Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tiffany Moore: Making Time for What Matters

Today's post is the fifth in my guest post series: Making Time for What Matters. Be sure to read the pieces by Rachel Cole, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Emily McKhann, and Peter Deitz too!

Tiffany Moore is a coach, artist, change agent and magic maker who lives in the Bay Area and believes that everyone can live their happiest, most sparkly life, starting now. This year, Tiffany realized one of her dreams when she co-founded Teahouse Studio, a creative workshop space in Berkeley. You can connect with her through website, Facebook and Twitter.

I hear it from nearly everyone I know: If only I had more time, I could...

You get to fill in the blanks:
  • travel more 
  • eat better
  • exercise
  • finally start {that hobby} that I've always been dreaming of
  • go back to school
  • start my own business

If only I had more time.


The truth is that there is only a finite amount of time that exists in the world. Each day has 24 hours. Each hour has 60 minutes. That's not going to change.

Let's revisit that list above. All of the things listed are important. They all touch on dreams, big dreams, dreams that get swept under the rug of mundane everyday life.

“But I don't have a choice,” you might say - I have to work/pay the bills/take care of the kids/do chores...

Yes, you have to do that. You're right. Life happens.

Newsflash: you still get to choose and you still get to do what matters.

How? Here are three steps to really clearing out your schedule and making time for what matters:

1. Get really clear on what matters to you.


What are those scary things you're avoiding? What dreams do you have that you've been quieting for years? What is something that seems so crazy that it thrills you and terrifies you at the same time? These are pretty good clues about what matters.

2. Start small

In the beginning of trying to carve out time, starting small is key. What can you spend 10 minutes a day on? Start there, and see how it feels. After a week, you will already have spent an hour working towards your goal.

3. Turn off the TV. Or internet. Or whatever your distraction-of-choice may be

We have become a culture of information junkies. Silence is boring. But what could happen if you were alone with your thoughts for an hour a day? What might come up if you sat with silence, or let your own mind come up with something to do? I'm not a TV nazi who thinks that people shouldn't watch anything (full disclosure: I'm currently addicted to Mad Men on Netflix), but when you sit down to watch, just be aware if you're doing it mindfully and deliberately, or if you're doing it as a way to zone out, to become distracted, to take your attention away from what *really* matters.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatless Monday: Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms

Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.  Each week I share meatless recipes I've tried from cookbooks and online.  You can see past Meatless Monday posts by clicking here.


Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms  

This quick dish by Nigella Lawson is one of my go-tos on busy nights. All you have to do is cook the pasta and add the rest of the ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, mushrooms, thyme, garlic, salt, parsley).   It doesn't sound like anything special, but it's super yummy. You can see the recipe on Foodnetwork.com, or watch Nigella make it below (if the video doesn't show up for you, here's the YouTube link).

 

What yummy meatless dishes did you make last week, or do you want to make this week?

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rachel Cole: Making Time for What Matters (VIDEO)

Today's post is the fourth in my guest post series: Making Time for What Matters. Be sure to read the pieces by Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Emily McKhann, and Peter Deitz too!

Rachel Cole is a fiercely loving, wise-beyond-her-years, gap-toothed life coach and creative project maven. The common ingredient in all of Rachel’s varied endeavors is a passion for inspiring people to craft well-fed, compassionate, and connected lives. Her driving question for all of us is “What are you TRULY hungry for?” Rachel can be found creating and coaching from her kitchen table in Oakland, California. You can learn more about Rachel at rachelwcole.com, follow her on Twitter at @rachelwcole, and join her Facebook Page at FeedYourLife.

 


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How do you make time for what matters?

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Create and Connect: 100 Letters for the Last 100 Days of 2011


In my September 11th post, Last 100 Days of 2011: How Will You Make Time for What Really Matters?, I asked:
Is there something you can commit to doing every day for those 100 days that would bring you, and the people around you joy?
Have you chosen something?

I enjoyed writing a letter during the 40 days leading up to my 40th birthday so much that I've decided to do it again for the last 100 days of 2011 (September 23-December 31).  This time, I'm going to create the letter, or card, as well as write it.  I like to paint and collage blank cards and postcards, like these:









During my 40th birthday letter writing, I wrote to people about how they had made a positive impact on my life.  For this experiment, I can write about whatever I want, and to whomever I want.

I'd love to hear how you're going to make time for what matters during the last 100 days of 2011. If you're afraid to commit to doing something daily because you might stop in the middle, don't sweat it. Have fun with the process, or as a fortune cookie I opened recently said, "No man is a failure who is enjoying life."


