Al Fresco, Dinner for One.

Let's chat for a second. With every year that passes, I can never seem to shake the general stigma that summer means time off, time to party, time to relax, time away from work and responsibilities. Think about it. For the first 21+ years of our lives we are taught that you are in work mode August - June and then you have three months off. Once we finish our formal education, goodbye freedom, hello work days for the rest of our lives. This is not an easy adjustment to make, no matter how many years out of college you are. 

In my mind, I should be able to leisurely go to the farmers' market or grocery store to pick up food for dinner, pour a glass of wine to enjoy while cooking that night's meal, and then sitting back and relaxing on my back deck, listening to the birds in the trees and watching as the world passes below. 

Reality check - I still work until 6:00pm. Which means I don't get home until 6:30 at the earliest - forget that timeline if I have to pick up food! So what starts out as an idyllic dream of what dinner could be turns into a "holy crap it's 9:00pm and I haven't even eaten dinner!" Let's face it, we've all been there at some point. 

My solution - quickly run to my local grocery store, pick up a bag of Bertolli pasta in the freezer section (stop judging - it is delicious. and easy. and I have no shame in eating it, neither should you), take the 10 minutes that it takes to cook everything up, and go out on my back deck and eat al fresco, dinner for one. Top off the evening with a glass of limoncello to make me feel fancy AF and I am good to go. 

Trust me, I know that summer can be stressful. But don't let it get to you. And don't feel like every meal of the week and to be gourmet and fancy. Just let yourself enjoy whatever the day brings. Even if that means a bag of pasta from the freezer section and a glass or two of limoncello.