Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The other day I read the following post on someone’s profile wall - “I am me and I won’t change for anyone”. It gave me pause. I wanted to rephrase it to - “I am me and I won’t change for anyone but myself but thank you for the support”.
I am a firm believer that our personalities are pretty set and to change the core of who we are is often beyond possibility. I am a firm believer in living true to who we are and owning our behavior. I also believe though we are not able to change our personalities (being true to who we are) we can change (own) our behavior. The change I speak of is not about fragmenting the core of our true self in order to conform to someone else’s expectations of us but about altering how we communicate, relate to and treat others, all learned behaviors, in order to be heard and seen so that those who are in our lives understand the parts of us that cannot, rather than will not, change.
Unfortunately many of us see a request for change as a desire by those making it to control us. If placed with all sincerity the request is merely someone asking us to give them what they desire from us. It is up to us to decide whether or not we are able to. If we own our behavior we can then choose to remove ourselves from a situation/position that we cannot fulfill and move on with hopes of eventually finding others who communicate and accept how we relate or we can stop and examine what is not working and take the responsibility to change in hopes of opening the path towards what is mutually desired. The choice is ours. If we are true to ourselves and own our behavior either choice is right. Of course what you accept or change and communicate depends on the core of who you are, and there are those who will manipulate what needs to be manipulated without changing in order to benefit from immediate gratification but considering narcissistic or sociopathic behaviors is another Tuesday mental musing that might require tequila…..
Worth the investigation!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Weeks ago I posted with excitement about the new line of Aveeno Shampoos. I couldn't wait for them to hit the store shelves. The problem was I couldn't find them and I had run out of my shampoo and conditioner so to an old favorite I returned, Herbal Essence Shampoos & Conditioners. A few years ago they revamped their line and look and extended it to include shampoos, conditioners and hair products that address all types hair issues. To be honest I am always a bit confused by all the options and yearn for the day of having only smells to guide me. Choosing between coconut, strawberry or vanilla is so much easier for me. This time I just reached for the Long Term Relationship Shampoo and Conditioner combo mostly because it smelled good but also because I have decided to grow out my hair a bit and want to keep it healthy and strong while doing so.
I am not disappointed with the products. After and in between each washing my hair is shiny and thick and for $3.49 per bottle the combination cost me less than one bottle of the Aveeno item.
Should be available at your local drugstore.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I am not ashamed to say that I am among the guilty. I have been known to try to communicate to people in hopes that they understand and begin to give me what they may not be capable of giving. I have been know to try to rectify situations that were a waste of effort and time because in the end regardless of what was said or done I came to realize that the expectations I have when it comes to relationships and environment were never going to be fulfilled by that which I fought to save. I have been known to waste my time.
It's my romantic nature that trips me up. There is a part of me that believes love will conquer all, effort and intent can fix it and desire can manifest anything. Of course this is only true when that which we are investing in fulfills much of the expectations we have in regards to the types of people, goal markers and relationships we truly want in our life. The problem is that we are programed to relate to, behave and expect to be rewarded in ways other than what we may truly desire. These lessons are taught by our environment and caretakers and are more often than not learned through observation and repetative behavior. We often reach for the familiar and known, even when it's wrapped in pretty package different from what we have ever seen. On the surface most of us equate change with unfamiliar and different. Because of this contradiction we can find our selves in a perpetual "Ground Hogs Day" rerun working for, dating and befriending the same people and finding our selves experiencing the same situations over and over and over again despite not wanting to and sincerely believing we are progressing. Changing our internal programing requires questioning our selves and examining our behavior, something most of us are loathe to do, especially when we feel we have been slighted or wronged. Doing so means that we must admit our part in it all and not totally blame others. It would mean stopping and admitting that we are the common denominator in all and that we are responsible.
I truly believe that in every situation we are involved in we are each our own common denominator. If we find our selves involved with the "same" people or confronting the "same" issues over and over again the problem lies not without but within and it is we that are the issue. This is not to say that the people and situations we are involved with at times don't have issues of their own or aren't part of the probelm, but because we can't change anyone else but ourselves it is we that must alter our behavior in order to avoid experiencing Deja Vu.
Knowing that I am the issue when I find myself repeating my history is a hard lesson to learn. It means being honest about my involvement in something that I may be embarassed or ashamed of being part of. It means not being the victim and taking charge of my own behavior. It means being responsible for what I project into the world in a real and honest way. It means accepting that I can not control it all even when I am required to control myself. It means having no expectations even when I am investing in something with hopes of results. Of course because of repetition I could justify my constant mistakes as being my life "lesson", but that's another Tuesday Mental Musing post..
These new rental cars offer various option rates, which include gas, insurance and free miles. There are annual membership and application fees but the option of having a car without the responsibility.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Having the extra time reminded me of childhood summer Sunday's, which seemed endless without the pending arrival of school on Monday morning. Even with ticking off things on my to do list this weekend there was a languid manner that followed me through the days. It is here still. Because of this slower pace and sense of time I was even able to enjoy a nap, a childhood activity I don't often indulge in these days. It is a luxury I always seem willing to forgo. Saturday's balmy and warm weather was perfect for snoozing.
