Tag Archives: summer

Just Let It Go

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If December is the season of good will, then January is the season of resolutions made and broken.

I don’t really make resolutions – but I do make choices – I chose last summer to Drop To Shop and I followed that plan to a tee.

With January – comes winter – the most depressing time of year for me. I don’t like the cold, I hate snow and ice and I really don’t like bundling up just to take a 2 minute walk to my car and I live in Texas – it shouldn’t even be cold here. Generally I’m happy, but also miserable – a grumpy mess of whining, complaining and negative thoughts until the thermostat shows a pleasing number above 70 degrees. I’m pretty sure my friends in Dallas are fed up of me complaining, I know my husband is, so in an effort to make everyone around me less annoyed by me, I made a choice, not a resolution – to be more positive.

I have only just started my trek in to positivity. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that, I, like most people, find it easier to criticize, complain and speak badly of people or things, than compliment, be positive and smile. As I read in one of the books I’m reading –“ it’s easier to complain than to laugh”* – and it’s so true. How often will you gossip about someone than compliment someone – or for that fact even take a compliment – us girls would rather put ourselves down about our weight, what a mess we think we are or be self-deprecating, than take the compliment about our hair, our dress, our amazing presentation at work or dinner we just made.

My first step in to positivity was recognising I needed a rule for myself – something that was quick to employ and easy to remember – one of my wise, wonderful friends, one day, said to me “you just have to let it go” and there it was – ‘Let It Go’. It’s so simple , a basic concept – take what is bothering you, what is just winding you up, stressing you out and making you miserable, and just let go of it. It’s my modern day version of the much quoted prayer**

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Work hard, make it happen – when I can, but know when to Let It Go – be smart enough to know the difference.

I started using Let It Go as my mantra – when something happened that I didn’t like, when I would normally rant and vent to anyone who would listen, I just said “Let It Go” it’s not important. At first it was hard – so I decided I needed to visualize something – I found an image of a balloon with the phrase on Pinterest and thought it was just perfect – so now, when I find myself on the verge of negativity, I just let go of my balloon and let it float away….far, far away.

How are you letting it go? Let me know.

#LetItGo

Let It Go

*Quote – Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

**Quote – Reinhold Niebuhr

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My Personal Ryder Cup – US vs Europe

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Having spent 10 days back home in Europe I have things to be grateful for in both home land and my chosen land of residency so I thought I would do a quick comparison. If I was savvy enough or just less lazy I’d make it in to a snazzy little infographic but I’m not so I won’t.

Bottle of Diet Coke in Europe  1. Soda vs Fizzy drinks – of course they’re the same thing with a few vital differences: a) In most places in Europe a diet coke comes in a beautiful glass bottle – the real deal, no soda gun syrupy mess here. A sparkling iced bottle of….wait, scratch that…. A Luke warm bottle of soda served with, if you’re lucky 2 ice cubes and a slither of lemon. Which brings me to point b) If you dare to ask for more ice like I do, (you get the famous scene in Oliver Twist: The boy asked for MORE…the boy will be hung) you are lucky to get an extra cube. And c) In most places you will pay $4 approx for each bottle of diet coke. No free refills here. On yer bike son.

2. Air Conditioning – Stepping off the plane in the UK was a thing of beauty. having left Dallas in a haze of 30 something consecutive days above 100f the wall of crisp 60f was so refreshing that my thoughts of lame British summer’s washed away as I wrapped myself up in my pashmina and appreciated all that is London in August.  That was until we got to Spain. Gorgeous beautiful Spain. Picturesque. Stunning at every turn.

