I love the lazy days of summer.
This past week has been all about chasing whim as we saw fit.
I started out last weekend with a text from a pal who alerted me to another friend who’s caring for a husband going through chemo.
I love this mutual friend of ours, and when my pal said she wanted to pull together some treats for her, I told her I wanted in, too.
I hit the farmer’s market for berries,
and then together my friend and I went to New Seasons to pick up a number of things for her.
We bought flowers, teas, granolas, yogurts, various energy and granola bars, books and magazines, ginger products, more fruits and veggies, soap, Italian sodas, lentils, crackers and more.
I have some oversized hand-painted trays I brought with us and we arranged it all. We knew that we wanted to surprise them with the treats, so we scampered over to her house when we knew she wasn’t there and left the treats on her back steps.
Thanks so much, Emily for the thoughtful idea, inviting me along and doing the driving. I had such a blast pulling these trays together with you and I loved having the time with you to catch up.
And for the friend (and blog reader) who received this delivery, please know that our thoughts are with you (call me when you come up for air).
We’re all enjoying warm days here in Portland, which means most days I just want simple delicious meals that are a breeze to put together.
Like these shrimp scampi, avocado and grilled corn rolls.
Man, these are so good– especially when chockful of garlicky shrimp and the crunch of pine nuts.
There’ve been lots of sandwiches and salads for the adults around here.
This corn and radicchio salad had avocado, crumbled Feta and Italian green olives and it was so crunchy and refreshing.
My kids have profited by my low-key quick cooking with lots of homemade pizza; they take only about 15 minutes in the oven and even less to eat.
Oliver is a purist, liking traditional shapes while Charlotte loves the novelty of shaped pizza.
Applewood smoked bacon on pizza is crazy delicious, especially when paired with fresh mozzarella.
And then of course we’ve had Fourth of July to look forward to.
Charlotte loves to decorate for the holidays and I love pulling out items with her each year and putting them out around the house and porch.
I went to the Bins this week for the first time in a month and I was thrilled to find these salt and pepper shakers which I added to my Fourth of July porch decor.
Turns out pepper shakers make the ideal vessel for mini-flags.
I thought that this vintage sign looked particularly festive on the porch near my hammock.
I really love to decorate my porch with whatever I have on hand.
Who doesn’t love a vintage gingham oilcloth elephant?
My porch is one of my favorite things about this house, and I love spending hours in warm weather just soaking it all in from the vantage point of my hammock.
We decided to have a low-key 4th of July, just staying close to home and enjoying time as a family.
We decided to repeat what we did last year on this holiday: a picnic on Sauvie Island with Bailey.
The drive out is only about 25 minutes but it feels like a world away.
Before you know it, you’re there.
We usually go to Kruger’s Farm and we love to hit the berry fields and see what’s growing in the summer.
I love setting up a picnic table with the comforts of home and bask in the beautiful ample shade of an enormous oak tree.
We’d hit New Seasons on the way out of town, and so we had lots of food on hand to enjoy.
I set up the table and called the gang in to eat.
I’ve done picnics here so many times I know what I’m going to need to set a cheery table.
Cheeses, fruit, baguette, focaccia, salads, mac and cheese, salami– we had quite the spread.
Even Bailey got something special. I reserved some roasted chicken from the night before for a little hide and go seek.
And why shouldn’t my dog get his own cute plate, too?
When he found his plate, he went bonkers, and tried to climb up the tree to get it.
Once we were all sated, we ate some of the blueberries Charlotte picked in the patches just steps away and played cards in the shade.
My kids are quite the poker players– especially when their allowance is on the line.
The drive home was particularly gorgeous, and the St. John’s Bridge always makes me fall in love with Portland all over again.
Not preparing a big spread or rushing off to a boozy BBQ means that there’s still time in the afternoon to sit in the hammock, and enjoy another homemade cookie or two with kids.
A couple neighbors walked by and I got off my perch to offer them a celebratory treat.
(These White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Lemon were fantastic — I’ll share a recipe soon!).
We capped off our holiday with a homemade feast (shrimp and avocado sushi for the adults, a themed pizza for the kids), then fireworks outside on the street
and a viewing of All the President’s Men (more topical than ever).
What a lovely, leisurely last couple days it’s been.
So here’s to one country, under pizza, with pepperoni and olives, for all.
Hope your Fourth was equally relaxing and delicious.