Summer White Space

I’ve been thinking a lot about clutter and white space lately (physical, mental, and time-based) and what’s really necessary in our lives.

Sometimes it feels like a fight against mainstream culture not to buy into consumerism, ultra-connectedness, keeping up with the Joneses. I remember as a teenager, working at Crate & Barrel, brides registering for their wedding would always ask me how many place settings they ought to register for, and I would try to guide them by asking thoughtful questions like, “Do you have a large family? Do you like to entertain a lot?”  But that’s not really what they wanted to hear. They wanted the Emily Post / Martha Stewart-approved answer.  Eight or twelve?

Is there a happy medium? a way to live your own way, make your own choices without rejecting the world?

I don’t really want to live off the grid, or never shop for fun, or give up TV, or delete my Facebook — but I don’t want to be ruled by those things either. I don’t want to have so much stuff that I can’t park my car in my garage, or have to buy more “storage” furniture to store stuff or have to pay to rent a storage space to keep it all. Baring unusual circumstances, I don’t think there’s really any reason for that either.

The boundary tends to be fluid for me. One week I feel like a badass minimalist, the next I feel like I’m drowning in clutter.

And maybe that’s OK.

I had a yoga teacher tell me once that in a balance pose, you can’t be still; you’re constantly moving, adjusting, falling in and out of balance. I think it’s the same thing with life. Whatever you choose to pursue, it’s rarely a thing that you achieve and then stop.

As summer approaches, I’m getting ready to embark on some serious home projects. We are switching my daughter’s room and the guest room so she has more space for a full size bed, and since we will be moving furniture anyway, we’re also going to take the opportunity to have the carpets replaced. It’s a perfect opportunity to do some serious decluttering of closets and shelves that we tend to forget about. And while I’m looking forward to it, it also feels a little overwhelming.

As all the most worthwhile projects often do, I guess.

I’m also looking forward to the different, slower rhythm of summer. While it’s nice to have the structure of the school year, the mornings are early, and I long for a little more ease and flexibility.  White space. I’m definitely ready to move into this next season, and I’m deliberately planning it for white space and ease. A few camps and activities for D to attend, a few trips, but also lots of time for play, lazy afternoons, and trips to the pool and the library.

This Week:

I had the honor and privilege of being a featured caller on The Splendid Table radio show this week, telling the story of the infamous Laughing Lemon Pie!

laughing lemon pie

You can listen to the episode here. (My bit is at about 38 minutes in.)

If you’re interested in the recipe for the pie, you can find that here. If you make it, I’d love to know!


Had a great time attending the soft opening of The Chocolate Lab in Denver, a new small-batch, artisan chocolate shop and restaurant near the Tattered Cover on Colfax.

Drunken onion (yes, ONION!) truffles with Vidalia onions and goat cheese!

Pulled pork with chocolate bourbon barbecue sauce and broccoli slaw.  YUM!

Clockwise from top: warm tomato salad with champagne white chocolate foam, crispy Brussels sprouts with cocoa nibs, mixed greens with raspberry vinaigrette and chocolate covered pecans, and roasted cauliflower in a cocoa sauce.

Champagne and cool wallpaper!

Last weekend I spent the night at the Westin Westminster — and finished the first draft of my novel!  Of course, I also had to eat. 😉

Writing snacks = VERY IMPORTANT.

Room service!  All those snacks meant I wasn’t feeling a full meal, but I did order the guacamole trio and a sangria from Kachina downstairs!

Sunday morning I celebrated with bottomless mimosas at brunch at Kachina and my favorite red chile chicken enchiladas. 

Other eats this week included an improvised pasta primavera, colorful snacky lunch, takeaway from Nobel House Pho, a POUND of broccoli (with some leftover potstickers), and my favorite New York Times chocolate chip cookies for a pizza party at D’s school.

If you’d like to follow my adventures during the week, you can follow me on Instagram @laughinglemonpie.

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