December 31, 2015

I USED TO BE A BOOK LOVER

read books

I wish I could sit down and read a book for three hours. 

I have an image of myself when I was twelve. It is such a clear memory. I remember the bed under the window, and getting all this wonderful natural light in the afternoon; I remember the pink sheets and the silence. I would get home from school to an empty apartment and lay on my bed and read. Read, read, read until it was time for dinner, or homework. And I could get into any book, like a sort of meditation. I could finish a book in a week, sometimes a couple days. One time I started a book at 11pm and stayed up until 7am to finish it. These days I only pick up my bedside book at 11:30pm and after two sentences I am fast asleep. This, of course, is done after I've checked instagram, and maybe twitter, and hey, who knows, maybe I got an email. I read this article and see that I am not alone.

Maybe we are a generation of addicts. 

Addicted to television. Addicted to the internet. Most days, my computer is open. I am either on the computer, or doing something else while I... a) watch a tv show, b) listen to a podcast, or c) listen to music. But I'm not an addict! What about the times I go up to la finca in Colombia? We don't have internet up on the farm. And I don't ever miss it. Not while I am there. But at home? It's weird to not have the computer open. Cleaning my room in silence? "But I could be listening to This American Life right now!" So there's that. 

When is the last time I didn't have a to-do list?

I am always busy. Even when I'm wasting time on the internet, clicking link after link, going down the dark never-ending rabbit hole that is the internet, I am busy. But I'm engaged enough that I can forget about all the things I want/need to do. But god forbid I sit down with a book at 3PM in the afternoon. Who do you think you are, the queen of the world? Get back to that to-do list right now. When I want to read, I remember all the little things I'd like to do. And the weird part is that somehow, they don't really ever get done. 

All I want is less. I want to be on the internet less (she says while writing a blog post on the internet). I want to be less busy. Is this going to be that hard?

Latest books I've actually been able to finish: Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. Since it's new year, let me say that reading more is definitely one of my 2016 resolutions!


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December 30, 2015

KITCHEN EXPERIMENTS

kitchen experiment 1

I love experimenting in the kitchen... but this is coupled with a laziness that often takes over when I'm too hungry and don't feel like lifting a finger. Luckily I haven't been too lazy these days. I've started to experiment more than ever. In fact, I woke up at 7am the other day and cooked all day long, preparing four different salads, veggies and dip and four different phyllo pastries for my entire family. I didn't know what the dressing for each salad would be until the very last minute. I threw a few things together, and luckily everything was a success! 

kitchen experiment 2 kitchen experiment 3

I realize that I eat a lot of raw vegetables. As much fun as it is to eat quiche or anything that requires the stove or oven, I don't always use those when it's just me. I might caramelize some onions to throw on my salad, or cook the tempeh a little bit, but when I'm just cooking for myself, I eat raw more than I knew I did. (However, I learned in this book that the most nutritious way to eat carrots is cooked and with some kind of fat.) 

kitchen experiment 4 kitchen experiment 5

After discovering Tesco's caramelized onion hummus, I decided to try to make it at home... it turned out fantastic! That's what you see above. All the hummus! That probably lasted four days max. In the other pictures you see that I've tried making fruit salads using the pineapple as a bowl, I've learned to cook octopus, I discovered purple carrots, and I've made so many variations on the regular delicious hummus. So much more though! You should definitely try new things in the kitchen. It's so fun and so great when your efforts turn into something amazing. 




December 29, 2015

MUSIC FOR THE SOUL


Today I'll share a video of a great Irish band called Ye Vagabonds that I met in November while I was in Dublin. My friend Myles made this video, and as always, it is so beautifully shot. This is also a great interpretation of Willie o Winsbury... I know this song well, I've listened to it countless times, always performed by Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer from their gorgeous sounding album Child Ballads. Here is some magic for your ears.




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December 19, 2015

DUBLIN TO COLOMBIA

Dublin November 1

Dublin was amazing.

