Monthly Archives: March 2017
You may be familiar with the expression, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” The saying points out that we are often envious of what others have — or at least what we think they have. Perceptions are not always reality, especially when social media allows people to put forth the best version of their lives rather than the total picture. “The grass is always greener…” is a reminder to work at not being envious of others.
The Grass Is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day takes the idea a step further. On this day, we should try to stop comparison with others altogether and practice svadhyaya, or self-study. Today is a great day to see ourselves clearly and be content with who and where we are. Let today be about gratitude and contentment.
Here are some tips to celebrate:
- Keep a gratitude journal,
- Express gratitude to others,
- Meditate, or
- Repeat one of your favorite affirmations.
The last Wednesday in March is Radio Flyer’s Little Red Wagon Day. It’s a great day to embrace your inner child, let your imagination run free, and have an adventure. So grab your wagon and get out there!
March 26 through April 1 is National Cleaning Week. A good way to save money and help the environment is to make your own cleaning products. I’ve been making my own laundry and dishwashing detergent for a while and I’ve found the following recipes to be the most effective.
Powdered Laundry Detergent
Mix together and stir for 5 minutes:
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda)
- 1 grated bar of soap – you can use your soap of choice but I usually make a double batch with 1 bar of laundry soap like Fels Naphta and 1 bar of bath soap like Ivory
Powdered Dishwashing Detergent
- 5 packets unsweetened lemonade drink mix
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
Store both products in air tight containers and use 1 tablespoon per load.
March 26 is Make Your Own Holiday Day, a day where you get to decide what and how to celebrate, well, anything!
I’m choosing to celebrate Teddy Pendergrass Day. It’s not a day I made up myself, but one not widely celebrated. Today would have been Pendergrass’ 67 birthday. If you aren’t familiar with him, his music, or his legacy, you should give him a listen.
Get up, get down, get funky, get loose!
March 25 each year is Tolkien Reading Day. The theme for the day, set by the Tolkien Society, is Poetry and Songs in Tolkien’s Fiction.
If your only familiarity with J.R.R. Tolkien’s work is through Peter Jackson’s wonderful movies, you may not be aware of how prevalent poetry and songs are in Tolkien’s works. As lovingly and well-done as the movies are, they cannot pick up all of the nuances in Tolkien’s works. I encourage you to take a moment today and do so.
March is National Caffeine Awareness Month and March 20 through 26 is American Chocolate Week. Caffeine and chocolate naturally go together, so what better way to celebrate than baking some chocolate muffins with espresso?
With that in mind, I dove into a new-to-me-recipe. But let’s face it, sometimes we try things that don’t work. In this case, the recipe did not work to the extent that I won’t even link to it here. As I was putting ingredients together, I realized the ratios were WAY off. I looked back to the original recipe upon which the variation I was trying was based and adjusted a few things. What I got was a bunch of totally bland cupcakes (you can try to fool yourself and call them muffins, but they’re cupcakes) with neither strong chocolate nor strong coffee flavor.
Not one to waste food, I decided to see if I could make a Kahlua glaze that could save the day. Those who know me well know I do not like icing, so that’s really saying something. The glaze was quite good and a nice accidental discovery that I’ll add to my recipe file. Plus, it gives us a way to celebrate National Cocktail Day. Win-win!
Simple Kahlua Glaze
Whisk together to desired consistency:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons Kahlua
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Have fun in the kitchen!
We all need a little downtime now and again and today’s the day! While not an official holiday, Goof Off Day is a time to remind yourself to pause and enjoy life. Taking a break from time to time makes us happier, more focused, and more creative. You don’t have to take the entire day off it, but whenever you think about it, stop and do something goofy or fun.
A few suggestions:
Life is short, so enjoy the ride,
The gentle soul that was Fred Rogers was born on this day, March 20, 1928. Although he has been gone since 2003, his message of loving acceptance of ourselves and others continues through the work of the Fred Rogers Center and the Fred Rogers Company.
I was born in 1970, just two years after Mister Rogers Neighborhood and one year after Sesame Street began airing, and both shows deeply influenced me. In particular, I loved Mr. Rogers because he never spoke down to anyone and he never shied away from how challenging life could be. But he made it seem like kindness was possible and everything would work out as it should.
So today, I challenge you in even the most trying situations to demonstrate a little kindness and respect for yourself and for your fellow human beings.
March 19 is National Chocolate Caramel Day. What a classic combination of flavors. I love to keep it simple and drizzle a little chocolate and caramel sauce on a plain cheesecake… or strawberries… or German chocolate cake… or in coffee… or… Well, you get the idea. It’s okay to indulge once in a while, so go out and enjoy all the flavors of life!
Yours in good taste,
Hope everyone had a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day yesterday. Whether you partied and need to recover or would just like to add a gentle supportive pose to your yoga repertoire, a supported twist may be just what you need.
Supported Spinal Twist
Getting into the Pose:
- Build a support with bolsters/blankets with or without blocks underneath
- Use blankets under shoulders/legs and/or between legs
- Sit next to a bolster with hips on the floor, one hip next to the bolster, and legs relaxed away from the bolster
- Turn the torso so you face the bolster and let hands come to a rest on either side
- Lengthen through the spine and drape your torso over the bolster
- Knees closer to chest, intensifies the stretch in the lower back
- Arms extended stretches armpits and shoulders
- Turning the head away from the knees intensifies the stretch in the neck; turning the head toward the knees can be more gentle
- Relax space between shoulder blades
- Exhale, release into twist
- Inhale, create space
- Feel the body lengthen over supports
- Breathe quietly
- Hold for 3 to 5 minutes per side
- Relieves stress in backs, sides
- Stretches muscles between ribs
- Enhances breathing
- Bring hands under shoulders
- Inhale come up