Lifestyle. That’s a word you’ll be hearing more from me. Something new, different and better is coming in a few months. I don’t mind admitting some anxiety over what I’m doing in life right now. You know the good kind of anxiety where you’re operating on gut instinct without a net? L-O-V-E it!
You’ll start to see signs of change in time and when I’m able, I’ll talk about it all. Quite possibly more than you want me to. ;-)
But talking about what we’re up to is important for several reasons. For one, there is an overflow of joy when we share about what we love with others. One thing we can always use is more joy!
Second, sharing ideas – even the wild ones – is a sure way to inspire someone else to chase their dreams and shape them into goals that become real accomplishments. The world is a better place when we strive to inspire!
That’s what these Friday posts are about – inspiration. I share, you share and we are both inspired and we learn. I’d love for you to take a sec to leave a comment, even if it’s just to say “hi”. Otherwise, I’m not sure you’re here.
THIS WEEK WITH GIGI – 16 JUNE 2017
This is not sponsored content, just some me to you chit chat. Join the convo in the comments below.
Self Care and Balance
One thing I try to continually inspire everyone I come into contact with to do is to engage in regular, consistent self care and life balance. And yes, I do practice what I preach about both. Even during challenging weeks, like this one, as I prepare for BlogHer 17 on top of all the other exciting work/life/travel planning going on, I take time for me. I wrote about my 7 Daily Life Rituals for Balance if you’re interested.
Of course, there are more than seven things I do each day for balance, but it gives you an idea of what works for me, and what might work for you if you’re striving for more balance in your life.
Sometimes, I need to pay more attention to keeping balanced than others. This week has been a great example. Instead of getting this post ready for you early this morning after my daily walk, I took off to the spa for my regular treatments plus an ayurvedic pressure points therapy session. After a few hours, wow! It makes such a difference.
Did I have a million emails, missed calls and text messages when I stepped out of that serenity? Yes! But that’s OK. I love what I do and I was refreshed, renewed and ready to get back to business.
My main message for today: Do not neglect thyself!
My “to do” list is a healthy one this week. Packing for BlogHer 17 is right up top. Sort of. I tend to pack the day before we travel. I like to keep it ultra-light and efficient. To that end, I keep all the toiletries ready for our next trip ready to go since we travel often. Do you do that, fellow travelers?
Here’s an example: I buy toothbrushes and toothpaste in bulk and when we travel, we take new ones. We throw them away when we are packing up to return home. Once we are back home and we empty our suitcases, I restock with the essentials (like the new toothbrushes and toothpaste I have stocked up just for this purpose). Next time, we’re all set with toiletries. Is that weird?
I can’t pack as light as I’d like for the upcoming trip so I’ll likely give myself an extra day to work on that. Dreamy will get all the ironing done over the weekend (I do not iron) and I’ll try to figure out all our Disney fast passes. We padded the trip a bit with some days there to unwind.
Since we were there in March for the garden fest, the Avatar Pandora attraction has opened in Animal Kingdom, so we’re looking forward to checking that out! I’ve heard great things; if you’ve been tell me what you think!
I’m no less thrilled for the conference and looking forward to connecting in real life with some amazing women (and a few fellas!) there. You can follow all the fun I’m having at Disney and at the BlogHer 17 conference on Instagram and Twitter.
Last week I prepped so much food that our meals for this week came mainly from leftovers. My favorite bite of the week was the Korean rice porridge I made. I braised these baby bok choy to serve with it and lots of other stuff you saw on Instagram. It was an amazing meal! I braised the halved bok choy in unrefined organic coconut oil and a touch of raw coconut aminos until the green portion was wilted and the white part started to become tender.
I described the finished dish in detail in the Instagram comments.
I sliced citrus and other fruits to have handy for dropping into a glass of water. It’s a great way to keep hydrated during summer! Do this with strawberries, cucumber, lemons and limes, too.
