Thursday, April 28, 2011
oh my those storms and tornadoes in the south are so crazy. my heart and prayers are with anyone affected by the devastation. i can't even imagine how scary it must have been. it makes me think about being in the peace corps. i lived right under two beautiful mountains that were known and overdue for an icy avalanche. just about everyone in town had been affected by a horrible one in 1970 and talking to them always gave me respect for the power of mother nature and how it more clearly defined the precious and delicate nature of daily life. it was one of the many lessons my two years there gave me.
another of those lessons was how to take it easy and not do so much. i fought it a lot during my first two years because it made me feel lazy and bored, but during the second year i actually started to dig sitting out in the patio with my host family after lunch, watching sylvia nurse her baby and my host dad pull out my host mom's gray hairs. during this year, i read a lot of books and practiced my funny brand of concrete floor yoga and i think overall my nervous system benefited from the open space.
but since i've been back in the states (almost four years now in august!), i must admit that i have settled quite comfortably back into the intense doing of life. a part of it is necessity (i have to do a lot of different things to make ends meet in the way i have chosen to live my life) but it's also because i like how being active makes me feel in the flow of life. yet sometimes, especially when one is a freelancer, life is bound to slow down. i feel lucky now that when photography work slows, i have a solid base of yoga and now massage to keep me financially afloat. yet even though everything is really ok, i still have the sense that something is wrong when i am not busy. i feel embarrassed to mention it to other people and am quick to find something social to fill up the time. i think i feel vulnerable partially because our society values a busy life and that we equate a lot of our personal worth with ways we connect with the outside world. but also, i think the openess of it can be too much for me. to me, open space--when they are not consciously carved out--means i have to give up distractions and just be. this usually involves a deeper examination of how i live my life and view myself and it can be hard work, although ultimately satisfying.
throughout the past year or so, people have sent me many great links and articles that i did not look at because they were more than a few paragraphs and required focused attention, something that does not come easy when i am in front of my laptop. so when my drawing class was canceled this morning, i decided to delve into my starred email box and start investigation what i have been missing out on. i found a lot of good stuff in there, which made me want to share with you all and give proper shout-outs to the people who sent them to me.
a great tumblr collection of work from current portrait photographers that i am quite inspired by (from the legendary ann)
good advice for starting and building a yoga business (from yogini kelly)
catherine ingram article about why desire is an important part of the equation (from my wise momma)
ny times article how to keep faithful and happy in your relationship (even though i think some of those research methods are seriously questionable) (from lovely erin)
sally kempton tells us how to recognize and move through perfectionism (from mindful rita)
tips for teaching curvy yogis (from beautiful katie)
massage and other well-considered life musings (from ann again)
oh and i really like this album from the antlers on first listen (check out the fleet foxes new one too) and i am going to read this article on lori berenson that i've been saving forever after lunch and i always love looking at the new anthropologie catalogue.
ok, for all my non-doing i've managed to write a really long blog entry. oh well, little by little. i hope some of it inspires and entertains. love you all.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
i got this cookie recipe at the bloomingdale farmers market two years ago, i think from common good city farm (then 7th street garden). i've made them twice now and after eating them at the dessert and bodywork workshop on friday, i have confirmed that they are ridiculously good. i add a little salt to the dough and then a few grains of celtic sea salt with the sugar on top to get the good sweet and salty taste. also, you can also make them with fresh basil. let me know if you try them and how they turn out (warning, this recipe makes a lot! you can always freeze the dough into a log and bake them later).
lemon-rosemary butter cookies (or basil)
1/4 cup minced fresh rosemary (or 1 cup fresh basil leaves)
1 and 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 lb butter, softened
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
6 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. salt
process rosemary and 1/4 sugar in food processor. beat butter at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy; gradually add remaining 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, beating well. add lemon juice and egg, beating until blended. gradually add flour, salt, and rosemary/sugar mixture, beating until blended. shape dough into 1-inch balls, place 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. flatten slightly with bottom of class dipped in sugar. sprinkle sea salt over top of cookies and repress with glass. bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. cool on wire racks. makes 6 and 1/2 dozen.
Monday, April 25, 2011
below are two maira kalman quotes that i love. i was thinking about the second one a lot yesterday at easter when i was making polite conversation in my fancy easter dress and noticing i had forgotten to shave my legs. the first one just sums me and my worldly aspirations up in a few sentences.
"My dream is to walk around the world. A smallish backpack, all essentials neatly in place. A camera. A notebook. A traveling paint set. A hat. Good shoes. A nice pleated (green?) skirt for the occasional seaside hotel afternoon dance."
"I tell you these stories because these things happen to everyone. It's not about being starched or polished or cute or polite. It's about having ears that stick out, about breaking yet another glass. It's about seeing something for the first time and making a million mistakes and not ever getting completely discouraged."
