#255 Try a New Food

New foods shake up our taste buds and make meals more interesting. Trying something out of the ordinary addresses our sense of adventure and may meet part of our need for variety.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#255

Try a new food

Is there a type of food that you’ve never tried? Have you had Thai food? Vietnamese? Lebanese? Sushi? Beef Tongue? Tripe? Escargot? Liver? Eggplant?

There’s a good chance that a few of you already incorporate one, two, or more of these into your regular diet and there’s a better chance that most of you have yet to try at least one or two of these edibles. As a child, I never developed a taste for Eggplant no matter how much tomato sauce smothered it and yet as an adult I was blown away by a Ratatouille recipe I found last summer and thoroughly enjoyed some fried eggplant my daughter made after we brought home a box full from our farm share.

My grandfather raised Black Angus cattle and tried to entice us with beef tongue a time or two… honestly – as children we were completely disgusted with the concept but one of my favorite Mexican restaurants serves tongue tacos and they are amazing!

I’ve ventured into Sushi in recent years and can’t quite get to the Shishimi level but most other parts of the menu – the cooked items – are new favorites and really – anything with Wasabi… Yum. (Try mixing a little into ranch dressing for a new kick).

Lots of foods that we turned our noses up to in our younger years may have a new lease in your diet but you have to give them another chance. I flat out refused to eat Asparagus as a teenager but it is a staple on my grocery list these days.

New foods shake up our taste buds and make meals more interesting. Trying something out of the ordinary addresses our sense of adventure and may meet part of our need for variety. If you’re going to go out to dinner – go someplace new. If nothing else, go someplace that is offering something you won’t eat at home (making Escargot may be more involved than a typical weeknight allows for).

Even if you can’t get motivated to change this dramatically and find yourself at your neighborhood Applebee’s for the second time this week… at least order something different from the menu!! The point is to shake it up a bit and …

Try a new food.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Jesse Hanley on Unsplash

#265 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

People have asked me if there really are 365 ways to brighten your day; to increase esteem; promote self care; and/or be more productive…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#265

Do something for 100 days.

Today is the 100th consecutive post for this blog project. Yay for me! I’ve promised 265 more so we’re not even a third of the way in but the accomplishment is that it’s been 100 days! I’ve written one hundred ways to promote happiness, well-being, and production in our lives.

I’m not sure I’ve ever done another thing for such a consistent stretch and this feat feels good. If I’m being honest, there have been days when sitting down with my laptop felt cumbersome, another chore that needed scratched off the list. There were a couple of days that I knew I could not write at all and so I had to prepare in advance and write ahead although I’ve been driven by the goal of posting each day and so the act of making the post was daily.

People have asked me if there really are 365 ways to brighten your day; to increase esteem; promote self care; and/or be more productive. I contend that there are that many ways and so I hope you’ll stay tuned. If you are thinking of something that I haven’t covered, please share in the comments.

Perhaps more importantly, what is something that you can do for 100 consecutive days? Are you thinking about writing, or dieting, or working out? Are you on a journey of gratitude or benevolence? Think about committing to your project, yourself and …

Do something for 100 days.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#269 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

A child doesn’t care about what they’re wearing or even if their shoes are on the right feet. They don’t care about sitting in the dirt or how much sand ends up in their britches. They play outside…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#269

Behave like a child

Well… good behavior only please. One of the most endearing elements of childhood is a child’s ability to be present – in the moment – at almost any given time. They are free from the fear of judgment for a few years (until socialization kicks in high gear) and so they live freely.

A child doesn’t care about what they’re wearing or even if their shoes are on the right feet. They don’t care about sitting in the dirt or how much sand ends up in their britches. They play outside in the cold or heat without much bother and when given the chance – they’ll use their imagination to discover an entirely new world. They’ll make noise and jump around in silly ways. They laugh and cry at will.

They’ll say “I love you” and “no” without hesitation. And there is rarely an ulterior motive. For a few brief years, we all exist without the restrictions and rigidness that growing up births.

Today – or this week at least – find a playground and and swing on the swings or sit on the merry-go-round as it spins and laugh yourself silly. Grab an ice cream cone and share it with someone you love – taking turns with the licks. Sit in the grass and look for four-leaf clovers – reveling in delight should you actually find one. Or have a brownie sundae for dinner without any guilt or shame at all.

If you need help thinking of something to delight in like only a child can, spend a few minutes watching a group of children. Notice how present they are. Pay attention to the raw emotion they demonstrate at any given moment. How might your life benefit from a little reminder of what it was like before you learned not to…

Behave like a child.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by sept commercial on Unsplash

 

 

#296 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

as I attempted to buy wine the next day – I was asked for ID. As I got back in the car to go home I slammed a solid fist pump into the air believing that my primping was responsible.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#296

Have an at-home spa day

This may be the ultimate in Self-care activities. Spending an afternoon or an entire day pampering your face, your hair, your skin, and your nails. Back in my youth this meant massaging a gross amount of mayonnaise into  my hair and wrapping it in a warm towel; rubbing my heels with Vaseline and covering my feet with cotton socks; and then applying baby oil all over my skin from head to toe. Just to be cute I would use cucumber slices on my eyes on occasion but mostly they got cold compresses. That was the process of beautification as I knew it.

