Grilled Pizzas

Friends, it seems odd, but pizza is far and away one of my favorite things to grill! And it could not be easier- grill dough for a few minutes, add some topping, return to the grill to melt and enjoy. I’ll admit being insanely skeptical the first time a friend suggested it, but it turned out perfectly at a party, so I decided to bring the idea home.

Grilled Pizza 2A few notes on my version: first, I outsource the dough. I’ve heard that making pizza dough is pretty easy, but its even easier for me to pick some frozen dough up from my local grocery. Second, I make my own sauce- to each her own, right? There’s just something about being able to season my own sauce (and spice it up!) that’s appealing to me. However, you feel free to sub jarred sauce for the homemade, if that’s your thing. Third, Evan and I actually eat sauce-less pizza. This is completely his influence, but apparently we’re pizza dippers. So.

Grilled Pizza 6Beyond those small things, this pizza is definitely in the fast and easy category. I think it also gets bonus points for being ‘participation food’. As I mentioned, the first time I had grilled pizza was at a party, and everyone used the toppings bar to make their own creation. Fun for kids and adults alike!

Grilled Pizza 5

Grilled Pizzas

–          2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
–          1 tsp basil
–          1 tsp oregano
–          1 tsp thyme
–          1 tsp garlic salt
–          1 tsp sugar
–          ½ tsp red pepper flakes
–          Frozen pizza dough, thawed
–          8 oz shredded mozz
–          Toppings: goat cheese, Kalamata olives, roasted garlic, grilled peppers, mushrooms, diced tomatoes

Prepare the sauce: Combine the tomato sauce and seasonings in a sauce pan, and cook on low for 10-20 minutes. You want the sauce to thicken a bit and take on a deep red color.

Prepare the toppings: Depending on what toppings you have, chop everything down to size so that it’s ready to be added to the pizza.

Prepare the dough: Make sure that you’ve thawed the dough and allowed to rise according to the instructions. Then, make sure your hands are well oiled and stretch the dough into pieces the size of a saucer (or, really, into whatever shape and size you like). Don’t worry about stretching the dough too thin- it puffs back up on the grill. Place the oiled dough in a hot grill and allow to brown lightly on each side. Once the dough has a bit of color, remove from the grill and prepare for toppings.GrilledPrepare the pizzas: you know…pile on the toppings! What I do is add a tiny spritz of olive oil, sprinkle with oregano, then a layer of mozz, then add garlic cloves, mushrooms and peppers, and a little goat cheese. Set gently back on the grill, on medium-low heat, cover and cook until the cheese is melted. This is the point where I add fresh tomatoes and maybe shredded basil, but otherwise- enjoy!

Website Recommendation: Yoga with Adriene

Well, friends- July is drawing to a close! This was really a great month, and a great start to the second half of the year. As you may know, I participated in a Blogger Challenge this month with the intention to post one each weekday…and I met that goal! Check out the links at the bottom of this post to see some of the other bloggers that also participated in this challenge.

I also took on a personal challenge this month- 30 days of yoga. I started my yoga practice in college, and through the years have fallen into and out of practice. I love yoga because it’s a bit meditative and spiritual, but it also takes dedication, perseverance and acceptance in order to have a productive practice. Also, I find it physically challenging- holding your body in various poses for several breaths is hard, and yoga flow goes fast enough to make me sweat!

Columbus has so many yoga studios, but I’ve struggled to find a studio that I love, that is close to home, and is also affordable. After taking classes around the city, I accepted defeat and turned to the internet. My YouTube results were also a bit disappointing- practices that were too short, or too impersonal, or too-aerobic-and-not-yoga-enough, or frankly, just uninspiring. And then….I found Yoga with Adriene.


Friends, I cannot possibly rave any more enthusiastically about Adriene, or her videos/YouTube channel/website. She is hilarious and encouraging, offering challenges for poses as well as modifications to make it easier, and she constantly encourages her viewers to personalize their practice, in a mission to “find what feels good.” Her website offers full length practices for beginners and advanced students, some vinyasa flow, some practices for weight loss and, amazingly, a series of videos explaining the most foundational poses– I can finally do pigeon and crow!

About halfway through July I found out that Adriene was starting another ‘challenge’– she sporadically does these challenges where you pay for an online yoga course, and you get a series of full length and shorter practices that you can download (which is surprisingly handy) and you have access to the community of other students doing this challenge, and you get an inspiring daily email. It would usually not be my style to pay for fitness videos, but honestly- this is $100 that I am thrilled to have spent. The EMPOWER series that I purchased is hard, it makes me work to finish, it’s very instructive, and I’ve done it without fail each day for the past two weeks.

So, all of this to say- if you are looking for a yoga practice, or an in home fitness routine, or even some undefined self care/me time, I encourage you to check out Yoga With Adriene. The yoga that she offers has been my personal act of self-kindness that I mentioned a few weeks ago. I’m stronger, leaner, more flexible, happier, calmer and, frankly, a better person that I was last month. So- give her a try.

Does anyone else have a fitness or wellness initiative that they want to shout out? I love getting recommendations, which is why I felt compelled to make the one above. What do you want to suggest?

Chipotle Beef Flautas…Taquitos?

It’s Tuesday, and you know Tuesdays mean tacos around this blog…or something like tacos. This week we’re looking at some Chipotle Beef Flautas. When we made quesadillas last week, I used a three pound beef roast. Since we’re a two person household, you know there was some (a ton!) left over, so we just froze it in a ziplock bag, and set it in the freezer to thaw when we wanted to make flautas.

Chipotle Beef Flautas 3Here’s the thing about flautas- they are arguably indistinguishable from taquitos, and they’re usually deep fried, and I have a somewhat irrational affinity for them. (Also, they don’t look lovely in photographs, but you’ll just have to suffer through that.) I’m not so comfortable with deep frying, so I did a quick pan fry instead. Since I used the leftover beef, they took about five minutes to assemble and less to inhale. Serve with some pice and yesterday’s Summer Salad, and you have a delicious and somewhat balanced weeknight meal.

Chipotle Beef Flautas 2

Chipotle Beef Flautas…Taquitos?

–          1 cup shredded beef (whatever you have left over) from last week’s recipe
–          ½ cup shredded cheese
–          ½ small red onion, minced
–          4 flour tortillas
–          Pico, salsa or guacamole

Prepare filling: in a small skillet, saute the beef until it is warmed through. Mix in the cheese and onion (you can do this in the pan, but I didn’t want the cheese to stick so I used a separate bowl).

Prepare flautas: Heat about ¼ inch of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Divide the filling evenly between tortillas, and roll tightly (make sure to leave some space at each end, so the filling doesn’t fall out). One at a time, set the flauta in the oil, seam side down. Turn regularly, so that all sides are a deep golden brown. Drain briefly on paper towels, and enjoy immediately with a topping of your choice.

This entry was posted in Food.

Summer Chopped Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

Like many of you (some of you?) I try to organize my life a little with meal planning, so that I know what we’re planning to make every night and can, hopefully, do one main shopping trip each week. With the help of Pinterest, deciding on meals isn’t usually difficult. Choosing side dishes, though, is another story- for some reason side dish options are either not readily apparent to me, or don’t appeal at all, or don’t meet the needs of my household (our needs our usually vegetables, and the hard part is finding veggies that will satisfy everyone…so).

Summer Salad with Honey Lime Vinegarette

Welp, friends, what has solved all of my problems in the chopped salad. Chopped salad is somehow different than regular salad, even while seeming the exact same. I suspect the difference is in the lettuce- a) that there’s a lower lettuce to not-lettuce ratio and b) that it’s diced, and not in those unwieldy leaves. This summer I’ve grown particularly fond of this chopped salad with a bright lime vinaigrette, made a tiny bit spicy with some smoke chipotle powder. As a side dish, it’s perfect for Taco Tuesdays (similar flavor profile), but it also makes a great main with the addition of some black beans or chopped chicken. Leave out or sub what you don’t like- this salad if full of options!

Summer Salad with Honey Lime Vinegarette 2

 Summer Chopped Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

–          1 small head lettuce
–          ½ English cucumber
–          1 colored pepper
–          1 tomato
–          ¼ red onion
–          2 ears corn
–          1 tbsp Dijon mustard
–          1 lime
–          1 tbsp honey
–          ¼ cup olive oil
–          ¼ tsp smoke chipotle powder (or cumin, or chili powder, or some red pepper flakes)
–          Salt

 Prepare veggies: rinse everything. Then, chop lettuce into about 1-inch pieces. Halve the cucumber lengthwise, remove the seeds with a spoon, and chop into small cubes; dice the tomato and pepper into similar sizes. Finely dice the red onion. Spray the ears of corn and grill, either on a grill, over the flame on your gas stove, or under a broiler; let them cool, then cut the corn from cobs. Put all of these ingredients into a medium sized bowl and toss.

 Prepare dressing: it’s so easy to make your own vinaigrette! Clean out an old jelly jar, or use a sealable Tupperware. Add the mustard, juice of one lime, honey, olive oil, chipotle powder and generous pinch of salt. Seal the container, and shake vigorously. Remove the lid, taste, and season again.

 Prepare the salad: Salt and pepper your veggies. (If you’re looking for a heartier salad, toss in a can of drained and rinsed black beans, or a chopped chicken breast.) Then, dress with about half of the dressing and toss. IF you need more dressing, use more dressing. If you don’t….don’t. Enjoy!

This entry was posted in Food.

Friday Five: #soBlessed

Friday Five Blessed

Welcome, friends, to our weekly installment of Friday Five. This week I was a bit inspired by that post that’s making its rounds on Facebook- you know the one, asking women to post five photos that make them feel beautiful? I’m not above feeling beautiful, by any means, but I wanted to move in a slightly different direction.

#soBlessedToday, I’m posting five photos that represent some of the many blessings that make my life beautiful. Cheesy, for sure, but that’s how we roll around here- gratefully 🙂

#soBlessed Chixxx

  1. Friends! Where would we be without our family of friends,amiright? Somehow, I found an amazingly diverse, talented, witty and all around awesome group ofladies before I even went to college, and I couldn’t be more thankful for our friendships. And that’s to say nothing of the friends that I made in college or as an adult. We had our undergrad reunion weekend last month, and our group of about a dozen people realized that we still keep so well in touch, we don’t really even need an organizedweekend- we see other so often anyway! Friends, man.#soBlessed Family
  2. These guys. After a brunch on Father’s Day, one of my sisters and I asked our grandparentsto be in their firstselfie- I die at this result. Beyond my adorable grandparents, though, I’ve been pretty blessed with an awesome family. Though we have our differences (hello, who doesn’t?) it’s so nice to come from such a supportive, happy, welcomingplace- I really dig my family.#soBlessed Egypt
  3. I truly believe that travel has played a huge role in shaping my life. I spent eighteen years living in Midwest USA, then took a semester in Hawaii, a semester in Egypt, travelled a bit of the Mideast and haven’t stopped exploring since then. When we travel, I like to choose destinations that make me atiny bit uncomfortable; after all, how can you grow unless you constantly test the bounds of your comfort zone? I’m constantly thankful to have the resources in my life to enable this exploration.#soBlessed Howie
  4. My sweet Howard Winston. Though Howie looks relatively low key in this photo, he has personality to spare. This is a dog that is a little irritated when you wake him up in the morning and asks to climb back under your covers and sleep some more. He doesn’t like to give you the satisfaction of eating his treats when you give them, but prefers to hide them around the house to discover later. He is a master of judgmental glances, but adores being dressed in jammies. He also likes to participate in yoga, by either taking over the mat, or climbing up to your face when you’re in tricky poses. In short, Howie is puppy perfection.

