Here is the master list of all the passions I have spotlighted…..(yep, I’m fickle! So they change regularly!). I know that if you tried these out, you might not love them as much as I do, but you definitely will be pleased, and maybe impassioned.
It is about time I share with you what I have been loving lately.
Notes to Myself…a tiny read about philosophical revelations, on basic notions of how to live. Reading, reflecting, sipping tiny bitter bolts of french press coffee at 6 am as the birds chirp and the morning air hardens and yet revitalizes my skin. Little gulps of hope, inspiration, awareness, building on little lightning bulb themes from these past few months.
I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a ‘mistake’ is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown.
How come it is very easy for me to make my future feel secure by enslaving myself to doctrine, ruts, the sense of not having “enough” (time, energy, grace, flexibility, strength)? When I feel uncomfortable, I seek rigidity and rules, and these books guide me into relaxing, and truly, being free to live. If I seek a particular reward, it is never as expected, but the seeking always pleases.
Also…a wonderful book about being authentic, holding a sense of self, and relating to others, called Intimacy & Desire. The crux of the matter…our minds give meaning to our relationships, but it is our ability to feel solid without positiive feedback, to soothe ourselves, to endure discomfort, that serves collaborative unions. Here is what I learned
1) For each task you do jointly with ANYone, one person is going to want to do it more. And the person that has less desire for it, yields more power (which doesn’t always feel good)…
2) People that don’t feel in control and confident in themselves, attempt to control others. If you want better intimacy, learn how to soothe yourself.
3) OPEN your eyes….all relationships are about mind mapping, and intimate ones (from friendships to family to lovers) should allow you to be HONESTLY seen and want to see the other.
Cutesy Keens. I THOUGHT I had a cool pair of keens before, but maybe it was just my lust that manufactured the image of me as a keen girl. Well, now I am. These little tooties slip them on (no lacing required) and am properly suited for hiking the Black Forest, Traversing the markets of Morocco, sliding the vineyards around Luxembourg and galivanting on the islands off of Croatia. Yep. It’s gonna be a lovely summer.
Not to mention my ergo alien shoes…
have to admit, they take some getting used to!
I’ve been a little swoony over French preparations since my year of soups, falling mouth over tummy for complex tastes and simple ingredients with not so easy techniques (e.g. cooking eggs). Now, I am ga-ga over Around my French Table. After arrving from China, I’ve prepared several recipes, and cherish their stories and verve and unique flavor profile. Avocado “ravioli”, Caramel scallops,Far, and recently, Visitandine…. This cake is named after a Catholic religious order founded in France and truly is a baking masterpiece. The step of browning butter into beurre noisette imparts a hazlenut–like undertone. Yummy (Where the HECK did my pic go?). At a BBQ over the weekend, I brought a fresh homemade loaf of bread to pair with her recipe for Orange and Olive Salad….Oh! Wow! Flavor Explosion. Soaking the onions in cold water helps reduce their bitterness, and the lovely balance of this mixture sent me right into another orbit.
A New Toothbrush….It’s like a little tornado in the mouth, that bacteria whizzed around better than Toto in a shambled KS house. Even after two weeks of using it, I am excited when I turn on the button, and feel as if I “did a good job” after it automatically shuts off A LONG TIME after I would have set the brush down on my own. Why’d I get it? Pure jealousy. Watching some one else get the opposite of down and dirty with the Panasonic Phillips Essence it seriously made me salivate. One of the best gifts next to….
WUESTHOF…How I Love Thee.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Definitely MORE LOVELY
And More TEMPERATE….
The sharp edges of the forged blade, designed in Germany, continues to quiver some fear and trembling as I slice and dice with as much precision as my impatient hands can muster. Honestly, besides being one of the most romantic gifts I’ve received, this baby (and it’s powerful punchy skipper of a paring knife) continue to amaze me at the ease of their proficiency. I’ve never been a prep gal, that’s for sure, but when something does it’s job so well, and so beautifully, poetry ensues.
