CDMX: Museums And Pujol Omakase Tacos

Mexico City

Gavin, the #highvibecrew, and I recently returned from a whirlwind weekend in Mexico City, a beautiful blur of art, food, and culture! I was blown away by this gorgeous gem of a city. We made sure to hit up all the hot spots such as Museo Jumex and Kurimanzutto for contemporary art, and Pujol for the internationally acclaimed Omakase Taco experience. We left CDMX with our bellies full, our minds churning with creativity, and our hearts shining in love with Mexico City.

Our first stop in CDMX the evening we arrived was at our hotel Condesa df, located in the chic and hip La Condesa neighborhood. This 1928 hotel had an unforgettable vibe from the bright colors to the historic architectural facade. The traditional white stone exterior playfully contrasted with the simple modern design aesthetic of the interior. The lobby was drenched in an ultra saturated teal green, accented with natural leather and wood woven chairs, triggering memories of my earlier years in NYC when I lived in Soho. The suite was super simple, yet lux, with the it’s crowning glory being the sprawling balcony set amongst the treetops. Which I must mention now- one of the most fascinating things about CDMX was ALL THE TREES! For such a dense and populated city, Mexico City is literally a forest, with trees everywhere. It really blew me away- thinking how all these trees were planned and planted many many years ago, and what an energetic and physical implication they have. Mexico may be ahead of the US in this regard..?

CDMX: MUSEUMS AND PUJOL OMAKASE TACOS

After we settled into our hotel we headed out to meet the #highvibecrew (our travel contention of friends) at Catamundi Wine Bar. The food here was delicious and the wine selection easily rivaled notable sommelier spots in CA. Gavin loved Pinot Noir, so he was in heaven with the wine list! Everything we ordered was phenomenal, but the star was the soft shell crab tacos. Encrusted in a light and crisp charcoal batter, the crab literally melted in your mouth with a complex flavor explosion- a little salty, and savory with a hint of sweet to balance it out.  We were serenaded by the smooth sounds of street musicians to lull us fully into a food coma by the end of the evening. (Insider tip: ask for a seat in the back garden bar- that’s the cutest spot)

The next morning we rose early to sounds of birds chirping on our city balcony, as the sun began trickling in through our wispy linen curtains. We woke early to ensure we had ample time to make it to each and every one of our planned destinations. We had a quick bite and on-point robust cappuccino in the Condesa df restaurant. Fueled on haverous rancheros and caffeine, we set off to our first art destinations- Kurimanzutto and Museo Jumex. I’ll let the art do the talking:

Mexico City

Following the morning art immersion we set out for a late lunch at Pujol. When I say “lunch” I mean this lightly- Pujol’s Omakase tacos were full-on culinary immersions into a new world of flavor experiences. And it was one of the BEST meals I have had in my 40 years on this earth. I love food much in the way I love art. I love the presentation, the colors and the sensory experience. I love the emotions and excitement that arises. They both had the ability to ground me in the present moment- which is a healing experience all in itself. Culinary arts is a form of art, and if you love both as much as I do make a reservation at Pujol! (Insider tip: reservations here fill up fast. Book early, and new spots open daily on Opentable so refresh often if you are having trouble securing a spot!)

Our final morning in CDMX we decided on a leisurely Sunday brunch at Contramar. This seafood-heavy spot is the place to be and be seen for brunch. We noshed on oysters, ceviche, and a whole roasted fish large enough to feed everyone all on its own. (Insider tip: Even if you can’t get a reservation, if you show ups when they open at 11am, you will very likely score a table.)

If reading this is making your mouth salivate and your creative juices flow, then you are meant to visit CDMX, one of my favorite cities for culture, gastronomy, art and design!

