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A Simple Summer Meal - Shivaya Naturals

A Simple Summer Meal

July 8, 2009

I am one of those people who craves beauty and simplicity. I find immense joy in setting a table with flowers, special vintage linens, and assorted glasses. I love candles and jazz and a quiet dinner with good conversation. Since I have had children, however, I find myself in such a rut that just getting place mats on the table seems like a challenge.

My kids and I spend a lot of time alone during the week, with my husband traveling a good amount of the week for work. Yesterday the boys asked if we could have a special dinner and sit out side under their favorite tree. As I thought about it, I realized that although I love to live in beauty, I am not exactly creating it in our everyday lives the way that I would like.

We got together, planned our meal, and searched around the house for what we wanted to bring to this special meal of ours.

We chose a vintage table cloth and set the table with white plates and jelly jar candles.

and the boys found some special treasures to add.

We enjoyed a simple summer meal of corn

tomatoes and avocados

strawberries and blueberries

and their favorite bean and cheese tacos

We broke out the wine glasses and enjoyed wine and apple juice, which to their delight looked the same.

We sat for a long time, through twilight and into dusk. Then the boys told me that they wanted to show me their forest fort. I was pretty excited, since I had yet to be invited into this special world that they have spent weeks creating.

We took our jelly jar candles, gathered some books and headed into the trees. I was amazed by what I saw when I entered this magical place. There were chairs, shoes, costumes and play silks. Treasure boxes that sat in the trees, and special bags of goodies hanging from branches. It was what I needed to see in that moment, that my children were taking their imagination and creating special places to “travel” to.

We read books, sang songs, and watched as the moon rose (which was pretty magical itself). then the bath was drawn, the teeth were brushed, and the kisses given. I would like to think that they drifted off into a pretty peaceful sleep, and dreamed vivid and magical dreams.

Whatever was going through their heads, I know that these are the moments that shape all of us. It was so simple, and just taking those extra steps made the meal and the conversation seem so much more fulfilling. Our lives are slowing down, and this is why. I want many more of these moments, and I feel like I now have the time to create and enjoy them

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina July 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm

I love the pics here, it really brings this dinner alive. Looks so yummy, and like a special night for everyone.


SugarMama July 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Beautiful, beautiful post.


Elana July 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Amazing post. This is what life should be about.


julesinseach July 8, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Jelly jar candles! How beautiful. So much happiness and love evidenced.



Eva July 9, 2009 at 6:11 am

I love the fort. That looks like the perfect place to spend a summer evening


beki July 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I love it! You've reminded me to let my little people help out with the making of beautiful. I'll bet our suppers would be much more enjoyable that way.


Larissa July 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm

i love the dinner that you and your little guys created. my husband works lots of night shifts in the emergency room so it's just me and the kiddos on many nights and I need to focus on making our dinners more special. thanks for the lovely inspiration.


Kim July 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm

the pictures are beautiful, and what a magical evening w/ your boys, wonderful!


Carol July 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm

What a wonderful way to enjoy a special evening. I am so glad that I have found your blog


Linda July 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Thank you for sharing. This post is truly inspiring.


Its_Lily July 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I think I would have snuck back out to the fort after putting the babes to bed.


Dawn July 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Just found your site via Soulemama, and gah I loved this post… considering NOT going back to work (as I can't seem to tear myself away from my little man) and your post confirmed that my decision may be the right one. I too would love to have the time and energy to give my son my all… beautiful beautiful glimpse into your life. Thank you! Such an inspiration…


Rose July 11, 2009 at 2:41 am

Beauty and simplicity! Two things I have been striving for lately. Thanks for the inspiration!


onegoldensun July 12, 2009 at 2:43 am

What a beautiful meal to share with your children. It is just so simple and lovely to look at. This is what I strive for as well! How very splendid.


Abbi July 13, 2009 at 2:16 am

This summer we have also been enjoying eating outside. We have done a lot of our cooking over a campfire so it hasn't been as elegant but it has still been a really neat time of slowing down and enjoying each other out in God's beautiful world.

We also enjoy fixing up a fancy table with linens and candles, etc. (The kids love to help in the preparing!) But we have yet to take that outdoors. Sometime soon! 🙂

I am visiting your blog for the first time (over from SoulleMama) and I like it!


Kitty Wilkin January 9, 2011 at 5:08 am

This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this magical post. I have very fond childhood memories of my forts in the "deep woods", a stand of a few trees and a forsythia bush in the backyard. As a mother of a just-turned-1 year old daughter, I dream of nights like this. This post gives me joy and inspires dreams of the fun in store! Thank you!


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