Do you know 7 really BIG things that are, did, or will happen on Jan 31?

Tuesday, Jan 31 is a lot of things in the wide wonderful world.
#7 is MY FAVORITE!

1) It’s a very dear long-standing friends Birthday so I wish her a VERY Happy Birthday !!!!!
2) It’s the end of January 2017 for all us of us. Only 11 months left to accomplish our 2017 goals. I better keep dancing as fast as I can!
3) 1949: The first daytime soap “These Are my Children” was broadcasted on NBC. Soaps got their nickname because the show(s) were targeted to mothers, and soap manufacturers such as P&G, were major sponsors.
4)  1961: Ham, a chimpanzee, who went into space by the USA was recovered alive and well, paving the way for humans to go next!
5) 1971: Apollo 14 (moon mission) was launched. Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5, “moon rocks were collected and several scientific experiments were performed. Shepard hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought with him. Shepard and Mitchell spent 33½ hours on the Moon, with almost 9½ hours of EVA.” (Extravehicular activity.)
6) 1929: As of this day the Boston Red Sox were allowed to play ball on Sundays! Mayor Malcolm E. Nichols signed an ordinance regarding this matter. It cost the Sox $1000 for a permit. BTY – there was still a team called the Boston Braves then too.
7) AND most exciting to me is that Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017, it is the day I am making my first real public appearance reading my children’s book called Awsome! at a local library. In case you are around it is 10 am at the Eastport-Annapolis Library. It’s the Preschool Storytime (3-5 years) (Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library: 269 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403.)

So today is a day to continue to prepare. I am reading the book aloud to anyone I can, even the dog just to practice reading upside down, cadence and ideas. I am thinking about subtle marketing/ PR and ways to help further my cause and the book of Awesome! I am also looking for other places to read it aloud, so if you know anyone that runs any activity for the “little kids” please let me know.

Storytime!
Storytime!

If anyone out there is a public storyteller, all tips would be welcome and appreciated!

Front and back Cover of the Book of Awesome
Front and back Cover of the Book of Awesome

Does clutter become The Fabric of My Life?

Clutter, “Stuff”-The fabric of my life? I hope NOT!  I refuse to believe that my stuff makes up WHO I am. It is true that, partly, it makes up what my home looks like, how crowded my mind, and possibly my life, may be at any given moment. All this “stuff” didn’t just appear one day in my house, my mind, or my life, it’s an insidious, slow moving, existential like growth. Maybe it is like fabric? I suppose it did start as a small swatch and has evolved into yards and yards over the years. If I continue with this analogy… fabrics can get messy and be washed, they can get cut up and reused or re-purposed, they can be loved as well as tossed out or given away. Sometimes they fade, and sometimes we have to give them up for they are no longer possible in the space. My “fabric” (like yours probably) has pretty much been through most/all of those scenarios.

This topic has come up for I am reorganizing my office/studio. It is the result of winter damage, which meant a wall and ceiling needed to be repaired, which meant EVERYTHING had to come out of a VERY crowded, over stuffed, “creative chaos” room. Not a bad thing in the long run, however in the short run it has been exhausting. Taxing my left side brain into hyper organization and lots of practice in the art of “letting go”-into the recycle, trash, or donate pile. This brings up another favorite topic, the one of Intention. I am practicing that skill as well. I read an article that stated- “Most traditional approaches do not consider the energetic impact of clearing, no matter how miniscule the task or effort. The fact is, clearing anything consciously and gently … creates an energetic opening—a spaciousness—that works on us slowly and surely to soften our grip of attachments.” (article)  I have been very intently/consciously clearing things out for approximately three years now. It started with the closets full of clothes, and slowly I have been working on the “stuff.”  The office/studio has accelerated the cause along. In theory (and mind) I don’t want the all this stuff, I want my space (in all ways) to be clearer. Much easily said than done for me. However, it is better than before and I am slowly learning the process and power of Intention in so many aspects of life. Intention of letting go. Intention of holding on when appropriate. Intention of a never ending process of moving on to whatever is next with an open mind and heart. Intention of clearing (in mind as well as physical space.)  An intention of realizing it is not about throwing away something but is often about letting go of a far bigger commodity than the goods in my hand. I am far from done. I will probably always be working on this “intention and clearing process.” It will probably never be easy, or fun. I do know it does feel good to let some of these things go. There is some truth to the saying of- Clear the clutter, Clear the mind. 

