Archive | September 2012

Choose Happy

So, I feel a bit like sharing words of wisdom today… in list form. But in all seriousness, I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently… so how do i think we can be happy? I know you are dying to know…

1) Remove the negativity. Ya’ll know that there’s always that person or two that we jokingly call our “frenemy,” but its no joke. We don’t need that in our lives. There is that magic delete button on Facebook for a reason. Click it…do it! You will feel oh-so-much better. If you must be around them… just be cordial, but you don’t have to be friends. There’s not a rule that says you must be friends with people who bring negativity to your life simply because you are forced to be near them (at work, at school, etc). It’s not middle school anymore.. there ain’t no prize for having the most “friends.” Sometimes this negativity is found in a person who used to be a positive. This is sad and harder to walk away from. Baby steps, ya’ll. It will make you feel better.

2) Let go of the grudge. People make mistakes. They sometimes apologize. Yet, do we actually forgive them? If you ask my mamma… no. She can go back and pinpoint terrible moments that happen in 1970 as reasons for X and Y. OMG. get over it. The grudge makes you unhappy (though it does give you ammunition, I suppose, in arguments… you can’t argue with crazy). I personally refuse to let grudges lead my life. I see my mom. I see how unhappy (and angry) it makes her. Plus, you cut out some really important people if you’re not careful. Remembering and using are two different things. Don’t let the grudge rule your life. It ain’t worth it. Plus, you look crazy.

3) Laugh and Smile.  Laughter is contagious. Smiles light up the world… and all that jazz. But it’s true. There has got to be something worth laughing about every day: dropping your foot on your friend’s face in yoga, for instance OR a recording of your ridiculous karaoke attempts. You can’t help but laugh. Smile. True story it makes life better, who cares if you get the smile wrinkles (or whatever people might worry about) Isn’t that better than the frown furrows? Plus a smile… makes your day better and people are way nice to you. Don’t just smile with your mouth… smile with your eyes.

4) Be Ridiculous.  Yup. Find that moment where you can be absolutely ridiculous each day. Laugh at yourself.  Dance around your living room in your underwear. Sing in that curling iron. Rock out in the car to Taylor Swift (or your other secret favorite musician) like it’s the grammys.  Dance like that “white girl” that you are out on that dance floor. It’s cute… promise.

5) Own your crazy. We all have those things. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about… you still listen to NSYNC or you must eat skittles in color specific pairs or you watch Friends at every re-run opportunity or you’re a stress baker, use that princess towel at yoga or well, you get the idea. And no, I’m not the only one who has such things that are necessary to life. Love the music you love. Love the food you love. Dress how you want. Just do it. Ain’t nobody that really cares..and someone else will love your crazy once you do.

6) Quit People Pleasing. Clearly. ya’ll need to please you first. We cannot base our value on the judgement of others. People won’t always like what you do. People won’t always think you did a good job. People won’t always support your decisions. But who are these “people” anyway? Did you like what you did? That matters. Affirm yourself.

7) Choose happy. Happiness is not bestowed upon those who wait. It is a decision you make. You won’t be gushing with happiness all the time, sometimes sadness is important, but you choose the happy path and it’s amazing what happens. You let go os the little things that don’t matter. You see happiness in the little things that do. You surround yourself with other happy people. Happiness loves company more than misery does. Happiness is magnetic ya’ll.

Oh… DMB, how I love thee.

Sometimes all a girl needs after a fantastically long 13 hour day fraught with “special event parking” that put her car across campus, class all day, no yoga or dance… etc. and so on, is to download the new DMB album. It immediately brightened my day. Who doesn’t love to listen to new music from their favorite artist?!

But… the fun part about a DMB album is that you get sneak peeks into upcoming music when you see him live. In fact, one of the new songs on the album I got to hear with my fellow Daver at caravan last year. Yep. At his show this summer we were the only people in the crowd that knew the song. We were THOSE girls. In fact here’s the moment we heard it for the first time. WINNING!!!

 

So, obviously I have listened to the new album “Away From the World” several times now…and I cannot wait for my next Dave show. So much awesome.

Conquering the Eggplant

So. My mom always told me she never cooked with eggplants because they are “bitter” and don’t cook well. Well, that’s all fine and good but I love eggplant, and it’s usually pretty awesome when you get it at a restaurant. What’s the secret? It seems that I have had the secret tucked away in my “Vegetable Love” cookbook for almost four years, without even knowing it.

When I grocery shop hungry, I come home with entirely too many fruits and vegetables AND frequently something I’ve always just wanted to try out. So… I came home with a beautiful, glossy and giant eggplant. What do I do with it? I decided to cook with it today; I combed my veggie cookbook and found a yummy lookin’ recipe: eggplant lasagna

As I looked at the recipe and the surrounding ones, I noticed they all started with “soak your sliced eggplant in saltwater for 30 minutes and pat dry. Interesting. So, I following the directions to the basic cooking directions (the veggies are divided by categories and types. Eggs plants were around page 580. Here it told me the answer to “fixing” the bitterness. The saltwater soak apparently sucks out the bitterness. WIN!

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This lasagna took a long time because the eggplant went through a few steps: saltwater soak..then oven grilling. THEN I was able to build the lasagna. IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT. Plus, the grilled egg plant was kind of like eggplant chips… yum. A snack on the way to an entree. It also called for a beschamel sauce. This sauce is definitely a secret ingredient. Yum. I used a spaghetti sauce I made yesterday with ground turkey. It was so fantastic…and there’s leftovers.

So here’s the thing mom. Eggplant is only bitter (apparently) if you don’t soak it first. *Also, the saltwater soak does not make the eggplant salty at all. Must be some magical chemical reaction… that I may understand if I was up on my sciences instead of my rhetoric and dance?