All images are by me (:


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Monday, September 19, 2011

Meatless Monday: Marinated Tomato Sauce, Spinach Salad, Banana-Mango "Ice Cream," and Gingery Miso-Spinach Soup

Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.  Each week I share meatless recipes I've tried from cookbooks and online.  You can see past Meatless Monday posts by clicking here.



Penne with Marinated Tomato Sauce

I've been making this Marinated Tomato Sauce recipe from Mollie Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest for 20+ years!  I've never met anyone who didn't love it.  You can view the recipe on Mollie Katzen's website. The version I use (a dot-matrix print out from when I typed up the recipe from my friend Wendy's cookbook) is a little different.  Mine calls for 3 large tomatoes, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese, and no vinegar.



Baby Spinach, Avocado and Pumpkin Seed Salad

A quick and yummy dish from the fabulous Nigella Lawson. With only 6 ingredients (spinach, avocado, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lime and salt) it's a snap to make when you don't have a lot of time.  Again, I've never met anyone who didn't love this salad. You can view the recipe on the foodnetwork.com, or watch Nigella make it on YouTube.



Banana Mango "Ice Cream"

In July, I wrote about discovering banana "ice cream" where you basically throw frozen bananas into your food processor and it makes an incredibly creamy, ice cream-like dessert.  Since then, I've come across a similar, but even more delicious recipe for Banana Mango Ice Cream in Chocolate Cups.  Although I didn't make that recipe, it did inspire me to combine in the food processor frozen banana + frozen mango + a little vanilla extract + a little soy milk.  Yum, yum, yum.

 
 Gingery Miso-Spinach Soup with Baby Corn and Tofu
We had one cool day in the Bay Area last week, and I got all excited to start making my favorite soup recipes from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas.  This is also a pretty quick recipe.  I couldn't find a copy online to share with you, so you'll have to buy the cookbook, or check it out from your local library (a great way to test cookbooks before buying them!).

What yummy meatless dishes did you make last week, or do you want to make this week?
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rachelle Mee-Chapman: Making Time for What Matters

Today's post is the third in my guest post series: Making Time for What Matters.  Be sure to read the pieces by Emily McKhann and Peter Deitz too!

Rachelle Mee-Chapman is a classically trained theologian with a rebellious soul. Formerly ordained as an evangelical minister, this religious misfit now helps people create right-fit spiritual practices regardless of their creed (or a lack thereof!) Learn more about her approach to customized soulcare at Magpie Girl: care for creative souls. You can follow her on Twitter at @magpiegirl

In my urban setting, it does not make financial sense to plant a vegetable garden. Not one whit.

The organic seeds and starts cost more than what I save by buying less produce. The four jars of beans I managed to put up will be gone before winter even starts. And the $12 worth of seed potatoes I bought last spring made just one batch of potato salad this fall.

So why do I do it?

Because my 12 year old made that potato salad and the look of pride on her face was fan-freaking-tastic, that’s why.

Because every day at 3pm when I feel like I’m getting nowhere with my career, I can go into the backyard and see, with my own eyes, that things in my life are, in fact, growing.

Because watering from the rain-catch barrel makes me feel virtuous. 


Because the puppy digs gleefully in the compost pile while I weed the raised beds.  

Because the 21 year old’s room smells like basil and tomatoes as the vines creep though his window.

Because every year, in just-spring, my youngest daughter ties a ribbon to our first fruits, and we are filled with gratitude.

You can
make time for what matters most. Not what makes the most financial sense. Or what is most time-efficient. Or what seems logical. But what matters.

Listen, what I want to tell you is this.  Creating something beautiful rarely makes practical sense. The hours you pour into your tomatoes will not be made up in grocery store savings. Knitting the baby present for your best friend will cost WAY more than buying a cute sweater at Target. Driving to your niece’s first day of kindergarten won’t make you three billable hours’ worth of income.

And yet, these things will bear tremendous fruits.

Pride. Gratitude. Nourishment. Joy. Beauty.

(So totally worth it.)

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How do you make time for what matters?

 
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Juicy Blogging E-Course Special Ends September 15


Just a quick note for those of you who've been thinking about taking my Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art and Play of Blogging September 21-October 12th.

The early registration special ends September 15th. Your investment is $75 when you register by the 15th, and $100 after that.  You can join the class, and learn more on my website, brittbravo.com.

Here are a few testimonials from students:
“There is both an ‘art and science’ of blogging. You’ve presented resources for the science, and great tips for the art.”

“So sad the class is over! . . . THANK YOU.  I loved it.”

