I honestly have SO much to talk about, it’s a bit difficult to even know where to start. First off- I am in the middle of figuring out my next step with my blog and deciphering the best move for my website. Basically, I want to expand into a website so that I have a clearer presence, as well as smoother and more appealing navigation. For instance, I have found through doing this blog that I absolutely LOVE to write. I always knew that I loved to write, this is not new. I remember sitting in English class in senior year feeling sudden bouts of anxiety & overwhelming excitement because all I wanted to do was speed home to my computer to start writing my 4,000 word paper. Yes, I was that nerd. Correction: I am that nerd.
It’s very exciting to have this feeling. Around two years ago, one of my most brilliant and best friends in the world, Alyson Strike, and I- went to Elizabeth Gilbert‘s talk when she came to Vancouver to promote her second book, ‘Committed’. She spoke about this amazing phenomena while she was in the process of writing her book, where she would be gardening and have a sudden “rush” of inspiration and words. She would drop what she was doing & run as FAST as she could to her computer, before the words traveled through her & past her. I found this both crazy but also amazing and was almost wishing that I could experience that same feeling/out of body experience. Well, I can proudly say, that I have. Whether it’s a title, a topic, or a sentence- once I’ve gotten myself into the groove of things- I have been taken over by the literary ghost several times in the past few months!
SO, as a result of this renewal of my love for writing- I must find a way to organize my Countertop so that I can write about what’s going on, inspiration, nutrition, health & life- without having it take over my recipes & food. Also, I realize that I write quite a lot at times, and I want to make it easier for readers who are solely on my blog to get the recipe and get out (aka, they are in the middle of creating a delicious dinner and don’t really want to be scrolling through my stream of consciousness every time they need to be reminded of a step in the recipe).
I will figure this out soon, and have it completed- and I am very excited about that. For now, I will keep my writing posts tagged as “writing”, and recipes as “recipes”- and try my very best to steer away from writing a book before a recipe post;)
It’s officially Spring. This means a lot. New beginnings. Shedding things that have been holding us down & back. This week has been a bunch of ‘cleaning’ and ‘shedding’ for me. Both literally, spiritually, nutritionally, and emotionally.
Literally– I cleaned out my closet (and while I’m writing about it, I also did an entire house clean: bath, bathroom, floors, scrubbing, hands & knees, music blaring, 6 hours, oh yaaaaa). I read a blog post from the darling Lauren Conrad– and took a few tips from her. She did one post on organizing your fridge & another on cleaning out & organizing your closet. Great ideas for spring! The other thing is that she recommended getting into the habit of doing this every month. For instance, every thing that I don’t hang up (due to lack of closet space- or else I’d hang everything up)- I fold up and place in drawers. Thus, due to rushing and other similar excuses- after a month, these drawers can start to resemble the after-effects of a tornado. So, whats the solution? Go through a clean up every month. Set aside a date of every month to do a “clean-up”. & while you’re at it- do the same with your fridge. Get rid of things that have expired, clean out your veg & fruit drawers (or if you like me, that will be your entire fridge). Just a general clean up. Not only will it make more space & look pretty- it will also make you feel great! This, I promise you.
Spiritually & emotionally (because they most definitely come hand in hand)- I have started to do a few things. First off, while I was in London with my dad and brother in the beginning of March, I made it an absolute necessity to make a visit to one of my favorite stores- Cath & Kidston. There is something about this store. To me, it’s magical. & I find it quite surprising, because I don’t really consider myself a girly girl. & this store is filled with patterns, colors, and all things girly. However, I LOVE IT. I went on a bit of spending binge here. I bought a new wallet, a new kitchen apron (OMG), a new dog collar for Ollie, and finally- a new notebook. I love this notebook. I wasn’t sure, when I bought it, exactly what it’s purpose was going to be. However, when it comes to notebooks- it’s like a pair of jeans or bags for me- you can’t have enough. So, when I got home, I realized that on each page it has Date & Topic. Immediately I heard Sherry Strong’s voice in my head saying, “Drop and give me 20 Chloe”. Amazing! How did I not realize it before. This is my book of Gratitude. Everyday, I would spend a portion of my morning ritual writing my list of gratitude. If I can recommend any ritual to anyone for the morning- this is it. Whether you keep the journal beside your bed or on your coffee table- or at your desk at work- start your day with gratitude. Fill the page with numbered points of gratitude! This honestly is such an amazing way to bring perspective into your life and help to transform your attitude. You know those times when you hear really horrible, heart-breaking bad news or something outlandish happens (someone you know passes away)- and you feel like all of a sudden you appreciate the little things in life- this is the kind of effect that this exercise can have in your life. Try it out!