Miss Needle Beetle. I love her little homemade recyclable bags and the fact that SHE SHARES. She willingly supports the good fight, gives her heart to others, and offers cute patterns to put a smile on my face.
K is hibernating. Spending more time reading, listening to music, sharing with others, working, not running, laughing, moaning, and ingesting a variety of therapeutic liquids, capusles, kisses, edibles that detain me from the comforts of my MACBOOK. Life feels incredibly shape shifting season moving these days.
And thus, thought it would be a lovely time to share some of my LOVES lately.
Reads: Okay, so Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty simply mezmerizes and seduces me with it intellectual seduction. Simply complicated. How human people, so honestly valued and yet unworthy of receiving attention more than others, mirrors art is the main theme of the book. I found myself hating Lacey and envying her as well….If I can escape in Martin’s world, Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart equips me to STAY and remain steadfastly attuned to my pain and discomfort.
“We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the point of view of someone who is awake, that’s death. Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self-contained and comfortable, is some kind of death. It doesn’t have fresh air. There’s no room for something to come in and interrupt all that. We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. Doing this is setting ourselves up for failure, because sooner or later, we’re going to have an experience we can’t control: our house is going to burn down, someone we love is going to die, we’re going to find out we have cancer, a brick is going to fall out of the sky and hit us on the head “
YEP. That is pretty much WHERE I am right now. Leaning into the fact that my body, tensed and broken, won’t RUN. and my heart, wow…this pulsing, childish impatient, curious heart, WILL beat.
I love my new yoga bag
…except my yoga mat has only been lucky enough to be lovingly dolled up in it once.
Hectic Lives = Need for Organization.
This bag is curled up in my purse at the airport (and then uncurled once I get on the plane), it is toted to my library presentations, and fumbled in during my work outs. I get a comment on it each time I wear it, because it is hand-made, and somehow, brings out my personality. I carry it over my chest to protect its contents browsing busy markets overseas. And yes…unique it is. Such an investment piece.
Here it is at the Alhambra in Granada….fresh from K’s Travels to the south of Spain this past weekend. Where it courted olive oil, rioja, SUNSCREEN, my lip blam, and aforementioned books…plus, my pal and her kiddos beloved IPAD!
Want one? Check them out here as well (and if you like a certain style, I am sure you can request one) How do you think you’d put it to use? Email this post to 5 people, and leave a comment about your unique style below and I’ll announce a random winner by the weekend.
Monday Meals. For the past month, I am cooking something delishish to share with some one worthwhile. It not only gives me an outlet to get creative and try new combinations, but I anticipate and crave Monday to arrive. Like a little extension of the weekend. My mood more open, receptive, less controlling and fanatic. Blue Cheese Apple Stuffed Pork loin, Gnocchi and Herb Encrusted Mushrooms, Peanut Coconut Curry Chicken, Champagne Orange Vinegar Green Beans, and ooooh so scrumptious Goat Cheese Pear Chutney Honey Panini’s…..Can we just give a brief shout out to dating some one and actually….well, LOVING it?.
What products, habits, books are you CRAZED about?
Where would your bag TAKE YOU?
Need a laugh? 5 minutes a day will make you more productive. Check this site out. Simple, yet funny!
This special edition of Newsweek: The Beauty Advantage. Check out The Beauty Breakdown: What a lifetime of cosmetic maintenance will cost a modern woman….I definitely don’t spend that much money on cosmetics (I have 4: mascara, highlighter, eyeliner, base), hair products (don’t use any), face products (night cream, moisturizer), body products (lotion, oil) compared to most women (I AM PLAIN LAZY) but recently started adding it up….and it is more than I expected. More so, the notion that
Economists have long recognized what’s been dubbed the “beauty premium”—the idea that pretty people, whatever their aspirations, tend to do better in, well, almost everything. Handsome men earn, on average, 5 percent more than their less-attractive counterparts (good-looking women earn 4 percent more); pretty people get more attention from teachers, bosses, and mentors; even babies stare longer at good-looking faces (and we stare longer at good-looking babies).