CDMX: MUSEUMS AND PUJOL OMAKASE TACOS

Read Next: San Miguel De Allende

San Miguel De Allende

Gavin and recently returned from a romantic weekend wandering the charming cobblestone streets of San Miguel de Allende. Along our journey, we discovered the most beautiful and unique art galleries and dined on rooftops while looking down on the vibrant rainbow of colors that make up the old world cityscape. If you are seeking a full immersion into old-world Mexican culture then San Miguel de Allende is your next must-go destination!

Gavin and I stayed at the infamous Matilda hotel , right in the heart of downtown. This super classy (with a little side of funk) boutique hotel is blessed with an interior courtyard to die for, complete with a botanical encrusted infinity edge pool, and pop art mural made for the perfect photo opp. 

Our room was cute and quaint, and the best part was its expansive balcony overlooking the glistening pool waters below. Service here was top notch -you know the kind- when they welcome you everywhere by name and memorize the way you like your skinny+spicy marg. After we settled into our room we set out on the town to grab a bite to eat.

On the main square we stumbled upon a local spot, Cen Tro, that was packed with locals singing along to the sounds of ranchera (traditional Mexican cowboy music that dated back to the revolution). Intrigued by the palpable energy of the crowd, we grabbed a table and ordered some margaritas and tacos. This was one of the effing best margaritas I have ever had! So authentic and perfectly balanced with spice, a touch of sweet, and rimmed with tajine. Gavin and I smiled with joy as we watched everyone in the bar soulfully sing along with each and every song while cheering and clinking their beers. 

The next day we wandered out in no particular direction to find some of the galleries and shops that we had heard so much about. (Insider tip: I love the old cobblestone streets, but they are not easy on the feet! No heels here ladies- just comfy flats.) We stumbled upon a lighting shop that was so specular it should be called a gallery. Intricate gold chandeliers hung from every spot in the ceiling. And the golden light casts beautiful light and shadows across every surface.

The next amazing discovery is the Bovine Concept Store, part store, part gallery. Their black and white motif was striking and edgy. The art work that graced the walls was complete, colorful, and definitely caused a moment of pause. Every detail was meticulously placed and balanced. It was simply a fascinating place. Gavin and I gathered so many design ideas here we had to start writing them all down! And although we didn’t dine at their adjoining restaurant, Bovine, we had received many recommendations that it is the go-to place for wood fired steaks.

After a full day of walking we were famished. We headed over to Quince Rooftop (http://quincerooftop.com) for a sunset dinner with #highvibecrew. Perched high above the city, we watched the sun sink down into the clouds, tuning them rich  hues of gold, pink and purple, blending into the colorful casita rooftops. We dined on Peruvian nikkei and truffle tuna sashimi, porteno ceviche, and chimichurri hamachi nigiri. Every bite was a flavorful explosion. Soon the sunset colors faded, the sky darkened to an ink black and millions of twinkling stars came out to shine down on us. What a special night of birds-eye beauty, culinary delights, and great conversations with friends.

40 & Fierce in Tulum

Last month something amazing happened. On my 40th birthday my love, Gavin, flew down 25 of my closest friends to Tulum Mexico to surprise the sh*t outta me! We celebrated all week long and it was the absolute, hands down, the best week of my life!

Even though words can’t begin to describe the love-full experience that was the celebration of my 40th year around the sun, I feel compelled to express my gratitude and offer a little window into the heart-exploding experience. This celebration was so much more than just my birthday, but it was a culmination and full expression of all the love that is abundant in my life today. It hasn’t always been this way. Not too long ago there was a time where life felt consistently challenging and mundane. I felt as if I were surviving, rather than thriving.  But I made the decision that it wasn’t the life I chose, so I set out to do the inner work, as challenging and seemingly slow progress as it was, and here I am today! A new woman living a dream. I can confidently say I manifested the life that IS my vision board!

Kelley’s surprise birthday party in Tulu

My life partner and fiancé Gavin, who loves me unconditionally and shows it in every way possible and every single day, family and friends who I love and adore, and my son Hunter and stepsons Benji and Ryley who are blessings in my life, so many heart-opening experiences and connections every single day, and a growing art career where I get to truly be my creative self. I love it all so much my heart feels like it is about to burst!

