How a Piano Changed My Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week, I had just finished a meeting and was on the way back to another building, where my office is. Admittedly, I got bored with going the same old way, and decided to walk through a few buildings  that I had never been through before. Beyond a closed door in one of the buildings came the extraordinary sound of live piano music. I recognized the piece, as one I used to play myself, years ago: Beethoven’s Pathetique. It was so compellingly executed that I stood frozen, outside the door, just for the privilege of listening. Before long a woman who worked in that building, opened the door to walk through it, and I followed in her footsteps. It was a student, alone in a large atrium, practicing the piano with such ferver ,that he didnt’ notice either the woman or myself. Suddenly it was not so important that I race back to my office. For my own well-being, I paused, silent, still, and absorbed, for the most delicious ten minutes of the day. The music transported me by its beauty and by its familiarity.

When was the last time you paused to appreciate something unexpectedly beautiful in your day? When was the last time you even noticed the pockets of beauty that appear when you are just going about your routine?

That ten minue breather, turned the rest of my day around. I returned to my office with a smile, and was more productive than ever, as if I had been infused with a burst of energy and a new blood supply.  Savoring each moment is what truly makes a life worth living.

For the next ten days, I urge you to make apoint  of noticing and enjoying the pockets of beauty that pop up unexpectedly in the course of your day. I guarantee, you will find more and more of these little droplets of joy each day, if you give them heed.

Do comment below and let me know how this simple appreciation exercise changes YOU.

Every now and then a gorgeous, unique wardrobe piece

Ferragamo Boot

You don’t have to have a million dollars to look like you do. The other night when I was making a presentation, some of the people in the audience began to comment on how much they loved my fashion sense. I hadn’t expected that, as there are far more fashion mavens out and about, who really do mean business. I am, however a believer in the power of looking better to feel better. To that end, this is how I structure my wardrobe.

Not ever piece I buy is expensive, but I certainly don’t opt for quantity above quality. Every once in a while, I will buy an “investment piece”, like the beautiful hand made gown I purchased in a dress boutique in Positano, along the Amalfi Coast. Positano is known for its unique and extraordinary dress boutiques. These pieces are an “investment” because they are expensive, but on the other hand, they can be worn for years to come. I have worn my Positano celery green gown with the deep purple brocade at almost every important occasion I have been invited to. I never cease to get compliments. So for me, that was well worth the pricetag.

On a more everyday basis, I shop boutique sales. I, like you, don’t want to see my clothes on everyone else. I have worn Catholic school uniforms for twelve  years, and I am all about individuality now. Enter the boutique. I can’t always afford boutique prices, however, so I go for the sales. I have some really great shoes, bags, and clothes that I have purchased this way, and depending how I put my pieces together, I can wear them a number of different ways, and always look like I have on a new outfit.

Also, you can save money on pieces that don’t count as much.  A basic black or white turtleneck doesnt’ need to cost 100 dollars! Night wear, underwear, etc, can also be purchased in low or moderately priced stores. It is all about balance, value, and individuality.

Find your own style, have fun, and remember that what you wear and how it makes you feel, will have a strong effect on your mood, your attitude, and how other people relate to you.

La moda, quindi,  e’ importantissima..Fashion, therefore, is very important! Use it to lift your spirits, and have fun with your life.

“Dolce Vita “Sausage, Mushrooms and Onions

There is no reason not to cook nutritous and delicious “dolce vita” dinners, even when you don’t have all morning to let your homemade sauce simmer. This recipe is absolutely scrumptious and the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes help to make it a dish with many health -protective anti-disease properties. Try it and you wont’ be disappointment!

Ingredients:

1 package of Italian sweet sausage ,or a mix of some sweet, some hot links.

1 large white onion, sliced thinly

1/2 box of white button mushrooms, scrubbed, destemmed, sliced

5 cloves garlic , chopped

1 cup of all natural tomato basil sauce

1 cup of good quality table red wine

1 cup of spring or filtered water

Salt, pepper,  oregano, and red pepper flakes to taste.

Directions:

Place sausage links on a cookie sheet and into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. They should be nice and golden when done. While they are baking, cool, then slice into 1-inch thick slices.

Take a large enamel pot (or other sauce pot) and place tomato sauce, wine, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

Add sliced onions, chopped garlic, sliced mushrooms, and sliced cooked sausage. Cover pot and simmer until vegetables are tender.

Serving Suggestions:

You can serve this over brown rice, whole grain pasta, or just “fare la scarpetta”, with a hunk of fresh Italian bread to sop up the juices.

Simple and delicous. Buon appetito!

Let it Rock, Stay Safe, and Reassemble

 

 

 

The Weather forecast for the NorthEast is not good. Our CT govenor said the storm was following its predicted “script” and that script will “end in disaster”. Every forecast I have heard ,while well-meaning i.e. (to have people prepare well and stay safe), has been also very scary. We cannot keep clear-headed when frightened, so my first reminder to myself is “calma”, stay calm, and prepare well to stay safe.

I have called family and friends, offered a haven to those I love who are by the shore and the rest is about keeping ourselves safe from harm as best as we can. Some companies do not “close”, so it is our personal repsonsibility to make wise decisions as to whether our services are so needed at work that they can be considered urgent.

Emmet Fox wrote: “It seems as though everything begins to go wrong at once. This may be disconcerting, but it is really a good sign. Suppose your whole world seems to rock on its foundation. Hold on steadily , and let it rock. And when the rocking is over, the picture will have reassembled itself into something much nearer to your heart’s desire.”

Even after the most devastating storm (personal or external), the sun comes out again and we are once again surrounded by beauty–even if that means the relief of knowing we survived and found inside of us the strength to weather whatever life hands us.

I wish all of my East Coast readers clear-headed calm, safety, and strength. Be well, stay safe, and look towards the rainbow at this storm’s end. God Bless.

Raeleen