Like most parents, I always have an idealized vision of summer vacation in my head at the end of every school year. A few moments of silence to sip my coffee in the morning while the kids sleep in, lazy days filled with swimming and play dates with friends, and warm evenings lounging on the patio watching the sun go down form the picture of a well spent summer in my imagination.
And then I wake up from this obvious fantasy of mine to screams at 6 am of “MOOOOOOM! I’m hungry!” Lazy days are traded in for days spend running errands, dealing with deliveries and service repair people, and shuttling the kids back and forth to their activities. The days we do get to spend at home are truncated by the umpteenth fight that breaks out before noon. In all honesty, I had to get up no less than 4 times while writing this post to break up quarrels, dole out snacks, and pull out the art supplies to squash the kids’ boredom. Sending them to play outside any time after noon is futile because I live in Texas and no one wants to be outdoors in 100 + degree heat, unless it’s at the sprayground.
I’d love to say that I am the perfect Pinterest mom who has activities planned for every hour of the day and makes bento box style lunches in the shapes of safari animals and never loses her cool when the kids inevitable make a mess or start to whine. Sadly, that’s just not me.
So, feeling a little twinge of mom-guilt for having a crazy busy week with nothing fun planned out for the kids, I seized the opportunity of an abnormally quiet and unseasonably cool day by having a little al fresco lunch with the littles out in the shaded part of the back yard.
I threw together some pick plate style lunches with leftover focaccia bread that we had from a restaurant the night before with grapes, pineapple, blueberries, apple, cucumber, bell pepper, carrots, and raw almonds. I also had a pint of overly ripe strawberries that needed to be used, so I made a simple Strawberry Banana Smoothie to get in those greens.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- 2 frozen bananas, sliced
- 1 pint of fresh strawberries (I leave the greens tops on!)
- 2 cups baby greens (I used half baby kale and half spinach)
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- Place all ingredients in the blender in the order listed (or backward if using a bullet style blender). You want the greens and liquid right next to the blade.
- Blend until smooth. Serves 2.
It was really nice to sit outside, eat a simple meal, and enjoy the fresh air for a few minutes. There is something about being outdoors that just puts things into perspective, don’t you think?