Sunday, August 27, 2017

Musings - August 2017

Books: It ranged from the fantastic to the horrid. The Third Translation by Matt Bondurant is a what happens when someone mixes a classic Irish book (Eureka Street) with a Dan Brown book and doesn't have a good editor. (One of the cats bit the cover - should have been a sign that I should abandon it.)  J.D. Robb, Echoes in Death, is easy light murder reading. I love the series. Best book find was Nina George - The Little Paris Bookshop. Fantastic. A great way to wile away a few hours at the beach, which I did several Sunday evenings as music played. 

Cooking:  I've been baking simply rafts of zucchini bread. In addition to the original recipe, we've now created a second version we are calling "Ben's Zucchini Bread". (Ben is 12, and this is the only way he eats vegetables.) He prefers more vanilla to cinnamon in his zucchini bread. I've also lowered the sugar and upped the zucchini and eggs to improve the nutritional value.

4 beaten eggs
1 1/4 cup of oil (I use olive oil as it is a clean oil; there is EVOO good for baking)
2 cups sugar 
3 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 cups fresh shredded zucchini

Mix the beaten eggs and oil together, then add sugar and vanilla. Slowly hand blend all of the dry ingredients into the liquid/sugar mix. (I mix up all the dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a separate bowl.) When everything else is mixed, add the zucchini. Pour into a large flat pan.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour.  When a fork or toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done.  

Favorite Find: My hair is super dry and brittle, so washing every day is a challenge but my hair also frizzes out easily. I've tried a number of different options to revive my curls for day 2 (or 3)  - the synthetic ones usually work best but I don't like synthetic. Enter the Jane Carter Solution. Her revitalizing leave-in conditioner is filled with natural botanicals and good for your hair - plus it perks my curls right up! 

Gratitude: Beautiful things. Specifically the talented people who make them. 
- The first is my amazing new lightweight vacuum - the ErgoRapido which is a fabulously beautiful piece of technology! It's a floor vacuum, a hand vacuum, doesn't need purchased filters as you wash the filters as needed. (Bonus - the kids think it is fun to use.)  
- We went to an art fair a few weeks ago where a Young Artist (they had a young artist program) was selling hand crafted pens. I bought a beautiful pink pen. It makes signing any thing a joy.

Listening: The Art of Manufacturing podcast. The Business Boutique podcast. Florence + The Machine. Halsey. 

Perfume: I've been in a rose sort of mood. Persian Rose by Pacifica perfume. (Also, Paris Rose deodorant by Secret and Blush Rose hand cream. A very rose kind of mood.)

Random: I do love a problem solve! The pump stopped working in my favorite night cream. The one that helps keep the forehead wrinkles at bay. So I stopped using it. But my frugal soul wouldn't let me buy another when I had one that was nearly full. The solution was as simple as trolling the travel aisle of the supermarket and picking up a travel jar. Problems are only problems when you allow them to be.

Stress: That non-profit board thing has not let up. If everyone is a volunteer, those not doing their part on time should truly consider how it impacts other volunteers. Flaking out is the ultimate disrespect.

Watching: Mary Kills People. Total binge. Great casting. Interesting story. And I find the name very very powerful. Yet more, Criminal Minds. I have a tendency to work while I watch these. It lets me get more done.

Take-away - Stay open to non-standard solutions. If you stop being curious, you won't find it.

Pictures by moi - and you can tell! From top left my favorite things for the last month or so: Vacuum (ErgoRapido), Leave-in Conditioner Spray (Jane Carter Solutions), art pen, beauty jar, Feeling Hot Hot Hot (OPI nail polish), Wind of Lagoon (Sinful Colors nail polish), Pebble (Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigment) and books. And the backdrop? It's the yoga mat I've been putting to use with my first real live yoga classes this month.

Original musings posts you may enjoy:

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