Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Where are you decisions based?

I was having lunch with one of my friends and he started having an anxiety attack about his future, He's in a place of flux. Literally his life could go one of two ways and he was stuck on which path to take. I told him that I believe that we know what a decision should be but we can become so focused on the fear of "What if?" that it can be hard to make a choice.

"What if I don't take this job? What if I take the other job and they lay people off? Then I'll have no job. I'll be homeless."

"What if I move in with him and then he meets someone else?"

"What if I choose the college that I've always wanted to go to but I know that I could make more money down the road by going to the college my parents want me to go to?

The answers all come down to this: You have survived every bad thing that has happened to you in the past. If, God forbid, the worst happens and you choose poorly (so you think), then you move on, like you always have.

You find another job.
You move out and enjoy the fact that you escaped a future with someone who doesn't deserve you.
You thrive in your #1 choice and work hard to achieve your goals once you graduate.

I think about the times when I have made choices out of fear and I realize that I was never quite steady in that choice. I wavered, I didn't give it my all. You can't succeed or be happy if you are  focused on the negative or what could happen. I'm not suggesting that you don't buy insurance or otherwise make smart choices. What I am saying is that you have the power to choose wisely.

Lean into your decision. You are smarter than you realize. Once that soul of yours works together with your heart and your mind, you are an unstoppable force. Operate from a place of certainty that you have the power to create a future that is wildly perfect.  Take the right precautions to ensure that you will succeed. Maybe that means talking with a therapist, meeting with a career mentor or talking with a financial planner. Know that whatever decision you make is the right one if you come at from a place of positive energy. And if, by chance, the decision is wrong, pick yourself up, like you have always done so well, dust yourself off, regroup for a moment and move on.

As far as my friend goes, we talked through his two choices and I suggested that he close his eyes and imagine both scenarios. In which scenario was he smiling? During the rest of the lunch we talked about other subjects (What we thought about meal prep delivery plans. Why is iced tea so much better at restaurants than at home?). As we paid the check, he smiled at me and said "You know,  I'm going to do it. I'm moving across the country. It's wild that I'm doing this but yeah. Wow!"

I couldn't help but tear up with happiness when he recently texted me a picture of himself goofily smiling with his newly adopted dog in his new city.

Courage wins. Again.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Happygirl Gift Guide for Your Favorite Guy

He makes you feel like the sun revolves you. He has seen you at your very worst and still his eyes light up when you enter a room. Maybe he calls you "My daughter. My love. My very best friend. My world. My wife. My everything." Your favorite guy may make you the best spaghetti or he's cheered you on at every one of your games. Whether it's your dad, husband, partner, boyfriend or best friend, here are some things that might make him happier than he already is when you're around.

1. A soft cashmere sweater is a good place to rest your head when he pulls you in close. Land's End ($94.99-189)

2. This RFID blocking travel wallet is a steal at $13.99 and perfect for the traveler who likes to stay organized. (Amazon)

3. If his singing in the shower makes you smile, get him this waterproof bluetooth speaker so he and Bruce Springsteen can sing together. (Amazon, $21.99)

4. There's something about the way the air smells after a rainstorm. Bring this scent home for him with this Big Sur After Rain candle. (dsanddurga.com, $65)

5.  Maybe he uses drugstore shampoo in the shower to wash his entire body, including his face. Introduce him to the pleasures of clean skin with this Kiehl's Grooming Set (Nordstrom, $48)

6. Does your favorite guy like his condiments? Elevate his sauce game with this Sweet and Spicy Mini Crate featuring honey, maple syrup and Sriracha sauces (Mancrate, $59.99)

7. You could get him a regular toothbrush for his stocking or you could get him this Quip electric toothbrush set that will make his smile dazzle. (Quip, $40)

8. Nothing beats these L.L. Bean boots for protection from the worst that winter has to offer. (L.L. Bean, $135)

9. He protects you. Now help him protect everything else with this Ring electronic doorbell and never have another package stolen again. (Amazon, $169)

10. If he hates wasting time in coffee shops waiting for his morning joe, gift him his own tabletop coffee shop with this Nespresso machine (Macy's limited time special price, $99.99 from $249)

11. Whether he likes his coffee hot or his iced tea cold, this iconic Yeti 30 oz. Rambler will make him a happy guy. Bonus: it fits in most car cupholders. (Amazon, $34.99)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Happy Food: Easy Baked Brie That Makes You Look Like a Chef (Recipe)

Whenever I see Baked Brie served at a cocktail party, my first thought is "That's gorgeous. When did she have time to make this difficult appetizer between creating the perfect playlist, preparing the themed cocktails and cooking little bites all while looking so breezy and happy?"

