Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Drainbows, Need Not Apply...

Yesterday, someone forwarded me this article.  It was the first time I ever heard the phrase, "drainbow".  Ha.  It made me chuckle.  The author accurately defines a drainbow as, "...someone disconnected from their mission. They take or attack but rarely give or appreciate. As a consequence, these types of people don’t want to do too much, but they expect a lot in return."  

And that's just it.  That negativity is literally draining.  Having an interaction with someone like that depleats my energy and the term even gives my mind a visual for that sad, draining effect.   I prefer rainbows.  And by my own definition I'm calling them - people who lift you up.  people who make your sky brighter.  people who, whether it be a chance meeting or a long time friend, make you feel more energized and optimistic. 

The next time I find myself whining, I hope I can visualize the drainbow and remind myself what I want to be...


Monday, January 30, 2012


We watched it last night.  I thought it was well acted and although I don't love baseball, I thought the story was well done.  It wasn't an entirely cheezy sports movie with some triumphant "Rudy-esque" scene either.

What I liked most was the message. How often are we going through the ins and outs of life, plugging away, tackling challenges and overcoming mini battles without realizing what a good job we're doing?  I've talked about it before, but that's something I like the most about traveling - for some reason when I travel I'm able to step away from life enough to see ---- hey, I'm doing very well.  I'm exactly where I'd hoped to be.

In the middle of rushed mornings, traffic jams, problems at work, broken dishwashers and takeout for dinner --- we're still on track.  Every day I am consciously moving in a direction that I'm proud of...* 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Salt Tasting Room

One of my very favorite places in the world is this restaurant in Vancouver. Salt Tasting Room If you're ever out there, be sure to check it out.  You won't regret it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Soup Secret

This is the very best trick if you're a soup person.  I learned it from a butternut squash soup recipe that is THE BEST and I've been making it for years.  But last night I incorporated it into a potato leek soup that I had made before but found a tad bland.  It's such a healthy solution to liven things up.

Using a cheesecloth (can be bought in any supermarket, in the aisle that contains kitchen gadgets.  and one package will last you a long time, so fear not), place a piece of garlic and whichever herbs you'd like.  I typically use thyme, but rosemary, sage, etc. would be nice too.  Tie the garlic and herbs in the cheesecloth and submerge in soup broth while it cooks.  This infuses the soup with a subtle, yet perfectly balanced, flavor.  Remove the cheesecloth after cooking and discard.

Butternut Squash Soup - No dairy, no gluten, and so, so delicious!
1 half of a Butternut Squash Peeled and cubed
1 apple, cored and quartered
1 onion, quartered
1 carton organic chicken broth (could sub vegetable broth, if necessary)
1 clove garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
olive oil
*Toss squash, apple, onion in olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast @ 400 degrees for about 45 minutes until soft.  Place in pot with stock and thyme and garlic wrapped in cheesecloth.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30-45 minutes.  Remove cheesecloth. Using a handheld blender or traditional blender, blend until smooth. Reheat leftovers.

I followed a similar process and made potato leek soup last night.  I peeled the potatoes and boiled them for about 30 minutes and sauteed the leeks.  I mixed everything together, added the cheesecloth sachet and simmered in vegetable broth.  I drizzled with a touch of truffle oil and voila - so lovely.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Isn't this a gorgeous space?  The designer Pamela Shamshiri gives a nice interview to House Beautiful regarding the design.  I love this excerpt and her approach.   I dream of a space like this.  Perfect for a cocktail party, a quiet dinner or just a book.  Ahhh....

HB: You've taken the sharp edge off modernism.
Modernism can be harsh and unnatural. Get pieces where you have the sense of the person who made it. That makes it more special. It will age well and live with you and become part of your collected life. You don't throw it out next year. And you're calm and relaxed, because everything feels right and nothing is too precious. I like that in spaces. It makes our clients feel like they can grow with their house and add to it. Everything is unfinished. The wood continues to age. The floor changes every day. There's something incomplete and yet complete about it.
HB: That kind of describes life, doesn't it?
I guess it does.

(via House Beautiful)

Monday, January 23, 2012


I got the most perfect birthday gift in the mail over the weekend.  This beautiful "Balance Bar" bracelet.  It's delicate and understated, just the way I like my jewelery.  But it's also a great daily reminder of the importance of balance.  In my opinion, balance is the absolute key to a fulfilled life.

