What a week this has been! Running around, getting things done, finishing the week with the last Friday Happy Hour with one of my co-workers and friend, who is leaving for greener pastures. This weekend the plan is going to the beach, hoping the sun will finally come out after three days of rain and grey skies.
I leave you this week with a great song by Pete Kuzma, featuring Bilal (Amazon link). It is a version of "High and Dry" by Radiohead, but with a cool and sexy rhythm that makes you want to curl into a hammock with a glass of wine and unwind, listening to the music.
I have always enjoyed the fresh, sweet flavor of this popular herb, because you can use it in your favorite pasta, as an addition to your salad, and even as a desert - I've had basil ice cream and it was delicious!
When using basil in ho dishes, chop it julienne style or by shredding it into the food directly... However, add it when you are ready to serve your dish so it has enough time to release its flavor, but it does not wilt with the heat of the dish.
Per my personal experience, keep your plant in a place where it gets about 4 hours of direct sunlight, keep the dirt wet but not soaking with water, and in a place where insects don't munch on them, as mine was victim of a dark grasshopper that was enjoying it during lunch and dinner.
I have always been amazed at how difficult Mondays can be, especially after a relaxing weekend. The best would be if could maintain the same positive and relaxing attitude at the start of the week that would take us through the rest of the days. For today's links I wanted to offer eveyone a few notes on how to relax everywhere, even at work.
This weekend I went on a shopping spree to make my own relaxing oil and spays, where the most important ingredient is Lavender. Quick tip... add as few drops to a carrier oil and put it on your pulse points for the smell to rise and relax you!
One technique to start the day on a good note is to do Sun Salutations first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach and before you sower. I try to do it as often as I can and besides contributing to relive stress, this practices gives me clarity and that boost of energy to start my day.
Today, I want to honor the lives lost fourteen years ago in New York. As we remember where we were, what we were doing and how we found out, we should send a prayer for those that are no longer here, and to their families that miss them terribly.
In times like these, when so many people are suffering, I hope we can find a way to leave behind those things that separate us, and find common ground to build a better future.
Part of my Labor Day weekend trip to Saint Pete included a drive up to Tarpon Springs, a place I have heard a lot of. This little town, just north of the Tampa Bay area, was founded mostly by people coming from Greece with a rich tradition for fishing and everything coming from the ocean.
One of the main attractives of this place is the sponge docks, a street by the canal lined with stored that sell all kinds of marine products, especially sea sponges of all sizes and shapes.
Stores are decorated with the sponges, creating garlands and displays showcasing them along with beauty products made with Greek olive oil and goat's milk.
Foolishly, I didn't get anythings as I was fully concentrated on smelling every single bar of soap, and capture with my camera all the different products from the bottom of the ocean as a I could.
I could see the little starfishes decorating my Christmas tree this year and the sea urchins being great vessels for tealights... they would've looked great with some of the decoration in my apartment, as they would have reminded me of this out of the ordinary trip.
Of course, no trip to an area well known for its Greek heritage is to end without trying its good food. My favorite, as always, was the delicious spreads traditional of their cuisine, with warm and soft pita bread. Definitely a delicious treat for a trip to be remembered!
As part of my visit to the Dali Museum over the Labor Day weekend was the actual exhibit of the artist. As an arts major, I have always admired his work, but after seeing for the first time one of his paintings in real life, I was amazed that so much detail went into such a small work of art.
One of the things that always called for my attention was the way everything flowed, like the eggs, water and things that looked like they were melting. One the other hand the things that sort of scared me were the desolated landscapes, the people without faces and the mysticism that governed most of the artwork.
Then, when I started studying and learning Dali's life, what motivated and interested him, the fear was replaced by curiosity, which lead to find the symbolism and details in every scene. For example, in many of his works of art you can see his wife, Gala, everywhere. She was his muse, and the driving force that made him explore many facets throughout his career.
One painting that became one of my favorites was the woman with roses head, which I got to see on a trip to Spain years ago. So, when I saw the one of the ladies with the skin of an orchestra, I have to say I fell in love all over again... and have to admit making plans to take it home with me... haha!
To end the tour, I tagged along with the guide that explained this
painting that was over 10 feet tall (about 5 meters). Beyond the amazing
details of the painting, what caught my attention the most was the
symbolism, the hidden characters and friends of the artist hidden within
the painting, and the many historical references and homages to the
world that surrounded him.
If you have not seen any Dali paintings in your life, I thoroughly encourage you to include a museum that contains his art in your trip... You will be amazed by his mastery and the beauty that each brush stroke expressed.