Summer is quickly coming to a close and I am in full nesting mode as we look to the start of the school year. My oldest will be starting Kindergarten in just a few weeks and I am unwell. How does time go by so fast?! He is beyond ready and we are so excited about his school, but the milestone of entering the "school years" is hitting hard. My focus this month is preparing our home and our hearts for the transition. I'm meticulously purging and organizing every space in the house and dreaming about the new rhythms of this new season. Wherever you find yourself this August, I hope you are able to seek beauty and create loveliness as you celebrate home.
a book to read
We have jumped into the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel and it is just so stinking cute. The language is much easier than what we have been reading lately and I think we are all enjoying the pace of shorter chapters. If you have preschool aged kiddos and are wanting to take a small jump up from picture books, this is a great series to start with! The stories make me laugh out loud...Toad is such a grump and I find it charming!
Next on the docket is Treasure Island, which if I am being honest...might be too hard. I did a quick skim of the first chapter and am a little hesitant, but we will give it a try and see if we enjoy it.
I can't remember if I have shared this before or not, but we have been syncing up our read-alouds with our Yoto cards. The kids each have a Yoto player in their room and I could not recommend it more! We LOVE that they can listen to audiobooks during rest time or take it on roadtrips or play music at bedtime. This summer I even signed us up for the Yoto Club membership - for $9ish a month we get to pick out 2 new cards and it has been a really fun way to grow our library.
the soundtrack of the season
In the mornings, I have been loving the playlist Cozy Acoustic Morning. It is calm and relaxing guitar music and just sets our day on the right footing.
Ben Rector Live from Atlanta has been playing in the studio and I can't help but cry during 30,000 Feet and Daughter. Like I said...I've been feeling all the feels.
food to savor
For the past few months, we have been carving out time on Sunday evening for a Sabbath Dinner. It has become such a sweet tradition for our family to slow down, light candles, ask intentional questions, pray together and enjoy a "fancier" meal. During the week I lean hard into low prep meals - sheet pan dinner, tacos, hamburgers...but on Sundays, I've been enjoying taking some extra time to be creative in the kitchen.
This month for Sabbath Dinner, I plan to rotate between grilled steaks and our favorite Pork Tenderloin recipe from Queen Ina. I've been making this recipe (loosely...as I do, ha!) for years and it is always a crowd favorite. Serve with some homemade bread and a roasted veggie...a "fancier" and yet also pretty easy win!
to tend the home
Oh man...the tending home list this month is about a mile long and I don't want to bore you with my giant to do list...so I'll just pick my two to highlight.
First, it is that gross time of the year where the weeds and the lawn and garden are out of control but it's just too dang hot to do anything about it. Not only do we have oppressive heat and humidity...but we've had the wildest storms the past month, so the yard is looking rough. The heat is forecasted to break mildly next week so I am planning to go to town weeding and getting the garden under control. We are going to lay mulch in September, so I am hoping to have the beds cleaned up prior to that.
My next tending home task is a bit more fun! I bought a pine coat hanger wall thingy that is going to be perfect inside our hall closet. I want to have a place the kids can reach to hang their coats and backpacks and I am just so excited about this piece. What's even better, I snagged it for $4 thrifting. This may or may not turn into a whole hall closet reno project...no one tell Daniel.
memories to make
The month of milestones. Before school starts, a memory all in its own, we are taking the kids out on solo dates. I've got plans with little (I guess, not so little anymore) dude this weekend to go school supply shopping and then lego building over hamburgers. He has always been my little sidekick, so I am excited to soak up some special time one-on-one time.
on a personal note
My birthday was last month and I was absolutely spoiled by my people...I feel so lucky. I am LOVING this new robe Daniel and the kids got me. I have been reading reviews and listening to influencers for years talk about this robe, but let me tell you...it lives up to they hype. I am not an influencer in anyway, so I am going to link this thing solely for your own benefit. It is magic. I am between sizes and ended sizing up and am loving a more relaxed fit.
in the studio
This summer I've intentionally slowed down the pace in the studio. My creative energy has been super low and it has been good for me to take a few months to limit my output and reconnect with my artistic voice.
One concept I've enjoyed exploring recently has been larger scale landscapes on canvas. While the style is similar to the modern landscapes I've been recently painting, these pieces are unique in that they have a raw canvas border. It takes a few extra steps to prep the canvas for this concept, but the border is incredibly interesting to me. I think the blank space reminds me of the intentional pause I've needed this summer... quietness to step away from productivity and to find my own perspective once again.
With this quieting in the studio, I've also started to retire a handful of prints from the print library. Thank you if you shopped the Summer Clean-Out Sale! It was really fun to watch so many of you collect my work, truly an honor. While the sale has ended on all prints, retired prints are still marked 75% off and will be until they are gone. Shop the sale here if you want to see what prints are still available.
Cheers to meaningful work that celebrates home!