Balance is holding on and letting go.  Balance is staying light and thinking heavy.  Balance is forgiveness and boundaries.  Balance is push and pull.  Balance is freedom and constraint.  Balance is being present and thinking forward.  Balance is hard to do, but worth the difficulty.

Thank you for my beautiful bracelet.


Friday, January 20, 2012


Sometimes something I bought seems a little frivilous or impulsive.  It wasn't bought with a whole lot of intention, it didn't fill a real need, it isn't very special.  Othertimes, I look at something I own and I just think - I would buy this again in a heartbeat, worth every single penny. 

Off the top of my head, here are a few things I put on the worth it list! 

1) My Ipad.  I never thought I would become so dependent on this little guy.  It is the perfect internet viewer for bedtime browsing, I stream my yogaglo sessions, and I just love it's overall ease. 

2) My Tory Burch Flats.  Actually, they inspired this little post today.  As I hurried to work, late as usual, I threw these on. Some skinny jeans, these little flats and I'm good to go.  I thought to myself - I have worn these things for 3 years... any season, to work or to do errands...they just never let me down.

3) My Ugg Slippers.  On the same note, I bought these slippers in the fall.  $100 for slippers might seem a difficult pill to swallow but they are worth their weight in gold.  I do.not.take.these.off from the minute I step in the door.  They are the most comfortable and warm things.  The few times we've had friends over this winter, I have kept them on too.  I think they're totally appropriate hostess wear ;) 

4) The Keurig Coffee Maker in my kitchen.  I resisted this.  I wanted to make "real" coffee - maybe use a french press or finally learn to use that fabulous Italian espresso machine we got when we got married.  But this year, I gave in and hopped on the instant k-cup band wagon.  And I'm loving the convenience, simplicity and no clean up!  I'll let the professionals take care of my desire for better cups of coffee.

5) ....I was trying to think of a 5th and nothing really stood out.  If that's not an absolutely fabulous reminder to myself of the fleeting satisfaction of purchases I make, I don't know what is.   There are plenty of things I have that I like...but things I think *woah, absolutely worth it* ehhhhh - not so many.  Buy less, experience more - 2012.   

(image, image, image, image)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Do you challenge yourself a lot?  I don't.  It's something of a combination of being very good at finding the shortest distance between two points, an awareness and commitment to enjoying life and not wanting to be too restricted, and some laziness, too (since we're being honest!)

But as I get a little older, I find more of a desire to push myself.  I don't want to surrender to habits or traits that I have with the excuse of "that's just how I am".   And yes, I have natural predispostion to certain behavior and "weak muscles" when it comes to certain things but if I don't work hard to counteract that, won't those muscles simply get weaker?  And as I get older, those bad habits and personality traits just get harder to overcome. 

So I'm working on my discipline and my need to challenge myself.  So far, so good.  It feels good and I don't feel that I'm deprived.  I've had a daily yoga practice since the start of 2012, which has been amazing!   I also am keeping up with my credit card hiatus - a January personal goal I set for myself.   One thing I need to be better about is some deadlines.  There are things, both at work and with our business, that I simply put off because I can.  Unfortunately, they tend to never get done.   I'm going to try and be a little more accountable to have those things finished by month-end. 

It's a fine balance.  I like that I'm not an overly rigid person who demands perfection.  However, I also think that pushing myself a little harder will serve me well.  It's important that I challenge myself and not succumb to a life of comfort zones and status quo. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Glow

I would just like to applaud whomever is behind this awesome site.   The Glow is this funky little website that interviews some extraordinary mothers.   They are incredibly stylish and, based on their sweet interviews, they seem to be living really balanced, beautiful lives. 

Celebrity gossip doesn't interest me in the slightest, but these women --- oh, they interest me!  The quick glimpse into their worlds, the stunning photography and their unpretentious thoughts on parenting are such a joy.   I wish the media highlighted more of these fascinating people and less of the alternative. 

Keep up the great work! 

(all images via The Glow)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Hard to say anything about this fabulous restaurant that hasn't already been said, so I'll just say ---- if you're a somewhat adventurous eater who is into local and seasonal food, excellent service, and a quaint French Country inspired setting - I highly recommend you head over to this East Cambridge joint, you won't be disappointed.

