Foodie Friday…Pretty Pasta FUN!

I’m not sure how I got there (possibly @wrightkitchen …gorgeous pics), but through some mutual Instagrammers that I follow…you know “you might like” “friend’s of” etc… I landed on @saltyseattle and followed her. Go check out her Insta account right now and just look at her gorgeous pasta creations! They’re colorful, fun and whimsical!

I was very lucky, and so excited, a few months ago to win The Cook’s Atelier cookbook from another Instagrammer, @thefrancophiles (have I mentioned how much I love Paris & France in general?) I’ve looked, from cover to cover, through the stunning photos and loved the stories that are shared about French life and the mother-daughter journey of getting to this place in their lives, but wow those recipes take some dedication and time. I think I am going to try the gougère recipe at some point, but that might be my only foray into French cooking. This leads me back to Salty Seattle and the excitement of finding out she had a cookbook coming out in October. Seemed a bit more manageable and fun for me.

Oh, how I wanted to make fun pasta! I ordered the book, borrowed a pasta making machine from a friend, shopped for the very specific ingredients, and had so much fun this past Saturday trying my hand at pasta making. First I read her very funny commentary throughout the book, which made it less cook-booky and then dove right in. Some people start with basics, perfect them, and then move on to the “advanced” techniques….but that’s not me. I’m impatient and wanted to make polka dot pasta, so I skipped to the “advanced pasta sheeting techniques” section and went for it! I wanted red pasta with black dots. The end result wasn’t perfect…I’m also not a perfectionist…but it was reasonably two toned, fun to make and gives me something to practice and strive for next time….i.e thinner dough, more “black” ingredient, and use of a rolling pin when making patterned dough to make it more manageable.

this one came out a light gray…will perfect the black next time!

looks a bit like watermelon instead of polka dots, but I’m not discouraged!

I realized when I was done, that the rolling out of the dough and the feeling of accomplishment when I was done was a bit akin to Pizza Monday. A fun activity that delivers yummy results…and probably different every time, like pizza! I envision future pasta making sessions with the grandkids…fun and messy…and kind of like playing with playdough!! Yes, I’m getting a simple pasta machine for myself!

Go buy this cookbook, check out her Youtube channel, and have fun making colorful pasta…no dyes, just natural colorants from nature!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Never Stop Learning!…courtesy of the NYT

So, this past Sunday I was reading the NY Times, as I do every Sunday. The front-page news is required reading, no matter how hard, it’s necessary…the incomprehensible inhumanity to man, the ridiculous politics of our day, and, at the bottom of the page, the hope of what’s to come in the articles and pages that follow. (I’m sorry, in advance, if you can’t open/read the articles I’ve linked here…I think you can read 10 or less if you’re not a NYT subscriber??) Why did this week’s edition resonate more with me…that I felt like writing about it?

There’s the obligatory book review to see what’s new and what I need to add to the reading list; the travel section usually stirs my inner wanderlust (..like exploring the outskirts of Paris); the arts section just makes me want to live in NY and go to every exhibit and new Broadway show that’s coming (serious FOMO…not to mention the FOMO with these three);

…but what I really devour, and learn so much from, are the Sunday Styles and Sunday Review sections, which include interesting op-ed pieces. I don’t know whether I was just more receptive to the content this past weekend or whether the articles were a perfect mix of things that interest me, but, wow, I gleaned more than I usually do from these two sections for some reason.

I learned that CBD is everywhere and that I want to get this disposable pen. I learned that lots of women who decide to stop coloring their hair & go gray now have a “silver crown” that they’re proud of (I love my red-hair too much to cut the color/stylist cord). This article affirmed that writing in a journal during times of crisis, and also less stressful times, can help so much.  “…journaling about traumatic or disturbing experiences specifically has the most measurable effect on our overall well-being.”…Dr. James Pennebaker. I’d never written a journal until I was 51 and I continue to do it at least once a month to keep myself in check and cultivate the gratitude that I revere. What an easy way to find meaning and see progress in your everyday life.

…who knew that there was so much to know about candy around the world?

…and finally, I learned, among other things,  from this article, that the structure and purpose of my job in the attendance office of a high school might be fundamentally wrong in order for our students to reach their full potential…but, I also know that, for the time being, I have job security because the current model is unfortunately not changing anytime soon.

here’s an interesting article that my friend, Gina, sent to me…maybe you’re a super-feeler??

Never stop learning!

OH…AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…8 days!

“Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm”…Ralph Waldo Emerson

8 days until you make a difference with your vote, at a time when we really need it!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

A few more NYC things to try….

Yup, there’s always something new to discover when you go to NYC/Brooklyn. Here are a few more fun things that I did this past trip while visiting Austin, Kate and 9 mth old Jude.

  • Take a ride on a Vespa across the Brooklyn Bridge

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  • The Museum of Pizza at the William Vale in Brooklyn thru Nov 18th…I’d recommend..FUN! …and leave some time to go to the rooftop bar with an amazing view of Manhattan!

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  • The Color Factory…Kate said I should go & thought I’d love it…she was right! I think it would be even more fun if you go with someone/group. So colorful & interesting participatory experience…With some treats along the way!
Balloon wishes from children

  • #pizzamondaybk
  •  Yummy Misi restaurant…Williamsburg/Brooklyn (sister restaurant to Lilia) Everything is family style, which I love!
spinach & mascarpone filled tortelli in brown butter sauce
grilled runner beans
chanterelles with olive oil, rosemary, garlic & lemon (with Negroni cocktail)
steak was one of the evening specials…so good!

…..and a couple more pics of adorable Jude!

future gymnast

….and a pretty Brooklyn door…

….and you much watch this video
you’re welcome!!

