Hot child in the city

My bestie left a message the other day which ended with, “Otherwise, everything is great.  Me and the kids are just enjoying the hell out of summer.” That immediately became my mantra for these first weeks of August and I recommend the same for you. We are closing in on the last few (and arguably best) weeks of summer.  So if there is anything you still want to do, you better get on it. Because this is a special time of year and I hope you are enjoying the hell out of it.

Summer in the City

So after the jump, ways to enjoy summer and a recipe for the best potato salad ever.

Be a tourist in your city

Every city has some places worth visiting during this most excellent time of year, whether it’s a park, pool, reservoir or lake.  Most people would be surprised by how many beaches we have here in the Seattle area. I don’t usually get to the beach often, we don’t need much sun. But my kids are at a great age for beach trips.  Turns out, it’s actually quite relaxing and pretty wonderful in a timeless sort of way.

I’ve made a point of going to as many local beaches as possible this summer. Yesterday we took a picnic and the blanket to meet up with some friends for a family dinner at Golden Gardens. I got such a kick watching the kids do their thing, interacting with the natural world. They played for hours with sand, rocks, logs and sticks. A great day is discovering a big hole, or better yet, digging a big hole. It is the stuff that memories are made of, we will definitely be back before the summer ends.

Busy, busy.

Slow and low, that is the tempo

Summer is a magical time. These long days encourage us to get outside,  look around and spend time with people we love. This summer, I have really been focusing on slowing down and doing less so I can be more present in the moment.  Picture less time on dishes and cooking, more time on bike rides and quality time. And it’s been wonderful. The net effect is that I am much less busy  but everything is still getting done. And in the process, I am finding peace and a mental calmness that I have never known. Plus, it feels great to be the mom I want to be.

This summer, me and the kids have been to three different local beaches,  swimming at the Y, out for banana splits,  bike riding to the park, to our new local library, and enjoyed two free summer festivals. Before the summer is over, I still want us to go to an outdoor concert,  play in the Seattle Center fountain and swim in the local wading pool. All of these activities are free or cheap and require a minimum amount of planning and preparation.

Get thee outdoors!

So promise me you will experience the outdoors every chance you get. Walk to your destination, ride your bike, go read your book at a park, go to your local beach / park / pool. Find a free show, listen to music outdoors, watch a sunset, take a hike, go camping. This is your chance to connect with your family, your friends, your neighbors and yourself.  Summer is almost over, you better get on it. It’s time for you to make sure you enjoy the hell out of summer. You’ll thank me when the winter comes.

And a little something for your picnic

I love cold foods in summer. The ham in this potato salad makes it very filling, I use it as the main dish for picnics.  I make a huge vat of this and eat it for days. I’m not gonna lie, the chopping takes awhile, but it’s so worth it. All the flavors and textures come together in such a delightful way. Everytime I make it, everyone wants the recipe, so here it is! xo

Masha’s Potato Salad

4 potato

3 -4 carrots

4 eggs

slab of ham (have the deli slice it about a half inch thick)

4 pickles (peeled)

cucumber (peeled)

celery

can of peas (not frozen)

1 big green apple (peeled)

Mayonnaise, salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes, carrots and eggs together until soft. (It’s easiest to peel the potatoes after cooking.) Dice all of the above ingredients into small, bite sized cubes.  After everything is cubed, add the mayonnaise. My friend swears that it is best with Russian mayo, which has more of a vinegar flavor, but I use regular mayo and it’s great. Add salt and pepper to taste, chill before serving.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. toe-to-toe
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 16:16:22

    One of my smaller goals this month is to make it to a beach on Lake Michigan, and freeze my butt off in northern waters. I’m not sure if it’ll be a Chicago beach, or one up in Wisconsin, though. I’ve been meaning to go for two years.

    Reply

  2. The Mayoress
    Sep 02, 2011 @ 23:13:26

    Omg, Golden Gardens was my happy place when I lived in Seattle. Thanks for the great memories of fleeting summers!

    Reply

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