Savor the Flavor

It was during my first visit to Italy, the Amalfi Coast to be exact, that I discovered the most glorious way to enjoy coffee and I have been drinking it gloriously ever since.  How?  with hot-steamed milk of course!

During this journey, I also discovered a great deal about my own fashion sense.  It is safe to say that I grew up wearing a uniform.  A riding habit to be exact.  Black show coat, buff breeches, white shirt, black boots and a black safety helmet.  My love for the equestrian life saw me through occasions such as, black tie sporting events, cotillons, and hunt dinners, to name a few.  My dress of choice, the little black dress or a black formal, depending on the venue.  I look great in black.  Black suites my complexion.  Black is easy to accessorize, which makes for easy packing when necessary.  What looks better than a black swim suite, a natural straw wide-brimmed hat, black-framed sunglasses, and red lipstick when gracing the beaches of Capri?

I was strolling the streets of Capri when my fashion transformation unbeknown to me began to unfold.  I literally stumbled upon, or rather into the doorway of a small boutique that fashioned one of a kind handbags.  The proprietor offered me her hand to help me to my feet and gently nudged me inside.  She explained to me I could select embossed leather by color for the outside and inside of a handbag that would be made exclusively for me.   “Quanto costa,” I asked.  Her answer was not cost-effective.  However, the lovely and persuasive lady went on to explain that purchasing an exclusive handbag was like purchasing a rare piece of jewelry….it would last forever.  I was mesmerized by her and her stop, and the next thing I knew, I had selected a yellow embossed leather outer skin and a fuchsia napped finished skin for the inside.  The design I selected was a small box-type bag with a single leather-laced closure and short, soft leather handles that would rest on the crux of my arm when being carried.  A demure design she exclaimed.  Somewhat affordable, I thought.  The proprietor showed  me out of the shoppe and directed me to enjoy a cup of café and return in two hours.  I gladly followed her directive. “Bellissimo!” I gasped when I saw the bag.  From that point on without being totally aware, one small colorful purchase after another began to dot my wardrobe.  First a scarf, then a belt, then a blouse and so on, until I realized I had gathered an arrangement of deep, jewel toned clothing items. An adventure indeed!

Recently while sipping a latte and reading, I came across an article that focused on food as fashion inspiration.  I had to laugh because what I was reading was true!  Lobster red coats, artichoke green pumps, eggplant purple silk pants…oh so fun!  My world of style was opening.  I still enjoy wearing black and mostly gravitate to it when selecting clothing items, but now I think twice and experiment with color.

Usually our journey within focuses on deep, emotional need, but I confess, sometimes a journey should focus on a lighthearted issue that results in great fun and makes us laugh and enjoy who we are.  That is what my “savor for flavor” journey did for me.  Why not journey inside to see what magnificent, unturned stone is hiding inside of you?

Guess what?  Orange IS the new black.

Walk on….Peace and Love.

India

 

 

 

Hometown Brew

Yesterday, with a delicious French Roast in hand, I decided to take a walk along my hometown’s Main Street.  As I sipped and strolled, I was hit with the realization that 2019 is bringing an evolution of sought to my hometown.  Store after store hosted postings honoring patrons for their business.  One of my favorite boutiques shared, “After 28 years, it’s time for us to close our doors.  Thanks to all our friends for their loyal support.”  While the best Irish bakery in town  (in my opinion), displayed a sign, “Thank you to all of our friends near and far for 40 years of continued support.”  I thought, where am I going to order that luscious layer cake covered with hard, dark chocolate icing and decorated with fresh, edible flowers for all of my family special occasions?

As I journeyed on, Bruce Springsteen’s song, My Hometown, began to play in my head. “Now Mainstreet’s whitewashed windows and vacant stores.…,” the rest of the song is not very relevant to the re-emergence of my hometown, but the vacant stores image is.  The Village has always been the bright, bustling, yet quaint suburban hub of the community.  As time passes and the old guard passes away, a new and vibrant resilience is beginning to take shape throughout town.  Sleek shops are replacing boutiques and modern staged eateries are replacing pubish haunts and mom and pop establishments that offer good ole comfort food.

The biggest impact, however, is on zoning.   One story landmark storefronts are being converted or demolished to make room for four-story luxury apartment units over storefronts.  Over the last few days I have received e-mail messages from town officials asking for support in stopping a local developer who plans to demolish 4 additional stores and  1 restaurant in order to construct a four-story, 84 unit luxury apartment building with ground floor parking below.  I responded with my support.  But then I began to think, sure another large luxury complex would present challenges such as, more urban type living in a suburban setting, not enough parking, the need for adequate utilities; not to mention the problem with whether induced flooding that the town already manages with limited success.  But, and here is where I would like to hear from others, is it really in the best interest of a community to stop progress in order to savor an old way of life?   I wonder how merchants feel about the impediment of growth? I think about the Industrial Revolution and how people leaving the farm caused the growth of cities; and now as society turns back to farming (I love the farm to table movement and farm co-ops) how farming has been improved due to new technologies.  Everything has a season.  Is it our job to stop the cycle of the seasons?

