Browsing Category

simplicity

Dear Summer, thank you for the pleasures you bring!

By June 30, 2014 feeding ourselves, getting out of our comfort zone, nurturing, pleasure, practice, self care, simplicity, slowing down, summer veggies

Here’s a visual expression of a few things that are bringing pleasure to me right now. IMG_0169The anticipation of tomato season is beyond words. I savor every juicy bite!

IMG_0288There are few pleasures greater than homemade vanilla bean ice cream.

IMG_0321I wake to see blossoming all around me! 

IMG_0335Fruits of summer at the Durham Farmers’ Market.

IMG_0284Grilling and chilling.

IMG_0388More blossoming. Sungold tomatoes on their way.

IMG_0407Okra flower.

IMG_0417My garden mentor, Peter.

IMG_0451Look at those beautiful bean plants.

IMG_0445Cantaloupe, I can eat all day every day.

IMG_0476Summer supper with friends. My first corn of the season, elote` asada.

Lesson: Summer brings simple pleasures. I am taking the time to appreciate all of the simple things in my life right now: the juicy bite of a tomato, the refreshment that a slice of cantaloupe brings to my senses, learning in the garden with my dear friend Peter, time spent in my garden reflecting on the growth I am seeing inside and outside of me, and so much more.

I am shifting my attitude about my life. I am making room for more pleasure. In previous posts I have mentioned that I am only choosing to do things that feed me. Paying attention to pleasure and allowing it in my life is what is feeding me right now. What is feeding you? 

 

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Bring on Summer!

By June 22, 2014 coffee, Durham, feeding ourselves, nurturing, sandwiches, simplicity, summer veggies

Here’s a photo recap on my week leading into the beginning of summer. My sense of wonderment is overflowing right now. These pictures capture what would take me more hundreds of words than anyone may have the time to read in one sitting. I will break it all down. I will share my love of summer in recipes like mint iced tea, fresh tomato juice, chilled cucumber soup, peach and blackberry crisp, and vanilla bean ice cream. Anything else you’re particularly interested in hearing about?

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I  L – O – V – E  zinnias!

 

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Cucumber Puree with Fresh Dill for Cucumber and Buttermilk Soup

 

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Enjoying a beautiful evening in Durham with my dear friend Peter at Alley 26.

 

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First peaches, won’t be the last!

 

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Sungold tomatoes

 

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Friday night burgers – grass-fed beef and gruyere

 

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Summer = iced coffee! My first Japanese method home brew

 

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Cold beer for stocking the fridge.

 

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Summer love => BLT

Stay tuned for lots more summer food and FUN!

Lesson: My cup has been overflowing with so much appreciation for what this summer season is bringing- at the dinner table and in my life. I am moving into a new way of how I want to live my life. Without defining it, it feels exhilarating from the inside out. If you see or sense some extra exuberance, you’ll know why! I feel like I am opening up and blossoming like those zinnias I posted. Getting to this place has taken consistent focus and intention. I have been planting these seeds for as long as my feet have been on this planet. The importance of self is a life-long journey for me. If you’re wondering how I got here or where I plan on going, feel free to ask!

Where are you going? What seeds that you have planted are beginning to bloom? What seeds are you wanting to plant for the future? I would love to hear about your journey! Thanks for being here and your interest in mine!

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Trusting the Process, Trusting Self

By May 16, 2014 nurturing, practice, self care, simplicity, slowing down

Greetings from Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I have had quite an interesting week. In honor of embracing change and living in these wild and wonderful times, here’s a very different kind of post. Other than this brief intro, I am practicing silence. Words can be powerful, though here are some pics to express what’s up with me. 

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My view from the back deck – the storm is moving out. Blue skies are peeking through. This process is a beauty!

imageThese are a few of my favorite things that I gathered for my weekend.

imageCelebrating and honoring my life, even the broken yolks!

 

I will have much more to share with you about my weekend on Monday!

What’s going on for you?