This weekend one of my best friends and I met at The Chatham Bars Inn (Cape Cod) for a girls weekend. On our first night we took a cocktail themed cooking class,. There were ten other students  and of the five appetizers, we selected the Baked Brie. Neither of us had made this before and we were a little nervous about our creation being served to the class. With recipe in hand, while sipping a Seasonal Cranberry-Rosemary Mule, it was super easy to prepare this app.  We knew for certain it was perfect when Chef cut into it and it looked like something Martha Stewart would serve on Christmas Eve.

I'll be making this for several cocktail parties this holiday season. It's such a beautiful, festive presentation and an ideal warm appetizer for a cold winter's night. Here's to happy cocktail foods!

Thank you to Chef Stephanie and Chatham Bars Inn for this recipe and a fun evening in the kitchen!

Baked Brie With Spiced Apple, Pear,
Pomegranate and Walnuts
1 each of two types of apples
1 each of two types of pears
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground clove
2 tablespoons of butter

1 sheet of store bought puff pastry
1/2 wheel of Brie cheese (16 ounces)
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 cup of walnuts

1 egg
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (optional)
sprinkling of dried pomegranate seeds (optional)


Preheat oven to 425. 

Unroll puff pastry from container. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Lay the pastry gently on a baking sheet and let sit on the counter with a dish towel over it while you prepare the filling. 

Peel and dice the apple and pears and saute them over medium heat with butter, cinnamon and clove until tender (approximately ten minutes). Remove from heat and let cool approximately 5 minutes.

In the center of your dough, layer fruit and honey. Top with Brie and walnuts. 

Fold dough around the fruit and brie until sealed. 

Beat the egg and brush mixture onto dough, paying special attention to the folded edges. 

Bake on center rack for 15 minutes. 

Remove when golden brown and finish by drizzling pomegranate molasses and sprinkling pomegranate seeds. 

Cut in half and serve with crostini, crackers, fruit slices or pretzels. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Happygirl Gift Guide for Your Favorite Girl

She's had your back and she knows your laugh in her soul. She knows your best stories and she's been with you through most of them. She may be your mom, your sister, your best friend, your wife, partner or daughter. Whoever she is, you hold her close in your heart. Here are some gift ideas to make favorite girl in your life as happy as she makes you. 

    A simple pair of sparkly earrings to elevate a cashmere crewneck and jeans.

2.  Cashmere and wool scarf, $99 (Nordstrom, color shown is Green Caton)
     My favorite item to pack on airplanes and a pop of color against a simple long-sleeve white t-shirt.

    If your favorite girl travels a lot or is sensitive to noise, these new bluetooth enabled noise-reduction headphones are incredible at blocking the ambient noise and enhancing your sound experience.

4. glassybaby drinker, $55 (color shown is rose)
    Whether she likes bubbles or ice cream, she'll use this glassybaby drinker every day. 

5. Solve for Happy book by Mo Gawdat $10.87
    This 2018 book about happiness is perfect for a Sunday afternoon by the fire.

     If Tequila is her thing, this darling Bento box will make her smile. Includes Shake Your Margarita Paloma, Por Favor and Give it a Shot.  (Contains max 5% alcohol)

    If she's into enhancing her wellbeing, she'll love these custom blended sachets of adaptogenic superherbs and supermushrooms that help to combat stress and nourish the body and consciousness form the inside out. Includes 12 Moon Dust sachets, 2 each of Beauty, Brain, Sex, Power, Spirit and Dream.

   A grey wool beret is as essential as a little black dress. This simple accessory will keep her head cozy as she looks as fashionable as Audrey Hepburn.  

9. New Clarisonic Mia Smart $199 (color shown in mint)
    This device is the gold standard for supercleaning  makeup, sweat and daily grime from your face. This is the newest version. It's expensive but worth it.

      This coconut infused set includes a mini deodorant, coconut melt, coconut face cream and lip glossy. It has a light coconut milk scent and smooths away the winter dryness. 

    This tote, part of the Feed Project provides 10 school meals so she can feel good while she looks cool and kind in this sturdy tote. 

12. Homesick Candle, $25.95 (shown in Summer Camp)
     If she can't stop talking that summer she spent in Paris or if she's homesick for Texas, these candles just might bring tears to her eyes. I don't know how they did it, but they encapsulated the feeling of places so well. A friend bought me the Massachusetts candle and it makes me smile every time I light it. I also like Summer Camp.

    If she has never slept on a silk pillow, she is going to wonder where this has been all her life. The 100% silk pillowcase will keep her hair smooth all night while the soft, cool, eye mask keeps her happily in dreamland. 

14. J Crew Everyday Cashmere Crewneck Sweater, $99 (color shown in Shale Blue)
     A light cashmere sweater is something she can wear all year long, whether it's over a shirt and under a coat in the winter or tied over her shoulders over a strapless dress for a dinner al fresco on Nantucket. This sweater is ideal. It's my go-to and one of my favorite things. In sizes xxs-3x.

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