This next exercise that I did was something I absolutely think everyone should do at some point in their life. I was given the idea by my previously mentioned wonderfully inspiring and talented friend Alyson Strike. She got the idea from the incredible Danielle LaPorte who is continuously a source of motivation (especially in terms of practical fabulous ideas of exercises to incorporate into your daily life). I was feeling quite emotionally deflated, and was feeding the bad wolf in me a full, three-course meal, while starving the good wolf (I’m hoping you know the story of the Indian Chief and the story of the good wolf vs the bad wolf). Long story short- I was not feeling great. So, I decided to call on the help of my friends & family around the world. I wrote an email to the most important people in my life- asking them for a favor. I asked them if they wouldn’t mind writing me back with a few things that they: love about me, go to me for, admire in me, remember most about, think makes me shine & finally- a story about me or our friendship that they love the most. From this email & the incredibly outstanding, heart-warming, tear-jerking responses I received, I am in the process of creating a board that I can look to when I am feeding the bad wolf- or being mean to myself.
The other thing about this exercise is that it may also be a good idea to do this for yourself- before you receive all the amazing love from your friends & family. The idea behind this is that basically- you want to be able to be the source of love for yourself. That is the point of the exercise. If you can’t do this exercise for yourself, in truth- then you won’t believe any of what your hear from others. It’s a learning curve- and a life journey. So try it out- and start with you. Be your own best friend.
Finally- Nutritionally. In contrast to my previous post a while back on smoothies: the good & the bad- I will now speak on smoothies: the good. The thing about spring is that your body starts to crave fresh food and colour. It really does. The thing about smoothies, in my opinion, is try to switch it up. Try a different combination each time you have one, and keep it simple. Aka- I would try to keep my smoothies under 5-6 ingredients. The idea behind this is that your body needs to know what to do with everything, and if you have a bunch of different fats, proteins & carbs all blended up in one goodie- it makes it more difficult for your body to process what is going on. This becomes even more complicated once you start adding antioxidants and ‘superfoods’. Of course, if you are juicing and having smoothies for a specific purpose (health concern)- then that changes everything. So, I’ve been trying out a few new smoothies lately & am really excited to share some of them with you!
1. Kiwi, apple, cucumber & bok choy
> 1 kiwi (skin on if organic)
> 1 apple (skin on)
> 1/2 cucumber (skin on if organic)
> 1/2 head of bok choy
All blended up together into a beautiful green delight (I used my amazing Vitamix)
2. Kiwi, avocado, cucumber, date, spinach & hemp seeds
> 1 kiwi (skin on if organic)
> 1/2 avocado
> 1/2 cucumber (skin on if organic)
> 1 medjool date (pitted)
> 1/2 cup raw spinach (or use green kale)
> 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
Once again, blend it all up into a delicious treat!
3. Kiwi, cucumber, ginger, green kale, date
The same as the previous + thumb of raw ginger (skin on if organic & young) + Green kale sub for spinach
Before I sign out: I am doing a marketing challenge this month for the beautiful business based out of Toronto: The Naked Label. This month- The Naked Label has released an incredibly beautiful & stupendous recipe book filled with some simple, delicious & enticing recipes that have been created by Holistic Nutritionists (health & happiness guaranteed). So, if you like food & FREE things- click this link to download your free copy of this amazing recipe ebook!
Also, in Restaurant Review news- I visited Aphrodite’s Cafe recently for a review & was so blown away. If you have any interest in the Cafe or have been before and love it- check out my review on the Naked Label website!
Well, that’s it for now folks. Expect some exciting new recipes coming soon! Lots of love from Chloe’s Countertop! xo