Archive for April, 2012

2012, April 13

I’m Myth Busting!

Do you know how long ago I wanted a blog post title like the one above? ;-)

Well, today I’m over at Milliver’s Travels, doing some myth busting research within my travel article “Truth of Fiction: Are Parisians Rude to Tourists?”

Paris is swarming with tourists!

I did my research before leaving and read several articles on different websites. This one here… read more

Drop by and see if the myth is Plausible, gets Busted or Confirmed.

Then make sure to tell me in the comment section there: Have you been to Paris? What are your impressions? Are Parisians rude to tourists?

2012, April 11

My favorite piece of advice that I’ve been given

Hmmm… advice, both asked for and unrequested, comes along on an almost daily basis.

From the most “basic” grandma-type of advice which I generally cringe from after hearing it three times a day, to the most eloquently phrased (let’s use the following, for the lack of a better word) professional advice we read on the internet and from books.

My own personal favorite? I think it’s quite a few (hundred and beyond that) people’s favorite. It comes from Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” and reads:

“What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here – and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.”

It is the best advice I could’ve gotten at the time of my reading her book last year. So much so, that I talked about it before, in my guest post “Life and writing are messy – but you’ve gotta love the challenge!” on Fear of Writing.

And you know what? I love it so much, because it’s an evergreen piece of advice!

 

*Blog post inspired by this question from Danielle LaPorte’s The Burning Questions Series.

2012, April 8

Recipe of the month – Making Strawberry Soup with Ann McElfresh

Happy Easter!!!

 

I have a little Easter treat for you guys in the form of a guest post by none other than my favorite food blogger, Ann McElfresh from Cooking Healthy For Me.

I’ve been following her blog and trying out her recipes for quite a while now, and imagine how thrilled I was when she accepted to join me today for a little chat and some healthy (not to mention delicious!) cooking :)

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IMG_3184 EA: Hello Ann!

AMc: Hiya Estrella!  How are you?

EA: I’m doing great, thanks. It’s such a pleasure having you here, thank you for accepting my invitation to guest post!

AMc: Thank YOU for inviting me!  I’m thrilled to be here! 

EA: You know I’m a picky eater and that, aside from Peach Soup, I generally dislike soup. How did you settle for a recipe for your guest post for Life’s a Stage?

AMc: I know you like strawberries and this is such a delightful soup.  Cool, sweet and refreshing!  I went with my instincts – I just love it!

EA: I just had to give the recipe a try as soon as I could find strawberries (they’re definitely not ripe here just yet). Do you prefer them frozen or fresh for soup?

AMc: I would say frozen.  When they’re defrosted, they have a juiciness to them and since they’re being "pulverized" anyway, the softer texture works well.

IMG_3199 EA: I adapted the recipe a bit, since I couldn’t find any (low-enough-for-my-budget priced) frozen strawberries. I bought fresh strawberries (which, to my surprise were much cheaper) and decided to use strawberry yogurt instead of plain yogurt – the end result was a nice aroma.
You know how tasteless fruits and vegetables can be when not in season… What are your suggestions for similar situations?

AMc: First off, I LOVE the idea of using Strawberry yogurt.  I used Greek yogurt in mine. If you can’t find fresh fruits and veggies at the peak of season – most of the time – Frozen works well. They are generally picked at the peak of season and frozen quickly. While they aren’t as tasty, they certainly work well.

EA: Now, I know you’ve made some recipe adapting of your own. So let’s get cooking, shall we?

AMc: Sounds good!

Strawberry Soup (Serves 6)

Adapted from Delicious Disney

 

Ingredients:

2.5 pounds frozen strawberries, thawed in juice
2 cups fat-free half-and-half (2 cups heavy whipping cream)
¼ cup low-fat sour cream (1/4 cup sour cream)
1/3 cup fat-free plain Greek Yogurt (1/3 cup plain yogurt)
3 Tablespoons Splenda (1 Tablespoon sugar)
Strawberries for garnish (optional)

IMG_3164 

Directions:

Mix strawberries, half-and-half, sour cream and yogurt in an electric mixer, immersion blender or blender.

Beat a low speed to a smooth consistency.

Add Splenda, if desired.

Chill; stir well before serving.

Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.

IMG_3173 

AMc: Easy, delicious and perfect for spring and summer!

EA: It is all that and beyond; I LOVE this soup, Ann! Can’t wait for strawberry season now – both to make this soup (every single day!) and to freeze some strawberries for when I’m in the mood to have this during winter.

Oh and, like all your photos usually are on your blog along with the recipes, the photo of the soup is gorgeous. Here’s what mine looked like :)

IMG_4742-1

AMc: It looks TERRIFIC!  Your soup looks so cool and creamy!

Many thanks Estrella, for the guest post opportunity – I had a blast!

EA: Thank YOU again for sharing this wonderful recipe with me, and now with my readers. It certainly was a blast to have you over!

Bon appétit, everyone!

2012, April 6

Heart on the beach – by Estrella Azul

IMG_2842-1

A heart on the beach…

There’s something

in this picture

which makes me think

of not losing hope;

Even though the waves

will wash over that heart

and in a few minutes

there will be no trace

it ever existed…

2012, April 6

April is budding and flowering!

It’s Spring!

It’s Spring! It’s Spring! It’s Spriiing!!! <3

(Okay, back to our inside voices now)

The weather was so nice that I could actually enjoy writing outside a couple of days in March. Now it’s April of course, and our kitties turned back to Spring-Summer-rooftop-cats. We can hang dry clothes in the sunshine. Have lunch in the back yard. Go for walks in our ponchos.

And it’s budding and flowering all over the place! I love it! I want to photograph it all!

In the spirit of that, here’s what I came up with for April’s theme and suggestions which are now up on  the Estrella’s ~Seasonal Photo Challenge~ page. Please drop by to check them out and leave me a comment there (I promise, this time around, I actually remembered to close the comments on this post right here). So, go tell me what you think of my ideas ;)

You can see my photos from March right here, where the logo for April is already up.

While you’re there, if you’d like to give me suggestions for May and upcoming months, I’d love to read them. And of course, feel free to join in and snap some pictures. Or even post a link to just one photo, or a blog post which fits (any which one of)the suggestions.

It will be a lot of fun!

 

PS: I’ll have a poem up for National Poetry Month later today :)

2012, April 4

My relationship to excitement

Oh, yes. I count down. Lay out different outfits until finding the best choice. Pack my bags ahead of time. Make lists. And I imagine everything in great detail. 

My enthusiasm for upcoming things is quite boundless. Excitement does mean more fun, more to be excited about. However, I try to keep myself in check to a (at least a very) small degree.

Guess I’m just afraid of disappointment…

 

What about you? What is your relationship to excitement?

 

*Blog post inspired by this question from Danielle LaPorte’s The Burning Questions Series.

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