Not Yet Spring…Wardrobe Additions

February 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

It has been beautiful in Seattle the last few days. The sun is out and the temps are warm-ish that I am already thinking about Spring. I just acquired two new wardrobe favorites that are perfect for in-between seasons.

The first, a jacket I have been coveting from Zara. It’s been sold out in my size but luckily a Zara just opened in Seattle and my husband happened to get early access photographing the store. He found it and brought it home yesterday and I don’t want to take it off. It’s not appropriate teaching attire but I nearly tried.

photo (23)

zara coat

The second awesome addition are my new leopard print hightop Vans.

photo (24)

Pretty rad for the playground, running errands and teaching at the studio.

Own Less, Live More

January 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

ownlesslivemore

“The idea was simple. They would create a home that was big enough for the two of them, but small enough so that it would be easy to maintain, environmentally responsible and inexpensive to operate. And that would allow them to free up their time and funds for intellectual and recreational pursuits. Own less, live more: It sounds like a platitude, but it became their strategy.”

Inspiration on living with less and the personal freedom it affords you. Read the article here.

Go Seahawks

January 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Bon Appetit – Better Than Ever

January 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

Thanks to Adam Rapoport who took over the helm of Bon Appetit three years ago, BA just keeps getting better and better.

adam rapoport

I certainly share his philosophy:

“In both food and fashion, he said, “you can be pretentious over the top, or you can be interested and entertained in a way that improves your quality of life,” he said. “I’m definitely of the school that believes that a nice dinner with your wife on a Tuesday night can make your day.”

the-new-healthy-

In this month’s issue the focus is on “The New Healthy” which he so spot on describes:

“When we decided to make this special issue, we didn’t suddenly start counting calories, checking our cholesterol, or monitoring our sodium intake. Instead, our mission was simple. Let’s write about how we, as a staff, cook.

Maybe it’s because most of us are hovering around 40 and have small kids–or maybe it’s just a sign of our increasingly farm-to-table, everything-organic times–but we’re all eating far better than we did a decade ago. More whole grains, less white flour; more leafy hardy greens; more heritage-breed pork instead of that plastic-wrapped supermarket stuff; more pristine, sustainable fish. And when we build our meals around these ingredients, we don’t think “health,” we think “delicious.” The following pages celebrate what great cooking has always been about: the best possible ingredients, prepared smartly and consumed with at least a modicum of restraint. Listen, we’re not monks-we do allow ourselves to indulge and break stride when the occasion arises. But day in and day out, this is how we eat now. And we’ve never felt better.”

Find recipes from the new issue here. And for more of Rapoport’s commentary and humor, read his Letter From The Editor.

Whole Grain Mornings

January 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

photo from Megan's blog asweetspoonful.com

photo from Megan’s blog asweetspoonful.com

I just picked up a new favorite cookbook that came out this week, Whole Grain Mornings. Megan Gordon is a fellow Seattleite and the creator of Marge Granola, which is pretty amazing stuff. Check out her lovely blog, A Sweet Spoonful.

I read through it tonight wanting to mark a few recipes to try in the next few days. I ended up marking 23. It’s the kind of simple, nourishing and delicious food I am always in the mood for. Definitely check it out and in the meantime, go to Megan’s blog and make her Blueberry Cornmeal Custard.

Solitude and Resolutions

January 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

Photo of my son D at Kerry Park

Photo of my son D at Kerry Park

I am reading this amazing book – Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, it is a fantastic read.

You can listen to the author, Susan Cain give her Ted Talk here (which has been viewed more than five million times).

In the chapter “When Collaboration Kills Creativity” she writes on the now-famous study conducted by Anders Ericsson. Regarding the value of solitary practice among the elite in their fields (violinists, chess players and athletes):

What’s so magical about solitude? In many fields, Ericsson told me, it’s only when you’re alone that you can engage in Deliberate Practice, which he identified as the key to exceptional achievement. When you practice deliberately, you identify the tasks or knowledge that are just out of your reach, strive to upgrade your performance, monitor your progress, and revise accordingly. Practice sessions that fall short of this standard are not only less useful–they’re counterproductive. They reinforce existing cognitive mechanisms instead of improving them.

Deliberate Practice is best conducted alone for several reasons. It takes intense concentration, and other people can be distracting. It requires deep motivation, often self-generated. But most important, it involves working on a task that’s most challenging to you personally. Only when you’re alone, Ericsson told me, can you “go directly to the part that’s challenging to you. If you want to improve what you’re doing, you have to the be the one who generates the move. Imagine a group class-you’re the one generating the move only a small percentage of the time.”

You can read a fantastic summary on the study’s findings here.

Reading about this at the same moment I’ve been slowing down and thinking about my life and my goals for the new year feels very apropos. I’ve been cleaning house both literally and mindfully, and working to, in the words of my very wise mother-in-law, “clear out of your mind that which has outgrown its usefulness” to make space for the new. As life picks up speed next week as we settle in to 2014, I will continue to make time for the Quiet; to recharge, be inspired and appreciate all that is around me.

Playing Host, Holiday Edition

December 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’ve long followed Remodelista, a “sourcebook for considered living” and I love their tips for being a good host during the holidays. Two of my favorites:

1. Declutter, declutter, declutter. Reining in chaos around the house is never a bad idea. Before your guests arrive, vanquish piles of clutter: if it’s useful or beautiful, keep; otherwise, toss. You and your visitors will be more comfortable.

and

10. Allow plenty of time for holiday decompression. Remember that a good host allows space for the guests to do as they please. For your visitors, as well as for yourself, take time this holiday to simply relax, restore, and renew.

You can read all ten here.

They also have a beautiful new book.

remodelista book