27 April 2010

Good Words: A New Attitude

"By physically doing the thing you find unpleasant or difficult, such as exercise, you begin to change your attitude, because the brain equates taking action with a positive outcome. Conversely, you are hardwired to equate avoidance with discomfort, so the more you skip those squats, the more you come to dislike them." --Aparna A. Labroo, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business   {Fitness Magazine, April 2010}

26 April 2010

A New Spring Has Sprung

We Californians enjoy a spring bespeckled with yellow pom poms happily waving from every field and weedy cranny of mundane sidewalks and parking lots.  You know what I'm talking about.  Those wild mustard plant flowers that are so bright they are almost fluorescent.  Flowers that cover every available hillside, taking your breath away, even when you know they are just weeds.

This year, spring gives me wonder, beauty, fresh light, and energy.  Energy and hope to name my goals and tackle my desires one concrete step at a time.  Clarity to see my surroundings and the road in which I need to walk.  And the desire and light to enjoy the process and regain my strength after a rich and restful slumber.

18 April 2010

Cruising the Riviera

I went on a cruise this week to celebrate my grandfather's 80th birthday.  I saw a different side of him--one that's funny, laid back, and warm.

Jacob and I had a chance to stop off at Puerto Vallarta and revisit the exquisite German B&B, Hacienda Alemana, that we had loved so much on our honeymoon last year.  It was a spontaneous and fitting way to celebrate our 1 year anniversary.  We had dinner at the lovely restaurant under wisteria branches and tropical plants. 
We started off with a lentil soup.  Don't let the simplicity of the dish fool you.  This soup was rich and savory with thick bacon bits floating through the briney broth.  Heavenly.

Then there was this salad.  It was fresh, grated, yummy goodness.  After being on a cruise ship for several days, we devoured this deceptively simple salad of grated beets, carrots, turnips, and lightly pickled cucumbers tossed in a lemony vinaigrette.

 And can anyone tell me what this is?  It's a spread that was offered at the beginning with thick multi-grain bread.  This spread layered on top of their whipped scallion butter is to die for.  I almost don't want to know what it is.  I'm sure that the words lard and liver are in there.  This spread was salty, savory, creamy, and peppery.  Just the right mix of meat and fat to make the bread sing in your mouth.

We wolfed down the wienerschnitzel way too fast to take pictures. At the end of the meal, our server gave us complimentary his and her drinks.  A sweet warm shot of tequila for J. and a lovely glass of champagne with a strawberry sliver for me.  The perfect ending to a beautiful meal.

We love the service, food, and ambience at Hacienda Alemana.  If you're planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta, don't miss it!

08 April 2010

04 April 2010

Eggs for Easter

Easter eggs with a little help from Martha.  Tools: rubber bands, crayons, contact paper, stencil punchers.
Lamb and friends.  Yum.

02 April 2010

On Suffering and Breaking Through

{the skies above rome, italy}

Since my adolescence, I've had a troubled relationship with the nature of suffering, but it was certainly nothing compared with the extreme stint I experienced after graduating from college.