Keeping Up With the Summer Harvest

Summer Harvest Recipes |

We have a tomato plant over here that we’ve had to recently prop up with giant wooden stakes :). It’s so heavy that it’s shamefully falling all over the other plants and crushing them with its size. With the way things are going, I think we’ll have cherry tomatoes until December (fingers crossed).

Mmmm tomatoes all summer and fall, maybe? Some of the best foodie advice I’ve ever received is to always eat in season. It makes sense since that’s when any fruit or vegetable is probably in its sweetest, ripest, most yummiest state. I keep that in mind when I have mango cravings in October (it has had to travel how far to get to this here grocery store?) and it is so right on now that we have a garden o’ plenty.

Summer Harvest Recipes |

Having a super active garden is sweet. But because it’s no fun to eat yellow squash, cucumber and tomato every night, I often find myself stacking up our pickings until they are maybe 8-10 veggies high. That’s a high stack of cucumbers that I fear might go bad.

Summer Harvest Recipes |

Don’t worry, neighbors and family totally get some of the love, as well. (On a side note, the other vegetables and fruits – like bell peppers, string beans and even the strawberries – have not been nearly as active. It’s interesting to see what takes in our patch of sun, soil and precipitation.)

So a couple of times a week I dip into that stash and experiment with favorites! What to do when you have too much squash? Frittata. Or how about a homemade pasta sauce. Or a crock pot meal. Or bruschetta? It took me a while to come up with a list of go-tos.

Summer Harvest Recipes |

There are a few recipes that are just so easy – a frittata being first on that list. Sauteed veggies covered in a dozen eggs (beaten separately in a bowl with a little cream) and then baked at 350 for 20-25 minutes? An awesome brunch (or dinner).

What about tomato soup?

Summer Harvest Recipes |

A crisp, sweet afternoon snack for me is a sliced cucumber all by itself. So. Good.

Summer Harvest Recipes |

But to mix it up, one of my favorite recipes from T’s birthday was to add bite-sized honey dew pieces, feta crumbles and raw onion to chopped cucumber for a delicious salad (here’s the inspiration). The dressing is a bit of olive oil or a sprinkle of honey and lemon juice.

Summer Harvest Recipes |

And our crock pot has been like a rediscovered best friend. I often remember to make dinner about 30 minutes before it should be on the table, so having the opportunity to throw several chicken breasts into a crockpot full of sliced veggies and chicken broth in the morning is like heaven come 7pm.

Summer Harvest Recipes |

Okay, I have more coming for you (I’ve been sneakily snapping photos of random meals this entire summer, forgive the delicately placed sprigs of sage – I can’t help it,) but I’ll leave you at that for now. Until then, enjoy the late summer munchies!

Dining Room Update: New Chairs

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

Our dining room is the center of the house. Literally and figuratively. It’s sort of the runway to every other room, so we’re walking through it fifty times a day as we head from front door to kitchen, living room to office, back to the girls’ room… it’s where mail is sorted and errand stuff piles up and, most importantly, where coveted nightly family meals are had. It’s a well-loved space. A well-loved space that I adore!

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

And totally a space that our guests get to see a lot of, too. Whether it’s a dinner party or a play date or just for some hanging out time, we end up doing A LOT in this here little room.

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

It’s one of two rooms in the house that I really, really like to have clean if we’re expecting anyone :). Or even if we’re not, cuz having a clean ‘hub’ is sort of a nice little booster when you’re home most of the day, like me.

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

We’ve been on the hunt for grown-up dining chairs for this room for a few years (years is no exaggeration, either). For a while, I was bent on saving up for a new dining table and set of chairs. I pictured something larger with more girth – something that could really fill the space below the pendant light.

Our existing table, though, is sort of awesome. It was one of our first big ticket purchases (and by big ticket, I mean maybe $500) when Kev and I first married. We bought it for the sole reason that it could be expanded to seat 10 (even 12 if you’re feeling cozy). We wanted an entertaining table. They don’t make many leafless (this guy ‘pops’ out), 10-seater collapsible tables that are within price range.

The table though doesn’t need to be replaced. She’s in good shape despite her many years, and she still regularly holds 12 person dinner gatherings (bring on the love).