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Breakfast at Barista Parlor

By April 25, 2014 beverage junkie, coffee, excellence, in the South, local flavor, Nashville, simplicity

Imagine walking into a room full of beautifully crafted wood tables, with vintage industrial light pendants hanging from the ceiling above the tables. They look handmade. People are busy chatting with colleagues, friends, or sitting with their headphones on their ears and plugged into their laptops. In the center of the room there is the center of reason – the reason that some people get out of bed in the morning – COFFEE.

Because I am nerdy and diligent about keeping up with food and drink focused businesses in various cities, I had been anxiously awaiting a visit to Barista Parlor in the East Nashville neighborhood of Nashville, TN for months. I had already carefully mapped the walking distance between where I stayed during my recent Nashville visit to this “more than a coffee shop” before my feet ever left the soils of North Carolina.

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I went into the Barista Parlor wide-eyed at all of the artisanal details. I knew that I was in a place that serves the best of what’s around. The counter was lined with beautifully wrapped chocolates. In the glass cases, which were also the order counter, you could find little macaroons in different flavors along with those old-fashioned no-bake oatmeal chocolate cookies. I knew either was a lovely pairing for coffee.

I had read a few online reviews that had deemed this little gem of a shop to be a bit pretentious and snobby about their coffee. I can appreciate a bit of coffee snobbery. What does that imply to me? It simply implies that I am going to get a really good cup of coffee. And I certainly did!

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Let’s get down to business, though. I also came here for the biscuits! This is the kind of place where you would not even fathom that the biscuits were anything other than homemade.

At the counter, I found handmade wooden menus listing the breakfast and coffee offerings. Buttermilk biscuits were offered on one side. Coffee options were offered on the other. I was very entranced in the biscuit options, so I regret that I cannot tell you what coffee options were beyond the standouts.

I chose the buttermilk biscuit with farm eggs and Kenny’s Farmhouse Jalapeno Cheddar cheese that is made in Kentucky. The biscuit was served to me on a beautifully made artisan wooden board, along with a navy blue bandana for a napkin. The biscuit was tender. The scrambled eggs were flavorful. The cheese added just the right amount of contrast between the biscuit and the egg. The flavor of the jalapeno was a bonus!

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I had an iced coffee to drink. I am not sure what kind of coffee I drank, but it was amazing. It was brewed in a Japanese method used for cold brewed coffee. Barista Parlor offers a handful of well-known coffee roasters from all over the country, such as Counter Culture from Durham, NC; Stumptown, from Portland, OR; Intelligentsia from Chicago, IL – the best of what’s around. My coffee was poured over perfectly cubed ice cubes in a handled Mason jar.  For iced coffee, Barista Parlor uses ice cubes that are mostly seen in craft cocktails these days. The benefit of such a detail is that the coffee doesn’t get watered down with quick melting ice. The coffee was so smoothly flavored and well brewed that I didn’t even need the shot of half and half that usually adorns my coffee. That was a first!

For some reason, I took a sip of the black coffee before adding my usual cream. It was perfect all on its own. Perhaps I just knew that it would be because of all the other seemingly perfect high quality products in that environment.

Did I mention how cool I thought it was to sit at that beautiful table on that handmade wooden stool enjoying my carefully crafted breakfast while listening to Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits spinning on the turntable? It was my perfect first stop on my first day returning to Nashville.

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I am a Southern Gal at heart. I grew up listening to classic country music. I grew up eating homemade buttermilk biscuits. You know, the simple things were what made people happy. The simple things still make me the happiest. I think when people take the time, they realize that that’s what makes them the happiest, too.

I figure that the reason for the surge in popularity of businesses like Barista Parlor is because people like to be connected to the good ol’ days. I find a lot of wonder in having the best of what’s around. It’s simple. It’s satisfying.

 

Lesson: My experience at Barista Parlor emphasized my love for simple things done really well. If you’re going to do something, can you give it your very best? It will certainly make a difference in how you feel about what you do every day! What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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