For all those that are spring cleaning, or life clearing- May the journey be partly to embrace the change, and enjoy the clean air in that new cleared space. (At least, that’s what I am trying to do.)

It always comes back to KINDNESS. This time it’s kindness to yourself, give yourself a break, a pat on the back, and awareness that the journey is what often matters and that simple is often an easier way to go. As Robert Browning so famously said, and the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe beautifully adapted-Less is More.

Birdelini takes on the motto of Less is More in her Simple Spring Hat 2015 collection.
Birdelini takes on the motto of Less is More in her Simple Spring Hat 2015 collection.

Changes: “Life is a series of surprises.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

First I was going to write about a topic that has been fascinating me since I heard a TED Talk  called How to spot a liar” by Pamela Meyer. It’s about trust, deception, and our society’s propensity for lies. It’s compelling, and I recommend using 18 mins of your life to listen to it. However, I moved on to topic #2. That was to be Clutter – Clear the clutter, clear the mind. Goes with new beginnings and one of my favorite topics-Letting go! Although those words and thoughts take up a LARGE portion of my mind these days, it was too much, too complex, and more than I wanted to share in words. Therefore, it was shelved for “later.”  Topic #3 was intriguing when I wandered over to  the word of Friendship. However, as I sat down to write I changed my mind again and indeed the topic I have settled on is CHANGE. Particularly , change with Botanical Beauties and Beasties.

The Quote below is from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays and Lectures. “From a layered and immeasurably insightful 1841 essay titled “Circles,” exploring the pillars of personal growth and how we can learn to stop resisting the very things that help us transcend our self-imposed limitations.” I found it on a site I read regularly called Brain Pickings. Click for the full story.

Every ultimate fact is only the first of a new series… The new statement is always hated by the old, and, to those dwelling in the old, comes like an abyss of skepticism.

[…]

In nature every moment is new; the past is always swallowed and forgotten… Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit. No love can be bound by oath or covenant to secure it against a higher love. No truth so sublime but it may be trivial to-morrow in the light of new thoughts. People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.

Life is a series of surprises.”

Surprise # 1:  I might have mentioned to you I am changing the tag line of the business. I am thinking about simplifying things across the board. In life, and so in my business as well. That means change. The tag line has been “Live Kind. Live Green. Live Creatively .” When I do shows those words will continue to serve my story verbally and I still believe in them wholeheartedly. However, I have been thinking for a couple of years now, If the world were to be a bit more “evolved” then Live Kind, Live Green would be one and the same. If we are to truly live within Kindness, that translates  into kindness for self, others, and the world around us, including the planet we all share. So, in the hopes of evolution of us all, and in the process of simplification…. the new line is …. are you ready?…. drum beat please…. Kindess. it's always the bottom line.

As for the third part,  i.e. Live Creatively …Well that most surely continues. Creativity comes in many forms and sizes mostly as words, images, motions and thoughts. We (society) need much help if creativity disappears. For me it is important that I utilize my creativity often, when I don’t my mind gets (even more?) muddled. My thoughts are far enough off the beaten road at times without adding any extra curves! But, I’m also glad about that-without those thoughts, ideas, and imagination the Botanical Beauties would never have been created, launched or shared in any manner. I hope we all agree that would be a shame.

The next step is to figure out to keep moving forward and what’s up next. New paths are ahead, changes are ahead, but I am not clear yet on what, when, where, or how. I continue to work on learning the how, and simultaneously, trying to do (!) the writing and illustrating of  my children’s book. The book has totally changed recently. I will share the New Book when I get a better grip on it.

If anyone has any solid ideas about good marketing, or paths to follow for the Botanical Beauties and Beasties, by all means, please speak up! New crossroads, new thoughts, new directions are indeed what I am looking for!

Surprise #2 – Well, time will tell.

 

Zoie and Kindness

#NYFW and The Green Shows!

*** Thanks to ecosalon for this one! ***

The criteria...”Touted as the only “premiere fashion event exclusively committed to eco-friendly, ethically sound, fair trade fashion in New York City,” the venue, now in its second season, has peeled some serious rubber (not to mention, appealed to some really great talent).

