Remember how as a child, your Summer Break left you feeling refreshed and sort of excited to return to school? Let’s talk about that and other good things like an email service for “Nice News”, Howard’s new dish inspired by our Portugal trip, Portuguese pottery here in the U.S., and an easy summer table.
It’s Five Fives time with Annie and Cindy.
1. The Importance Of A Summer Break
A Summer Break is important to give your energy level a rest, refresh your mind and renew your enthusiasm for projects ahead.
I was feeling sort of guilty about letting my home projects slide and posting less frequently here and on Instagram until I remembered the importance of a Summer Break.
- One of the main ways the Summer can help with mental health is through the sunshine. Because of the warmer weather, many of us spend more time outdoors in the summer. Source.
- The increased sun exposure boosts our vitamin D levels, and can even improve mood, leading to better mental health. Source.
- Too much routine stifles creativity. Your summer break is a chance to re-set and evaluate your routines, choosing which ones to carry forward for a good fall and winter. Source.
- Even if you stay home, you can let yourself relax with leisurely walks, reading books or magazines that aren’t work-related, trying a new recipe (like the one below), letting the ironing or deep cleaning slide, taking an afternoon nap, or exploring a new place in your town like a museum or library. More summer activities at home here.
Are you taking a Summer Break?
I’m enjoying having our daughter and granddaughter here. Louisa is helping me undecorate…
2. Handcrafted Portuguese Plates Some On Sale!
I’ve been a long-time fan of these ceramic dishes created to resemble a cabbage leaf. Each cabbage leaf dish is cast in traditional molds and hand-glazed by skilled craftspeople.
About: First designed in 1884 by Bordallo Pinheiro, this art deco collection has since established itself as the iconic example of 19th-century Portuguese cultural heritage. These are the real deal, not cheap knock-offs.
But guess what? Terrain in the U.S. carries them in colors such as white, green, blue/green, and pink.
3. Lemongrass, Ginger, Mint Mussels Recipe
Howard made this for dinner a couple of nights ago and it was delicious.
I got him to give us his recipe.
- 2.5 lbs mussels
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1.5 cups white wine
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp peeled, shaved ginger
- 1 tbsp lemongrass paste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 lemon wedges
Saute garlic and ginger in olive oil. Add red pepper flakes and lemongrass.
Add the cup of wine and bring to a boil. Add mussels.
Cover and cook until mussels open. Add parsley and shake pan. Cover pan with lid for a few minutes. Serve with toasted baguette pieces and lemon wedge.
4. Simple Table With One Flower Type
My mother and sisters-in-law drove four hours to see us (well, Louisa was a big draw) and I set the table using glass vases and just one flower type (which is so easy)…pink tulips from the grocery store.
5. Craving Some “Nice News”?
My friend Dorothy introduced me to Nice News. Just what you want when there is so much bad news out there. I signed up for the email. For example, “Small Acts of Kindness Occur More Often Than You Might Guess, Global Study Finds.”
If you are new here, each Sunday I share my top five favorite things along with my friends, Cindy and Annie. It’s like our weekly “catch-up” phone call. If you would like to receive this series every week, please sign up HERE.
Let’s see what Annie and Cindy’s Five Faves are this week: