Tag Archives: inspiration

In Pursuit of (Daily) Happiness. What’s on Your List?

Cassis, France | IPOM

There are things that bring us all happiness in our lives.

It could be a quiet moment, or a few hours with a really good book. For some it could be a run in the woods, or a call from a good friend. For me, I can always use a good laugh, and luckily there is no lack of that in my life.

I was at the gym this week, doing my thing on the stair master & catching up on some (mindless but wonderful) magazine reading (this is one of my happy places). In this month’s issue of Canadian FASHION, there is a page dedicated to New Year’s Resolutions (after all, ’tis the season). On this page, a few celebrity clothing designers wax about their goals for the coming year.

There was one I read that particularly struck a chord with me (I love those moments).

“I want to create a ‘happy list’ and encourage my daughters to make their own. A happy list is a list of what quickly and easily puts a smile on my face, like a bubble bath. I will make sure to do at least one of those things every day.”

~ Rachel Roy

Tofino - Photo by Niko Pavlo

Photo by Niko Pavlo

An amazing and simple concept, and one that can shockingly fall by the wayside all too easily sometimes. So in my own pursuit of more (happiness, purpose, substance), it strikes me that this all too simple idea simply must factor not just into the bigger picture of life, but into each and every day of my existence (I’ve personally been working on this for a long while).

So, if you’ll oblige, here are 12 things I would add to my daily ‘happy list’ – it amazes to think that these are actually at times hard to do. I’d LOVE to hear what would be on all of yours!

Here goes my 12 daily bits of happiness…

  1. A long run in the cold air
  2. An entire day or evening with my family ~ with all of my technology turned off & tucked away out of sight & out of mind
  3. A long walk with a loved one (or two)
  4. Giving something away
  5. A good meal on a truly hungry stomach
  6. Cooking in the kitchen with a favorite record on
  7. A glass of wine on the couch with my husband (love that guy) with a good record on
  8. An afternoon in the garden with my bare hands in the soil
  9. A hot cup of tea, and a moment to just sit still in the quiet
  10. A hot aromatherapy bubble bath (thanks Rachel)
  11. A few deep breaths
  12. A ride though the city on my old creaky bike (usually with the hubby ~ he makes me wear a helmet when I ride alone)

Tofino - Image by Niko Pavlo

It seems so simple, but really the best things in life really always are. So that’s my list off the top of my head ~ what’s on the top of yours? 🙂

As we move into the final push of the Christmas season, I am struggling to feel as though I really need anything (I really don’t). Everything I really need is already right in front of me, or within me, and I just need to make them happen, every day. To me that is an empowering thought.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic ~ and thanks for reading, as always!

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Happiness, Health, Hope, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Rejuvenation, Success

Market Day in Provence: A Picture Journey

If only the world could stand still a moment.

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”

~ Susan Polis Schutz

Alas it does seem a while since I posted, bonjour everyone!

Truth be told, it’s been somewhat challenging to blog from the road here, as time inside is limited and my mind is flooded with new sensations, views, ideas, and inspiration, none of which have solidified enough to properly put to words.

It is also (put more simply) that I am (and for the first time in a long time and maybe actually ever) in pure honest vacation mode, and my mind has turned off (mostly) everything.

All to make room for the new.

Here, in Provence (where we arrived Friday after a few glorious days in Burgundy), I was treated Sunday to my very first Provencal market experience, and what a treat that was!

The adorable and ancient village where we are based, called L’isle Sur La Sorgue, is somewhat popular for its markets, most notably antiques.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Provence itself as a much larger area, (I just read in my French history book) has been celebrated since the Roman times for its particularly good fresh produce.

With the area being somewhat continually drenched in hot sun (it has been between 35 and 40 degrees steady since we arrived), one would think it obvious that this food would be good, and I had heard that indeed, it was.

But I was not prepared for this.

There are simply no words that could adequately describe the taste of the food that grows here, for this is (for any fruit and vegetable lover) a total mecca.

So in the absence of new recipes, I do hope you’ll enjoy a little tour of the town and the market with me here – as I’ve tried to do it justice, but I’ll let you be the judge 🙂

Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.

~ Eckhart Tolle

Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.