This is a challenge when all designers participating in The GreenShows have to abide by a “Designer Criteria” which means they have to include some aspect of the sustainable design industry. In this case it means:

1.    Vegan/Animal Free
2.    Ethically Produced
3.    Fair Trade
4.    Organic Materials
5.    Recycled Materials
6.    Ethically Produced Wool
7.    Natural Dyes
8.    Carbon Footprint Conscious”  -(whole article from ecosalon)

“Too often, sustainable fashion is relegated to the sidelines of events like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This season, however, that changed with the addition of The GreenShows to the official line-up at Lincoln Center.

Held Friday morning at Lincoln Center’s The Box, the presentation featured carefully curated ensembles from eight sustainable brands, assembled by star stylist Julie Ragolia. In selecting the participating designers, TGS considered a number of ethical manufacturing criteria, including use of organic/bio-based textiles and materials, recycled/upcycled fabrics, low-impact dyes, zero waste/fabric waste reduction, local production, craft/artisan production, and fair/ethical trade.

The Box was packed shoulder-to-shoulder for the event, which GreenShows director Lou Sagar called a “milestone” in the sustainable fashion movement.

Sustainable fashion is now a global movement, it’s no longer a trend. (The GreenShows) are a demonstration that fashion always has to be beautiful and appealing, but it doesn’t have to be at the compromise of using sustainable materials and ethical practices. I think the fashion industry is demonstrating a desire to embrace that more and more. We don’t have to feel that we’re alternative because social change is mainstream.

Here, scenes from the show and more information on the featured designers.”

Read the ecosaloarticle: –http://ecosalon.com/ecosalon-at-nyfw-the-greenshows/

Food in the moment Sadou, “the way of tea”

Ichi-go ichi-e: this is the moment Information from website of Presentation Zen (click).

ichi-go ichi-e“Following up on Benjamin Zander’s inspirational teachings on the art of possibility (and performance), allow me to share a simple idea from the art of tea or Sadou, “the way of tea.” You may think that the traditional art of Sadou (茶道) is a strange place to glean lessons that can be applied to various aspects of our daily lives, but the simple practical lessons from the Zen arts run deep and wide. Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会) is a concept connected to the way of tea; it expresses the ideal of the way of tea. Roughly translated the phrase means “one time, one meeting” or “one encounter; one opportunity.” In the way of tea we should respect the host and the others in the garden and the tea room and honor the moment as if it were a once-in-a-lifetime gathering. That is, we should cherish every meeting for it will never happen again. Ichi-go ichi-e is a reminder that each tea ceremony is unique even though the elements are familiar.” To read the whole article from Presentation Zen (Garr Reynolds) click here.

* How does this translate into Fun Food Friday?  We should cherish every meal and the (shared) experience of eating a meal, for it will never happen again…Savor the moment- savor the taste. As the saying goes….”be here now,” and respect the present moment you are in. 

BBB3 Note: By the way – I have one of  Garrs Books and it is great. If you are interested in presentations I HIGHLY recommend it, as well as following Garr on his blog, twitter, etc.  I truly enjoy his “take” and learn from him. The book I have  is called  Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) (Amazon)

Birdelini has been busy!

Birdelini and the Red Carpet
Birdelini practicing on THE Red Carpet

Birdelini has lots of BIG news!!!! She now has a twitter handle (@Birdelini) and a Facebook Page – If you are a Facebook user then please go and “like” her new page so she can get rid of all those numbers after her name! Do you love/like Films? Do you love/like Fashion?   Then Birdelini latest plan  is one for you! She is going to be doing a RED CARPET twitter and Facebook blitz! It should be a blast. She cares about who they are wearing – i.e thier Blossoms, their shoes or as she calls them their petals, the Bling which she calls the Orchids, and the water they are drinking! Are you excited? We are! Gorgeous glam galore!

Need a little Oscar prep help? Birdelini is having fun with the Oscar iPad app – and she just discovered the Vanity Fair Ballot App! (Click here for Vanity Fair)( iPhone, iPad and Android. All are FREE!!!) ” We know you’re going to predict the winners come Oscar night, whether in a voting pool or a head-to-head competition, and our new app ballot makes choosing winners on iPhone, iPad, and Android as glossy and rich an experience as flipping through the magazine.”- Vanity Fair

BIG Opps!

