bellasemplicita

Regaining a lost love for beauty and simplicity.

Tag: home

Some Current Obsessions

Some current food obsessions:

 

1.  LÄRABAR:  Especially their sugar free bars.  My favorites: Cappuccino, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Key Lime Pie, Cherry Pie, Lemon Bar, Peanut Butter Cookie, Jocalat Chocolate Mint. Go try them.

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2.  The Pure Bar, Fruit & Nut Bars:  Again, I prefer their sugar free bars.  My favorites: Dark Chocolate Berry, Chocolate Brownie.  

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3.  Clemmy’s Ice Cream:  Now this is seriously the best.  Sugar free ice cream does not sound amazing,  but Clemmy’s is so amazing.  I am in love!  I do not have a favorite so go try them all.

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4.  Quinoa:  I find myself eating this in some form for lunch everyday.  I normally mix it with roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes, melted feta, herbs such as mint, basil, cilantro, chives, diced pepper, onion, cucumbers, and whatever leftover veggies and meats we have sitting around.  It is so delicious, clean, and filling!  Here is a recipe if you are too nervous to improvise.

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Strawberry quinoa & feta salad
Yield: serves 2 as a full meal, 3-4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c cooked quinoa (3/4 c uncooked, plus 1 1/2 c water)
  • 3/4 c sliced strawberries (about 5-6 large strawberries)
  • 1/2 c chopped or crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c chopped mint
  • 1/4 c chopped scallions (green and white parts)
  • 1/3 c chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 c baby salad greens
  • 1/4 c sprouts (optional)
  • Lemon Honey Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus a little more to drizzle on at the end)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (plus a little more to squeeze on at the end)
  • 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook your quinoa. I like this method.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.
  3. Toss all salad ingredients together and pour on the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. I added a final squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
  4. This is the kind of salad that gets better as it sits and the flavors mesh together… so if you have the patience, let it chill for 15-20 minutes before serving. Make extra if you want leftovers for lunch the next day.

Found it here.

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From ‘My Several Worlds’

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Well, I am back from my long and unintended hiatus! I had a lovely trip to Italy and have thoroughly enjoyed my summer. When the days grow shorter and the weather turns, I will post some of my favorite pictures of the trip.
In the meantime, I would love to share with you several passages from a book I just finished – My Several Worlds, by Pearl S. Buck. The book is a lovely autobiography after a type. As she states near the beginning, ‘the story is incomplete, and, worse still, that it is told upon different levels and about different places and peoples, the whole held together merely by time . . .’. I found this book utterly beautiful and refreshing. It was one of those lovely reads I wished would never end.

The great beauty of Japan is in the spots that you and I, if we be mere passerby, never really glimpse.
It is the beauty which moves the veriest coolie, after a day of crushing labor, to throw aside his carrying pole, and after a bit of fish and rice, to dig and plant in his garden the size of a pocket handkerchief.  There he works, absorbed, delighted; his whole being resting in the joy of creating beauty for himself and his family, who cluster about him to admire.  No one is without a garden.  If fate has denied a poor man a foot of ground, he buys a big plot for a penny and slowly, after hours of labor pleasant and painstaking, he constructs a miniature park, with a rockery, a tiny summerhouse, a pool, with bits of moss for lawns and grass heads for trees and toy ferns tucked into crevices for shrubbery.

It is the quality of beauty, too, which moves a Japanese host to place in his guest room each day for the delight of his guest one single exquisite note.  From his precious store he selects today a watercolor, in black and white, of a bird clinging to a reed, painted with a charming reserve.  Tomorrow it will be a dull blue vase with one spray of snowy pear bloom arranged in such a way as to be a living invitation to meditation.  Sometimes it is a piece of old tapestry, with a quaint procession of lantern bearers marching across its faded length.

………………..