The weeks leading up to the trip Gavin did his very best (and he did a great job!) of throwing me off the trail. I knew we were going away for my birthday, and I had a guess it was Mexico, but that’s all I could figure out. Gavin said all sorts of things to make me think we were going somewhere else, and also acted at one point like all the plans were falling apart due to COVID cancellations lol.  All my friends were of course in on it, and they all had asked me “Hey, what are we doing for your birthday? Can I plan something for when you get back from your trip?” I asked Gavin- “Hey love, I’m so excited for our trip, BUTTTT, did you happen to plan anything with my friends!? They are all asking me about it…” He dismissively said, “sure we can arrange something the following week”. Little did I know what was about to happen…..

I packed my bags with “warm weather” attire and off we went to the airport. We landed in Cancun and got in a shuttle and a few hours later we reached the mystery destination: Tulum! We checked into Nest Tulum, a super cute boho-chic boutique hotel right on the beach. The attentive staff took our bags and whisked us down a lush jungle path to our villa. The room was absolutely adorable, complete with a clawfoot tub on an elevated loft level, overlooking the ocean. So romantic and dreamy.

The next day Gavin and I woke up bright and early and headed out to an eco-excursion arranged by Nest Tulum.  We drove down a bumpy unpaved road to meet our captain and guide, Pedro. We jumped into his boat to take a private tour of the Reserva de la Biósfera Sian Ka’an. This eco-tour was spectacular, filled to the brim with wildlife sightings. In 3 hours we saw alligators, manatees, dolphins, stingrays, sea turtles, and so many beautiful birds. It’s a must do!

Famished from the eventful day, we dined at Meze that evening, the new hotspot and an Aegean open-flame restaurant owned by the guys at Grupo Gitano. The food was spectacular. Two of my favorite dishes that tantalized my tastebuds were the Tyrokafteri (spicy feta spread with caramelized fig) and the salt- encrusted catch of the day, which is cracked-opened and served in a beautiful table-side experience… As I was sipping on my Rose, Gavin was asking me about fishing, as he has never been before, and something he really wants to try. Since it was a leisurely vacation dinner I went on and on about all the different kinds of fishing I have tried over my 40 years. I told him about deep sea fishing for tuna, fly fishing for salmon in Alaska, bass fishing on the lakes in Florida, and ice fishing on the frozen lakes of Ontario. Mid-story, he said we had to go back to make the happy hour at our hotel. “Why the rush? I asked. He just took my hand and whisked me into a taxi as I kept explaining how you can cut into 6” thick ice to set a line.

Once we got back he led me to the beach bar and as I walked down the stairs I noticed the bar was empty. Suddenly as I turned the corner a crowd of people jumped up and yelled “SURPRISE!!!!” and I threw my purse onto the ledge in complete shock! Twenty-five of my closest friends were there to surprise me. The video speaks for itself:

The following days were filled with so much joy and connection. My friend Tamalin had meticulously arranged absolutely every minute detail to make the week super special. We all rented bikes and group-biked into town. What a site that was! We sipped Aperol Spritzes on the beach. Every day! Tamalin and Gavin hosted a wedding-worthy birthday dinner celebration with decor that deserves a feature in Harper’s Bazaar. The best part of this night was when every single person at the table stood up and told me how much I mean to them. Tears were flowing down my face the entire time. My friend Lovisa even serenaded me with a song she wrote!

NEST Tulum of the Namron Group couldn’t have hosted us with any more love, care, and attention. Their service is beyond. They knew everyone’s name, memorized each and every favorite customized cocktail and had one waiting the minute we sipped the last drop. They treated us like family. I will never forget our stay there and I will surely return soon.

