PechaKucha Night Miami: Art in the Digital Age

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I voted today…

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if you haven’t already, on Tuesday you know what you need to do.

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Goals and passion.

Every day I like to set goals for myself.  They don’t have to be anything big, just something (or somethings) to give my day meaning.  That has become especially important since I became a stay at home girlfriend.

People underestimate the value of a stay at home partner.  I know that in the past I have.  But let me tell you that my previous accomplishments, which were usually tied up to a paycheck, seem tiny in comparison to what I feel I must accomplish every single day to justify being home.

…and coincidentally, not everything that I do is for the benefit of my home even though every action I perform reflects in how I handle my home…

The other day, a friend asked me what I did to maintain my sanity when so much of what I do has so little to do with me. I gave this question a lot of thought because I wasn’t sure of what this meant. Then the answer came to me and it was a sad unfortunate NOTHING. I spent so much time worrying about the causes I support, my volunteer work, my COO duties at home, and my role as a care giver to my loved ones that I hadn’t worried about the things that would make me a better person in the long run.

The only thing I have ever done for myself that has actually made a difference in how I see and react to the world is running.  For years, I was that girl whose life was centered around work and fitness.  My running came to a halt last year when I was sick and then when I was finally able to get back to it, it seemed unimportant and even shallow. I started working out because it was something you are supposed to do and not something that makes your life better.

These days that has changed.

Among the many goals I set for myself every day, I have started to include running as one and let me tell you that in the time I’ve been seriously pursuing it, I can see the difference in the way I approach everything else. Every time I meet one of my running goals, I feel empowered and this has awakened and created a better version of me.

The world moves really fast.  And with all the responsibilities we all have both inside and outside of the home, it is easy to forget that everything we do is affected by what goes on within us.

I would like to invite you to think about what you do for yourself to maintain your sanity.  Do you run? Do you paint? Do you write? If you can’t think of a single thing that benefits only you but that affects your outlook on life, then I would like to challenge you to make some time a few times a week and pursue something that brings you joy.

Your life and that of those around you will be better for it.

Until next time,

Annush 🙂

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Running away from the Kardashians and hiding in a library under a pile of clothes!

Hello from the Causeway!

So apparently we are not the only ones who are in love with our beloved causeway…rumor has it that the Kardashians want to move in for three months.  Yes, you read right.  According to the Belle Island Blog, the Huffington Post, and our neighbors, representatives for the Kardashians are trying to get approval to not only move to my precious causeway, but also to film for THREE MONTHS.

As if we don’t have enough to worry about with the construction going on, it seems like there is a possibility that we will have to worry about the additional traffic and the loss of privacy that will come with the paparazzi that will inevitably follow.  I have to ask myself why didn’t they go pester people in Star Island of Fisher Island or even South Pointe?

“Every time they go to Miami, things heat up…”

Who would want this in their back yard????

Anyway, if nothing else at least I can run in the other direction.

I am very excited to announce that my fitness efforts have FINALLY started to pay off.  For years, I was an avid runner but after my surgery, the recovery took so long that my fitness level absolutely positively plummeted.

It has taken a while, but after weeks of perseverance,  I am nowhere near as embarrassed about running as I was before.   I think that at the rate I am going, in about a month or so I’ll be able to run as much, though maybe not as fast, as I used to pre-surgery and that would make me incredibly happy because that would be a great first step towards getting my body back 😀

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself…

In other health related news, the movement to label genetically modified foods in Florida has started! The Let Me Decide campaign will kickoff in Miami on September 20th at 7:00pm  If you are interested in attending (I know I will be there), please follow this link for RSVP and location information.

And last but not least, on Friday begins the 5th Annual Fashionably Conscious vintage sale and fundraising event presented by the Village of Merrick Park.   If you are in the Miami area, I encourage you to attend! It is not only for a great cause, it is also a great shopping experience 🙂

Now off I go!

Until next time 🙂

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In Memoriam…

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Happy birthday to me :)

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Dante’s Inferno.

One of my favorite pieces of literature is Dante’s Inferno. For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Inferno is the first part of the Divine Comedy written by Dante Alghieri in the 14th century. It is essentially Dante’s tour of the nine circles of suffering (hell) as led by Virgil.

