Thursday, April 30, 2015

On Moving Forward & Bringing My Lessons With Me

Good afternoon, Sunshines!

A few of you have been so sweet to check in and see what's doing with me, so I'm just taking a moment to say hello and fill you in. 

As many of you know from personal experience, staying home with a young child requires not only patience for the child, but also for the evolution and fruition of all those big kinds of ideas that never used to take so long to manifest before your child blessed your life with so many challenges and rewards.

And so the first thing that's been happening with me is that I've been learning - not only to accept my slow progress, but to embrace the fact that the progress doesn't have to stop simply because it's slow, that it doesn't have to be full steam ahead or no steam at all. I have been realizing and actuating what I've always known intellectually - that the time will pass anyway and that it will undoubtedly have been better to strive however slowly and steadily than not to have strived at all.

It feels good to make better peace with that idea (and I say better because I will probably always struggle with my passion and impatience to bring my ideas to life). It feels more and more rewarding to choose to believe that the effort and the lessons of the slow striving are as much the achievement as the ends toward which they are being directed.

So how exactly have my projects been panning out?

Well, the music project with Dean that started out as a duo is now slowly evolving into a group thing, and we are patiently assembling our ensemble with some great musicians with whom we hope to mutually gel, learn, and most importantly, just fill our souls with the satisfaction of making music again.

Those local globally and frugally inspired cooking classes I started dreaming up before Bella was even conceived are evolving into these Sunday Brunchuary Cooking Workshops that I'm going to host right here in my little suburban bohemian kitchen, my self-consciousness about my little house and even littler kitchen be damned.

And that desire to offer more to my little corner of the Universe than just food, food and more food? That's become BodyBellySoul Retreats - a partnership with my friend and biz partner Kelli May to host fun, fulfilling, delicious, and accessible local mini-retreats where people can recharge through yoga, fantastic food and drink, creative outlets, opportunities to pay it forward, and just a generally laid back good time.

I guess the other thing that's happening with me is that I am allowing myself the freedom and expansion to endeavor all these things without judgment - from self or others - that this simply isn't done, that no one gets to do all these different things with any kind of success, that you don't get to take a tortoise's pace in building your business so you can prioritize the people you love, or that this path is just not legitimate in any number of other ways.

I am choosing to no longer cage my past lessons - of striving for too much too quickly, of overworking myself, and of losing perspective and balance - inside the fear of repeating past mistakes. I am choosing to trust my hard won sense of priorities, gratitude, and centeredness and test its mettle as I move into this second half of my life, being, doing, and becoming as fully as I dare.

Thanks always for your support and good juju through all.

With love,


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ototo Sushi Co. - San Diego, CA in Pics

Two weeks since the last post! I've been busy planning my Sunday Brunchuary Cooking Workshops and the BodyBellySoul™ retreats with my friend and biz partner (and awesome newly certified yoga instructor!) Kelli May, and the time has flown.

Yellowtail Tiradito -
Yellowtail Sashimi marinated with Shiso Ponzu Vinaigrette,
topped with microgreens

But there have been so many great experiences in the past few weeks that I want to share, so I'm just gonna start somewhere and make what progress I can.

Garlic Edamame

Ototo Roll -
Tuna, Yellowtail, Salmon, Avocado wrapped with
Cucumber and Yuba (Japanese Soy Paper)

We went to Ototo Sushi Co. after a morning at the San Diego Zoo after yelping for decent looking sushi joints in the area that were actually open for lunch. (A lot of the good ones don't open until dinner on the weekends or at all.) It was well reviewed and with good reason. Great food, clean, casual and convivial atmosphere, and comfortably friendly and attentive service.

Mixed Tempura

Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp)

Not only was the sushi good, but the ramen is super tasty. Great chew to the noodles, and a wonderful lightness and balance to the broth. (It can be really hard to get a bowl of ramen in which the saltiness of the broth hasn't overconcentrated from a little too much time and evaporation on the burner, even if the broth was a good one to begin with.)

White Tonkotsu Ramen with Roast Pork -
pork based soup with bamboo shoots, thin sliced green onion,
and soft boiled egg

Ikura (salmon egg)

Uni (sea urchin)

Bella having her current fave sushi, unagi (eel), with Wa.

Oh, and that Scotch Pudding for dessert was sublime.

Ginger-Vanilla Scotch Pudding

And the prices are surprisingly reasonable for such good food at that level of execution.

