Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Paresseuse -- Lazy in Paris!

Moi, je suis PARESSEUSE...that means "I'm lazy" in French. Isn't that a fantastic word? Well, you caught me just having a very UN-lazy moment because I used to speak French fluently and I was beating myself up for having forgotten this most exquisite could a Lazy Woman let that one morsel of her very limited French vocabulary fall like a most delicious crumb of a perfect croissant!

I'm leaving for Paris in two days. Why is it that there is always such an extraordinary amount of crap and non-crap to do before departing. Well, in my case, a lot of it is prep for the housesitters who are coming to stay with Lucy and Tallulah while I go off galavanting. 12 days was just too darned long for the furry little ones to sleep alone at night, so I'm cleaning, scrubbing, neatening and trying to think of every little quirk about my house that needs an explanation. I know that sounds frighteningly UN-lazy but in fact if I feel like I've left as much as I can in the best shape possible for the housesitters, then when I get on the airplane and breathe that sigh of relief, it'll be a real sigh of relief, not the kind that catches at the very end and gets stuck in an anxiety snag.

I am committed to working like a dog, thinking of everything I can, packing as thoughtfully as possible, and then getting on the airplane and truly beginning the adventure of a lifetime with grace and ease. This will be my first time in Paris with my love, Aaron.... what a lovely thing.

And, for three days I get to go off to Morocco to visit my fairygoddaughters who are the most magical delectable creatures on the planet. My time with them will be love-filled, heart-warming and soul-nurturing, and then off to the City of Love and Lights.

Just writing about the relaxation, the adventure and thinking of all the joy is taking the stress out of my shoulders. Isn't it amazing how our thoughts directly result in a stress or release reaction. That's my clue to getting through these last two days before take-off: remember the love, remember the goal....and stay in the moment right now having fun getting things done in honor of the love and fun!

Happy Holidays to Everyone! Joyeux Noel to all!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesday - Christmas Surprises

Trader Joe's just improves every year on the Christmas front. They have so many super cool baskets, potted and cut flowers, cookies and cakes. You can give the Master Trader just 5 quick minutes on your way to a party or to visit a friend and he will absolutely provide you a perfect hostess gift.

In these hard times, a lot of us have people in our lives who are out of work, or whose funds have at least been decreased, so a Trader Joe's gift card can be very appreciated. You can make it a yummy gift by tying it onto a box of cookies or a cake, or a cute stack of chocolates or a festive box of hot chocolate mix. So, not only do they have an immediate mood enhancer to imbibe, they have your gift to warm their hearts and pocketbooks! (oh my god that word is so old fashioned!!! the pocketbook is in the slacks hanging on the ice box!)

I have a cold right now as do a lot of people in my life, and TJ's has a lot of great things for a little "Get Well at Christmas Time" basket... Ricola Cough Drops, Emergen-C, Zinc, Airborne, Anti-Bacterial gel, Hot Tea, Juice (I would give cider for them to warm up for a nice hot nurturing drink), Flowers and of course, CHOCOLATE heals all colds, right?.... I think people feel even worse about being sick during the holidays because as annoying as all the social requirements can be, people really do usually want some human contact during the holidays! So leaving a little "Sorry your sick during the holidays basket" with maybe a little Poinsettia thrown in for cheer, could make someone's season.

And, here's to everyone's good health and frolicking during this season!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lazy Skin Care

I was walking down the skin care aisle of Target with Aaron the other day, helping him look for his favorite Neutrogena lotion when I happened to see this at eye level right in front of me:

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Rejuvenator, The Anti Aging Power Treatment

I remembered it was something that Oprah had mentioned as one of her favorite things a couple years ago. It was on sale and I thought "oooh that sounds like it would feel goooooooood...." So I bought it and as soon as I could grab some time to indulge I did.

It really is unbelievable, and definitely one of my new favorite things. It promises to do a bunch of lovely stuff, but let me just tell you that having your face scrubbed and massaged with the click of a button is a wonderful thing during the stressful holiday season and EVERY DAY! It's relaxing, and the result is that your skin will be deliciously smooth and soft.

I have some sun damage on my face -- particularly on one side, from driving I suppose. I'll let you know how the miracle scrubbie works on the spots over time. But, no matter what the end result, each time I've used it -- I've used it three times now -- I feel like I've gone to a spa for a little while.

Yummy Lazy Life....

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Replacement Addictions

A person-who-shall-remain-nameless (i.e., a friend who I don't think ever really was a friend because of what said ex-friend did...and frankly, I think you'll agree...just listen to this horrible tale of drug pushing) introduced me to a very, very bad addiction, which I cannot imagine is too far from a crack addiction. What is the addiction and what the heck does it have to do with Trader Joe's?