    1-#soBlessed Wedding
  5. And finally- this guy. This marriage, maybe. I am so grateful for the relationship that Evan and I have built over the last six years. Respectful, supportive, hardworking, hilarious- I won’t go on, but I think it’s clear how much I appreciate Evan. What a great man 🙂

    So, what makes your life beautiful? Promise, I won’t judge you if your answer includes coffee or ice cream!

French Toast with Bourbon Caramel Bananas

Guys, can we talk about breakfast for dinner? And then briefly touch on the bananas that are too ripe to eat, but every time that Evan attempts to throw them away I freak out and insist that I’m going to make banana bread, even though I think I’ve only made banana bread twice, and then I stopped trying because the middle is always still liquid when the outside is dark brown? And I know that’s not only me, right?

French Toast with Bourbon Caramel Bananas

Anyway, here’s the thing: breakfast for dinner is possibly my favorite thing, because breakfast is usually sweet things, and potatoes, and bacon. All of those things are good. Evan, for who knows what reason, really protests breakfast for dinner, suggesting that breakfast only belongs in the morning. This man is a stickler for rules.

Obviously, this means I make BFD on duty days, and relish it hard core. This week, as I was contemplating my menu, I glanced at the past-their-prime bananas that almost got trashed over the weekend and knew exactly how I would use them (spoiler: not making bread). No, these bananas were destined to be mixed into a glorious bourbon caramel and spooned generously over golden French toast triangles. It’s not hard, at all, and is way more satisfying than syrup- really.

French Toast with Bourbon Caramel Bananas 2

French Toast with Bourbon Caramel Bananas

–          1 Tbsp butter
–          ¼ cup brown sugar
–          Pinch of salt
–          2 Tbsp bourbon
–          1 Tbsp cream (heavy, or half and half, or milk…no rules)
–          2 bananas, at any stage of ripeness
–          3 eggs
–          ½ cup milk (let’s just say dairy product)
–          ½ tsp vanilla
–          ½ tsp cinnamon
–          6 slices bread (thick, old bread is the best option, but I only had Texas Toast this week. Use what you have)

Make the caramel: in a skillet, ideally one with a heavy bottom, melt the butter and stir in the sugar, salt and bourbon. Let it bubble up and, once it gets nice and foamy, allow to cook for about a minute- it should be a slightly thick, syrup-y consistency. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cream, and gently fold in the banana slices. Set aside, and allow to cool a bit.

Make the toast: whisk together the eggs, milk or dairy product, vanilla and cinnamon. Add some butter to a skillet or griddle that’s over medium heat and coat the bottom. Working with one slice of bread at a time, dip each side into the egg mixture and lay on the griddle. Allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until lovely and golden. Plate the French toast, spread with butter if you like, and spoon over the banana caramel, and try not to explode with joy.

What say you, friends- what’s your favorite breakfast for dinner? Or, like Evan, are you irrationally opposed to the concept?

This entry was posted in Food.

July Review: Birchbox, ipsy, and Sample Society

I know, I know- I’m so late to the subscription box party! I’ve been subscribing to Birchbox for a little over a year now, and have enjoyed most of what they sent me. I’ve gotten a few lackluster boxes recently, though, and decided to see what else the work of beauty subscriptions had to offer. The verdict is still out on ipsy…I’ve had two boxes now that haven’t wow-ed me. I just got my first Sample Society box, though, and love it! Check out my reviews for this month, and tell me about your subscription experiences!

Birchbox Review

Monthly delivery for $10/month
Includes 4-5 beauty and lifestyle samples

This month my box included a Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream, Cynthia Rowley Lip Stain, Marcelle 8-in-1 Power Serum, 100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel, Harvey Hello Body Cream, and a free year subscription to Women’s Health Magazine. Birchbox is kind of hit or miss for me, but this month was really a hit! Travel size shaving cream is perfect, because I can never pack it when I’m flying, and I think the magazine subscription is great. I don’t love getting foil packets, but I’m sure that I’ll use all of the samples, so I’m pretty satisfied with Birchbox this month.

