Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ice Cream Tour of Boston

A couple weekends ago, Maxx and I embarked on a sinfully saccharine tour throughout Boston.  What were we sampling?  Ice cream!!!  A tour I put together for Maxx as a birthday gift.  

The day was warm, the sky clear, the sun bright.  The streets were crowded with excited revelers, as this was the same day that the Pride Parade was taking place.  Maxx and I really enjoyed watching the joy and liveliness of this underway.  Meanwhile, at the top of the docket, ice cream.  Ides came along too, for the ride, as well as a few lickins that we allowed her to get in on ;-)

Before embarking on the enormous eating fest of all things dessert, we were hungry for some real food.  We decided on something light but healthy.  Sushi being the perfect choice.

Ida studying the menu intently, helping us make a decision.

Oh my gosh, SO good.  Mango shrimp rolls, California rolls, and Spicy Tuna at Wabora on Newbury Street.

Onto the first stop of our ice cream tour.  J.P. Licks, known as having some of the best ice cream in Boston.  Maxx chose a strawberry rhubarb flavor, straight up.  I got dairy free chocolate ice cream (made with coconut milk) doused in hot fudge and topped with sprinkles.  We even got Ida a little pup ice cream for herself, which she went wild over.

And, on to Newbury Street for the next tour stop....

Second stop: Emack and Bolios.  Known for having unusual, outrageous, off the wall flavors.  For example, I watched several people emerge from the shop doors with a charcoal black ice cream.  It was in fact, that very flavor.  Though I was not daring enough to sample such.  This place would be such fun to return to on a weekly basis, sampling a different flavor each time.

Maxx sampled the "space cake" flavor, in a cake cone.  It was absolutely delicious (I had a couple licks so I can attest to such).

Third stop was Amorino Gelato.  Maxx tried the flavors Black Currant and Lime Basil, with a macaron in the middle.  This was his favorite tasting of the tour, he said.  With such bold flavors, creamy and refreshing, just really good.

Final stop of the tour, all but clutching our stomachs, was Juicy Spot Café Aside from the fact that it was PACKED (I waited easily 35 minutes in line for our ice cream), the concept of the rolled ice cream, both watching them make it as well as eating it, was great fun.  We tried the "Razzle Dazzle," a yogurt base with raspberry, topped with blueberries, pomegranates, and chocolate syrup.  I definitely recommend this place.  Just know, its likely to be packed when you go.  Also, there isnt really anywhere to sit, either inside the shop, nor out.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Whatever you love, you are.

Whatever you love, you are.  You can tell who someone is in looking at both whom, and what they love.  And by the word “love,” this can also be values, priorities, passions, as well as the characters of those whom are recipients of said persons love.  In other words, tell me whom (and/or what) you love, and I will tell you who you are.

To give some real life examples to help illustrate said point...

(And, important note: none of these analysis are judgements.  They are not labeled good, nor bad.  Instead, the point is merely that one can figure out much about a persons character by whom and what they love.  One can deduce much about who someone is based on whatever they love).

--Look at the overall theme or character of the people someone loves.  Those to whom they are closest.  What are these people like?  Are they generally emotionally healthy, kind hearted, good people?  Or, are many of them toxic, cruel, manipulative, or just generally a mess?  Who someone loves can tell you a lot about the person doing the loving.  It can tell you a lot about their self-esteem, whether they have healthy boundaries or not, their own inner strength, etc.  Very often, we tend gravitating towards those like ourselves.  Frequently, emotionally unhealthy people love, you guessed it, emotionally unhealthy people.  Those who are healthy and happy, with good self-esteem and strong boundaries, are not typically close with a lot of people who are quite the opposite.  People who are even keeled, happy, and with a solid sense of self simply wouldn’t choose to put up with that kind of behavior.

There are of course, exceptions.  A lot of people have one or two someone’s in their life who are not especially happy people, nor very healthy.  This is fairly normal.  More often than not, this tends towards being family (a person like this often ends up being someone we love and with whom we are bound in some relational way, such as a parent or sibling).  The key here is, what kind of boundaries are put up with these people in our life?  
The question in these extenuating cases isn’t whether or not one loves this type of person, but in how they navigate this sometimes unhealthy or sometimes hurtful relationship.  
How one loves this type of person in their life tells you a lot about their own character and self-esteem.  