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
beautiful sadie...so far i've photographed you at eight months (in the womb), three months (on this planet) and now almost one year. you love your momma, gumming on an orange, and are so ready to walk and say the word "book." you are so precious, so attentive, and i see a lot of wisdom on those big blue eyes of yours. i can't wait to watch you keep growing up! love, me
Friday, April 15, 2011
charlotte and henry are excited! so am i...
so after two years in the making, i finally have a website that features my wedding/family photography. please let me introduce you all to: gracyo.com
please take a few moments to get to know her and see what she has to offer. personally, i like her because she is understated in design, so she can better feature the lovely people in the photographs.
i want to thank everyone who has ever let me take a picture of them. i really couldn't have done it without all you photogenic souls.
p.s. also, if you know of anyone who is interested in wedding or family photography than i would love to talk to them. there may be some kind of signing bonus like black bean brownies or a thai massage.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
black sesame otsu.
the makings of dark chocolate, dried cherry cookies.
when i was younger, untainted by adolescent angst, i used to tell people i wanted to be an artist and chef when i grew up. then i actually started growing up and forgot about that pretty quickly. i never took many art classes except for photography because it never seemed practical. then i thought i wanted to be a journalist--where i really do think you can exercise a lot of creativity--but still it never quite stuck for me. so now i am rounding out my third decade on this planet and thinking that my first career options sound pretty good.
although i don't currently have the urge to be paid for my cooking, it really is my favorite hobby. i cook the way i do everything else--when i am inspired and making sure to never throw anything away. i keep my kitchen full of healthy staples (and a few more decadent indulgences) from places like the glut which helps me to throw things together without always having to go to the grocery store first. i get a little inspiration from the my favorite cooking resources, but really its the necessity of using fresh ingredients while they are fresh that becomes the driving force behind my cooking. this fuels creations that are different, surprising, and sometimes pretty delicious. for the past year, i've been getting a csa-like share from field to city (formerly timor bodega) in my neighborhood and this has yielded some really interesting cooking projects, especially during the winter months of cabbage and root vegetables (such as the above beet muffins). i cook big dishes and bake when i have time (usually 2-3 times a week) and keep rotating through the leftovers, which makes it really easy to throw together a healthy, satisfying lunchtime plate when i am teaching a lot and don't have time to cook.
as for my resources, a lot of my inspiration comes from heidi swanson at 101cookbooks.com and her wholesome, simple approach to eating great food everyday. also, i was resistant for a while but my dad finally turned me on to america's test kitchen and now i sing its praises because its well-written, informative, and each recipe comes out beautifully if you follow the directions. i also like laurel's kitchen for its straight-up healthy 70's approach and moosewood cookbook because it's what i grew up cooking with and continues to be great.
and this cookbook came in the mail yesterday and i stayed up late reading it--wonderfully caught up in recipes, photography and voice of the author/chef/proprietor and her dream of parisean lunchtime bakery.
this has all gotten me terribly inspired for my bodywork and dessert party i am co-hosting with sarita moore from nyc. i've been looking at a lot of dessert recipes, but this morning i narrowed the choices down to black bean vegan brownies, rosemary shortbread cookies, sour cherry crumble bars, and dates stuffed with feta cheese and walnuts. yum yum yum, the dream continues.
ps this is written one week into my no-sugar cleanse, as a kind of therapy i think.
Friday, April 8, 2011
i woke up yesterday exhausted. i had only been back my vacation for one week but i had already worn myself down. since coming home, aside from sleeping, i hadn't sat in one spot for less than 30 minutes. everything, everybody had been calling me and i just followed the way i normally did and started getting that overwhelmed feeling that had been creeping around in the weeks prior to leaving town. then i got into my car to teach yoga and found that my car battery had died. it seemed like a pretty clear sign off to me. after teaching, i decided to take the rest of the morning off to rest and recharged my batteries (in all senses). after reading through this superhero's blog last night, i tearfully came back to myself. i am here to enjoy my life and open my heart, to tell the truth and to find as much beauty as i can. so as part of my cleansing period, i am making some changes to have time to make life more playful, to laugh more and to engage in some senseless acts of beauty (such as organizing my shirt drawer in a rainbow). maybe it's because mercury is in retrograde or the mayan calendar accceleration but something new is in the air and i am seizing it and flying as high as i can.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
"yoga is seeing life the way it is" -- patanjali's yoga sutras
i'm back from my travels and easing back into life in d.c. or rather trying to ease back into and finding the current is moving rather fast. i think it took me going away to somewhere quiet before i could see just how busy my life is here. i'm doing a low salt/sugar/mostly vegan cleanse right now and it's really opening up a lot of space in me. i'm taking advantage of that to figure out what stays and what i need to leave for a while in all areas of my life. the answers are surprising me but i am trusting the shifts because it always does seem like life gets better if i can just trust it.
as always, i'm having a hard time summarizing anything from the trip but the highlights from my travels were:
1) quality time with my mom at her funny new home in the villages (i love the theme song on the website). imagine 80,000 retirees running around in golf carts on a leisure schedule with huge smiles on their face. my mom set up my room with white roses on my bedside and spoiled me with blueberry pancakes in the morning.
2) the goodwill in deerfield beach (i found a dream navy-striped cardigan) among other gems (i had my mom ship me a box)
3) seeing abraham, they always amaze me and inspire me about how to have more fun and allow more prosperity into my life.
4) a day at the beach in delray where i saw this beauty constructed and chatted with my wise sister (by soul) danielle about how to give our lives good meaning.
5) all-you-can-eat sushi in boca. amazing and its probably better that there are many hours in between me in this place because judging from what i did in an hour there, i would ruin it for myself real fast if i had easier access.
6) my thai massage teacher sukha was an inspiring woman and i learned a ton from her. i have a new respect for how awesome and opening thai massage is. i actually got to the point toward the end of the week where i couldn't take it any more of it--i was already so open and i needed to ground. just like the sushi, there are limits to a good thing.
7) kripalu in general. it's a great place with the right balance of sacred and chill. i went to the baths every day and ate my self silly because its some of the best tasting healthy food i've ever had. my favorites were the baked oatmeal, maple oat scones, baked samosas, and greek sweet potato, feta pie.
8) taking a walk down to the lake with some dear thai massage folks and seeing one of the first massachusetts spring days and feeling that i was really present for that moment.
9) the general beauty of taking a retreat. i learned that i am grounded and that i can really help people through taking the time to take care of myself.