With windows open I lay atop the bed covered by a thin sheet not thinking about what I might be doing or missing by not being outside, instead just breathing, centering and listening to all that was around me until I slept. When I was little our nap times were my mother's alone time. She would pratice her flute while we slept and the sound of her playing was our lullibye. I thought of that as I drifted off and the sounds of here and now were replaced by the echoes of memory. Of course I slept for more than an hour but the luxury of time means knowing that all things happen when and as they should.
Those of us who sews know that there are a foundation of skirt shapes from which all skirts come from. I found the attached image which pretty much explains them all. Now visualize ruffles, bias cut flowy creations, draw string and elastic waists, kick pleats, and hip pockets...dream on..dream on..
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
The Bikes..The Bikes...
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Yes! I keep a 20" x 56" inspiration board on a wall in my kitchen. I pin up pictures of clothing I want to make or buy, accessories I want to add to my wardrobe, beauty products I'm curious about, looks I want to pull together, furniture and interior design that reminds me of what I want my home to be, people and words that fuel and inspire, book reviews, fabric and color swatches that encourage dreaming, recipes I would like to try, events I want to attend, places I want to go to. The board is a semi organized hodge-podge of my life. I know it sounds cheesy but having visual inspiration allows me to stop for a few moments each day and see that which I want to experience and by doing so direct my intention towards manifesting those things. I keep an overall to do lists that can and often does includes some of the items on the board.
Every few weeks I re organize the board and the overall list. I get rid of images/goals that no longer reflect where I am at in the moment or those things and experiences that have materialized during the weeks they were posted on the board. During this sorting time I always find myself smiling in gratitude for all that I have experienced. Even when weeks go by and the images and list remain unchanged I am grateful for all that I have and all that I have experienced.
The board allows me to see the bigger picture that living the day to day often obscures. Adding new inspiration and updating the list encourages me to live my life out loud and not get lost in a life I don't want to be living. And when I release or don't achieve a particular goal the overall picture reminds me never to doubt that I have been blessed with what I do have and have experienced and it assures me that the universe is more than generous and that there will always be abundance for me to share in.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
In between the work I rest. While at rest I see the bits and pieces of that life manifesting it self and I can see myself clearer than I have ever been able to before. In that clarity there is room for both acceptance and the desire to grow and change. I don't know if I will ever be where I want to be, but I do know that I am on a journey to where I need to be right now and that's OK.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS SONG!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
In fall of 2007 I found a beautiful clay pot, much like the attached picture, at the back of a dusty shelf in a Home Goods store. It had been marked down a number of times and at $3.00 I couldn't resist buying it. Until about February of 2008 when I decided to try and cook with the thing it too collected dust on a shelf in my kitchen. I had relatives that had used them, but they, my relatives, were long gone by the time I decided to experiment. In order to use it properly I researched how to cook with clay pots on the net and in library books. I found a well of information but preferred trying, with tweaks, family recipes instead of those suggested by the sites and books I found. Intergrating new items into my existing habits is really important to me because it often means I will truly begin to "change".
Cooking in a clay pot is actually simpler than it appears. The pot is submerged in cool water for 15-20 minutes, longer if the vessel is larger, so that the clay absorbs water. The ingredients for the recipe at hand are placed in it, the top put in place before the clay pot is placed into a low temperature preheated oven for the duration of time the recipe calls for. I did refer to a number of recipes using similiar ingredients to those I was using for suggested cooking time and oven temps to avoid under or over cooking. As the water logged clay pot dries out the steam and heat cook the items inside leaving them juicy and flavorful.
This item is now a big part of my cooking, especially on the weekends during the winter months when slow cooked one pot preparations make any meal homey. I have used this toy to make all in one rice dishes, which usually include veggies, chicken or pork. It has baked a fish stuffed with herbs, spices and stick sliced veggies, corn bread confetti'd with kernels of corn, a cake with wine soaked plums and my great-grandmother's blueberry cobbler recipe. I love the preparation involved and the simplicity of using it. Now that spring has arrived and the welcome of fresh veggies and fruit is just moments away I am investigating using it at night when I sleep.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Though I love fashion I have come to understand that I gravitate towards variations of the same items, updated by slight change in silhouette, fabric and color. Understanding this helps me to avoid falling into the trend pit and allows me to focus on clothing that suits me.
1) To begin culling and transforming my wardrobe I pulled out and tried on everything I owned, making 3 piles as I went along - items to keep, items to have tailored and items to donate. I quickly packed the donation bag so that I wouldn't fall prey to the "just in cases" and put them back to languish unworn and unloved.
2) Then I made a list of all the items I was keeping before hanging, folding and organizing them by item and color in the closet and dresser drawers. I finally added the items that needed to be tailored to that main list.
The list allows me to see what items I have and what items I want to add or need to replace. It allows me to see the colors I gravitate towards and made me realize that though the colors change with season they pretty much remain constant in hue. The list allows me to see the fabrics I am drawn to, the details and finishes I prefer. When I change out seasonal clothing I update it, adding or substracting what I own and wear.
