Entries from December 2013

’round here….we hail to the kale.

December 23, 2013

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monday happy to you my kin o’sugartown.

were you naughty or nice this weekend?

my lump of coal showed up early last week in the form of a beautifully, gift-wrapped stomach flu, tied up with a sore throat and no return receipt.

for close to 5 days this nasty, superstorm of a bug typhooned my world; ravaging real estate {in the form of popped eye vessels,} and wreaking havoc on my already flimsy, internal eco-system.

although my doppler radar is finally registering a calm 98.7 degrees, it’s been a battle of the gut {literally,} head, & heart to find the christmas spirit around here.

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yesterday was the first day i felt the mood of merriment; a wee tickle of mirth coursing through my veins and the home speakers, dashing crumbs of fa-la-la-la-lahtinsel on my bah-humbug soul.

 imbibed with a vigor to be out amongst fellow festivity-seekers, i ventured to my local shoo-in for jolly: trader joe’s.

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nothing like a trip to trader joe’s to get the holly hollering…..happy, smiling, cider-sampling faces are the standard; it’s like they pump out opiate air and put oxycontin in their pre-packaged, rbgh-free products.

whatever it is, i’ll roll it, smoke it, and deal it to suburban moms {my version of leaning in,} i need all the help i can take.

as you can see, yesterday i bought trader joe’s out of their ornamental kale bouquets.

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totally unconventional, these vibrant greens perform little holiday miracles throughout the house. like bitty, helpful elves, our home was instantly christmas-fied with bundles of mint-speckled shrubbery dotted into every nook and cranny.

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 in addition to the kale salad decor, i’m also silly happy about this new chrome app: momentum.

a personal dashboard for your computer, momentum opens with a changing landscape {always stunning and inspiring,} a motivating set of words, and a customizable to-do list…gotta return those shoes.

to-do list aside, i just love the fact that someone, ok a computer, is finally able to say good morning to me so friggin’ early.

as prompted by momentum, i’ve decided my main focus for today is to count all of the toe-curling, tears-streaming-down-my-face, hand-to-my-head blessings in my life.

you’re all included in that calculation.

merry merry to you m’loves.

a weekend in winter….

December 17, 2013

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i think the perpetual sunshine here in southern california has marred our already balmy brains.

last week, we had a slight change in weather, known to the rest of the country as this thing called “winter,” and us angelenos responded with a chicken-little like panic, waving our mittened hands in the air, yelping out “it’s in the 60’s! it’s in the 60’s! it’s in the 60’s.”

i heard fema had to come in with disaster relief; mainly in the form of cashmere pashminas, ugg boots, and caramel salted lattés.

 meanwhile this weekend, in utah, where i was playing my most mannerly “bosses wife” part, it was a toasty 13 degrees.

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camel coats and long-johns were de rigueur.

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and i was faced with the hard, cold truth, that as much as i love my riding boots, they’re not snow boots;

nor are they really for riding either….

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pomegranate bellinis coaxed out the merry in my frost-bitten, bah-humbug soul.

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and we of course made a stop to atticus’ book shop in park city; my only must-see of the granite state.

old, new, and rare, atticus stocks books that get you to linger for hours.

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and they’re vast and creative espresso bar, think red velvet lattés + cookies and cream mochas, also lends to dawdling amongst shelves lined with limited edition david foster wallace and vintage cooking books.

{btw did you see jason segel will portral DFW in the upcoming film, the end of tour, a biopic chronicling DFW’s book tour for infinite jest.}

bath

i spent more time in the tub than i did exploring our funky hotel.

this was the only spot where i wasn’t freezing my woolen socks off; in fact i tried to get hunkiest’s christmas party moved to our bathroom so i could stay warm and still participate in the merriment, but he wasn’t having it.

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why so fancy you ask?

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some people dress up for parties, some dress up for the theater, i dress up for cheese plates.

this showpiece of stinky, artisanal happiness rocked my salt lake city world!

pago, a farm-to fresh, local+ sustainable sourced restaurant, located in a dreamy, early 20th century, brick building, delivered a rapturous, hands up in the air-inducing cheese plate. with one yummy combo bite of beehive’s salty promontory, a smidge of fresh blackberry jam, and topped with their homemade walnut/mustard sweet compote, i was ready to myself to the nearest mormon temple for utah conversion.

and as much as i complained about utah’s arctic weather, this 80 degree-plus hoo-haa we’ve got going on right now in southern california is a bit ridiculous…much like us californians…

shut the frige: melissa mcardle

December 12, 2013

 argh.

there just isn’t enough room on the this web, of worldwide reach, for me to properly convey my adoration, love, and, ok i’ll admit it, obsession over today’s guest editor.

the most rewarding part of blogging is the friendships i make. too often the relationships created amongst bloggers are confined to the comment section. and there is only so much one can convey with punctuation {!?!?!?,} bold font, and CAPITAL LETTERS; trust me, i’ve tried. 

