Here’s What I Do Know

I may be a neglectful blogger and have abandoned you all for a few months, but don’t let that discredit a few of the lessons I’ve been taking the time to absorb. We’ll be back to health, food, and fitness in no time but bear with me.

 

I do know:

  • It will take more than 24 years and 5 months to cultivate the savoir-fare and gumption needed for life’s constant waves
  • People love you and believe in you. And it never hurts to ask to hear that
  • Fresh sheets will change everything. That and a bouquet of pink peonies
  • Good friends and family are there through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Take the time to appreciate them
  • If all else fails, sit down with a cup of tea and a good book
  • Sundays are just as disheartening now as when you were a child
  • There’s nothing more wonderful than the morning, when it’s just you and the still world
  • Crying on your yoga mat will help more than you realize. And it will happen more than once…
  • No matter how perfect you think someone’s life is…it really isn’t
  • A lot of things will knock you on your butt. It’s okay to wallow, scream, and kick before getting back up
  • A bar of dark chocolate with crystallized ginger is an appropriate dinner
  • Love is the most powerful thing we will feel in our lives
  • A good surge of endorphins will transform your mood and perspective. Albeit maybe temporarily
  • If you really want to do something for yourself, take the time to meditate. It will change you
  • Where you are in this exact moment is exactly where you need to be. Trust in that

 

Sandwiched in between spin class and green smoothie blogging, there may be more rambling. More impulsive introspection. More altruistic encouragement. More of practicing grace.

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San Franciscan Santa

I thought it would be a nice test of your readership to take a two week reprieve from blogging. Hopefully you continued to stalk my homepage in anticipation.

I spent 10 days in California with my family for Christmas. I had a few leisurely days to sleep in, take yoga classes, read two books, Christmas shop, and spend time with my grandma and mom before the rest of the family arrived. With the whole clan together, red wine began to flow, the Christmas tree lit up, cars were crammed full, and seven too many chefs were in the kitchen. But it was great.

I’ll let my iPhotos illustrate the highlights of my holiday. There were numerous uncaptured rainy days, hilly runs, sea salted caramels, warm fires, and Mark Twain readings in between.

 

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Meditation trip my my momma

Meditation trip my my momma

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Courtesy of my brother

Courtesy of my brother

Courtesy of my brother

Courtesy of my brother

Courtesy of my brother

Courtesy of my brother

My mom and I ventured through the windy roads and sandy shores of Marin to reach the Green Gulch Zen Center. We spent a day and night in at my mom’s old haunt where she use to stay as a student–meditating, cooking, gardening, earning her keep, etc. It was a beautiful and rainy escape from chaos, cell phones, and the everyday stressors; instead, we mediated in silence early morning, read to our heart’s content, bundled up in our lodging, and indulged in vegan/vegetarian fare. A treat indeed. I would love to escape for a longer period here and really experience a transformation from an environment like this.

And happy birthday to my mom today!! No idea how old you are still 🙂

 

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Running HILLLLLS

Running HILLLLLS

Starbucks does juice in Cali :)

Starbucks does juice in Cali 🙂

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Frogger

Frogger

What is Christmas without handmade cards??

What is Christmas without handmade cards??

What is it?

What is it?

Ma gets an iPad!!!

Ma gets an iPad!!!

What a blessing it was to be with all my family and enjoy such a wonderful holiday together. It’s hard being back at work again without all these smiling faces, spiked egg nog, and relaxing afternoons I experienced over vacation.

 

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It’s difficult to express the beauty of the rolling vineyards, barrels of wine, and baguettes upon baguettes of rustic bread at your finger tips in Napa Valley. We spent a day and night in the wine country, exploring the towns, restaurants, and vineyards to our heart’s content. Four vineyard tastings in one afternoon can make for an interesting night ha. My sight, smell, and taste were stimulated throughout the trip–so much to gaze at, imbibe, and savor.

 

I feel like a kid again, ready for Christmas to be back. 352 days to go….

Greek Yogurt, No More

It’s been a challenge coming back to hurried, mundane breakfasts after my reprieve in Paris. Greek yogurt, fruit, protein pancakes, nor scrambled eggs will surfeit my hungry stomach and eager palette. Why can’t every sunrise be met with chandeliers, silver platters, and every morsel imaginable?

Because I live in the real world? Yes, I guess that’s it. As I make this heart-wrenching transition back to the feast of Americans, I will allow you to wallow in the foodie heaven that was.

Breakfast time

Eggs and smoked salmon

Fruit and granola galore

And then there were some other meals. Remember all the wine we imbibed? We had to pair it with something…

La Tour Eiffel

Pumpkin soup with chestnut puree

Sea bass in grape and walnut foam

Brother’s dish. Stuffed caramelized onion with pork

Poached apple with dried apple and honey glaze

Post-dessert dessert

Post-dessert dessert

 

Thanksgiving treat

And there was a little bread…

Let’s cheers to the greatness of Greek yogurt 🙂

Excusez-Moi

I took a reprieve from blogging last week, in order to experience Thanksgiving as the Pilgrims did….in Paris, France.

Oh wait.

Well, it was an unforgettable trip regardless. I am very thankful for the remarkable experience I had; all the loved ones that were not there with us were deeply entrenched in our hearts and spirits. My week in Paris was filled with family, Carrara marble, art, cheese, art, Parisian overcast mornings, art, wine, wine, wine, chocolate, cheese, art, art, wine, art. Did I mention the art? Or cheese?

I witnessed such unprecedented works of passion, talent, and grandeur while visiting the Louvre, Versailles, Centre de Pompidou, Musee d’ Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Tuilerie Gardens, Notre Dame, Sacre Cour, and so on. The gilded frames and heart-wrenching self-expressions can implore both confusion and comfort–leaving you seeking to understand all that the building or watercolor illustrates.  I digress, my family really enjoys art 🙂

When I wasn’t meandering down the paneled and priceless halls of museums. I was exploring the City of Love via my favorite vehicle: running. What a life those Parisians live, they were jogging through the gardens of Versailles and amongst the Tuilerie sculptures at all hours of the day. My own runs along the Seine River in light rain were majestic, I took in the stone walls, cobble stoned paths (note: wet cobblestone along the frigid Seine is not a good idea), and abundant history and culture. There really is no comparable way to truly experience a city.

Other than wandering the Left Bank looking for your yoga studio hidden in an obscure cloister near St Germain. The studio was hard to believe: historic, immaculate, warm, inviting, French, serene. It was going to be a wonderful Friday morning regardless of what the class was actually like. Much to my chagrin, the instructor stopped speaking French a few minutes in and continued the class in English after detecting some fluent speakers foreigners. I have only taken yoga in Denmark and Peru outside the US, and I hope to make this a routine in my travels. In addition to this class and my running, we practiced yoga on the carpet of our hotel room. I led my family through a flow practice I had been working on. Concentration was challenging during these practices, as we faced not incense or an alter, but a silver platter of bread and butter. But really.

Au revoir

xo

How was your holiday?

What’s your favorite way to explore a city?