Bondir was the only New England restaurant to be included on Bon Appetit's Top 10 New Restaurants List, which was what originally peaked my curiosity.  In my opinion, Boston is home to a lot of restaurants that lack real quality.  The food seems to be an after thought to funky decor, trendy neighborhoods or "celebrity" chefs.  That's not to say there aren't some standouts.  There really are.  You just have to dig a little deeper and trust the source of your recommendations.   Bon Appetit has never lead me astray, nor did it this time around.

Bondir provided us with a remarkable and special birthday dinner.  The food was exquisite and satisfying and the ambiance made me feel far away from home.  A+

(image from the Bondir website)

Friday, January 13, 2012


I turn thirty-one today.  I like the sounds of it.  For as long as I can remember 31 was my sister's favorite number so she promises me it will be a good year ;)

Birthdays in my family have never been a huge deal.  As kids, we got to pick what we wanted for dinner and that was about it. Ha.  I'm not kidding!  I'm sure if my mom was reading this she would disagree --- on second thought, I do remember having parties at McDonald's and a little pizza place when I was really little - did you guys have those?  The McDonald's birthday party seemed to be the thing to do circa 1986.  I see kids parties today and can't help but wonder - is all of that necessary?  All we had was a few chicken mcnuggets, some fries and an indoor playground.  We all seemed to make out just fine. 

Maybe it was because of that high bar, that my birthday as an adult is sort of a fun day to hear from a lot of friends, feel a little extra loved and hopefully pick what I want to have for dinner :)    I also tend to take a big inhale, look around and feel very grateful on my birthday - grateful to be building and sharing life with an amazing husband, grateful for a healthy family that loves me unconditionally and supports me every step of the way, and grateful for friends that fill my life with laughs, love and good memories.

I understand things better now than I have before.  I also know enough to know how very little I actually do know.  The possibility of the future, the thrill of what I will continue to learn, the growth I will inevitably endure, it excites me.  Surrendering to age does not frighten me and I love this little thought about nostalgia.  Welcome, 31.  It's a pleasure to meet you.

We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today.  I don't think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great.  If you're hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time.  ~Art Buchwald

Thursday, January 12, 2012

There is a light that never goes out

I guess The Smith's said it best - "Take me out tonight, where there's music and there's people and they're young and alive.... take me out tonight.  Take me anywhere I don't care, I don't care, I don't care...."

I've got to get on the move.  It's bad.  I'm thinking London.   This month marks the 10 year anniversary of my time there and I'm feeling nostalgic.   Here, to pass the time - 

(image, image, imageimage, image)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Page, AZ

I've got a new spot on my to-see list.  Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona.  It's about 2.5 hours north of the Grand Canyon, on the border of Arizona and Utah.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  Would love to get there this spring!

(all images)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I've been driving over the Hudson River since 1999, when I went to college in Philadelphia.  I've never given much thought to the area...I've noticed it's pretty foliage and an occasional nice sunset over the river but for the most part I was just hoping the traffic over the Tappanzee Bridge would be manageable.

Last night, however, we caught an episode of No Reservations in the Hudson River Valley.  It's stunning.  And definitely has been added to my roadtrip list.  A great vacation is fantastic, but a grand European adventure just isn't always possible.  Nor is it necessary.  Sometimes a weekend away from it all - with a change of scenary and a few great meals is all I need to reset. 

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  My list of things to do grows each day.  Time seems to go faster with every day that passes.  Last night we sat down to eat at 10pm - not because we were trying to channel our inner Spainards, but because that was the time that the rest of the day was done.  Time Management.  How I struggle....

Anyways, as we ate our late dinner and watched the Hudson Valley episode I reminded myself that this overwhelmed feeling will pass. That all I need to do is slowly cross one thing off my list, and then the next, and then the next...   and perhaps find a weekend to take a little roadtrip and see what might be waiting for me in a pretty little area not too far away from home. 


Monday, January 9, 2012

A Case of You

James Blake's remake of this Joni Mitchell classic.  The song is gorgeous but the video - wow, wow, wow.  Rebecca Hall nails it.  Join her on this epic 2:55 emotional rollercoaster. You won't be disappointed. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Welcome, 2012

I like to digest the first week of January rather than just dive head first into a slew of resolutions and to-do lists for my new year.   So here we are, the first week of the new year coming to a close and it was a good one.  The pace has been quick.  A lot to get done and not a lot of time to sit and ponder.  I prefer a fast pace though.  I actually get a whole lot more accomplished when I'm under the gun than when I have plenty of time to do it.   I never resist a new beginning.  A reason to reflect, an opportunity to change...  So on that note, a few of my own 2012 resolutions.  I'm hoping by writing them down and sharing them here, I'll be a little more accountable.

