As I write this it's Monday the 21st of August. In fact, we're just an hour or so shy of the solar eclipse. But guess what? I'm totally unprepared and don't have eclipse glasses. So I'll be shielding my fragile retinas while all you smart people stare at the sun.
Despite the solar eclipse being the center of most attention for the past week or so, this week's edition of the blog has nothing to do with sun!
I've been on a reading kick (yay!). I love reading, but fall off the train occasionally and it takes me far too long to pick up a book and start again. Last week I finished The Lost City of the Monkey God (a nonfiction book about an archaeological hunt in Honduras) and started a new novel, The House of the Spirits. It's long, and haunting, and quite frankly tough to read. But I'm enjoying it. I found that I needed something non fiction to intersperse with this novel, something to distract my mind so I picked up The 4 Hour Chef. I haven't read Tim Ferriss in quite some time and never read this book. I'm fascinated - in part because I know nothing about cooking and in part because the examples, stories, short cuts, etc are exactly what I love about his body of work.
Podcast time! I've talked about How I Built This from NPR on this blog before, but I want to highlight a specific episode this week. I've been feeling a little stressed/lost/unsure of my path for the past few days (nothing in specific, more of a general unease and uncertainty) and I came across the episode with Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. And while I've never worn Spanx, I'm so blown away by her as a female entrepreneur. This is from a different episode, but did you know that only 2% of female entrepreneurs and their businesses ever make over $1 million?? My mind is blown. This was great motivation to keep working, pushing, and edging towards some big goals.
Sometimes you just crave familiarity. In surroundings, in people, and (for me at least) in food. This weekend I had the weirdest craving for cinnamon toast. My mom used to keep one of those pizza place shakers (that are usually full of parmesan cheese) full of cinnamon and sugar and one of my favorite snacks was toast with butter and cinnamon and sugar. Of course, back then it was white bread, margarine, and white sugar... but I can modify a little today. I used Alvarado Street Bakery bread (yay 6g of protein per slice), coconut oil, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. It was delish. And nothing beats the smell of toast and cinnamon together.
I took Arlo on a half day trip up to North County this weekend. He loves car rides, sticking his head out the window, and going to new places - so this was a perfect outing on a hot Saturday afternoon. Our last stop of the day was at a bakery/cafe called 2Good2B in Encinitas. I simply googled "gluten free bakery" in San Diego county and this was at the top of every list. Holy crap, I can see why. Not only did the bakery case look amazing, but all of the food at the cafe was drool inducing. And EVERYTHING they make is GF, free of corn, and free of soy. I was meeting my friends Amanda and Antonette later in the evening so I picked up a few cupcakes for us to enjoy: coconut passionfruit and GF/dairy free carrot cake. I'm a carrot cake fiend, so that won for me. But I'll definitely be visiting them again!
In Vancouver last week, we partook in The Crate Escape. Here's the gist: mobile storytelling event. Run (or walk) around your city to different landmarks with a milk crate. Someone (who volunteered to tell their story around a specific theme) gets picked, stands on top of the milk crate, and tells a story for 5-8 minutes. Then you move on to the next place and start again. It was so fun! A great adventure to see a (new for us) city and to hear stories you didn't know people had. It made me realize how much I love story telling (and truly how bad I am at it). We've become this short attention span, want info now and quick, culture and the art of verbal storytelling is being lost. There are storytelling events in every city. Get out and find one!