Thursday we relocated to the NEST’s sister property La Valise Tulum, also managed by Namron Group, just a few doors down. We checked in and went upstairs to the master suite. I stepped into the room and my jaw hit the floor. This was the most amazingly gorgeous room I had ever seen…  The very best part is that the bed was on a track and wheels so you could roll it out onto the ocean front balcony to sleep under the stars!!!  Take a look for yourself: (VIDEO). 

Thursday night we secured some very-hard-to-score reservations at Hartwood. Although the food had been spot on this entire trip, this meal took everything up another notch- if that was even possible. The giant fire roasted beet was the size of my head and sat on a bed of luxurious creamy avo-crema- divine! I also must note that this is a truly fully sustainable restaurant- running on 100% solar, cooking on open flames with sustainably sourced fish, meats and veggies, which holds an extra special  place in my heart.

We finished off the night with dancing at Gitano’s– picture a cool, hip vibe in the middle of the jungle with a music set of a super talented and eclectic DJ. This was the hot spot to be. We explored the meandering indoor-outdoor spaces that seemed to connect through little passageways, leading to more secret nooks, all dimly lit with candles and hanging tree lights. The energy was palpable and you couldn’t help but to dance to beats that infiltrated the moody jungle surroundings. It was as if nature and music collided and merged to make this tribal celebratory dance experience. What a special night!

Before I knew it the week commenced and we said our goodbyes at the airport. Our bodies and feet were exhausted, but our hearts were full and glowing. You could see it in everyone’s eyes and smiles. This week had not only touched my heart deeply, but also had moved each and everyone who attended. It had been a transformative experience for all of us because we shared so much love and connection. This week will never be forgotten and will go on to live in our memories, our souls, our stories, and in our relationships. So much gratitude. So much Love.

CREDITS:
Travel and Event Producer: Savoir Agency   | @savoiragency
Event Decor: Corrie in Color  | @corrie.in.color
Floral Designer: Vanessa Jaimes  | @vanessajaimesfloraldesign
Event Rentals: Rental Bloom  | @rebel.bloomrentals
Venue: Nest Tulum  | @nesttulum 
Photography: Lili Breton Photography  | @lilibretonphoto
Videographer: Andrew Grace  | @andrew_grace

Calling in the One — Intimate Relationship Manifestation

A dear friend of mine shared this simple, yet powerful, exercise with me 2 years ago and it literally changed the entire trajectory of my life.

At the time I was a single mama, working like crazy, trying to keep afloat. I had a comfortable life- a cute little apartment, a great group of like-minded friends, and a budding art career, but my life was tough. I was doing everythingggggg and I was tired and lonely. Sometimes I would long for a romantic partner to share my life with, but I didn’t do well there too much because a part of me was resolved that it may not happen that way for me. I thought I was dealt a different set of cards.

She was right. Why was I picking and choosing what I thought my manifesting powers had control over? And what did I really want? 

She told me to do 2 writing exercises to set my intentions for attracting a romantic partner, and I’ll share these below. I diligently did the exercises, and read them daily following my morning meditation and gratitude practice.

And the rest is history. My present day fiance is the handsome, loving, passionate, generous, and dedicated man who was in that email. When I read back over my manifestation writings that my friend had given to me I realize that EVERY quality I put in there is embodied in my fiance. He is THAT guy I wrote about and longed for. And the only thing that was holding me back from meeting him was MYSELF!

Steps to Call In the One

  1. MEDITATE:
    Sit in stillness for 5 to 10 minutes to ask the universe for guidance. Simply breathe deeply and say: “Where will you have me go? What will you have me do? What will you have me say? and to whom? I ask for guidance and am ready to receive.”
  2. JOURNAL:
    Next, get out a pen and paper and write down EVERY SIGNLE DETAIL of what your ideal partner looks like. And I just don’t mean the physical, but be sure to include that as well. How does this personal treat you? What actions do they take? What values do they have? How do they view the world? What are their interests? How do they touch you? What do you see in their eyes? and so on. Write down everything and you can always go back and add more if needed. The goal is to make it emotional moving. When you read this journal entry in the future you should feel emotions- butterflies in the tummy, excitement, joy…
  3. MEDITATE, READ IT DAILY, VISUALIZE:
    Now integrate this into your daily practice. Meditate and ask for guidance, then read you “The One” journal entry, then close your eyes and feel what this person feel like, what it feels like to be with them, and then call them in.

