The Beauty of Aging

Monday, August 17, 2015 0 No tags

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We recently watched the movie Fargo for the first time (!!!), and I just loved Frances McDormand’s character. Have you seen this video of her talking about the aging process in our society today? I’d seen it before, but I liked it even better when I re-discovered it.

Frances talks about the tragedy of our culture’s obsession with hiding the signs of aging. Our obsession with looking perpetually youthful relays a much deeper message: that growing old is not a gift.

And if growing old is a curse rather than a blessing, then every hour that passes is tainted with fear.

As McDormand opines, taking away ten years off your face with surgery is taking away ten years of your life that you should be proud of. If wrinkles and sagging skin are a sign of life well-lived, then it shouldn’t be anything to hide, right?

What do you think of Frances McDormand’s message about aging? How did we come to be a country that values youth over wisdom? Plenty of other cultures don’t fear the aging process.

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P.S. I’d love to look exactly like this woman one day.

Things I Didn’t Know (about babies and quiche)

Thursday, May 28, 2015 0 No tags

 

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What I didn’t know about babies:

You know what has surprised me most about having a baby? How much of a time-management-ninja I have become out of sheer necessity.

I thought having a newborn meant your entire life was consumed by Baby. And in a lot of ways it is. Everything changes when you have a baby because your priorities shift, but it doesn’t mean you have time for nothing else. That was a happy realization.

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Having a baby makes the simplest things more challenging, but it also makes the smallest things more fun. I never knew how accomplished I could feel when I get a load of laundry in, make time to exercise, and change approximately 187 diapers in a day.

Nor did I know how much I could laugh at a baby following up three body-convulsing sneezes with a tiny, contented sigh (I can’t get enough of the baby sneeze/sigh combo).

What I didn’t know about babies is that they are not entirely unlike having a puppy. It’s a whole lot of work, and you can’t leave the house as much as you’d maybe like to, but you adjust and every time you see that cute face, you are glad you have a puppy. Or a baby.

What I didn’t know about food:

Still, amidst the everyday responsibilities of keeping a small human alive and making sure your house does not become overrun by laundry, one does like to feel they have some control. I have found this sense of reliable happiness in cooking. Specifically, in making an effort to switch things up.

I get into food habits very easily. My grocery list is easily the exact same every week until I feel strongly and suddenly that I am in a rut. And then I realize it’s because I make the same seven meals on rotation and my taste buds are getting bored. This pattern of shopping/eating happens often enough that you’d think I’d have learned by now.

I have always believed that food is just as much a contributor to mental health as it is a physical necessity. The weekly menu is representative of many parts of the human psyche, I am convinced, and when I remember to keep things fresh and new, my outlook on life is better for it.

When life feels a little chaotic, looking forward to a delicious dinner is grounding.

A couple of weeks ago, I made a quiche (I had never made one before), and as simple as it was, it made the entire week better. I have since been making better use of my cookbooks, and have also become slightly obsessed with Master Chef (and managed to get Eric into it as well!). I feel that just by watching the show, I am becoming a better cook. Or at the very least, becoming creatively inspired. That’s not too delusional, right?

What I didn’t know about food is what a powerful tool it can be in fighting the mundanities of everyday life, and in elevating a necessary habit.

If you feel like making a quiche, here is the recipe I used. It turned out so well in its simplicity, and it would be easy to experiment with other ingredients in the future.

I adapted the following recipe from this one.

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Sausage and Onion Quiche (makes 2 quiches)

Ingredients:

  • 2 9″ frozen pie crusts (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 8 oz shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 8 oz white cheddar cheese (can also use Swiss)
  • 10-12 oz  ground sausage (or ham, or any other meet you would like)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard (approximate…I didn’t actually measure it out)
  • 1 pinch dried parsley (or more if fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste

(you can also add garlic powder,  tarragon, or a whatever else you feel like experimenting with)

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prebake crusts for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

-In a large skillet, saute onion until soft and translucent. Add ground sausage and cook until brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

-In a large bowl, mix together eggs and cream. Stir in cheese, cooked meat, and onion. Stir in seasonings.

-Divide mixture into the prebaked crusts. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until filling is set and crusts are golden brown.

I love quiche served warm, and cold the next day. I can also eat quiche for any meal. I plan on making this one many more times (but not enough to get stuck in a rut).  :)

Have you been doing anything to switch things up lately?

P.S. Here is a great book to read if you are in a food/cooking rut.

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My All-Natural Skin Care Favorites

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 0 No tags

Last week I talked about how crucial it is for me to wash my face every night before bed. As weird as it sounds, it keeps me grounded and I know I need to get my life back on track if I allow myself to skip my routine a few nights in a row.

Aside from removing my makeup with a little bit of coconut oil, my skin care routine varies on a daily basis based on what I feel my skin needs on that particular day. I don’t know about you, but my skin is fickle like that.

I have combination skin–my nose tends to be dryer than my forehead, but it all depends a lot on the weather. I learned long ago that my face benefits from me listening carefully to it, rather than imposing a cut and dry routine on something so sensitive to its environment.

I have several all-natural skin care products and DIY concoctions that I have come to rely on over the past few years, so I thought I would share them and their purposes in my beauty cabinet. It’s a lot more fun taking care of your skin when you get to self-diagnose and self-treat with chemical-and-toxin-free formulas, isn’t it? And when something works, I love adding it to my stash.

These are the all-natural products I choose from, depending on what my skin is asking for:

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Continue Reading…

The One Good Reason to Wash Your Face (Every night)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 0 No tags

Everyone knows it is good to wash your face every night before you go to bed, especially if you are wearing makeup. Makeup collects dirt and grime, which can get on your pillow and seep into your mind and affect your dreams. Or is it ‘make your pillowcase dirty’? Basically, no one wants to go to bed with an oily face, but a lot of us do it anyway.

Since I am not working full time right now, I don’t wear makeup every day. And when I do, it is light and I sometimes go to bed without washing my face. It took me a while to admit it to myself, but I finally did: I don’t like going to bed without a clean, fresh face. So why on earth do I do it?

What’s worse is that if I get into the habit of not washing my face at night, my frame of mind changes about a lot of things. I start to feel like my life has just gone out of control, which is totally nuts.

But also significant.

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Similar to making your bed in the morning, washing your face at night can have a positive psychological effect. I am convinced going to bed with a clean face signals to my brain that I get a fresh start the next day, and time doesn’t just run together.

It also makes me feel like my life has structure, and structure is good for my sanity. 

Since the start of my third trimester, I have realized just how important it is for me to have a nightly routine. While I can’t wait to not have a large bump over my stomach, I can’t forget that I need to take care of myself in the mean time, just the same. And once I have this little one, I can’t forget that I still need to take care of myself–to preserve my self-worth and make me feel like a human who is quite capable of caring for someone else.

It may seem like a stretch, but the one good reason to wash your face every night is that it serves as one tiny reminder that you’ve got this. If everything else in your life feels chaotic, hey, at least you know no one can stop you from going to bed with a clean face, with maybe even the subtle scent of rose petal water as an added touch.

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Do you wash your face every night? Do you have any important nightly rituals that keep you grounded?

(Pssst: Natural beauty tips for your face.)

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