Recently, I've had a renewed appreciation for granola. For years, I was not a fan of sweet breakfast foods, and granola always tasted too sweet for me in the morning. But, for whatever reason, I decided to give it another try a couple months ago and find that I actually enjoy it now. (They say your taste buds change every 7 years, so perhaps that explains it!)
So I was seriously excited to hear about Mix My Granola, a company that allows you to customize your own granola mix then ships it to you! It's quite easy. You pick one of the four granola bases (organic, low-fat, French vanilla, or muesli), and then personalize your mix by choosing from a wide variety of dried fruit, nuts, and "extras" like chocolate morsels or even wasabi peas!
With so many choices, it's hard to decide, but I think my ideal mix would be organic granola with almonds, dried apricots, and choco espresso beans for an added kick.
What would you pick? And, has anyone tried this before? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts!
Photo by Dayna McIsaac via Flickr.
Images via PopDeluxe.
After lunch, I go to my artist's studio (In my perfect day, I have one!) to work on some of my drawings for awhile. As I draw, I listen to Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor (two of my favorites). To satisfy my afternoon chocolate craving, I have a small mug of Ghirardhelli hot chocolate and a single pink Marc de Champagne truffle.
Then it's time to head back to my apartment to get ready for dinner with the boyfriend. I take a nice, long shower, then do my hair and makeup. (I'm having a good hair day, of course.) I put on a cute black dress with the red heels I bought earlier in the day. My boyfriend has made reservations at a tiny, impossibly romantic little Italian trattoria. We sip red wine and dine on Linguine Frutti di Mare. Dessert is a chocolate-hazelnut torte and champagne.
After dinner, we spontaneously duck into a little Cuban dive bar and find ourselves among friendly strangers who teach us how to salsa! The bartender gives us free mojitos, and we dance and dance until we simply can't dance anymore. Then it's home and to bed for a peaceful night's sleep.
Your turn! What does your perfect day look like?
Photo by flirtypants via Flickr.
But I didn't. I stayed. I stayed in the class and I stayed with my breath. I stayed with the negative thoughts I was having, acknowledging the thoughts, but granting them neither credibility nor resistance. As I continued to breathe and work through the poses, it occurred to me that I was consciously detaching my thoughts from my reality, a concept that my favorite yoga teacher often discusses in the opening or closing meditation. I can recognize these negative thoughts, and I can stay and do the class anyway, because the thoughts are just thoughts. They're not real. The yoga is real. My breath is real. My presence in this class tonight is real. The thoughts can't touch that. It was a pretty powerful realization, and as I moved through the various poses, I felt my mind stop racing and become quiet and still. It was just me and the mat.
The funny part is, I actually did just fine. I mean, my Chaturanga wasn't as deep as some of the others, and I definitely took a not-very-graceful tumble out of Crow pose. But, overall, it really wasn't a big deal. My brain had tried to make it into a big deal, but it wasn't. By the end of class, the voice of my inner critic was a faint (and, frankly, pretty silly-sounding) echo.
I know that one of the major tenets of Buddhism is that enlightenment can be explained as the liberation from our thoughts. And, conversely, that pain is caused by the blurring of our thoughts and our reality - an inability to distinguish between what is real and what is simply a manifestation of our various thought patterns. I can't call myself a practicing Buddhist (or practicing anything, for that matter), but I think I'm beginning to witness the basic truth of this principle in my life, in a new and exciting way. I definitely witnessed it tonight, and it's something I'd like to cultivate further.
What about you? Have you had a similar experience?
Hot summery turquoise bracelet
Photos by Julochka via Flickr.
It's definitely an umbrella sort of day here in DC! I used to despise rainy days because they are totally inconducive to 1) doing anything with my hair besides throwing it into a wet ponytail after the shower 2) wearing cute shoes, or really any shoes besides clunky rain boots. Sometime in the past couple years, the rain and I have developed a somewhat more friendly relationship. There is something nice about sitting at my desk, doing research or writing a proposal, sipping some green tea, and listening to the gentle pitter-patter of the rain on the roof. I'm lucky enough to work in an office with a huge vaulted ceiling and enormous skylight so on rainy days, the overcast sky creates a sort of grey-ish, moody tint in the room, which is pleasant and cozy in a strange way. I've also come to appreciate the stillness after the rain stops, when everything is quiet and dewy and the foilage is newly green. And I love, love, love cute umbrellas, like the one above, available from UmbrellaHeaven on Etsy.
What about you? Do you love rainy days or hate 'em?
We had a crab feast!
Here's another set.
The striped one reminds me of a Gene Davis work.
You can purchase them online here.
Went for a nice and easy 20-minute run (muscles are still sore from yoga last night).
Drank a whole liter of water post-run.
Put some Paolo Nutini on Pandora (perfect mellow morning music).
Ran a warm rose and chamomile-scented bubble bath and let myself soak for longer than usual.
Took my time getting dressed.
Ate a bowl of apricot and almond granola with soy milk.
Savored a mug of Yogi Green Tea Triple Echinacea.
I love mornings.
Earlier this week, I blogged about my artist's date at Anthropologie, and listed some ideas for artist's dates. Here are a few more...
- Visit an artist’s supply shop (I like Utrecht).
- Spend some time outdoors with your journal, sketchbook, craft supplies, etc.
- Go for a walk, and take your camera with you to document the experience.
- Visit your local library, and browse a new section.
- Create an artist’s workspace or studio in your home.
- Make a new iTunes playlist and upload it onto your iPod.
- Check out a lecture or panel discussion on a topic that interests you. (Check local newspapers/websites for event listings.)
- Visit a craft supply store and check out materials you've never worked with before (fabric, origami paper, scrapbooking supplies, yarn, beads, etc.).
Have you seen the photography of Alicia Bock? Her work has such a sweet, vintage feel to it. I especially love these images, from her I Love Paris In The Springtime series. Don't they just make you wanna ride down the Champs-Elysees on a vintage bicyclette?
Speaking of spring, it's finally starting to feel like springtime here in DC! Today was the most gorgeous day. Warm with a clear sky and light breeze. Autumn is my favorite season, but spring is definitely a close second. I just love the sense of renewal and possibility in the air. The long days and stunning pink-purple sunsets. And, of course, the warm weather. It makes me want to kick off my shoes and laze around on a blanket in the park with a bottle of wine and some mozzarella-tomato-basil salad. Mmm...
If, like me, your paycheck doesn't leave you with a lot of extra dough for philanthropy, consider dedicating a few hours each week to volunteer work. Check out Idealist to find volunteer opportunities in your area.
Guacomole is an easy and delicious way to add more avocado to your diet. Just mash up some ripe avocados with salt, a bit of chopped cilantro, some jalepenos, and a squirt of lime juice. Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips, or spread on some whole-grain bread with swiss cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes for a yummy veggie sandwich.
What suggestions would you add to the list?
Photo by JIGGS IMAGES via Flickr.
- Wine and dine yourself… go to dinner and a movie.
- Spend some time browsing around Etsy and create a Favorites list – a list of items there that speak to you on a creative level – to refer back to and be creatively inspired by.
- Take yourself on a culinary artist date, and try a new cuisine, recipe, restaurant, fruit, vegetable, etc.
- Take a walk with someone else’s iPod. Expose yourself to new music.
- Move your body. Try Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, bellydancing, etc.
- Write a letter to the person you plan to be in ten years.
- Check out the course offerings at a local community college or community center. See what catches your eye. A course in modern art history? Piano lessons? Cooking classes?
- Visit a farmer's market and talk to one of the farmers about his or her product.
Thanks to The Artist's Way blog for many of these ideas.