Looking forward to going back soon. :)

To see all my pics, click HERE.

Ototo Sushi Co. (link)
5651 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dean's Fizzy Colada

And further to that last post...

Dean's Fizzy Colada

- 8 oz. rocks glass filled with ice
- 1 generous shot Malibu Coconut Rum (or 1/2 Malibu and 1/2 straight white rum if you like it a little more boozy
- juice of half a lime
- Jarritos PiƱa (Pineapple) Soda to fill

Stir, garnish, enjoy.



For My Fellow Failing Stay At Home Parents...

Good afternoon, Sunshines!

It's been a challenging week on the stay at home parenting front. Actually, it's been a challenging year.

Before anyone's tempted to tell me how I should cherish every moment because it goes so quickly, I already know. This is my third and last go around and truth be told, it's only marginally easier now than it was over a decade ago when my bigger ones were little to have my days dictated by the wants and needs of a small child. Another truth be told, I don't look wistfully on those days now that they've passed. Not that there aren't wonderful memories from that time, but every phase in my relationship with my children has had moments worth remembering and moments worth forgetting.

There have been many days of late when tears of frustration have knotted up in my chest to the point it hurts and I've wrestled with whether I'm cut out for this or if some preschool for her and work outside the home for me would be the best thing for the both of us. Every day that I don't schedule a visit at the Montessori down the street and hang up a cooking class shingle is truly taken one at a time.

This situation has tested my patience, resolve, and perspective, and they have failed almost as many times as they've passed passably, and hiding out in the closet with Netflix, wine, and chocolate seems like an impossible dream vacation.

I've been through this enough times to know this feeling will pass one way or another, but I'm sharing because I know I'm not alone in these feelings, because I want someone else who's feeling them to know they're not alone, and because I believe in the power of a good, empathic, commiserative vent session to get us through our trials from time to time.

So if you also happen to be barely holding this stay at home parenting gig together at the moment, know we're in this together and I'll be two fisted toasting you in just a few.

We can do this. ;)


Monday, April 13, 2015

Doggie Gate Trellis

You might recall that several weeks back, I had big plans for landscaping the dirt lot back yard until I figured out how much those plans were going to cost us. So I'm scaling my plans wayyy back for the time being and have decided to make a piecemealed recycled and upcycled junkyard garden of it for now.

My first installation - Honeydew's doggie gate turned trellis for our clematis. (We forgot to send it with her when we returned her to her mom in Arizona.)

It's still mostly pretty sad back there, but the tomatoes, geraniums, and clemmies do give it some color. :)

Go 'Head - JUMP. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Afternoon, Sunshines!

Finding my tribe with long lost family, making great progress on our BodyBellySoul™ retreats, and clearing some mental cobwebs so I can keep forging ahead.

It's been an amazing week. Hope yours has been as kind.

With love,


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Grigsby Cactus Gardens - Vista, CA in Pics

You never know what's going to capture your teenager's imagination and interest, but if it's anything other than video games and electronic devices, you jump at the chance to cultivate that interest.

Joey's latest interest happens to be cacti, so I yelped around for local cactus nurseries and found Grigsby Cactus Gardens in Vista.

Joey thinks it's in "one of those weird neighborhoods you're always taking us to," but it's not all that weird. It's just a little remote and rustic feeling because Vista still has a lot of mixed agricultural/residential areas where people have acreage and old growth plants and dirt lined roads, which I personally find quite lovely and charming, but which is understandably "weird" to a kid who grew up in a Stepford densely littered with McMansions. (We don't live there anymore, thank Goddess! ;) )

Drive up to the gate, honk thrice, and give Ms. Madeline (the owner) a little time to get to the gate to let you in. She'll let you know which plants are available for regular retail purchase and which ones to "don't even think about asking to buy!" because they're for her internet and wholesale customers.

We got a quite stern and totally understandable
warning to keep Izz with us at all times because,
well, kids and prickly cacti... :|

Even the limited selection you are allowed to buy is considerable.

If you love cacti and succulents, you'll be totally glad you drove out to that weird place.

That green ball is Joey's. :)

Let's hope he doesn't kill it. :P


Grigsby Cactus Gardens (yelp link)
2326 - 2354 Bella Vista Drive
Vista, CA 92084
760. 727.1323

To see the whole album, click HERE.