And the final key here is, if someone has one or two people like this in their life, that might make sense and not necessarily be indicative of some strong implications regarding the person doing the loving, however if this is the type of character dominating a person’s social life (unhealthy, toxic, harmful types of people), that says much more about the one who chooses to have so many people like this in their life.

--Further, in looking at who someone loves, the same goes for friends.  If you want to know who someone is, look at the character of their friends.  Are most of their friend’s supportive, loyal, kind hearted, emotionally present, intelligent, and caring?  Or, are several of a person’s friends more shallow, flakey, have substance abuse issues, not have their life together, not especially supportive or caring?  Again, who a person surrounds themselves with, or in other words who “they love” can tell you a lot about this persons own character, self-esteem, etc.  

--If a person has 100 friends, and another person has 2 friends, this can also give an observer insight into their character.  One with 100 friends, these cannot possibly be deep friendships.  This is neither good nor bad, merely an observation.  It’s possible that a handful of the 100 might be close connections, while the others are acquaintances.  In general though, “a friend to everyone is a close friend to no one.”  

Emotionally close, deep connections with others require energy, presence, effort, a lot of time in person and a lot of conversation.  One cannot truly have more than a few of these in their life, at any given time.  If they claim to have loads of close friends, they likely do not understand the concept of what emotionally close really means.  

One can also tell if a person is more likely an extrovert or an introvert, depending on the width of their social circle, or in how frequently they enjoy socializing.

--Who does someone choose for a romantic partner?  Is it someone who treats them well?  Is respectful and kind?  Who goes out of their way in loving?  Who is thoughtful and generous?  Or, is the person someone chose as their partner unsupportive, disrespectful, toxic, abusive, manipulative, or cruel?  Whom we choose as a romantic partner tells the world a lot about our own self-esteem, sense of self love, our standards for ourselves, possibly our sense of desperation or a lack of emotional maturity/lack of bravery.

--Whatever you love, you are.  This extends to non-human relationships too.  Does a person love animals?  This doesn’t mean they have to be a pet owner currently, but in general, do they at least have a love for animals?  If not…that says something.

--Do they love reading?  Or loathe it?  Both positions tell you a lot about someone.  Potentially their interest in personal growth or continued learning, possibly something about laziness or not, maybe their sense of adventure, imagination, or curiosity, many potential conclusions can be considered by such.

--Does someone love getting drunk, revel in using substances whenever possible, use getting drunk or high as a way to feel good, prefer being in this state as opposed to of their right mind?  This tells you something.  About their sense of satisfaction with self, their emotional health, their emotional maturity, all of the above and probably more.

--Do they love watching television?  This taking up the majority of their free time?  This indicates some things, maybe about their ambition or aims, their current energy levels, their sense of motivation, potentially with regards to their intellect,etc.

--Is someone obsessed with, say, Kim Kardashian?  That tells you something about this person.  Why their obsession over and/or love for a woman who is shallow, markets herself mostly as a sex object, who objectifies herself and makes money off it, is known for the drama she likes to stir up in her personal life as well as her sisters, and is rude, self centered, and just generally a vapid person.  
What type of person (as in, what values does this person hold close) would look up to a woman with this type of character and value system...?  Probably, someone similar.

--If someone is in love with themselves, very much involved in their appearance, with how they come across to everyone, being liked and thought of highly by others, ultra-concerned with everything about themselves, nor do they show much interest in other people (aka, they are awful listeners and generally just love to hear themselves talk), all of this says much about that person’s character.  Maybe their sense of generosity or thoughtfulness towards others (or lack there of) (because being generous isnt just about giving things, its also about giving time and investing effort into being present with someone), or their interest in (or not) other people, their ability to focus on others and connect with potential friends, maybe hinting at their reliability, or whether they are kind or not, etc.

Id imagine that’s enough examples to illustrate what I am trying to say.  Whatever you love, you are.  To learn vast depths about the character of a person, look closely at both whom, and what they love.  

If they love dreaming, adventure, traveling, this tells you something about that person’s mindset, their heart and character.  If they love working outside in their backyard, are active members in their community, and devoted to their home town, this tells you something of this person’s character, potential overall life picture, and their heart.  If someone loves volunteering, this can offer clues into their character.  If someone loathes the homeless, or loathes woman, or people of races different from their own, this can tell you a lot about their heart and character. If a person spends thousands of dollars on many of their articles of clothing, this tells you many things.

