Soft Gingersnaps for the Holidays

I made these cookies for friends about a year ago and yesterday she asked me for the recipe. That reminded me how scrumptious they are (she did remember them after a whole year, after all)!

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

(sift all together)

3/4 cup soft shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

Sift together dry ingredients. Mix in the remaining ingredients slowly. Chill for 1 hour. Roll into balls and then roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until flat and crinkled.

As a bonus, here are 5 facts about ginger:

  • Helps digest fatty foods and break down proteins
  • Can treat motion sickness
  • Can reduce inflammation caused by arthritis
  • Stimulates the circulation of blood
  • Is a natural decongestant and antihistamine

Now you can feel great about devouring these delectable cookies!

GO with love.

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Fashionable Philanthropy

“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion”

-Simone de  Beauvoir

Growing up in Northern California, I experienced a number of small childhood tragedies such as home invasion, fire and small earthquakes. As an adult, I lived in the Bay Area during the 1989 7.1 Loma Prieta Earthquake. During that quake the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants were gearing up for the battle to win the third game of the World Series. The colosseum cracked and bridges collapsed. And in 1994 I lived in Southern California, with an infant son sleeping in a bassinet when the 6.6 Northridge earthquake struck. This one was fast and furious. It felt like being in a blender.

Disasters are marker moments that bring us together. It is an opportunity to see the best of humanity emerge as normal people demonstrate heroic efforts. It is an opportunity to exercise our empathy muscle. Empathy is the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another. But empathy without action isn’t particularly productive or useful, so I invite you to go one step further and engage in active empathy. What is active empathy? Its showing you have understood the situation, values and needs of another person.

Lives have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy so in an effort to help with the basic needs of those who have lost a lot, Glamour Owl is making a $10 donation to the Red Cross for every online order. Just use the discount code SANDY at checkout. Here is a link to some fashionable philanthropy… www.glamourowl.com.

GO with empathetic love.

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Oscar’s 10

 

A woman should be in love with the clothes she is wearing. Oscar de la Renta has lived by that ideal since birthing his label in 1965. He praises the woman that is wonderfully bold and a little cheeky.

“I remember a hundred years ago, I was at La Cote Basque and a lady walked in wearing a tunic pantsuit by Courreges. The maitre d’ told her that ladies in pants were not allowed. So she went outside, dropped her pants, and returned in a very short dress. Wonderful.”

 

Here are 10 things he believes every woman should have:

  1. A great romance. “There is nothing more wonderful than being madly in love.”
  2. Face-framing earrings. “It’s a great complement to the face to have something that moves.”
  3. A small bag. “Full of mystery.”
  4. Black lace. “It is extremely feminine.”
  5. A confident walk. “You have to walk like you have three men walking behind you.”
  6. A cause to support. “When you rest, you rust.”
  7. Red carnations. “A deep, deep red.”
  8. A signature scent. “If you wear a different perfume every day, I do not recognize you.”
  9. Very tall shoes. “They create such a flattering line.”
  10. A competitive streak. “Dominoes, bridge…I love to compete. And rules were made to be broken.”

GO with love.

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Telling A Good Story: Dreams Come True

My good and wise friend Sarah graciously mentioned Glamour Owl in her blog post this week. Check it out here!

http://www.tellingagoodstory.com/2012/10/dreams-come-true.html

GO with love!

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Faking It Brings Results

The philosopher William James believed that acting a certain way could make you feel that way.Hundreds of experiments have proved him right.

Studies show that smiling actually makes people feel happier. For best results, smile wide and hold for 20 seconds.

When researchers give subjects an unsolvable problem, those who fold their arms in a stubborn pose persevere nearly twice as long as others.

Clenching your fist powers your willpower.

Acting as though you are madly in love with your partner will make you feel more affectionate.

Dressing in clothes that make you feel confident will communicate ability. In a study at Northwestern University, researchers had subjects wear white coats while performing a test that measured attention. One group was told they had on doctors’ coats; the other, painters’ coats. Subjects in the first group outperformed those in the second by nearly 30 percent, suggesting that the effect our clothes have on us may be even more powerful than we thought.

Fake it till you feel it sounds like a recipe for inauthenticity but it can actually empower us to be more authentic in areas we strive to excel in.

GO with love.

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Purple, Please!

A girl’s favorite girly girl color from childhood is having a moment! Who should wear purple? Um, everyone.

It looks flattering on any complexion, from light skin and blonde hair to dark black skin and hair. The color is feminine and classy.

Behold the grape takeover from head to toe!

 

 

 

Get this gorgeous shirt that is just the right shade of pebble with the grape colored glamour owl at glamourowl.com!

And to add a bit of purple poetry to your day, I found this fabulous poem by Jenny Joseph…

Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

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We’ve Come A Long Way Baby!

“Dont appear to… surpass your husband in intelligence… Keep him in the dominant position to help him feel needed and adequate as the leader”

-Fascinating Womanhood, 1963

“This act of blowing out birthday candles is a vile one. From now on supply yourself with a snuffer.”

