New year

Holiday Gift Ideas

Holidays are just around the corner and since everyone else has come up with his/her “gift ideas list”, I thought I’d share mine (all of these have been tested and approved by yours truly)!  (FYI:  I am not receiving any compensation for these links and/or recommendations.)

WOMEN

(1)  Lagos Sterling Silver “Love Knot” Earrings

(2)  Lagos Caviar Hoop Earrings

(3)  Whole Foods Gift Certificate

(4)  Prepared Meal and Fresh Flowers Delivered by Instacart

(5)  Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Luxe Laguna Jacket

(6)  Greg McKeown’s ESSENTIALISM:  The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

(7)  Museum membership or membership renewal

(8)  Donation to a charity in her honor

(9)  A basket of her favorite jam and/or honey

MEN

(1)  Patagonia’s Better Sweater Vest

(2)  Museum membership or membership renewal

(3)  Donation to a charity in his honor

(4)  Gift card to COMIXOLOGY

(5)  Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep

(6)  Canali Reversible Belt

(7)  Peter Millar Sweater

(8)  His favorite home-cooked meal and movie

(9)  Dinner at his favorite restaurant

CHILDREN

This list does not include gift ideas for children because there is such a range of preferences for parents and children themselves depending on their ages.  But from personal experience, books, Lego sets, and visits to the museums/zoos are always hits!

Chinese New Year

lanterns

Chinese New Year is on 1/31 and this is the Year of the Horse.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the holiday, Chinese New Year is, in many ways, a combination of Christmas/Chanukah, Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve.  Gifts are exchanged, often with symbolic meanings (cakes, fruit baskets, etc.).  Similar to Jews giving children gelt (often chocolate “gold” coins) on Chanukah, the Chinese give children little red envelopes of cash on Chinese New Year.  Food, of course, takes center stage during the holiday with classics such as fish, noodles, spring rolls, dumplings, seafood, tangerines, exotic fruits, etc. (all symbolizing good luck and prosperity, of course).

In addition, there’s lots of pre-holiday prep that goes on weeks beforehand.  Growing up, I remember my mother cleaning out the entire house, cars, refrigerator, etc.–all in preparation for a “clean slate” for the upcoming year.  There would also be new clothes for every one, new haircuts, issues and conflicts resolved,  etc.–all before New Year’s Day (which would vary from year to year per the lunar calendar).

All this talk about the holiday makes me think about how I’d like to pass tradition down to my children one day as “[c]ultures grow on the vines of tradition” (Jonah Goldberg).

Lets Get Physical

newton

So, it’s Week 2 in the new year and, so far, I’ve kept up with my workout resolution.  Hooray!  Although, I must say, it has been an adjustment.  Dinner is usually between 5 and 6PM but since last week, I’ve been dividing dinner into two parts:  pre-workout (main course) and post-workout (sides and dessert).  The reason for this is because I’ve found that both the gym and pool tend to be super slow during dinner time (not surprising) and, given the fact that I hate lines and crowds (when I’m not working–there are certain things you put up with for work that you wouldn’t for personal time), I’ve decided to workout when everyone else is at home having dinner.  I know many people say you shouldn’t eat anything before working out but I’ve found that I actually feel better when I do (before, during, and after).  (Not sure if it has anything to do with my having hypotension.)  That’s the good news.

Bad news is I’ve been craving things like BBQ chips (fried not baked), mac ‘n cheese (yellow not white cheese), and school cafeteria pizza (where the hell did this one come from?  The last time I had this was my senior year in high school!).  Since pregnancy is not a possibility, I think it’s my body’s way of saying, “You’ve been doing all these great things like working out now–I’m happy for you, I really am.  But something’s got to give.  You have to give me SOMETHING!”

In other news, I read an interesting article that explores our ability to change our genes.  Apparently, even our behaviors and disposition can be passed down from generation to generation (and through the womb).  Certainly makes you think twice about how you behave (as it can literally come back to haunt you)…