Month Makers July 2018 - The things that left an imprint, and made life easier // Blanche & Thirteenth

What started off as a busy month, quickly tapered out to be easy going and carefree.  My sister got married at the beginning of this month (!), and it was hands down the highlight.  It was a week full of festivity – starting with the fourth of July on Hood Canal, followed by her wedding weekend outside of Mt Rainier National Park, and ending with a visit from a couple of my cousins.  After all celebrations were over, we did a huge kick-back and relax.  We made no plans – whether weekday or weekend – instead, just rolling with the day as it came.  It was a perfect way to unwind from what had been a busy couple of months, and also a perfect way to indulge in the beauty and ease of summer.

Month Makers July 2018 - The things that left an imprint, and made life easier // Blanche & Thirteenth My sister got married at the beginning of the month!  It was a weekend full of forested beauty, that perfectly captured who they are and what they value in life – nature, family/community, food, and sharing gratefulness.   Every moment that I have thought of it since, has given me a huge smile.  It’s clear that it will forever be one of my most cherished memories.

Following the wedding, two of my cousins and one of their sons, stayed with us for a short family visit.  It was the sort of quality time that you don’t typically get to share with cousins who live out of state – so it felt very special.  It was relaxed, with a lot of chatting, and plenty of good food – pizza on the back deck, soup dumplings from Din Tai Fung, Oysters with a view at Westward, and Poke.

Month Makers July 2018 - The things that left an imprint, and made life easier // Blanche & Thirteenth We challenged sesame seeds at Kian’s allergist, and he had no reaction – woot woot!  This was the last of the challenges that we are doing for the next year, and it feels so good to be able to move another food item from ‘no-go’ to ‘okay’.

Rhubarb season seemed to last longer than usual this year, and I certainly took advantage of it.  My last rendezvous with rhubarb was making a jam with orange blossom and candied ginger.  It captures all of those sweet/tart rhubarb jam notes, with a little floral intrigue and ginger zing.

Month Makers July 2018 - The things that left an imprint, and made life easier // Blanche & ThirteenthThis summer has been a hot one in the NW, which means that we’ve taken advantage of nearly every water source as a means to keep cool.  Puget sound waters, Lake Washington waters, the numerous wading pools & splash parks, and our garden hose.  It’s been a fun way to ward off the heat, while still enjoying the outdoors.  We’ve also gotten to see some stunning views as a bi-product.

Month Makers July 2018 - The things that left an imprint, and made life easier // Blanche & ThirteenthI find summer to be a tricky time to buy clothing.  While it makes sense to buy warm weather clothes for the sake of keeping cool, I am usually drawn to fall palettes and styles.  This Anthropologie top is a great balance of both summer and fall, and will be a perfect transition piece come the change of seasons.  Being sleeveless, I’ve been able to easily wear it in hot weather, and come fall, the classic black/tan stripe will easily layer under a sweater or blazer.  Also, how cute is the pleated sleeve trim?

Parenthood is full of purchases, which has made me feel like both a shopaholic, and a truly discerning shopper.  The questions of ‘what do I really need?’, and ‘what will we actually use often?’ are different for almost everyone.  For the reason of not knowing whether we needed it, I’ve resisted buying any sort of accessories for our stroller.  While I use our stroller at least four days of the week to walk in our neighborhood (casually, to the library, to the grocery store, etc.), I’ve learned to make do with the two larger storage compartments that are built into the stroller.  As Kian has gotten older, and the things that we need to bring on our walks have accumulated, I’ve finally given in and purchased a stroller caddy.  Man, do I wish I would have done this a year ago.  Hindsight, people!  For me, walking is a relaxing practice, so having our assortment of ‘needs’ in a given spot, has given an appreciated ease to our walks.

Month Makers July 2018 - The things that left an imprint, and made life easier // Blanche & ThirteenthSimilar to Little Fires Everywhere, I devoured Stay With Me.  I’ve spent the last 15 minutes typing and deleting sentences about how good it is, but I can’t capture it.  All I can say is, trust the accolades that it’s received.  It’s my favorite book that I’ve read this year.

Recently, I asked Alexa to play relaxing afternoon music (What is afternoon music? I don’t know!), and she started playing this Relax & Unwind playlist.  It was just the type of music I was hoping for, but had no idea how to convey.  It’s a compilation of current songs that are mellow – some leaning more melancholy, and others lighthearted – with nothing feeling too heavy (like how some relaxing music can feel).  It’s been the perfect mix to turn to for some relaxing tunes, whether I’m prepping for dinner, working on a project, or zoning out zombie-style.

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