One day last week I cried so much I had to drink tall glasses of water for the rest of the day to rehydrate myself. I cried for different things that both were and weren’t happening to me. I won’t bore you with my “stuff.”  I’m sure you have your own.

I invoked Tony Robbins’ “90 second rule” — but I turned it into a four hour rule, because 90 seconds seemed a little too short for me (haha). The 90 second rule is to let yourself feel your pain, sorrow, suffering for 90 seconds.

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You all know that I love to cook and bake.  I read food blogs and websites.  Cookbooks as bedside reading are a given.  Cooking is not only how I nurture and delight my family and friends, it’s how I explore, travel and taste the world right in my own home.

Lately, people have been after me to compile a book of the recipes I’ve cooked over the years that have become family favorites.  Now I’m not a recipe writer.  Whilst some of my recipes have come from my mother and grandmother…other family favorites have come from famous chefs, cookbooks and websites.

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In keeping with my 2017 theme, The Year of Living Passionately I’m adding another goal, years in the simmering.

This is going to be the year that I find my dream jeans. The year of my perfect fabulous jeans. I’ve had it with skinny jeans, jeggings, bootcut, high rise, low rise, mom jeans, bell bottoms, stretch jeans, cropped jeans, et al.

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Jealousy sounds so much nicer in French, doesn’t it?  Romantic. Poetic.

In another twist, jalousie in English refers to a “blind or shutter made of angled slats.”  Go figure.

As a femme d’un certain age, I’m mortified to admit that I’m prone to occasional whiffs of jealousy envy. How embarrassing is that? It’s true that life is always like high school over and over again — same cliques, same emotions.

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New Year’s eve morning as I write this. I’ve spent the week between Christmas and today pondering the events of 2016. I’m surprised at the number of surprises I had in 2016. It was a year of surprises.  And I’d like another please.  I believe this is because of my new commitment to extemporaneous living, instead of planning everything out.  There’s a flow going on.

Here’s my list. I suspect you had tons of surprises too.  What’s on your list?

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The oranges in this orange strawberry salad are clean sectioned, a lot of work. Mine is easier, below. And even prettier!

I’ve cooked it all.  Legions of cookies and cakes.  Gallons of egg nog and mimosas.  Baked hams. Beef Wellingtons. Roasts of pork and lamb.  So many turkeys I can’t even count. Creamed spinach, scalloped potatoes, Sacher Tortes, Buches de Noel.

I asked myself, what do I really feel like eating at Christmas this year? The answer was: not complicated elegance. More like sexy bistro food. I have visions of pulling a bubbling casserole from the oven, served with a glass of seriously fabulous wine. My DD tells me I’ll be everyone’s new best friend by bringing a large Spanokopita, a Greek spinach pie to a Christmas eve supper I’m invited to.

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Fresh, light, minimal. That’s what I’m thinking this year.

 

It’s official now.  “The hols are coming, the hols are coming.”

I need to do things differently this year. Have you ever felt this way?  For years, I rejoiced in all the traditions I created for my family that made our Christmas such a happy, cherished time.

But I don’t need to be the magic maker anymore; I’m not responsible for anyone’s happiness anymore.  I can change how I set the scene and observe the holidays, knowing that I create intimate, compelling magic whatever I decide to do.  Because that’s my style.

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A lifelong friend of mine passed away last week.  At first I felt numb.  Then I felt sadness and loss.  I accepted the condolences. I grieved.

And now I feel angry.

We are uncomfortable with feeling anger in general, and especially uncomfortable with feeling angry at someone who has died.  It doesn’t seem right, or “seemly.”

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A crown to remind me that I’m the queen of my life, the queen of me.  A queen period.*

crownI’m not the charm bracelet type.  Charm bracelets were for me, something my mother wore in the 50’s.  No, I’m a modern woman. I’m minimalist.  Try to wear little or no jewelry.

And now I’m here to tell you…I have a charm bracelet!  It is a modern version of a charm bracelet and I love how it tells –not so much the story of my life — but rather, about my dreams, my thoughts, my fantasies, desires and loves.

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