On Jan 9th we moved cyber host and I have just figured out that all the email subscribers were not automatically switched over. We have indeed been “posting” but I believe you missed them. A big opps!  This morning I am re-subcribing you. You will get an email saying… “An email was just sent to confirm your subscription. Please find the email now and click activate to start subscribing.” All you need to do is click to activate again. Needless to say we hope you stay with us!

Thanks for your support. The Botanical Beauties and Beasties have BIG plans and hope you are part of them!  If you happened to just stumble upon us, hope you will join us!

Ten Fun Friday Dragon Foods!

The Year of the Dragon was ushered in on Jan. 23, 2012. I was wondering what the symbolic foods would be? The Chicago Tribune came thru with the answers!
Now I share them with you. To see the article on their site click here.

Year of Dragon 10 Foods
Chicago Tribune , Jan 23, 2012

I think my favorite one is noodles! In case you can’t see the image here are just the words:” #1) Potsticker dumplings – Similar in shape to ancient gold ingots, dumpling symbolize wealth.  #2) Spring rolls – Golden color means good fortune. #3) Noodle dishes – Long noodles equals long life. Eat the longest noodles you can find – don’t cut them!  #4) Stir-fried lettuce – The Cantonese words for lettuce sounds like “growing fortune.” Find recipes here in my Good Eating story, “Good greens, good fortune.”  #5) Whole fish – While any food served whole promises prosperity, the word for fish sounds like “riches.” #6) Oranges – Golden to symbolize wealth, round for unity.
#7) Red-cooked chicken – Red is a lucky color. The dish symbolizes happiness, good fortune  #8) Tea eggs – Fertility  #9) Lion’s head meatballs (pork balls braised in greens) – Lions stand for power and strength.  #10) Barbecued duck – Fidelity.”

Does this mean we all should be having Spring rolls, sesame seed Noodles (one of my all time favorites,) a little salad on the side with lettuce and oranges, a few meatballs, followed by a little Peking Duck for Super Bowl Sunday? Or, are you sticking with the All American, chips, beer, chicken wings and “insert your favorite here”? What’s on your plate this sunday?

Does our “fashion” and wearable art (i.e. our clothing) define us?

I am fascinated by this! We all know if you dress “better” you feel “better.” How much do you think about your “personal style” and the ID tags you attach to that? Hmmm – just fascinating.

From a site I enjoy called Design You Trust, I came across this man named Dean Christian.(link)  Here is his take. Check out his website for more info and images. According to his twitter page he is a Fashion/portrait photography student in LA. I think he is a good find to watch.

Photo by

“Clothes are a funny thing. When we put a certain piece of clothing on it can change us. It affects how we feel, how we walk down the street, how we go about our day. For many, style is a form of self-expression. You can often tell how a person is feeling by what they are wearing.

But does our style define us as an individual? Does it ultimately replace one’s identity?” – Dean

Here is Birdelli with and without…. hmmmmm

The ID of clothing
Can you see yourself in this outfit? Well, OK, maybe without the hat!

The Buzz is all around. Fashion, mythology and fantasy. NYFW

Regardless of your own personal style, fashion is all around us. Even though I am no fashion maven I do enjoy looking and exploring. From the sublime classics of elegance and grace, to the outrageous and ridiculous, it’s all fun. Fashion is a reflection of the times, the world and where we are right now. To me that is all fascinating and worth watching. Another world? Absolutely.

The designers often pull from fantasy and romance, and the images are often amazing. The photography, the creativity and the results are astounding and that alone is worth perusing!  Today we venture into….”Valentino continues its adventure with the RED Valentino girl depicted in an imaginary world created in collaboration with London based fashion photographer, Tim Walker. For the SS12 ad campaign, model, Nimue Smit is photographed in “the park of monsters”, which dates back to 1522 and represents a visual sequence ranging between mythology and fantasy.” (FashionIndie) How could Birdelli resist not jumping in? She couldn’t!  Here are two takes, the original which I found on Fashion Indie (http://fashionindie.com/first-look-red-valentino-ss-12-campaign/) , a great site to explore for fun and fashion, and the BBB3 (Botanical Beauties & Beasties) take.

