Mindful Monday: 35 Things I’ve Learned

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I turned 35 last week. I have mixed feelings about that. My mom’s funeral was on my 30th birthday so I have bittersweet emotions about the day in general and both my parents only lived to be 65 so one tends to put things in perspective. That aside I’d like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two over the years so I’d like to share 35 lessons I’ve come to understand.

  1. Laugh loud and often
  2. You’re not a special snowflake/unicorn/mermaid
  3. Your pet thinks you are a special snowflake/unicorn/mermaid so spoil them rotten
  4. You’ll have lots of geographical friends throughout your life based on living in a common place, working at the same company, or going to school together. You won’t have as tight of a relationship with many of them after you’re no longer a part of the same place or situation and it’s okay. We only have so much energy for deep relationships.
  5. You will have a few relationships that transcend being in the same location or situation and those people are the most precious. Don’t take them for granted.
  6.  Never wear white if you plan on drinking coffee or eating anything red that day. It will end up on your clothes.
  7. Worry less about the size of the dress or number on the scale than how you feel in your skin.
  8. When your mind is all over the place and hard to listen to listen to your body instead.
  9. You will always be your harshest critic.
  10. Learn to be comfortable with alone time.
  11. Don’t trust people who give compliments or critiques too freely before they’ve gotten to know you.
  12. Knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do want.
  13. It’s okay if you don’t want things that society tells you that you should want.
  14. Watch less TV and spend more time outside.
  15. Instead of focusing on what you perceive as your shortcomings be grateful for what you see as blessings.
  16. Say I love you often to the people you care about.
  17. You don’t always have to say yes.
  18. Eat more vegetables.
  19. Kindness and compassion are contagious so pass them on.
  20. Do what you love since you’ll spend most of your week at work.
  21. If you learn something from the experience it wasn’t a mistake.
  22. Be generous and not too proud to ask for help when you need it.
  23. Find a hobby or activity you love and don’t worry about being the best at it.
  24. Face your fears in order to conquer them.
  25.  Walk often and wear good shoes.
  26. Appreciate the little things in life that bring you joy.
  27. Learn from the past, plan for the future, but live in the present.
  28. People think about you way less than you think they do so don’t worry so much about impressing them.
  29. Get more sleep.
  30. The only person’s approval you should worry about is your own.
  31. Don’t settle.
  32. Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend.
  33. Fit in the things that are most important to you each day, if they’re truly important you’ll find the time.
  34. Never stop learning.
  35. Never stop loving.

365 Project: Recipes 166-180

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Kicking off the week with another batch of 15 recipes. Enjoy!

166. Pasta with Lemon Saffron Kale

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Source: Orginal

Notes: File this under another under 15 minutes from start to plate wonder. Cook the noodles of your choice according to the directions on its package.  In the meantime saute some kale in grapeseed oil and once it starts wilting add the juice from a lemon and some strands of saffron and mix till the ends of the kale blacken a little. Drain the pasta and put it back into the still warm pasta bowl. Add the kale mixture and toss in some parmesan before mixing. I throw some red pepper flakes to the top.

Rating: LOVED

167. Tropical Mocktail

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Source: Orginal

Notes: This was sparkling water, coconut, and pineapple. If you wanted to make it a grown up cocktail I’d recommend adding vodka or rum.

Rating: Liked

168. Chicken Casserole with Cauliflower Rice

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Source: Orginal

Notes: This is a throwback to the various chicken casseroles, my mom made when I was a kid. I wanted to make a low carb version so I mixed a cup of cauliflower rice and cream of mushroom soup in a 9X13 pan. I threw in some carrots and snow peas and boneless chicken thighs that I had coated in paprika and pepper. I baked at 400F for 45 minutes.

Rating: Liked

169. Amaretto Shake

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Source: Original

Notes: I’ve done other variations of cherry protein shakes and this has been my favorite to date. I did 1/4 a cup of fresh cherries, 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, almond milk, and chocolate protein powder.

Rating: LOVED

170. Garlic Tahini Dressing

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Source: Vegan Richa

Notes: If you want this dressing thinner you can add more liquid. I liked the chunkier texture though.

