Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fashion Forward

I wanted to report that I have found unequivocal evidence of my fashion forwardness. In fact, I can quantify my forwardness: 18 years. One of the following photos is a pullover sweater from the Jean Charles De Castelbajac Fall/Winter 2009-2010 runway collection, the other is me at four years old. Now, really, who wore it better?

Photos via Colette

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So Grateful For

Photo via Zedo Max

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you enjoyed a special day with friends and family, however you choose to celebrate the start of the holiday season. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner followed by a never-ending game of darts and plenty of laughter. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remember all of the things we're fortunate to have and grateful for in our lives. This year I'm especially thankful for:
What are you thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Role of Environment

Image via Web Wombat

How important is environment to you? Are you someone that can live anywhere and continue to be your happy, secure, adjusted self? Does spending nights on a friend's sofa for days at a time not phase you a bit? Are you not itching, just a little, to be back home at the end of a vacation?

If you enthusiastically answered yes - that's fantastic. I am not one of those people.

Environment is very important to me, and I get the feeling that it's very important to a lot of people that I know. I consider my home (and I use this term to reference all different types of places, as it can be a very personal definition) to be my place of peace and refuge. It's not that a home should be used as a means for disconnecting yourself from the world, but having a home space that allows you to relax fully and provides you with the resources you need to feel secure both enables and encourages us to enter the world each day with a fresh perspective and plenty of positive energy. Think about it: if your home doesn't allow for great sleep, encourage healthy choices, or promote your mental well-being, how will you have any patience or desire to truly explore the world around you?

This week I'm thinking a lot about the role of environment in my own life, and how I can create the home environment I need to make the most of my time outside of it.

Check out this Clean Sweep Assessment for some great ideas about how to get started - the assessment helps you assess various aspects of your life for achieving optimal energy and developing a strong personal foundation. The section on Physical Environment is an especially great tool.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Season

This GAP commercial makes me smile every time for oh so many reasons. How can it not put you in the holiday spirit, whatever your holiday may be? It's nearly time to start celebrating the season of giving - giving of our time and love to others. How are you getting in the holiday spirit?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More or Less

Sometimes more just feels right. We yearn for more hours in a day. We want more time with the ones we love. We need more money in our pockets. We crave more sweetness on our tongues. We desire more shoes to fill our closets. We ache for more sleep in the morning. Sometimes it feels as if life would be so much better if there was simply "more".

But there's a counterpart to more that we often forget about when we proclaim that more will solve our conundrums, and that counterpart is less.

It may seem counter intuitive that less can fill the same needs as more. After all, any kindergartner well versed in opposites can tell you that more is to up as less is to down. But sometimes less provides us with the real solution when more is still but a dream.

We won't gain more hours in a day any time soon, but less commitments can provide us with the hours we yearn for. Less time spent planning for picture perfect memories (for example an ideal vacation), or working to save up for said memory producing events, can give us the time to recognize and appreciate the simple moments we have with those we love. Less money in our pockets may not be ideal, but it enables us to internalize that money and the various things we buy does not define who we are. Less sweetness, just like less saltiness or spiciness or tartness, will refine our palates and develop a finer and wider sense of culinary delights. Less clothing in our closets can remove the stress of deciding what to wear each day and help us to see that is it not just how we adorn ourselves that makes us beautiful. Less sleep... well okay less sleep is really no fun no matter which way you dice it.

There are times for more and times for less in all of our lives. Sometimes we turn to more because we need to feel filled from the moment we awake to the moment we drift to sleep. Lately I've been feeling the need for less, and it's filling me up in a way more rarely does.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lazy Sunday: List Style

Play List

Mute Math - Electrify
Florence and the Machine - You've Got the Love
Snow Patrol - Just Say Yes
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll

Lunch List

Fresh Blackberries
Maple Syrup
Tempeh Strips

To Do List

This Project

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Melodramatic Retelling of my XM Experience

When I received my new car (it's one of these little numbers in sunshine yellow thanks to cash for clunkers) I also received a free three month subscription to XM Satellite Radio. Initially, I scoffed at the frivolity of the audio amenity. Why would you pay for something that's already available for free? To me it was the equivalent of buying a book you'd only ever read once from the bookstore when you could've had the same experience with a library version (exceptions, of course, for cookbooks, photography books, travel guides, and the like). I was resolved that I would listen to the XM to make use of the free subscription but that would be it - I would become a devout NPR and loaned-book-on-cd listener after that.

