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Five for Friday

31 Jan

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Just sharing a few of the things on my mind, on my reading list, in my shopping cart, and occupying space on my “to see/do/try” list. It’s never ending.

  1. This article about how long it REALLY takes to caramelize onions
    was refreshing. And — I learned what should probably be my mantra for 2019: the best time to caramelize onions is yesterday; in addition to the correct instructions for how long it takes to actually caramelize them. We all know I’m always looking to improve my kitchen skills.diffuser
  2. Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser with Bluetooth
    Whenever I step foot in a spa, my first impression is ALWAYS related to smell. At my favorite Boston, MA spa spot, Bella Sante Day Spa, whatever they spray on the luxe, textured navy blue towels — a mix of lavender and vanilla — is basically akin to heaven. I haven’t been able to figure out how to replicate it in order to scent my sheets and towels, but I have figured out how to diffuse essential oil into my bedroom — duh — with an oil diffuser. After keeping an eye out for one FOR AGES, I finally found one that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. The reviews were excellent, I waited a long time before purchase, so I knew I really wanted it, and in the end, I’m really happy with my purchase.jade
  3. Jade Face Rollers. Since early 2018, I’ve been willfully ignoring all discussion of these, but I finally caved. I’m listening. I may have even sent a link to my husband for this one from the company Beedewy with the subject line: HINT – Valentine’s Day Gift. Anyone who has read a beauty magazine knows that something cool applied to your face will depuff it. But over time, apparently these rollers help to train your muscles to relax which is a good thing. Unless you are cool with Botox. (As of yeT, I’m undecided. But check back with me when I turn 40). Now, I’m a huge proponent of beauty rituals, but I’m also a beauty minimalist, meaning that I’m moving my routine to a “less is more” approach for everything from skin care to day to day makeup. That said, the feedback about the positive effects is very persuasive, so — for just $30, I’m going to give it a try. I should just note, if you’re going to buy, know that “real jade” is a fortune and finding a roller that isn’t dyed glass takes some legwork. I’m comfortable with this middle of the road model from Beedewy and like that it’s polished with beeswax.Premiere Of FX's "The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" - After Party
  4. Netflix’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace, has been both a thrill and achingly painful to watch. The former, not because of the murder/crazed killer aspect, (No! I abhor the genre of murder mystery in both film and TV), but because I appreciate the genius of fashion design and admit, I knew very little about the famous atelier of Versace. And the latter, because the horror of the 80’s and 90’s for the gay community colored my world from a young age. Even today, it still feels raw to me and my heart breaks that there was such stigma and lack of acceptance for the gay community.versace2As for the series, I’ve learned that Giovanni Versace was an absolutely beloved and devoted brother and absolutely adored to dress women — real women. I need to pickup a book on him to separate fact from [TV] fiction here, but if my instincts are correct, this small town Italian boy who experienced the death of his eldest sister while still a boy, and spent his days in his mother’s dress shop sounds like the makings of a truly decent human being. This, in turn, makes me want to take a closer look at the house of Versace. Also, note: It’s pronounced: [ver-sach-eh] not [-eeee]. I didn’t know it either.

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  5. Currently listening to about 5 audio books and 4 different “favorite” podcasts, but for now, I’ll share my two favorites. I’ve been a longtime fan of writer Jennifer Weiner, and am loving her Hungry Heart, almost as much as I’m loving hearing HER actually read it aloud. The other favorite I don’t want to end is David Sedaris’ Calypso. If you haven’t read him, please — get to a bookstore. Go to Amazon. A library. Whatever you have to do. I should note, I think that having siblings you’re close in age to really amps up the appreciation for his writing since he was also one of four. I tend to just pick-up copies of whatever he writes to gift to my siblings each year because I know, A.) they will TOTALLY GET IT and, B) They will laugh/cry as he describes the politics of siblings and families.

Five for Friday

5 Sep

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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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.]

  3. 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.
  4. 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.”

  5. 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.