Yosemite & Sequoias RV Family Vacation COVID Style


SEQUOIAS & YOSEMITE RV FAMILY TRIP: TIPS for a successful RV TRIP

I’m finally getting around to sharing some memories and tips we learned on our family RV trip to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks! COVID has caused a big come-back in the popularity of good ole’ American RV and camping trips. We made some amazing memories on this trip, all while cramming 2 kids, 2 teenagers, and 2 adults into one 30ft C-class motorhome. It may have been tight quarters, but it sure was a blast!

I grew up playing in the woods behind my house, and those are some of the most memorable moments of my adolescent years. My friends and I would hike out into the forest collecting rocks, floating flowers and leaves down the babbling brooks, and weave grasses and honeysuckle into bracelets, necklaces and crowns. This trip brought back vivid memories of those times, and I found myself feeling deep joy and excitement witnessing our kids create the same nature magic. Nature is healing and nature is the best teacher. I’m so thankful for the good times and connection we shared on this epic RV trip!

Tip #1: 

Make sure you have a good food plan and grocery ship accordingly.

So RV fridges and freezers are super small and once you fill it up with drinks there isn’t room for too much else. I had big plans to pre-cook casseroles and other meals, only to find out there was no room to bring them. (Worked out ok in the end because I froze them and ate them when we got back, when I wanted to do nothing more that chill out and watch a movie) So, make sure you bring things like canned tuna, pasta, and other shelf-stable meals. There is a great deal more cabinet space than fridge space!

Tip 2: 

Plan your route, and book RV camping spots and plan excursions ahead of time, keeping in mind how big your RV is (and where it will fit)

RVs are great on the highway. I mean you’re rolling down the freeway goin’ 65 and still have full access to TV, food, cold drinks, couch and a bed! Major upside. BUT the major downside is that you can’t fit that 30 footer into just any place. The solution- make sure you plan ahead. Book RV camp spots that accommodate an RV of the appropriate size. Check out all the stops and sites you want to see and make sure they have RV parking. I must say, national parks are pretty well set up for RVs so we didn’t have too many issues. The one stop that we did make that was super tricky to navigate the boat was Rainbow Falls. (It’s definitely worth the stop- you can swim to a waterfall and climb right in behind it!) This place gets packed and parking is limited and tight. Either get there early to grab one of the few RV- compatible spots, or park outside and hoof it in.

TIP 3:

Bring family games.

Camping is fun but kids need entertainment. Board and card games were a fun way to pass the time, connect and have a laugh with each other. Heads Up was a hit with our family.

TIP 4:

Plan where to DUMP (eek!) and fill up with water. 

With a large family like ours the holding tank would fill up fast and went through water quickly as well. Make sure you know where you can dump the tank and fill up with water nearby or at every stop along the way.

TIP 5:

Go with the flow.

Despite all the planning, life always throws us curve balls, so adapt and go with the flow. When we embrace this perspective we make the most out of every moment.

I grew up playing in the woods behind my house, and those are some of the most memorable moments of my adolescent years. My friends and I would hike out into the forest collecting rocks, floating flowers and leaves down the babbling brooks, and weave grasses and honeysuckle into bracelets, necklaces and crowns. This trip reminded me of those times, and I found myself feeling joy and excitement witnessing our kids have those special nature-connected moments.

Importance of Creating a Sacred Space

Sacred Space

Feeling at peace, safe, and connected is one of the most important things in life, and we have full control over the ways we can support ourselves in reaching these emotional goals. One, often overlooked, but easy to do thing we can do is create a sacred space in our home.

