The Little Things

Flowers from Dandelion Ranch

Today, make a conscious effort to appreciate the little things.

Appreciation in the smallest amounts will lead to a large and open heart.

Take a second to discover what little things make you happy.

And you’ll soon see how quickly they add up.

Here are some of the simple things I appreciate in my life.

Pablo in Bed

The love of an animal.

If you have one of your own, sit down and hug your creature.

If you don’t then stop and give a pet to one.

They want nothing in return other than a little love and the act of giving you will get so much more back in return.

cheese

Cheese

Unless you are lactose intolerant.

Go buy some cheese today, splurge, get something good, sit down and relish it.

I dare you to indulge.

Sisters

Siblings

Call a sister or brother today.

They share your DNA, they know you like no one else and if your siblings are like mine they make me feel better even with a 5 minute phone call.  We usually end up talking about our parents and laughing about something only we get. It’s an intimacy that only siblings can share.

Cooking Club at Lulu's

Dining Alfresco

Turn off the damn TV.

Enjoy the last few days of summer.

The smell of the grill, being outdoors and breathing in the air.

Take some time to make your table special.

Putting a little effort into and changing up the routine is good for you, it’s good for the family.

IMG_0781

Fresh Flowers

I buy them every week and scatter arrangements around the house.

 To appreciate their beauty or the aroma is good for the senses and in turn good for the heart.

Even if you are picking up some from the grocery take the time and trim and arrange them in a vase.

You’ll actually find it therapeutic.

(Why don’t you put them on your outdoor dining table?)

Flat White

Coffee

The first sip of a perfect cup of coffee.

Never underestimate the joy in a good cup of coffee.

Enough said.

Los Angeles Sunset

Watch the Sunset.

Right now in LA I am loving the purple, lavender, magenta and pale pink skies at sunset.

To me those colors signal the end of summer.

And with that goes the sadness that summer is coming to an end.

Or for many, joy that the kids are headed back to school.

 Sit back and take in the beauty of it.

cocktails

The Evening Cocktail

My friend LuluPowers aka” Queen of the Sneaky” makes a ritual out of cocktail hour.

It’s so civilized.

 Sit down, relax and enjoy.

It’s a way to stop and slow down for a little reflection on your day.

Mom and Scrabble

Board Games

Remember when we all used to sit down and play games together?

 Today, with all the electronic games, you don’t need a partner to play, it’s isolating.

Get your old board games out.

They promote interaction with another person and besides it’s really fun.

Book Shot

Books

A real, actual book printed on paper.

Turn the pages and dive into another world.

 Morning

I enjoy the quiet of the morning before anyone in the house gets up.

I suggest going outside for a minute or two and listen to the sounds of the birds and neighborhood waking up.

Hand & Soil

Gardening

Dig, weed, trim, prune, water.

Get your hands dirty, it’s a good feeling to take care of living things.

IMG_1912

The love of your spouse.

I try to appreciate the small gestures my husband makes for me.

True signs of his love and once I string them all together I realize just how lucky I am.

To me love is not in the grand sweeping gestures, rather the often mundane  little ones that I sometimes take for granted.

For instance, each morning my  husband leaves me the newspaper on the front doorstep when he leaves for yoga class so I don’t have to run outside to the driveway to retrieve it.

Thoughtful, kind and considerate and it means a lot to me.

So today take a moment to notice a few little things that make you happy.

You’ll be glad you did.

xoxo Carrie

Photo Credits: Carrie Carr, and www.happynews.com

Advertisements

Best Coffee by a Longshot!

Flat White

I am obsessed with Coffee+Food (more on that later) located in the Old Wild Oats Cafe space on Melrose.

One of the main reasons, besides the awesome Panini’s and the Kale Salad (it’s addictive, you’ve been warned) is their coffee.

Julio Urbinato

Soooo while I was dreaming of the coffee to come I struck up a conversation with the oh so cute and charming man behind the coffee machine.

His name is Julio Uriarte and he is actually a “guest” barista representing the coffee company and he’s fabulous.

But the coffee he uses is even more fabulous.

Long Shot Coffee Beans The coffee beans come from Longshot Espresso.

It’s smooth, rich and strong, but it doesn’t have the bitterness that some chain coffees have.

And it’s not so strong that it melts your stomach lining.

Longshot Coffee-1

Photo: LA Weekly

So here is the scoop on Longshot Espresso.

Aussie, Mark Baird  relocated from Sydney to Los Angeles and discovered that our dear City of Angels didn’t have the espresso he loved and served his customers back in Australia.

He then set out on a mission to find a coffee that would not only satisfy his longing for a good bean, but to rescue Angeleno’s who have been sipping the bad stuff for so long.

He tested various roasts and beans for over a year until he found the perfect blend.

 And that would be the classic, Longshot Australian Roast.

Longshot Espresso can be ordered on-line. It’s $14 a pound which is super reasonable for a gourmet coffee.

If you are having a party, they have a mobile espresso bar!

Brilliant if you need to sober people up before they head home.

 The mobile espresso bar has also graced many a TV and movie set.
It’s the go to coffee service  for some of the best caterers and party planners out there.

If you are a simple pedestrian like me. you’re in luck, you can pick up a cup or some beans at

the Yamashiro (season starts April, 2013) or Sherman Oaks Farmer’s Market.

Or my beloved Coffee + Food.

Do it soon.

Julio’s guest starring stint is coming to an end.

Ask for the flat white.

Yum.

xoxo Yours Truly,

Pleasantly caffeinated, Carrie