SUNDAY BEST SPECIAL EDITION: OUR BRAND NEW PROJECT LITTLE GREEN KETTLE

Little Green Kettle - vegan blogHi everyone! I can’t believe I was able to hold my tongue until today regarding a very special announcement. I’ve mentioned here and there that something was in the works but now it’s finally up and running and I’m so excited to share it with you today.

I want you to meet Little Green Kettle, my new blog and something I’m really proud of. The unbelievable response it has had in only a few days continues to overwhelm me. The message and content that will fill its “walls” is so important to me that I’m squealing with excitement over announcing my brand new “baby blog”.Little Green Kettle - Health and wellness blog

Little Green Kettle is a site about healthy and sustainable eating, the power of activism and making a difference in this world, it’s a health and wellness blog covering topics such as yoga, meditation and wellbeing, it’s a delicious cooking blog that will hopefully inspire your time in the kitchen. That being said, we’ll be doing lots and lots of cooking, we’ll be sharing stories about activism and the incredible people making a difference all around us. We will practice lots of yoga and get immersed in a world of change, looking at how the small choices we make, impact the big things around us.

I’m keeping this post short so that you can head on out to the Little Green Kettle and do some reading there. Not sure where to start? I recommend the About page and the Welcome post first, here you can read a bit about what we’ll be up to at Little Green Kettle. Still have some time after that? We’ve already got some great posts on a Trip to the Farmer’s Market, Seane Corn and her amazing work around the world with her foundation Off the Mat into the World, a delicious spinach, kale and citrus salad, yummy vegan temakis and a post about Comfort Foods.

New posts are coming in every week and we’re going to have some incredible collaborators from the fields of psychology, medicine, health, physical fitness, yoga and so much more. You can subscribe to the blog via email on the website, join us on facebook and twitter (all of this can also be done through the buttons on the website). Once you’ve stopped by for a visit, if you like it and feel like spreading the word, please share in whatever way you can! We’re trying to reach as many kind hearted people as possible so that we can all start making changes together.

This is Little Green Kettle. Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ll see you in a couple of days with a funny story about creativity, two young boys and mischief.Little Green Kettle - healthy and sustainable eating, whole hearted living

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SUNDAY BEST

City parks in MadridIt’s that time of the week again! Today I’m sharing some great links and also some photos I took yesterday while I was strolling down one of Madrid’s most beautiful parks “Parque el Buen Retiro”. After non stop rain this past week it was a real treat to get some sun and spend some time outside. I hope you have a great start of the week tomorrow, I’m starting it off with the premier of my phrasal verb UNO game for my young students. I’m making a whole DIY post out of it this week so that you can try it out as well if you feel like it.

Ok, back to business…

If your looking for some great DIY ideas for your home, are re-decorating or want to spruce up a bit, there are some adorable (and some slightly over the top) ideas in Fabulous Home Blog. It has everything from tips for getting organised to ideas for framing photos, creating wall textures, and my favorite posts, inspiration for your studio or creative space. I know you’ll find something you love in here.

For foodies, So Good and Tasty has delicious vegetarian recipes, beautiful photos and scrumptious goodies to choose from. I can’t wait to make their root salad with tahini dressing. Can you say YUM?!

One thing I have never confessed to you is that I’m absolutely obsessed with lettering and calligraphy. I love detailing different fonts and testing them out on my student’s worksheets (and by testing I mean printing them out because I’m totally hopeless!). Lately, when I’ve needed a fix I’ve visited this little gem of a blog Sincerely, Serendipity, its banner alone is beyond beautiful and the posts and calligraphy samples keep me wonderfully entertained from time to time. Her cards are just lovely! Today I found out that the creator of this blog is a fellow Netflix documentary junky, so there you go. So many reasons to pop in and say hello!

For those of you who love owning unique little treasures you don’t want to miss Society 6, it’s a truly amazing online store that sells prints on everything from hoodies to t-shirts, to pillows and much more, not to mention the prints themselves. Some of my favorites are the giraffe pillow series and all their animal totes. So original!

As you probably know by now, I’m not affiliated with any of these sites, I’m simply a fan wishing to share the love! That’s all for today! Enjoy some more pics from my visit to the park yesterday and have a great Sunday!