I almost want to leave it at that. I'm going to have to look up synonyms for amazing. I had fun and met the most wonderful people and that is the best. Meeting people who make you want to never leave, who make you want to hug them because they are so open and inviting and kind and fun (but if you're me, you sit rather quietly and smile and people ask you if you're okay, which you are, but HELLO resting bitch face + shyness).

Dublin November 3 Dublin November 4

I went to Dingle for Other Voices (which I kept calling Other Lives, my friend's band. Now I really want them to do Other Voices. Everyone would be so wonderfully confused) with my friend Luke and his lovely friend Daire. We joined Stevie and Myles and a whole lot of people who were all slightly hungover from the night before. We flew over during a storm and the turbulence during landing was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. I wanted to call my mom and tell her I loved her. Actually, I sat there wondering if I could write it down in my journal, and then maybe they would find it, you know, after we all died, and give it to my mom. Then I wondered if the journal would just burn with the rest of us. My thoughts were so dark. But the weekend was lovely. So many gin & tonics (with Dingle gin!) Even Glen H. asked me if I was okay. But at 4am, I was a bit tired which makes it harder to repress resting bitch face. I think Stevie and I discovered that there is a time during the night where I very suddenly go from 'tired but still good' to 'grumpy and I'm going the fuck home'. Good thing to know from now on. On a rainy Monday we all made our way back to Dublin.

Dublin November 2 Dublin November 5

(above: baker face & baker hair-do)

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would wake up at 5:30am to learn from the wonderful people at the Fumbally and from the genius Katie Sanderson, who I had been following on instagram but had never met in real life... So talented and calm in the kitchen. I now want nothing more than to experiment with fermentation and pickling. My days in the Fumbally Stables were incredible. Even though I would come home completely exhausted and feeling way too full from sampling all the cakes we were making, I wanted to go back every day and experiment more. (I also don't need anyone to tell me about the negative effects of sugar on the body. I tooootally get it now.)

Myles lent me his beautiful, amazing Gibson for which I was so grateful. Sadly, I didn't do anything musical during the month. It made me wonder how I could say "I'm a musician" if I didn't do a thing. But Myles kept introducing me to people as one, saying the kindest things and boosting my confidence by 1000%. I'll get there.

And way up on the list of good times, is getting to do most things with one of my favorite people in the world. I stayed with Stevie and his housemate Marisa (check out her project, Connect the Dots) and was so happy. I discovered Stevie can sing. We had loads of fun. We are professional fish taco makers now.

Dublin November 6

I learned that I can live with so much less... I lived out of a small carry-on suitcase, and a leather travel bag for a month. I ended up buying a faux-fur coat (only because I forgot to bring a real coat) and three thin tops. Other than that, everything I had was enough. Now I'm back in Paris, packing up my room as I prepare to move in January. And I have so. much. stuff. It's ridiculous. I leave for Colombia soon, and I have the apartment to myself which is lovely. A few days to pack up (which is sooooo messy) and say goodbye to my old room. I can't wait for January.

I had a lot of time to reflect on what is important to me. From the books that I read (Michael Pollan, Jo Robinson) to the websites and pages I follow (TakePart, Vox, Slow Food, Vice, Civil Eats, Fair Trade, The Good Trade) to the documentaries I watch (Just Eat It, The True Cost, That Sugar Film, Food Inc) to the way I buy and cook food and think about material things, I'm getting more passionate about – and this is the only way I can think to describe it right now – becoming a mini-Michael Pollan. But I want to make music, and I want to cook and bake and write and do something for the environment. So even though I might seem a little lost at times, I know very well the many things I want to do, it's just hard to find a way to do them all at once.

Dublin was wonderful and I cried the whole week before I left (but strangely, after saying goodbye to Stevie at the bus stop, I haven't cried once) and I don't know when I will be back, but I sure hope it is soon. Now, off to Colombia!

Dublin November 7



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