Ipsy Review

Monthly delivery for $10/month
Includes 4-5 full sized or deluxe sample products, flus a makeup bag

This month my box included Clear Clinic Laboratories Clear Spot Treatment, bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow, POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer, Pixi Beauty Tinted Brilliance Lip Balm, Pur-lisse Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, and the pink cosmetics bag pictured here. I’ve heard so many good things about ispy, but haven’t really been wow-ed- last month I receive a full sized mascara that was unusable, due to its incredibly potent chemical small. This month, I don’t love the tiniest eyeshadow, or the tinted balm that actually doesn’t have any color. I suspect that the Spot Treatment is mostly alcohol, and it really dried out my face; on the other hand, since it was so liquid (texture of water) it went under makeup well. I am, however, happy to see a full sized bronzer, and I love having purse sunscreen. So, again, I’m not wow-ed, but not upset…I think that if my box is equally underwhelming next month, I’ll probably cancel.

Sample Society Review

Allure Sample Society
Monthly Delivery for $15/month
Includes 4-5 Full sized and deluxe beauty and makeup samples

Apparently, this subscription was only recently re-launched, and is new and improved. I can’t compare to the old version, since I just started subscribing this month, but I’m really impressed! This month I received a Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Aqua Universalis Eau de Toilette sample, Laura Mercier Highlighter Powder, L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Liquid Lipcolor, Fekkai Intense Fortifying Masque, and Butter London Nail Lacquer. I could do without the perfume sample, and I didn’t love the L’Oreal color that I received, but the full sized nail polish more than made up for both of those! Also, the highlighter is a pretty substantial size, and I’m really excited to try to hair masque- my hair seems to love Fekkai products. Overall, I’m more than satisfied with this subscription so far- hopefully they keep including awesome products in generous sizes.

So- tell me about your subscription experiences! Amazing, awful, or somewhere in between? Or, is there an amazing box I need to try?

Shredded Beef and Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas

It’s funny how Taco Tuesday comes around every. single. week. and I never get tired of making or eating Mexican inspired food! This week we’re continuing our deviation from tacos, specifically, with quesadillas. Roasted Veggie Shredded Beef Quesadillas 2For this week, our quesadilla recipe was pretty intentional- beef had time to stew in a spicy marinade in the crock pot all day, and I have quite the bounty of fresh vegetables ready for roasting. Usually, though, quesadillas can easily turn into one of my fridge clean out go-to meals- we always have cheese and tortillas hanging around, so it’s usually just a matter of assembling some sort of other filling. So open your cupboards, check out what’s available, and join me in my quesadilla appreciation!   Roasted Veggie Shredded Beef Quesadillas   Shredded Beef and Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas

–          2-3 pound beef roast
–          4 chipotle peppers in adobo
–          2 garlic cloves
–          Handful of cilantro leaves
–          1 tbsp cumin
–          1 can or bottle of beer
–          1/2 sweet onion, sliced
–          1 zucchini
–          8 oz mushrooms
–          1 bell pepper
–          ½ sweet onion
–          8 tortillas
–          1 cup shredded cheese

Prepare the beef: in a blender or food processor, mix the chipotle peppers, garlic, cilantro and cumin. Pour into a crock pot, and stir in the beer and sliced onions. Place roast in the cooking liquid, and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours. When this is done, remove the beef from the crock pot, shred, and return to the juice to keep warm. This is something that you can definitely do over the weekend, then use the beef all week, if you’re prepared like that. Prepare the veggies: Dice the zucchini, mushrooms, pepper and onion into pieces about 1 centimeter square- you want them all to be about the same size, and not too big. Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat. Add some oil to the hot pan, and toss veggies for about five minutes, until they’re a bit softened and have some color. You can also prep this step well in advance.Roasted Veggie Shredded Beef Quesadillas 3Prepare the quesadillas: after years of improving our stuffed quesadilla technique, Evan and I have found the best way to make them with tons of filling, but so they still stick together (because you know when you put a layer of cheese, and then a layer of stuff on top, the two tortillas never stick to each other). So, it’s pretty much rocket science- very carefully, mix some of the veggies with some of the beef and some of the cheese in a bowl (whatever proportions you like). In a skillet over medium high heat, lay one tortilla, top with the filling mix spread to the edges, and cover with another tortilla. Ta da! The cheese mixed throughout the filling acts like glue, so everything stays in. Brown on each side, slice into 4 or 6 pieces, and enjoy with a ton of guac and pico.