“Britt’s e-course was great. It helped me find my blogging voice. It provided me with solid ideas and steps to improve my blogging practice. It also helped me plan for how to build my readership via blogging as well as other social media outlets. Wonderful course!”

“Loving this course. Blogging is addictive.”

“The class is great. I am learning a lot, and the pace and format are working for me.”


“As a ‘non-blogger’ I found the Juicy Blogging E-Course to be of great value to me. It gave me a basic understanding of the blogosphere, and basic skills for how to incorporate a blog into my website.  It was a good value to connect with Britt Bravo who has a great blog and lots of good insight.”
I love teaching this class, and think it's super fun.  I hope you'll join me (:


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Monday, September 12, 2011

Meatless Monday: Hummus, Falafel + How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.  Each week I share meatless recipes I've tried from cookbooks and online.  You can see past Meatless Monday posts by clicking here.


This week I created a "pita bar" that included the Baked Falafel recipe (which you can see on the Mom's Own Words blog) from Appetite from Reduction, and the hummus recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook.  The falafel was super yummy, but sadly the hummus recipe wasn't as delicious as I remembered.  I think I added too many green onions.  Luckily, the hubs had a good idea.  He added a little water to the hummus to make a sauce that we poured over our sandwiches.  It was tasty, but made our pitas a little soggy soooo . . .


the next day I bought some lavash to wrap our leftover falafels in, and made the hummus recipe (photo above) from Appetite for Reduction, which was delish, but very garlicky.  I might use a little less garlic next time.  You can view the recipe on Google Books.

I'd definitely make both recipes again.  They were tasty, fun to eat, and good leftovers.


Last May, you shared 19 vegetarian and vegan cookbook recommendations.  One popular suggestion was How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.  Lucky me, I received a copy for my birthday from my friend, Elizabeth. I'm excited to start cooking from it, but am intimidated by its size (1008 pages!).  If you've tried any of the recipes, please share your recommendations.  Big thanks in advance!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Last 100 Days of 2011: How Will You Make Time for What Really Matters?

"As long as there's not an airplane crashing into this building, you're having a good day.  You can always take care of whatever problem you're having today."
- Richard Fern

"I don't worry about the future. Because you can make plans, but you can't predict with any certainty what is really going to happen.  So, I just let it happen. So, I don't dwell on the past, I don't worry about the future.  It sort of leaves you with the present in the middle, and so I live in the present.  Every day is a great day. Some are just greater than others." - Brian Clark
Excerpts from Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resistance on TIME.com
Today seems like a good day to think about how to make time for what really matters. September 23-December 31 are the last 100 days of 2011. Is there something you can commit to doing every day, for those 100 days, that would bring you, and the people around you joy?

Photo of November New Mexico Sky by me.

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Halle Butvin, One Mango Tree, A Fair Trade Clothing Company



[W]atching her become a leader, and develop the confidence not just at the workplace, but also at home, it's been really amazing to see how she has completely changed her circumstances just from having a steady income.
- Halle Butvin, One Mango Tree

Halle Butvin is the Founder and Director of One Mango Tree, a fair trade clothing company. One Mango Tree uses a fair trade model to provide income-generating opportunities for women in impoverished and conflict areas around the globe.  At the moment, their work is focused in Uganda. 

In addition to working on One Mango Tree, Halle often works as a development consultant focused on economic development in conflict areas.  She spent much of 2010 in Pakistan assisting women-owned garment businesses to develop their products and export potential.

You can listen and subscribe to the Big Vision Podcast via iTunes, or on the player above.  If you have suggestions for people I should interview, please email me at britt AT brittbravo DOT com.


Show Notes

I have two workshops coming up:
Learn more about Halle and One Mango Tree:
A couple sites Halle mentioned:
Connect with me
Music: "Mango Delight," by Kenya Masala.  Connect with Kenya through CD Baby and Source Consulting Group.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Emily McKhann: Making Time For What Matters

Today's post is the second in my new guest post series: Making Time for What Matters. In case you missed it, be sure to read the first post by blogger, microphilanthropy advocate, and aspiring social entrepreneur, Peter Deitz.

Emily McKhann is co-founder of TheMotherhood.com and The Motherhood Creative.  She's also the co-author of Living with the End in Mind: A Practical Checklist for Living Life to the Fullest by Embracing Your Mortality. You can follow her on Twitter at @EmilyMcKhann, and connect with her on Facebook.

I wish I could say I have this all worked out, but some days are better than others, and I’m learning as I go.  Below are four stories from along the way.   


