Take it In

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I slowed down today and went outside to eat my favorite homemade salad that contained arugula, beets, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts and balsamic vinegar.  I love these flavors mixed together so much. It tastes like heaven!  I noticed that the flowers in my yard are all starting to bloom and little buds are forming.  What initially called me out there were the little birds singing. ML asked me if I noticed the birds singing recently, which I hadn’t but today, the sliding glass door was open letting in fresh air and I heard their songs.  Instead of eating quickly inside, I slowed down and went outside and took it all in.  It was good.

Afterwards, I continued on with my work and soon picked up kids from school. Later in the day, my sister called and the sunlight was calling my name again. Instead of sitting on the porch, I decided to chat and walk around the block for some exercise and uninterrupted time while I watched the sun begin to fall.  I love this type of lighting and the feeling of it’s warmth on my body.  I picked some snippets of my favorite fragrances along the way and made myself a little bouquet. The jasmine and lavender smell so good and are very calming.  Lavender is my favorite scent, followed by vanilla. What are your favorites? IMG_5571What did you take in today? Did anything slow you down today to help you enjoy the little things?  I know we all have our big things and worries, but don’t forget… we just need to open our eyes to enjoy the little moments like birds chirping or a hug from a child despite it all. It’s all good.

I wish you well. xo

 

 

 

Sitting Bull

Can you sit still?

I can’t. I mean I can sit, but I can’t stay for long.  I want to crawl out of my skin and do something. I have lists you know!

I tried to slow down today and did. I sat, but my brain had other plans. I was like a sitting bull, just waiting to attack.

I literally need help. And not just from  a chiropractor. or a masseuse.

My brain doesn’t turn off. I feel bad for my family because I have so many ideas to share and plans for us to do things together. I probably drive them crazy!

I admire people who can sit at home and read a book. I always think I should be doing something else and my mind starts doing flip flops.

I need to practice putting my phone down, keeping my hands still and just being.   Maybe I’ll have to practice for 3 minutes with nothing to do and then move up from there?  This is probably what they mean by being present and in the moment and here I thought I was doing it right. I need mindfulness and meditation and some yoga!

Geez – I have a lot to learn.

How was your day? Can you sit still? What do you like to do? Got any tips for me?

Patiently Waiting

It’s day 3 and today I enjoyed a day of “nothingness” in my pajamas all day and listening to the rain.

I refuse to let in to the anxiety and instead am slowing down, whatever that means. I loved just being in my quiet house without the sound of tv, music, or kids.

Three things made me happy today:
1) Having the day “off”

2) Making fish stew with leftovers

3). Decluttering my desk area

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How did you enjoy your day?

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Wishing you peace, love, and light.

Namaste. xo

Rainbows and Unicorns

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I don’t always see rainbows and unicorns, but I’m always looking for them in my mind and once in awhile I find them, both literally and figuratively.

Today I got lucky and actually saw this rainbow over my house and it made me smile.   There is something magical about them.  You have to be looking up to see them and they don’t last for very long, so if you’re not paying attention and you stay inside, you might just miss them.

This is how I see life. There are rainbows that appear and we have to be present and in the moment to see them. We have to go outside and play.

What rainbows did you see today?  What was magical about your day?  Did you slow down to see what’s special in front of you?

I have holiday anxiety in my body. I want to be in several places at the same time and my To Do list is bigger than my To Be list. Yet I refuse to be too busy and to let the anxiety take over. Instead, I  made the time to be present and to enjoy the gifts of presence with my self, my friends and with my family, amidst the chaos and rain and shopping and planning and cooking and cleaning.  This is what advent means to me.

Susanne saved me a place at yoga this morning. I was running behind in the rain and hitting every stop light. I didn’t think I was going to make it there on time, and if you’re late, the yoga teacher puts out a sign saying the class is closed. I was fearful and planning a plan b, and luckily Susanne was able to stall and I squeezed in the door just in time for an awesome workout. Melissa is an amazing yoga teacher.

