I received a pizza stone for my high school graduation. Yeah, a bit odd, huh? I don’t remember whether I got it because I loved the homemade pizzas my aunt and mom both made, or because it was an effort to dissuade me from spending […]
A year ago, I was here: at Paul, in Paris. One of few chain restaurants in France, the food is consistent, with luscious macarons, baguettes, and brioches. (The best were the kalamate olive baguettes!) It was close to our hotel, and still retains that “French boulangerie” feel; it doesn’t seem McDonald-ized by any stretch of the imagination. Why do I tell you this? Because this week I attempted to make my own macarons.
There is an art to these things, people, there really is. Well, they turned out quite pretty, very colorful and tasty, but did they look like the ones I we ate in France? No. Not even.
Epic FAIL. Not really, but being an expert at something is harder than it looks. I mean, I can decorate my little patootie off in my own home, but does that make me Joanna Gaines? No. I can make roasted chicken, but do I turn into Ina Garten when I do? No, again.
But it’s never a waste to try to get better at something. So I’ll keep plugging away at them when the mood strikes, and one of these days, I’ll share some pictures with you. Until then, here are your Monday links. Go out and make it a great week!
- Speaking of Ina Garten and roasted chicken, this one is right up my alley
- Pressure cooker chicken stock – what a great idea
- Which punctuation mark are you? (Hint, I’m pretty basic.)
- Easiest way to calm down in any situation
- Make your own “neon” sign relatively inexpensively
- Algorithm of Happiness – short 2 minute YouTube video
- Simple watercress experiment by 9th grader shows dangers of sleeping too near your smartphone
- A Cappella group surprises new moms and it’s so sweet
- Have you seen Bible journaling? I recently started and I LOVE it!
- I like naturally fermented foods (sauerkraut, anyone?!?) but I’ve never heard of fermented honey. Must figure out how to do this!
- Kind of pricey (which is why I bought it cheaply in Paris) this dry oil ROCKS. And smells amazing.
- But, save $$$ here and DIY a few things for your skin
- Aren’t we all a little bit of the “Unknown Brother?” This speaks to me…
- There are some gluten-y things I miss more than others. And although I didn’t eat them much, I love scones. And these are good ones…
- When you Don’t Feel Like You Got Anything Done
I really don’t think there’s anything else in the world that can make a bad day better – or even a good day better – than letting puppies crawl all over you! Tails wagging, licking your face with that oddly skunky but wonderful puppy breath, tugging at shoe laces or pants legs, snuggling up under your neck… oh my gosh, it hands-down has to be the best therapy ever.
Have a great week, y’all…
- I’m always in favor of making household chores more efficient – laundry room hacks
- Brains of Democrats and Republicans are different
- With the inundation of everything digital, how to keep sane
- Do you ever overpack? I’m learning how not to, but that Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” is hard to overcome.
- When remodeling, here’s what to keep and what to get rid of
- I am a huge fan of roasted veggies, but particularly carrots… blackened roasted carrots
- This is a hard truth, but we need to listen. Why millennials are leaving the church in droves
- Dogs, beautiful, uncomplicated, loving dogs
- Solid advice for when you can’t stop feeling unhappy
- Planting for hummingbirds and bees
- A wonderful feel-good story about an adoption with a special twist
- Growing up in FL, I love fish. This grouper with an olive relish looks divine and healthy!
- I’m struggling with not having my identity as a homeschool mom anymore, and this is true… we have our real identity under our surface ones
- Could Vitamin D3 help with autoimmune diseases?
- Perfect blowout DIY
- Store bought GF baking mix can be reallllly expensive. Make your own
- I’m not a fan of large stuffed pasta shells, but this seafood pasta looks good to me
- Santosha is a yoga word meaning contentment. I like this explanation and it makes sense to me
- Jimmy Buffett is creating a real-life Margaritaville!
- Using the 5 Love Languages in the workplace
- A chai latte is almost as comforting to me as hot chocolate, but now, chai latte popsicles!
- I’ve used straight up oil on my face for years & use essential oils more and more these days – what eo’s to use for your face type
- I guess maybe we’ve relaxed through the years, because our last dog was hyper & our current one is soooooooooooo calm… dogs take on their owners personality traits
- DIY table using an old satellite dish
- Essential writing advice from CS Lewis. Good stuff.