Rating: Liked

171. Ethiopian Berbere Chickpea Pizza

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Source: Vegan Richa 

Rating: I used the tahini sauce I made with this recipe. I didn’t make the crust from scratch. I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough.

Rating: LOVED

172. Citrus 11

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Source: Juice

Notes: The berries in this were a nice compliment to the citrus.

Rating: Liked

173. Whipped Cream

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Source: Blue Apron 

Notes: This was another case of someone giving me their Blue Apron box. I didn’t really want to make any of the dinner recipes that were in that week’s box so I recycled the ingredients into other recipes I made. Blue Apron has started including cards with dessert recipes now so I did take a stab at that. Homemade whipped cream knocks store bought varieties out of the park.

Rating: LOVED

174. Ice Box Cake

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Source: Blue Apron

Notes: This was easy. You just need time to let it chill overnight. This is a great dessert to serve at a summer dinner party.

Rating: Liked

175. Lemon Thyme Bars

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Source: D. M. R. Fine Foods 

Notes: I could have eaten the whole pan so it’s a good thing I took these to the office to share.

Rating: LOVED

176. Apple Ginger Protein Shake

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Source: Original

Notes: This was a Granny Smith apple, spinach, celery, a teaspoon of ground ginger, a scoop of plant protein powder, and water.

Rating: LOVED

177. Snow Pea and Citrus Salad

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Source: The Yummy Life 

Notes: This was easy to make in the morning and take to work. Perfect for a hot summer day.

Rating: LOVED

178. Sriracha Egg White Salad

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Source: Original

Notes: This was two hard boiled egg whites mixed with a tablespoon of vegan mayo, two tablespoons of dijon mustard, and a teaspoon of sriracha. I served it on Ezekial bread with watercress.

Rating: Liked

179. Zoodles with Homemade Pesto

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Source: Original

Notes: This was another quick to make in the morning and take to work for lunch recipe. I spiraled a zucchini into noodles and cooked them in boiling water for about five minutes and then drained them. In a separate saute pan I toasted pine nuts in a tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of basil. I tossed them into the drained zoodles and added sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese.

180. Super Human Breakfast

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Source: Laura Hames Franklin

Notes: My yoga teacher told me about Laura’s Super Human Breakfast challenge and how she was enjoying it so I thought I would give this try.

Rating: Liked.

 

Creating Your Own Manifesto

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Here is one from the archives of the old site. I wanted to revive it to see if this manifesto still spoke to me two and a half years later. It does.

I’m a fan of Creative Mornings which is a breakfast lecture series in over 250 cities across the world. The talks are so popular that there is often a waiting list. The New York chapter used to have field trips to local companies for people who are on the lecture wait list. In 2015 I attended a field trip at Holstee whose company manifesto is now famous.

The field trip was to encourage people to write a personal manifesto for themselves or their business. I want to eventually pen one for ModSpinster, but I thought it was important to write one for myself first. Why write a personal manifesto? Businesses have mission statements which they hopefully hold themselves accountable to. Shouldn’t we have something similar in our personal lives? I like the idea of using this when I’m faced with decisions or a crossroad to make sure the choice I’m making rings true to what I hold at my core.

There is no right or wrong way to write a manifesto. I distilled a list of beliefs, wants and truths into mine. I’m going to share mine and hope you’ll be inspired to write your own.  

Paula’s Manifesto

Karma exists, what you put out into the universe will come back to you tenfold. When it comes to empathy and random acts of kindness a small gesture can be huge to the person receiving it. Tell and show people you love that you love them often. You never know when you won’t have the opportunity to anymore. Never do something because you expect to get something out of it. If you have no expectations you’ll have no disappointments.

Go to bed each night feeling like you’ve made a difference in at least one person’s life. Travel around the world to see incredible sights, listen to people’s stories, taste local flavors, capture memories through smell, and tell the wonders you’ve experienced to others. Be the type of person people speak well of. Care less about what other people think and trying to please everyone. Treat your body like an instrument. Leep it in tune and love it for all its unique qualities. 

