Where did the lazy days of Summer go?

Honestly summer takes a lot of patience and mostly practice. I like order and I thrive on efficiency.  This summer has been anything but orderly having four kids home with very little scheduled and trying to run my own business. As you can imagine I like schedule. So I practiced and tried to breath when the sink was full of dishes and wet towels strewn on the floor. I tried to take chaos and make it feel busy. I tried to remind myself that some day I would in fact miss the mess.

Wellness Connect headquarters was in my kitchen. My 20 year-old niece interned with four boisterous children arguing and cooking around her and 2 mischievous puppies demanding attention. As we sat down to work, I would often interrupt to say, “Oh god do you smell the cat pee,” or would jump up to find the puppies’ head in the cat litter. The humor and frustration of real, raw motherhood. The balance of raising children and pets while working during the summer.

I stressed about how I was going to have my thoughtful, sweet niece intern. I actually sweated over it thinking how the hell am I going to offer her anything? I have to teach her something but I have four children looming demanding rides, doing head stands on the couch, “hey mom look at this!”, laughing, making lunch right in my work-space, the hub of the house “our kitchen.” Recently, I said to Emily it’s like we are at Google as my seven year old insisted we play spoons with her so she could practice keeping her composure when she lost. It was a front row seat to the reality television show of my life, unedited.

 Emily showed ease and grace as she flowed throw my chaos.  I am grateful for Emily for many things that are obvious. She helped me immensely with my website, mailchimp, social media and really anything tech related but mostly I have gratitude for her ability to BE still in the chaos and not rise.

 I hope at the end of the day she learned something about my business but mostly I think she learned more about life. Truthfully I think I gained more from her quiet presence. The universe brings you what you need. We often assume in our society that the elders teach the youth but I think we have it wrong often many of my most valuable lessons are from the young. My niece has taught me so much this summer. We began the summer as employer:employee, aunt:niece,  adult:young adult. We have closed the summer as two individuals that have shared an experience. For me the days I have spent talking, traveling and learning from Emily have added value to my business and helped me grow as a person. Sometimes the smallest moments in our lives are overlooked right in our own kitchens. It’s ok not to have scheduled regattas and tennis matches.  This summer I have learned to flow and not push, to stop and play backgammon, bake blueberry cake and jump in the waves with my kids.

 I feel blessed to have had Emily. The end of summer brings a feeling of sadness for me. My inner child is reminded of returning to school wanting to hold onto to the lazy days of summer. The mother in me wanting to cry, feeling the conflict of emotions, preparing to have an empty, quiet house feels like the order I crave but the stillness makes me feel lonely. Transition is hard but when we are still and aware in our “own kitchen” we can see what we have right before us is a gift: the gift of family, of being together and not doing too much: the gift that each summer brings.

 

 

 

Summer Simplicity

The gift of the leftover is you feel good.  The less we waste the better we feel or at least I do. I am planning a week of meals where you will be able to reuse your items. My goal is not to recreate gourmet, complicated dinners but actually to stick to the theme of SIMPLICITY. Let’s stop trying to complicate our lives, let’s simplify.

Each Sunday I do my grocery shopping for the week. It helps me to feel organized and prepared for the upcoming week. I plan at least 5 dinners with always the idea of leftovers in mind. I can’t stand wasting. I love finding creative ways to use my leftover food. I look at the grocery store as a rectangle, trying to only go to the outer edges. I begin in the fruits and veggies section. I skim lightly though the dairy section, selecting only raw cheeses and pasture raised eggs. I may grab some whole milk yogurt  (Seven stars or a good quality Greek plain) and butter (organic valley or kerrigold). Next I hit up the fish and grass fed beef. Notice I have skipped the entire center of the “typical” grocery store where many processed items sit. I circle through and get my staples, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, rice, quality dark chocolate, rice crackers, tea, peanut butter or almond butter etc.

So let’s have fun. Click  below to see the 5 recipes for the “week.” Each day I will post on social media how I used the leftovers. No need to buy lunch.  Remember SIMPLICITY for the summer. Take your simple dinner and create a wonderful lunch the next day.

5 SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS MEALS

 Day 1: Prosciutto-Mint Shrimp, basmati rice, spicy corn avocado salad

Day 2: Fish tacos with coleslaw, tomatoes and guac

Day 3: Ginger soy steak, grilled asparagus, potato salad

Day 4: Grilled lemon chicken, green beans & shallots, watermelon and arugula salad

Day 5: Turkey burger, kale salad, quinoa salad

**Here is a green salad you can add to any meal! (Dressing recipe included) 

Here is a list of items I like to stock my fridge with when I don't have time to plan

Charlotte's Story

Looking back, I now believe that Wellness Connect evolved after I had children. I did everything a good mother should: I went to the doctor for shots and when my kids were sick, I gave them medicine. When my oldest was seven, two incidents happened that became my epiphany changing the way I thought and how I would handle future health issues in my family. I started listening to my intuition and learned to advocate for my family.  Before I approached doctors as if what they said was always right and didn’t question authority. It never hurts to ask questions, even if it's in your own head.

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