A New Generation, A New Take

For the long weekend! Rosalía, the Spanish singer, songwriter, and record producer with flamenco as her inspiration. She artfully folds in her urban style that breaks the rules of the traditional style most associate with flamenco. Rosalía makes it her own and it certainly represents a new generation. She is taking the world by storm. AMAZING! BOLD! SENSATIONAL!

Jazz Up Your Water

A summer take away, enjoying a glass of water with a twist. Jazzing up your water up with colorful fruits and veggies that you already have in your frig and fruit bowl is a fun way to give your water an upgrade. It is also a way to not letting those colorful gems go to waste. I pretty much drink my two cups of coffee then the rest of the day it’s water.

Over the summer, I really enjoyed infused water. So easy to do at home but yet never really thought to do it. I’m a fan of straight up mint. But playing with combinations similar to making a mocktail without the added simple syrup or other sugary additions will keep you happy hydrating throughout the day. Perhaps try playing with different flavors like chunks of pineapple, sliced cucumber, wedges of citrus, or interesting herbs. Make it in a pitcher and everyone can help themselves. How about mint tea like the Dutch, hot water and mint leaves in a mug for the fall days ahead.

Make it colorful. Cheers to hydration!

An Important Topic That Can’t Be Ignored

Vaping is an epidemic. I just learned a great piece of advice which I am going to share with you. We need to start flipping the conversation with our children about the things they should do, not saying the things they shouldn’t do. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is doing a series dedicated to the vaping epidemic. For one of his installments, he took a very personal and close to home approach by sitting down with his three daughters and their teenage friends to talk about vaping. I highly recommend watching this short clip. Just by listening to our children is far more powerful than you think.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/health/2019/10/02/vaping-epidemic-gupta-talks-teens-dangers-series-part-3-pkg-newday-vpx.cnn

Immediately after watching the video, I looked up Real Talk with Dr. Offutt, an interactive teen health resource that is part of this special installment. A safe place for youth to access accurate information and answers to todays difficult topics. Being a teenager is not easy and parenting is equally as challenging. Real Talk with Dr. Offutt is also great resource for parents. We must know what are children are wrestling with during their teenage years. We can only guide them if we are aware of the challenges they are facing.

To be very honest, while spending just a short bit of time on this website, I couldn’t help but feel a pit in my stomach about the obstacles kids today are trying to navigate. If I close an eye and pretend that my child won’t have any of these obstacles is simply not reality. Being knowledgable and having awareness will help me support my son. We won’t always have the answers but we need to know where to go for them.

I am also reading this book at the moment. Now wishing I read all the other books from child-care expert, Louise Bates Ames.

Green Dream Salad

Salads can be simple or complex but freshness and flavor should never lack. They can be a side dish or the main attraction. When done well, you feel satisfied. Your body loves you for fueling it with loads of goodness. Here is my version of a salad I really enjoyed over the summer. A green dream that will go on repeat with different variations depending on the season. There is no stopping you from adding a piece of grilled salmon or a sliced steak to this salad. Endless options!

Ingredients:

Washed mixed greens of your choice

1 cup of cooked quinoa (you will probably use 1/2 depending on how many people you are feeding so extra goes in frig for future salads and just saves time!)

One yellow squash and one zucchini diced up then saute in a bit of olive oil and salt & pepper

A few roasted peppers diced up

Roast a handful of pistachios then chop into small pieces ( I used a spice grinder)

One whole avocado sliced (1/2 an avocado per person is good)

Handful of sunflower seeds

Feta cheese for the sprinkling

Fresh pesto to dollop along the plate (buy it or make it)

A French dressing or any other simple dressing (I will be testing out some new dressings and will post them if I like them)

To prepare: It’s so easy!

Toss your greens with a light amount of dressing then place them on individual plate or bowls

Layer on quinoa, warm squash, roasted peppers, crumbled bits of feta, sprinkle on sunflower seeds, small dollops of pesto around the edges of the salad, place your sliced avocado on top, and then finish it off with a sprinkling of pistachios. Easy peasy! Done!

Plastic Alternatives

Plastic! Yes, we all know the very real side effects of plastics and our oceans. I struggle with removing plastic from my household. How do I live without Ziploc bags and plastic wrap? They are so damn convenient for just about everything when it comes to the kitchen. One needs to break the habit and look for other options. Straws, no problem.

Here are few plastic alternatives. All can be found on Amazon. I have yet to try all of these but I am heading there. Sooner rather than later. One hopes that even the smallest changes amount to something.

Simple Joy

Flowers are happiness. Instant sunshine in my book. Fresh flowers have always been a weekly indulgence for me. Sometimes it is simple grassy greens in a vase. Other times, it’s a colorful assortment. Flowers have the power to make you smile. I have no problem buying them for myself. In fact I love it! A gift from someone I know, well that makes my heart sing.

Recently on a walk with friends, we saw a neighbor offering their fresh cut flowers from their garden to whom ever walked by. What a lovely, simple symbol of neighborly love. A few days later, I received on my doorstep a pitcher filled with fresh cut flowers from my friend. The idea of someone thinking about you instantly lifts your mood. Small gestures really do make people smile at the end of the day. Genuine acts of kindness is always trending.

A Peachy Treat

Summer is officially not over. At the moment New England is in its sweet spot for delivering tasty candy like treats that are ripe for the picking. Apple picking season is not yet there but peaches and nectarines certainly are waiting for you. The crowds are light and perhaps your next free weekend will take you back into nature. Picking your own fruit just may be a lovely window of time worth carving out and your efforts. A fun outing for all.

Nothing better than fresh fruit to snack on, diced up for your morning yogurt bowl, or simply sliced to accompany your cheese board. I was planning to make a compote but there was no need for any extra effort. Best on their own!

We enjoyed visiting C.N. Smith Farm located in the South Shore just around 30 minutes from Boston. It felt like a boutique orchard. So not too big and plenty of guided assistance as you walk around the farm.