Someone had a birthday this weekend. And we celebrated! A glimpse:
I love brunch season. Any excuse to get a bunch of folks I love around a table, sitting outside, enjoying food and laughter — sign me up.
A coworker said to me the other day, “I need to lose 40 pounds by May. How can I do that?”
I shrugged. “Easy. No sugar.”
Of course, then she scoffed at how that was impossible and I replied, “Yeah. I like pizza more than being skinny too.”
And that, friends, is the truth. I like pizza and a glass of wine and even the occasional scoop of ice cream way more than that one pair of pants in the back of my closet that haven’t fit since 2006. (Also, those pants are pastel yellow and likely weren’t in style when I bought them, much less now. Time for a hard truth closet clean up.)
While out for a walk recently, I considered how many posts have been written here about my latest and greatest adventures in eating a different way for a new and improved me!! Many. Along with countless dollars spent on diets and cookbooks and things that frankly haven’t worked. The only thing that does work to keep me healthy in both pant size and attitude? Moderation.
It isn’t sexy. It isn’t marketable. It does work.
The easiest way I’ve found to keep my weight healthy and my mind and spirit even healthier is to not count calories, but instead eat and drink what I want in smaller portions. I’m also lucky in that I love to exercise and feel stir crazy on the off day when I don’t get out for a couple mile walk or trip to the gym to lift weights.
And so, how do you lose those 40 pounds? Not eating sugar and moving more are certainly great catalysts, along with a sprinkle of being kind to yourself and top it with moderation. Hopefully, you’ll find the same happy results.
I updated the baby cardigan pattern from “More Last Minute Knits” and made this sweater for baby M, who is turning 1 in March. I think she’ll like it and be able to wear it next year too:
And now, I have a request to make one more for baby Bexa, with a hoodie. I’m on it!
I know most of the United States is blanketed by snow. But these are the halcyon days of living in the desert — the smug days. The days of glory and sandals and walking around without sweating.
And also — the days when things grow outside in the sun.
These are the days of broccoli and tomatoes. These are the days of kale and Brussels sprouts. These are the days of rambling gardening updates and happiness whenever I walk in and out of my home.
Last weekend, we rented one of these — a Tomkat — and spent a few hours going like ‘Merican maniacs up and over rocks to see parts of Sedona we’d never trekked on foot.
Of course I was completely inappropriately dressed for such an adventure. Note: if you are off to “off road,” don’t wear a new white linen blouse and white Chuck Taylors. You will come home with dust in your ears and taste Sedona’s notorious red sand through dinner.
On the other side: it was way, way more fun than I anticipated. We saw a natural bridge, visited a giant sink hole and a historic cabin. And we spent several glorious hours outside with the kids with minimal complaint. It was a delightful day.
Cooking for those I love is one of my greatest joys. A glimpse of our Valentine’s:
Heart shaped eggs and waffles for breakfast; mushroom ravioli, grilled rib eyes, pickled red onions, kale caesar salad and creme brulee for dinner — on the patio, under the most beautiful mesquite tree in town. And dang it, I never remember to take a photo of plated food. These photos don’t look like 6 hours of cooking, but it happened. And I loved every moment.
Ash Wednesday is when Christians are metaphorically reminded how brief this life is. We are made of dust and will one day return to dust. And while it may look silly to have the black mark of ash on your forehead today, this time of year is what it is all about. Sure, Christmas gets the lights and the presents and the hype — but Jesus’ 40 days the desert leading to Easter defines our faith. (As does the Easter story.)
40 days is both exceedingly long if you make lent about what you are “sacrificing” or a quick few weeks if you consider adding a new attitude. Calculated Acts of Kindness (CAOK) is a campaign I’ve led for the last few years to encourage others to use these 40 days as a time to give to others. Do it in huge, self-congratulatory ways. Do it anonymously. I don’t care. But make the next few weeks brighter for those around you. Practice kindness and love by picking up litter, donating to the food bank, complimenting the cranky admin assistant.
I’m doing it too. I promise.
There is no need to be of a specific faith, or have faith, to participate. If there is one thing all humans should be able to agree upon, it is that we could use some additional kindness in our world.
P.S. I’d love to hear how you participate!
Regardless of where we are living, I can always count on this buddy to want to go adventure. I am thankful we live so close to trail heads, and didn’t see any snakes.
Blerg. The snakes. I was at a luncheon last week and a woman sitting next to me talked at length about how many of her friends had recently been bitten by rattlers.
That will ruin a hike.
I pity the snake that messes with my hiking partner.