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Holiday Weekend Play

Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.—Louisa May Alcott

After an intense few days of migraines and that heavy, lead-like feeling, there’s a lightness in the air today. The sun is shining, wind is blowing, and city is getting quieter as many head to the beach and beyond.

Other than seeing the ballet Giselle and attending a birthday brunch, my weekend is wide open and I’m looking forward to the sense of spaciousness an open schedule allows.

In case you, too, have extra time this weekend or are looking for summer play ideas, here’s an assortment to whet your palate:

Lie in the grass
Ride a carousel
Visit a shelter and walk dogs
Drink wine outside
Swim naked
Grill peaches
Stargaze
Watch lighting bugs
Camp
Visit an animal sanctuary
Get a pink mani/pedi
Roast vegan marshmallows around a campfire
Run barefoot on the beach
Watch a movie outdoors
Visit a farmers’ market
Roast corn
Stroll along a beach boardwalk
Do yoga on a rooftop
Plant a garden
Host an outdoor gathering
Run a 5k
Pack a picnic
Make a vegan banana split
Wear a sun hat
Add an umbrella to your drink
Bike through a local park
Play tourist in your town
Look for adult summer camp options
Read a book cover to cover
Enjoy a sidewalk cafe

Wishing you a beautiful weekend filled with many hours dedicated to play. These are the moments that nurture our soul and make days both “useful and pleasant,” as Louisa encourages us. Go ahead, jump on that carousel or in that pool. Bisous. x

Picnic in the Park

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although I never felt the longing for human babies, since childhood I’ve been crazy about “mothering” animals. Apparently there is a maternal instinct somewhere deep down and it pours out toward furry beings.

Since my first furbaby Louis, I’ve milked all I possibly could out of Mother’s Day and took it to a new level this year.

Friday was Mother’s Day Eve Eve {yep!} and included wine, salad, and olives at our favorite dog-friendly neighborhood spot.

Saturday was obviously Mother’s Day Eve and that called for a dog-friendly event at the Congressional Cemetery followed by two homemade vegan meals by Chef Tim.

Yesterday began with a jaunt to the farmers’ market and a Vegan Treats Pop-Up. Although they were out of peonies, I bought a $20 peony bush that had one bloom and have high hopes for growing my very own peonies.

Next we headed to Rock Creek Park for a picnic followed by a hike thorough a lush forest with a babbling brook following us the whole way. The day ended with a vegan meal at Busboys and Poets. I’d call it a perfect Mother’s Day experience.

Today feels like Boxing Day. You know, that random holiday following the big one when we’re left feeling sad because all the hubbub has passed? Well, good news, Tim reminded me that June is approaching and that means BIRTHDAY MONTH!

Okay, now that I’m feeling better, I wanted to share my picnic ingredients in case you, too, would like an easy-to-create lunch in the park.

Supplies:

Picnic basic or bag
Cloth napkins
Knife
Blanket or throw

Ingredients:

Avocado
Tomato
Fruit (Asian pear and banana shown, apple not shown)
Baguette
Bubbly in a can
Reusable water bottle (not shown)
Vegan cupcake
Vegan cheese
Peanut butter (not shown)
Rosemary crackers (not shown)
Nuts
Olives (not shown)

We slathered avocado and tomato slices onto the baguette, peanut butter onto apples, and vegan cheese onto crackers. We noshed on handfuls of nuts and I took one slow bite at a time of the cupcake while sipping bubbly from a pink can.

Although there were gnats and an occasional sprinkle, it was a sweet experience that nurtured the soul. Spending time in nature continually teaches the importance of slowing down and savoring.

And nothing beats being with family while enjoying yummy food under a green canopy of foliage. Consider scheduling a picnic in the park this month and observe your body soften into slowness. Bisous. x

Gratitude

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.—Proust

I’m outside under an umbrella sipping an iced matcha tea during a quick break between clients. There’s a spring in the steps of passersby as DC’s weather transitions to warmer temps.

Tomorrow morning I hop on a plane for a 5:55am flight bound for North Carolina. I’m taking a two-day workshop on Leading Others In Writing for Health at Duke. Never fear, I’ll be sure to share my takeaways and am delighted to learn more about bibliotherapy.

This afternoon I feel an immense amount of gratitude to do this work—therapy, teaching, writing, designing—and I couldn’t do it without YOU.

Over the past 14 years of blogging (gasp!), you’ve been my constant companion. Although I never really know who’s reading, I feel a deep connection to those who consume my words about struggles, lessons, wins, and everything in between.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being part of Tranquility du Jour. If there is anything I can do, offer, or create to serve you better, please let me know. You are truly one of my charming gardeners. Bisous. x