You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘summer’ tag.

I’d been cleaning out my closet, this first day of my summer staycation.  Inspired by a book I’m reading—The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo—I’d decided it was time to let go of some things.

It supports my mantra of late.  Let go of what doesn’t serve you.  More to come on that—another time, another post.

Exhausted and energized at the same time, I took a break to think about where I’d go for dinner.  I looked up a few restaurants and made a decision, then got up to straighten up the mess I’d made.

Suddenly I had an urge for something else.

Sun on my face, sand under my feet, surf sounds in my ears.

An hour later I had all three.

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May your instinctive urges lead you to peaceful places of beauty this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.  Wish you were here…

 

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Everyone I know has been posting the most beautiful pictures on social media, chronicling their summer vacations, with enviable captions like, “The perfect summer day!” and “Life should always be like this. #poollife” and “I’ve never been so relaxed…ahhhh.”

I, on the other hand, have felt depleted, spent and anxious.

Having spent the better part of a summer Friday working, including waiting for a conference call that never happened, I took advantage of the last few hours of daylight and went for a sanity walk in Central Park.

My favorite spot in the park, The Lake, has been my place of refuge ever since I moved to New York City almost two decades ago. Sometimes it is crowded and noisy, and I just pass through, admiring the beauty as I walk away. This particular evening though, cloudy and uncharacteristically cool, I found it quiet. Happily.

I sat down, closed my eyes and breathed in the cool air. There it was, the pocket of peace that had eluded me all day.

The light was beautiful, illuminating the trees and the reflections of the buildings surrounding the park. Always looking to take the perfect photograph of my favorite place, I began taking pictures with my camera phone.

A gondola came into the frame and looked oddly – and yet, perfectly – romantic against the impending dusky sky. I snapped away, framing the gondola against the backdrop of the Central Park West landscape. As I put my phone down, I noticed a couple in the boat. Then, I saw the man smoothly move from where he was sitting and crouch down on one knee.

I saw the woman gasp, then nod her head as she said yes to his proposal.

This was my perfect summer moment.

Love is everywhere. This love, though not mine, somehow lightened my mood. This couple, so full of joy and romance they promised each other a future, made me feel hopeful in what lies ahead. Love does that. In that way, I suppose it belongs to us all.

I hope you experience it for yourself.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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How rare it is to have a day with nothing scheduled, nothing that urgently needs to be done.  I took advantage of the day, full of drizzly weather, and stayed in.

My highlight was a lazy lunch in bed—the simplest plate of nuts spiced with herbs de provence, a runny cheese and fresh figs, all voluptuous and sweet.  It was delicious and uncomplicated, everything summer should be.

Lunch

I hope you find space for at least one lazy afternoon this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.

Summer is about moments, the minutes and hours that add up to a season.  The moments that add up to a life.

It’s long, lazy lunches with a good book and a glass—or two—of wine.

Buvette Lunch

It’s the freshest ingredients at their peak with flavors as intense as the colors of vegetable flesh.

Tomato Salad

It’s the sweetness of fruits, bursting with the intensity of juicy sensuousness.

Figs

It’s the vibrancy of flowers, so abundant everywhere, just daring you not to feel happy.

Sunflower

Summer is sunsets that descend later in the evening in a fiery blaze, giving way to cooler night breezes.

Sunset on the Hudson

May this week be filled with the beautiful moments of summer.

xo, with goodness and grace.

Goodness this week was very simple.  Blessed with a weekend of beautiful summer-like weather for a three-day stretch, it felt good to be outdoors.

I found myself in my neighborhood park, book in hand and stretched out on a bench.  Squirrels munching on acorns stopped and stared, then scurried away in search of food.  Children pushed shopping carts, running and stopping, chasing pigeons while squealing with delight.

These are the weekend days I long for when weekdays get crammed with too many things.

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Sometimes a simple carefree day is exactly what is needed—to lean back, close my eyes and say “ahhhh” as the wind blows softly on my face.

