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Not once, but twice last week, I found myself in a conversation that centered around the art of lingering.

Learning the Art of Lingering shed2

The first was a conversation with a food writer friend, that shared with me her experience of interviewing a man that told her about how he laid the foundation,  with his children, to linger at the table after dinner.  This intentional act laid the ground work for intimate conversations, laughter and growth that ultimately led to an idea for starting a family business.
Over this past weekend, I visited my parents.  We filled ourselves with family time, shed hunting, shopping and good food.  Over one of our meals, I found myself in a similar conversation with my dad about taking the time to linger, to slow down.  He told me that he had read somewhere recently how the quality of relationships between mothers and daughters fell into decline with the invention of the dishwasher.  Their time in the kitchen became less to do with the casual, intimate conversations that took place as they cleaned, and more to do with efficiency and moving on to the next task.
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My own childhood was effected with the addition of a dishwasher to our household.  Up until that point, my job each evening was to help my mom clear the table and then dry dishes while she washed.  As we went about our tasks this became a time to share, to discuss our days and other topics that came to mind.  The conveinence of the dishwasher changed everything.  The whole process moved much quicker, leaving little time for visiting.  After a couple years, our dishwasher met its demise.  For whatever reason, my parents chose not to replace it.  The absence of the dishwasher brought the return of our evening ritual.  As my brother got older, I shifted to washing, he took up the drying.  Those evenings of what once felt like a chore, are now some of the most treasured and vivid memories of my childhood.  Meaningful conversations, sharing the triviality of our days…along with a few really good soap sud fights.
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Learning the Art of Lingering
While I know that we won’t be giving up our dishwasher anytime soon, for us, these moments are still found in the kitchen, but more in the preparation of the meal, versus the cleanup. It is where I spend much of my time photographing, recipe testing, creating our meals, nourishing body and soul.  My children are easily drawn in, and ask what they might do to help.  As the meal preparation unfolds, so do our conversations, with the same ease and rhythm of a chopping knife.  It’s one of the best arguments I can think of for cooking at home…conversation, learning how to prepare food, togetherness, a well laid foundation.

As I sit here, writing away on a Monday night, ‘Love Actually’ playing in the background, a dog snuggled up next to me I can’t help but feel thankful.  Thankful for this wonderful little place in the blogosphere that has made the world feel a little smaller, that has allowed me to connect with people many miles away…foodies, photographers, writers and artists.

Natha Perkins is one of them.  Natha sent me a kind email when she found my posts about our summer vacation in Colorado, and time spent at the Boulder Farmers’ Market.  We share a love of vegetarian cooking and farmers’ markets.  She is the owner of a small metal smithing studio, Luscious Metals, located near the foothills of Boulder that creates ecologically sustainable jewelry.  Her pieces are beautifully and individually made.

Luscious Metals

I know this because she sent me one.  A lovely, mixed metal necklace from her Sweetheart Collection that has the names of my three boys alongside stones hand chosen by Natha.  I’m a person that loves simple, meaningful jewelry.  This necklace is both.

And now I’d like to share her work with you….

Luscious Metals

To enter to win a $75 gift certificate to put toward the purchase of your own Luscious Metals necklace (or earrings or bracelet) just share below in the comments what’s on YOUR Christmas list this year, or maybe one of the best gifts you’ve been given in Christmas’ past.

*This giveaway will end on Saturday, December 7, 2013.  

The winner will be chosen by random drawing using the ‘Pick Giveaway Winner’ plugin.

 

 

It’s been so beautiful here lately.  The leaves are mostly down with their show, but sun has been out, making it just nice enough to be outside. We’ve been cramming in as much outdoor time as we can after school before the sun goes down.  Sunset is just way to early in my opinion…dark by 5:30?  No, thank you.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

It wasn’t until this past year that I discovered a love for brussels sprouts.  REALLY?  You might be thinking.  Yes, I know.  Growing up brussels sprouts kind of fall into the same category as lima beans causing children to wrinkle their noses and shake their heads when asked to eat them.

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Well, it’s the first day of summer vacation.  School got out yesterday and we celebrated it with friends in a wild water fight.  With a neighborhood full of energetic boys I can’t think of a better way to burn off the excitement of school being done for the year.

summer bucket list challenge

summer bucket list challenge

summer bucket list challenge

For weeks we’ve been talking about how we’d like to spend our summer, the adventures we want to have and what that will include.  Now that school’s out we decided to get serious and put our ideas on paper, making our annual summer bucket list.  This year everyone wrote down five things they wanted to do; places to go, things to make, people to see, new foods to try. Our ideas usually include big and little things, ranging from what to do on vacations to making popsicles, and everything in between!

summer bucket list challenge

Since we began making these lists a couple of years ago, our summers have taken on a new purpose of adventure.  Our summer days have a bit more intention, looking for the fun and adventure we might have, whether it’s on our own, or tagging along with friends.  If you’ve never made a summer bucket list I would encourage you to give it a try.

This year we are participating in The Happy Family Movement’s Summer Bucket List Challenge.  If you don’t know the Solars they are a fun loving family that look for adventure at every turn, sharing with others what good ol’ family fun can be. Want to join in?  First, create your list.  Then, head on over to The Happy Family Movement and share it with others.    They have an amazing community on Facebook where you can find out about fun giveaways (including one from us) and other great ideas to make your summer the best yet.  Don’t feel like sharing? Then just check out what everyone else is adding to their lists, it may spark a few ideas of your own!

summer bucket list challenge

summer bucket list challenge

Happy Summer!

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