Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Mushroom Lettuce Wraps
Note for next time. Although these were VERY tasty, this "Mushroom soy" I suspect was Teriyaki
and was super sweet (aka, sugar). I woke up feeling hung over and had a headache. I must learn to ASK the waiter about whats in my selection.
A "heartbreakingly delicious" national bestseller about a chef, her students, and the evocative lessons that food teaches about life.
Once a month, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Among them is Claire, a young woman coming to terms with her new identity as a mother; Tom, a lawyer whose life has been overturned by loss; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer adapting to life in America; and Carl and Helen, a long-married couple whose union contains surprises the rest of the class would never suspect...
The students have come to learn the art behind Lillian's soulful dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. And soon they are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of what they create.
Santa Claus left Stella, my honorary niece, a squeaky bone under our tree this Christmas. Last night when the family popped on over for a visit, I was finally able to show her that Santa left a little something.
Its amazing when you can see a dog's expression. Stella LOVED the squeaky bone. You can tell by her short bursts of excitement that she would let out (in my very small apartment).
Mom had told me that she carried the bone in her mouth the whole way home. Its about a mile walk.
"That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown"... My heart is FULL.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The reason I've been using the above mentioned ads, catalogs and screen caps is because I don't actually have ANY subscriptions to ANY magazines. And for some strange reason, there is not much to pull from out of B's ESPN or Sports Illustrated magazines.
So I figure its time to put some of these built up Coke Reward Points to good use. I have "screen captured" the finalists in my selection. The larger featured magazines are weighing more in my favor. I have enough points for a few magazines, but wanted to get some that were going to be Petunia friendly.
Whole Living, is a huge contender for me, since its about eating whole foods. Whole grains, fruits and veggies. It does not consist of processed foods out of a box, can or simple sugars. So this might be ideal since its on the harder side to find recipes sans white flour or sugar. (Diabetic cookbooks tend to simply feature more artificial sweeteners such as Splenda which I don't eat either).
I feel like a "home" oriented magazine would be ideal since now, B and I are "in the beginning stages of looking for a home to buy"... Now if only I'd stop getting the sweats every time I look at those multiple listing websites. But this is the direction of our future, so I want a magazine that suits my taste and helps me see whats out there so I can dream big.
And Oprah is... well, she's just Oprah. I certainly admire her for her altruistic tendencies, and the light that she brings to causes and issues that are important to her. She seems to surround herself with people who are in the know. I would imagine she has a huge support system. As my therapist says, powerful people are supported. So I'm trying to find the support I need.
What magazines speak to you?
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I almost wrapped up paper towels and the toaster, just to stick them under the tree too!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
12 Things Happy People Do Differently
by Jacob Sokol of Sensophy“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live - that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”
Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness. These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives. (Check out her book The How of Happiness.)
I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life’s path we’re currently traveling on, these ‘happiness habits’ will always be applicable.
- Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. Kinda cool right? So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness. And that’s without having to go out and buy anything. It makes sense. We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
- Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism. No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it. She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
- Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous. If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority. Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out! If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made. What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place. If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an older version of yourself.
- Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.) Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside. What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness. How extraordinary is that? Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on. A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin. Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
- Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships. Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely? WHOA! There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with. We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
- Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character. Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable. Forrest Gump knows the deal. It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan. It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
- Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being. You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion. When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system. You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
- Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task. Action and awareness are merged. You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional. You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing. Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
- Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy. It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences. When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic. It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
- Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force. Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere. When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing. Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
- Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us. We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever. It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists. Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
- Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be. If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected. Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft? Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I'm really excited about this breakfast.
Breakfast for me can get kinda boring. My usual breakfast is:
1) Left over pancakes from Sunday (especially if I have yoga in the morning)
2) Hard boiled eggs (if I'm on the run)
3) Frozen fruit & yogurt Smoothie (if its the summer time)
6) Yogurt with date paste and Ezekiel cereal on top for a granola-y crunch (can only have this when I actually have some organic Greek yogurt in the house)
7) Whole Wheat cereals.
Hmmmm... not too bad of a selection, come to think of it, but I guess I don't normally "get" to have waffles or English muffins, or biscuits.
The Husband spotted these Ezekiel English muffins in the freezer section of the supermarket. I almost hesitated cause well... they were NOT cheap. But I remembered how I do feel like breakfast is one of those meals that I just circulate around and around, and what about a little mix up!
So I literally throw the entire unbroken English muffin from Freezer to toaster oven. About 5-7 minutes later I burn my hands while taking it off of the rack and using whatever is on the counter (usually the back of B's coffee spoon, will break them open (still using my hand so my fingers keep getting burned)
I then top with a little bit of jelly that is made of just the fruit itself, and sweetened with some other sort of fruit juice, a nice glob of nut butter (in this case, Almond butter, but I have used peanut butter in the past)
And I am one happy camper, along with my cup of Joe.
Now as I type this up, I think how this cold be fun to do a cinnamon toasty vibe or even a peanut butter and dark chocolate chip thing for a desert.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
This woman... kinda fascinates me. I'm not sure why. She's sort of appalling... she's outrageous and obnoxious. I do know why... she makes no apologies for who she is. She's confident and never doubts herself or her abilities. From the stories told, she was born that way. She has this "Why the f*ck not" attitude, and I'd like to be more like this.
The first book I listed to was "Are you there Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea." She narrates this book and tells tells from growing up, summers in Martha's Vinyard and trips to Costa Rica with her father later in her career.
The next book I listened to was "Lies That Chesea Handler Told Me"... which is narrated by the people who write the the stories. Kinda funny, again, she's just so over the top.
All and All, these are both pretty entertaining to listen to on any drive and and out of work. Especially while sitting in LA traffic!