French

September Favorite Things

Hold the phone.

Starbucks launched the Pumpkin Spice Latte three days ago! I’ve got a hard rule (self-imposed and regulated) that the famed PSL can not be consumed until October. By then it will have been out for like six weeks! Old news. The weather should be colder, leaves changing, sweaters bursting forth from wardrobes saying, ‘pick me, pick me.’

No! We are ahead of ourselves. None of those things happen in September!

Never you mind that the leaves are sorta, kinda, changing in my back yard. Or the fact that I wore short boots and long sleeves to work this week, even though the temperature reached 90 degrees.

Marketing is confusing me!

Stop, breathe. Be grounded in this new month and enjoy these new favorite things. Because before you know it, it will be time for candy corn (also self-imposed rule that only allows for consumption in October). Ooooo Candy Corn!

Staying in September. Here are this month’s favs.

  1. Stationary by Emily Howell 

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I’ve mentioned her before and I’ll mention her again. Emily creates beautiful things. I knew I wanted some personal stationary and she captured my vision so well! Now I have the perfect cards for snail mail that remind me just how beautiful it is to send people love through the mail. In the form of notes written with ballpoint pens.

2. Moon River by Carla Bruni

We’re heading to Paris soon and I keep swooning every single time I hear Carla sing this song. I’m going to be that drifting world traveler! I’ve got her voice on repeat. She also sings lovely songs in French and you can get her full album here.  Or wait months for me to successfully learn this song on the ukulele. I printed out these chords to give it a go.

3. Duolingo

Speaking of French … if you’re interested in learning a new language in a fun way download the Duolingo app. Each night, Dylan and I log in and have our ten minute French lesson. I’m doomed when I arrive in Paris because right now all I’ve got is Tu manges un orange.  And Je suis une femme. 

Hopefully my list of words and phrases will expand beyond croissant, pizza, cafe au lait si’l vous plait. If you’re not interested in French, you can try learning Klingon or High Valerian.

4. These SmartWool Running Socks

I’m kinda picky about socks for working out. My brother gave me a pair of these and I’m obsessed. They hit the ankle just right, don’t rub, and there are no seams inside that bother my toes. Lots of fun colors too.

5.  What Happened by Hillary Clinton

Say what you will about Hillary Clinton but I found her latest book pretty fascinating. I believe at her core she is trying to make the world a better place. Her call for radical empathy at the end of this book made me cry and truly appreciate the many shoulders of women I stand on today. The ones who show up, love, do the hard work, speak their truths. It’s a start to changing our world!

Now I have to go and assess how I feel about caramel apple cider before October. I don’t have a rule about that and it sounds lip-smackingly delicious. Like with this syrup.

Mmmmm…. the apples are calling!

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To the Women Speaking French

Watch this.

No really, watch it. What do you take away from these silly clay creatures and their love for one another? When I watched the video at first, I was upset. What do those little monsters have to do with the world going at tornado pace when all I wanted to do was sit and let the lyrics woo me into a comfortable trance. I believe I’ve discussed The Weepies before, and I’m sure I’ll reference them again. Maybe a year or so ago I even referenced this very song. If so, I apologize for my redundancy. The truth that this band communicates is too poignant not share.

As I sat and wondered what was beautiful about this week, I could not help but think “holey moley” did June go fast. [OK – side note, it is beautiful that holey and moley are not real words, and perhaps I am spelling this phrase wrong. Amusement comes in the finest of places.]

As I walk through my weeks and follow my routine, I feel something tugging on me to stop and look up, for yes, The Weepies are right, the world spins madly on. Quickly and with gail winds and blushing breezes we jump from to-do list tasks to the hop scotch of frantic completion of the next best thing. I stopped myself this weekend, and said, No, I refuse to live this way. There is always going to be another problem to solve, solution to master, load of laundry to do. So, instead, I slept in and I took a nap – both in the same day! Oh the sloth, the laziness of rest. Raise your hand if you feel guilty for taking a rest! I know, I know. I do this to myself.

My yoga teacher started class tonight by praising us for carving time out of our days to take care of ourselves. When you hear the word carve, what do you think? I think of stone, and wood, and sharp tools, and precise effort that lends towards something beautiful. However, the word carve and the words ease, or flow or grace do not seem to go together for me. Why should it be so difficult to give ourselves the grace to enjoy a yoga class, to take a moment to consciously stretch our limbs and breathe. True confession – I caught myself looking at the clock at 6:15 and hoping the class would hurry along. I have things to do, blogs to write, meetings to be held. Tsk, tsk to me. I was not the first to roll up my mat and put away my props at the end of class. Other people had things to move onto as well. That’s why they call it yoga practice, right?

This whirlwind of a week brought pleasant, beautiful surprises as I was rushing from work to home to life. I am thankful for a three day weekend, for fireworks, for freedom, for rest. I am thankful for watermelon. Oh watermelon, why can’t you be this deliciously juicy all year long? As I bought dinner tonight at the local grocery store, I stopped to eat by myself in the brief pause before meetings. I looked up from my phone and noticed two women sitting and practicing French. One woman was my age, the other older than my mom, and they were both practicing their language skills. I caught myself listening, despite not knowing more than three words of French myself, and was drawn in to their beautiful practice in working on a new skill in relationship with another. The artwork hanging on the wall above their heads was so intriguing. Two tables down, a father was feeding his little toddler mac and cheese, and two boys fighting over a banana argued their way to the trash can hoping to be the one to throw the peel in the bucket. Parents were barely hanging on as their days were coming to an end. I got to share that space with all of these individuals as they rushed madly to the next anticipated moment of rest. Mindfulness and raising my head from my silly iPhone screen can be beautiful. I miss a lot if I stay wrapped up in the whirlwind.

To the women sharing a conversation in French at Whole Foods, thank you for reminding me to stop and look for the little things. I wish I had been brave enough to ask for your names.

Biscotti – none – 4th of July does not scream biscotti

Essie Nail Polish – Forever Yummy with Gold Luxe Effects – my hands looked like firecrackers