What’s For Dinner?

It’s 5 o’clock and the question that causes me to shallow breathe and pour a small vodka on the rocks, echoes from the family room…”what’s for dinner?” I know how fortunate I am to be able to answer that question with “what are you in the mood for?”, but that doesn’t keep me from standing in front of the refrigerator with the doors wide open and staring at the shelves, tasting dread.

You see, I have made many mistakes as a parent. And the one that is in my face (literally) every day is around food. My 12 year old is a vegetarian (and has been for 4 years), my husband is as skinny as a refugee and I am still battling the chubby 10 year old I see when I look in the mirror.

So wondering what I can make that will be meatless, fill up my husband and keep me from carbo-loading, is a constant challenge.

Elly to the rescue! Elly is my old sidekick from high school who makes all things look effortless. I appreciate knowing that the woman behind the curtain actually has to think about being human. Even she wonders, “What’s for dinner?” As such, she follows the blog of her friend, Amanda Haas. Elly claims that Amanda has “the best cooking blog and marriage saver I’ve ever tried!”  When asked what makes it so great, she says, “No more wondering what’s for dinner and we go to the store once a week.  Reading Amanda’s blog saves me time, energy and  money.”

So friends, check it out. www.onefamilyonemeal.com

What if we tried it together, for a month, starting the week of  September 6th? Its Labor Day weekend – and we could take the “Labor” out of the day.  We could use TMC to post  ideas we find, tips and success. Yum!

In the meantime,  it would be delicious if you could share  your favorite time-saving dinner recipe with our MindFULL Creative readers. I will post mine next week. It’s actually an old recipe that I have changed over the years that Elly used make in high school! And guess what, I have managed to make it into a vegetarian, low-fat and filling one dish meal. Thanks, girls!

What’s your favorite MINDFULL and easy family dinner recipe? Let us know!

What Next?

While today is MindFULL Monday and the last real day of summer (school and work start tomorrow), for many of my friends it’s the start of a new life story. Many are closing their old books and sending their kids off to college for the first time. It’s huge. I can’t imagine, as my child is still navigating middle school. However, for many dear ones, there are lots of emotions and thoughts flying around. I am struck by how many are pondering the question, “What Next?” As old chapters end and new chapters begin, getting clear on a new life direction can be challenging. Picking up the pen and writing “Next” can be daunting.

Unless you are lucky enough to have someone like Tama Kieves whispering words of wisdom in your ear.

Tama wrote the book, This Time I Dance. Creating the Work You Love/How One Harvard Lawyer Left It All To Have It All. Lucky for me, Tama lives in Denver and while reading her book can inspire you to step into your life, looking into her eyes and seeing them sparkle can gently get you to lift your foot.

I’ve talked with Tama about different  ideas, desires and dreams over the years.  How sometimes I hold myself back. How certain projects bring out fear and others bring out creative genius. Learning to excavate our “why’s” can take time. Taking action, while taking time, is where someone like Tama can come in. She’s been there. Did all the things she was “supposed” to do.  And almost croaked along the way. But she triumphs. Her story inspires introspection, her courage inspires permission.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to live in Denver to hear her speak, read her words or dance with her under a foreign sky. Check out her website. http://www.AwakeningArtistry.com Sign up for her inspirational newsletter. Read her book. Pack your bag and spend a weekend with her on a retreat. Do a phone session. The least you’ll do is gently pick up the pen – and who knows what you’ll begin to write next!

As you MindFULLY think about new chapters this Fall,  what’s “Next” for you? Let us know!

Words To Live By

I love the feeling of an “aha moment”. My word for such moments is “cell-abration”. It’s the feeling you get on a cellular level; the feeling of REALLY getting something and experiencing a life changing paradigm shift. I am rocking right now with all that I have learned as I have had the privilege of spending time time with people I love over the last month, and reading articles that have been piled up for months. Some of their words to live by include:

People tell you who they are. Listen. – My friend, Barb

Age is a Privilege – Laura Linney

Put your energy where it pays dividends – My friend, Ellen

Arrange the pieces that come your way – Virgina Wolfe

Don’t Complain and Don’t Explain – Wayne Dyer

The little nice things that happen along the way? They’re called  G-d winks – Cousin Evan

The whiter  the bread, the faster  you’re dead – Dr. Amen

Things don’t happen to us, they happen for us – Michael Berg

The Universe works in a circle – Mom

As you get older you realize that good enough, is good enough – Auntie Susan

My travel  journal is filled with new ideas and thoughts from time spent  with people I am the better  for. Gotta say “g-d winks” is my favorite. I experience them all the time. Especially when something happens that reinforces what I learned above. Wink, wink.

What words do you MINDFULLY live by? Let us know!

music, memories and martinis

Marc Cohn has a new cd out and it’s called Listening Booth. He has taken songs from 1970 (when I was 12) and given them a contemporary spin. I love it.Not only for the songs themselves, but for the soundtrack it provides to this adventure I am currently on.

You see, I just visited my 12 year old at summer camp and this weekend was my 30th high school reunion. Both events can’t help but force me to travel down memory lane. I work hard to live in the moment, but sometimes a quick jaunt can remind you of how far down the lane you have travelled and how appreciative you are of where you are now.

I absolutely adore my 12 year old. She is far wiser, funnier, smarter and easier than I was at that age. I sit on the Board of Smart-Girls (www.smart-girl.org), an organization that gives girls the tools they need to navigate the tumultuous tween/teen years, and still my heart aches for the trials and “girl stuff” girls go through. I do what I can to cheer my daughter on and guide her through it, but listening to Marc’s music reminds me that we all have our journey in this life and soon the details of this time will simply serve her well and become part of her life tapestry. Still, 12 can be hard and I remember how hard it was for me. Somehow tho’, the memories add to my compassion and empathy. And the music reminds me of both.

Following on the heels of visiting day, was a trip to see my dear friend from high school. Knowing I would not be in town for the reunion weekend, we coordinated my visit so that we could at least be together, if not there. I love my friend and laugh endlessly with her about who we were and who we are. I sit at her kitchen table with ease and enjoy her kids, who have their own music to live by. Last night, as we sipped coconut cloud martinis with our reading glasses perched on the tips of our noses, my friend’s daughter played her iPod. So much of what we heard was a re-mix of music from high school. What does this say about how music follows us down the path?

Music, memories and martinis. It the stuff that life is made of. Cheers!

What MINDFULL music would you choose to match when you were 12 or 17? Let us know!