Breakfast is funny

Being present makes for the best start to the day.

When my girls were little, we created "breakfast is funny."  Getting everyone out the door to school was becoming stressful and I didn’t like starting the day off that way. Our solution was to insert silly humor, like giving the cereals whacky names, telling old knock-knock jokes or talking in funny voices, just to get everyone laughing.

“Breakfast is funny” lives on in our family, not every day, but often enough, because when we joke around first thing in the morning, the whole day takes on a different tone.  We slow down, look each other in the eyes, really listen, and just enjoy ourselves.  And then we head off into the world with a lighter step. 

Charlie’s quilt
It’s the little things that add up.

At the holidays, the grown-ups in my family have a "white elephant" exchange.  We rummage through our homes to find stuff we want to get rid of, and give them as presents.  The “gifts” can be hilarious and every year has its surprises.  I’ll never forget the year my Uncle Charlie gave stacks of shoeshine chamois cloths he'd collected from every hotel he'd ever stayed in, hundreds of them, all folded up, in this great big bag.  And Katie, my stepsister, got them. 

A year or so after the "chamois Christmas," at Charlie’s 75th birthday party, Katie handed him a bag, much like the one she’d received, and Charlie pulled out a quilt she'd made from the cloths.  The chamois were embellished with the names of the different hotels, written in beautiful scripts with drawings of their facades, and the colors were a mix of creams, browns, reds and light blues. It was the softest, most unique and gorgeous quilt you can imagine.

We knew that this was Charlie’s last birthday because his cancer had spread. The quilt symbolized the great big enormous hug we all were there to give him. 

The big picture
Life is short and sometimes taking a break to think about the big picture is what’s needed most.

My friends Erin and Doug took a weekend to talk about their hopes and dreams for their young daughter, Peyton.  At a friend’s house in the mountains, they sat with their laptops and created lists of the traits and values they hoped to instill in Peyton, experiences they wanted to share with her, trips they wanted to take together, and even books they wanted to read with Peyton.

When they returned, Erin told me over and over how their mountaintop conversations changed her parenting.  Peyton was only two years old then, but Erin’s relationship with her shifted in big ways afterward.  For example, Erin and Doug decided that they hoped Peyton would grow up trusting her own decision-making.  Knowing that, when Peyton asked a question, instead of answering it right away as Erin used to do, she asked, “How do you think we can figure this out?”  She had a whole new context for their relationship.

The impetus for their weekend away was that Erin had cancer, and it had metastasized.   At the time, she thought their lists would sit in a file for when Peyton was older.  Instead, for four full years, Erin referred back to their conversations often as she made the very most of her time with her daughter.

“Oh hon, I’ve so been there”
We’re making things a little better every day.

In TheMotherhood.com, the community I co-founded with Cooper Munroe, on more occasions than I can possibly count, women have shown up for each other to say exactly what was needed in the moment.  Being reminded every day that the conversations we have with our family, friends and acquaintances can make a huge difference is a gift.

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How do you make time for what matters?



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Monday, September 05, 2011

Meatless Monday: Tortilla Soup, Vegan Mac n' Cheese, and Supergreen Bowl with Green Goddess Garlic Dressing

Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.  Each week I share meatless recipes I've tried from cookbooks and online.  You can see my past Meatless Monday posts by clicking here.


This was my first Tortilla Soup, and it turned out quite delish.  I used the recipe from Appetite for Reduction, which you can see on the blog, Oops, I ate too much . . .  I used a green pepper, rather than a poblano pepper, and omitted the 2 jalapeƱos.  It was spicy enough for us with the 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes!


When I saw this recipe on VegNews.com for Vegan Macaroni and Cheese, I knew it would be good because:
  1. It doesn't use nutritional yeast, which I like, but is definitely not something you can serve to everyone. 
  2. It has 115 mostly positive comments.  
  3. It was liked on Facebook 1,000 times!
All the reviews were right.  It was very, very delicious.  You could definitely serve this to anyone, and they'd like it. Yum, yum, yum.


The Supergreen Bowl with Green Goddess Garlic Dressing from Appetite for Reduction was also tasty.  You basically serve steamed kale, broccoli and edamame over quinoa with a delicious sauce. This is not something you could serve to everyone, just 'cause it does feel very "healthy."  Also, the Green Goddess Garlic Dressing is very garlicky so this is not a good dish for a first date! 

I would definitely make it again, and would like to try some of the other "bowl" and sauce combinations in the book. You can view the dressing recipe on Google Books.

What yummy meatless dishes did you make last week, or do you want to make this week?
 
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