My French Lunch Break

While studying abroad in Cannes I grew to appreciate the importance the French place on their "dejeuner" (lunch). French lunch breaks are commonly 2 hours in order to give people time to truly relax from work, cook and enjoy their most extravagant meal of the day. This blog is dedicated to the idea of taking some extra time in the middle of each day to truly appreciate the gifts of food, nature, friendship, family, art and health.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gold in the Air of Summer

Not only is this a good Kings of Convenience song, it is my mantra for these next couple weeks. I recently did a colors personality exercise at a retreat and learned that I embody the color GOLD, meaning that I live by to-do lists, thrive in organized environments, love shopping for planners, feel most comfortable when things are planned out, and am extremely detail-oriented. For those of you who know me, this description fits me to a T. In addition to the golds, there are the Oranges: the energetic, competitive, constantly up-beat people who always have their hands raised in class and have a random idea for what to do on a Friday night, the Blues: the calm, caring, compassionate people who will always be there to listen with great advice and a shoulder to cry on, and the Greens: the analytical, logical people who weigh every option before making a decision and are great in leadership positions. I think it's so important to remember that there are these differences amongst people: they determine the way we learn, the way we think, the way we handle problems, and the way we see the world. Too often we are tempted to mold ourselves to fit whatever group of friends or social environment we are in, and although this is important to a certain degree we still have to know the kind of person we are inherently and embrace that.

Yes, I am a bit of a nerd. Yes I LOVE school supply shopping and getting a new planner is like Christmas for me. Yes the idea of doing something completely out of the blue kind of freaks me out. But these qualities make me a responsible person and a loyal friend, two things I value highly. So my advice: know your color and embrace your color, because it takes a little bit of every color to make anything work and luckily, we all go together quite nicely :)

Another thing I learned during this exercise was that when you are stressed your second most prominent color comes out--mine is blue. With the end of the school year rapidly approaching and deadlines piling up I have been beyond stressed and very emotional, which is where the "air of summer" comes in... It helps so much to remember that in a couple weeks everything will be finished and I will embark on my last real summer break, which is already filled with promise and opportunity.

I have plans to share an apartment with a great friend, work full time in the Marketing Department at Fairmont and really be able to feel more integrated in the department, experience new places in Orange County and LA, take a trip to San Francisco, celebrate one of my best friend's wedding, and, most importantly, RELAX! Summer is truly a magical time of year, and the promise of the coming months is a great motivation to keep you going. What are your summer plans? Let your Gold side shine through and make a list :)

<3 Lyssa

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delicious AND Nutritious

Dinner Tonight: Salad with sugar snap peas, carrots, cucumber, avocado, and a little Mediterranean Hummus. On the side, a cup of Lentil Soup and some Naan. What a great way to kick off the weekend :)

Whether your meal is healthy or an out-of-this world indulgence, enjoy it! Take time to eat and appreciate your food and the preparation that went into it. Food should never be taken for granted. 

<3 Lyssa

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Every Now and Then...Be a G(l)eek!!

Sometimes you just have to seize those moments to sing in the shower, dance down the sidewalk towards class, or jump around the apartment while drying the dishes. It is such a good release to blast some good music (I highly recommend the Pandora GLEE CAST STATION...AMAZING!!) and be a complete dork every so often.

The return of Glee inspired me to do so tonight! For those of you who don't know, Glee follows the life of a high school Glee Club (aka Show Choir) in Ohio and adds lots of bright colors, random yet fantastic bursts into song and dance, and high school drama. It is basically the story of my high school life as a very dedicated member of Hart High School's Show Choir.

Every episode makes me reminisce the intense day-long competitions, weekly rehearsals, and very talented people characteristic to my choir groups. More than anything, every episode makes me smile and sing aloud for the rest of the evening. I encourage you to check it out if you haven't yet. Or if show choir isn't quite your cup of team find some other show or movie that immediately puts a smile on your face and just take one hour to be truly content.

This week, be a Gleek!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Invest In Yourself

Invest In Yourself. This philosophy is clearly in line with the purpose of this blog, and I have decided I need to start living by it more. It's been far too easy these past few weeks to sacrifice sleep and eating well and obviously blogging in order to finish all of the projects and homework I had. This only resulted in feeling exhausted and stressed, so I am going to commit to turn over a new leaf and really contemplate what I can commit to while still having time to invest in myself.

I started this weekend by cleaning my apartment to make it an aesthetically appealing place to live and study. Then at the grocery store I suppressed my Americanized urge to "stock up" on non-perishables in place of fresh produce so I don't have to go shopping as often and emulated the French by just buying the produce I need for the week and promising myself to make another trip next weekend. This not only makes the grocery bill significantly lower, but forces me to use the produce while it's fresh and avoid eating all microwaveable meals. Then I made a plan for each meal this week to make sure I can use all the groceries and I won't be throwing out food when it spoils in a couple weeks.

I went all out with my first meal of the week (pictured above) researching how to cook tofu like the pros and throwing in lots of veggies to my stir fry. Sharing the meal with my amazing roommate Telli while we exchanged stories about our weekends made it even better! Good food and good conversation always complement each other beautifully.

Here's to investing in ourselves. If you feel so inclined, share some suggestions or stories of little things you did to make yourself a happier, healthier person.

<3 Lyssa