I had lunch with my BFF Julie who broke her arm. Mom’s are not allowed to go down. We have too much work to do.  I was thankful for the silver lining that she wasn’t hurt too badly and that she had to stay home from work for a few days and that we could see each other. We enjoyed catching up and just being. This To Be list is quite fulfilling and it feels so good to check things off.

Because I was out during the day, I enlisted the help of my elves to get the housework done after school. They are good little elves and worked with me to declutter our house after our trip this past week. We got the laundry all done, the floors cleaned, the kitchen decluttered and the bathroom cleaned. I am so thankful for them.  We believe in work and play, but we have to work first. After the house was less chaotic, I took the boys to the pool in the rain so that they could swim and practice water polo. I have to thank our time in Amsterdam for desensitizing me to the cold, dark, and rain and to go outside anyway.  They were happy and I was happy watching them enjoy each other tonight.

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Finally, Juliana and I went to a Pampered Chef party and fundraiser with my PEO sisters to raise money for women’s education. I loved being out with her, spending time with friends and enjoying shopping for fun new kitchenware.  I can’t wait for our presents to arrive.

As the hustle and bustle and christmas music fills your ears, remember to slow down and enjoy the journey. Make time for rainbows and unicorns, and if you don’t see one this minute, I’m sure one will appear soon.  Keep looking. Never give up.

Namaste.

Slow Food

In the spirit of slowing down (which is very challenging for me), my family has out voted me and we decided to stay home and relax again.

My husband has taken up a new hobby that is requiring us to stay home, so this is good I think. He loves to BBQ meats and to smoke them too. This week he took up an even slower process of cooking meats, called Sous-Vide which is French for “under vacuum.” Basically you season and vacuum seal your meat of choice and then stick them in a large pot filled with hot water. Then you manage the temperature of the water and cook the meat for longer than normal cooking hours at an accurately regulated temperature that maintains the moisture levels of the meat. This is done by using a sous vide immersion circulator that maintains the flow and temperature of the water.

Jeff had fun researching this new method and coming up with a marinade for the pork shoulder we purchased. Juliana and I helped him by vacuum sealing the bags and before we went to bed last night, we started cooking our dinner for tonight. It took 20 hours for the meat to perfectly cook.

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Jeff took the cooked pieces and placed them on the smoker for just minutes to transfer the smoked flavoring as the finishing touches to the meat.

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When it was done, no forks were necessary to shred the pork because it was that moist and tender.

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I had fun watching him enjoy this new project and seeing his joy as he tasted his creation. I loved that he was so happy. We all enjoyed the benefits from his new hobby and the delicious dinner he prepared for us.

Life is good.

Slowing Down Saturday

The rain came today and baseball was cancelled. This made me so happy. I like not being busy just as much as I love running around.

Instead of watching Charlie’s game, all five of us gathered on the couch  to watch Saving Mr. Banks. I loved this movie and I loved being all snuggled together eating popcorn and snacks and just relaxing on the couch with the shutters closed during the middle of the day. It felt like we were being sneaky and that we should be busy doing something else. But I’m trying to slow down and to not be so busy and I must say I love it, despite the initial anxiety I feel.  The movie ended and we had 30 minutes to get ready before our friends arrived for dinner. Everything worked out well and dinner and our company was fabulous.

I made crepes this morning with the kids and played tennis with Juliana before the rain came. This made me happy. Afterwards we went shopping for gluten free items as we’re trying this new way of eating to help Juliana with her joint issues and to help me be supportive of her and hopefully lose a few pounds. I had fun shopping with her, having her share with me everything she found interesting. It took me a few minutes to be patient with this, as I was busy exploring new items too, but once I relaxed and gave in to the interruptions, I felt thankful and grateful that she wanted to be with me.  She is amazing and I’m so lucky to have time to spend with her.

Jeff smoked a beef brisket on the smoker for 8 hours today. He made his own BBQ sauce too. The entire house and neighborhood smelled mouthwatering delicious.  I love that he loves to cook with me.

Life is good. Today was great and I am thankful.  How was your day? What did you do that was fun and enjoyable? Hopefully you had some time to relax and just enjoy all that is good. 

xoxo