Amanhavis

Hotel Amanhavis, Benahavis

Beach - San Pedro, Marbella

San Pedro Beach, Marbella

It’s great until the summer sun has taken a toll for the day and you want to cool down….and nowhere has the AC cranked. I’m sure the Spaniards think that a drop in temperature from 90 outside to 85 inside is a relief from the heat but this AC spoilt brat needs 70. I then wondered, did the Spanish have it right. Is it better to dress like it’s summer and galavant in cheek hugging shorts and bikini tops and embrace the heat or live like we do in Texas with the air somewhere between a constant 60 – 70 and jaunt in to work in our trousers and long sleeve shirts pretending summer doesn’t exist until we step outside and sizzle in the heat of our long sleeves and wool trousers. I know one thing for sure: My bikini definitely won’t ring up the bill at the dry cleaners.

3. To tip or not to tip – In the UK I was always used to the 10% tip if service was excellent, in the US it’s 15% if the service was mediocre. If you’re in Spain 5% is the expected tip. The Mr. Was quite appalled to start with. But where Europe tips less – they make up for it in solid wages for employees and there is, of course the benefit of free healthcare, education, etc.

4. – It’s taboo to talk toilet but just this one small note in Europe vs US bathrooms/loos  America – what’s the deal with the toilet stall door having the gaps between the door and the door frame? I don’t like the idea of people poking their nose in my business, literally. UK – why no seat covers? Even my trip to the Harrods ‘luxury bathrooms’ complete with the “room” attendant had me frustrated with lack of people’s cleanliness. Even the room attendant was blaspheming under her breath about people’s obvious inexperience and inability to aim straight. A simple toilet seat cover would resolve most of these problems. I’m glad they don’t charge you £1 anymore.

5. My daily work out – when I lived in London I never needed the gym, why? Well when you work and spend time in the city you walk, skipping the tube and just walking for 30 mins instead of sitting in the traffic or crowding yourself in to the tube was actually a peasant experience at the end of the day. Living now in the States for 5 years I’ve lost that. Everywhere is a drive. Even if you could walk you still drive. Why would you walk when you have a car? Admittedly NY or Chicago is different to Texas or LA but I can’t walk anywhere in Texas to actually get somewhere. I’d be walking for hours. Not to mention walking in the heat? No thank you. I do miss city life. I enjoyed walking around London for a few days. You miss so much in the car. And who wants to miss out on things while you’re in your car cursing at the guy who just cut you off.

So who wins? Team USA (I hear chants of “we’re number one”) or Europe…. I’ll let you decide.

Coconut – By Request

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Sitting at dinner this week – some friends and I had a conversation about how much we adore coconut – be it lotion to potion or cocktail to curry – we are obsessed.

We started listing out our favourite coconut items – and they then asked me to blog about it – so, here is where we are.

I started to think about why I just love the smell, and, as with almost everything I enjoy in life – my passion for all things coconut comes from vacations. The smell of coconut  has an innate summer sense to it. From a young age slathering on the Hawaiian Tropic in the local pharmacy in July, could only mean one thing – Mum was getting us ready for holiday.  Breathing the scent of coconut in on my warm skin as we lay on the beach in Spain or by the pool in Miami –  the tropical scent and the summer sun just go hand in hand.

I realise now at the age of 31 – that my coconut obsession has expanded from sun lotion by the ocean to anywhere and everywhere I can possibly get away with it. So much so, as I am sitting at my coffee table writing this, my wonderful fiance walks over with a delicious concoction that he has mixed up for me – of course coconut inspired:

coconut cocktail I don’t think I have got around to discussing the cooking and capabilities of my fiancé – so let’s just say this – I am very lucky!

So – since I mentioned the cocktail I asked my fiancé if he was happy with me sharing his recipe for this delight he has served me.

   The Quickie Colada

4 oz of Pineapple Coconut Juice
1.5 oz Dark Rum
1 squeeze of lime
Shake over ice
Serve in a frosty glass
Garnish as desired.

Let me know if you love it – im sure my in-house mixologist will be happy to share other cocktail suggestions

coconut foodsbuy * get * eat * sniff * sip * slather * smell

Just a quick rummage through the kitchen and I produce a number of delicious items.