The addiction is what I call Spicy Hot Cheetos. Technically they are called "Crunchy Flamin' Hot Cheetos" and they are profoundly delicious and equally deeply addictive. I hear that they really are "laced" with something that makes them more addictive. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water. And, the very sad thing is that it's a really embarassing addiction -- especially for a vegetarian who puts such a high premium on healthy eating. It's just not hip. And, worst of all, everyone knows when you've had them because they stain your fingertips bright neon flamin' hot RED!

A few weeks ago I made a promise to not eat these blessed spicy morsels for the rest of the year. Yet again Trader Joe's saves the day, though! In the snack/chip section you will find "Baked Cheese Crunchies" -- such a cute, harmless name, eh? And, they are pretty low-cal and low-fat. And, there is a Jalapeno version too, though it's not quite as satisfying to me as my crack cheetos in the level of spiciness. But, the regular Baked Cheese Crunchies are quite crunchy, delicious and not laced with anything. So when you're finished, you don't desperately crave another bag and you aren't left with a half-crazed-full-moon-wolf smile on your face or stained fingertips!

And, may I tell you that if you are looking for a very cool crunchy cheesy addition to a salad to add some interesting texture, crumble several of these on top of your salad!

Trader Joe's has a knack for creating healthy alternatives to many of our favorite addictions! Yet another reason to be thankful this holiday season.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Lazy Christmas Tree?

As much as I was enamored with the glistening full white oh-so-shimmery-yet-not-too-plasticky-looking artificial (duh!) Christmas tree I couldn't do it. I couldn't go fake Christmas tree yet. Aaron did. And, frankly, it's quite lovely and I don't think anyone would even guess it was fake from more than 6 inches distance from it.

But, I am still enamored with the white tree. I feel like I did when I tried on my very first pair of black patent leather shoes when I was a toddler. Only this time I didn't leave the store with them.

I know it's better for the environment to do artificial, so I am slightly ashamed. And, I was completely blown away by Judie (co-author of "The Lazy Woman's Guide") telling me that her huuuuuuuge Christmas tree which I ALWAYS thought was real -- not to mention looked new and different every year -- has been the same fake one for several years. I had literally NO idea, and I had been sitting at its feet many times.

We put up my real tree yesterday and it was a hilariously huge hassle. Aaron acccidentally stepped on a string of lights, obliterating one big bulb. We cleaned it up and then Aaron went to pick up the string and proceeded to ELECTROCUTE I'm not kidding. He's an actor and I thought he was ACTING and then he showed me the palm of his hand which had a smokey burn on it the size of a quarter. Scary! So, the moral of the story is real trees are dangerous....and messy, of course...pine needles all over.

Fake trees are stringing tangled lights. And they don't shed. So maybe I'll get over myself next year, and Aaron can have a healthful holiday season in 2010!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesday - More Thanksgiving

Do you have the regular guys and gals you are friendly with at Trader Joe's. I do, and I get attached to them, so when I've moved in the past I've been sad to lose them for their cheery faces, their recommendations and their familiar nods and hello's.

I sad down to write about working with turkey leftovers but I can't get my "Trader Joe's Husband," (I, of course, am his Lazy Wife) 21 year old Brian, out of my mind. I haven't seen him in quite a while. He had been set to ship out to the Navy in early October, but when I went in and saw him mid-October I was shocked to find out the reason. His mom who had just been married at my exact age only weeks prior was on her honeymoon when her most beloved new husband was killed. Brian had delayed his entry into the Navy so that he could support her in her very obvious time of need.

I just got back from getting a Christmas tree with Aaron, feeling so lucky that for the first time in several years I had a guy to help me bring the tree in. I always do it alone, plopping it in my convertible (some years to my body's utter horror because it was so darned cold) and schlepping it out, knocking down anything in its wake. I am just so grateful right now because Aaron loved Christmas as much as I do and this is the beginning of a lovely season. It was in the happiest times like these that Brian's mom lost her new love. Anything can happen. Any moment.

So, I'm going to rush back to my love but first a few tips for what to do with leftover turkey:

  1. Scrumptious Turkey Cranberry Salad -- Lettuce of your choice, turkey chopped up in even sized bits, dried cranberries, grated parmesan cheese (the bag in the refrigerator section), lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Turkey Pasta Alfredo -- Check out the frozen pasta section at TJ's....several would do but there is a great Mushroom Alfredo which is PERFECT for adding turkey. Cook it a little more than halfway and then add in the turkey so it's all evenly warmed.
  3. Turkey Spinach Sandwich -- Trader Joe's has fantastically delicious breads... perfect little panini, mini-baguettes, etc. Instead of mayonaise, grab the Spinach Dip in the refrigerator section and slather it on the bread. Slice a tomato layer that on. If you like capers, throw a few in (yes TJ's has capers over near the mustard and olives) by dotting the spinach dip with them. If you NEED cheese throw on a slice or two, but with the richness of the dip, I don't think you'll need it.

In gratitude,