Tuesday, September 1, 2009

a lunchtime stroll

in the glorious weather we've had yesterday and today, i was thrilled to get outside a little for lunch and bask in the air of impending fall. it's been the sort of thing where you can just sense that everyone is happy to be outside and enjoying the sun's bright light and the crispness in the air. and i have to say, the lift in my mood is notable. it just underscores the thing i always think about making sure to take care of yourself by doing things that make you feel good.

here are some of the things i saw yesterday and enjoyed, starting with the gerbera daisies above - i love how the center of the yellow ones matches the petals of the orange ones perfectly. almost like they planned their outfits together.

across from the park i sat in, i saw the balcony below, like it was carved out of the building's face - so cool! it's right around the corner from my office, yet somehow i've never seen it before. guess i should get out more.

and right underneath the cool balcony, this interesting looking italian restaurant. it looks sleeker and more casual than many italian restaurants. it's not trying to look fancy or european, just kind of basic and literal - in a nice way.

inside, i could see that several walls were painted with oversized flower murals which i think gives the space such a festive feel, unlike many italian restaurants which have overly heavy, traditional decor. this little area in one of the windows would be so nice for a private dinner party with the window overlooking the street and the happy mural on the wall.

next, i went into the amish market across the street and browsed the aisles. i love seeing pretty jars and packages all lined up on shelves. there's something about it that i enjoy- organized, yet random in a way too. it's inspired the way i organize my own pantry because i like the way it looks when i open it.

always surprises me how many varieties of flour there are!

amish market has some really great looking jams and preserves, and it reminds me of one of my favorite things that i've seen ina garten do, where she puts together a breakfast basket with fresh baked scones and muffins, and then some whole fruit and homemade jams and flavored butters.

even without doing all that work, i love the idea of bringing a basket to a weekend host or hostess with a few pastries and a couple nice jars of jam. they even have a christmas one, which would be great for a holiday gift with some shortbread or scones and a nice box of tea. that's one of the reasons i love browsing and window-shopping - i find it's the best source of ideas. then i write them down, and have a list to consult when i'm in need of fresh inspiration.

i am making a promise to myself to make sure i get out of the office most days each week. so many of us skip taking a break because in some ways, it's easier to. everyone is so busy and pressed for time, and who wants to be stuck at the office finishing work when you're supposed to be leaving for the day? so we scramble and cram, and skip the breath of fresh air or walk around the block. but it's an important thing, in my life at least, to have a change of scenery and that time just for for me, even during a busy day. it's something i notice the need for when i do it, as opposed to when i don't. because when i do it, i just feel more human, better, happier. and shouldn't we feel that way, even on workdays? in a way, life is too short not to, and in a way, it's too long not to also.

it's the same concept as artist's dates - just to sit outside in the almost autumn air and read, to see pretty fall flowers that i've missed over the spring and summer, or sit in a park with my sister and laugh, or go to the farmers market once a week - those are the kinds of things that fortify me, and it's my responsibility to make sure i do them.

are you with me?

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