Holiday Cheer

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Here’s to more inspiration, friendship, unconditional kindness, and laughter than seems reasonable this season. Also, a healthy dose of wanderlust. And while you’re doling out the holiday cheer– don’t forget a health dose of gentle-loving-tenderness for yourself, okay?

In the Quiet, In the Crowd

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Weeks ago a friend invited me to a potluck. It wasn’t just any potluck. It was a Super Secret Talent Show and Potluck. In addition to bringing a dish to share, you were also encouraged to bring your talent– specifically a talent that very few people knew you had (hence the super secret part). Always excited at the prospect of sharing a meal and meeting new and interesting people (with super secret talents), I eagerly marked the night on the calendar. Continue reading

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with Strings

You know what it is a soon as you pick it up. You can feel the rigid spine under the cheerful holiday paper. It’s dense as you lift it from under the tree. And yet, even though you know without a doubt you’ve been given a book— what lies under that paper is still a complete and total surprise. Continue reading

How to Feel Bah Humbug & Not Bring Everyone Else Down

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There’s a lot of pressure to be full of holiday cheer this time of year.  So what should you do if you’re just . . . not?

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

All those things that are supposed to make the holiday season warm and cozy and wonderful are the exact same things that can make it feel cold and difficult. Continue reading

My Love Affair with TED

I’m totally in love with TED.  It’s true . . .

So when I found out that TED was coming to town, the anticipation was nearly more than I could handle.  March 22 is the magic date for Richmond’s very first TEDx conference. I filled out my application to attend more than a month ago, and March seemed so very far away.  But now March is here, we’re  10 days in and in less than two weeks TED and I will finally meet face to face.

Here are just a few of the reasons I love TED:

Susan Cain – I’ve sung her praises before and I’m sure I will again.  Her book is phenomenal.  A must read for introverts and those that love them (so, you know . . . mostly everyone).

Neil Pasricha – I have shown this video many, many times in various classes that I teach.  I have never gotten tired of it and the message always catches me at just the right moment (which is . . . awesome!).

Amanda Palmer – Connection, respect and authenticity as the new commodity for promoting one’s art. Beautifully simple.  Perfectly conveyed.  There’s also a really nice breakdown of the theme of her talk as it relates to publishing over at Huffington Post Books.   (Amanda Palmer can sleep on my couch any time . . . seriously).

What about you?  What made you fall in love with TED.  Let me know in the comments below.

Because I Know You are Dying to Know What’s Up with the $3.00 Tomato

So whatever happened to those spent grain cooking projects and that stack of journals? How is the $3.00 tomato plant doing, anyway? I am sure you are all lying awake at night wondering about these things, so let me help you sleep through the night with a few updates:

The brewer with whom I live was working on a series of beers for a friend’s upcoming party. The cookies, granola and banana bread came from the first three in the series (a porter, English pale ale and an amber). The last brew was a witbier and the grains were sort of a combination of oatmeal and a fine, flour-like powder. Not the best for my chosen project; spent grain veggie burgers. Rest assured, there will be more brewing and therefore more cooking.

The journals are still there and I’m sure there is more awesome-ness inside. I’ve been devoting my reading time to Susan Cain’s, Quiet (which was highly recommended to me in response to this post). I checked it out from the library and in addition to being wonderful it also must be returned by June 4. More from the journals after I meet this deadline!

I am sorry to report that the $3.00 tomato is no longer with us. There was a time in my life when I would have blamed my far-from-green thumb, but I actually haven’t been doing too badly with plants as of late and I had a lot of good advice on this one. I think it was just its time to go. Open to suggestions for what to fill the largish tomato container with now . . .

So now you are all up to speed* and can sleep soundly tonight! You’re welcome!

*Something I just got up to speed on: I have been following Kindness Girl on Twitter for some time now – why it just occurred to me last week that I could also follow her blog on WordPress is beyond me. This post is a perfect example of the amazing-ness contained there! If you are feeling un-saitied after my silly update today I highly recommend reading it.