Dining Room Before |

But the chairs were uncomfortable and just sort of meh. They were great for almost seven years of solid use, but they were originally from Target (the x-back chairs) and World Market (the parsons chairs) I believe, and were really starting to show their use. One of the side chair legs was held together with a dowel. All six (there are usually 2 x-back chairs on either side) were crazy uncomfortable for more than a quick bite.

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

(Spot a baby? :))

Kevin and I debated over wooden chairs for easy clean up or upholstered for a comfortable, let’s just hang at the dining table set. I really, really was leaning towards creating a space that everyone would just want to chill at. Lengthy dinner parties, extended family meals, that sort of thing.

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

Kevin was very worried about stains and the girls, and for good reason. The compromise on upholstered chairs was that they would get a coating of scotch guard, and that they wouldn’t be such an investment that replacing a cushion (or even a chair) would be a terrible breach in our budget.

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

We wanted Ikea pricing, Crate & Barrel quality and West Elm choices. Too much to ask? :)

I initially discovered Bryght when their company reached out to me with a press release. The concept is totally new and different with the idea being that traditional high-design and high-quality have resulted in high show room prices because of that expensive middleman (importers, distributors, salespeople, etc). By removing the middlemen and connecting designers and manufacturers with consumers, Bryght is able to offer all that we were hunting for at a fraction of a traditional store price. That makes so much sense. We buy so much online, why not furniture, too?

They carry minimal stock and group orders to be placed every 7-10 days from the manufacturer so there’s no need for warehousing. They sell directly to the consumer so there’s no need for a store room, they avoid the importer/distributor/wholesaler conundrum by shipping directly from the source. They ship unassembled so the cost is affordable.

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

Their designs are pretty awesome – they get what the modern, mid-century-but-not-dated, practical homeowner is after. Bryght carries dining room chairs, they also feature dining tables, sofas, storage solutions (dressers, sideboards), coffee tables, desks and mirrors.

Bryght reached out to me about collaborating, and when I read about their mission and concept I thought that it was pretty brilliant.

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

They offered us a set of six chairs to try out in our own dining room. We found a set of upholstered chairs that were right in line with that I had pictured for this space: low profile, dark legs, cozy-neutral color. And they’re comfortable. Hang out all day comfortable.

The captain’s chairs can be found here, and the four side chairs here. Best yet, there’s a crazy great sale going on over there right now (but if you miss out, be sure to check back in frequently).

New Dining Room Chairs by Bryght |

We have had these guys for about a month as a little test drive. I am so proud of our dining room when neighbors swing by (we have those sorts of neighbors – which I love!) and the chairs are still stain-free despite a preschooler and a toddler. Best yet, there is no arguing over who gets the end chair (previously the only padded chair – and it was Livy and I who would race to the table each night to claim it) because every seat is so comfy.

We’ve made a few other updates in this space as well, can you tell? I love my new indoor tree there in the corner, and the row of succulents that are now officially the latest (and best) centerpiece I’ve ever kept here full time. No maintenance and so perty.

Photography by the talented Katie Beverley. This post was sponsored by Bryght, a brand that we very much enjoy as a family. Thanks for supporting those companies that support this site! 

My Favorite Liv-isms

Liv-isms |

Sometimes I capture something so funny/adorable/sweet that I can’t help but make note of it. Favorite Liv-isms recently:

While reading a book together about three little kittens playing with their momma:
Liv: Where’s their daddy? Oh, he’s probably at work.

While eating together:
Liv: How big of a bite do I need to take (holding out hands really wide).
Mom: Yes, that big.
Liv: I can’t take a bite that big because my mouth is only this big (while holding open her mouth).

While eating pizza for dinner:
Liv: I want to put mushrooms on my pizza so that I can grow big and strong. So I can be stronger than nana.

While passing a new building in our neighborhood:
Liv: When I get bigger, like 100 or 11 or 12, and have babies, I’m going to live there.

Reassuring us:
Liv: I’ll be back, sooner than life.

When asked to wait for dinner before snacking:
Liv: But I want to appetize!

When asked by her uncle if she wanted to play outside:
Liv: I need a strong man to help me.


Oh, Liv! This girl is the best.

This is working itself into a new series of sorts. Here’s the round-up so far.

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