Monday, January 24, 2011

"Try Something New" Week

Matcha Japanese green tea, at Teavana - I'm trying this green tea that you whisk into your near-boiling water. It tastes a bit like grass, but I'm going to try to drink the whole cup!

It's a New Year. Let's open our lives to some new things!

I don't want to be stuck in a rut, boring and predictable, always following the same routines. I don't want to grow up to be a 90 year old fussy, intractable elderly woman who has to have things a certain way and can't be flexible. Flexibility is the key to youth, happiness, and not driving your family crazy.


  • Need to pick up or drop off any dry cleaning?

  • Make menu plans and create grocery list for the week

  • Did you exercise your pets over the weekend? Do they need to go for an extra long walk today?

  • Start the week with fresh sheets on the beds and fresh towels in the bathrooms.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Try Something New; Do Something Different

I don't want to eat the same foods all the time (though I don't think my french fry cravings are going to go away any time soon). I don't aim to do the same things every week. I try not to always go to the same places. Convenience and familiarity tempt me though, especially on cold rainy nights - why drive around looking for a new restaurant when I know where my favorite cozy family-run Chinese place is.

While it's not okay to constantly crave new things so you never appreciate what you already have and own, it's also not ok to be stuck in a rut or predictable.

Rituals and traditions are nice - my grandfather predictably watches Lawrence Welk and eats popcorn for dinner on Saturday nights. The difference between a ritual and a rut is how you feel about it, as well as how it affects others around you. If my grandfather isn't bored doing the same thing every Saturday night; if he still looks forward to his routine, and it makes him happy, that's wonderful. But if he is doing it out of boredom or lack of creativity to think up something new to enjoy, it's not good.

When you can't modify your ritual, when your insistence on doing your ritual makes you miss out on a new opportunity, or when it upsets you to not be able to partake in it, then it's a problem. My grandfather can forgo his Saturday night Lawrence Welk tradition every so often in order to see his great-grandchildren's school plays, or go out to dinner with a visiting relative on a Saturday night. And I suspect he doesn't just sit there spending the whole time wishing he were home in front of Lawrence Welk.

I have a hard time modifying my "Desperate Housewives" Sunday ritual, but thanks to Tivo I can postpone my trash TV watching until later.


This week I am going to try several new things.

The easiest, most obvious place to start is of course with the foods I eat. This week when I go out to dinner, I won't go to my good old standby Italian, Greek, American or Chinese places. I'll try something new - Vietnamese, Afghan, Korean or Trinidadian. I'll be more adventurous with my palate.

At breakfast this week, I'm drinking refreshing tangerine juice from Trader Joe's instead of my regular grocery store orange juice. I'm eating oatmeal instead of dry cereal. That doesn't sound much like I'm switching it up, but it will help me with baby steps towards doing things differently.

I'm also trying to rearrange some of my home decor. I think I pretty much have the house the way I want it - but I don't want someone walking in 10 years from now and seeing the same old furniture sitting in their usual places, the same unburned candle sitting on my coffee table, and the same tablecloth on the dining table. It helps that I have a new roommate, and I've had to make room for his furniture and belongings so it feels like his home too.

I don't need to buy any more decor or furniture for a long time, so I'm just going to rearrange a few things to see if I like it better.

I could be really brave and get a new hairstyle, but I am too chicken, just as I was last year when we tried this experiment. I might try wearing different lipstick, rouge and eyeshadow (as long as it's flattering) and something more exciting than my normal boring pale beige fingernail polish.

I spent my Christmas gift card at Macy's on a new style of clothing I haven't tried before. I love it! I will remind myself to wear some of my lovely earrings I own and not just keep the same boring cubic-zirconia studs in every day.

What's something you might do to shake things up a little bit this week?

LOVELY BLOGS: Vintage Kids Books My Kid Loves

This is a fun blog to browse through - I see so many books I enjoyed reading myself, or to nieces and nephews. Posts often feature multiple pictures from inside the book, which is fun to see. I enjoy that this isn't an affiliate blog so you don't have to suspect books are only featured to make money. Instead, this is a labor of love for this mom, blogging since 2007!

LOVELY WEBSITES: Amanda Magazine

A new online magazine devoted to entertaining, interiors, food, travel, shopping, and well-being. It's absolutely gorgeous, with many interesting posts to read. Current features include pears roasted with dessert wine, an article on transforming an Italian apartment, field mushroom and thyme soup, and a month spent in Venice. The magazine's overall focus is on positivity. I think you'll indeed enjoy browsing here.


Comfort Food: Pot Pies (Seattle Magazine)

An Edible Garden (Epicurious)

Valentine's Day Crafternoon Party (Martha Stewart)

Wine Works Fine for Superbowl Gatherings (Seattle Times)

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