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May 28, 2018

Summer Smoothies | Taking a real break

They are great to-go for walks or into the car in my Clear Cups & Lids.

Summer Break

It may be very obvious around here, but I'm taking a little hiatus the Summer.  For me that means making a strong effort to focus on home and family vs. work.  I love sharing here and building my store, but every now and again, I need to regroup.  I need to simplify our routine, simplify our obligations and take it down to basics.  Summer is the perfect time for that.  I feel like this whole idea of beautifying by simplifying is the root of my brand and it really helps me get back to it when I make an effort to truly live it.

Busyness is a problem in this world.  Most of us have to/feel like we should be busy all of the time.  Such the rebel as I am (eh?) I try to reject this as much as possible.  I would like my family's life to be less busy, less obligated, less committed and consequently, more full.  I want Emma's summer to be full of downtime and "her" time so she can be comfortable not running at a full tilt her entire life.  I'm hoping that teaching her to be content with simplicity and content making due with just being (instead of being entertained) that she will spend less of her days chasing what's next, depending on others for her content-ness and more time just enjoying and being responsible for her own joy.

So, this is the first summer (since middle school...?) that I have taken off from work.  Emma is going to camp one morning a week so I can come here and make sure the boat is still afloat.  Thanks to Laurie and my pack/ship team, the store can run without my daily help - yay!  

I've always believed that "work" didn't have to look or even feel like work.  However, with the growth of the store, I've spent way too much time at my desk over the last year and I'm ready to stretch my legs.  I'm also excited to mentally remove myself for a while to re-commit to this dream and lifestyle of simplicity and enjoying.

(I have been taking photos of our dinners, projects and such along the way and will share periodically.  The photos will be a little more casual than usual, as most will just be snapshots before dinner or mid-project.)  

I'm spending free time immersing myself in magazines (the kind you hold in your hands) and cookbooks.  I'm making a real attempt to garden and work in the yard.  I'm doing housework, working on a couple of home projects and trying to pretend just for a couple of months that I don't have a job.

Emma is working on her cartwheels.

She is playing, discovering and being 4.
We cook together, walk to the grocery store together, do chores together and take naps together, but she is in charge of her day - her playing, her boredom, her happiness.

I'm enjoying watching her become more independent, stronger and resilient.

Her last day of school in May.

I know it is not realistic for everyone to quit their job for the summer.  During my busier times that still include work (the rest of the year!), we make an effort to say no to too much, to have some time that is just for being at home.  Even a lazy Saturday morning walk to get donuts can make a week of work melt away.

I hope you are all taking a break of sorts this summer to simplify and redirect.  The sacrifice of whatever you need to give up is worth it.

Summer Smoothies

Each day we take a walk and have a smoothie.  I'm much better at exercising when food is involved.  There is no kale or protein powder in here, just yummy fruit - so yummy and smooth.  When we were in Seaside this spring, I was spending $8 each morning on one of these at a food truck - yikes!  These cost about $0.75/each at home : )

This has become my favorite formula to make :

- Orange Juice with Mango
- Frozen Organic Berries (cheaper that fresh!) : I keep them in my kitchen containers in the freezer for easy access.  I buy mine at Target, about $10 for a giant bag of blueberries and strawberries.
- Banana
- Chia Seeds (recent addition, not pictured) : Bought a huge bag of organic at Costco for $7.  They add iron, omega-3s, etc.  Taste like tiny strawberry seeds.

Plastic Kitchen Containers are restocked.

When we lived with Mike's parents during our reno, I was convinced that I needed a fancy ($$$) blender after using his mom's.  But, when we moved back in, I was more interested in furniture than smoothies so I settled for this $20 one from target.  I have to say - works so good!  I'm glad I didn't spend $500 on a blender just for smoothies.

At the beginning of the week, I fill the large container with strawberries and medium one with blueberries.  My goal is to use up the entire container of each by the end of the week.  Then, I at least know that I had a substantial amount of fruits mixed in my diet.

So far, our summer diet consists of Tomatoes and Mozz salads, BATs (avocado instead of lettuce), waffles or muffins for breakfast and cheeseburgers on the grill for dinner.  And these healthy smoothies... all about balance ; )


  1. I love this and agree with you that everyone should take some time to slow down. I think you're teaching Emma really valuable lessons, too. Thanks for sharing. It's inspiring!

  2. Anonymous2:52 PM

    You are a very WISE parent in regards to busyness. "Being" instead of being love this!! She will better because of it and your family will be stronger too!! I respect your more laid back summer. :)

  3. Enjoy your summer! I love Emma's playhouse, it is adorable. Did you post about it and I missed it? Where can I get one?

  4. Love this!!! I totally agree.....and I believe your sweet Emma will reap the benefits of you being intentionally slow and present. It's a struggle for me to not get caught up in the busy-ness but I see how our family benefits when we are intentional about slowing down. Good job mama!

  5. Dear Jenny, it's so true what you say! Actually just today I read this article which explains exactly what you tell in your post. If you are interested here is the link

  6. Anonymous10:04 AM

    I love this! If you haven't already read it, I think you would enjoy the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. Fantastic read about raising more content kids by moving slower with less activity/noise/schedule/information.

  7. Is the playhouse a kit?

  8. Good for you for slowing down and just enjoying life with your daughter while she's young. And you're right that summer is the perfect season to do this.

  9. Love your thought on simplifying!! Summer is such a great season for this. :)

  10. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Am so with you on simplifying...but I can't help but feel all those plastic cups are such a waste. Seems a reusable cup would benefit the simple life better. ��

    1. Reusable plastic cups weren't a better use for us, as too many were getting left in the car, in the stroller, left behind and so on. We were ruining them and losing them vs. re-using them. Finding week old smoothies in a reusable cup isn't fun. There is much less plastic content in these than the 'reusable' cups.


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