Happy post-Labor Day weekend, everyone! The heat finally broke today and I feel like we’re finally turning a corner weather-wise. In honor of surviving, I thought I’d test out a new weekly series, “Five for Friday,” summarizing the best of the week that I discovered in my web travels, in my personal life, or whatever has recently caught my fancy during the week. Let me know what you think.
*P.S. I wrote this Friday and am only just not posting. On Wednesday. Sorry about that!
- Classical Stretch with Miranda Esmonde-White
I’m a huge PBS fan, so the other night (after a quick Queer Eye marathon on Netflix), I caught the end of a PBS special on this really relaxing looking stretch-based exercise regime. I tend to focus on what I’m eating and strength training when I need to get in shape, but this tuned my attention to lifelong health instead. For me, stretching tends to get skipped in the interest of rushing back to my kids if I’ve squeezed in some solo gym time, but this program really opened my eyes to how the cumulative effects of everything we tend to do to “work out” can be incredibly damaging it can be to our muscles, joints, and bones. Think: pounding the pavement or lifting too much weight or simply having bad form. Just look at how many older people suffer arthritis or chronic pain in their later years, and it adds up. Physiologically, what I needed to hear to perk up and pay attention to the benefits of just stretching, via this program, was that everything we’re doing is shortening our muscles, so it’s no wonder in old age, our shoulders are rounding and we’re having trouble lengthening out. This program combats that.
- Sleeping At Last’s song “Daughter” Any association to anything “tween” might turn “serious” music people off, but I’ve been a huge fan of singer/songwriter Sleeping at Last, since he penned “Turning Page” for Twilight. Just listen to those lyrics — I mean – GUYS. I can’t. They’re so good. I’ve been loving “Daughter” lately too, so much so that I put together some nursery art for my girls using some lyrics from the song. [See top of the post.]
- Il Volo, the Italian operatic pop trioOpera can be a little tough to fall in love with if you don’t have some sort of connection or “in.” For me, it was my Mom’s love of Andrea Bocelli when I was growing up, and later, my time studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Il Volo is great because they kind of bridge the gap — the Italian operatic pop trio is young but they sing the classic stuff. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all handsome Italians either. They’ve been on my radar since their 2011 cameo appearance on the series finale of Entourage but I was channel surfing the other night and stumbled across a WGBH concert recorded at Santa Crocce in Florence that reminded me to shake up my ususal Spotify playlist with some Il Volo.
- Creative expression + Pixar’s animated film, Coco
I studied some pretty artsy stuff in college I realized recently — French, early Renaissance art, and film history. I graduated with a degree in Communications, which, weirdly, ties-in to these artsy subjects if you think about it: language (a means of communicating), media and the communication through the mediums of art and film. Thinking about what I’ve always gravitated toward in my life, this shouldn’t be surprising really. I love to write. I love that music often helps express what can’t be put into words. And I love film. This 2017 Vanity Fair article really pinpointed what it was exactly that really spoke to me about Coco though, because I’ve felt this exact same moment Adrian Molina described about why a particular shot keeps popping up in Pixar (and elsewhere):
“It probably stems from the fact that we all ended up at Pixar because of a moment where we looked up at a screen and saw something that moved us. It’s probably cliché to tell my story about loving animation and scouring old reruns of The Wonderful World of Disney because I wanted to know how it was done, but that memory is burned into my brain. It’s these moments where you look at a screen longing for a connection to something and then something fulfills that for you.”
- Whole Week Meal Prep is awesome
It’s official. I am in love with prepping a week of meals in one go.This has been the most sated I’ve felt, hunger-wise, and emotionally, it has just been so peaceful to not have to think ONCE about what will I eat for dinner? What do I want to eat for lunch? The variety has proven to be JUST enough to keep myself from getting bored and I am a complete convert to the powers of sea salt and olive oil to preserve freshness because I haven’t had one complaint in the entire week. It’s pretty clear to me that I’m very capable of choosing to eat with health and wellness in mind, (think: plant-based foods), but that when I’m stressed and need comfort, my preferred salve is binge-eating just about anything I can get my hands on that is a carb. This week has been eye-opening. I’m a convert. More than anything, this has opened my eyes to how beneficial it is for me to prioritize my own food needs and to give myself a little more self care love on a regular basis.