El Retiro Park in Madrid SpainI absolutely loved the contrast between these two trees, the one in the back had leaves in the most beautiful shade of brown.
Parks in Madrid

 

Is it me or can you almost see the Queen of Hearts playing cricket?

 

Peacock at El Retiro

Oh yes, in the middle of the city, in a little open garden in the park, peacocks are busy showing off their feathers and twirling. You heard me… they’re complete flirts with the tourists and locals!

Parque el Retiro

Spring is making its appearance. Does anyone know what flower this is? Look at that color!

El Retiro

Little fields of daisies were everywhere, and of course I saved the best for last, my favorite character in the entire park, this beautiful duck with brown spotted feathers. He wasn’t scared of me at all and got closer and closer by the minute! They always remind me of my grandfather, who always seemed to walk like a duck… or Charlie Chaplin, it was hard to tell.

duck pond at El Retiro

A FARMERS MARKET, MOCHI AND SOUND CITY FILLED SATURDAY

veggie shoppingThat was a mouthful! That’s only because this morning has been FULL of delicious, fun and musical treats. I started the day off by my usual trip to the farmers market and then to our organic health food store where they gave me that cute box with all my goodies. I got so many great things today it was hard to choose which to photograph for you. Aren’t these beauties lovely?veggies

Then I stopped at a new bakery in town which sells the most amazing whole grain croissants and took everything home to make breakfast. They only had two croissants left so I made my favorite mochi recipe and served it with the strawberries I had just bought and a delicious coffee with rice and vanilla milk. Can you say Saturday morning YUM?!

vgetarian

After I painfully tried to make all those veggies fit in the refrigerator, my hubby, our doggie and I cuddled up in the couch to watch a documentary we had been waiting to see for months. I’m talking about Dave Grohl’s documentary “Sound City”. My oh my!

sound city movie

What can I tell you about this documentary other than please go see it! You know I talk about Dave a lot and about how I think he’s our modern day-number 1 storyteller bar none, and this movie is simply another example of this. It’s an iconic piece of history. I’m not talking musical history here, I mean history, period! So much of this movie took me to what the 70s, 80s and 90s where about, what life in rock and roll California was like, and mainly, how roads seem to unravel when you are deep into your creative process. The movie tells the story of one of L.A.’s most iconic recording studios, where Fleetwood Mac, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana, and countless other legends recorded some of their greatest albums. The part about Nirvana’s recording of their album Nevermind hit me hard and right through the heart. This was my first true rock and roll love affair with a record after my uncle left it at my house one day. It wasn’t my first record (this was probably a Jackson 5 album or Michael Jackson album for sure!), but it was one of those times I remember from my childhood where I got to know the eerie character,magic and pain behind the lyrics and music of a band. Listening to, and watching all about this album turned my heart upside down and I was suddenly transported to this incredible place where it all happened. It took Dave Grohl (of course!) to tell its wonderful story and to bring this place back to life after it sadly and unfortunately closed down.

I had to start thinking about my young students when I saw Trent Reznor talking about how someone in his family made him play the piano really early on, and how that made him fall in love with music. I have never taught a student who has been encouraged to study music or play an instrument as an extracurricular activity. It’s all about the sports nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, sports rule, but telling kids that music and the arts are there for them seems to always fall through the cracks. Of course this is fortunately not the case for every child, but how I wish it would be more encouraged!

I loved how this documentary showed what I’ve seen happen time and time again. Magical moments and brief encounters when you’re deep into creative process that end up changing the course of history. There’s nothing more I can say other than please join Dave, “the Neve”, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Pat Smear, Krist Novoselic, and countless others on this amazing ride. Thanks once again Dave!

That’s it for my Saturday so far, I leave you with the trailer for Sound City, I hope you enjoy it and that you get to see this little gem!

SUNDAY BEST

SnowIf you read yesterday´s post you know that we had our first snow of the season this week which made me (and a furry friend of mine) extremely happy. This weekend was all about the farmer’s market, doing some yoga, cooking up a veggie storm in the kitchen and spending time with friends. Watching Django was also a very special treat this week…Tarantino did it again! But that’s no surprise is it? What was your weekend like?

