Thursday, July 30, 2009

happy links

this dreamy dress reminds me of the dress i get to wear this weekend in my friend amy's wedding. in this color. it makes me want to do the flamenco!

a size ate theme song.

the real beauty of a post-pregnancy belly.

a gorgeous "vintage" swimsuit for those of us who want a little more coverage, but no less glamour. some va-va-voom ones here too.

this is great. i wonder if i have a low-set tail? and wow. the skinny cow freaks me out.

awesomeness.

um... yum!

bought this excellent T-shirt for my niece Maddie's birthday. saddens me that it only comes in girls' sizes.

happy early weekend folks!

look up through a filigree of trees and breathe deeply. you are enough.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

BODYpeace by piece: a workshop


i'm 'cited. tingly toes and butterfly belly 'cited.

know why?

this fall, i'll be putting together a workshop with the wise and wonderful Susan Weiss-Berry of Evolved Eating. if you haven't checked out her website and her work, you really should. she's of the "listen to your body, eat what you want, when you're hungry, stop when you're full" school of nourishment, plus she incorporates mindfulness and meditation into her approach.

HER PROCESS REALLY WORKS.

doesn't matter whether you've struggled with anorexia, bulimia, overeating or if you're just OVER DIETING and plain tuckered out from worrying every moment about your weight and what you ate for lunch, and when you'll be able to eat again, and what you ate for dinner 4 days ago, and if it was high in fiber or high in fat, or low-carb or high-carb, and "oh, my god, do my kankles look fat in these gladiator sandals?" and "holy shit, my knees are SO FAT," and "i have like, FIVE chins!" and did you walk enough just running errands around the city to burn off that ice cream bar you ate last night while watching that silly 1930s musical or if you should make a point of going to the gym and bouncing up and down on the elliptical machine for an hour even though your sports bra is shot and your boobs are threatening to give you 2 very big black eyes and your thighs are beginning to chafe and it's kinda hard on your knees.

so, yeah. it doesn't matter. if you're over any of the above, and you're looking for some one-on-one support, give her a call. i also know she has all sorts of exciting things up her sleeve - mindful eating workshops, cooking classes, etcetera, so keep an eye on her website.

but seriously, back to Me. ( ;

the tentative title of the workshop we're putting together (although personally, i'd prefer to call it a "funshop") is:

BODYPeace by Piece
multimedia story telling as a path to recovery
from eating disorders and body image issues


quite a mouthful, i know, so we're still tinkering with the subtitle. we're planning on approximately six 3-hour classes, two Saturdays a month, during the months of October, November and January in midtown-NYC. over the course of 4 months, we'll guide each member of the class through the process of developing a piece of art - a one-person show, a blog, a series of podcasts, an EP of songs, a video blog, an illustrated book, a short film, or some combination thereof - that tells her or his story of struggle and recovery surrounding eating disorders and body image. all of this will happen in a very safe and supportive environment. because that's how we roll.

fun, right? potentially a little terrifying too? of course! most things worth doing are!

why am i doing this? my escape from disordered eating took one giant leap forward when i started developing my one-woman show and writing my blog. not only did it provide me with a means to express myself in a creative, fun and cathartic way, it also gave me a reason to wake up every morning that wasn't my weight and food. i'm hoping we'll be able to give this experience to every member of the class and potentially provide a jumpstart to their own recovery.

recovery needn't always be a forehead bent to a brick wall in desperate prayer. sometimes it's a dance, a song, a monologue, a thick streak of red paint across a blank, white canvas that says IF YOU SEE ME, I AM NOT ALONE.

i want to know your thoughts on any and all. is this the sort of thing you'd be interested in attending? why or why not?

if not, would it help if i told you we'll be spending the entire class in tiaras and tutus? (that's not true, but we would not object)

i'll be discussing this more on this blog as Susan and i suss out the details. we have not worked out a price yet, but once we get the space secured, we'll be able to do so. please feel free to email or Facebook message me with any questions or comments you'd rather not post in the comments section.