This entry was posted in Food.

Almond Ice Cream with Cherry Compote and Brown Butter Streusel

Hi, I’m Erin and I cannot stop making ice cream.

Cherry Almond Ice Cream 3   Seriously, you guys…I’d wanted an ice cream make for years, but thought that it would take up way too much space for the few times I would use it. As it turns out- I was wrong. It takes up space, sure, but I’m making so much ice cream!

I made my inaugural batch of ice cream about two weeks ago. We had all of those fresh cherries, so I decided to go with a cherry ice cream. Obvious, right? But then, for some texture, I decided that I’d like a streusel situation swirled through and we ended up with a brown butter oat streusel. But wait- cherry goes really well with almonds, right? So we did an almond ice cream, with a sweet cherry compote and brown butter streusel.

Cherry Almond Ice CreamAnd, friends, it’s so easy- I thought ice cream making would be a process, but it really wasn’t. Notably, I used Jeni’s Ice Cream Base (of the ridiculously amazing Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, founded in Columbus). Here’s what I did…

Almond Ice Cream with Cherry Compote and Brown Butter Streusel

–          2 cups milk
–          4 tsp cornstarch
–          1 ¼ heavy cream
–          2/3 cup sugar and 2 tbsp sugar
–          2 tbsp corn syrup
–          ¼ tsp kosher salt
–          1 ½ oz cream cheese
–          1 tsp almond extract
–          1 tbsp butter, and 1 tbsp butter, melted
–          2/3 cup chopped cherries
–          Juice of ½ lemon
–          2 tbsp brown sugar
–          1/3 cup oats
–          1/3 cup slivered almonds
–          ½ tsp cinnamon
–          Sprinkle of kosher salt

Make the base: In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 2-3 tbsp of the milk, and set aside. In a saucepan, bring the rest of the milk, the cream, 2/3 cup sugar, and the salt to a boil, and boil for 4 minutes exactly. Stir in the slurry, and boil for about a minute. In a small bowl (I used the same one I had the starch mixture in) mix the cream cheese with about ½ cup of the milk mixture, until it’s completely lump free. Mix the cheese and milk mixtures together, stir in the almond extract, and cool completely. Note: some people use an ice bath to cool the base immediately, but I like to make the base the day before, and let it sit in the fridge. This is also helpful because it reminds me to put my ice cream maker into the freezer to sit overnight, as well.

Make the compote: Melt the butter over medium heat, and add the chopped cherries, 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp sugar. Cook until the sugar is melted and the mixture has reduced to a thick syrup. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice. I also recommend making this ahead of time, so it has time to cool before you stir it into the ice cream.

Make the streusel: In a mixing bowl, stir together the 1 tbsp melted butter, brown sugar, oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until the almonds are slightly brown, about ten minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on these and mix regularly, because it’s so easy for nuts to burn!

Make the ice cream: assemble your ice cream maker. Pour the base into the freezer and freeze according to your manufacturer’s instructions. When there are about five minutes left, add the cherry compote and continue to freeze. Once my mixture had reached a firm soft-serve stage, I removed the bowl from the machine and used a wooden spoon to stir in the streusel (it seemed like that might be more than my freezer could handle). Then transfer the ice cream to freezer containers and freeze for at least two hours, to really firm up. Or, I mean, eat it as soon as everything is mixed. Totally your call 🙂

Cherry Almond Ice Cream 4I have one more ice cream recipe in the chute (thanks to our amazing local farmers market) but then I need ideas. I’m thinking something with banana and nutella, or smores, or peanut butter and brownies. Any suggestions, or flavor profiles you love?