~ Eckhart Tolle

I am quite sure I read there were over 300 stalls at this market on Sunday, and judging by the fact that we couldn’t even see it all, I believe it.

This little village, with its narrow ancient streets, transformed into a bustling shopping zone with sellers & producers offering everything from soap, to clothing, records, antiques, jewellery, shoes, bags, scarves, spices, and of course food.

Oh, the glorious food.

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.

~ Unknown

Forget every stereotype you’ve ever heard about the French being anything less than polite. Here, they are warm, and excited to see visitors delight in their hard work. In fact, here in the south, the people are downright wonderful.

There are so many characters in a small village like this. And their food, their food.

It is truly sublime, not to mention very cheap (I’ll share more in my next post on just how inexpensive it really is).

Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

~ William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets

In my next post I’ll tell you the top foods we’ve been enjoying here, especially since arriving here in Provence where we’ve got a full functioning kitchen, a barbeque, and an outdoor eating area to enjoy the food and the company under the open skies.

After Paris, and then a few days in hotel in Beaune, we are happy to be enjoying a lovely amount of space here, and are taking advantage of the fresh food & views available right around the corner.

L’espoir fait vivre.

~ French Proverb, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”

We’ve got just a few more days here, so the likelihood that I’ll get another post out before the end of this trip is quite small, but you never know – I’ll have months of inspiration to share and enjoy from the perspective of life at home.

But not just yet!

From here, we head south for a night to enjoy the ocean before returning to Paris for the last two nights – we head home Monday. I hope you all are enjoying the final weeks of summer, and I’ll look forward to catching up soon!

  • If you traveled to Provence, what would be on your list to eat?

Let us know, and thanks for joining me!

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Aspirations, Children, Cooking, Family, Food, Happiness, Health, Hope, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Photography, Rejuvenation, Salads, Travel, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Taking Cues from Country Folk & Removing My Shoes

Start by removing all pretense, then your shoes.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

I went, I saw, I ate, I reveled. I went home.

Freshly back from a visit to the country, my senses are still reeling from the sights and sounds of water, birds, soft grass, good clean food, laughter and plenty of pure unadulterated stillness.

A typical weekend visit to the family home means (weather permitting) farmer’s market visits, long runs in the quiet breezy air, and plenty of ocean-side time to the sounds of lapping water and the odd speed boat off in the far salty distance.

There, my phone doesn’t work, and neither do I.

This time of year, there is bounty in the gardens. Meals come from the yard and ingredients are picked not days, and not hours, but just minutes before preparing (and eating of course!).

Back home during the growing season, planning meals is as much about what is ready as it is about what your appetite tells you (actually quite a bit more).

Peas come and go for three weeks only, the strawberries show their bright faces only long enough to remember their soft red cheeks, and (thankfully) the kale grows for many prosperous and green months on end.

It’s a different (and refreshing) way to look at food.

I hope you’ll humor me as we walk through the garden and take (just a few) extra moments of island time.

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.

~ Chinese Proverb

I always start by removing my shoes. The grass feels better that way, and somehow, everything seems just that much more beautiful. And real. Something about dirt in my toes.

Sometimes there isn’t an entire pints worth of strawberries left to pick and you have to enjoy what there is (these were the last ones saved for my daughter to pick).

This simple example (to me) embodies the ‘less is more’ lifestyle with crystal clarity – enjoying what there is when it is and making it last.

I won’t try to deny these strawberries were most thoroughly enjoyed. Yes, all 5 of them.

Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A quick (slightly disappointing) visit to the local grocery store offers a stark contrast to the bounty that is seen on display at the Farmer’s Market.

There at the market you can meet the guys who make your white chocolate scones and work through the night to make your loaf of daily bread.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

~ Michael Pollan

It brings a new appreciation for where your food comes from – to see the hands that create the food for your nourishment and to lay eyes on the mouths that smile from a life of honest work.

For those of us who are blessed to live where produce grows in abundance, it seems an easy choice to buy (and eat) local.

Here in the city if I miss the Farmer’s Market, I’ve got a great grocery store in just about every neighborhood I can hit up as I need.

In many smaller communities this often isn’t the case. So more and more communities are relying on themselves, and on each other.

There are many communities across the globe who don’t have this…..yet.

After a visit like this, I return feeling more resolved than ever to work towards ways to bring food security to everyday people. Like me, (maybe) you, and (maybe) our neighbors.

There is just too much capability for abundance not to.

It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.

~ Aristotle

It seems so easy.

1. Grow food.

You need soil. You need seeds. Add a little sunshine and diligent watering and watch it grow.

I didn’t get my veggie garden in this year, as I mentioned there is just so much abundance all around me, there is no urgent reason not to support those who are working hard to produce amazing food for the region right now. It’s on the list, but for now I am happy to support those who are already in the game.

2. Cook it.

Prepare your meals with love. Plan around what there is. Use what you have, and what you can reasonably afford.

Maybe even tuck (just a little) away for someone else. Who knows? It’s all up to you, and to us as a whole, if we decide.

3. Eat it.

Eat with mindfulness if you can. Chew with gratitude. Swallow with awareness, and look your meal-mates in the eye. Talk with one another. Fully be. Wherever it is you may be.

4. Be nourished.

Being nourished is about so much more than just good food. Start with a helping of healthy, homemade vegetables & proteins, add a generous sprinkle of gratitude & and a moderate side of humility, and enjoy the fruits of your (or someone else’s) labor. After all, it is surely delicious. Isn’t it?

These are the simple things we can do.

From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.

~ Arthur Ashe

I want to take a moment to thank all of the supporters of this blog. Having such a supportive group of readers has made this whole project take on a completely new life. This isn’t just my project anymore – I really feel that it’s ours.

I have been touched to receive notes from a few of you looking to connect about health topics ranging from the importance of fitness to a holistic lifestyle (so true – link to Susan’s site here) – to the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle for those living with terminal illnesses such as cancer (link to Jillian’s blog here).

All of you have such amazing stories to tell and I am happy to do what I can to bring awareness to wellness initiatives everywhere.

But for now, let’s eat, and take off our shoes.

We all have things we do to escape and break what can seem like difficult patterns or routines we are stuck in – or simply just to get away. I’d love to hear what you do to step away.

  • Are you a garden lover?
  • Where do you take your shoes off and really relax?

For now, let’s eat well, and enjoy!

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

~ Muhammad Ali

Next up I’ve got a super delicious chickpea salad in the wings – you’ll want to catch this one it is that delicious! Wishing you all a super fabulous week!

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Cheap, Cooking, Family, Food, Happiness, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Rejuvenation, Salads, Travel, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

On Road Tripping and (just a little) Time to Breathe.

Anyone fancy a road trip?

Life is a journey, not a destination.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Holla friends and bloggers! It’s so great to be baaaack!

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful few days over the weekend! As for us, we took a few extra days to enjoy the Canadian holiday that just passed and celebrated with the first road trip of the summer season.

We love to road trip!

Ah, open space, open roads, and open minds.

Road trips are not for everyone, and I know a few people who simply don’t enjoy time cooped up in a car for hours on end. With that, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ‘more’ ways to make road travel (just a little) ‘less’ stressful, and maybe (just a little) more enjoyable.

Of course, if you are a lover of the open road like we are, I’d love to hear your tips!

Here are a few of our faves…

Eat breakfast. Eat it before you go, or pack it and take it with you.

Just as you wouldn’t set off for the highway without a full tank of gas, its important to start the trip with a good full tummy!

So whether it’s a bowl of oatmeal, a piece of toast, or a yummy green smoothie (my next post), enjoy it before you head off.

Or, simply throw your smoothie into a clean mason jar and you are good to go for whenever you do get hungry!

The only journey is the one within.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Pack plenty of food. The key to a good time is always good food, and the car is no exception!

Easy to eat and clean up healthy snacks are best – and are always appreciated as well!

Our faves are lots of raw veggies, PB&J sandwiches, bagels, jujubes, and easy fruits like apples and oranges.

Nothing feels as good as being prepared, and I love pulling the good stuff out of the bag and smiling while they chow down 🙂

Take lots of fresh water. Staying well hydrated anytime is key, and especially on the road (even if it does mean more annoying pee breaks).

Keeping hydrated ensures you arrive at your destination fresh and ready, instead of dry and wilted.

Water helps with alertness too (for the driver). So pack lots of the cold stuff just to be safe, and pee breaks are always a nice excuse to hit another view-point!

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Cover your bases. Before leaving for the road, make sure you’ve got enough supplies to keep everyone happy….toilet paper, paper towel, tea towels for extra spills, plastic bags, hand sanitizer, gravol, and pillows & blankets for those who might sleep in the back…..or the front….always me on the way home!

Remember to love the driver. I made a rule years ago to honor the driver that got me somewhere. It’s super corny, but I know my driving hubby likes a little of that love, and I like to give it.

The open road can be harsh, and driving is stressful. I try to remember the driver, to thank them, and to take care of them. So whether it’s a little neck massage, an arm scratch, a well-timed Altoid, or even just a genuine ‘thank you’ – a little goes a long way, even if it is just a little gesture.

I wonder if she is practicing mindful breathing?

Take the opportunity to breathe (or not). Anyone tried mindful breathing on the road? It’s a great time to focus on breath and calm the self for the long road ahead. Just a few deep breaths to start the trip and you might relax (just a little) more.

Now wouldn’t that be swell?

Smile, breathe and go slowly.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Get ready to be inspired. My favorite part of the open road is the possibility ahead, especially at the start of a trip!

With all the promise of a few days away, comes an unknown that brings us joy and maybe (just a little) hope. Hope that we’ll see and do things that will bring us joy.

Hope in the memories we’ll make and the sights that we’ll see. Notebooks, cameras, books and music. Anything to inspire and delight!

The world is ours to see.

Strong and content I travel the open road.

~ Walt Whitman

With this view, I am sure you can imagine we didn’t leave much, and arriving there was pretty sweet indeed.

We had a great time with old friends, and it was surely worth the drive.

The meals weren’t half bad either, as you can see from these shots of the wonderfully bustling farmer’s market 🙂

  • An inspired vacation salad..

    Are you a fan of travel or road trips?

  • What are your favorite travel snacks?

In my next post I’ll be sharing with you my latest green smoothie (pictured here today), and I am so thrilled to have heard from those of you who had success with some of the recent IPOM recipes!

Thank you for your wonderful comments, support, and feedback – I always love to hear from you 🙂

Wishing you all a super wonderful week!

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Children, Family, Happiness, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Rejuvenation, Travel, Vegetables

On Toronto, Coffeeshops, and Cooking Together

Sam James Coffee Bar on Harbord. A seriously ‘Less is More’ aesthetic and killer coffee.

Travel is always an adventure, right?

While it may have been work travel, it’s still pretty sweet to get out and enjoy a new city when the opportunity presents itself, especially when it’s a gem like Toronto.

I grew up visiting family in this city (I have always been a West Coast girl) and have many fond memories of it.

Toronto is where I got my ears pierced (behind my parents backs), where I first rode public transit on my own, and where the many colorful stories of my immediate family history originated (of which there are so, so many).

Turns out it’s still a pretty cool place. It may not have the hills, the ocean, and the ozonated air like home does (how many great cities actually do?), but it’s got its charms.

Sam James sidewalk.

Having visited a lot of coffee shops in my life (what can I say – it’s my job!), Toronto has a little something special going on as far as the local coffee scene.

Add to that the bustling, gritty charm of Kensington Market, the gorgeous grounds of the University of Toronto, and the many great restaurants that pop up out of no where, and downtown is not a bad place to traipse around.

Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.

~Frederick B. Wilcox

Sitting pretty at Kensington Market.

IPOM is certainly not a travel blog, but it is a place to celebrate the little things, and traveling is a bit of treat (IMO), whether work related or not (unless it isn’t).

Here are just a few of the moments I snuck in between more serious tasks.

Thanks for joining me, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

As always, I am a total nerd for market style food shots. Lettuce and live herbs outside the convenience store on College Street? Why not?

If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

~ Unknown

The same goes for these apples, proving there is always a healthy alternative within reach in big cities.

It’s not Whole Foods, but it might just be as good (or maybe better).

A stroll through Kensington yielded a visit to a very inspiring and beautiful store called Good Egg.