People aren’t defined by their jobs or careers, but by their hearts. If you put your energy into efforts where you aren’t valued or that you don’t value you’ll come out of the experience empty. Friends are the most valuable possession which is why they can’t be owned. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable makes us stronger. If you do what you love happiness will follow.

What’s your manifesto?

10 Years with the Love of My Life

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Since this site is called ModSpinster one could easily come to the conclusion that I’m not into commitment. In reality, I’m an incredibly committed person. I commit to work, friendships, and personal projects that bring me fulfillment and where I feel I’m making an equal contribution. I haven’t experience that sustained feeling in a romantic relationship which is why I’m comfortable with being single.

Lincoln Center

There is one particular relationship that I’d like to acknowledge today. I’ve been in love with them from a far for years and our paths did cross from time to time. Ten years ago today was the start of my committing to that partnership so it felt right to give it some public love. A decade ago I moved to NYC and they say once you’ve lived here for 10 years that makes you a New Yorker.

Skyline NYC

Like any relationship, there is give and take and no partner is perfect. There are things about New York that I still find irritating such as the cost of living, the tourist traps that are flooded with people, winter days where it’s freezing and the sidewalks are a sheet of ice, stepping onto a subway car in the beastly heat of summer and realizing there is no AC and someone peed in it. I could go on, but you may be wondering why would I or anyone want to live in such a place. Simple, it’s the most amazing city on earth.

Washington Square

For every negative, I listed there are at least a dozen positives that make up for it. I live on the Upper West Side which means my backyard and running paths are Central Park and Riverside park, two of the loveliest places in the world. I enjoy take out and dine in from every cuisine imaginable. Some of the most memorable experiences of my life have taken place in NYC including swinging from a trapeze, dancing on a Broadway stage, watching incredible live performances from geniuses of dance, music, acting, and prose, I’ve made some incredible friends while living here, again I could go on forever.

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I can’t predict what the future will bring and if I’ll be here for the rest of my life or not, but I do know it would take a lot for me to love. New York is not for everyone, but the city with all its faults and wonders speaks to my heart more than most people I’ve encountered. Words fail me so as Carrie Bradshaw said in the season five opener of Sex and the City, “…you only get one great love, New York may just be mine.” I love you, New York.

Readers Choice: Tell Me What You’re Interested In

I started ModSpinster over two & a half years ago. It has gone through several cosmetic changes and variations on the content. I have other projects I’m currently working on and I was curious if any readers were interested in these topics too.

I’m doing my first readers poll to see if any of my other projects would be of interest to ModSpinster subscribers so I can decide what to and not to incorporate here. Thank’s for participating!

 

365 Project: Recipes 151-165

We’re at another milestone in this challenge. I’m a little ahead of the 165 mark now so less than 200 recipes to go. Life has been busy but I’m determined to finish this challenge in time. Here’s the latest crop of recipes with my notes and ratings.

151. Greens 14


Source: Juice

Notes: One of my favorite things about the Juice cookbook that I have been obsessed with lately is that there are recipes for additional veggie drinks that they don’t carry at the Pressed Juicery locations. I’ve said it before but if you’re thinking about getting into juicing this is a really good cookbook to start with. There aren’t any weird ingredients that are hard to find or over priced. You can do this on a rice and beans budget.
Rating: Liked

152. Chocolate Date Protein Shake


Source: Juice

Notes: I adapted this recipe from the almond milk section in the Juice cookbook. I’ve attempted to make nut milk in the past and it has never gone well for me. I’d like to try the Juice recipe for almond milk in the future, but I honestly haven’t had the time to plan ahead for it. Lately, my go to store bought non-dairy milk has been Flax Milk from Good Karma. I love the taste and it has much more protein than the majority of milk alternatives out there.

Rating: Liked

153. Detox Salad


Source: Juice

Notes: There are a few solid food recipes in the Juice cookbook. This was a great salad to take to work. I did add some hemp seeds for a little protein. If you’re making a salad and don’t want to add meat or soy protein, nuts and seeds are great alternatives. I tend to use walnuts, almonds, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.

