Jul 29, 2009

Thunderstorm As Comfort

I love a good thunderstorm. I love when a storm is brewing and everyone rushes to get patio furniture covered and the bikes put in the garage and the beach towels off the clothesline. It's like you go about your daily life, then all of a sudden the weather reminds you of its presence and demands some attention.

I love thunderstorms because they are what I consider "safe danger". They're not like tornadoes where you're not sure if you will lose your roof or if a tree will down your power lines for the next three days. I'm sure one of the reasons I have such an affinity is as a child, I would feel super loved when the sky started to threaten a summer day. Mom and dad would make sure my sister and I were close, and we would sit together on our screened in porch and feel the temperature drop and the wind would howl and the cold, fat drops would shock our arms and feet. It felt like the world stopped and we would just watch the weather like a movie.

Are summer storms friend or foe for you? Do tell!

Jul 24, 2009

Hometown As Comfort

I believe in the saying, "you can go home again", but I can visit! I absolutely adore the town I grew up in, Ann Arbor, Michigan. With the exception of the sometimes harsh winter weather, this town is perfection in my eyes. It has all the elements that personally qualify for great city living; thriving music, arts and culture scene, delicious food, art movie houses and yoga studios. It has all this and maintains a small town vibe and friendliness.

When I come home to visit, I drink in all the familiar elements and enjoy them in a way I never would if I lived here. I jog through my elementary school playground, walk the streets of downtown and COVET the food at Zingerman's Deli with the fervor of a 13 year old girl with a crush.

What comforts do you associate with your hometown?

Jul 19, 2009

It's Hot, Yes? Multiple Fans As Comfort

It's finally gotten hot in my neck of the woods: Santa Monica, California. We live about 3 miles from the beach so we get lucky with ocean breezes much of the time. We also have southern facing windows with no tree cover and the walls bake all day long, making for some hot nights.

These nights remind me of Michigan summers, when my mom would have fans in each doorway, pushing cool air from open windows through one room to the next room. We would be careful not to trip over extension cords and box fans, and we would have to shout to be heard over the thunder of forced air. On especially stifling evenings, I would lie in bed with a fan directly on my legs, and my mom would put cool wash cloths on my forehead.

I came across this particular fan on Clean Technica and had to share. I think it is a great idea; saves space while cooling the air from room to room. I might just have to get me one...

How do you comfort yourself in extreme temperatures?


Jul 16, 2009

Joyful Spending As Comfort

I have a hard time doing nice things for myself. Being a freelancer in this economy, sometimes I find myself in a sort of deprivation mode and one of the ways that shows up is in lack of self care. Rather than getting a haircut, I'll just bobby pin my too long bangs to my head and keep marketing. I'll make dinner after a 12 hour work day on set because I don't want the expense of ordering in.

There's a difference between being frugal and being a martyr. I am learning this lesson ever so slowly.

Yesterday, I was light on work and was also feeling very low energy. I was feeling too "guilty" to treat myself to a movie, so instead I got my car washed and then got a haircut. The comfort was in where I went for said haircut. Not to the cheapie place that butchers my hair or driving 2 hours round trip to Long Beach so my friend will cut my hair at a discounted price.

I went to a lovely salon in Santa Monica, just down the street from my home, and drank the whole experience in. I luxuriated in a ten minute head massage during the shampoo. I got a marvelous cut by someone who was not hurried or high on anything. The salon was clean and bright and even offered me complimentary bang trims whenever I want.

The icing on the cake? I was offered 50% off because it was my first visit. I have concluded that not spending any money can be just as detrimental as over spending. The key is to spend smart and enjoy what you pay for.

What creates joyful spending for you?

Jul 13, 2009

Summer Sale! Saving Money. Very Comfy.

It is summer. I am saying this as much to myself as I am to you because I, like most of us, still must work during the summer months and I can easily forget that I should take some time out to enjoy the sunshine.

I feel so grateful that I enjoy the work I do immensely, however it is a crime to be tethered to my computer while the rest of the world (seemingly) surfs and eats Popsicles.

My solution is to take my work out of my "work zone". I head to our little courtyard with my laptop and my Book Buddy (of course) to catch up on emails and blogging. I work in comfort while enjoying a summer breeze, some bird chirping and when my work is done, I walk down the street to a local drugstore to get a Popsicle. Cherry.

We want you to do the same:

Live 4 Comfort
Book Buddy Summer Sale

Value Line $14.95

Premier Line is $24.94

Add a Lap Desk $4

Get yours today!

Jul 11, 2009

Baking As Comfort

I just finished culinary school. I loved it. One of my dreams is to have a vegan bakery. I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the money going to pastry school because I would be learning how to bake with conventional ingredients and since vegan baking is a whole other ball of wax, I've decided to home school myself.

How will I do this? I bought a beautiful cookbook by Babycakes founder Erin McKenna which I am reading cover to cover and making each and every recipe, in order. My hope is by the time I'm done I will be a confident, yummy vegan baking goddess who has created her own recipes to sell to the masses!

Above is the result of my first baking "class"; apple cinnamon muffins. I can think of nothing more comforting than a warm oven bursting with the smells of vanilla and cinnamon. If you want to follow my vegan baking adventure, check out my food blog. And if you're jealous of my adorable weighted bookmark pictured above, we can take care of that.



Jul 6, 2009

Eating And Moving As Comfort

This submission came from Jasmine at Eat, Move, Write (check out her amazing yam pancake recipe-YUM). I was so touched by her honesty. I agree completely that food can be comforting and nourishing, rather than guilt inducing or punishing. Amen, sister!

I used to weigh 343 pounds. The only things I’d ever known to bring me comfort involved a knife, fork, spoon, or, in really desperate time, my own grubby fingers. Today, I’m less than half the woman I was and I’ve learned that sometimes it actually is a reality to find comfort in food. But a bowl of whole oats with raw peanut butter can be so much more comfortable than a bowl of ice cream. Sometimes when I’m missing home, a bowl of milk rice like my mom used to make is like a small slice of home. Today, mostly, I use exercise as comfort. It takes my mind off whatever in life is bothering me, and it reminds me that there are few things more precious than our health, which for the majority of my life I hadn’t even considered.

Jul 2, 2009

The Kitchen Table As Comfort: Truer Words Never Spoken

Shelly from The Decayed Gentlewoman shared this lovely story with us. Be sure to enjoy some other musings on her fantastic blog.

Sitting at my kitchen table gives me comfort.

As a child, whenever I would visit either set of my grandparents, life seemed to be conducted around the kitchen table and I loved that. I would sit with my grandparents while they drank their coffee in the morning and watch particles of dust float in the rays of sunlight coming from the windows. My grandfather would tell me stories about his childhood as we sat there.

Later, I would cram around the table with my cousins, eagerly watching my grandmother make lunch.

When I grew older, my family would sit at the kitchen table and play rounds of Continental Rummy, a particularly complicated and extremely enjoyable card game.

Now that I have my own house, I have dinner at the table every night, and love to sit there for hours on Sunday morning, drinking lots of coffee and reading the newspaper from cover to cover.