From left to right:

I am sure you can buy it on the mainland – coconut syrup – which I ask all my friends going to Hawaii to bring back for me – delicious on waffles and pancakes.

Coconut cream – a standard in  most bars – always on tap in our house for a full fat Piña Colada.

Zico Coconut water – the latest food fad – great for rehydration and in the Dallas summer – it’s good for keeping my hydrated after a work out.  Also a side tip – it can be used as a skinny alternative in some coconut based cocktails instead of the coconut cream.

A breakfast requirement in my home – good quality pineapple and coconut juice – as we all know Pineapple is coconut’s greatest compliment. This juice is from Central Market but they sell similar in Whole Foods (US) and Waitrose (UK)

Not in my freezer today, but a standard is coconut sorbet or ice cream. Another foodie favourite of mine is sticky coconut rice – something that I pretty much enjoyed every day while on Maui, even better when served in a cliché coconut shell. In fact – for the coconut addict, Hawaii is like arriving at the steps of coconut heaven.

My travels this week also brought me:

  •  Toasted Coconut fresh marshmellows (Central Market)
  • A toasted coconut and muddled strawberry martini from Seasons 52
  • Chocolate Coconut Macademia nuts by Mauna Loa

A great new restaurant I was introduced to caters for the addict that I am:

I had a delicious meal at Dive Coastal Cuisine in Dallas –

Seared Ahi Wrap

Seared Ahi Tuna Wrap $13

Ginger slaw, cucumber, avocado, coconut rice & chilli ponzu sauce in a spinach tortilla.

The ahi was seared to perfection – the slaw fresh and crispy and the coconut rice – divine. It’s hard to find somewhere that can actually make a potent coconut rice – Dive manages to really bring out the flavour in a way that i taste creamy coconut in every bite.

I think next time I go, I will just have to order the side of coconut rice on it’s own, and take my self in to a corner and devour it.

If you do end up going to Dive – I can also recommend the twisted mojito and their skinny dips with plantain chips.

I will get quickly to the less calorie heavy coconut loves….

Today I caught myself running in to Tommy Bahama – not because I crave their floral shirts and cute island styles – but because of their scent. If I was a cat, I would roll around on the floor, rub myself up against the clothes and lick the air. That store is like crack (if I knew what crack was like) coconut crack. I have asked them to tell me what they use to make it smell that way. They told me the it’s the pineapple-cilantro diffusers – so like an addict, I stocked my bag up with diffusers, candles, tea lights and room sprays. Although the pineapple-cilantro scent is the scent I love – no number of candles and diffusers in my home makes it smell the same way their store does – believe me I have tried. They must have a super spray, or something in their air conditioning. Im contemplating getting a job there, just to figure it out and in the mean time, i can absorb the scent on my clothes.

My love – the one coconut item I cannot be without – my coconut papaya face and body mist. A light spritz of this spray and I am instantly transported back to Hawaii. I first discovered this product at the Grand Wailea Spa on Maui and now keep a bottle of it in my bathroom at home and on my desk at work. It’s great for a stressful day – just a spray and my stress melts away.

Coconut lotionsSome other items I have to keep stocked up on – low factor spray sun block  with a lime and coconut scent and for hotter days – the oldie but goodie – Hawaiian Tropic factor 30. For post bath and showers I turn to coconut lotion – for when I am not needing to SPF up.

A few other great coconut bathroom items:

  • Pre de Provence – Coconut Soap (I also love their Pineapple soap too – it’s washing myself in a fresh pineapple) – found in a great summer boutique called A Summer Place in Mahattan Beach, CA (as well as online)
  • Body Shop – coconut body butter and coconut body scrub
  • Bath & Body works – Coconut & Lime perfume
  • Nourishing Coconut Milk shampoo and conditioner

As you can see – coconut and I have quite the relationship.

I know there are a lot of things I have missed from my writings – so please – if you share the passion – let me know what you love and where to find it, in the mean time… my name is Lucy and I’m a coco’holic.