now and again, like when rainbows double in the sky, i get to actually meet, touch, and breathe in these souls, and sometimes we even polish off a bottle of wine.

such is the case with melissa; mel to all of us who love her.

i found mel through her hypnotic blog, reverie~daydream. it was love at first post. mel has created a world for her family {the FIRST mcdreamy + adorable gaia, aka crumb,} where simple, beautiful living is the law of the land.

we lucky readers get to escape into a softer, gentler, dignified place where homemade reigns supreme, art can be found in the bottom of a teacup, and you’re only as happy as your nearest farmstand.

i can get lost for hours in mel’s dreamy images and lulling words; she truly is living a reverie~daydream.

thank you sweet mel for sharing a little of your life with us. love you.

reverie-daydream yoga

 

When my favorite girl, Katie, asked me to share what’s inside my refrigerator, I giggled to myself because really, who cares what I eat? But then I will do anything for Ms. Osumi, so with a full belly and happy heart, I gladly accepted and enjoyed this little voyeuristic journey into our fridge.

 You are what you eat. I believe this with all my heart. By no means am I a purist when it comes to food, but I do make eating healthy the number one priority in my little family’s world.

 Every time I open our refrigerator, I feel blessed. There is always something inside to fill our bellies and satiate our hunger, and this is something I never take for granted.

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We eat a lot of organic eggs, a daily habit I do not intend to break. Believe it or not, I’ve been known to farm sit just for the joy of daily collecting and eating fresh eggs.  Those little spheres of goodness are packed full of incredible nutrition. If you are a guest in our home, you can pretty much guarantee an egg, in some form or another, will be added to the meal. Whether it’s a bowl of quinoa with beans and an over medium-egg atop, a salad with hard-boiled eggs, or just an easy egg-salad tossed with raw kale, eggs might just be the shining star of our fridge.

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Homemade chicken stock is always at the ready on the top shelf (or in the freezer). Especially during autumn and winter, I make sure we have what my great-grandmother always referred to as “nature’s penicillin”.  Chicken broth goes into risotto, soups, grains and more. Most days, I find myself stirring in an egg as the ‘brodo’ boils, adding fresh parsley and black pepper, and voila!, a favorite meal. And let’s not allow the chicken to go to waste…toss into salads, add to grains, or have a fun taco night.

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Every morning, I add a little SuperFood boost to my sweet girl’s cranberry/orange juice. I’ve never been a huge breakfast eater, but I do need to eat before I start my yoga practice.   A slice of toast with almond, peanut or sunflower butter and sliced banana seems to do the trick until I am finished teaching and can fill my belly with eggs and/or quinoa.

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The shelves and drawers of the fridge cannot be filled enough with fruits and vegetables! My little girl is addicted to cucumber and carrots, and her papa and I cannot get enough kale and brussel sprouts.  Avocados never linger too long in our house until they most likely find themselves in this salad, and any loose greens can be found in our staple winter soup.  And even browning, seen their better days, bananas are saved for a delicious comfort food treat, or to add to a morning smoothie.

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My family of three subscribes to the old adage of an apple a day, keeps the doctor away. As well as the daily probiotic dose from our yogurt, each of us has a different taste for yogurt, so greek, goat and indulgent European style creamery yogurt are waiting patiently for any fruit or granola accouterments.

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 Coconut Oil is possibly my magic go-to item for everything…cooking, baking, skin and hair! I love it. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, olive oil mayo,  Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, fresh-brewed black ice tea, sparkling water and seasonal fruit juices and local brewed artisanal beers are standard declicious accessories  which add colorful delight to the interior fridge doors.

ten

Raw dates are a staple food on the shelves. Whether I am filling one with almond butter for a quick snack, warming in a pan of olive oil and adding olives and sea salt, tossing into grains, using as key ingredient for raw desserts, or making these little power balls for myself and yoga students, dates are never out of my daily ingestion loop.

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And let’s talk kombucha. My husband and I love it, in fact, I believe he has more of a love affair for it than I do. Most of our favorites are local brews that can be found at the farmers market or health food store. My goal for 2014 is to brew our own, so by putting that out there, I can hold myself to this task. Fingers-crossed.

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And last by not least, the grand finale so to speak, every good girl should have an at-the-ready bottle of bubbly chilled for those unexpected celebratory moments as well as mama’s own little juice box of bubbly stocked and at the ready, merci beaucoup Sofia Coppola for this brilliant offering to the sparkling wine world!

Food makes me happy. My entire day revolves around what my family and I eat, and I thank my lucky stars every. single. day. for being able to live in a place which offers seasonal, organic and an amazing abundance of delicious, healthy foods. I am blessed, fully.

When it comes to food, as with most things in life, simple is best. Alice Waters sums up the beauty of how food/cooking should be honored in our daily lives:

1. Cook Together

2. Eat Together

3. Cook Simply, engaging all your senses.

4. Remember, food is precious

Healthy, simple food is a connection to so many things…it brings families and friends together, it can heal, it can energize, it can comfort, and it sustains and gives life.  Eat well, be well.

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