well….pissed me off and intrigues me. We become attached to worth and success by these things, and the article about how even with all advantages (money, acclaim, the job, the “relationships”) pretty people aren’t more happy or serene….says it all. RESILIENCY is knowing that WHO YOU ARE isn’t about achievements or our ideals…it is about our values and core
Eureka Environ Steam Cleaner: Tile and hard wood (heated in the winter!) show every speck of chaos inevitably accumulated by living. I’d prefer to see dirt than hide it in synthetic fibers, but it calls for ”constant cleaning”. Some people love their swiffer, but when I think of all those yucky chemicals and wasted paper , I get a little woozy. Reading Mary Janes Farm and Michael Pollan’s work urges me back to “simple solutions” ones that a generation 100 years ago would approve: HOT WATER. Thus, the purchase of this little baby. The re-usable pads convey boiled water onto any solid surface and instantly sanitize without requiring ANY toxins. This little baby saved my knees, saved the paper towels, saved my green guilt insanity. Might make my favorite purchase list of the year….
Sole Socks….I’ve tried both the light and dual layer versions, preferring the dual layer for more support and because my feet don’t usually get sweaty. Holy Tootsies. Hands down beats every pair I’ve ever gobbled up at Target or a department store. I ordered them online and they were well worth the investment….WANT A PAIR? I feel a SOCK exchange coming on…if you are interested…email me at email@example.com and send an invitation up on your blog with a link to the Gimmie Your Stuff Page.
BADGER BALM! Their chapstick beats Burts Bees HANDS DOWN…maybe I just love the GARNET color too much, or the dual colors on one stick. Or the fact that THIS BB feels more homey and less hollywood. Have you checked them out yet?
Half the Sky….Have you read it yet?
Excellent Books that I’ve read in the past month: HUNGRY, by Crystal Rein. This simple to read memoir documents this external pressure turned inward to carve her body into something quite unnatural, and how her own choosing, she dissected her personality all on her own. In what ways do you attempt to be un naturally “healthy?”. She scrutinizes fashion and the health industry without saying they are worthless. She is now one of the most popular “bigger” models out there.
Jimmy’s Food World on the BBC. Here is a guy that takes common food products (um CORNFLAKES) and re-creates them in his barn. Do you know how SUGAR is made? Seriously! He shows how to get the stuff from sugar beets. He demonstrates the process of making cola (there is lavender in it!). So educational and geeky, and although I love Alton Brown, this show demonstrates how complicated our food is these days.
Half the Sky. A book, which I also am listening to on CD, comments and educates and inspires and equips the reader regarding women’s issues. Should prostitution be legalized? Um, this book changed my mind from YES to NO. Do you know that one out of every three women in the world face violence in the home? That war, the more common civil alteractions (not bombs, like Americans think) is more dangerous for women, who are raped and thus “damaged” as a war tactic, than men? There ARE policies that are helpful, as well as individual efforts. Do you feel sad about your pant size or your loss of income? Seriously, read two pages of this book at a time to remember, HOW RICH you are! You know how people have Party Lite or Jewelry parties? In April, I am going to have a Schnapps party educating people about stuff I learned in this book.
Tahini. Tahini with miso, some squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of soy sauce over spinach and shrimp and red bell peppers. Tahini with orange marmalade and yogurt with sliced papaya and oatmeal. Tahini spread on homemade sweet potato pancakes topped with white beans and fresh tomatoes. And of course, tahini in my homemade hummus…which recently was re-purposed as the base for cookies (adding in oatmeal, some yogurt, an egg and baking soda and powder).
Knitting: Yep, I am learning how to knit. Every Thursday my pointer fingers star in a game of “in and over up and under” and my brain resists to produce something functional. People ask “what are you making?” the minute they see me bring the yarn out, and I respond “nothing particular.” It is what it is. Something meditative, actually, to focus my heart. I find myself unsettled in meetings, while watching TV or lounging about. If I weren’t a pure scientist at heart, I’d label my behavior as hyperactive. I can’t sit still for longer then five minutes. Unless I am surfing the web, writing reports or knitting. Even if I spend just two hours a week, this practice touches me. Good thing I put it on my list! And yes, I do eventually want to make some socks. Maybe next year.