Meanwhile I was also enjoying quite a different sort of life.  First of all were my house and garden.  Though I can live anywhere, be either rich or poor with equal acceptance, I have to have a setting, and if there is not one, I make it.  I subdued, therefore, the too large and somewhat graceless grey brick house where I lived, and within the limits of a small amount of money, I did as my mother had taught me to do and created as much beauty as I could.  The garden furnished plenty of flowers, and well-designed furniture of cheap materials could be cushioned with the inexpensive but beautiful chinese stuffs.  Wicker and rattan I had wearied of, but the Chinese about that time were weaving cash string, a thin robe made of grass, upon strong bamboo frames, and such chairs were comfortable and substantial.  Old chinese blackwood tables could be bought cheaply, and there were always delicate and beautiful bowls and vases in the chinashops.  One day in a silkshhop I found yards of faded silk going at a bargain price and I bought it for curtains and dyed it in different colors.  Matting rugs upon the floor gave good effect and sunshine and flowers did the rest.  I enjoyed the whole process and have often thought to myself that if I had not wanted to write books above all else, I would be a cook in a big family, perhaps in an orphanage, and make delicious dishes for everybody.  But there are many persons I would like to have been – for example, again, a sculptor – had I not wanted to write books.

 

These passages are just a selection among the many I found refreshing and inspiring.  They slightly readjusted my vision for a beautiful, peaceful, and God honoring home.

 

 

A Man Is Rich . . .

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“for a man is rich in proportion to the number of things

which he can afford to let alone” – Henry Thoreau, Walden

In Praise

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‘You, O Lord my God, gave me life and my body when I was born.  You gave my body its five senses; you furnished it with limbs and gave it is proper proportions; and you implanted in it all the instincts necessary for the welfare and safety of a living creature.  For these gifts you command me to acknowledge you and praise you and sing in honor of your name, because you are Almighty God, because you are good, and because I owe you praise for these things, even if you had done nothing else.  No one but you can do these things, because you are the one and only mould in which all things are cast and the perfect form which shapes all things, and everything takes its place according to your law.’

–  Saint Augustine; The Confessions – Book 1, chpt. 7

 

‘Tis the Season

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I have been absent from this blog for much too long.  However visiting Seattle with my family and wrapping up this school semester have kept me very busy!  When I get the chance I will share some of my pictures from Seattle and some portraits of my beautiful friend Madeleine.

Until then let me share this passage from Isaiah with you.  I always love Advent – a time for anticipating the arrival of Jesus.  Reading the prophesies about the coming of the Messiah at this time every year always fills me with such excitement, joy, and peace.  I hope this passage blesses you as much as it has blessed me.

‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;

    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.’

Isaiah 11:1 – 10

That kind of day.

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This time of the year always seems to mourn for a departed Summer that still lightly lingers in the sun and to mourn for the coming of an Autumn that has yet to fully arrive.  I am always sad about the end of summer and for the departure of all of the lovely, empty, timeless, days.  But, Autumn, with its cozy sweaters, mugs of tea, rainy Sundays, brilliant chilly afternoons, crispy leaves, fresh apples to be crafted into pies and sauce, and of course the long hours reading and studying ancient historians is always irresistible.

Today is definitely the first day that has really smelled and felt of Autumn, and it is a lovely day.

Summer.

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water

 

watermelon

 

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berries

 

fields

 

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My!  I have not been on here for ages!  I have been enjoying a lovely summer with visits from family from Colorado, Seattle, and North Carolina.  As Henry James said, “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”  I hope that you have been enjoying just such a wonderful summer.

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”

– Ray Bradbury

Sand, Wind, and Stars

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I personally enjoy looking at beautiful photographs, and for this reason I am now enjoying Tumblr.

If you have a minute give mine a quick look.  It would make my day!

(The name – ‘Sand, Wind, and Stars’ – is taken from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s book of the same name.)

A Tree

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‘All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.’

– Goethe

Staying at Home . . .

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There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
– Jane Austen

Have a wonderful weekend!