a reader’s gift

We received this letter via snail mail recently with a generous check enclosed and have been flying high off it ever since. Not only is the admiration flattering, but the knowledge that all the work that goes into this blog is meaningful to people sustains us in a big way. A true gift. This little…

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‘ordinary people, extraordinary lives’

Every year, New York Times’ publishes a special issue of the Sunday magazine called  The Lives They Lived, usually famous people who passed away the year before. The 2011 issue was subtitled “These American Lives: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories.”. We read the stunning issue cover-to-cover, deeply moved, often in tears, haunted by what we read.…

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brown sugar butter cookies with thyme-rosemary-lavender salt

Just before Christmas, I posted my best-ever butter cookie recipe: Ethereal Brown Sugar Butter Cookies, along with many variations. The versatile cookie dough recently inspired yet another improvisation on the basic theme. Actually, it’s an improvisation on my Tuscan Herb Salt Recipe, that I then used on the butter cookies, to make a double-improvisation: Brown…

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two mind-shifting quotes to start the day

Two recent bits of brilliance by the mysterious Anne Herbert of Peace and Love and Noticing the Details. Related posts: xanne herbert’s wise + teeny meditations going from “can’t” to “can” fling and be flung (jackson pollock) ann herbert: unaccumulateann herbert: unaccumulate insoluable problem -> interesting solution a reminder, via anne herbert (open doors!)

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the creative possibilities for being ‘on hold’ via christophe neimann

A revelation from last weekend’s New York Times’ Magazine: the great Christophe Niemann doodle made while he was ‘on hold’ forever, waiting for a person to pick up, listening to Clair de Lune. Click to listen while you follow the amazing path Niemann wandered and the many discoveries he made… (Our strategy for being “on…

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three keys to a long life

(Video link here.) A reader sent us this lovely little video her friend Julia Warr made. It is about 95-year-old Maia Helles, a former Russian ballet dancer who she met on a plane four years ago. Warr became convinced that Maia “remains resolutely independent, healthy as a forty year old…through the benefits of her daily exercise…

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mind shift: the great bell chant

 This video came from a CD/book called Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying. It’s read by Thich Nath Hanh and chanted by brother Phap Niem. Whether you’re Buddhist or Not, it’s full of riches. Watch full screen…or just listen (here). Thanks Maria!! Related posts: reminder: shooting stars all around us (gif) insta-perspective: this is where we are…

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we test drive the pomodoro time management technique

A few weeks ago we wrote about the concept of “pulsing and resting,” throughout the work day; actually taking breaks from work in order to get more done (and do better work!). One of our readers introduced us to the Pomodoro Technique, (names after a tomato-shaped timer) which is based on this very idea and…

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wine bottles as chic, cheap water decanters

At dinner parties these days, everybody seems to be drinking lots of water, in addition to or instead of wine. Rather than plunking a pitcher of water on the table that will undoubtedly need several refills, we’ve found another solution. We decant filtered water into great-looking wine bottles whose labels we’ve soaked off. We keep…

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geometrically painted walls and doors

Last week Mondoblogo posted two photos taken at Art Basel of wonderful geometrically-painted walls with doors (they are part of the blog’s illuminating challenge to identify what is actual “art” and what is not). The top is “Final Cut” by artist Ernst Caramelle. The second “a random door”… We’re putting them in our file of…

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‘pastry paris’: paris through pastry-colored glasses

We love things that change our view. With the wind howling and the temperature cold, we found ourselves delighted with a little book that has taken us on an armchair trip through Paris, showing us the city through new eyes: the eyes of a pastry-o-phile. Pastry Paris: In Paris, Everything Looks Like Dessert grew out…

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boat shoes…

A brilliant idea from the past. What balance you would need to have to navigate on water… …as in life. via Black and WTF Related posts: wearing clothes backwards fab hairdo with balloons, via myeongbeom kim hair as apparel, identity, art (man ray) vision break: a dress that makes music… what a plastic bag can…

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‘nothing is impossible’ defies ‘disability’

(Video link here.) Cara de Silva sent us the link to this video in an email; the subject line read: “Utterly amazing, beautiful, graceful, inspiring”.  We’d add “uplifting”. (It makes us realize that disabled is a really weird word…dis-abled…. disabled…. how about: otherwaysabled? Thanks Cara! Related posts: signmark and the very loud message of deaf rap…

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honoring martin luther king jr

“Monday’s a holiday” we were told. “What holiday?” we asked. Since we work for ourselves, we’re not really in sync with regular work days. It’s “Martin Luther King Jr Day.” Even though we’re working today, we’re thinking a lot about this great man, and all this country would not have were it not for his…

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we dance with martha graham

Ever since we found this quote by the legendary choreographer Martha Graham on Elephant Journal the other day, it’s been haunting us, because we relate to SO much to it and because we DON’T relate to some of it, a curious mix. “I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to…

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