I could have spent a week in there looking at food, cooking, and agriculture (the list goes on) books, drooling over their refined selection of kitchen stuff, and generally trying to memorize everything about it so I could open my own here at home. I am always dreaming.

Listen to the color of your dreams.

~ The Beatles

Seriously. I was so, totally in love.

I’ve said before that grocery stores are my happy place.

Well, I’d like to take that a step further and say that outdoor vegetable markets are my ultra happy place!

Baskets of gorgeous, bright fruits and vegetables are always a feast for the eyes and this stall at Kensington Market was no exception.

My husband thinks I am downright nuts on account of this (always has).
I maintain that’s just a part of my charm.


Cruising the University (cutting through from Yorkville to Little Italy) – I got a nice hit of charm from the gorgeous buildings and green everywhere. All these years I’d never seen this.

It was gorgeous, and a breath of fresh air in the middle of town.

Artisans are everywhere in this city, from behind the espresso machine, to behind the roaster, to behind the glass windows of the local flower shop.

I am a sucker for roses, especially this antique pink. This lovely arrangement stopped my breath at a little shop called Jaiden’s Petals on Ossington, I loved the sparse interior and the taste of the flower selection and merchandising in there.

Are you a sucker for flowers like me?

Catching a spot of sunshine was easy on the patio at Mercury Espresso bar in Leslieville.

Just looking at the seats made me happy. Imagine once I sat down 🙂

We also visited Te Aro, a new roaster from New Zealand doing superb things with coffee here in Canada.

I was so inspired there I bought myself a Chemex coffee maker and risked the trip home in my luggage (not that I couldn’t have picked one up here at home).
It totally made it unscathed – and I am now on the hunt for the right filter (thinking of the Coava cone) and a new grinder (considering a hand grinder for this).

Visiting the Junction, we headed to Crema Coffee, and a stop at a little shop getting a tremendous amount of buzz from locals and folks here at home – Mjolk – I’ll let you discover them here – is a pretty amazing store.

Honestly, I wasn’t feeling rich enough to afford anything in there (and if I could have would not have risked trying to get it home unbroken), but it’s worth checking out if you are at all interested. These guys have a totally cool blog too, that is super styley and worth a look at if you are inclined!

Of course looking at these gorgeous wooden cups now, I am kind of wishing I brought one home after all. At least they have an online store!

The street art is pretty prevalent, and I love the bright vibes and loose feel to this. Kinda makes you want to dance in the streets a little!

Dance is the hidden language of the soul.

– Martha Graham

Me and my buddy dressed identically.

Imagine us looking each other up and down at 8 in the morning. Ridiculous.

There were a lot of super fun highlights. Great dinners with great company at Delux and Gusto, and proof that I am not the only vegetable nerd around that loves a good raw kale salad and shaved brussels sprouts with vinaigrette.

My fave moment of all?

Training for Paris, of course!

Returning home has been fabulous, and the weekend was spent enjoying the pleasures and comforts of home, complete with plenty of time in the kitchen 🙂

On that note – I’m going to leave you with an invitation to a little party coming up!

Annie over at an unrefined vegan has completely blown me away by arranging a blogging feast for this coming Saturday, May 12th.

Many of you are attending, but for those who wish to join us for the feast, there will be 60 bloggers taking part with 60 vegan dishes prepared just for the party – not all of the bloggers are strict vegans (including yours truly) but the deal is the dish for this little shindig has to be.

So watch for it! I am looking forward to it and am super excited to see what everyone has in store (and I am pretty excited to share mine!).

Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?

~ Frank Scully

So thanks to Annie for her amazing effort in putting this all together, and to all the blogging buds far and wide taking part!

Here’s wishing you all a super fab Monday!

Welcome to all the new IPOM readers this week, I am so happy to have you here, and I hope you’ll join us in the conversation too!

  • Are you a potluck fan?
  • What’s your favorite potluck dish?
  • Anyone out there from Toronto (I know a few of you are!)
  • Anyone make the kale salad over the weekend?

Let us know how you all are doing!

Your comments are always welcome here with open arms.

Yours in Less,



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Filed under Family, Food, Happiness, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

On Sharing, Life, and the Little Things

Remember when it was your turn for Show & Tell?