Drinks were prominent this week. Again, if you follow on Instagram, you saw these Dirty Lemon [energy] bevys. You can look them up online if you’re curious, but basically it’s a natural (gluten-free of course) lemon drink that’s herb-infused. The herbs vary with the type drink you choose (energy, skin & hair, sleep, detox).
As for the taste, it’s good – not sweet, not too tart, and yes, this one does actually give an appreciable energy boost (which I don’t really need, so I’m not sure why I chose this one.).
We also tried a new (to us) cider. This is made from pears and comes from Sweden. It’s not as sweet as typical American crafted ciders, so we like it! I’m especially fond of the champagne bottle style cork and cage. ;-)
On a non-alcoholic note, we were sidetracked by Teavana while out shopping. Did we buy all the tea? Almost. The new summer blends are exceptional! I recommend Beach Bellini and Mandarin Mimosa – both are so good, refreshing and of course, all-natural. I should tell you I’m not a flavored tea drinker, but these impressed me.
We blend ours with either Monkey Picked Oolong or Silver Needle for an antioxidant boost in every cup. These are seriously so good, I had a glass of tea one night instead of a cocktail. (I must have been ill.)
Both teas are great warm or chilled. I don’t add sweetener to mine; Ma Petite likes a touch of organic honey in hers.
One of my little teapots full makes a nice carafe of tea that lasts us a couple days. Canisters from Teavana, obvi; teapot is about 20 years old and from Germany. I love the sleek, suspended design (and yes, there’s a top, but if it was on you couldn’t see the tea!).
In the vein of wanting less meat and poultry lately, we picked up some Hilary’s products to try. These aren’t new, but they’re new to us.
The sausage patties are good – not super popping with flavor, but it should be noted (1) when I think of sausage, spicy comes to mind and (2) most foods I eat are topped with sriracha, hot sauce or red pepper flakes. Definitely crisp up the patties in a skillet for a more sausage-like vibe. (These are not a microwaveable product. Microwaving = mushy.)
Also from Hilary’s, we tried these veggie nuggets. I love that millet is used (such an under-used gf whole grain that is really a seed). These are tasty! I made them for Ma Petite’s lunch one day with some Alexia waffle fries and SK ketchup!
Here’s an inside peek at the nuggets. The texture is nice, they crisp in the oven and I can see these being in the lunchtime rotation for convenience, taste and ease of adding to a bowl of veggies.
Ma Petite also got to try some gluten-free, vegan, paleo granola from This Pie is Nuts. This isn’t sponsored but these bags are a gift from the company. See the sweet note? They know I am tree nut allergic, but that Ma Petite is not. She recommends you try this granola ASAP. Thank you, Diana, for looking after my girl’s healthy granola needs!! xo
A quick garden update. The cherry tomatoes are coming in and I don’t want to pick them because look how gorgeous three stages of ripeness is on one plant.
I finally picked all the peppers. I didn’t want to because they were so pretty hanging on the vine. They’re sweet and crisp!
The hibiscus is still blooming and the blooms are larger now. I’m not sure why, but these are 6 – 7 inches across! I love the color and will definitely add more hibiscus next spring. I have my eye on some of the double bloom varieties.
The Meyer Lemon tree is doing great, but still green lemons, just a bit larger than before. I won’t bore you with those until we get some yellow color on them.
I know baking is food, but it makes sense to me for this to be here.
I made several batches of cookies this week for no particular reason other than I had some curiosity about ingredient properties and felt like testing them.
Chocolate on chocolate were a hit, but still not perfect to me. These are only four ingredients and are grain-free with no refined sugar, so bear with me, I am sharing when I get it just right!
These Shameless Chocolate Chip Cookies were definitely perfect, which is why I shared the recipe with you right here!
I also made a different type chocolate chip cookie (the batter is totally different recipe from the Shameless ones) and added gf pretzels. I didn’t take a pic of the “after” because they were too flat and not impressive at all. But they were tasty. Definitely going to perfect this one for you because as one of my Insta-friends commented, salt & sweet is the perfect combo!
That’s a Wrap
So, that’s it for this week. I hope something here inspired you!
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Now, tell me, what’s going on with you?