- I know the joys of real Irish scones. So… these buttery ones
- I haven’t seen the movie Silence – but I will. Read this article about it and how to get someone to leave their faith. Hint; comfort
- Unicorn dip… Probably too sweet for me, but for a little girl’s princess party, it would be so fun!
- Anonymous student makes Valentine’s for the entire school… <3
- Yosemite is on my bucket list. You HAVE to watch this rare phenomenon that takes place around the 3rd week of February
- Scientists have discovered a new (well, probably very old) continent?
Any long-distance plane trip seems to have free seat-back entertainment anymore, but I prefer to spend long flights taking advantage of unadulterated reading time. Case in point, last week I finished two books, a rarity for me these days. One of the books, Coming Clean: […]
I watch a show called Off Camera with Sam Jones. Sam Jones is a prominent photographer who has taken portraits of many notable people, including President Obama, George Clooney, and more. He’s also directed commercials and through his conversations on photo shoots with his subjects, came up with the idea for the show and companion magazine.
It’s shot in black and white, on a very simple set with two chairs, one table and Sam and his weekly guest. I like it because the interview is driven by the artist’s process: how he or she chooses a role, what experiences they’ve had that they’ve brought to their characters, how certain directors, etc… help them in that role, and similar topics. Although Sam Jones sometimes asks his guests about things in their past, it’s not a smarmy line of questioning. More along the lines of “You grew up in a large family; how did that impact your drive to succeed?” or “You recently became a parent for the first time; has it changed how you bring your own emotions to a role?”
Not National Inquirer intrusive. Instead, thoughtful. Art oriented.
The guests aren’t always actors. He has also has directors, musicians and sometimes sports or other celebrity figures as well. One of my favorite episodes was with guest Dave Grohl, formerly of Nirvana, and now the Foo Fighters. One of the more interesting aspects to me is the – for lack of a better word – realness of the guests. Show up on Live with Kelly or the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon, and it seems like the guests are just “on.” While they’re still themselves (obviously) on those shows they seem to be the star version of themselves. On Off Camera they’re just themselves. With all their insecurities and imperfections.
You know… real.
I often find that despite preconceived notions of a guest, I’ll change my opinion of them after watching. For either good, or bad. John Krasinski? Like. Jack Black? Like. Connie Britton? Dislike. And I like Connie Britton in most things. But that’s beside the point.
Recently, I was watching the latest episode, where the guest was Elijah Wood. Or “Frodo” from the Lord of the Rings movies. Or, child actor. Or, any number of quirky projects that aren’t exactly mainstream. He was talking about filming one of those non-mainstream roles about a stand-up comedian, and how he tried out some comedic material on stage before filming began. And how it terrified him.
So when he finally walked out on stage, instead of launching full-bore into the routine, he paused. He took a breath.
And that breath, that pause, that moment to still the nerves, that moment to remember all that came before…. that moment saved him.
Not literally, but he didn’t fail. He was wise enough to know, and later reflect, that not barreling through the discomfort, fear and unknown wouldn’t necessarily make them go away.
Instead, he embraced it.
Novel concept, that. Leaning in to the very things that bring so much anxiety and doubt.
Taking time to let the uneasiness, in all its perfection, settle in.
When you you go downhill skiing, you lean forward, even though every instinct you have tells you to lean backwards. You have to shift your center of gravity in order to keep your balance. Likewise, if you ever fall into river rapids, you’re supposed to try to get your body onto your back, feet first rather than head first, and let your body float down river with the current. In other words, you literally go with the flow, no matter how awkward it is. But to get to that point you have to shift your thinking – a pause – while you figure out how to get into the feet-first position. Or lean forward on the ski slope.
It’s that way with our thinking too. We want to struggle against that river current head first, trying to see what’s ahead. We want to scoot down that mountain leaning backward into the snow because letting gravity carry us to our destination is frightening. We want to find solutions, fix things, defeat the problems instead of just… breathing.
Instead of letting the problems work themselves out. Instead of letting God defeat the problems….
I’ve run a couple marathons. Done some triathlons. Sat silently next to friends whose spouses passed away way too early. I’ve been up all night night-after-night with sick kids, put beloved animals to sleep, stayed behind to sell houses when my husband’s job transferred him to other […]