November Salad Toppings

Hello friends,
Happy November! Time to share some things I’ve been enjoying lately:

Japanese sweet potatoes
Particularly when they’re roasted in coconut oil.

Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge
I love these! I get pretty excited every time they happen (about twice a year, I think). The first one I did was probably about four years now, and I’ve done every one of them since. Each day Oprah and Deepak start you off with some words of wisdom and inspiration, and then Deepak sends you off with a mantra and some nice new age-y music that is rather calming and also helps to remind you when you start thinking about breakfast and emails and elephants or whatever that your intention is to be meditating. Also, it’s free! This one started last week but you can always join late. Meditate with me??

Dar Williams
She’s so cool. I went to see her in concert a few weeks ago and it was really great–great music and great stage presence. She’s funny. Also, as I told my mom afterwards, it kind of seemed like a concert for old people–not too loud, not too long, and not too late at night. TOTALLY my cup of tea. If you want to know who and what I’m talking about, I really like this song and also this one.

Liberal Arts
A movie recommended by Katie Dalebout that I quite enjoyed. Katie also interviewed writer/director/star Josh Radnor on her podcast recently and it was a really fascinating conversation! Also during the interview, he recommended the album that led me to rediscover the following…

Fratres by Arvo Pärt
WHOA. That is all I have to say about this one right now.

I hope you’re having a beautiful day full of fall colors and cozy socks and pumpkin spice (if you’re into that…if not that’s cool too). What’s on your salad at the moment?

Joyfully,
Maria

p.s. I’m not an affiliate for any of these things, I just like them!

September Salad Toppings

Hi friends!

I thought I’d share some more of the toppings that have been making my Life Salad so delectable lately. If that last sentence confused you, check out this post.

Here we go:

Brandi Carlile
Love her! Especially this song. I signed up for a free 3-month trial of Spotify Premium but I think I forgot to cancel it (which is probably exactly what they were hoping for…#oops.) Anway, now I can keep listening to Brandi in the car on the way home from work for another month, so things are all good.

Pigma Micron pens
I’ve been spending more time drawing lately, which has been a really good decision in terms of my happiness and mental health. In the quest for following curiosity and trying to figure out what I really like to do, this has definitely been a step in the right direction. Not surprising, I guess, since the majority of my childhood was spent doing arts and crafts. Ask my parents—our house was a sea of finished and unfinished projects for years. Now at least it is confined to specific areas of the house. Anyway, I’ve been using these Micron pens a lot lately—I like to draw in pencil, ink it with the pens, and then add some colored pencil. In case you missed it, I shared one of my recent drawings in this post. I’ve also been sharing more artwork over on Instagram.

Jane the Virgin
Two friends with excellent taste recommended this show, so I figured I should give it a try. As my dear friend Rebecca said, after I inspired her to start watching it, “it’s a great combination of comedy and drama. It’s not too serious but also has enough of a plot to keep me motivated to watch the next episode.” I would say even more than a plot it has some SERIOUS cliffhangers—meaning I am very ready for the third season. My mom likes this one too—when we were working our way through season 1 together, she would often plop herself in front of the TV in the evening and look at me expectantly, which obviously meant it was time for an episode of Jane. It was very cute.

Super cute crochet patterns
I’m so proud of my lovely cousin Anna who just opened up this Etsy shop! Years ago, when we spent a weekend at the family cabin, I helped her freehand crochet a little bear (without using a pattern) and I remember her telling me that someday she would like to write a book of crochet patterns. Etsy is pretty much the 2016 online version of that, and it’s so inspiring that she’s actually doing it! Also, just look at those princesses. Adorable!

There are just so many cool things out in the world. And such easy access to so many of them with the interwebs! But I will stop here so this post doesn’t take you a month to read.

With inspiration,
Maria

 

What to Put on a Life Salad

Really good salads have good dressings and good toppings. Balsamic vinaigrette. Lemon tahini dressing. Sliced strawberries. Pecans. Goat cheese. At least, that’s my opinion on the matter. There are some people, like my brother, who prefer to just eat plain lettuce. Weird.

Remember how I’ve decided that my life is a metaphorical salad? I like to think of my thoughts, beliefs, and relationships as the bulk of the salad (like the lettuce…or the potatoes, if it’s a potato salad…) and all of the other things I choose to surround myself with as the delightful toppings. The current iteration of my Life Salad is garnished with the following:

30 Rock
So good. So weird. Makes me laugh every time.
This clip I have seen probably dozens of times and it’s still hilarious.
p.s. I think this one gets better as you get into it. So if you watched the beginning and were weirded out, maybe try again, if you feel so inspired.

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
I’ve never really been one to read books on religion and spirituality, but I loved this. She talks a lot about choosing love over fear—that’s what the title is referring to. She uses the concept in a more spiritual context than I have thought about previously, which was fascinating.
some good quotes from the book

Let It Out with Katie Dalebout
My favorite podcast! Katie interviews super cool people and the conversations they have are fascinating and so fun to listen to. She also just started her 5th season with a new name (used to be the Wellness Wonderland Radio) and I’m excited to see how the show evolves.
Some good episodes I listened to recently: the first episode of her new season and this one from the archives.

Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
SO. GOOD. I also love their first two albums but I have been particularly obsessed with this one as of late. I dance to it, drive to it, lie on the floor and think about life to it… I can’t stop. Love this song. And all of the others.

Strawberries!
Freshly picked, when they’re still warm from the sun.

…And star fruit! Hehe. Although I still haven’t tried it on an actual salad yet. I just like thinking about them, and sometimes looking at pictures.

My Life Salad is pretty scrumptious right now. I hope yours is too.

Deliciously,
Maria