spent pinning worthwhile.  I’m picking wishes and dreams, projects and parties from my boards and doing them Now.
So tonight, I went to my first First Friday art night in downtown Vancouver.  We got started a little late, but two girlfriends and one of the munchkins and I figured out where the galleries are downtown in the mini art district.  We slipped into Aurora Gallery where Tammy found a piece and had it framed for a friend. We peered through the windows at Gallery 360 and Angst and were treated to cupcakes at Gravitate.
This was not a specific pin that I was accomplishing, but rather the whole concept of my Art and Studios board.  It pushed me to step out and be around the work of other artists and remind myself what I am doing with my own work, as well as appreciating theirs.  One day of pushing myself to enjoy the life inspired by my pins, 30 to go.

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Father Child Camp

When the munchkins were little, there was a magical weekend in the middle of the summer.  On this weekend, they would pack up their tent and backpacks and drive away to a camp.  At this camp there was a director who would plan events for daddies and their little ones to  stay active with all weekend.  The kids were girls and boys from 2 to 10 and their brave daddies.  All their meals were eaten in the grand mess hall and they had a campfire and treats before bed.  They would fish, swim, boat on the pond, have newt races, and lose their voices.

Father Child Camp

Father Child Camp

Their mothers would sleep, read a book, ignore the laundry, and make tea. They would catch up with girlfriends and take a shower without small people. They would remember what life before kids was and would be after the whirlwind of young motherhood.  They would remember who they were and appreciate the bravery of their spouse. They would be revived. Now that the munchkins are bigger, they still go away with daddy for a day, but it’s now in the winter, to a hotel with a pool and movies, next to a bowling alley and without any diapers in the backpacks.  We fill this jar with things to stretch their minds and grow their hearts. When they have completed the challenges, from sitting next to a kid likely to be bullied at school, to writing a poem, to accomplishing an extra tough workout, the weekend will be scheduled.

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Advent Day One

Advent Day One

Advent Day One

I was fussing to my sister that Christmas flies by so fast without half the things done that I wished I had done.  She filled me in on a little secret.  “My advent calendar is not little toys, but notes with activities on them so we don’t miss the things we love each year.” Oh. My. Goodness! This year I’ve made a fresh list to attempt to implement this lovely method. Last night I swung by the store to pick up a few things to prep for the 1st day.  I needed some Christmas candies as we’ve all come to love the chocolate in our calendar. I found a Merci with 20 chocolates on sale with a $2 off coupon at Fred Meyer. I love these chocolates because they have so many flavors in each package and I can personalize the choice for each person each day of advent.

I printed the cards and envelopes from yellowblissroad at 30% after using the Kingthingswillow font to write out our two projects for Sunday, December 1st. The first project was to pick a child and shop for them from our local elementary school tree.  Naturally, the munchkins found a child who loved Minecraft so they could have fun shopping! They found t-shirts at Hot Topic (with a buy one get one 50% off in the store) as well as a creeper wristband.

Satisfied, they moved on to the next item on the list. Ornaments. The youngest groaned and said, “I thought Christmas was supposed to be fun.” I thought quickly and replied, “What about Minecraft ornaments?” Within moments we found ornaments made from cubes with glitter and green creatures.  They instantly began choosing which patterns were their favorites. Score!  I dropped them off at youth group and headed off to JoAnn’s to find the necessary ornaments with a 60% off coupon loaded on my phone. Alas, JoAnn’s had no such objects. I did however find this wonderful book to use my coupon on for a gift for my mother.

So I searched the web and found that both Michael’s and Craft Warehouse supposedly are carrying the little cubes. I’ll have to move that craft project further into the week, once I can reach a store again. I’ll also be calling before I go, being as tomorrow is the Monday after black Friday and most of the checkers were saying they’d been cleared out of most sale stock.  I did find them online here, but the one review said that the glass ones were very fragile.  If we have to choose another block ornament, I’m pulling for the snow block Now to fill the door behind the number 2…

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Birth Day

This gallery contains 26 photos.

a birthday catalogue

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It’s the beginning of my summer, just after the summer solstice, and a Thursday.  I’m rather settled in the “cottage”, but the backyard (tiny) looks like a weedlot. Dh kindly built a raised bed for the tomatoes with the supplies I’d purchased. (I must water, I must!)  I really don’t want to do anything more with the yard until we’ve built the patio though, and that may be a while yet.  He used his “one day off per week” to build it for me.  (must water, must water!)

Raised bed

I’ve actually pulled out my pencils to begin a piece of art. I said this last summer as well, but this time I actually have started! I did a pre-sketch of a watercolor last week and worked on ideas for the overlay this week.  Come Monday, I will begin sketching on that as well.

The neighbor’s plantings look lovely from the viewpoint of this photo.  Maybe I should just crawl around on all fours when in the backyard from now on. It would prevent me from being able to look over the fence to see the obnoxious items in the view from the back door. (I must water, I must!)



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