If a person loves money, working long hours and material goods, this says something about what they value, what kind of friend or partner they might be, ways they might like to spend their free time, how present or not they might be when at home with loved ones, etc.  If someone loves writing thank you cards to people by hand whenever something kind is done for them, this says something.  If a person is extremely health conscious, loves to exercise and is fairly careful about what they eat, this tells outsiders much about this persons values and can even give hints into personality traits that person might have.  The list goes on and on and on.

Tell me whom and what you love, and I will tell you who you are.

You are what you love.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

11 Things I am Loving Right Now

A list of several things I'm loving at the moment.  Maybe some will inspire, interest, or excite you too :-D

1. Fairy lights.  Atmospheric.  Magical.  Always romantic.  Adding charm, an inviting, enchanting appearance to any place along which they are strung.

2. Olive Oil Chocolate Truffles.  Smooth.  Creamy.  Decadent.  So easy to make, yet fancy and impressive.  Absolutely delicious.  Here's how to make them- just 30 minutes and you've got the most delicious homemade chocolates on hand, ready to enjoy.

3.  Romantic, beachy, naturesque weekends away.  Small seaside towns to explore on foot or by bike.  Sunshine, sand, and a great read in hand.  Swimming.  Picnics.  Hiking.  Dining on delicious and homey (aka not pretentious or hoity toity) food.  Making out with your love under the star scape at night.  Having a roaring fire and sitting alongside, drinking in the warmth.  Ducking in and out of little boutique shops by day.  Taking photographs.  Stopping for tea and cake.

A list of the best New England beaches, for your summer time adventuring inspiration ;-)

4.  Dessert subscriptions by mail.  Life changing discovery over here.  How cool is this?  You can get, for example, a box of 6 cookies delivered to your door once a month!  Not so much that its overkill or you are doomed to gain weight on said a delivery, but just enough thats its a tasty treat to yourself and lends to excitement and ancitipation for such.

For a list of decadent and delicious dessert subscriptions, here you go.

5.  Rye pancakes.  Just made these for the first time the other day, and man oh man, are they good.  Light, fluffy, sweet, and cinnamony.

Heres a recipe I love.  Rye Pancakes with Camelized Pears and Maple Syrup.

6.  Nonfiction reads.  To name a few excellent ones Ive read as of late, laden with life altering ideas, insights, and thoughts within each of the above books.  Highly recommend all of them.

7.  The macarons at the Thinking Cup in Boston.  Some of the best, save for Paris, that Ive ever sampled.  Just the right texture of chewiness, moist, with the shell giving way to a subtle amount of flakiness.

8.  Sing, Unburied, Sing.  I haven't read a fictional book in quite a while, but this one has me hooked.  The narration jumping back and forth between JoJo, a boy coming upon his teen years and growing up within what seems to be a pretty heartbreaking family situation (albeit, with light, tenderness, and hope laced throughout as well), and his mother, Leonie.  A young drug abuser, and generally absent, neglectful mother.  The writing in this book is beautiful, the story emotionally moving and gripping.

9.  Writing.  I know, I know, this is on every "11 Favorite things" list ;-).  Thats because though, its one of my greatest passions and loves in life.  I couldnt live without writing.  Its how I express myself, make sense of things, reason out situations or certain moments.  Its a means of sharing my heart and thoughts, both with myself and with others.  Writing for me is akin to breathing.  Ever on my mind.  Feel an exhalation of relief coupled with joy whenever doing it.

Recently, I took two classes at Grub Street Writing School in Boston, a place I highly recommend for those interested in writing.  "From Moments to Memoir," and "The Self Implicating Personal Essay."  I especially loved the latter.  Absolutely awesome course.

10.  Unique jewelry.  Especially raw stone rings.  Though I also love eye catching earrings, or classic with a unique twist necklaces.

Where to find these gorgeous raw stone rings?  You can go to Etsy and search "Raw Stone Rings."

You can also Google "raw stone rings."

Same with loads of other unique, eye catching, handmade jewelry.  Etsy is a great spot to search.

11.  Adventuring to lesser known locales.  To name a few on my list...

--See gorillas in the wild in Africa (there are only about 600 mountain gorillas left.  Highly endangered.  Ive heard seeing them in the wild is one of the most awe inspiring experiences a person can have).


--Blagaj and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

--Travel all over Japan (to Kyoto, take part in an authentic Japanese tea ceremony, visit the temples and hills of the countryside).

--Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.  (Click here to check out 11 unique animals you would see in the Galapagos!)



--Namibia (Africa).


--The Seychelles.

--Rio de Janeiro in Brazil