Going easy

Every now and then I get into a weird mood that is hard to get out of until I sit with it for a while. It’s not bad, there’s nothing wrong, I just need to sort out my thoughts and have some time to myself. And I think part of it is not taking enough time for myself, and going and going and going until I finally realize (admit to myself?) all of a sudden that I have taken on too much and I just need a MINUTE. Is anyone else with me?! This is ironically not the first time I’m writing about this. (Here, here, here AND here I also discuss slowing down, saying no, taking care of yourself, giving yourself grace, etc. so CLEARLY I am mastering this topic still struggling with this concept).

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about society, and our constant need for instant gratification and for everything to be picture perfect. Only showing the parts of ourselves that are fun, happy, poised, and put together. I haven’t posted much anywhere lately because I just haven’t really felt like it – I’ve been busy and tired with regular old life. School is great, but always exhausting and comes with several extra commitments. And with moving into the new house, I have put a lot of pressure on myself to “finish” everything and keep everything just so. I had to really convince myself this week that the dishes can sit for a day, the laundry can sit in the dryer for a minute, and the dog hair can accumulate a little bit in the corners — and that the world will keep on spinning. I don’t have to grade that last assignment right this second or reply to xyz email the second I get it. So, the last couple of days, I have just kind of kept to myself and taken things easy.

I teach Early Childhood Education classes – so I don’t teach young children, but I do teach teenagers about young children – and my students keep telling me about the themes they’re seeing in their internships of children giving up quickly when they don’t get the outcome they want the first time around. We went on a site visit as a class where the preschool director told us there’s a big problem with fine motor skills in young children in today’s world, because they grow up using their fingers to tap buttons on a screen and they aren’t getting the practice they need to coordinate their fine motor skills like kids have in the past, due to the easy, don’t-have-to-think-about-it technology we are so attached to. This is worth a whole separate discussion in itself, but the fact that even our CHILDREN are overloaded and overstimulated made me stop today and THINK. Sometimes it is vital for us to slow down, appreciate the little things, and take care of ourselves – and while doing so, we have to embrace the fact that things aren’t perfect, we’re going to have to work hard for things, and we can’t all be 1.6 billion dollar lottery winners (although that would have been prettttty sweet). We set this impossible standard for ourselves sometimes and then compare ourselves to the best of the photo reels we see on social media – and we think we aren’t good enough. But how about just admitting to ourselves that we are all in this together, and that even people who look really put together probably have similar issues and struggles? How about giving ourselves a little bit of grace and letting ourselves take a break every now and then? I think we have to, in order to keep doing all the other things we have to do on a daily basis.

I got to a point where I just had too much going on, so tonight I am doing my nails, having a few snacks on the couch with the doggies, and writing this blog post. Candle burning, tucked in to a cozy blanket, re-watching Gilmore Girls again, and trying to stay away from my phone because sometimes it’s nice to just settle in and hang out. So feel free to use this as a reminder to do the same (or your version of it) so you don’t have to get this slap in the face of “here we go again.” The weekend is nearly upon us 🙂 and it will be okay. The world keeps on turning, and it’s better if we can relax and be okay with ourselves while it does.

The best margarita

I don’t know about you, but I love a good margarita. Emphasis on good. Sure, there’s something to be said for your generic jumbo margarita at your favorite Mexican restaurant with wayyy too much sour mix, but there are also times where you might crave something more fresh, more tantalizing…just more.

I feel pretty confident about my margarita recipe. It has been honed over a few years of trial and error. The first time I made these margaritas, I followed this recipe. I found the image on Pinterest and immediately clicked through to find the full recipe (I mean look at the pictures! The nails, the stripes, the colors…just lovely). After making my margaritas this way a few times, I decided to experiment a little bit. This one is great; it’s simple and delicious, but I just wanted to see what else it could morph into.

Here’s my updated spin on the best margarita ever, featuring St. Germain elderflower liqueur. You can also buy other elderflower liqueurs, like St. Elderflower, but I’m just mesmerized by that fancy bottle! In my experience, there’s no taste difference and your wallet will thank you (St. Germain is $38 vs. $20 for the knockoff brand…easy choice). You can also pour the contents of the uglier bottle into an empty St. Germain bottle, but of course I’ve never done that.

cast of characters

The Best Margarita

4 shots of silver tequila

4 shots of elderflower liqueur

1 Tablespoon agave nectar (I use light agave nectar)

4 limes (juice from 3 and 1 for garnish/salting)

club soda or lime La Croix sparking water (that’s what I usually prefer, but didn’t have it for this post)

ice

salt for rim of glass (I use fine sea salt)

1. Add tequila, elderflower liqueur, agave nectar, and the juice of 3 limes to a blender (using a handheld juicer will CHANGE YOUR LIFE). 2. Pour in 1 can of lime La Croix sparkling water, or the equivalent if using club soda. 3. Add ice – fill up both hands. 4. Use the ‘ice crush’ feature of your blender for just a few seconds to chop up the ice a bit and give a nice frothy blend. These are not frozen margaritas, they are on the rocks, so just pulse a few times or use the ‘blend’ feature for a few seconds if you don’t have the ice crush feature. 5. Use a lime slice to juice the rim of your glasses, and roll the rims around in a small plate of salt. 6. Pour the margaritas into the glasses, add a lime slice, and enjoy!

makes 4 margaritas 

NOTES:  if you’re not using a blender, just add everything to a shaker with ice in it. I love crushing the ice to give it a little bit of froth, but the taste is still great either way. Don’t skip the sparkle! I  prefer lime La Croix, but club soda or even a splash of Sprite would do the same trick. Adjust amounts to taste!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it! Really light, fresh, and juuust sweet enough to take the edge off…so be careful with these!

Pictures by J Parker Photography, druzy bracelet from The Native Colors, purchased in Aruba, mantra bands purchased from Hot Asana Yoga Studio but also available here