Author: MS

Food: Cooking Traditional Dinners

After seeing this video online, and watching it a million times and tearing up every single time, I realized just how thankful I am for deciding to stay with my mother before the shelter in place became the criterion for survival  – for San Francisco since the beginning of March. The beauty of our time together – is that every day she shares with me stories about her childhood, and we discuss recipes for all the wonderful cooking ritual her clan embarked on for each season. I remember them fondly and some she tells me about with her own experiences with her mother – way before I was born. Last night, we made stuffed grape leaves. I wanted to learn the process, since it is one of our traditional dishes or a version of it since so many around the world pride themselves of the dish. It didn’t turn out that well, because after we made it, she told me, we forgot a few key ingredients and steps. 🙂 That’s okay. I was fine with …

Food: Easy Recipes While Sheltering in Place

As we all know grocery shopping has become the most challenging – where we need to stand in-line, or shop certain hours, take home only 1 or 2 of a product even if feeding a family of 4 or 5 and after spending an excruciating amount of time walking from aisle to aisle, holding our breathes, or wearing a mask and gloves, and avoiding even eye contact with anyone – we come home forgetting something or that what you may need the most isn’t on the shelves  – so you improvise. The next step is finding creative ways to make a meal – after the usual pot full of spaghetti, or lasagna.  Is it just me, or most of us are craving more carbs these days? So, while awake at night – worrying about my aging dog, and working from home or my mother – I find myself thinking even more about our dinners. Not because of me enjoying cooking but for some reason the survival mode we are now in. Weird how our minds …

Weekend Updates and Monday Happy Finds

I hate the fact I didn’t realize it was Palm Sunday yesterday – a celebration I take very seriously. The only way I discovered that it was, was when I went upstairs to visit with my mother – who was seated on her favorite armchair, hands pressed together, praying while mass was streaming on the television screen. I actually wanted to cry seeing her, with eyes closed, praying the way she does and especially now even more. Have I told you all recently just how much I respect the elderly and their traditions and values and approach to all things life is throwing their/our way? Anyway, after the crying, I came back to my studio downstairs and watched the heavy downpour from my window for about an hour and it was probably the most soothing thing I’ve done from the indoors. Normally I find my comfort with all the walks I embark on throughout the city. Staring out of the window, I realized how beautiful human beings are…really…truly. Something that’s gone unnoticed forever it seems …

A Burst Of Hope and Our Collective Love For Italy

I felt a burst of hope yesterday when, after standing in line for 40 minutes to enter the grocery store, I saw stacked cases of my favorite water. I thought it was a mirage, but I walked up and managed to secure  my two-per-cart cases of water feeling as if I were on top of the world. Baby steps. Don’t give up hope, we are going to get through this. Lately, or let’s just say, every year around this time, I experience much wanderlust-particularly anywhere in Italy. Funny thing is, I keep sharing photos of Italy with my loved ones courtesy of Instagram to up their moods, or maybe mine – with a note saying remember this? or can’t wait to travel with you here or  how about that restaurant in Venice?  What is it about Italy-time and time again, that I feel the need to include this fascinating destination to my annual travel plans. Except this year, it will just have to be an imaginary tour of what these editors have detailed here. Here’s …

Lifestyle: Have you Considered…

Yes, we are doing this, this morning. Getting a pep talk. You see I was up all night thinking about the various  conversations that I had with different people throughout the day which sadly brought my mood down. I mean you might very well know that right now we can all use more positive thinking than most other times to help get through these difficult of days/weeks/and for sure months. The sucky part was that I wondered while laying in bed, with eyes wide open, hyperventilating – whether those folks that I spoke to were sound asleep, since they were able to offload some of the weight from their shoulders onto someone like me – a solid listener, and provider of the utmost reassurances. So, if you happen to be in my shoes, or their shoes, or on the fence as to which end of the stick you are holding right now, I share with you some wonderful reads I found online which got me to this morning.  By the way, have you considered going …

Monday Thoughts Of Beautiful Things

Hello…is it just me or does the news make you want to throw up? I think I have reached my limit with too much information and for the sake of my mental health and yours, wish to share some beautiful things to take off the edge. A random question – why is it that birds on a tree just outside your window fly away the second you aim your camera, even while otherwise remaining completely motionless? The Indoors The Outdoors   In The Details {featured image source here, here, here, here}

The Need To Distract The Mind

Someone asked me the other day if I watched the news, and I said not as much as everyone else perhaps since, I’d like to keep my sanity intact while in isolation.  Mental health is very important right now, and in between all the bad news, we need to take a mental break and allow our minds to wander off to these beautiful places – at the very least for 20 minutes a day. and if all else fails – watch Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on Hulu or NBC in the states Hang in there, be safe, and be mindful

Decor: How Streamlined Is Your Living Space

Now that we are all adjusting to live-work-play-eat-live-eat-work from home, I know we are all imaging all sorts of ways of making small or even big changes to our space.  For example – the laundry piled in the laundry room is probably making your eye twitch, and that cluttered living room needs a good sorting out. But the question I have is – how streamlined do you see your home now more than ever? {featured image source and inspiration}

Travel: Cotswolds On My Mind

Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to be driven around in England – you know – on the other side of the road, which I would never attempt – to travel through some of the most beautiful backroads to see  not only parts of the country that are frequented by tourists, but also the side not many travelers explore – unless of course they drive. The Cotswold became my favorite that year, and I knew it would be a destination I would include in my 2020 June travel plans – until of course… But you know what – even though we can’t travel right now, I still want to share this article which lists the prettiest Cotswolds Villages – wish I could locate a set of illustrations of the same villages  I bought 20 years ago at a street art fair, but sadly I think I may have sold them at a garage sale when I moved a few years later.

Food: Craving Tacos Again and So It Is

I left my house early this morning with the intend to replenish some of the grocery items I could not get my hands on last week, particularly toilet paper, rice of sorts, and bottled water. Even the almond milk in the refrigerator section has dwindled. At times like these, I cannot help but reflect on just  how much granted we take everything. So due to the limited supply on some things and alternatives of others, I am continuously shifting my plans for dinner. Also, I haven’t had a solid appetite either, I guess not getting out much and burning any energy.  But today, after my hunt for necessities, I craved food, in particular Tacos, so here’s a cool recipe I am going to try tonight. I’ve never considered pineapple in Tacos.  Also, I won’t use a crock pot. Just my thing. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS start something like this 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, thighs, or a pork shoulder/butt 1/2 cup pineapple juice 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 1/3 cup honey   {more} Featured image and recipe full credit On another note – I …