Without further ado, I give you my picks for this week’s Sunday Best…

For foodies and photography fans, you should immediately visit Kiss My Spatula. It’s a feast to the eyes, offers some great edible inspiration, not to mention a recipe or two! The photos alone…my oh my!

One of my favorite and most recent discoveries is Unruly Things, a blog done to perfection simply to inspire. Stop by their about page to meet the blog’s Oregon based creator and the idea behind this site. It has everything from beautiful products to wonderful links, passing thoughts and magical moments. It’s one of those places where you’ll want to stay for a while.

For parents, teachers and diy fans, here’s a link to my favorite diy project this week. We all played with them, tormented our parents with them, drove our dogs crazy with them…yup! Bouncy Balls! Here’s a recipe to make your own with very simple ingredients. How fun is that?!

Enjoy the links this week and have a wonderful Sunday! I’m off to the movies to watch Silver Linings Playbook. I’m hearing amazing reviews about the two lead performances (with two of my favorite actors might I add…). I’ll tell you all about it later! What are your Sunday evening plans?

SUNDAY BEST

Golden retriever Happy Sunday! It’s here yet again! This week flew by really fast for me since I was teaching non stop! I have a lovely new group of students at my dear CEPI center. I don’t know what is going on there but the people that have joined our little community are simply the best! I’m always so happy to be a part of it. It’s like a wonderful, fun, loving, multicultural family. Lots of yoga this week as well, not to mention trying to breathe through some of the more stressful moments (they’re unavoidable aren’t they!). I took the photo above as I was leaving my yoga class the other day. This gorgeous furry retriever was doing just that, leaping to catch a stick his human dad was throwing into to the woods for him. I’m so glad I caught him in action!

Ok, on to some Sunday Best goodies….

Since we’ve been talking a lot about healthy eating, cooking, sustainable shopping and all these wonderful Earth loving practices, I need to recommend The Kind Life website. Guess who is behind this site? Non other than Clueless star Alicia Silverstone! Her website, which is meant to also support her amazing book The Kind Diet is all about sustainable living. I’ll talk about her book soon in The Red Bookcase, but in the meantime enjoy some of her great links, tips and recipes.

For designers, fans of beautiful simple things, photography enthusiasts and more, don’t miss Simple Song. It’s a beautifully created site that will make you an instant fan. It celebrates life’s simple beauties and creations in the sweetest way!

It’s hard to describe who to recommend this site to since it has just about everything from crafts, photography tips, beauty and decor, organization ideas, even recipes! If any of these ring a bell for you, please visit A Beautiful Mess. I love this very simple (not at all messy!) website. Some truly inspirational ideas that you can make yourself. If you’re a Pinterest enthusiast (a.k.a Pinterest obsessed like me!), there’s tons to pick from here and share!

For foodies, mammas and veggie lovers, Yummy Mummy Kitchen has some wonderful ideas for your next meals, lunchbox prep, you name it. She has a wonderful vegetarian section with delcious treats like veggie shepard’s pie. Yum!

I hope you like them! As I’ve told you before I’m not affiliated with any of these sites, I’m simply a fan wishing to share the love! Have a great week everybody!

TO THE MOVIES!

Fresh movie review

It’s been a while since we went to the movies together. This means I have a big bag full of movie recommendations for you and we’ll get to them in the following weeks. Today however I would like to share a very special documentary with you. I’m talking about the 2009 documentary Fresh. Although I’m always on top of any movies that come out that discuss sustainable eating, farming and the food industry, somehow I had missed this little gem. I encourage all of you to watch this film, it’s as worrying as it is heartwarming. In spite of the strong images and information they gather up in this film, watching the superb efforts of farmers like Will Allen and Joel Salatin is such a heartwarming pleasure! I love to see how kindness still shows up in rare human beings like these two rockin’ farmers.

FreshDVD-FThere are so many other films that I would like you to see. Even some not so pleasant ones that have actually changed the way I eat, buy and live, but if you’re not ready to go there yet, this is a great eye opener that instead of leaving you feeling like there’s absolutely no hope for humanity, fills you up with giddy feelings and the urge to travel and meet the wonderful characters that are making such a huge change in the food industry. If you’re feeling daring, I would then move on to others (which I will also talk about soon) like Food Inc., Forks over Knives, Food Fight and Vegucated.

