Friday, May 29, 2015

Garden Goodies

A few things growing in our garden! By the way, zinnia people, please tell me how you do it. I have tried zinnias nearly every summer and only twice have had good success. This year, zero of my zillion seeds came up - so sad. I always plant a ton of zinnias hoping for huge beautiful bouquets all summer and everyone I ask says they are the easiest thing to grow. Hmmm, boo.

Also, I've cut hydrangeas and brought them in this year like I always do and they are dying in less than 48 hours inside. What?! The first flowers I cut and brought in lasted their usual week but subsequent flowers have wilted very quickly.

On the other hand, our blueberry bushes are loaded, can't wait for them to ripen up!

After taking Rachel to the farmers market she declared she wanted a stand there to sell her own things. Um, hmmm, pretty sure we'd have to get serious about gardening to do that. I think we are more of minimalist gardeners - we do the bare minimum to see a few results.

It's not that I don't want to garden, I just have this very large aversion to heat and bugs. There ya go, I said it. We've enjoyed our mint and lettuce so far this year and just harvested our first onions. Rachel accidentally picked our green pepper so we'll enjoy that soon too!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Capsule Wardrobe for a Petite in a Hot Climate

Thank you for all of your great suggestions and thoughts on my summer clothes struggle! I checked out every suggestion provided and appreciate all of your encouragement as well.

Now I wanted to post a little update as I've had some success and enjoyed my summery options every day for the past couple of weeks.

Without even really trying, it turned into a capsule wardrobe which is really what I was wanting to accomplish. I had the best success sticking with the places that have proven true for me in the past and branching out and trying on a few new styles/colors I would not have really tried before.

Also, please note - not everything here is new - some of it I've had for a while and figured just added a new top or have worn it together in a new way!

Jean shorts: ana Petite from JC Penney
Casual white skirt: St. John's Bay - thrifted
Casual denim skirt: Target
Navy blue shorts: Talbots - thrifted pair of pants that I cut off and made into shorts
Khaki pants that roll up to capris: I think these are from Belk
Skinny jeans: Liz Claiborne petites from JC Penney
Striped maxi skirt: Kohl's petites

Black/white pin stripe with lace cutouts: Loft petites
Light blue with white quilting: Loft petites
Raspberry with white: Loft petites
Gray with lacey edges: Loft petites
Multi colored dots: Loft petites from a few years ago
Blue t-shirt with polka dots: Cherokee thrifted
Black/white striped with lace: Loft outlet petites
Navy/Gray stripe: Aeropostale thrifted

I love that these tops can be worn in nearly any combination with the bottoms. There are some pairings I prefer, but it gives me a lot of options.

Light sweaters {for church or somewhere with frigid a/c mostly!}
Navy/White stripe with lace shoulders: Loft Outlet petites
Gray short sleeve with ruffle: JC Penney petite from a few years ago
Mint/White thin cardigan: this is my one and only success from Stitch Fix

That's it! This is 18 clothing pieces {I did not count layering tanks that I wear under almost everything for modesty} that will be able to make up my summer outfits. Some of these I can wear to church also, I do have a few other summery things in my closet that I could switch in for church {like the slate blue jacket shown below} or even causal wear, but these are the things I feel the best in and will enjoy wearing the most.

I'm super minimalistic on shoes - I will probably wear the same pair of sandals with all of these unless I'm going to church then I might wear flats.

Here are a few combinations I've worn so far:

I've enjoyed feeling pretty and confident in clothes that fit well and suit my personality! Feeling very thankful!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Slow Day

A random assortment of slow photos from the last week - with school out and our schedule more fluid, we are finding more pockets of slow and Slow Day has looked different each week.

One of the true beauties of slow - it is completely customizable, very flexible and you can personalize it to your heart's content!!!

My little sweets gave me that lovely hobnail jar for Mother's Day!!!! And, special thanks to a sweet blog-reader, Alice, who sent me the hand-stamped muslin ribbon - so sweet!

We have been enjoying our porches so much - crafting on the porch swing, meals on the screened porch, reading books and watching bubble blowing and just sitting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Beauty of Nourishing at the Table

During the month of May, we have eaten many, many meals on our screened in porch. And, I've noticed a theme in many of my pictures capturing a beautiful table set to feed those who gather around.

It is striking me that I love to nourish beautifully and see food and the serving of it as artistic and creative.

We, as women, have such a big responsibility in our ministry of food. Yet, I also see it as such a gift. I love to see people enjoy something I've made. I love to see them smiling around the table chatting with friends or loved ones nearby, I love crafting a set of beautiful new memories gathered around the table.

Not only do we have a big responsibility in food, we have a lot of power really. We decide what to fix, how to fix it, when to fix it, where to serve it, how to serve it, where to buy our ingredients and what changes we will make to recipes. We decide what time to serve, what dishes we will eat off of and so much more. All of that can really set the tone for our meal don't you think?

I remember going to a friends house one time for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. A bunch of us girlfriends gathered around and she plopped a big bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough with a bunch of spoons poking out and a gallon of milk down among us. I have always loved that, I love that she did it, she served with confidence and I think there was even conversation about food being part of her ministry.

Something about it was so fun, maybe because there are so many voices telling us not to eat raw cookie dough and she gave us full permission to eat something we all loved. But of course, a big part of it was the beautiful way she served it. With love. Without judgement. With generosity.

Actually, I got kind of a laugh when I went back through my photos looking for meal captures and this is only from the month of May! Obviously, this has been on my mind even subconsciously this month!

No meal is too ordinary to just take two minutes to make special. Something I'd like to work on in the meal department is more meaningful conversation. We have done dinner questions, things you learned at school and more, but my little people don't always enjoy or engage in the more meaningful conversation opportunities and that will come as they grow, I hope!

While we're on the subject of food, I have a confession to make. I am very intimidated by the farmers market. I don't like feeling on the spot and buying directly from a human being does just that. The prices are frequently not posted and it creates a {for me} hard position of having to ask and then walking away if I don't feel like that suits what I am looking for. It is crowded and feels high pressure to me in certain ways.

But, I love the idea of the farmers market and would love to try and make it work more often. When my sweet friend suggested breakfast out for my birthday, I asked if she would go with me to the farmers market and help me get over the initial hump of my discomfort there. She is used to going so we went there first and I was uncomfortable, but I did get a few things I needed and was glad to go with a friend.

This past Saturday we went back and I took my children with me. I was hoping they would fall in love with it and that would be a help to me! I think they were pretty neutral about it, but Rachel especially enjoyed it.

I went with a mental list of what I was hoping to find for the coming week and I was so pleased that I found everything on my list. There are so many interesting things I'd love to try - so I might need to just make it a goal to try one new thing a week or a month?

One of the things I love about going is the beauty of the food displayed. No grocery store can compare to just natural food in natural display! I love that. And, knowing that those dear ones selling their produce or goods have toiled throughout the week to make this possible is very humbling.

It is God's handiwork and creativity on display, and man's God-given creativity also in seeing what people create from the food God provides: bread, pasta, tortillas and more {goodness, I must have bread items on the brain!}

This last week I was trying to be mindful of prices, I think in most cases what I got at the farmers market was actually very comparable to the going rate at our local grocery store. But some of my discomfort is with the large variance in price even between vendors or feeling more expensive than the grocery store.

When we got home, I spent the next hour slicing up my veggies for the week. I found it extremely calming, therapeutic and peaceful. The colors and smells were just a delight to me and I rejoice in God's creation.

Do you shop at the farmers market? How do you make it work for you? How do you see nourishing the mouths and souls at your table with beauty and loveliness?