But I quickly became the kind of patron every XM exec hopes for. I developed an affinity for two channels that made my commutes to work and to and from the city bearable... nay, enjoyable. My morning wasn't complete until I'd heard the latest Chris Moyle's show on BBC Radio 1, providing my daily dose of British intonation and pop. My evenings weren't the same unless Derek and Romeine of OutQ were along for the ride. I programmed a few other strictly music stations into my control panel to provide a change of tempo when necessary, but I had no need to veer much from my core selections.

Despite my growing dependency on XM, I was resolute in my decision to not spend money on such an unnecessary luxury. When fliers proclaiming "subscribe now and save" filled the mailbox, I tossed them to the recycling bin without so much as scanning the byline. I had no use for another expense. I can be incredibly stubborn when I've made a decision that something is not worthy of my credit card number. And so it went until yesterday.

I had driven to work enjoying BBC Radio 1 as usual, laughing here and there along the way, so unknowing. When lunchtime hit I plopped into the driver's seat to hit up Target for a quick errand and immediately sensed something was wrong. The screen that usually displays what show you are listening to so cruelly stated: Unauthorized Channel. While there was sound it was only the continuous loop of XM channel ads. My time had come. I took a deep breath. The normal radio couldn't be so bad. What were those radio stations I used to listen to? The static of each FM I tuned to was overwhelming, my ears had developed a refined palate and only crystal clear radio would do. I tuned back to XM just to listen to the advertisements. At least there was no feedback to offend my ear drums.

That evening I sped home, fingers crossed as I gripped the wheel in hopes that my payment for a subscription would process fast enough for me to listen to Coffee Klatch on my drive to Boston later that night. I was in luck, and my reactivation occurred immediately after forking over a fair chunk of my hard earned cash... and it was so worth it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Is It

Photo via The Source

I went to see This Is It tonight, the film that captures the rehearsals and behind the scenes footage from Michael Jackson's never-realized tour, and I am really happy I did. I don't consider myself much of a Jackson fan but I had heard such good reviews that I wanted to see the film on the big screen before I lost the chance. If you are debating whether or not to spend the money to see This Is It in the theater, I say cough up the dough... you will not get the same experience watching it in your living room. It was really fun to hear so many of Michael's songs in one go, and made me remember how much great music he gave to the world. Seeing the level of work and vision that goes into creating a music tour like this one is amazing, and it gave me a new appreciation for Michael as an artist. The close of the movie brought a sadness knowing that all this work and energy was without the grand pay-off, but I still left ready to break into dance, feeling uplifted by the message of Michael's music. There isn't much time left to see it so be sure to check out your local theater times before it's too late!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lazy Sunday: Christmas Shopping

Photo via New Solutions

Okay, it wasn't exactly a lazy Sunday, but it was a leisurely one. One craft fair, three stores, and a few websites later and my leisurely Sunday ensures many a lazy Sunday to come because my Christmas shopping is complete (well, with one exception). Yes, I am one of those people who often starts this process in August, but I hate the thought of waiting till the last minute and buying a whole bunch of "this'll work" gifts. The best part? No rooting around half-empty shelves while other panicked shoppers try to beat you to the last set of Swaroski encrusted, woodland creature-topped novelty cheese spreaders. Haven't considered your holiday gifting yet? It's easiest to start with a list and set a budget so that when the times comes to make your purchases (or even better, hand-make your gifts) you stay on track.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Walnut Cranberry Squash "Rice"

Photo via Learn to Cook

I just got back from a great raw foods pot luck and immediately jumped online to find the recipe for one of my favorite dishes of the evening: Ani Phyo's Walnut Cranberry Squash "Rice". This is a super easy recipe that beautifully blends the flavors of autumn in a fresh and unexpected way - one that leaves you feeling satiated and radiant at that, not bloated and tired like many heavy harvest meals do. This would be a great dish to bring to any holiday party as it won rave reviews tonight from raw food enthusiasts and skeptics alike. You can find the recipe here, learn more about Ani here, and find many more of her delicious, fresh, whole food recipes here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Yikes! This week is getting away from me. What have you been up to? I've been...

Making this yummy granola recipe and eating it with bananas and almond milk (my favorite cruelty-free milk) for breakfast, mmmm.

Joining a new gym right next to my office so I can get a workout after work and miss all the rush-hour traffic; win-win, no?

Photo via Twelve

Trying Twelve and being pleasantly surprised by how light yet flavorful it is. You can find this gently carbonated tea and juice infused non-alcoholic beverage at Whole Foods, Wegmans, Food Emporiums and more.

Shopping (well... more like window shopping in the digital sense of the word) at Scandinavian Design Center. One of my favorites? Trond Svendgård's Snowball Lamp.