July 13, 2014

What I'm learning this summer

My five-year-old son has been home for almost three weeks now. It's been nice to have him around for the summer and my youngest son loves having someone to play with besides his mom. 

I just forgot how busy it is to spend an entire day with these two little guys. They would be playing together for one moment, and then fighting with each other in the next. We never have a dull moment around here.

Even though my hope for the lazy days quickly turned into the crazy days, I'm still enjoying the easiness of summer. I think we're finally moving into this new rhythm - a more relaxed 'go with the flow' approach with no particular expectations. 

Today, I wanted to share a few things I've learned so far this summer.

1. I can't go without decorating our home.
I ran out of our decorating budget a while ago and had to take a little break from decorating. Well, I've missed it very much. I realized for the first time I simply can't go without decorating.

2. You'll eventually find a perfect paint color, only if you don't settle for something less.
I came across this medium-dark gray paint, and I instantly fell in love with the richness of its color. 

I'm so glad I didn't settle for the paint color I wasn't a 100% happy with. I just finished the first coat and it already looks amazing. Can you tell which room I'm working on? 

3. Relaxing on a hammock is the best way to spend a summer afternoon.  
While watching the boys play outside, I try to find my inner peace lying on this hammock, 

and savor the beautiful nature this season offers. 

If the boys are preoccupied with each other, I get to enjoy my favorite book for a few minutes. 

This is what I am re-reading right now. A perfect book to read on a hammock.

The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea. 
Gift from The Sea
by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
4. Homemade lemonade is my favorite summer drink. 
We've been making lemonade almost every day this summer. I like this recipe for regular lemonade. I've also tried this jalapeno lemonade and I found the hint of spiciness quite refreshing on a hot summer day. 

5. I literally live in our kitchen.  
Have you read a book, Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto? I think I'm a lot like that main character. I'd be happy just spending the entire day in our kitchen, cooking or scrubbing down the counters. For me, the kitchen is the place of comfort and happiness, and I spend a great deal of time during the day in the kitchen (weird?). There has been a lot of cooking and baking happening in our kitchen this summer and that simply makes me happy.

We made Cinnabunnies!

6. My favorite ratio for strawberry rhubarb pie filling is strawberry 3: rhubarb 4.  
I prefer savory over sweet, but I do enjoy freshly baked fruit pies. I use 3 cups of diced strawberries and 4 cups of rhubarb for an 9 inch pie. This creates the perfect balance of tart and sweet for my taste. And if someone likes it sweeter, I would just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. The flavors from roasted rhubarb and vanilla ice cream complement each other beautifully.

What about you? What have you learned so far this summer?


  1. Hi Yuko! I remember those days with little children. I would pull them apart as much as I would pull them together. It is exhausting!
    Summer is teaching me that I need to give into her lure more. I tend to stay in the house, writing, cleaning, planning... and maybe God is waving his arms in the trees.."Come out and play!" I need some lemonade and a hammock. I'll be right over!

    1. Hi Ceil! I should drink some lemonade while lying in the hammock next time. You're welcome to join us any time ;-) xx

  2. I second your thoughts on picking the right paint colors. It's amazing the impact color can have on our mood. Picking the right colors can add warmth to your life over and over again.

    My husband is a jalapeno addict. I've never heard of jalapeno lemonade, but think I will surprise him and make some.

    1. Yes, choosing the right paint color makes all the difference. My husband didn't like the idea of jalapeno lemonade, but he loved it :) You can adjust the spiciness by adjusting the amount of jalapeno infused syrup you add to each serving.

  3. I love how introspective you are Yuko - even with little ones about!
    The grey colour is beautiful, so rich and with so much depth, lovely choice.
    Can't believe the view from your hammock, it really looks like you have a bit of heaven right there.
    For me, the kitchen is the most important room in the house and where I spend the most time. I always say all I need is a bit eat in kitchen and I'm happy - I don't care about the rest of the house!

    1. It's amazing how much imagination the boys use while they play in the woods, and I can get to relax on a hammock so that's a plus. And yes, having a eat-in kitchen makes cooking more practical and fun :)

  4. love everything in this post yuko. a hammock, lemonade, strawberry rhubarb pie all being at the top of my list. also, love love the book. i often pull it out for some daily inspiration. x

    1. It's a great book to read in summer (or any time, really). I love that every time I open the book, I get different messages depending on the season of life I'm in.

  5. The wall color is gorgeous! Especially with the trim and gold frames. Love it.
    Haven't read that book. If you and Janet like it so much, I probably would too!

    1. Hi Stephen!! Thanks! I think I'm going to put the second coat of paint today - can't wait to finish it :) The book is written from a woman's (mother's) perspective, but it's such a beautiful work you'll probably enjoy it.


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