Category :conscious living

Its About That Time

I love living in farm country.  I picked up some squash at a local roadside market.  Often dropping in to the market dictates what I make for supper.  Tonight it will include acorn squash soup.  Yum!  Roasting the squash is key.

***you can swap out the butter for veg.oil and add veg.stock instead of Chicken.

Window shopping

I love this, really.  Just taking it all in.  Enjoying the creativity of a window.  It matters not if I am buying.

Don’t forget about me

I grew up many a night eating over cooked food.  Brussel sprouts cooked properly are delicious!  Roasted with olive oil and garlic, braised with butter or steamed served with olive oil and freshly ground sea salt and nutmeg…now you’re talking!

Dressing Up Is Still In Style

I smiled when I saw this window at Bergdorf’s a little while ago.  It is a loose riff on what my mother always said: that when given the opportunity, have fun and dress up!  I took this a step further and decided that any opportunity to go out and socialize demanded that I put some extra care and effort into my appearance.  Translation: dress up and no one will complain.

 

I love to see people well turned out.  It doesn’t have to be high end fashion, just high end effort.  Whether going to a local restaurant or theatre in NYC, I will take the time to get out of my regular garb of jeans, t-shirt and converse and organize a beautiful outfit.

 

Even if you throw on a beautiful necklace or wicked shoes, you have made an effort.  Just do it already.  We get old soon enough and then we will wish we took the time to wear the lovely clothes and accessories we diligently collected for so many years.

Radishes

Whenever I think about radishes, I think of picnics. My mother always made an effort to have us eat outdoors in good weather, and organized family picnics too. When I think of the work that it takes to pack up 6-8 different foods, utensils, platters, plates, beverages, dessert etc. I also think of how those moments brought a simple pleasure to our lives.

Radishes remind me to savour these kinds of moments. Nothing big, nor flashy, but quite joyful.

Radishes. Sea salt.

B

Plants For A Beautiful Healthy Home

It is no secret that I am a plant geek.  I come by it honestly, my mother always had plants in our home (some I inherited!), and my Dutch father always maintained beautiful gardens.  Admittedly, growing up I didn’t have the attachment to them that I do now.  I am sensitive to environments that lack life, that are too hard, so I love to introduce at least one plant per room (usually more).

Here are 3 reasons that I think everyone should have plants in their homes.

1. Plants soften a room.  Floors, countertops, chairs, tables…all have an inherent hardness.  When you bring in a plant there is a softening of edges as well as a freshness of colour.  I have found that sometimes all a room needs is a plant.

2.Plants naturally purify the air.  We all grew up understanding that plants take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, but more recently scientists have proven that plants remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).  A couple of the easiest plants to grow and find are Spider plants and Golden Pathos.

3.Plants connect us to nature.  When we are learning to care for another living thing, we automatically see the outside world with fresh eyes.  We begin to care about our external environment, about our parks and about the world at large, and that, is a good thing.

Check out Joanna Gaines Blog on the plants she uses in her designs, gorgeous!

Product Safety App

Up until I came across the app Think Dirty, this was my favourite lipstick.  Then upon scanning the bar code with the app, I found that the majority of its ingredients are carcinogens or toxic to some degree.  The app is easy to use and well worth the minute or two to find out the safety of cosmetics, lotions, shampoos etc.  Don’t forget that our skin is the largest organ, what we put on it counts.

Live with what you love

One of the benefits of having little discretionary money when I moved away from home, is that it taught me to be circumspect with purchases.  It taught patience and delayed gratification.  Mostly for me however, it meant that because I had so little money to spend, I was very very particular about what I bought.

 

I still have a one hundred year old antique brass frame and a water pitcher of the same era that were my first purchases at an antique store 30 years ago.  I have only used the frame for a picture of my husband and I, and the white water pitcher is generally used for wild flowers,

 

All this is to say, is that it is very rewarding to take your time when feathering your nest, especially if what you bring in has tugged at your heart in one way or another.

 

 

Fresh Food Fast!

This is the tag line I created for my parents food business 35 years ago.  It pretty much says it all.  It is also a reminder that you can make delicious food that is good for you without spending the whole day in the kitchen.

 

Buttery veggie tarts with a salad is one of my go-to favourites for a weekend lunch.  Add soup to the mix and it becomes a bigger meal.   For this one I put homemade pesto as the base, layered roasted red peppers, grilled onions, feta, and greek olives.

 

My salads are different every time I make them, but I am always sure to include herbs and spices with anti-inflammatory properties like garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, thyme and oregano for example.  I also use lemon juice as the acid when making dressings as lemon juice stimulates good liver function; which is good since Mama likes her wine with supper!

 

Bon Appetite!

 

 

Living Wall

This has been on my radar for so many years now.  I took this shot at a local restaurant in Naples last week.  The outside of the restaurant is concrete except for the living walls.

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