Today, while those methods may work fine, there are dozens of fancier options. From homemade facial scrubs to electric foot baths – having a personal spa day is easier than ever. Get started with a bath, a glass of wine, some soft music, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Spend time moisturizing your hair, your face, and your extremities. A sugar scrub for your face, hands, and feet will exfoliate and prep your skin for the lotions that come next. Using honey, buttermilk, coconut oil and/or avocados are a natural way to hydrate the largest organ (your skin) on your body.

Finish up with attending to your finger and toenails – to polish or not is a personal preference. Some light yoga or meditation may be a great way to still your mind while while your body regenerates and then perhaps some outdoor time in a garden or a short nap.

In my late twenties I treated myself to a full day of pampering and as I attempted to buy wine the next day – I was asked for ID. As I got back in the car to go home I slammed a solid fist pump into the air believing that my primping was responsible. Who knows? The more you take care of your skin – the longer it looks good so go ahead and treat yourself to an…

At Home Spa Day.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#297 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

When I built those bookcases I mentioned above, a friend share the tip that “a little bit of caulk and a little bit of paint, make the carpenter what he ain’t.”.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#297

Use a caulk gun around the house

Recently, a friend prepping for a big family gathering mentioned that she spent the day ‘caulking’. When I inquired further, she indicated that she has made it an annual habit to roam the house looking for woodwork that had settled and/or separated over the year.

While I am quite familiar with a caulk gun when I am constructing something (built some bookcases a few years back), I’ve never randomly searched for areas in my home that needed that particular attention unless I was doing a thorough paint job – which, definitely doesn’t happen annually.

Happiest of all Mother’s Day to the moms out there today!

When I built those bookcases I mentioned above, a friend share the tip that “a little bit of caulk and a little bit of paint, make the carpenter what he ain’t.”. I’ve never forgotten and believe me… there was a tube or more on those shelves.

After the discussion with my earlier friend, I’ve notice many places around my own home that were quite oblivious before that conversation. Little cracks appear in almost every baseboard and I’ve noticed a few window sills that can use some attention.

Remember that post about Honey-do Lists I posted last week? This task is being added without further ado…

Use a caulk gun around the house.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#313 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

We challenged ourselves to introduce a new recipe into our evening routine at least once a week when we weren’t using a meal service and the intrigue continued, anticipating the preparation and new flavor combos.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#313

Try new recipes

At the age of 12, I found myself responsible for making dinner for my family several times a week. My recipe collection was limited limited to the three things that I recalled my mother making… Tuna Noodle Casserole, Meatloaf, and Spaghetti with meat sauce. That’s it. Sadly, those meals went into a rotation that seemed endless. So much so, that my siblings still resist anything resembling those entrees.

When my children were small, getting them to eat was a challenge sometimes and so I leaned into the pattern of making the dinners I knew wouldn’t be met with opposition. They were mostly uninventive, predictable, mundane, and bland. Eating wasn’t much fun for the adults in the house.

 

Until I made an effort to try new recipes.

I’m not talking about exorbitant delicacies from Bon Appetite, but those from Rachel Ray or Ina Garten; maybe even a really simple – follow the picture – recipe from Tasty that proliferates our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

A great way to explore new recipes and flavor combinations is to use a meal delivery service such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated or the half dozen others that are now in the market. We’ve tried several and what they share is variety from the meals I’ve cooked for decades now. Using a meal service has allowed us to regenerate an interest in cooking again. We’ve been introduced to foods like Israeli Couscous and Lemon Risotto; using olive oil and lemon zest more than ever before.

The meal service allows you to try different recipes without committing to an entire package of something as they send only enough for that particular meal. If you find that lamb with mint jelly isn’t your thing then at least you won’t be throwing away an entire jar of it.

We challenged ourselves to introduce a new recipe into our evening routine at least once a week when we weren’t using a meal service and the intrigue continued, anticipating the preparation and new flavor combos. Who knew that stimulating our dinner routine was a easy as …

Trying new recipes.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#316  of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Of course, there are some people who don’t want their feet touched… I simply cannot understand denying yourself that pleasure as it can be almost orgasmic with the right massage – but o.k…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#316

Get a pedicure

From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, life is better when things are put together. No, that’s not really the kind of poetry I referenced a few days ago. I’m talking about making your toes – and your heels – pretty. Even the funkiest feet are prettier with clean, trimmed nails and soft, smooth heels. This includes – YOU, gentlemen.

Admittedly, I was well into adulthood before I had my first pedicure but quickly understood it was such a simple pleasure that I added $25 to my monthly budget from anywhere I could in order to treat myself. I love to go barefoot and so – no visual needed – my feet were in constant need of TLC and I was slow to respond personally. The fact that there are people in the world willing to take on that task blows my mind but I try never to look a gift-horse in the mouth (sorry – for all my non-american or much younger readers, I’m not sure of a good substitute for that idiom). I graciously accept the loving care that anyone is willing to commit to my feet.

Our feet are important! They carry us where we want to go. They hold us in position. They are abused, squished, tormented, and only sometimes – temperature regulated. They deserve any extra attention they can get!! Additionally, when ‘professionals’ are regularly assessing a body part, they are more apt to discover early warning signs of potential problems (i.e., bunions, corns, fungus). Pedicures most often include a brief foot massage – improving circulation. And, if absolutely nothing else – taking 30 min. – give or take – out of your daily routine to completely relax has its own specific health benefits.

Of course, there are some people who don’t want their feet touched… I simply cannot understand denying yourself that pleasure as it can be almost orgasmic with the right massage – but o.k., I respect that a few will protest this suggestion. Winter, spring, summer, and fall… once a month and just because …

Get a pedicure.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.