All posts filed under: emotional therapy

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

A Few Observations and Updates

As the shelter in place order was announced in California, I wanted to believe more humans were beginning to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, but it seems from the news and photographs all around, there are so many exhibiting otherwise. But what do I know, except that my family and I did our part in following the directive and stayed home – naturally FaceTiming the rest of the clan who live in far away places. Through the doom, I am trying my best to maintain a positive attitude – I mean, don’t get me wrong, by Friday I felt the worst version of myself, and could not snap out of it. I guess I was completely coming to terms with how things are going to be for a while and even afterwards.  This is how I usually am with most traumatic events in my life: Shock, denial, overly analyzing the situation, much brain-storming with family members and friends, and then calming down to rationally handle whatever life had thrown or in this case, is throwing …

Culture: I Watched A French Film and It Helped

In my efforts to remain calm and positive as the captain of my ship here in San Francisco, I decided to open a bottle of red and watch a film that would,for a few hours, take me far away –  like Europe,  and in particular the French wine region. Now, if you are not familiar with French films, they tend to run long – sometimes over two hours, to include every detail and then some. Which I love about – film makers outside of the U.S. – They do away with too much editing, to keep true to the story. The other aspect of French films, is the English translation – which is the only thing I can relate to – of their beautiful language, metaphors  and to some extend wisdom. If you listen to the narrative throughout a film carefully, you might just pick up on it. This aspect keeps me nostalgic because I’d like to think I was a Frenchwoman in some former life, and therefore able to relate. Er…perhaps it could be …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Thai Peanut Chicken

I managed to get my hands on a bottle of peanut sauce from the grocery store two weeks ago. Before all the scary madness taking shape throughout the world of empty shelves, and legit ‘scavenger hunt’ for the basic necessities. Now I can’t even find milk or eggs. I devised a plan and announced it to the family about being mindful, pacing ourselves and not be wasteful during these difficult times. More about this topic shortly. In the meantime, I found an easy dinner recipe for Thai peanut chicken which I wanted to share, in case you are all out of ideas.  Here’s what I am doing- replacing soy sauce with Worcestershire, omitting the fish sauce and using the peanut sauce instead of the suggested peanut butter. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts 3-4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste using more or less to your taste 2 teaspoons ground ginger 3 tablespoons sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil or regular basil chopped 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving 1 (14 ounce) can full fat coconut milk 1/4 cup low …

Food: Potato, Mushroom and Burrata Pizza

Haven’t had much of an appetite for anything these days, so it’s been really challenging finding a tasty meal to prep for the family.  Except, when a burst of cravings happen – like the taste for potato and mushroom and cheese and the need for a hearty pizza. Now, although this recipe calls for making your own dough, I prefer ready made from Trader Joe dough, where I simply add all the ingredients that my heart desires at that moment and bake. INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 cups wild mushrooms, roughly torn 3 sprigs fresh thyme 3 cloves garlic, smashed kosher salt and black pepper crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 pound pizza dough, at room temperature 1/3 cup basil pesto 1 medium potato, very thinly sliced 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest 1 cup shredded fontina or Havarti cheese 8 ounces burrata cheese, at room temperature 1/2 cup fresh lemon micro basil or basil leaves {more}  On another note – what’s on your mind lately? Do you want to talk about it?

Boutique Hotel Pick – JK Place – Capri, Italy

I haven’t been to Capri in 20 years, but I remember it fondly. So last night, my wanderlust had me searching Netflix and Amazon Prime for films based on the Island and naturally all of Italy. Which I found and listed below for your reference. But for the sake of this post, a boutique hotel pick in Capri was all I can think about for the planning stages of a trip this year to this romantic destination, brimming with breath-taking scenery, cuisine and nightlife, and some of the best beaches in the world.  As for me, I crave smaller details and sometimes luxury in accommodations , because I spend a great deal of time in my room, penning from the inspiration I draw by my environment, whether here or the next novel. And this hotel will suit me just fine, while in Capri. Care to join? Here’s a list of films made in or about Capri, but my all time favorite classic – It Started in Naples – but really mostly in Capri  {featured image …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Vodka

Short work weeks are great – even though they sometimes feel the longest. Do you ever feel that way? But there is one thing for certain – I love home cook meals, and actually and no matter how tired, I am – I look forward to rolling up my sleeves, or getting into my comfy clothes, and putting my hair up and opening up the refrigerator door to see what wonderful meal I can prep. Last night – around midnight I woke up craving pasta – which is something I try to limit making – carbs and all. And yes there are noodle variations, but I like to keep it real with the carb. 😉 Anyway, I searched for a different option than the normal spaghetti with meat sauce and this wonderful recipe popped up,  and guess what, it’s happening tonight!  I think I’ll add chicken pieces and even some whole peanuts – weird you might think, but I have a palette for these things. INGREDIENTS 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves …

When You Can’t Get Away On A Long Weekend

This weekend is President’s Day in the U.S. – honoring all the men who have led this country in one direction or another. The interesting thing for this year, was that Valentine’s Day coincided with President’s Holiday – which means one can opt for a long weekend, if planned right. But how about some of us who, due to some serious obligations, did not leave us much room to plan – to escape for a four day weekend. So we improvised – hubs and I, dressed in comfy clothes, with backpack in tow, and we walked across the city, each day in a different direction, exploring new neighborhoods, or ones we haven’t been to for years, and experienced new eateries – some good, some I rather not talk about (I swear 4.5 star ratings are sometimes fabricated). We took photographs, stopped to enjoy the views, and even were thought of as tourists, in our own town. Which felt great and for the three days – being Fri-Sun, we escaped from all of our troubles and …

Lifestyle: Upscale Sports Bar and A Downton Abbey Movie Sequel

Surely you can see that I’ve got my priorities this morning, but only because I keep putting off all the crazy list of to-do’s and the worrying about this and that.  Sometimes we simply need to distract, and today’s distractions are… The French usually—in my generation, anyway—didn’t think it was a good idea to make your children the number one priority. That meant you have left behind your license as a wife, as a woman, as a professional and all this. It felt not fashionable. But now I think things have changed tremendously in France. In America I think there’s a lot of positive encouragement, even to the point of making the child believe that he’s a genius. (source) On another note, have you seen Kate and Leopold? I did when it first came out in 2001, and at the time, being so young, believed in fairy tales as if my life depended on it. Watching it years later, I think I have to say, oh my, how my thinking has changed…what’s your take on …