Friday, July 24, 2009

happiness is always an option.

from a Happy Days blogpost by Pico Iyer at The New York Times


Not long ago, I was traveling with the Dalai Lama across Japan and another journalist came into our bullet-train compartment for an interview. “Your Holiness,” he said, “you have seen so much sorrow and loss in your life. Your people have been killed and your country has been occupied. You have had to worry about the welfare of Tibet every day since you were four years old. How can you always remain so happy and smiling?”

”My profession,” said the Dalai Lama instantly, as if he hardly had to think about it. His answer could mean many things, but one of the better things it meant to me was that that kind of happiness is within the reach of almost anyone. We can work on it as we work on our backhands, our souffl├ęs or our muscles in the gym. True happiness, in that sense, doesn’t mean trying to acquire things, so much as letting go of things (our illusions and attachments). It’s only the clouds of short-sightedness or ignorance, the teachers from the Dalai Lama’s tradition suggest, that prevent us from seeing that our essential nature, whether we’re Buddhist or not, is blue sky.

happy friday, beautiful people. have a blue-sky weekend. if it rains, look skyward and catch some raindrops, and look closely. there's always blue behind the clouds.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

happy links to get you over hump day


just a few things from around the web that are making me happy today.

i relate, don't you?

corsages!

thank you, martha. i think i'll add cheese.

real woman paper dolls.

i love this woman and her art.

101. particularly 28 and 29.

pretty, even when your local weather ain't so much.

this t-shirt, this one too and this super-sweet thingamabob.

Monday, July 20, 2009

limping is not an option

it occurred to me yesterday, as i sat in Bryant Park watching many a lovely woman teeter by on heels, that one way we can take care of ourselves, one way we can help ensure that we'll live a full, brimming life is by wearing comfortable shoes.

there's something incredibly soothing about those two words, isn't there?

COMFORTABLE SHOES.

sigh. i think my shoulders just dropped 2 inches.

at the very least, we should carry a pair of comfy shoes in our bag that we can change into for when the 3 ring circuses we're wearing on our feet become too much.

our shoes should never be the reason we don't go, see or do... or dance.

i bought a pair of sequined, black ballet slippers with a tread that are my comfy option. they roll up into a little ball that i can toss into my purse. they also make me unbelievably happy, but i suppose that's pretty much true of anything that sparkles. sunlit lakes... my niece's eyes... pavement.

it may seem like an oversimplification, but don't you go more, see more, do more, dance more when you're wearing comfortable shoes?

Friday, July 17, 2009

happy friday, loves.



this is exactly how The Cute and I met and fell in love. not really, but it's such a sweet little story, isn't it? i definitely need more Post-Its.

have a wonderful weekend, folks. rest and indulge.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

gee, i wish i had more regrets.


you've heard the cautionary adage, "nobody ever said on their deathbed, i wish i'd spent more time at the office," right?

on the train ride home last night, i was thinking about that little maxim (probably inspired by this heartbreaking Times piece) and how applicable it is to so many things we do in the name of being "responsible" or "practical" or "healthy" or "wise" or "frugal"or "safe" that maybe we shouldn't do so much of because really, in the end, when we're laying there gasping our last breaths, hopefully surrounded by our beloved, beautiful progeny, those things that seemed so f-ing important ain't gonna matter much, if at all.

for example, here's a few i thought of:

nobody ever said on their deathbed, i wish i'd eaten more salads.

nobody ever said on their deathbed, i wish i'd held more grudges.

nobody ever said on their deathbed, i wish i'd spent more time at the gym.


nobody ever said on their deathbed, i wish i'd worried more about what people thought of me.

nobody ever said on their deathbed, i wish i'd spent more time looking into the mirror and picking apart my "flaws."

nobody ever said on their deathbed, i wish i'd doubted myself more.

nobody ever said on their deathbed, i wish i'd worn more black.


what's your version?


now, take heed. our time here is unbearably short.

today, i am having a sandwich for lunch... with extra cheese.

