Just Be.

May 24th, 2010

My son’s teacher pulled me aside the other day to share a story about him. Recently, his class was outside during recess and they made up a racing game which involved running. One of the boys in the class isn’t as fast as everyone else and, when they were all getting ready to start the game and run, Rohan held the whole class back and let this boy start ahead of them. Then, while that boy was running, Rohan ran right along side him, cheering him and encouraging him to finish.

I, like all parents, want my children to do well academically.  And, with Neeraj as his father, the nerd genes are in full effect and there is no doubt Rohan is bright. But hearing his teacher tell me this story stopped me in my tracks and made me incredibly grateful. He may or may not be the best in his class all the time but he is kind hearted and compassionate and THAT makes me prouder than any A+.

It also reminded me to slow down and really be in the moment with him. These sweet moments can just whiz by when I’m all caught up in the day to day craziness of life. There really is nothing more important than giving my kids undivided attention and letting them know I am fully present and focused on them. I don’t want to miss these moments so I am grateful for one more reminder to just be. Just be.

On a lighter note, Rohan decided that he’s sick of this whole non-portable desktop computer thing so he made himself his own laptop and silently delivered this message by leaving it on my desk:

And speaking of grateful, I can’t believe this beautiful woman-looking human is my daughter! Here she is before her first prom a couple of weeks ago:

Today I am a grateful Mama.

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You Are What You Eat (Bye Bye Cheetos)

May 13th, 2010

My blog has been design centric because, frankly, I am but I also want to broaden the scope of my posts. As I mentioned before, the point of this blog is to suggest ways to improve your life or add some ease and a huge component of that is what you put in your body. My health was in the crapper for years and it took an insane amount of money, self motivation and research for me to figure out what was wrong.

We have all  heard the adage “you are what you eat” and I have found that to be exceedingly true. In my desperation to figure out what was wrong with me (and after modern medicine kept medicating me with drugs that covered the issues instead of healing them), I turned to my diet. Slowing down to really listen to what my body was telling me was a major stepping stone. For example, I’d been eating gluten my whole life but I decided to take it out for six weeks to see if it made a difference. Guess what? My life long problem with clinical insomnia vanished, along with some other craptastic things.  (Pssst!  Gluten isn’t good for anyone actually, although some people process it better than others.)

I decided to try being a vegan to see if that would further my health journey and, while I felt better, I still didn’t feel supercalifragalistic (which I now know is because my body doesn’t do well with a lot of rice and legumes). So I decided to try out the ultimate weirdo hippy diet and become a RAW VEGAN (it deserves caps because it’s so crazy) for awhile. (Before you yell “FREAK!’ let me tell you, if you felt as awful as I did, you would try it too.) There are a million legit reasons why being a RAW VEGAN is great for your body and I am not going to list them now. I’m not even fully RAW VEGAN right now, but I go through spurts of eating that way because, trust me, you have never felt energy and vitality like you do when you eat like a freak (ie RAW VEGAN).

*Editor’s Note: Owning a Vita-mix is the best thing I have ever done for my health or the health of my family. It’s pricey, but that bad boy will puree an avocado pit. The VM actually ruptures the cell walls of the veggies and fruits and releases enzymes which are vital for your health. In addition, it liquifies huge amounts of veggies so you are drinking about 5 salads’ worth and don’t even know it!  I will do some posts about smoothies coming up but here’s a quick yummy smoothie that even kids will suck down: distilled water, strawberries (with the tops…tons of vitamin C), fresh pineapple and blueberries, tons of spinach, some brazil nut protein powder, a little maca powder, some raw cacao and mesquite powder, stevia, chia seed gel. Breakfast of champions!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Eating RAW VEGAN takes a lot of planning and forethought since you have to soak and dehydrate a lot of what you eat, two things which aren’t my forte (which is probably why I’m not following the diet 100%). However, for me, cooking RAW VEGAN is truly fun. (I know, I know, but don’t mock it until you try it!). The crazy things you can do with soaked nuts and veggies is insane! And there’s no nasty animal blood, which is always a bonus in my book.

Following is a recipe from Matthew Kenney’s Everyday Raw , which is one of the best RAW VEGAN cookbooks I’ve ever found. This recipe is so good I have served it at dinner parties and the carnivores were asking for seconds.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

For the crust:

4 cups of cocoa powder

4 cups of oat flour

1 1/2 t sea salt

1 c maple syrup  ( I use 1/2 c)

1 c agave (I use 1/2 c)

3 T coconut oil, liquified

1 1/2 t vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients thoroughly.  Add remaining ingredients to dry ingredients.  Mix well with hands.

Crumble into small pieces onto dehydrator screens and dehydrate for 3 days.

After dehydrating, process in food processor until small crumb consistency is reached.  Sift to separate crumbs from flour.  Crumbs should be no larger than 1/4 inch.  Store crumbs in refrigerator.

Yields 2 quarts.

For the tart:

Crust:

2 cups Chocolate Cookie Crumbs (from above)

1/4 c coconut oil, liquified

Mix coconut oil into cookie crumbs until crumbs hold together.  Press into very thin layer in tart pan and chill in freezer before filling.

Filling:

1 1/2 c cashews, soaked

1/2 c + 2 T water

1/2 c + 2 T agave

1/2 c coconut oil, liquified

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/4 t sea salt

1 c + 2 T cocoa powder

3/4 t hazelnut extract

Blend all ingredients in Vita-Mix until very smooth.  Fill cookie crumb crust and chill in freezer overnight.  Remove tart from pan and wrap in plastic wrap.  Store in freezer.

