Chop Chop

September 9, 2013

Iced coffee -- one of my fav summer treats that I will take into fall!

Iced coffee — one of my fav summer treats that I will take into fall!

Well, summer is really over, my friends. My kids head back to school tomorrow and it is back to the jam-packed routine of life, and don’t forget to pack a lunch! Here are some things I will take away from this summer:

Making an effort for breakfast really can change the day: I am such a creature of routine, and I like to fit my workout in in the morning, pre-breakfast, which on the weekends can push brekkie back pretty late. But my daughter is a huge fan of breakfast on the beach, so a few times I ditched the routine, stopped at the bakery and hit the sand way early. And it was great — we beat the crowds (one day we had the beach to ourselves for almost an hour!), we had a chance to chat in a new venue, we gained more time to get things done in the afternoon…in the city my husband will sometimes take the kids for bagels before school, breaking out of that rut. And they seem to have more meaningful conversations. I am going to try to use this time wisely and break out of my routine now and again.

The food processor is your friend: I’m not sure why, but I avoided this kitchen gadget like the plague. Until I decided I couldn’t anymore. And it is fantastic. Have a bunch of tomatoes? Cut them up, throw them in with some cilantro, garlic, onion, lime juice and 2 jalapenos. Pulse a few times and you’ve got salsa for everyone on your margarita list. I also made this smoky eggplant dip from the NY TImes. I did not make the homemade pita chips, but more brownie points for you if you do. The multigrain pita chip from Trader Joe’s worked well. And if you are in the market for a food processor, check out Bloomingdale’s one day home sales which they seem to have fairly frequently. They typically have a nice-sized Cuisinart on sale for under $100.

Moisturizing does make a difference: I never thought I would regularly put oil on my face, but I still love Tata Harper’s Replenishing Nutrient Complex. And for body, especially after sun, Sun Bum’s Cool Down smells just about as summery as you can get. (My daughter walk around with it, asking people to sniff it. “Doesn’t this smell good??”) I will use it well into winter to keep my skin soft and to remind me of these sun-soaked days.

Get everything done so you can take time to relax: With everything going on, except for the few minutes when I typically read before I hit the hay, I rarely will just sit and chill. But this summer I actually read every single magazine I had in my possession (trust me, it was a lot) and read Gone Girl (pretty good — I can see why they are making a movie)  and Mark Bittman’s VB6 (I love Bittman and I think so much of what he says makes sense, but I just cannot see myself cooking every meal — breakfast, lunch and dinner — completely from scratch and so while I will take a few tips, I do not think I will be vegan before 6.) There were times when I was reading that I had this weird sensation that I should be getting things done, but I would push it aside and give myself permission to chill.

Trying something new always has rewards: This summer I made a key lime pie from scratch, tried out TRX, made steamers at home, created leather and metal bracelets — all for the very first time. And whether they stick (I now have a new exercise in my repertoire, every Wednesday) or not (it’s probably easier for my husband to buy himself a key lime pie), the journey teaches you things you may not have even thought about. And it’s just plain fun.

Bring on the fall!


I am giving myself Origins’ Charcoal Mask right now to clear out any last summer impurities!

Congrats to Serena Williams — pretty amazing.

Hope you have a great week!