Food, Flowers, and Friends

comments: 89
































Oh, we are lucky ones. Our friends Martha and Mila were here for an entire week of glorious summer days. We cooked, we ate, we laughed, we knit, we played with our baby girls, and watched them play together. We played in the pool, walked up to get waffles, went to the farmer's market, got yarn so I could teach Martha to knit (she's a natural, and making this), had a picnic in the park where we saw a wedding and watched the adorable bride and groom ride off on their bikes, drove out to the river and spent an afternoon playing in the water and sand. What a great visit. We've been friends for twenty-five years. We've only gotten to see each other twice in the past sixteen. What an incredible privilege to have them here with us. It's been my dream to have them here with us. Aw, just so happy.

We cooked good things! We made this pasta pesto salad, this spinach quiche, these pancakes, this delicious vegan chocolate cake (seriously amazing) to take to the river, and my staple dinner this summer, quinoa shrimp bowls. Originally I was inspired to make these bowls by this recipe, but I do mine a little bit differently now. I cook a cup of quinoa in 2 cups of vegetable broth. I top it with black beans from this recipe (but I also use these Cuban black beans in a pinch), this grilled corn salad (though I don't grill the corn, but just use it fresh at this time of year), broiled shrimp (just toss them, raw and peeled/deveined, with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place in a shallow pan; place under broiler for a few minutes, turning once, until pink), avocado, and sour cream. I make a bit of lemon vinaigrette from the original recipe, but it really doesn't need much. Tasty and just delicious.

After an exhilarating month of almost non-stop visitors, it's time for me to settle in for the next few weeks and get some work done (boo). Behind the scenes here we are assembling ornament kits (as some of you sequin-spotting eagle eyes have guessed!). I do have a new kit for this year! I'll tell you more about it as we get further along. Things are coming together. Thank goodness for Greta!!!!!!!!!!


perfectly perfect.

She certainly looks like she's enjoying 'we're going on a bear hunt'!

Even the light seems to have blessed your days!
Everything, everyone, is aglow.
I am so happy for your food, flowers, and friends.

oh my gosh. I love this post, its everything wonderful all at once...and I don't even like summer! She is so beautiful and the pict of her reading to her friend is amazing. AMAZING. You have turned into such a talented photographer over the years, I think all in preparation for her arrival! Wonderful. Thank you for sharing what's real and true in life. During a time of upheval, this post gives me hope and perspective.

When I visit here I am inspired to cook, to knit, to create, to be a better friend, to be thankful, to remember how God has blessed us, all because of the full and blessed life He has given you. Thank you for being inspiring and for sharing so much with your readers. Your darling girl is getting big and I love the chubby arms and legs, one of the first things to go when our babies start walking. Have a wonderful day!

Alicia, my hubby & I will be adopting a precious little one in the next few months and I was curious if you might do a little post on your favorite baby things? I see so many sweet playthings for Amelia and I find myself wondering "Do or don't I need this?" for so many things. Anywhoo, I enjoy your blog so much, just lovely.

Yes, glowing, and lighting up my misty overcast day here. Amongst all the color and warmth, I am loving the photograph of the onions and the dishtowel and that wonderful pan...would you share the source, please, Alicia...when you are able?

Happy, happy August to you all!

Sunflowerfairy says: August 01, 2013 at 08:45 AM

Correction Alicia, we are the lucky ones that you have shared all of this with us:-). Thank you.

Enjoy the rest of summer.

Much love

Karen x

What a beautiful Summer you are having!
Thank you for sharing all the links ... I was wondering what to make for dinner & now I know :-)
Happy August ♥

Whoa---this made feel a bit weepy! Just so great and looks like a wonderful experience, the entire week. So happy for you!

Awwww. I ahve tears in my eyes..
That photo of the two littel ones and the book..their expressions are priceless! Amelia:)it looks like she is reading the bear story to her..pretty soon she will be running around!Isn't the love of a child grand..ioso!!

Yum yum! What a beautiful life. Always love your post...


These images are just the sweetest and what summer dreams are made of. She is getting so big and I just love the photo of Amelia reading to her friend. So very adorable.

Oh, goodness! So much beauty. So much joy. Your photography captures the sweetness of every moment. What a wonderful week! Love, love, loving the pics of Amelia! Such priceless expressions! :)

All pictures wonderful as usual, but sweet baby girl reading to her friend is priceless!

Heidi Williams says: August 01, 2013 at 09:34 AM

Is that a cast iron pie pan you used for quiche? Love the idea of that!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful life. Your words and pictures make it easier for all of us to see the simple beauty in our own lives.

Your food all looks so delicious. You must be an excellent cook because it always looks great. Amelia is really getting big, and so expressive! I can tell what she's thinking now. I'm glad you had such a nice visit with your friends.

I love all of the pictures in this post. Lots of very pleasant things.

Reneelynn says: August 01, 2013 at 09:45 AM

Looks like you had a wonderful visit with your friends!! The pic. of the girls "reading" so sweet! I totally enjoy your post today. Summer in a nut shell ;)

just love your stories in much unfolds before even reading your words...if all of life were as it is in this post...serene, joyous, playful, restful and real. thank your so much for sharing once again!

This post made me so hungry! Time to nip out for some lunch, I suppose!

I just love your blog. It always makes me feel relaxed and reminds me to be thankful for the things that surround our everyday. And that photo of the two girls looking at the book together is so very adorable. :)Thanks for sharing.

Auntie Allyn says: August 01, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Seeing a new blog entry from you is a bright spot in my day. I'm homebound now, for the next few weeks, due to foot surgery (won't be able to walk for about a month). I know that you had a very traumatic foot injury many years ago and couldn't walk for about a year . . . I don't know HOW you DID IT! Unassisted walking is something we take for granted, until we can't! So I'm spending my hours doing hand-sewing projects and quilting. Thank goodness for the needle arts! (And I'm anxiously awaiting the Christmas ornaments!)

Seems like a lovely time - and with yummy food! :-)

Love your blog and beautiful photos. I also enjoy your list of favorite blogs in the sidebar. However, many of those blogs are dead or unused. It'd be great if you might could update those. You know, with all that extra time you have. ;-)

beautiful post, as always. what a wonderful week you had. i just returned from illinois, where a record low was set. brrr. the quiche looks nummy. lovely idea for din, thank you.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at