Book of the Month, Garden

Book of the Month 2

IMG_1905  While I have been relatively quiet on the blog front, I have several projects brewing.  I have also turned into a little bit of an introvert since the last few weeks in Austin, the weather is slowly morphing into that of Seattle.  Grey, cold, and rainy.  I don’t mind the grey if it’s warmer, I don’t mind the cold if it’s sunny, but it seems like it has been an eternity since the sun has warmed my skin.  That being said, it has been perfect “curl up with a book” weather and I am glad to announce that I have completed my second book of 2015.

 

February’s Book: Grow the Good Life by Michelle Owens

My brother gave me this book a couple of years ago.  Itching for Spring and the chance to play in the dirt, I figured this little gem would be great inspiration for my next plant project.  I’ve always loved growing food and flowers.  Ten years ago worked on a small farm called Paisley’s Farm & Greenhouse.     To this day, it is still the best job I have ever had.  I never recall a day I didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work.  If I wasn’t at the Paisleys, I was bringing home the sickly looking IMG_1893plants to my dads farm to nurse them back to health. Rain or shine, I was outside, playing in the dirt, repotting perennials, etc.  What I would give to be able to have that again?!

I have always known gardening was a wonderful thing, but Owens book gave some very interesting insight as to why it is so important and why as a society we have moved away and back towards gardening. I must say I am completely envious of Owens given description of her house and her garden bursting with colors, vegetables, and greenery, especially since I live in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment that has a nonexistent balcony.  I make do with the walkway space and have a small collection of potted plants and window boxes.  Knock on wood, no one has yet to complain about my taking up of valuable walkway real estate.

That being said, today I finally breathed some life back into my little garden. The cold had done a number on a few of my fragile friends and I knew that planting some spring flowers would lift my spirits.  How could it not?  Digging in the soil, the bright colors of the blooms, and the hope for sun…

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Book of the Month, Food, Recipes

Book of the Month

FullSizeRenderWhile I’ve been an absolute mad woman creating gig posters, updating my blog with shows, my Etsy Shop with more of my Cards for a Cause, learning others songs (more on in an upcoming post), taking on the social media for where I work (OPA!, go ahead and give them a like on the ol’ Facebook), I have been silently sticking to my #1 New Years Resolution: READING.

January’s Book: Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

A few years ago my cousin, Lucy, came to visit me here in Austin.  Lucy is an amazing woman, a doctor, and I’ve always looked up to her in that big sister I never had kind of way.  I hadn’t seen her since she got married and she looked fantastic.  She was in town for “some Paleo Conference.” Lucy was talking non stop about this Paleo business.  She told me that I had to read this book.  After her departure, I got home one day and there on my porch waiting for me, freshly from Amazon, was this book compliments of Lucy.

Fast forward 3 years, maybe more, to January 2015.  I still haven’t read the book, because like any book that anyone tells me to read I, of course, drag my feet.  What prompted me to pick up the Primal Blueprint, besides my New Year’s Resolution? I have a particular health condition that has been passed down through the women on my mother’s side of the family (Thanks Mom!) and I find as I have gotten older certain symptoms are rearing their ugly head.  My doctor, who is fabulous, gave me several options to help me with some of the symptoms, none of which either of us were thrilled about.

I think we can all agree, my doctor included, that a lot of what happens here in the States is we treat symptoms rather than the cause. Because of my condition, I have side effects such as a very hard time keeping stable blood sugar levels, which can be more than frustrating and turn me into a HANGRY monster in no time.  I started with two major changes immediately:

1. Butter Coffee.  I cannot give up coffee.  EVER.  I am Laura Lee and I am addicted to coffee.  The problem being, I can have my two cups in the morning (which is all I ever need) and then all of a sudden crash like nothing you have ever seen.  I have made the change to butter coffee and that crash has gone away completely.  Not to mention it tastes like drinking a latte!

2. Protein.  I have been raw, I have been vegan, I have been a vegetarian.  In recent years, I have just settled eating meat once or twice a week, nothing crazy.  This last month though, I have forced myself to eat meat once or twice a day. 

HOLY COWS AND BACON, BATMAN!  Who knew that eating a little more protein would make such a drastic difference in my life?!?!!?!?!?  The symptoms of my condition have completely dissipated, I have way more energy, I am in a much better mood, productivity has gone up, I am sleeping WAY better, and the most amazing thing… My sweet tooth has virtually disappeared! Ok, ok, and even though this next item wasn’t on my New Years to do list, I’m not going to lie and I am pleased with the results, but I have unintentionally lost 6 pounds since January 4th.  Not bad, right?

This was a great read.  Usually health stats and medical articles are daunting to read, Primal Blueprint was smooth sailing and easy to relate to.  It’s true, there are moments of discomfort when Sisson challenges everything we are taught to know and believe, but given the results, I would say there is a whole lot of truth to this, not just a diet, but lifestyle.  Enjoy!

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2015: Magnitude for the Mind

10292546_10152192206312465_347630971126731298_nThe first post of 2015.  Ah, yes.

In most cases, I would be drowning in guilt since my last post was weeks ago, but this year shall turn over a new leaf.  No guilt, less stress.

I had a lovely holiday visiting with friends and family.  I rang in the New Year with the one and only person that I would want to: my Mama and now I’m back in Austin with a fresh perspective.

The first of the year always lends itself to a fresh start.  We all set goals and make resolutions that we typically find ourselves not quite reaching or perhaps breaking sooner rather than later.  Resolutions such as save more money, go out less, loose weight.  If there is one thing that I have learned from my mother the last few years is to set goals that are quantitative.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, not really.  Think about it? “I want to loose weight” Well, that’s nice and all, but it gives you nothing to work with.  “I want to loose 5 pounds.” Ok, certainly attainable. “No, no, no, I want to loose 20 pounds?” Instantly? If we could do that, I would have lost 15 last August before my trip to Vegas. So…. I want to loose 1 pound a week by March 30th by doing x, y, z…” Ok, admittedly I’m just making numbers up, but you get the idea.

2015: Magnitude for the Mind

While I have things I would like to be better about this year, none of the previously mentioned resolutions are any of them.  Mine are for the mind.

1. I will read 1 book a month. (I mean, a book book, not just Martha Stewart, Edible Austin, InStyle, I mean a novel, my old art history text books,  you name it.  I can’t remember the last time I actually read a book cover to cover. I want anything to make me feel like I am learning again. If it’s a 300 page book thats roughly 10 pages a day. Totally Doable.)

2. I will create 1 to 2 handmade items a week and I will write 1-2 blog posts a week. (My 12 Days of Crafting Blogathon, my first craft fair, and the amazing feedback and support I got from my Instagram and Facebook following have me super motivated to try and sell my handmade items. Doesn’t sound so mentally stimulating? Creativity seems to breed more creativity. I’d say that has a great deal to do with the mind.)

3. I will enroll or audit one Summer Class (most likely at ACC) for 1 of the 3: Marketing, Small Business/Entrepreneur, or Graphic Design. (3 Classes I completely regret not taking in college. I feel I’ve missed out or am missing something. I need a little bit of knowledge to push me to the next level.)

Of course there are other things I would like to do this year: record an EP by September, participate in 3 or more craft fairs by July 1st, and spend 4-5 days in Costa Rica with my best friend in the beginning of April to name a few.  It’s always best to start small.  To feel overwhelmed from the beginning is never a good way to start anything.  You will set yourself up for failure and that is certainly no way to start a new year.