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My Backyard (In My Dreams)

April 23rd, 2010

Behold, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Waz that? The name turns you off? WHO CARES. Just look at this amazing marriage of horticulture, science and math. Charles Jencks, along with his late wife Maggie Keswick, designed this garden starting in 1989. Where else can you explore the Fibonacci sequence of numbers and fractals while gazing at the DNA helix come to life as a cool sculpture?

And it’s in Scotland and only open one day a year to the public.

I’m going to speculate how long it would take me to hitchhike to Scotland…

(Photo Credit:  Paulus Maximus )

(Photo Credit:  Paulus Maximus)

(Photo Credit: Paulus Maximus)

(Photo Credit : wikimedia)

(Photo Credit: wikimedia commons)

(Photo Credit: wikimedia commons)

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Laughter Needed

April 14th, 2010

Today was one of those days when all you can do is laugh or cry. I choose to laugh because it covers the pain and effortlessly shoves it down into the nether regions of my psyche, never to be heard from again (or until I’ve had enough wine.) I kid, I kid. Laughter is the best medicine and, after the pool-size pile of crap that landed on my head today, I need it. So I looked at this picture and LAUGHED.

There are almost TOO many captions possible.

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Swoon

April 9th, 2010

Alright, I am momentarily stepping away from my love of all things modern and clean and showing you that I am a well-rounded lover of design. The juxtaposition of the voluminous drapes around this bed against the stark, industrialized look of the exposed brick and beams makes me swoon. Swoon, I say!  This is a perfect example of the secret to designing unique, yet, cohesive interiors: carefully combining different styles with an eye to proportion, balance and color. In other words, I encourage you to not open the JCPenney catalog and buy drapes that match your bedspread and furniture pieces that come in a “suite”. (Oh snap! Kidding, Mom. Love you and your matching drapes!)

Although the practical part of me (yes, there is one buried deep, deep down) can only think how dirty those lovely cream drapes will be. I had an apartment in NYC that had exposed brick and that bad boy was so dusty I could write on any exposed smooth surfaces with just my finger. Saved alot of trees, but it was bothersome.

(Photo: Ochs Design)

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Cheap(er) Chic

April 6th, 2010

Blog?  Waz dat?  From the lack of posts, it seems I have forgotten I even had one.  But never fear, my legions of fans (all 10 of you) for I am back!  Here is my cheap(er) chic item o’ the week:

Here’s the pricier version at $1299, courtesy of Room & Board:

Less expensive $818 version from Overstock.com:

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Out of the Mouths of Babes (or 6 yo’s)

March 25th, 2010

This morning on the way to school, our Car-versation (a term I coined for our daily morning conversations on the way to school) topic was Martin Luther King, Jr. A worthy topic, no?  Rohan is very intrigued with him and it makes my heart glad that he has the wherewithal to choose MLK Jr. over SpongeBob.  He loves talking about what kind of man he was, why he did what he did etc. And I means LOVES. As in hours and hours of chatter and noise and me blindly feeling around for some espresso.

Anyhow, this morning he said a particularly astute comment which I will share with you.

*Drumroll*

Me:  …So Martin Luther King Jr. tried to teach people to react to hate with love. Meaning that, when someone is mean to you, he saw that is was better to not be mean back, but rather remember to  love.

Ro:  So if someone is mean to me or doesn’t like me because I’m brown, I should try to be nice to them?

Me:  Yes, that is the idea. Love doesn’t mean you have to love them like you love Mommy and Daddy but treat them with all the things that ARE love, like kindness and respect..

Ro:  But what if they’re really REALLY mean?

Me:  If you react with meanness, it will only make them meaner.

Ro:  So he said to love them even when they’re mean?

Me:  Yes, buddy..

Ro:  Did he say I could use kung fu moves too?

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Uncle Matt + Ro = Photo Booth Fun

March 16th, 2010

This is what happens when Uncle Matt babysits Rohan:

Grim N Ro from Jessica Thompson on Vimeo.

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Little Moments

March 9th, 2010

I think one of the hardest things to do is to not react when someone is trying to hurt you with words. (At least for me since my old moniker was “Super Beeyatch”.) Until last September, I lived my life in a constant state of defensiveness which led me to act in a way that I now know was not my authentic self. I put on a very cold, domineering front which polarized my relationships and perpetuated the opposite of the very thing I deeply wanted; deep and meaningful relationships.

Right now there is someone in my life that is going through a rough time and, as a result, they are lashing out at me with the most hurtful words. The Ol’ Jess would react by biting back and trying to hurt them as much as they hurt me. And, while that tendency is still there a wee bit deep down, I am choosing to react with love. Literally as these awful words are hurled my way, in my head I say to myself “Cancel. Cancel. You are loved.” Or I just tell myself that I’m just a punching bag for the feelings they refuse to face. And here’s a tip: if someone is spewing anger at you, wrap your arms around them and hug. Even if they remain stiff and cold, the human spirit always reacts to love. Let them feel it.

Even though I know this is the right approach, it takes so much mental and emotional energy to not lash back and force my mind in a totally different direction than it’s been going for 33 years. It’s exhausting but I know that, not only am I supporting my friend through their rough time, I am also growing up in a profound way. (Cue my Mom saying “It’s ’bout dang time!”)

And speaking of growing up, a big moment happened in our household this weekend. Rohan lost his first tooth and apparently, he was so impressed he told me to call President Obama to share this delightful and earth shattering news with him.

I don’t know why the White House wouldn’t put me straight through to the Oval Office.

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1/2 Indian 6 yo male version of Beyonce?

March 5th, 2010

Ro Gettin’ Down from Jessica Thompson on Vimeo.

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