It is my perfect summer day: 80 degrees and sunny. Naturally, I want to spend every second outside. I already played tennis this morning, tended to my garden, ate my beet and feta salad lunch outside on our front stoop, and walked to Whole Foods. After all of that, I still was not ready to go inside yet. But, I was at a loss as to what to do with myself. I'm used to working in the lab all day every week day, and usually a few hours on Saturday and Sunday, so when I have so much time I never know how to spend it because there are so many possibilities! My initial reaction is to go crazy and cook and plan more experiments for work and meet up with friends and clean the house and start writing my honors proposal for this next academic year and and and... but not today. I promised myself that I would r.e.l.a.x. That may sound easy, but it's really not for me! I've also spent 100% of my time these last few weeks with other people, so I really wanted to make today (besides tennis, of course) a day where I don't plan, and I just do- all by myself. Do whatever feels good to me at the time, you know? As long as those things don't involve any sort of work. It's a tough limitation to set for myself, but I think it's important that everyone take some time to themselves every once in a while to step back and re-discover what we appreciate most in our lives. I've only been practicing this today for a few hours, but already I've become very aware of how important family, friends, cooking, school, and research are to me. Because I can't get them off of my mind! Yes, that might be a small annoyance, but I think it is an honest indication of my values. Anyways, back to the point of all of this... I wasn't ready to go inside. But, I wanted to do something outside other than sit. So, I decided to make sun tea and a flower bouquet from my garden:)

fresh mint sun tea

1 mason jar full of water
2 mint tea bags
15-20 mint leaves

I'm going to guess you could make this without any directions. So, just for fun, I'm only going to post pictures!

Now, I bet you're wondering where I got the mint from? No? Ha, I guess I just wanted to share.

That's the mint in the back left! I've got basil (top middle), sage (right), oregano, (lower middle), and lavender (front with purple flowers!). I have to admit, I'm quite proud of this herb pot. I literally walk out to it every day to pick something to use with my dinner! And it is so beautiful from the street. I honestly didn't think the herbs would take off as nicely as they did! I'm sure the plants would love some more room, but unfortunately I had to use pots for my garden since the soil is terrible, and, since I won't be spending another summer in this house, I figured the effort it would take to start a real garden would be too high for the payoff. But, I cannot wait until I have a more permanent housing situation and can start my own garden, the real way:)

I also have a few flowers! I know C usually posts the stems, but I figured it was only right to post an arrangement from my garden:) Now, I will say that, aside from the zinnias, the flowers in my garden aren't the best for arrangements. I chose them mostly because they were annuals, again since I won't be here in the future, they were tall (gotta cover up that foundation!), and because they were bright. So, even though they aren't perfect for arrangements, fresh flowers in the dining room never killed anyone, right?! It just makes me so happy to walk into the house to find a bouquet welcoming me:) Definitely worth the imperfection.

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