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Posts Tagged ‘balance’

balance

I’ve been so hyper focused this week, it’s hard to believe it’s Friday already. I wanted to be sure to say thank you SO MUCH for all of your support and enthusiasm around the Country Living article! It has been a really busy couple of weeks and I have been so grateful for all of your orders and encouraging words.

One of the questions I was asked by the writer of this article was about any big challenges I have faced with infusion. I had to really think about that question for a few days… gosh, no noteworthy challenges that I could think of…  it’s been a pretty smooth journey, and a very organic process building my business. I have enjoyed it all along the way…

And then suddenly it occurred to me. Of course! The biggest daily challenge in managing a business – and I think most anyone who runs their own business could agree – is drawing a line between business and the rest of one’s life; closing the door once in a while and taking time out for oneself.

I do not clock in and clock out each day. There is no schedule set out for me. I don’t have “weekends.” There is no physical distance between my home and my studio. There is no one to tell me that I can’t work overtime, all the time. And my computer is always there to remind me to check my shop or email. My business is ever present, and when I’m at home I am also at work.

I am super lucky to truly love what I do, but contrary to what they  might say, you can sometimes have too much of a good thing. It has, at times, been very hard not to let my work be all there is.

Recently, I have been implementing some changes in an effort to achieve some balance in my days. I have been talking about this balance for years, but it’s been hard to make lasting changes with a growing business. Over time I will share some of these changes here and let you know how it’s going. So far it’s going pretty well.

Finding balance is a hot topic for a lot of people. We all have busy lives. Just this week I came across a discussion on Nate’s blog, Hear Black; and watched an interesting video on the etsy blog, with Ursula Dean of Modaspia. I hope you might share what helps you keep the balance, too.

Enjoy the weekend. Do something fun! Steven and I have a date planned, and are excited to take a night out.

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on a bed of greens

peeling beets

 

chopping rosemary

 

tossed with rosemary, olive oil, sea salt

 

preparing the other vegetables

 

mmmm, roasting

 

a spicy little radish snack

 

prepare your fresh greens

 

chopping greens into fork size pieces

 

Cooked through but still firm. So much flavor!

 

ready to eat

 

 

Some of you may have noticed that my shop has been closed for a little while. It was a really tough decision for me to make, but once I did, it came as a huge relief. Now that I have completed all the orders on my list, that relief continues to settle in. You see, even with work that you love, there still needs to be time for other parts of life. There needs to be a balance.

For the past 8 months my life has been almost 100% work, and after a time, that kind of imbalance really starts to show up. I am a hard worker, and it can be hard for me to stop once a rhythm sets in. But I began to really miss my life. I missed the simplest of things, like cooking and cleaning, the spontaneity of being able to go out on a date with my guy on a whim, a swim in the lake, a bike ride with a friend, to be able to tend to the garden for uninterrupted hours, a day off now and then… I was always rushing, always needing to get back to the studio. I haven’t talked about this here, as I don’t want it to seem like I resent my work (because I certainly don’t) or like I am ungrateful (because I am ever so grateful). But in real life, I’m not perfect and I haven’t quite figured out the balance yet. This break I have taken has been an attempt to slow it on down, and really look at where things are going,  make adjustments where it’s not working, and improve upon what is working well. I am quite excited about reopening the shop, which should be pretty soon, but I am trying not to be too hasty. It’s amazing what a little time and space provides, for gaining clarity on a situation and getting the creative juices of life really flowing.

 

 

Pictured above is one of the first thoughtful, enjoyable, relaxed, real meals I have prepared  in months! And cooking is even more satisfying for me when there is fresh food to be picked right on the spot. I first had something similar to this roasted vegetable salad a few years ago, at a restaurant in the foothills of the sierras, with my uncle. Roasted vegetables, at least to me, create a decadent meal with total ease. This meal contained the last of our beets from last fall’s planting, fresh picked rosemary, fresh picked basil, broccoli, zucchini, grape tomatoes, romaine from a friends garden, fresh garden kale, olive oil, crumbled feta and a bit of sea salt.

