to me, inspiration is akin to hope. Without it, I am not excited about daily life or my work. Without it, I’m guessing I would just be going through the motions and not really enjoying anything or feeling alive. I don’t know how long I could function without it. All that to say, inspiration is vital to me. That’s why I write about it so much. And, fortunately I am very easily inspired….by the simplest things! I think in the busyness of life, the importance of simple things can get lost. No matter how busy life gets for me (and sometimes it’s crazy!), I try not to lose the importance of placing simple things in my daily vision that please me-
Notice that the background is not so pretty, but with the simple display of pretties, you might almost forget about the unsightly things. But I’m getting ahead of myself….here’s the *b* list for today:
- everyday surroundings. As I eluded to above, I have learned the importance of making my surroundings pleasing. I love simple things. There are few things more beautiful to me than fresh food….produce, pretty bottles of seasonings or herbs….things that I can simply reach for when I’m making dinner, but in the meantime, they’re looking pretty on my island. I used to like the look of a perfectly clean and clear kitchen counter. Now, I’m more inspired when I see a kitchen that is obviously a working kitchen. It’s not just in the kitchen though…I think it is all over the house, even in rooms that are often ignored. Like choosing a really good handsoap for the bathroom, putting fresh flowers in the bedroom, changing out and updating framed family photos regularly ( I just recently did this and LOVE how it feels), burning great smelling candles, updating quotes around the house on chalkboards, or with scrabble tiles or vintage clipboards. I love quotes and find that having them prominently displayed around the house inspires me.
- cooking and eating right. I am usually inspired by the change of seasons when it comes to cooking and eating well. Spring and summer with all the fresh produce and farmer’s markets really inspire me. This spring is even more inspiring because of my new stove. I am still loving it. Last night, I made pasta with spinach and blue cheese and I thought it was awesome! I made Tom a sauted herbed chicken breast because I know that he’s not a meatless fan. Here’s the recipe:
1 pound of pasta (I used angel hair)
2 T olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoesm drained (I used organic)
dash of sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 c crumbled blue cheese
3/4 c heavy cream ( I used a little less and didn’t drain the diced tomatoes completely)
4 c baby spinach (I used organic)
Cook pasta and drain. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add garlic and cook for a minute. Pour in tomatoes. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and red peppe flakes. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in blue cheese. Add cream and stir. Cook for a minute or two. At the very last minute, add spinach, then toss in pasta. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles.
Sooo good. I wish I could give credit for this recipe, but I printed it and neglected to document who gave it to me…or which website I found it on. So if it’s yours, please let me know!
Tom was not a big fan of this dish. In fact, I called Aunt Mary to see if she would like to try it (it makes a huge batch, which I knew I wouldn’t eat, even if I ate it every day for a week!), so Tom and I drove a sampling over to them and as we approached, we could see Dave out on the deck grilling and Tom yelled, “don’t stop the grill Dave”…my man, gotta love him.
- humor. I have recently discovered something about myself. Although, I’m not a super funny person, I make funny people more funny. Remember the comedy duos of the 50’s and 60’s? Martin and Lewis, Lucy and Ethel, Owen and Martin…I’m the “straight man”. I egg on funny people….like my former business partner and great friend Joan…I think I made her even more funny. Ha! and Tom…I think I bring his humor out. How’s that for taking credit for the humor around me? I love to laugh and so I’ll do just about anything to try to get the comedian’s around me to keep it up. I’m so happy that i have funny people in my life!
- art. For me, of course photography inspires me for sure. Also, paper/mixed media/scrapbooking all inspire me. This month, the fabulous Debee Campos is inspiring me as guest designer at JBS. If you haven’t checked out her work, go now! She is a beautiful soul.
Recently I was particularly inspired by this beautiful little soul, Hadley Pearl. She has the distinct title of “first baby born” of one of my bride and groom’s. She is truly a beauty!
I think they are both beautiful : )
I’m off to meet a friend for lunch!
Have a great day!