I’m leaving you the trailer for this wonderful and hopeful film here, please watch it and share! You can find the movie on iTunes and Netflix as well as your local DVD store! Host a screening and help spread the word about sustainable living and eating. Now I need to start saving my pennies to travel to Will’s and Joel’s farms! Meeting them would be a dream! I can’t wait for the day I have a bit more time on my hands to create another little blog I’ve been dreaming of writing, all about food, cooking, kindness to our planet and to ourselves. Maybe some day soon! In the meantime, enjoy this post and the movie! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

SUNDAY BEST

Driving, music and the winterI was driving into the city today listening to Blind Melon’s Soup and feeling absolute bliss. Driving around this winter has become one of my favorite things to do, the air is thick with fog, the air is crisp and wonderful and the days are just eerie. It has also become the perfect time to just relax and listen to music. I hope you’re all having a relaxing and fun Sunday today. It’s my hubby’s birthday tomorrow so this could also be one of the reasons for my excitement and excessive smiling. I hope you’ve enjoyed the weekend and that you especially got a chance to slow down and smell the flowers (or the coffee, winter air, or whatever floats your boat). Without further ado, here are my picks for this week’s Sunday Best!

For foodies and cooking aficionados, Verses from My Kitchen has some beautiful and delicious recipes, top notch photos and a “come hang out and stay as long as you like” vibe. I can’t wait to try their wintery corn chowder!

Drizzle and Dip is another favorite of mine this week, they have so many great ideas and scrumptious flavor combinations!

For teachers and parents I found an incredible “has it all” online store. If I’m not careful I could spend an entire day browsing the endless sections of School Supply Giant. Think of it as the online superstore for teaching resources. Parents can find tons of great things for their kids here too, so don’t think it’s all about white boards and star stickers.

I’m so excited to share this newly discovered (at least by me!) Etsy Shop. Paper Statement has incredible jewelry and beautiful patterns and objects made entirely out of paper. Their colors and gorgeous simplistic design made me an instant fan! I have my eye on an incredible turquoise necklace that goes from dark to light…just imagining what their creative process must be like makes me giddy!

Last but certainly not least, if you feel like having a serious laugh or two, are a packaging and design enthusiast and simply love to oohh and aaahh after little genius bursts of creativity, visit this link from Topito.com (it’s in French but reading is the last thing you’ll be doing). Please don’t miss it!

That’s all I have for you today and I hope you have some fun browsing around! I haven’t written this little disclaimer in a while but just in case you’re new to this series, I’m not affiliated to or sponsored by any of these sites, I’m simply a fan and wish to share the love!

Happy Sunday!

WHILE TIME FLIES

sunset at the santa monica pierHappy 2013 everyone! I can’t believe how fast time is moving along. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that you’re prepared and full of energy for the new year. This feeling of time going by incredibly fast is something that I’ve been thinking about lately. I’m sure I’m not the only one that sometimes feels time is passing at warp speed and this often makes me wonder if I’m listening closely and feeling deeply while enjoying the ride. Perhaps it’s my return to yoga that has brought me closer to thinking these things, or perhaps my pursuit of yoga was a result of feeling I wasn’t always as present as I wanted to be. Either way, my wish for all of us in this new year that is starting is that we are able to be present, that for several moments a day we can forget about our endless lists and errands, and focus on the moment. The wise Bob Marley said it best when he shared with us his wonderful line in Redemption song “emancipate yourselves from mental slavery”. Not that thinking is bad at all, but overthinking takes us out of enjoying what is happening around us. I know that when I started to become more aware hundreds of wonderful things started changing and happening around me. Connecting yourself to your surroundings opens your heart to helping and understanding others, something that we need a lot of in these crazy times we live in.

