Summer is obviously here but its crazy how, although I still get that kid-like excitement about school getting out and whats to come, its quite different in reality. The expectation of the long warm days stretching out with seemingly nothing to do but go to the pool, read books on the sofa and walk to get ice cream with friends. Not my summer anymore – for sure.
This summer has been ridiculously busy for me. I relate it to there being a rubiks cube in my brain. Trying to keep everyones activities straight, food in the house, remember my crazy (quite frequent) teaching schedule (yes – teaching lots of classes and loving it!), still make the camp pick ups and host traveling teachers.  Woah! I have recently had appreciation for a few things that help me slow down, relax and enjoy what summer really should be about.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tart: Oh my – I love this book. 
This book is making me stop, slow down and read. She is amazing with her artistic visual descriptions. I’m a little sleep deprived though because I cant turn off the lights at night! Im so glad it’s 771 pages because I want it to last.

The other day I asked my two boys what they wanted for dinner and they both said your amazing salad mom. It took me a minute to figure out that they were talking about my coleslaw.
This has been my make it on the fly go-to for quite a while. Everyone in my family loves it, theyll even take it to school the next day in their lunch. It makes me feel successful at getting lots of colorful veggies in our diet and allows me to use the produce from my box and from my garden. I tend to just stock cabbage and from there I use any other vegetable julienned or sliced with a mandolin to create a salad that everyone loves. My favorite combinations are red cabbage, carrots, kale and cauliflower but I also use bok choy, beets, zuchinni and broccoli – pretty much any vegetable you have! I squeeze one lemon and put some flax seed or olive oil on top, season with salt and pepper and mix. Ill add cumin, coriander or turmeric for different flavors. Other options for dressing are a scoop of Greek yoghurt or an avocado to make it creamier. Additionally, I love putting pumpkin seeds, walnuts or sesame seeds on top to add a crunch. If I have time in the afternoon Ill make it ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator to keep it cool and crispy before serving. Its also good the day or two after. If youre skeptical with your kids, try it! Most every kid Ive met (big and little) loves it.

I love ice cream but also know there are better alternatives if you want to indulge with the frequency of my kids. Zoku is brilliant. You leave the casing in the freezer, pour in liquid and in 9 minutes you have a popsicle. Try it with a sweeter green juice. Chunks of watermelon are a big hit too. My 6 year old makes his own dessert now- it’s great.  I just wish he’d also clean it up…

Wishing you long summer days filled with good books, healthy food and cool treats!
— Jill