August has always been one of my favorite months because of it’s beautiful weather and carefree summer vibe. In recent years, August has been made even better by the addition of our wedding anniversary (just hit six years!), and Kian’s birthday. This August was especially memorable because of how quiet and relaxed it was – two words that I haven’t associated with the month for many years. This made the month feel long and full, and highlighted those special moments even more clearly.
Where to begin about Willows Inn + Restaurant? It was a truly inspiring and rejuvenating experience. Between our relaxed stay at the Inn, exploring the quiet and peaceful Lummi Island, and experiencing twenty-four thoughtful, creative, and truly delicious courses – we left feeling invigorated. That’s not even to mention that we had 24 hours just to ourselves; something that hadn’t happened in nearly a year. We went as a belated five year anniversary celebration, and are now looking for another reason to visit again.
Kian turned two at the end of the month. Let me say that again – he turned TWO! Clearly, my mind is still wrapping itself around that fact. We had such a fun time celebrating him, as his understanding of what a birthday means (not the age part, but more-so, the celebrating) is beginning to take shape. He clapped his way through us singing him Happy Birthday, and requested ‘special cake’ multiple times following our celebration. A couple of weeks prior, we celebrated amongst our family down in Olympia with tacos, cupcakes, water balloons and cousin shenanigans. On the day of, we celebrated as just the three of us with a trip to one of his favorite places (Carkeek Park), to do one of this favorite things (throw rocks), and of course ate more ‘special cake’. He lights up our world in the most joyous way.
I mentioned in my July recap that I begin to think of fall fashion by mid-summer, which means that by August, I am buying for it (one can only be so patient!). I fell hard for this J Crew sweater blazer, after seeing Jacey of Damsel in Dior seamlessly style into multiple outfits. What I’ve determined with J Crew, is that with the frequency of their sales, a little patience can go a long way in getting a good deal. By early August, that deal arrived in the form of something like 25% + 15% off – basically shaving a good 1/3 off of the price (insert fist bump!). I also ended up purchasing this stripe tee because, well, I have a hard time saying no to a stripe. What I love about this one, is it’s fall palette, slightly thicker fabric, and slim boxy fit.
While waiting for a couple of books to be available at the library, I decided to catch up on my stack of Sunset magazine issues that had piled up over the last five months (whoops!). Sunset magazine always has a way of making me feel creatively inspired, and motivated to explore. Reading them back to back only compounded that feeling. Ideas of painted front doors, weekend trips to Boise, and simple seasonal dinners, have filled my mind since. I was especially taken with this renovated Sacramento Spanish Colonial Revival home, this arranged pressed flower art, and this writer’s road trip itinerary through the Canadian Rockies.
If there’s one thing in my kitchen that I truly dislike, it’s cling wrap. I feel bad every time that I frustratingly try to adhere it around a dish. But, there are times when it just makes sense to use it; like when you have a nearly full pan of lasagna or half of a watermelon that you’re not sure how you want to cut up. Enter Silicone stretch lids. They have completely eradicated my need to use (and inevitably throw away) cling-wrap, and have also solved my need for more Tupperware. I simply cover the item itself – like a coffee mug, cucumber, or casserole dish – and pop them in the dishwasher when I’m done. A serious A+ for whoever came up with this glorious invention.
I’ve been baking up boules and focaccia bread for months now, since discovering this gluten free recipe from Bread in 5. So, when I was looking for a recipe that is more in-line with a sandwich bread, I simply turned to their book. Their Maple Oat Loaf recipe fits the bill perfectly, and conjures up a certain childhood nostalgia. It is slightly sweet, slightly nutty, and entirely delicious.
The sage in our backyard is beastly beyond our needs. By mid-summer, after having spent too many months gone unpicked, it begins to wilt and yellow. Not only is it a bummer to see it go to waste, but it’s also an eyesore. All it took was one simple google search to realize ‘Duh! Make a sage pesto!’ And, because of it’s large quantity, why not freeze it in a completely smart way while you’re at at.’ (I have a lot of internal dialogue…;-). The pesto has that mellow earthy flair that sage is so delicious for, and having it frozen as a sheet, has made for some incredibly easy and delicious dishes. One of my favorite ways that we’ve eaten it, was dressed on top of tender navy beans and sliced grilled zucchini.