I am not big on selfies because I've had a hard enough time getting good pictures of myself that were posed.
But this was an important selfie for me to take. I was on vacation, laying next to the pool. It was warm so even though I had only about 10 minutes earlier gotten out of the pool, my hair was quickly drying as I enjoyed my book. It was a perfect day. Nearby were very dear friends also lounging, sunning, reading, quietly resting, eating, drinking, preparing to jump in the pool...It was pure bliss. Every once in a quiet while we would break into conversation, one person would read an excerpt of their book or magazine article, or offer to get everyone food or drink.
It was one of my favorite days ever.
Moments before I took this photo I thought I would like to document myself in my supremely relaxed state. And, while my eyes look squinched, I know it's because of the sun making its way through the umbrella above me, not due to any true tension.
I love seeing this photo now because I remember precisely how I felt when I took it. I remember how thick and warm the air was, how my wet hair and swimsuit cooled me, how the cicadas sang loudly in perfect unison in the olive trees surrounding the villa, how the lounge chair was perfectly supportive yet soft, how my book lay on my lap, and in the distance I heard the tiny clinks of someone making food in the kitchen. Every single need was met and I was surrounded by love.
So this photo is a touchstone for me. If I find myself getting tense, losing ground, or needing an internal shift, I can look at this photo because that moment is still inside me. Right now. It's still there.
All our moments are -- if we want to tap into them for extra juice in a very different moment -- well I call that a perfect Lazy Woman way to cause a shift.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
I went to a Hendricks Institute workshop with Katie Hendricks this weekend. I'll be writing a HuffPo article about the UNBELIEVABLE course soon, but in the meantime had to share this life-affirming, love-generating workout tip.
I'm sure you've seen mentions on the interwebs of how studies are now showing that sitting is more harmful to our health than even cigarette smoking.
Most of us have to sit for at least a good portion of our days in front of a computer. Well, during our workshop Katie perched on one of the above screwy-looking stools: the ergoErgo stool (which I found conveniently located at my local Container Store, but that you can find all over on the web). She was constantly moving - rocking, twisting, bouncing slightly even. Her spine, joints and even abs were getting a gentle workout the entire time.
Now the Hendricks work is centered around creating "flow" in our lives and hearts, so it is no surprise that Katie would be able to eloquently speak to all of the benefits of getting our asses out of chairs. What got me was Katie talking about having excellent energy even at the end of a long day because of the movement. It does, people, it GIVES YOU ENERGY to rock and roll and frolic on this thing all day long!
I got back late last night from the workshop. But I wasted no time getting my orange (they come in black and blue also) tuffet. I have been delightfully energized all day long, and will have no problem continuing my work even later into this night.
I can't more highly recommend getting some sort of tuffet-like perch for yourself. Some people sit on big exercise balls. That didn't appeal to me. I'm pretty certain I would fall. In her office, Katie has a Swopper, which I may end up with down the line, but I wanted to try this first and see if I could deal without a back to my chair. Didn't miss it one bit today, and I can't imagine I will in the future. But I really dig how this looks, feels and works on me and for me.
My posture is better than it ever is in a chair, which is icing on the cake. My abs are getting a gentle little workout, as you naturally pull them in when you rock around. AND, for those of you chicks with tight hips and blocked sexual energy....watch out! This is a delicious little opener.
So it's a Lazy Woman's answer to many common ills -- not to mention aging! Greasing the joints with movement is a recipe for lazy aging.
Kathy Eldon has always been one of my heroes. Now, I identify her as an honest to got Superhero of Love. Check out my Huffington Post piece about her.
She's a superhero and she's also Lazy, i.e., she has her priorities straight -- following her heart and inner guidance every step of the navigation through an extraordinary loss.
Click on the link for inspiration for yourself or perhaps others who might benefit greatly from her book In the Heart of Life.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
I stumbled on a lazy beauty tip in Italy: be easily amused and enthused....
Me and my friends being easily amused by someone taking our photo in front of the Vatican late one night....bliss!
Saturday, July 05, 2014
My grandma made amazing pies and jams. She lived in a tiny town in Michigan and no matter what time of year I went to visit her, it felt like the 4th of July. I was there for the Bicentennial and it felt very similar to how my small town Fourths feel today. There is nothing like starting the day with a Mayberry-like parade full of people of all ages, shapes, sizes and talent ratios. Joy!
But grandma's most memorable contributions to the 4th of July -- and every day -- were her homemade baked goods and jams made from ingredients plucked from her garden. Sadly, somehow her pie and jam recipes (that everyone promised would never disappear) have fallen into a family communication abyss, so my quest for the perfect fruit pie (and jam) recipe continues. This year I was determined to make a pie that would make my grandma proud.
When I lived in New York I made pies for a while for restaurants. I was a purist: only butter in the crusts and definitely no tapioca in the fruit pie fillings. Shortening and tapioca were considered cheating. Let the pure natural ingredients of the butter and fruits tell the perfect pie story. But sometimes this makes for soggy crusts or fallen flutes, so I had to work hard to make perfect pies worthy of sale.
My friend Bob loves Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for his birthday and we celebrated late this year, on 4th of July. So, the quest for the perfect pie was even more crucial. I googled "best pie crust for fruit pies" and found Ruth's Grandma's Pie Crust. It is quite possible that this is also my Grandma's crust recipe! My dad had thought grandma only used Crisco and no butter in her pies and now I'm certain he is correct. It is divine, crispy, flaky and oh so easy to work with. It freaks me out to use shortening, but la di da, because it makes for a perfect fricking crust!
The Recipe:Best Pie Crust Ever
I loooooved last year's pie filling but I really wanted this pie to be beyond perfect so I thought I'd try something new. I googled "best strawberry-rhubarb pie ever" and found "Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie." My grandma strikes again! This recipe calls for tapioca, and I am pretty sure now that my grandma used tapioca. The notes from other fans said that they put in 1/2 again as much or double the tapioca. Well, I did double it, but I also, shockingly (never done this for any recipe before) doubled the fruit because I saw it wasn't going to fill the pie. So, my twist on this recipe is double both plus I put in grated fresh nutmeg as taught to me by Beth Setrakian of Beth's Babies. She is a genius baker and freshly grated nutmeg in a fresh fruit pie is a kiss of deliciousness.
The Recipe: Best Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Ever
Before it popped into the oven:
Hot out of the oven and driven over to Bob's (hence the little wads of foil to keep it stable), the finished product:
Another fun recipe for the 4th that kind of popped into my head turned out to be a hit at the post-parade lunch: one can of frozen limeade (melted in fridge ahead) + 2 bottles of Ginger Beer + 2 large bottles of Seltzer Water + one bag of frozen mixed berries. Drinkers can add Vodka to make it super yummy. Check for sweetness though...you may want to add more seltzer water. Very refreshing!
Buon Summer Appetito to All!
And, here's to GRANDMAS!!!!!!