My sacred space is in the garden, surrounded by lush bougenvilla, romantic cafe string lights, a buddha statue and a comfy swinging egg chair. When I visit and spend time here I notice my body shifts energy the moment I arrive. 

The beauty I created through my mindful decorating process resonated deep in my heart and soul. The things I placed carefully have special meaning and remind me of the things that matter most. 

The Buddah, for example, always reminds me “peace is found within,” and the flowers help me recall that connecting to nature and to oneself is the most important tool to tap into.

The cute and oh-so-comfy chair is soothing as it swings, and the motion calms my nerves, and brings up a child-like joy.

When I am having a challenging day simply visiting this place for a few moments and checking in with me in the present moment is sometimes all I need to turn things around, gain perspective, and boost my mood.

Sacred places actually are “charged” with good energy from the positive energy we’ve put into them through our own creation process. We infuse these spots with our positive vibes, and in return they refuel us when we are depleted. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Being a big proponent of the healing benefits of nature I always incorporate plants. If you don’t have a green thumb, one of my lush preserved moss art pieces can do the trick just the same! Greenery is calming and connective for all, because we all come from nature. (CHECK OUT MY MOSS ART HERE).

Other elements to include are any trinkets, or other memory-producing objects that open your heart and bring up good feelings. Make your space beautiful and unique. It should feel like your space, and it should feel like home.

Sacred Space:

  1. Pick a spot that can be yours, and you can be alone
  2. Make it beautiful with plants, moss art, objects with special meaning
  3. Make it comfortable- maybe a bright colorful cushion or chair
  4. Add pictures, or any other reminders of joyful memories.
  5. Visit it often to charge the space, and allow it to bring you peace and happiness

Peace-Producing Moss Art

My main 9-5 is running a moss art business.

“A what!?” you say…. Yes, I make framed works of art using preserved moss and other botanicals. I make art with nature!

I found my way into this career through my love of nature and my love of creating. I have had a long-time obsession with living walls. Have you ever heard of Patrick LeBlanc? You can check out some of his work here. Patrick is an amazing plant artist and he grows beautiful plant murals on the sides of buildings all over Europe. You may recognize some of his most iconic pieces like this one:

Patrick was a source of great inspiration for me. His nature art made me feel good inside. It gave me those warm tingly feelings. Nature is so beautiful and so healing, that wrapping our living spaces in its beauty made so much sense to me!

Since real living walls are cost prohibitive for many, and tricky to keep them alive, I decided to come up with my own solution that still has all the positive good-feeling tingly vibes, but with none of the head-ache inducting up keep.

My solution- real PRESERVED moss (which requires no care!).

Peace-Producing Moss Art

Here’s a little excerpt from my Face the Current article that explains the psychological benefit of plants:

“Living green walls also have psychological benefits. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology in 2015 suggests that interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress. Plants have also been shown to increase feelings of wellness and fast-track recovery in hospital patients. A living wall adds contentment from nature which reminds us of the renewal of spring and the growth of summer –it’s this feeling of life that lifts the spirit.

While living green walls are undeniably beneficial, their installation and maintenance costs can be a deterrent. Since the plants are living, they require food, water, and regular pruning and replacement to remain viable; this can be costly both financially and in terms of time management. So how do we capture the health and wellness benefits of a living wall while eliminating its energy, water, and time consumption? Kelley Anderson has the answer.” “

-Face the Current 

So if you are looking for a little plant power for your space, and you want a worry free solution check out my moss art at ART BOTANICA MOSS. They also make a unique and wonderful gift! USE CODE MOSS10 for 10% your first order. Get your Peace-Producing Moss Art.