“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.”

~ Austin Phelps

Happy Easter everyone!

Ever stopped to think about all you can do and why that makes you great?

I hinted a little in my last post about the grade 2 artwork that was on display (proudly I might add) in the hallway for all to see at my daughter’s school this week.

Each child was assigned a few questions, and their answers were posted with a photo of themselves and their proud, handwritten answers to (what I gathered) were questions like this:

  • What are you good at?
  • What do you like about yourself?
  • What hobby or sport do you do well?

I bet you all can relate to this one with me (just a little) – (or a lot).

Do you get tired when you run? I think everyone does. I wonder if this girl lets getting tired stop her from running.

With self-discipline most anything is possible.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

It seems all so simple and refreshing doesn’t it? Celebrating the simple things.

The gifts we are given, and the skills we learn. Elementary stuff really.

I loved this one especially.

“Anyone can cook”

~ Chef Gusteau, from the movie ‘Ratatouille’

With all we do, and all we see, do we celebrate our own simple qualities and skills enough?

Everyday holds the possibility of a miracle.

~ Elizabeth David

Is it possible our joy is always right within us – in our own talents, gifts, and interests?

The ones just waiting to be shared?


I know it sounds simple. But I like it.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

~ Winston Churchill

I think blogging is a bit like grown up show and tell – where we can share our creations, our thoughts, and what we are excited about.

The beauty is we don’t really have to wait our turn like we did as kids.

That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it?

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week.

It starts in my garden, where my magnolia tree finally decided to start blooming (it’s crazy late this year).

A host of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

~ William Wordsworth

One of my most favorites is cascading rock cress. This is not my garden (though I wish it was).

We are starting to plan this trip. Three whole weeks in France this August for the family.

Like a child I am getting giddy already and the conversation around the dinner table tends to focus on this (just a little).

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

~ Nelson Mandela

This is not a small thing.

It is a big thing.

You can bet we’ll be revelling in the lead up and planning a ‘less is more’ trip.

I’ll be sharing a lot more about this in the coming months.

You can bet on that!

I’m stoked about these moccasins. And happy to have feet that take me places.

I am grateful we can enjoy simple foods like when we were kids. Homemade mac’n’cheese makes me a popular mom. I don’t mind that at all.

Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I know I’ve been waiting for spring to come and save me, to renew me, and fill me with that sense of youthful promise we long for (maybe just a little) once we are grown.

Could it be that staying youthful is all about just sticking to (and celebrating) the basics?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I hope you all have a most wonderful spring weekend – whatever it is you do to celebrate Easter. We’ll be hunting for eggs and gathering around the table as always.

I think this year I might just make (a little) toast to myself. You know, for the little things 😉

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

~ Robert Brault

Happy holiday weekend dearest IPOM readers – I’m looking forward to what YOU have to share this weekend….and thank you all for the blogging inspiration, feedback, and enthusiasm!

You all just make my day.

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Aspirations, Children, Family, Happiness, Hope, Inspiration, Photography, Rejuvenation, Success, Travel

Feeding the Soul and (just a little) Inspiration

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.”

~J.R.R. Tolkien

Happy Friday IPOM readers and fellow blogging friends!

Yesterday was a fun day of travel for work, evidenced by the relaxing seaplane trip I took to do my business, and the slight break in me and the families normal routines.

Days like yesterday are truly refreshing.

I dare say they are also quite inspiring.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

~Christopher Robin (to Pooh)

Especially when my surroundings are cloaked in fresh ocean air and brilliant morning sunshine.

Fuel comes in so many forms, doesn’t it?

Our food is certainly our primary source of energy, and nothing could be more inspiring (or deliciously promising) than a basketful of greens and a few spare hours to create in the kitchen.

My main source of inspiration and an art form in itself!

Turn up the tunes, widen the smile, get on your (kitchen-friendly) dancing shoes, you favorite tattered apron, and away you go…

But as much as I love those times (and I LIVE for them) – give me a sunny day, a pen, a few empty pages, and a fresh outlook and I’m fed on a whole new level.

I often fast on a travel day too – making sure to catch up with healthy sustenance when I really feel hungry and hydrating with lots of fresh water and herbal tea for comfort if I feel like it.