*Encourage individuality.  The very best gift I can give myself is understanding me.  What I like, what I don't, what I need, where I feel my best.  I worked very hard at that in 2011 and can wholeheartedly say, I have a better grasp on it than I ever have before.  I want to continue that but also be better at encouraging my husband's path toward his own fulfillment.  As much as I demand personal space, I'm not good at giving it back to him.  Reciprocity.  It's a real big challenge for me.  But something I'm committed to getting better at this year.
*The Magician or the Tyrant? I took a yoga class in which the teacher reminded us that we all have an inner magician and an inner tyrant.  The magician is unconditional.  He loves and from that self love can provide boundless amounts of energy.  The tyrant seeks to control.  He wastes our energy trying to control those around us. I battle my own inner tyrant.  Sometimes its easier to try and control others than control ourselves.  But nobody can be controlled and trying to do so is a drain of our own resouces.  We can only control ourselves - our actions, our reactions.  This year as people and their decisions frustrate me, I must remind myself to be the magician and to defeat my inner tyrant.  He serves no value.
*On that same note, with that great reminder - I want to commit fully to a minimum of 3 yoga classes a week.  My body, my mind, my spirit benefit so greatly.  Why I neglect and battle something I know is so very beneficial is hard to comprehend but here and now, I am committing.
*Read more.
*Continue starting my day with a large glass of water and lemon. Eliminate as much unhealthy, processed food and replace it with whole fruits, vegetables and fish.  When I want a treat - have it, enjoy it - but honor myself and my health with a clear and present approach to my diet.

That should do it for now. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Highlight of 2011

The absolute highlight of 2011 was our trip to Spain.  We travel a decent amount, but this trip was really special.  I love Spain.  I've been to southern Spain before but never Madrid or Barcelona.  I had articles printed off and saved in a folder for five years, just waiting for the time to come.  I devoured the On the Road series with Gwyneth and Mario Batali.  Anthony Bourdain's Spain Episodes have one of the coveted "Do Not Delete" markers on my DVR. 

Last spring, I got a newsflash from travelzoo saying that US Air was discounting all flights to Spain...  The time had come.  We got incredibly reduced airfares and the trip felt destined.  When I told my friend about the airfare special, she told me "your trip is going to be magic" ...and magic it was.

I won't go into the specifics.  The amazing food we ate at every meal, the sites we saw, the weather we had, the people, the fashion, the art, the cities themselves.  That is within me and will never leave. But I will tell you the way it made me feel.  The trip made me feel alive. The trip reminded me of who I am and what I love. It had the same effect on my husband.  It brought us closer, not only as a couple going on a 10 year relationship, but by strengthening our individuality, we were able to remember just how and why we fell in love - we are kindred spirits who at our very core find happiness in the same things. 

I have a painting hanging in my living room that we bought in Madrid.   It's one of the best things I have ever bought in my life.  I lose myself in the painting all the time. It brings me instantly back to Plaza Mayor. Not only to the neighborhood but to the feeling of being purely, honestly, hopelessly happy in that moment.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Warm me up

Among other things, I'm hoping to challenge myself with some serious soup making this winter.  It's healthy, it's easy, it's convenient (no leaving the office to grab a mediocre salad somewhere), it's cost effective and if done right --- it's gooood! 

Last night while I was making dinner, I heated up some garlic, fresh ginger and lemon rind.  I sauteed them in olive oil for a few minutes then poured in a box of Pacific Naturals Vegetable Broth, sliced up a red pepper, a few carrots, and some green beans. I also added about a cup of Bob's Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix --- a blend of split green and yellow peas, lentils, barley.  No added seasoning or preservatives but 21g of protein per half cup!  Simmer away and added some cilantro to bring in depth.  Soooo good.  I packed it into a few pyrex bowls for my lunch this week.  Grab it before I head out the door and I'm good to go. 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Welcome, January. I always look forward to January's calm, quiet vibe.  It's a perfect time to regroup, refocus and set your sights on the new year.  Whatever your goals are, may you find the strength to pursue them passionately and fearlessly. 

Wishing every one of you that passes through this little space of mine, a healthy, happy and peaceful 2012.