The first time I read the Inferno, I was in 10th grade. Even then, I knew that this would be one of my all time favorites. I think the reason why I liked it so much is that it is very clear on what the rules are and what the repercussions are should you break them. It really does appeal to my moral compass…

One of my favorite parts, is actually in the beginning…the vestibule of hell.

And I, who had my head with horror bound,
Said:”Master, what is this which now I hear?
What folk is this, which seems by pain so vanquished?”

And he to me:”This miserable mode
Maintain the melancholy souls of those
Who lived withouten infamy or praise…”

-Dante’s Inferno: Canto 3

In the vestibule of hell were the souls of those who in life did not make a choice for good or evil.  Neither in hell or out of it, they were doomed to chase a banner and be stung by hornets and wasps while maggots ate their blood and tears for all eternity.

Definitely not a pretty sight.

When I hear people say things such as “it doesn’t matter what I do because the end result will be the same” or “it doesn’t affect me so I am not going to do anything”, it makes me think of the vestibule of hell.

Throughout our lives, we have to make certain choices. Some of these choices bear more importance than others, but they are choices nonetheless.  By disassociating ourselves from the issue to remove responsibility or blame from ourselves, we are like those uncommitted who are neither good enough to be good or bad enough to be evil.

And I am sure there is a punishment for that…

Maybe it won’t be hornets and maggots, but here on earth there must be a punishment for that.

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Isaac is cramping my style…

I don’t think anyone can truly be prepared for hurricane/ hurricane-like conditions.  One of the drawbacks of living on the causeway is that weather conditions that involve rain are magnified by like 10. Let’s just say that living water-level is not for the faint of heart.

Tropical storm Isaac has been making its way to us for the past couple of days but hadn’t really been felt until yesterday.  There has been a lot of activity around here and this morning I woke up freaked out because the wind was just so loud!

This is what we are looking at now:

Last night, as a precautionary measure but also as a distraction,  I took it upon myself to freeze all the extra veggies I had lying around in my fridge as well as embark on the project that is making curry.

Yesterday I bought the Cook Fresh issue of Fine Cooking magazine which came packed with amazing recipes. I don’t really like curry…at least I thought I didn’t.  But Hugh does.  When I saw the recipe for a South-Indian Style Vegetable Curry, it seemed  like a fair compromise (and I had most of the ingredients).  Let’s just say that I don’t regret it one bit.

South-Indian Style Vegetable Curry
Ingredients:

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (1 Tbs.)
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cups  of vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small cauliflower, broken into 1-1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 1 cup)
One 15-1/2-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 oz. baby spinach (about 4 lightly packed cups)
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation:

In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium (or medium low if necessary) and cook until the onion is richly browned, 5 to 7 minutes more. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute to blend the flavors. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne; stir for 30 seconds to toast the spices. Add the tomato paste and stir until well blended with the aromatics, about 1 minute.

Add the broth, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low or low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. Raise the heat to medium high and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.

Stir in the chickpeas, spinach, lime juice, and zest; cook until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt.

Serve garnished with the cilantro.

I will admit, it does take forever to make, it requires a lot of ingredients, and in my case, I broke a nail and burnt my wrist. Ouch. But the end result is completely worth it.  You end up with a really healthy meal that is super tasty.  It is also very cost-effective because if you have all the spices already, your total investment will be less than $8 and your yield is about 6-8 servings.

I highly recommend you try it.  Today, I look forward to experimenting with more of the recipes in my new magazine.  It has been my experience that it is easier to be vegan when you have variety in your diet 🙂

Oh! and in completely unrelated news for those of you in the Miami area, our friends at Fashionably Conscious are currently accepting donations of gently used designer items for their yearly fundraiser.  Donations can be dropped off at the Village of Merrick Park on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8-10am, OR donations can be picked up on Saturdays at your place of residence. Drop-offs and pick-ups must be scheduled in advance by emailing them at fashionablyconscious@gmail.com .

Until next time, keep dry 😀

annush 🙂

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