Rating: Liked

154. Greens 11


Source:  Juice

Notes: During the summer I tend to want to eat lighter. These green juices are great snacks because it’s like having a salad in liquid form. Since I use a NutriBullet I have to add liquid to anything I’m blending as a drink so that additional water helps me stay hydrated.

Rating: Liked

155. Pan Seared Tempeh


Source: Original

Rating: LOVED

Notes: This was great for something a little different. I heated up some coconut oil in a pan and lightly coated the tempeh in some coconut flour and a spice mix of pepper, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon. I seared it for a minute or two on each side and then drizzled a little honey on top.

Rating: LOVED

156. Coconut Lime Basil Corn


Source: Original

Notes: I cooked some frozen corn as directed but threw in some basil and the juice of a lime as it started to heat. When I took it off the burner I added some unsweetened coconut flakes.

Rating: LOVED

157. Street Fair Inspired Corn on the Cob


Source: Original

Notes: I live in an apartment so I don’t have access to a grill. I love to broil ears of corn as an alternative, but sometimes it’s just too hot to want to run the oven. I boiled these ears on the stove top and to give it more flavor I coated them in a mixture of butter, paprika, parmesan, and dried tarragon.

Rating: Liked

158. Citrus 2


Source: Juice

Notes: Orange juice isn’t my favorite thing. I love all of the citrus options in Juice because they incorporate lemons, limes, or grapefruit. They do have some that are orange based which I will try in the future because I have a feeling the other ingredients in each blend will make it less over powering and acidic.

Rating: Liked

159. Cherry Coconut Sorbet


Source: Aim True

Notes: I love Kathryn Budig’s book. It’s not just a cookbook. She goes through yoga routines, meditation, and tips for your home too. This recipe is an easy and healthy dessert if you’re craving a little something sweet after dinner.

Rating: Liked

160. Greens 7


Source: Juice

Notes: This one had fresh mint which added some natural sweetness.

Rating: Liked

161. Roots 2


Source: Juice

Notes: I like beets but love trying other root based juices too. This one was carrot based.

Rating: Liked

162. Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding


Source: Original

Notes: I made this with coconut milk, chia seeds, fiji apples, and cinnamon. This flavor combo didn’t work for me.

Rating: Pass

163. Summer Buddah Bowl


Source: Oh She Glows

Notes: I used edamame instead of lima beans.

Rating: Liked

164. Golden Beet Salad


Source: Original

Notes:  I love yellow beets. I make this with baby spinach, goat cheese, grilled tempeh, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Rating: Liked

165. Chocolate Mint Protein Shake


Source: Orignal

Notes: This was fresh mint, chocolate protein powder, chia seeds, and flaxseed milk.

Rating: Liked

 

 

Mindful Monday: Evening Rituals

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Last week I wrote about some rituals I try to practice every morning. I thought I’d also share some things I do to wind down most evenings.

1.  Light Movement: Some people love to work out right before bed and others find that it keeps them awake. I fall somewhere in between. If I do an intense workout like running or something with weights I have too much adrenaline and end up not sleeping well. I do find that a bit of low-intensity exercise helps me wind down. I usually mix it up between going for a walk, restorative yoga, and light cardio.

2. Aloe Water: I drink a glass of water with a table spoon of aloe juice and a few drops of liquid chlorophyll. It’s supposedly good for your skin and I do find that I have had much less insomnia since adopting this practice.

3. Meditate: This was not something that was an easy practice for me to adopt since my mind loves to race but this helps me calm my brain down before bedtime. I started off with guided meditations which I still sometimes do but lately, I’ve taken to choosing mantras that speak to me and saying them to myself using with a Japa Mala.

4. Journal: Unlike morning pages journaling is more personal and I can go back and reflect on passages later on. If I don’t know what to write I draw a zen tangle as my entry instead. Sometimes I write a bit and also include a zen tangle.

5. Audiobooks: Sometimes I’m so tired I know I’ll fall asleep when I hit my pillow but typically that isn’t the case. I’ve found that playing an audio book and setting the sleep time on Audible is great for me. I play a book I’ve finished in the past so that way it’s something familiar that is just providing white noise.