Monday, July 13, 2009

therapy salsa

the picture's fuzzy, not the salsa.


when i'm anxious (and i have been quite a bit lately) there's something about chopping vegetables that brings me peace. not quite sure what it's all about. maybe it's the satisfaction that comes with lining them up like little French aristocrats and guillotining them all at once.

THWACK!

oh, the power. i am SICK with the power.

whatever it is, it helps.

last night, The Cute came home from a long weekend away bachelor-partying (my anxiety having nothing to do with him, i should note). he sat on the couch recovering while i had a little therapy session in the kitchen, beheading and de-limbing wee legumes for my favorite salsa -

Juliet's Confetti Salsa

or, what i also affectionately refer to as Everything-But-the-Kitchen-Sink Salsa

but what i will henceforth refer to as Therapy Salsa.

not only is it cheaper than therapy, it has a lot more fiber.

my friend Juliet Hicks first made this for me back in the summer of 1997 when we were both working together at Diamond Circle Melodrama in Durango, Colorado. i’ve made it every summer since. i like it with Tostitos Hint of Lime tortilla chips, but it’s also divine with pita chips, grilled fish, chicken, pork, burgers, baked potatoes, polenta, etc. i like it best in a bowl, with a spoon, on a porch, in a rocking chair, with an icy, lime-laced Corona nestled between my knees.

happy summer, y'all.

Therapy Salsa

keep in mind that the amounts are estimates. you should add or subtract according to your very own tastebuds.

5-6 ripe, but firm tomatoes; seeded (scoop all the goo out) and cut into ½-inch size pieces

1½ cups fresh, raw corn, cut from the cob this is the best, but if you don’t have fresh, substitute thawed, frozen corn. don’t thaw it in the microwave. just let it thaw in the sink in a colander. you can run some cold water over it, but you don’t want it mushy. in a pinch, you can use canned, rinsed corn.

1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped or pineapple or papaya or peaches or nectarines or apricots; the ripeness is what matters

1 red onion, peeled and chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bunch of scallions i like the dark green parts too, but if you don’t, just use up to the light green

1 generous handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped if you like it spicy, and i do, leave a few seeds in

1 can black beans, rinsed

the juice of 1-2 limes

1 packet of original taco seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

toss everything (except the taco seasoning) into a large bowl. mix to combine, then season to taste with the taco seasoning. i usually only need ¼-½ a packet because this stuff is super-salty and flavorful. season with salt and pepper to taste.

i like to let the salsa “rest” for a little while (20 minutes or so at room temp) covered with plastic wrap so the flavors can marry. this also allows the salt to release some juice from the tomatoes. at this point, stir it up, and if the salsa is a little dry, you can add more lime juice.

weep and enjoy.

is there a particular dish you like to make when you're feeling crabby? or blue?

Friday, July 10, 2009

food as art, art as food.

Pies Pies Pies, 1961 via ArtChive

Bakery Counter, 1962 via ArtChive

Cakes, 1963 via ArtChive

i love the work of Wayne Thiebaud, don't you? he does some incredibly beautiful landscapes, but not surprisingly, my favorites are his renderings of 1960s diner-style desserts. so delightful, so pretty, so sweet. they just make me happy, happy, happy! i'm moving in with The Cute in a couple of months, and i'm dreaming of getting my paws on a few Thiebaud prints to decorate a kitchen wall. if he knows it will inspire me to make a weekly Chocolate Puddin' Pie, he'll be all for it. right?

oh, boy. food photography and art. i love it. when i go on trips, some folks complain that i take too many pictures of food (Paree, par example). so what!? i think a person's meals tell a very interesting story! i also think it makes total and complete sense. i've spent years fearing food, avoiding it, abhorring it, devouring it with almost no regard for its taste or texture. i am now in the courting phase, developing and nurturing what i hope will be a lifelong love and appreciation of the taste, the smell, the texture and the glorious appearance of food. taking pictures of a meal, or a cup of creamy coffee, or a perfectly-frosted cupcake helps me really pay attention to all those parts, like one would to the composition and the brushstrokes in a work of fine art. i've learned to see food as many things, not just physical sustenance, but spiritual and creative sustenance as well.