The day seems to fly by when I do this and before I know it my mind is clear and so is my body.

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart…”

~William Wordsworth

I am curious to know with all you fabulous and inspired (and in turn, totally inspiring!) bloggers out there, just what feeds you outside of the wonderful food we all share and revel in?

A nap is always a welcome treat. Especially on the top of a mountain.

A Recipe for Inspiration (all items optional):

  • (1-2) good shots of fresh espresso
  • (1) ball point pen
  • (1) clean notebook (I have sooooo many)
  • (1) good sleep the night before
  • (1) bottle of fresh water
  • (1-2) rays of sunshine
  • (1-2) long deep breaths of fresh air
  • (1-2) moments of silence

These few simple ingredients make for a super calm, super relaxing time – no matter where you may be! Of course you can add or delete as you wish..

With all we have to do in life, it’s not always practical to get away on that much needed vacation in the sun, and it’s not feasible for many of us to just jet away on that silent meditation retreat we think will do us a world of good (ever tried just not talking?!).

Sometimes the best we can do is to work with what we have right in front of us.

This moment. Today.

So with that thought,  I’d love to know your recipe for inspiration, and what feeds you….

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”

~Vincent van Gogh

Coming up for your eating and cooking pleasure:

  • Summer smoothie
  • Lentil curry
  • a little something with chocolate and coconut!

As always, I absolutely adore your comments…feel free to share with us below!

I hope you all have a truly inspiring day!

Yours in Less,

30 Comments

Filed under Aspirations, Fasting, Inspiration, Photography, Rejuvenation, Travel

Finding More in (just a little) Snacks & Magic.

Do you believe in magic?

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.

~ Goethe

I think it’s safe to say there’s no shortage of magic in our household these days.

Evidence of this over the weekend was made by a visit by not one, but two of our (reasonably) regular household visitors – the Leprechaun and the Tooth Fairy (she’s been around A LOT lately).

I would say that one of the best parts about having kids is keeping up with all the magic.

There’s been a lot of other magic around these parts too of late, that being the wonder of the flowers that are (once again) poking their heads out of the cold earth to bring us cheerfulness and a renewed sense of possibility.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

~ Albert Einstein

A few peeks at the garden waking up.

For those of you who visit IPOM regularly (for which I am so grateful!), you have probably noticed the penchant over here for quotes and inspirational tidbits.

Keeping magic alive is a big part of the mystery (and fun) of life (IMO) and I am always game to look for (just a little) of the make believe here and there.

Part of it has to do with this:

There is no lack of creative juices in our household..there is a lack of desire to clean up though (another story entirely).

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

~ Sun Tzu

Another part is to do with this:

The Leprechaun leaving a trail behind..

I mean can you blame me?

I spent the weekend keeping up a bit of magic on St. Patty’s Day, making green chocolate bark (thanks to the ever creative genius of Cara over at Fork and Beans), and enjoying the simplicity of kid friendly snacks, and a long, looooong, walk in the fresh air.

The classic Ants on a Log.

I mean, with all the pressures we face to keep fit and exercise (run! ski! yoga! gym! bike!), the bottom line is our shoes are always there at our back door, ready to be laced up and taken for a walk.

That’s a magical and empowering thought (or reminder) in itself now isn’t it? Something so simple can be so special.

Not such a bad place to be on a walk about, hey?

Magic is always just right out your front door.

So with that, dear IPOM readers, I’ll leave you today (I’ll be getting saucy on my next post). What I’d really like to know is:

  • Do you believe in magic?
  • What gets your imagination going?
  • What are you favorite snacks from your childhood?

I’d love to know how you keep the magic alive!

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!

~ Dr. Seuss

Thanks (as always!) for stopping in!

If you want to find out how the peppermint bark is made, simply have a gander over to Cara’s website – I made the minty delicious filling to her confection (white chocolate, green food coloring & peppermint extract, that’s IT!).

This week I’ll be posting more magically delicious recipes, starting with Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce (and friends!).

Happy Monday to you all!

Yours in Less,

33 Comments

Filed under Aspirations, Children, Family, Inspiration, Photography, Rejuvenation, Snacks