Archive | February, 2010

on habits

20 Feb

Apologies – we’ve been a little few and far between.

We’re both in love with this blog; with creating a safe place for our thoughts and freakish emotions, with collaborating, with First Shot Gift Shop. Personally, I’m in love with writing; nothing feels better than stringing words together in a way that sounds pretty or hokey or fun. I secretly re-read particularly witty emails that I send and giggle (if nobody else is going to laugh out loud for me, might as well, right?).

But I am awful at creating habits. I love doing things I don’t have to do and loathe doing things I do have to do. And this, I know, is what must change. If I’m going to be a big girl with a real life (even if it’s a silly one), I have to pay my bills on time, return my blockbuster movies before I auto-own them.. and go after my dream of running this blog and growing with First Shot Gift Shop.

So I promise to you, Ally, and to all the proverbial-yous that don’t exist yet (“Dear Readers”, we may call you later on) – that I will write. I will write and write, and share interesting articles and awkward stories and pretty, pretty pictures. Every day.

Other habits I’m working on: Waking up early (this was the first week of 8am alarms – even though I usually lounge in bed until 8:20, my eyes are open so it counts!), hiking (next week is the week of one weekday hike), keeping a clean house (my mom will be pumped for this one).

What habits are the hardest for you to stick to?


apples, bacon and brussel sprouts

17 Feb

Anyone who has been to Alta in the West Village has undoubtedly (hopefully!) been coerced into ordering their famous Brussels sprouts.  No sprout fan myself, I caved in the nature of trying new things (and the realization that there were about 40 other bacon-wrapped and chorizo-stuffed dishes I could replace the veggie with if it tasted anything like I imagined), and I was BEYOND pleasantly surprised!

Caramelized to perfection and tossed with deliciously sweet apples, these sprouts were incredible!  Excited at the discovery of this fabulous new food, I began to order anything that remotely resembled a caramelized Brussels sprout at an array of restaurants around the city.

While I found a number of tasty sprouts in this city over the past few months, none have yet to live up to those at Alta.  So last night, in search of a yummy dish to accompany (man-requested) fish sticks, I decided to try to recreate Alta’s masterpiece. I followed the recipe below (it’s a Disney family recipe, don’t judge!) and I must say, it was a COMPLETE success.

Cheap, simple, and kind of healthy, follow the recipe to a T (or add a little extra of the good stuff for sweeter sprouts) and you will LOVE this new addition to your side dish repertoire! Ten minutes of prep and an hour of cooking time – so easy.

1 pound Brussels sprouts
3 slices thick-cut uncured bacon, cut into one-inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice
2 small firm red apples (such as roma), cored and chopped
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon each)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off bottom core of Brussels sprouts, halve lengthwise and place on a large cookie sheet with sides.
2. Add bacon, onion, and apples. Toss with melted butter, maple syrup and salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast, stirring occasionally for 40-50 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are caramelized and apples are tender.
3. Drizzle with cider vinegar, taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

on inner voices..

3 Feb

Ally and I had a brief chat today on the absurd, destructive, and oftentimes brilliantly clever things our inner voices tell us to be true. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand my inner voice, listening to it, trying to sift through the bullshit for useful truths that might help me grow. I’ve also spent some time trying to quiet it, to put my mind at rest so that my Self can come through and just be.

Career-wise, I’m fast approaching that now-or-never point of moving up at my company. My speech thoroughly rehearsed (here’s what I’m interested in, and why, and well, honestly, here are the things I don’t know but want to learn), I keep letting that little voice push me backwards. My boss is too busy. I didn’t shine this week the way I’d like to, so I should kick ass next week and then start the dialogue. Am I sure this is what I want? And yes, I’m positive.

Something I find myself turning to is this book; A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield. The book covers a lot, and is mostly a useful handbook if you’re just starting to explore meditation. But it’s also a helpful reminder to be quiet and let go – not just with your legs folded, your eyes closed and your hands in your lap, but with everything you do. My handsome man’s father has a charming way of signing off in emails; “take ten deep breaths when stressed out!”.  Try it. It takes some of the sting out of things.

Tomorrow, I plan to sit down with my boss, take ten deep breaths and go after my ambitions.