-Manners for Millions, 1950

“Excitement of the sexual system is a necessary consequence of the glances lovers bestow upon each other and is injurious to the nervous system if it occurs frequently.”

-The Mother’s Guide and Daughter’s Friend, 1890

“It is good to cast water in the face of him that hath the hiccups.”

-Regiment of Lyfe, 1553

“Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say goodnight. Shake hands with them in the morning.”

-Psychological Care of Infant and Child, 1928

“Duck and cover.”

-1950’s safety strategy for nuclear attack

“Almost anything you like can be rolled in bacon, oven- or pan-broiled and served on picks.”

-500 Tasty Snacks: Ideas for Entertaining, 1949

Thanks to O magazine for these hilarious snippets of advice. Although, I think the last one is probably still true!

Cheers!

GO with love.

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Cheap Can Beat Expensive

 

One of my deepest and most reliable sources of happiness is my tall decaf four pump vanilla latte. It soothes me. It is ritual in the very best way.

I don’t know if Starbucks knows this but surely with their stellar team, they’ve probably heard… Starbucks napkins are absolutely golden as face blotters! So next time you order your pumpkin muffin or raspberry cake pop, swipe a couple to keep in the car to banish those shiny nose and forehead moments!

GO with love.

 

This is my personal favorite Starbucks! Shout out to the Cotswold team!

 

I keep these in the bathroom since I don’t have room for a napkin dispenser:)

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Contending with Time

The nature of the human condition is that we are bound by the confines of time.  We feel it pressing in, crawling by, whooshing past, and ticking off a constant reminder of our mortality.  Pop psychology urges us to live in the moment, historians beseech us to remember the past, and politicians compel us to think of the future.  Time can feel like a contender that we spar with in the boxing ring of life.  So, in light of this circumstance, how is life best lived?  Should we always live life as though we only have one day left?

This is a question best answered within a precise context and with specificity of intent.  The spirit of the question is pungent with the notion that life is precious.  If we treasure this day, as we would if we knew it were our last, we will vastly improve our ability to live by our values.  Our values are those things that we prioritize in a theoretical hierarchy, but that often get sabotaged by the pressures of the minutia of daily routines.  We often give lip service to the fact that time is precious but when push comes to shove, meals, dishes, laundry, bills, work, and television can easily monopolize our days.  If we participate in these activities without the context that they matter, that they are integral actions that are part of our greater value system, life can seem disappointingly irrelevant.  One of the best weapons against a feeling of irrelevance is gratitude.  When we live life with gratitude, we are prone to kindness, compassion and a sense of well-being that keeps the preciousness of live always in view.  I heartily endorse living each day as if it is the last if this means engaging our gratitude muscles as we fight against being overtaken by apathy or poverty of spirit.

If, however, we take the question at hand with a literal interpretation, like a Hollywood screenwriter would be prone to do, living life as though we only have one day left is absurdly unsustainable.  Considering the level of heightened intensity that would correspond to actually being told you have a single day left, shifting our mindset to a paradigm of this nature would be exhausting.  It would also potentially subjugate any ideals of living a life that serves others.  Any battle against egoism could be quickly lost because of the constant sense that this is my last day of life on earth.  Many people would choose a quick chase after adventure, fortune, fame or a meeting with someone who has already achieved those things that they admire.  Even those whose chief value revolves around loved ones would drop all other activities to spend their last day experiencing the fullness of their closest relationships.  While this seems like an admirable aim, the truth is that if we live as though today is our last, we are prone to sacrifice activities that make tomorrow better than today.  As Aristotle said, virtue is activity in accordance with reason.  The grocery shopping and carpool line actually matter.  Literally living as though today is our last round in the fight forfeits the possibilities of tomorrow.

Ultimately, I believe that we shouldn’t live each day as though we have only one day left, but we should live with eternity in mind.  The fact that the movement of time often feels so alien might indicate that we as people will someday experience time in a way that feels more authentic and natural.  Living with eternity in mind makes it possible to value each day, each moment, each experience as ripe with meaning and purpose and yet, not to take the slippery, regrettable moments too seriously.  This philosophy implies that there will be days ahead that are more than timeless.  They will be time-full, precious and satisfying to our yearnings to live well.  This is how I want to live each day.

GO with love!

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Need A New Fall Cocktail?

 

Apple cider is a big hit in the fall months and this warm drink features that wonderful, distinct taste. Just as the season is a transition between summer and winter, these flavors mark a smooth transition between the fruitier and warmer libations. This is so delicious it begs to be drunk often and makes a perfect fall cocktail. Tuaca is an Italian liqueur with deep roots and a wonderful citrus and vanilla hint and, when combined with hot apple cider, it is extremely comforting and soothing.
Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Tuaca
  • hot apple cider
  • whipped cream
  • cinnamon stick for garnish

Preparation:

  • Pour the Tuaca in an Irish coffee glass.
  • Fill with hot apple cider.
  • Top with whipped cream.
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

You should totally cuddle up in your Glamour Owl Maniac Sweatshirt, a fire, and a movie or a book on the couch with this yummyness!

Cheers!

GO with love.

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