Valintino_Birdelli
Birdelli could not resist joining the Valentino campaign for a little fun!
Valintino Original posting
Valentino Original posting without Birdelli :- (

TFFN =Ta Ta For Now, Thai Food Friday Now or the journal Gordy works on!

Last week was Thai Soup – This week is Thai Rice. As always, if you can, buy local ingredients, or at local sites, or at least at stores that promote local!  I know they are not local but I am seeing a lot of Pineapples in the stores right now?!  Wondering about Gordy and the Journal he works on are?

Gordy_Art 2

An Artist, and an Arts Journalist, he enjoys creating all types of art and places no limits on himself. Naturally, his bend is for ECO art, he loves to recreate and make “Objects D’Art” while keeping all his materials as green as possible. To that end, he now only shoots digital when he has a camera in hand, the chemicals of traditional film and processing is not something he wants to contribute to the world. His sculptures tend to be from “found or recycled materials, and he uses recycled paper for all his 2D work. He has been known to dance when the mood strikes, and “create for fun” when inspiration strikes! He also works as the Arts Journalist for the Local Paper of Botaniumus called Twine, Twigs Figura and News, or commonly called TTFN. (It’s ok to smile if you are a Tigger fan!) –Gordy is created from Gourds, Palm Tree Trunk, mixed floral and even a bit of a live Key West Iguana! (Click image for larger view of Gordy.)

On the the food….

Thai Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice (Vegetarian)
This recipe is from About.com – Thai Food

This classic Thai pineapple fried rice recipe is real vegetarian Thai food. Make this easy fried rice at home – it’s as good or better than take-out fried rice! Thai jasmine rice is fried up with chunks of pineapple, plus cashews, peas, and currents with a curry-flavored sauce. Includes cooking tips to create perfect fried rice every time. Proof that vegetarian Thai cooking is anything but boring. Mmmm – heavenly!

Prep Time: 30 minutes   Cook Time: 8 minutes     Total Time: 38 minutes   Yield:
SERVES 5-6 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained, OR 1+1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (instructions below)
  • 3-4 cups cooked rice, preferably several days old (Tip: if fresh, leave for an hour or more in the refrigerator uncovered)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or faux chicken stock (or regular chicken stock if non-vegetarian)
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red or green chili, thinly sliced, OR 1/4 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
  • 1 egg (vegans can omit)*
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • optional: 1 small carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • ¼ cup currants OR raisins
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted whole cashews
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander
  • STIR-FRY SAUCE:
  • 3 Tbps. soy sauce (OR substitute fish sauce if non-vegetarian)
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • optional: 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Preparation:

    For instructions on preparing fresh pineapple, OR to create a “pineapple boat” for your fried rice, see: How to Buy/Prepare Fresh Pineapple.1

    1. Mix 1 Tbsp. oil with the rice, using your fingers to separate any chunks into grains. Set aside.
    2. In a cup, stir the soy sauce/fish sauce together with the curry powder.
    3. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. oil in a wok/large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, and chili, stir-frying until fragrant (1 minute). Whenever the wok/pan becomes dry, add a little stock (1 Tbsp. at a time to keep ingredients sizzling).
    4. Crack egg (if using) into wok and stir quickly to cook (like making scrambled eggs).
    5. Add the carrot (if using) and peas. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, adding more stock if needed.
    6. Now add the rice, pineapple chunks, peas, currents and cashews. Drizzle the fish/soy sauce mixed with curry powder over and gently stir-fry to combine over medium-high to high heat until the rice “dances” (makes popping sounds) – about 5 to 8 minutes, or until desired lightness is achieved. Tip: Avoid adding any more stock from here on, or your rice will turn out heavy and/or soggy. If desired, you can push ingredients aside and add a little more oil to the pan/wok (this will give your rice that special ‘shine’ you see in restaurant fried rice)
    7. Remove from heat. Do a taste-test for salt/flavor, adding a few shakes of salt or a little more soy sauce, as needed. If too salty for your taste, add a squeeze or two of lime juice.
    8. To serve, scoop rice onto a serving platter (or in a carved-out pineapple, if serving at a party – see link at beginning of recipe). Top with spring onions and coriander, and ENJOY!

    *Note: Vegans may omit the egg without losing the flavour or nutrients of this great dish (cashews provide the main protein source).For a non-vegetarian version of this recipe, see: Thai Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice recipe2.