surrounding myself with images of beautifully-prepared, wholesome food reminds me how very lucky i am to be back in The World of the Eating. in the old days, i might have spent hours flipping through cookbooks and back issues of Gourmet magazine, salivating over meals i knew i would never let myself have. now i bake my cake, photograph it, and i eat it too. there was a time i never thought this would be possible. so glad i was wrong.

what food is most visually beautiful to you? i love a platter of halved figs and shelled walnuts scattered on a plain, white plate. then there's french fries. monochromatic maybe, but blissful.

what if you looked at every meal as a work of art? do you think it would change how you prepared it? as well as how you eat it (faster, slower, with more attention and intention)? try it. maybe even take a picture of it or draw it before you eat it. and?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

a delicate reminder

from anongrrl via etsy

i came across these tags today on etsy. aren't they wonderful? i'm always drawn to jewelry that uses inspirational words and phrases. it combines my love of the delicate, artistic object with the need for a reminder, a talisman of what i'm striving for in my day-to-day life. not that different from a Christian wearing a cross, or a Jew wearing a cross of David, i guess. i once made a bracelet for myself out of wire and a Shrinky-Dink type substance that said "breathe." it wasn't super-elegant (and i seem to recall it digging into my wrist), but it really did help, in the middle of an overwhelming day, to look down at my wrist for a reminder to do just that.

BREATHE.

oh!!! riiiiiiiiight.

seeing these tags got me thinking about what phrases and words i'd like to put on my own jewelry:

i (heart) butter.

this too shall pass

i am a size (infinity symbol).

sometimes, the most empowering thing a girl can do is eat
(from a N.O.W. t-shirt)

wear life like a loose garment (Ghandi)

now, please.

what would your talisman say?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

let her eat steak.


how annoyed do i get when i'm having dinner with The Cute, the waiter brings our meals and places the salad in front of me, assuming that because i'm The Girl it must be mine?

quite.

how much pleasure do i get in looking up at him through my fluttering lashes and saying, "oh, no, no, no. the BURGER is mine. might i also have a side of mayo for the fries?"

tons.

does this ever happen to you? how does it make you feel? do you feel guilty for ordering the "bad" food? or do you revel in ordering the food that makes your body hum? what are some witty (though kind) ways of handling it?

Friday, July 03, 2009

when i grow up, i want to be a supermarket cashier.

there's this cashier at the A & P in Jersey City where The Cute and i shop. for the past two years, we've always made an effort to go to her when we're there because she's the sweetest, friendliest lady ever. she almost makes my heart melt with gratitude. the first time she rung us up, i was so touched by her kindness (she's an aberration amongst Jersey City grocery store employees, i hate to say), i think i said to The Cute:

oh my god. i love her. i want to take her home.

she's very serene and soft-spoken. always patient, always helpful. i imagined she must live a pretty quiet (read: lonely) life. a single spinster who goes to church every Sunday, sings in the choir, knits, collects canned food labels for the local elementary school, eats tuna fish salad on melba toasts every day for lunch.

you can imagine my surprise when i saw her in a preview for America's Got Talent. first, i freaked out. second, i assumed she was going to sing a church hymn, "How Great Thou Art" or some such ditty. third, i was pretty certain she was going to be bad. really, really bad. my heart hurt for her. a sweet, little, unassumming lady was going to be humiliated on national television!

i missed the show, but i was digging around on hulu.com last night, and i found this clip of her performance.



i've never been so happy to be so terribly and completely wrong.

Carol Lugo is my hero.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

you pretty young things.



you're assignment today is to stand in front of a full-length mirror as nude as you can muster, put this tune on full-blast, and sing this song to yourself... just like i did when i was 9. my self-confidence was soaring at that age. coincidence? i think not.

what is your favorite M.J. song?