Have a great weekend!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Motivational Monday…Competition

photo by: Vichaya Chatikavanij https://www.flickr.com/photos/pop315/24545469402/

Your competition isn’t other people. Your competition is…

  • your procrastination
  • your ego
  • the knowledge you neglect to learn
  • the antisocial behavior you’re nurturing
  • the unhealthy food you consume
  • the wrong people you surround yourself with
  • not nurturing your creativity

“The only competition that matters is the one that takes place within yourself”…Pete Carroll

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Wireless Wednesday?….NO Tech Tuesday?

Sorry, in advance, that the formatting on this post is all wacky…started on my computer, that just died..and finished on an IPAD. Ugh technology!!
On my recent trip to Michigan with my childhood girlfriends we were lamenting the amount of time that we…and society…spend on our phones, browsing mindlessly. Whether it’s playing a game; checking out our feeds on Instagram, FB or Twitter; editing photos; texting or emailing; let’s face it, it’s a time sucker!
We proposed “Wireless Wednesdays”, where you would control your screen time one day a week. They said I should write a blog post on it…so they’re my inspiration for this one!
(… coincidentally cestchristine did a similar post yesterday with more ideas to lessen your screen time….great minds)
At first we thought it should be all day, but I’m not sure that’s a realistic goal. If you can do it, more power to ya!! I also know  that there are professions that require the use of these “apps”, so it’s not practical for some.

I came up with a compromise…intermittent fasting, like the new diet craze! Here’s how I’m thinking it could work.

Come up with a day that would work for you…No TECH Tuesday, Wireless Wednesday, Phoneless Friday???…you get the idea. I’ve decided on Wireless Wednesday because it’s in the middle of the week and it’s the day that I think it would be easiest for me to start this experiment. Here are the parameters I’ve set up for myself….
  • No phone or Ipad browsing for 12 hours on Wednesdays…so 6-6, 7-7 or 8-8.
  • Turn off notifications on your apps so you’re not tempted.
  • Leave your phone buried in your purse or top drawer at work (with the volume up for phone calls), instead of on your desk.

At first I thought, “I’ll just leave my phone at home when I go to work” but decided against it. I don’t have a land-line or answering machine, so I just don’t think I could be that out of touch in case of a real emergency….earthquake?? (I don’t get that many calls/texts, but I want to know it’s there in case I do). Leaving it in my purse or top drawer will be my compromise.

It may not seem like such a big deal, but by eliminating 12 hours of Instagram/Words with Friends/solitaire, I’m hoping I get more done around the house, read more, etc… and be more present. Join me in this little experiment…you still get to do some browsing when you wake up and before you go to bed..c’mon let’s do it!!

….and sorry, in advance, if I don’t answer you right away on Wednesdays!

“Every journey begins with a small step”….Chinese Proverb
just ask her

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Motivational Monday…Love YOU

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Making More Memories in Michigan

It takes a long time to grow an old friend…John Leonard
There are five of us that have been friends since high school…3 of us since 1st grade! That’s a LOOOONG time! We reconnected at our 30th high school reunion and have been getting together almost yearly ever since. Four of us live in California and one, Nicole, lives just outside of Chicago. Most of our get-togethers take place in California, when Nicole is visiting her mom or other family member. For years she’s been telling us about her “cottage” in Michigan and that we should travel to her some time. We did just that a couple of weekends ago.
I lived in Illinois for five years back in the 80’s, where my children were born, but never really spent much time on the shores of Lake Michigan…now I wish I had!!
People actually asked us if we were nuns!
We coordinated our arrival times at Midway airport from various parts of California so we could hop in Nick’s car and be on our way for the short 2.5 hour drive from the airport . There wasn’t a moment of silence as we caught up on each other’s , lives, families and just about everything.
The first sunset as we drove to the cottage was spectacular….
Her “cottage” is a 4 bedroom home on Lake Michigan with a beautiful fireplace, a cozy living area & kitchen, and a large deck. So warm and inviting….and much more than a cottage. It was the perfect setting for our reunion weekend. We stayed up until after 1:00 that first night talking & laughing, as only long-time friends can do…and, hey, it was only 10:00 our time so we had plenty of energy.

Nicky had three full days of activities planned for us and it was so much fun!

Day one was the adorable town of South Haven, right on the water with the bonus of a beautiful lighthouse…

….with lunch at the local Captain Lou’s on the water

Day two we went apple picking at Crane Orchards, over 175 acres,…such a Fall activity, even if it was a little warm. I really loved the home town feeling of walking the orchard with friends…and so many other families enjoying a Fall day. There’s also a huge corn maze that we didn’t have time to explore, but just another fun thing to add to your itinerary should you find yourself in Michigan in the Fall. It felt very Americana! We made our way back to her home and took a leisurely stroll on the lake-beach (that’s what we called it all weekend because there were waves, sandy beaches and it looked like the ocean…. but it was Lake Michigan after all) looking for sea glass and driftwood. We finished the day with an amazing dinner from our daily bounty….fresh picked apple with goat cheese salad, grilled salmon, fresh corn from the stand and fresh apple pie…. (eating is an important part of any trip!)…..followed by another late night of laughing and reminiscing!

Day three was a visit to the adorable town of Saugatuck, voted one of 25 best shorelines by Condé Nast Traveler. The leaves were changing, there are numerous little shops and art galleries to meander through, and it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Dining on the water at Mermaid Cafe

…I brought a little end-of-the-trip “restore and renew facial & neck masks” that I would recommend for any girl weekend! We had so many laughs that I’m pretty sure “adult diapers” would have come in handy! We could not stop laughing and had lots of fun taking pictures….and our skin felt pretty nice when we boarded our planes for the return home on Tuesday…BONUS!

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them”….Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cultivate those childhood friendships. You’ll love the shared memories & laughs….and cherish the time you spend together as you grow older.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!