I know there is the fear of falling into a rut, but I find a sense of freedom in knowing what I like and feel comfortable wearing. Having the foundation of a wardrobe that is based on styles that suit my frame and personality allows me to experiment with accessories and color and patterns.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
You know the bags I am typing about. The bags made of recyled bottles and other plastic items. The bags that are an advertisment for the stores you shop in and are offered at prices cheap enough that you don't feel like you're being too put out by spending the $1 or so that they cost. I know that there are other options out there, but I am really not too keen on spending the money some of the brands are asking for a logo'd nylon bag that I will end up forgetting to carry anyway.
Two Sundays ago I purchased two sequined netted bags (see photo) for $1.49 each at my local 99cents Plus Store. Each crocheted bag stretches to accomodate 1/2 gallon of milk, a dozen eggs and a few other small items. Having two should be fine since I never shop for more than I can carry anyway but the luxury of thinking outside the box to support the idea of recycling and re-using and the fun I will have toting these bags around this spring and summer far outweighs the good deed of supporting those ideas.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
One of my favorite muffins to make is PUMPKIN MUFFINS(Yes!, that's my photo).
The original recipe came from Gourmet Magazine but in the years I have used it I have tweaked and played with it until it is as follows -
- 1-3/4 cup flour ( 50% White/50% Whole Wheat)
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Can of Solid Packed Pumpkin - 15oz
- 1/3 cup Veggie Oil
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin-Pie Spice
- 1 Cup White Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Flax Seed
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Sugar + 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
In one bowl add sifted flour and baking powder, whisk and set aside
In another bowl mix pumpkin, oil, 2 eggs, flax seed, pumpkin spice, sugar, baking soda, salt until smooth
Add flour and baking powder mix well
Here is the creative part - I always add a dried fruit or nut to give the muffin texture. Sometimes I add 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts and/or 1/3 cup of raisens or 1/4 chopped candied ginger and/or 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Sometimes I add one item, sometimes I add at least two. It depends on my mood.
Fill 12 lined muffin cups 3/4 way, sprinkle tops with sugar/cinnamon mix and bake for 20-30 minutes, until toothpick pulls out clean. Cool.
These freeze for up to 3 months, but if you share, like I do, you'll never know this.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
My problem with truly admitting that I believe we are solely and individually responsible for our lives is that I constantly see evidence of our connective existence and the affects it has on us as both individuals and part of a communities of peoples bonded by birth, belief and cultures. I believe there is more than a here and right now and though I try to exist in the moment for the moment's sake I know those moments are sandwiched between past and present moments that affect the very moment I am in. I admit that I am constantly questioning the need for man to put his faith in an entity that exists outside his physical and mental scope yet reflects all manner of behavior present within both because it is then that we, man, forgo our responsibility for our lives, our actions and the effects they have on ourselves as well as others. Yet I believe we are energy and energy emerges from and, if allowed, returns to the individual source that birthed it.
I believe this source is God but I always consider and question what is God's purpose and our purpose to it. Though I have an inkling of a definition my questions will not stop despite my faith that from the one source I come and to the one source I will return. My questions regard the constant need for man to define that source within his own reflection and with rules and regulations that reflect social and cultural traditions that are stet in the constant motion of change. Yet despite the request for trust and blind faith by most religions and spiritual teachings, which I believe is a manifestation of parental monitering, if you look around you will see we are constantly being encouraged to ask our self "Who am I? What is my purpose? What is the present and my relationship to it? the future? the past? These questions are the basics of existenitalist thinking and contradict the concept of solely trusting in the fact that you are here with an extreme purpose that will reveal itself in time. Another Tuesday of mental musings and bad coffee...
This year in honor of Isabella Blow we are creating magnificent mini grassed baskets chock filled with all manner of Easter goodies, encased in cellophane and adorned with ribbons, flowers and butterflies. They will be worn in a very 1940s manner, tilted to the sides our our heads.
Monday, April 6, 2009
The overlap of Easter and Passover this year it is the perfect excuse to have both a Sedar and an Easter celebration to welcome the change of seasons and take the luxury of investigating and experiencing traditions and cultures you may not be fully aware of.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
(Previous posts unearthed lots of old goodies)
When my friends Sarah and Greg got married they honeymooned in Mexico and as a treat brought back samples of spa items made with chocolate for their friends. I was one of the lucky that received a sample cocoa soap and body scrub as well as a pound of cocoa powder to cook with. I loved and used it all, but aside from smelling like a great cup of hot chocolate (yeah, corny I know) I didn't consider any other benefits from their use, I'm really a vanilla smelling kind of girl, and never really investigated the concept of using cocoa for such things. Recently I have run across a few articles discussing the merits of products using Acticoa, a cocoa extract rich in antioxidants called flavanols. Applied topically these products are suppose to have anti aging effects, boosting the production of collagen and moisturizing the skin. Dark chocolate provides the best flavonols. Be prepared for another flood of chocolate boosted beauty products!