Creating a Work from Home Space: Zoom Room

Raise your hand if you have ZOOM-ed lately? Yes, me too, it for sure is one of the things that has seen tremendous growth during this COVID pandemic. And since we are all spending so much time on ZOOM these days- for work, for special personal events like birthdays and showers, and to visit with our family and friends, it makes sense to invest in our ZOOM Room! (Yes, that also includes your work from home space)

When we choose to invest our energy, time, and attention into something, we are breathing life into it, literally. Where your focus goes, the manifestations will follow. Although we make it very complex, at the core, it is really that simple.

Take a moment to think about all these ZOOM meetings and gatherings happening right now. Do you take them time to think about the deep connection we are desperately trying to create and keep going in our relationships during these very isolating times? The online meetings are literally our lifeline to others. Humans need connection to survive and thrive!

This brings me back to the ZOOM ROOM, and the importance of the space, and the intentions we set. We have the power to create deeper meaning and connection simply by creating and making the space!

Having an organized, beautiful, and comfortable space allows us to really drop in and connect to the others on the screen. We will slow down and take more time to be with them in these moments because creating the space is also setting the intention for connection!

Here are some elements I feel are key to connected ZOOM room:

  1. Comfortable seating
  2. A desk that is organized and maybe a small light meant for online meetings
  3. Have some flowers or a plant (My MOSS ART is a great plant backdrop solution)
  4. Have a beautiful backdrop behind you that the person on the other side can enjoy- maybe a preserved moss art or a beautiful painting or picture. It should be something more abstract as to not distract from the conversation.
  5. A journal so you can write down your intentions and goals before the meeting/ get to together, and so you can write down how you feel after it concludes, and any action items you may need to follow up on.
WORK FROM HOME SPACE

If you are looking for a little plant power for your work from home ZOOM space, and you want a worry-free solution check out my moss art at ART BOTANICA MOSS. USE CODE MOSS10 for 10% of your first order.

Designing a Gratitude Practice for Inner Peace and Happiness

I just watched the new Disney Pixar film, Soul, and it brought up some important reminders about living life to the fullest that lately I have been overlooking. Sure 2020 has been a rough year for all of us, there is not denying that. There has been so much loss on all levels for so many people. I, fortunately, have fared the storm quite well, quarantining with my family, and no one I know personally has been stricken with serious illness. I have, however, found myself a bit blah in my day to day, missing my flowing inspirational energy and self-starter nature that came to me more naturally before. Even my creativity seems stunted lately. The days melt into each other and I miss having “things” to look forward to such as social events, trips, and creating installations for events. Something feels a bit off, and I am sure many of you can relate. It wasn’t until I watched Soul that I was reminded of what I get to do to take control of my experience.

Soul Movie

Not to give it away, but the messaging in Soul in suggesting we make a choice to truly LIVE in the moment. Each and every moment. Sure, we can have passionate hobbies, careers, and interests, and look forward to what excitement the future may have in store for us, BUT the key to happiness is finding it in the here and now. And sometimes that is easier said than done, am I right?

I can recall days not so long ago when the sunlight sparkling through a fluttering tree canopy of a giant oak made a tear roll down my cheek. I was struck by the beauty and the meaning behind it that is easier felt than explained in words. Joyous moments happened spontaneously and in rather mundane moments. Well, how the heck do I get back there!? I’d certainly like to FEEL that again.

Enter- Gratitude Practice. This is something I’d love to say I am committed to daily, but the truth is I pick it up and put it down throughout the year, along with my meditation, yoga, workouts, etc. Like most of us do- we have seasons and tides, and our commitments ebb and flow and start and stop. And that’s OK. We are human after all. The key is having the awareness of your experience and then taking action to pick the practice back up.

A gratitude practice is super simple, but highly effective. Basically it looks something like this, and feel free to add or change any part to make it your own.

1.THE DUMP:

Upon waking in the morning, and definitely before you open that iPhone, grab a pen and paper and free write 1+ page of everything that comes to mind- the good, the ugly, the illegible and the nonsensical. Write it all down until it’s empty. This clears the mind and opens it up, allowing more penetration of the heart.