Yesterday I wrote about my love of peaches.  Today, I used the rest of the bounty I purchased at the farmer’s market this weekend.  I made peach cobbler in celebration of Labor Day.

Using this easy recipe, I substituted Cup 4 Cup flour to make it gluten-free.  It worked beautifully, with virtually no difference in the texture (or taste…shhhh) in the batter.

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The cake-like topping was light and tender, and it posed a perfect complement to the summery vibrance of the peaches.

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Summer may be waning, but dishes like this allow us to hold on a little longer. That is the goodness of food.

We’re blessed with beautiful farmers’ markets in New York City, rich with local and in-season produce.  Though I don’t often have time to hit up the markets, this time of year, I’m haunted by memories of peaches.  Some people have a fear of missing out on life; I have a FOMO on peach season.

So I went to the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday and was happily greeted by an abundance of succulent, fuzzy, juicy peaches, just waiting to be eaten.

Peaches

I greeted the morning with knowledge that I had a handful of peaches on my kitchen counter just waiting to be enjoyed.  My plan was to use them in my favorite recipe, but the creme fraiche in the refrigerator had gone bad.  Such a sad story.

Instead I improvised with ingredients I had on hand:  fresh ricotta cheese with a sprinkling of brown sugar and a splash of vanilla extract all whipped together, which I then dolloped over one perfectly ripe chopped peach.  The mixture tasted like a pillowy cheesecake infused with juicy, sunshine-y peachiness.

I love when things turn out well.

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Today was a perfect city summer day.

Today I found myself wistful, feeling the breezes of the impending fall in the air, but then I remembered to pull myself back into the moment.  Days like this call us to be present so we can appreciate their beauty.

Today I started the day early, meeting my parents for breakfast.  It is our Saturday ritual that starts with good food and ends with a long meandering walk through the downtown streets.  I always walk away from these routine visits feeling loved and supported.  It is what I wish for everyone.

Today I walked almost 60 blocks back home, taking in the Summer Streets that has become an August ritual.  Park Avenue shuts down on Saturday morning and becomes a celebration of the season, with bicyclists, joggers and walkers hitting the streets with unabashed abandon.  The walk made me feel alive.

Today I got a manicure, a favorite act of grooming that I’d neglected for the last few crazy weeks.  Happily, my favorite manicurist worked with me, so quiet and meticulous in her work.  And I discovered the perfect red nail polish for me, OPI’s “Just A Little Rösti At This.”

Today I took myself on a dinner date at my favorite restaurant, where I got to experience beautiful new dishes, catch up with my culinary comrades and get up to date on my reading list.  The meal ended with a sweet offering of a bowl filled with colorful M&Ms.  I contemplated snapping a picture to share here, but I wanted to remember how the gesture made me feel, so I put the camera phone away and happily munched on a childhood favorite snack.

Today I was present for the simple pleasures and magical moments of another ordinary summer New York City day.  And it was lovely.

It was a day of simple pleasures.

Breakfast with my parents to catch up after a long week, followed by a long walk through the streets of SoHo.  A blue sky perfectly framed the picturesque urban landscapes.

SoHo Afternoon

A free scoop of ice cream from my favorite truck – Van Leeuwen – made its way into my day.  No perfect summer day is complete without ice cream.  I selected  Gianduja, which tastes like frozen Nutella.  This is a flavor that will always conjure deep gratitude for me.

Van Leeuwen Gianduja

An uneventful evening completed the day as I took in the smell of freshly laundered clothes, put together a simple dinner, and caught up on my favorite shows saved on my DVR.

It was a simple day, full of my favorite things…and so much grace.

 

The beauty of some summer days is that they feel like stretches of time that can last forever.  Such is the case on a perfect beach day, with endless expanses of blue sky, warm breezy weather and active waves…

good friends…

lazy beach towel time with your favorite tunes…

…and long walks to search for seashells, to stretch and to be one with the sand.

Here, it’s all good.

Wish you were here. XOXO

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