I am such a fan of summer. I can’t even say it emphatically enough! I feel super inspired and yet relaxed at the same time. I want to share a *b* list based on what is inspiring me right now….
*b* list of summer inspirations:
diy’ing: I am so on fire about doing projects lately! Last night, I took a look at the stool I bought on Saturday and I knew I had to drop everything and just do what I had in mind with the stool!I didn’t hate it red, but it really didn’t work with what I have.
I enjoyed the process so much. Being able to work on it right on the front porch (Tom was not thrilled that I didn’t use a drop cloth! I started it while he was out washing the Harley…and I was completely busted when he pulled up and I was in the middle of it!) Anyway, I love how it turned out and feel empowered to do more DIY projects!
I hope my next outdoor project involves cool outdoor lighting : )
- 30 day challenge. No, it’s not a decluttering challenge! It’s not actually Nichole’s brainchild, but she’s doing it and I wanted you to see what a sweetie she is….you can click over to “the Macs” to see where the challenge originated. She also seems very sweet and her heart is so lovely. I LOVE this idea. I’m already dedicated to reading the Word and praying daily, but I wanted to share this concept because I believe it’s vitally important.
- listening. I know I bring it up often, but I can’t not share how life changing this has been for me. Running and listening to good teaching. It feels so good to be doing something good for my physical body, while being enriched spiritually. I love multi-tasking, so this makes sense! Recently, I’ve been listening to teaching on the Sermon on the Mount, which has been really interesting since I just read “Divine Conspiracy”, which has some amazing teaching that parallels what I’m listening to. That may not seem surprising, but to me it is, because it offers a much deeper study that goes beyond what seems to be into what Jesus was really saying. Makes total sense to me now. I need to be drilled sometimes. One thing that I heard yesterday that is staying with me and challenging me is this: Bless your enemies. I don’t know that I have any true enemies, but I know it’s not always easy to love everyone…but that is a command directly from the Bible. One that our human nature would like to ignore at times.
- flea markets, estate and garage sales and a brand new shop! I always love this time of year because of all the vintage sales. I keep a list of ongoing items I’m searching for and I try to be disciplined about it. My house and studio are full, so if I buy, I am simply replacing something existing. It’s a new way of shopping for me, but I do love it. There’s actually a method to the madness! I am going to share something with you that I am so tempted to keep a secret…but that’s selfish and I don’t want to be selfish…I want Jen to succeed greatly in this endeavor! So here’s link to something really special: Gather Boutique. I’ll be shooting a wedding the day of the opening, but I will get there very soon!
- summer magazines. Yesterday the new Martha Stewart Living and HGTV came in the mail! Loved the cover of Living and I can’t wait to look at the article on Emily Henderson. Who’s watching Design Star this season? I watched a little of the first episode and recorded last night’s episode (haven’t watched yet). I totally agreed with Emily’s breakdown of the premiere of this season. Danielle was my pick before the season started based on rooms she’s done. I follow HGTV on pinterest, so I looked at the rooms they posted prior to watching. Can’t wait to watch last night’s episode…love the white box challenge!
- summer rituals. Sitting outside every night at around sunset, eating every meal possible al fresco, going for an ice cream and a drive (scoping locations for photo sessions), swimming morning, afternoon or night, being able to run outside, ice tea breaks, sitting by the pool with a stack of magazines and a cool drink, floating in the pool dates with Tom while listening to our favorite music, DIY projects on the front porch, spray painting and hanging frames and small items from our tree in the backyard to dry (we’re classy like that), having friends and family over at the drop of a hat and having the best times and memories.
- summer cooking and eating: I feel like I eat so much better and more healthy in the summer. The fresh produce that’s just starting to appear at the farmer’s market (and Jamie’s garden!) and a different sort of appetite seem to be huge factors. I have been focused on having fresh fruits and veggies clean and ready to eat all the time. Right now it’s radishes, rainier cherries (I’m pretty sure we ate $6 worth last night before and after dinner), cantaloup, red grapes (the ones that pop when you bite down!), celery and carrots.
- summer menu (this week)
Sunday: homemade parmesan chicken strips, roasted potatoes, onions, and rosemary, mixed green salad, garlic bread, and vanilla cupcakes with almond buttercream frosting
Monday: individual homemade pizzas. Duh. For years, I’ve been making one big pizza and trying to divide up the toppings to his and hers. I finally got that it would make much more sense to make one for each of us.
I’m pretty sure that Martha would not be impressed…I’ve never been good at making my pizza crusts into perfect circles. But let me tell you, they tasted awesome! Tom’s toppings were: hamburger, caramelized onions, black olives, mozzerella and a touch of tomato sauce. My toppings were: caramelized onions, black olives, mozzarella and parmesan with just a touch of olive oil.
Tuesday: Tostadas. His: hamburger (leftover from pizza night) mixed with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, green onion, cheddar. Mine: avocado, refried beans, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and green onion. You might notice a pattern. I’m just not that into beef at every meal. I love a good grilled steak or burger, but I am not that big a fan of beef on pizza or mexican.
Wednesday: Chicken and Broccoli Strudel (Rachel Ray recipe) This is a new recipe for me, I’ll let you know how we like it. I’m adapting it a little for our taste…the base is puff pastry, so I’m pretty sure we’ll like it!
Thursday: oatmeal? Tom will be out of town, so I will probably do something simple…maybe not oatmeal : )
Friday: a sandwich? again, Tom may not be home for dinner, so it will be something very simple.
I think I mentioned this before, but for me, I have to have a plan. Tom comes home almost daily for lunch and I try to make dinner every night as well, so it takes a little bit of thought and planning to have two meals a day. I know for those of you with children at home, you are doing three meals a day…so two is nothing for you! You make breakfast and have to start thinking about what you will feed the littles for lunch!
Lots of inspiration for me in the summertime.
This beautiful baby inspires me to take photos! She has changed so much since her newborn session…I should see it coming, but it always shocks me. Such a miracle how babies change and grow so fast!
She rocks a mohawk!
And to think that I sort of worried about Hadley…with having such a gorgeous big sister. I think she can hold her own in the cuteness department! Two beautiful girls!
Okay, I’ll stop now. I could go on!
Hope you have a fantastic day!