2. THE LIST:

Next, write a list of 5 things you are thankful and grateful for. Big things and little things, anything.

Gratitude list

3. THE FEELS:

Now go back through the list one by one and close your eyes and tap into the feelings and sensations that arise in your body when you hold this thing you are grateful for in your heart. Let it marinate. Write the feelings and sensations that came up for you.

4. THE THANKS:

Give thanks to the Universe (or whomever you feel is the higher power) for this day, this moment, and this opportunity to experience Life.

Designing a Gratitude Practice for Inner Peace

6. THE LIVING:

Go about your day, but try to slow down and notice things a bit more. It may take a few days, but if you keep up this morning practice I promise you the joy of the present moment will fill you up more and more each day.

Make a commitment to yourself to try this for 10 days. I find it helpful to write in my planner, add it to my calendar and put a reminder in my phone.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with this practice, so let me know how it goes! 

Gratitude Practice

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes| Gluten Free, Healthy & Extra Fluffy

Gluten-Free Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Gluten-Free Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

There is something that has been helping me get through the blur and blah of pandemic quarantine- that is to mark the weekends with a special breakfast. Seems simple, but for me, it has a big impact. Making a special meal is fun and it feels like a celebration. It makes the weekend seem different than the week, even though lately it’s been like groundhog’s day!

Cooking brings me joy, plain and simple. And if I have learned anything during the past year it is that self-care equals making time to do the things that make me feel good.

Now as we are approaching the 1 year anniversary of COVID quarantine, I have been reflecting back on the past 12 months that somehow simutaneously seem like they went PAINFULLY SLOOOOOW and also so very fast… how is that possible?

I’ve had a few cycles of mild blah-ness, getting bogged down in the mundane stuck-at-home life, the challenges of homeschooling, keeping my art business afloat, being a mom, and on and on. Being everything for everybody, picking up the pieces, the laundry and the dishes, but still choosing to create time for myself, because if I don’t do that I run out of steam. Even though my meditation practice is almost non-existent these past few months, on the flip side, I have greatly increased my hiking and exercising. Moving my body and being active calms my mind. Being in nature feeds my heart.

Another challenge is my house mess and clutter (as I gaze up from computer it looms on the horizon), but Hunter and Benji are running around with their StarWars battleships having a blast. I take it in. It’s life. It’s challenging, far from perfect, and messy but there is beauty in it, in every moment. More time with the kids. More family pizza and movie nights. More converstation. More connection. More Love.

And more PANCAKES! These delicious fluffy and decadent Banana Pancakes are a quick and easy breakfast. Made in the blender with just a few ingredients and they taste divine. They are gluten free and super healthy as they are made with rolled oats, very little sugar, and no oil. Let me know what you think below!

If you love these pancakes you may also love some of my other gluten free pancake recipes such as my

COOKIE DOUGH STUFFED PANCAKES

and

CINNAMON BUN PANCAKES

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes- Gluten Free + Extra Fluffy

Super easy 5 minute Banana Oatmeal Pancakes made in a blender. Gluten Free, Healthy, and Extra Fluffy!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword banana oatmeal pancakes, banana pancakes, gluten free banana pancakes, gluten free pancakes, healthy banana pancakes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 198 kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup oat milk (can sub any other milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats (gluten free)
  • tbsp brown sugar (can sub coconut sugar)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 banana

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth

  2. Heat a non stick skillet on medium heat, can use a little cconut oil to grease the skillet if you'd like

  3. Use a ladel to spoon the batter into the hot pan.

  4. Cook 2-3 minuited each side or unitl golden brown in color.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Banana Oatmeal Pancakes- Gluten Free + Extra Fluffy
Amount Per Serving (3 pancakes)
Calories 198 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 560mg24%
Potassium 275mg8%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 140IU3%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 187mg19%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Gluten-Free Banana Oatmeal Pancakes