As I perk on what my town is facing and on the stance I eventually will take, I am beginning to think perhaps the best outcome would be for local government representatives to meet and work with development companies to review plans that offer the best and brightest civic outcomes rather than butt heads.  As the old adage goes, you can’t stop progress.

Let the journey begin!

Peace and Love,

India

 

Perk Up – Part II

As I sit contemplating the end of 2018 with a cup of coffee, my thoughts are turning to 2019 resolutions.  Interesting because making New Year’s resolutions is not a usual practice for me.  What I do instead is pledge each year to work to become a better person than the one I am leaving behind, and pledge to leave my little corner of the planet better off than the environment I am looking back at.

If I were to make a few resolutions the list would look something like, discontinue to place Tupperware in the dishwasher, the plastic items never come entirely clean and never completely dry during the heat dry cycle.  Or, close the refrigerator door while buttering my toast so the cold does not escape.  Silly, I know.  To be frank, I don’t believe in resolutions.  I tried them for years until I came to the realization that being resolute means more than making a promise to oneself.  I resolve to _______________ (fill in the blank) and then most of the time we go cold turkey to change a behavior or start a new practice with limited success.

At the end of Perk Up Part I, I promised to share the focus of my journey to permanent, positive change.  In a word, FOOD.  This is not about a dress size.  For years I dieted thinking that I was making healthy choices about what I was putting into my body to achieve optimum nutrition and good health.  I was wrong and I realized this one day while watching a segment of the Dr. Oz.  show.  Sure, I was saving calories and eating a basically healthy diet but, I was trapped in the yo-yo thing, and that’s not what I wanted.  I wanted to understand the benefits of healthy nutrition and how to go about getting there.

To make a long journey short, after the Dr. Oz. segment I purchased Food Can Fix It, Dr. Mehmet Oz.  Food Can Fix It lays out an easy-to-follow plan for harnessing the power of nutrition and that was exactly what I was looking for.  It is important for me to say here that I am not promoting Dr. Oz or his products, or his mythologies.  What I am promoting is how to go about achieving permanent, positive change and as I said previously, there are no quick, easy fixes, but the list to perk on is simple:

  • Study yourself and know exactly what it is you would like to achieve
  • Take ownership over what you want to achieve
  • Don’t waste time and money trying to get there fast
  • Research
  • Network
  • Find the best help
  • Make small, attainable goals
  • Celebrate small victories
  • Love yourself

In time, you will achieve success.  The kind of success that is permanently positive.  For me permanently positive is, I don’t diet I eat right and maintain a healthy weight, my physical health is optimum, and best of all, healthy nutrition helps to defy the aging process :).  Whatever it is you want to change, permanent, positive change is, a change of habit, a change of nature, a change of behavior.  Why not brew up a pot of delicious change that lasts.  it feels good!

In 2019 call a friend.  Meet over a cup of steaming hot coffee and let the journey begin!

Peace and Love – Happy 2019!

India

 

 

 

Perk Up – Part I

Have you noticed that what we plan to be, do, achieve, usually happens over a cup of coffee?  Whether alone to our self or to a group of friends ‘let’s meet for a cup of coffee” is the first phrase we say  when we want to begin a plan or to discuss an idea?  We grind our thinking, we brew our ideas, we perk on it until we eventually savor the flavor of success.  Coffee is the libation to success.  It’s the juice!  It’s the jolt!

Here we sit overlooking the arrival of 2019 and one of the topics I have been perking on to share is my journey to permanent, positive change.  Soon the Internet will be flooded with 7 steps to weight loss programs, 12 steps to decreasing anxiety issues, 5 steps to help increase finances and so on.  A new slew of self-help books will appear and bargains on point-counting food plans will hit the market. Gym memberships will increase with a fury as the exercise rush to a “new you” begins; and by the end of February all of the material and effort will be kicked to the curb.  Why?  Because when we put all our energy into quick change and immediate results are not realized disappointment sets in and discouragement results.  As humans, we do have issues and we should look to resolve them.  But, we should look to resolve them positively and permanently with the best of help.  There are no quick fixes to permanent, positive change.

Recently, a very attractive but painfully overweight individual (no judgement) joined in a hot yoga session that I was participating in.  This person tried their very best and paced themselves to make it through the 90-minute, 120 degree session.  After the session, we sat down together, dripping of course, but feeling quite delightful.  My new friend shared, “you know, I didn’t always look like this, and one day I looked in the mirror and said to my reflection, I did this to me therefore I can fix it,”

In that phrase lies the key to permanent, positive change.  My friend didn’t say, “this happened to me because a loved one hurt me, my spouse left me, I was fired from the best job I ever had, etc.  No matter what the surrounding circumstances were to their metamorphosis this person took ownership over it by recognizing “it was me” who allowed this to happen; and this person’s steady success hinges on the fact that they also realize there are no quick step programs to achieving their desired goal.  It is a slow and steady study of the self.

Positive change results when we look deep inside ourselves and not at the world around us.  I like to think we want to achieve a positive change that allows us to continue on without breaking no matter what the world is throwing at us.  This is resilience and it is resilience that comes to our aid in the face of adversity.

In Part II of Perk Up, I will share my own journey to permanent, positive change.  I hope you stay with me…I’ll put the coffee on.

Happy 2019!

Peace and love,

India