If you get one cool gadget this year, please invest in the Simple Flush. Do you know how much American toilets WASTE water? This tool will shave money off of your bill, and reserve water for where it is needed most. More people are killed due to disease and dirty water than in war. 3.5 MILLION. Almost 900 million people don’t have safe water. Check it OUT!
My Super Green Pro Soy Protein Powder…mixed in with oatmeal, oatbran, an egg and some dark chocolate pieces and baked into homemade protein snacks for my morning coffee. I am almost out though! Any one have a Whole Foods nearby that can perhaps send me some? I’ll pay ya back in European organic jelly, coffee, chocolate!
I watched Season 1 and 2 of Saving Grace…LOVED and ENVIED and PITIED her after four episodes. Seriously? Jobs aren’t family like that, and her family is not realistic either…but her passion and hunger, if dramatized, and doubt..speaks to me.
My Favorite Magazines of the Year: Mary Janes Farms (Of course! And it’s not just because they published by piece!) and BITCH magazine. Here are three reasons why I like BITCH: 1) informative articles: Notre Dame hires pro-choice coach for the football team! 2) awesome clipart that inspires me, okay…makes me snort with humor most of the time 3) writing and reading is a feminist act. this magazine makes me embrace this freedom with pride. DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE JUST TO BE READING THIS RIGHT NOW????
Crazy nut butter flavors: This week: RUSH out and BUY SOME NUTTZO…. It is the best nut butter I’ve had all year. Better than Naturally More, Barney Butter and even (hush woman!) my faithful love, TJ’s crunchy salted PB. And the company is admirable….Please, check them out!
QUARK! A soft cheese between a YOGURT, and sour cream. You can make your own by taking a tub of yougrt and draining it over a cheescloth. Blend in a quarter cup of buttermilk, a few dashes of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar. It is called a “regal pleasure” in the UK. Once you have a base, it makes great sauces and spreads, and succulent “dips” with dried onions, herbs, sirachi sauce. Salad dressing, smears on bagels with fruit and my word, drizzled with honey! But my favorite lately is “quark pudding”. A third cup of quark, spiced up with cinnamon and nutmeg and little sucanut, adding in a few tablespoons of almond milk. Then a few tablespoons of coolwhip…freeze for 30 minutes and top with blackberries!
My Severin Yogurt Maker! and The Magic Bullet: I don’t own a food processor, and all my nut butters, sauces, even batters, are made in this single-gals’ dream. I blend up my smoothies in the morning and then freeze them at work for a few hours. You can nuke um, store um, drink from them….EASY! The other appliance I have been using more than three times a week? MY NEW FRENCH PRESS!
Other Books: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress…explores a continual search for healing and connection following a traumatic car crash and divorce, the author returns to her Mennonite community and with humor, criticizes and praises her roots. The Cracow Ghetto Pharmacy: Human beings in an inhuman environment. Sad about Haiti? Sick of poverty? of Violence? Read how we stay beautiful in the ugliness.
JD Bacon Salt in original and natural (ummm can’t really tell the difference, we’ll have to wait and see with the tastes) have now been tested on my eggs, on my popcorn, on my yogurt, on my pasta and oh boy, my weekly biscotti. The egg was the best, pretty subtle flavoring there, and I also mixed it up with coarse sea salt. I wanted to say that I could tell that there was a bacon hint in the cornmeal maple biscotti, but I didn’t taste it, honestly.
What’s shakin inside? in this suckers? I was bummed: MILK! I have a friend allergic to cassein and another who is vegan that now won’t try out my biscotti. But, um, mostly SALT. Which is again, if used wisely, the diamond of flavoring. JD’s bacon salt natural flavor is gluten free. The bacon salt website blog has a ton of fun recipes plus some pretty standard stuff. I tried the bacon salt on mango this morning, with sliced cream cheese and it was FABO! Also wanting to try it out with farro rice, apple, and fennell. And this bean recipe looks good.
I am also thinking of making some vegan cookies with them…have suggestions?