This entry was posted in Food.

Friday Five: Acts of Self Kindness

A few weeks ago (actually, ten weeks ago, if we’re being honest) I attending a multi-day seminar called the Corporate Athlete. The very, very basic premise of the workshop was that people who work in corporate America are constantly on, between the enormous number of hours that we’re actually in the office, to the extra hours we spend on email and being remotely available and the generally ongoing brainstorming and working through problems in our off time. For all that time that we spend on the job, we generally don’t take care of our bodies, which makes you wonder- how long can you ignor your personal wellness, and still be the most effective version of yourself?

Friday Five Kindness

To cut down on a very long story, I’ve finally gotten around to taking a strong inventory of all four spheres of my wellness (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual)…and there’s some room for improvement in my life. I’d bet that there’s definitely some room for improvement in all of our lives, don’t you think? So this week’s five is all about taking care of yourself- and here are five of my ideas for Ways to Be Kind to Yourself.

  1. Movement. I’m no athlete, and you won’t find me running a half marathon any time soon. I’ve dabbled a lot, though, in many activities and there’s never been a time when I wished I would not have done something physical. Maybe you talk a long stroll with yourself or someone whose company you enjoy, maybe you take a soothing yoga class, or maybe surprise yourself with a kickboxing class, or one of the new dance classes that are popping up everywhere. Whatever you choose, getting physical is kindness to your heart, your muscles, and usually your psyche. (I finally found Yoga With Adriene, and her yoga videos are changing my life…seriously.)

  2. Self-expression. Maybe you want to literally journal, or maybe you want to vent your thoughts in the car on the way to work (I love to talk to myself in the car) or maybe art is your self-expression. However you choose, think about spending time at the end of each day getting your thoughts out. This will allow you to purge yourself of toxic internal dialogue, see what’s really floating around in there, and maybe help you find a bit of peace before you go to sleep. (I started using Emily Ley’s Simplified Journal some nights before bed, and it’s amazing how fast I can go from mind racing to perfectly calm, with the help of a complete brain dump.)
  3. Pamper yourself. I don’t know what your pampering looks like, or your budget for that matter. Maybe you need a spa day, okay, but my version of pampering usually involves finding a really indulgent beverage (today I’m looking at you, peanut butter milkshake) and giving myself a few hours to read. That’s all, really. Reading a book when there’s so much else that can be done feels like such an indulgence to me, so when I do settle down with a book, I banish any nagging feelings and just relax. It’s me time!
    Good things
  4. Affirmations. It feels cheesy, yes, but sometimes you just need to review the good things in your life. When I get down on my body, I take a stock of some of my good features (I have very pale skin, but it’s also incredibly soft. As is my stomach area J but I have surprisingly lovely feet). Or sometimes I get jealous of something happening in one of my friends’ life, and when I take a minute to list my many blessings, I realize that my life is pretty good, too. In a world that’s so full of carefully curated social media messaging, it can be really easy to compare yourself to others and come up lacking. I say, choose to see the good in yourself, and acknowledge what’s awesome. (My friend Sara, on Fit for a Bride, posted that quote last week, and I really love the sentiment!)
  5. Dream. Dream as big as you possibly can. This is the hardest idea for me to embrace- I hate to fail, but more than that I hate to fail publicly. Therefore, I usually keep my dreams small, and only share my accomplishments, and not my goals. This makes it harder for me to accomplish what I want to, because I don’t have a support system in place to help me succeed. The moment I put any of my dreams out into the world, though, people step up and make suggestions and offer resources and provide guidance, and I can accomplish anything more easily and more efficiently. So this is what I am striving for- to set goals for myself, enormous goals, and put them out into the world, and see what the world has in mind for me. Try it out…I think you will find that the world has so much support to offer, if only you reach out!

Tell me about your acts of self kindness- what have you been doing to improve your life, lately? Or what do you want to do in the future?