One thing you probably know about me by now is that I love traditions. My friends laugh when I keep asking about their family’s traditions and which ones they continue to put into practice. For some reason, the carrying on of traditions is very important to me and I’m constantly stealing things I love from other people or other cultures. One tradition I’ve fallen in love with recently is the Ayurvedic tradition of Sadhanas. Sadhana is a word in Sanskrit that is used to talk about a means to accomplish something, and although it’s usually used in a spiritual sense, many followers of Ayurvedic tradition use it when talking about practices as simple as roasting spices or cooking and is seen as a meditative activity that connects you to your spiritual side. For me, it’s a very powerful and simple act that takes me right where I want to be, exactly in the present moment. Whether you’re spiritual or not, these small meditative actions can start to spark little creative fires and wonderful feelings inside of you. After reading about this, I suddenly put two and two together and remembered the wise words of my mother: “when you have a problem, have worries on your mind or feel stressed…make a loaf of bread”. People that grew up in farms probably did Sadhanas every morning while they milked the cows and fed the horses. They also probably started their day with a clearer mind and an open heart. Of course the idea is not to drown these activities with noises, TV or distractions. If you were one of the farmers, it’s all about you, the horses and the sound of the birds in the background.

So as a welcome to 2013 I hope that we can all be more present and live every second to the fullest, there’s no need to write about all the fringe benefits this will have because they will quickly start falling into place for you, trust me! I hope you have a year full of creativity and surprising beautiful moments. I leave you with one of my special places to just sit and be present, the Santa Monica Pier in California at sunset. Happy 2013!

WINTER BEAUTIES

Winter photosHi everyone. I’m just popping in for a few seconds today to share some of the winter beauties I’ve been photographing lately. When I take our dog to the park in the mornings I find that it’s a little bit different with every passing day. The leaves have almost left the trees entirely, little berries are making an appearance, and the few leaves that are left have this very rich color, just as they are about to fall. The sunsets are also surprising me these days. Very different from the summer sunsets we can see from our terrace which always seem to be on steroids. In the Winter, they are light and soft, but just as beautiful. I hope you enjoy them!

fall leaves

autumn

winter sunset

sunset in Madrid

 

BURSTS OF COURAGE

be braveI was watching a very silly movie the other night about butter carvers in small town America. A funny and silly satire about a town that is famous for its butter sculptures. This post isn’t about the movie, but it is about something that occurred to me while I watched it. In the film a father tries to give his daughter a little courage boost after she is scared over something she has to do. You know what I’m talking about, those moments we all have where we feel we need someone to push us through the door of that job interview, or a difficult phone call. Those moments in which our feet just won’t budge and we’re  super glued to our chair? Well, in the movie, this character tells his little girl “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”. He doesn’t stop there though, he moves on to list a bunch of incredibly crazy scenarios, and his daughter then joins in with some crazy ideas of her own. Imagine having a job interview, being scared stiff, and suddenly imagining these unlikely and mostly impossible situations in your head, 5 minutes before heading in:

– You walk through the door and there’s a miniature hurricane.

– You walk through the door and there’s an angry mob of people with torches and pitchforks.

– You walk through the door and get robbed.

– You walk through the door and your entire family is watching you answer your future boss’ questions.

– You walk through the door and all your third grade bullies are there waiting.

– You walk through the door and get the sudden urge to take your clothes off (after which you’ll never get the job).

– You walk through the door and your future boss is your bitter ex-girlfriend or boyfriend seeking revenge.

Now start getting creative:

– You walk through the door and there’s a giant paper shredder that has destroyed your resume (and your tie).

– You walk through the door and are greeted by little green men asking you to board their mother ship.

– You walk through the door and realize you have to speak to 50 telemarketers before you get to the actual interview.

– You walk through the door and the zombie cast from the Walking Dead is happily waiting for you.

Now imagine my favorites from the movie:

– You walk through the door and there’s a zero gravity environment and your head hits the roof leaving you incapacitated.

– You walk through the door and there’s a Justin Bieber concert.

I can assure you one thing, if you spend 5 minutes in this imaginary crazy world of possibilities of what might go wrong, the actual fears will get right into perspective for you and soon you’ll be laughing and realizing that the worst case scenario isn’t really the worst case scenario after all. No matter how brave we all are, we all have these knee trembling moments every now and then, and to me this is a true antidote that will get us past the threshold.

Today’s photo is of my favorite part of the Christmas season: Twinkle lights. Christmas came early last night as we were decorating our tree (photos coming soon). I bought these a couple of days ago because they looked like the beautiful glass lights I had growing up  as opposed to today’s very artificial led lights. They were big, round and red, perfect for Christmas.