 

Roasting vegetables is really easy, but there was a time when I had never done it, so surely there is the possibility that some of my readers haven’t yet. If you are interested, here is how I made this:

Peel your beets and cut into generous bite sized chunks. In a bake pan, toss with olive oil (just enough to oil up the bottom of the pan), sea salt to taste, and chopped rosemary. I don’t usually like to cook my oil, so I also like to add just a little water to reduce the oil temperature and reduce the amount of oil needed. Set in the oven on roast, or at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, in the middle position in the oven.

While the beets get started, chop your broccoli, zucchini and half of your tomatoes. And don’t toss out your broccoli stems! They are delicious. Just peel the tough skin off and slice them into little spears.

Give your beets an occasional stir, adding a bit more oil if needed, and when they seem to just barely be softening add in your broccoli, zucchini and tomatoes. Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally, and making sure everything stays moist.

At this point, I headed out to the garden to hunt for slugs and pick some kale. If you don’t have slugs to hunt, skip that step!

Now prepare your bed of greens by chopping them all into bite sized pieces and covering each plate generously. When your vegetables are finished they should be easy to fork, yet firm. I think my total cook time is usually 45 minutes to an hour.

Pile your roast veggies onto the bed of greens, add fresh tomato, crumbled feta and a fair drizzling of raw olive oil.

Light a candle and enjoy!

 

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There are high hopes for a meadow + mark update soon. A few peeks of some of those items above, and a photo in honor of my dear friend coffee. Oh, dear coffee, you make my mornings so sweet.

I started running in the morning these last few days, and I am hoping to make it a regular thing for a while. The past month has been like no other, with huge amounts of time spent in my studio working (and I am so grateful for the work!!). A lot of this time is pretty sedentary, and none of this time is outdoors. By nature, I am a pretty active person who loves to be outdoors, and a new balance has definitely been in order. I have woken many mornings these past couple weeks, craving to go out and run around, breathe heavily, sweat and get rosy cheeked. Feels awesome! What’s your favorite physical activity to get your heart pumping?

(okay, I just couldn’t help myself on the title!)

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balance

My entry into the new year was fairly uneventful, in a way that seemed just right. We spent the whole of new year’s eve day rearranging our house and doing some needed deeper cleaning. It was fun and satisfying and really brought me back into being an active and present part of my home life again (as opposed to being a sewing robot). We had meant to go to a party, but by the time evening rolled around we were pretty enrolled in our project. It seemed totally perfect waking up on new year’s day to a fresh house and feeling freshly inspired.

This year I didn’t make a list of resolutions (although I don’t usually do this any year), but I did make one. I resolve to bring a balance back to my life; a balance between work and play (and rest), time and money, computing and real life… We have started setting some time aside every morning, to just ‘tune in’ – be still, clear out extra noise, set new intentions, clarify our direction, and just generally take some time outside of the demands of the day-to-day, to check in. We used to do this on a regular basis. It was just built in and part of things. There is a really awesome momentum that builds when you do this consistently, over a length of time. It’s awesome (yes, I said it again!). I highly recommend giving it a try.

I have a lot of ideas for infusion this year, which I’m feeling really excited about. I’ve been making lists and sketching designs, and I’ve already started putting a few of these ideas in motion. I look forward to sharing  in new, creative ways as well, so we’ll see what comes of that.

Even though in some ways, January 1st is just another day, it can be helpful to have a symbolic new beginning to set needed changes in motion. If anyone feels to share, I’d love to hear any of the things you resolve to do or change this year (or day, week, or even decade).

And speaking of new, those chocolate plaid house shoes should be appearing in the shop any day now and those baby tears, wow, they are in a new found state of vegetative bliss.

See you soon. xo

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