First things first, Hurley House is closed for our yearly summer break.
We will reopen on Tuesday, July 9.
Second, are you familiar with the inhale-exhale analogy regarding rest?
I can't recall where I first heard it, but it stuck with me. Basically, the idea is that we spend a lot of time exhaling, giving out, showing up, pushing through, exerting ourselves in the areas that require our energy and time. At some point, we have to stop and inhale.
Inhaling is not selfish. It allows us to deeply draw in the fuel we need to engage in our life and show up in the lives of those we love. Isn't that a beautiful analogy?
The truth is, I struggle with what to do during time off. Don't laugh. I am wired to be a doer, so when I stop, I feel lost. One part of me wants to capitalize on the free time and get ahead or knock out projects that have been pushed to the side (Work! Work! Work!). But another part of me wants to stay in bed all day because I am so exhausted (Do nothing! Do nothing! Do nothing!).
The problem is, neither of these options serve me well. If I decide to push through and work, then I have missed the opportunity to recharge and feel disappointed in myself. But if I give up and do nothing, I quickly slip into a bad headspace and feel lazy and lethargic, tipping in the direction of depression and anxiety. The extremes are never a good place for me to land.
This past year I have done pointed work to figure out how to rest without turning into mental and emotional mush.
I maintain a very loose routine, centered around the foundations that keep me healthy (sleep, meal planning, movement, journaling, etc.), and then I let go of the other expectations and choose to engage in whatever sounds enjoyable to me at the time. This might include cleaning out a closet, or watching an entire season of something mindless on Netflix.
I remove the pressure to perform or reach a goal, but I keep my pillars of stability. I sleep late, but then going for a walk because movement makes me feel strong mentally and physically. I drink the same green smoothie every morning because it fuels my body well, but I postpone breakfast until 10:00. I get dressed every day because I like the way I feel when I do, but I skip the makeup and only choose the coziest clothes in my closet.
Routine, but restful. Inhaling, but still intentional.
For me, this subtle shift has been a life-changing discovery that allows me to make the most of a ten-day break without slipping into a fog and forgetting who I am in the process.
Does any of this ring true for you? How do you best inhale during time off? I would love to hear. In the mean time, have a lovely Fourth of July week!
Blackberry Skillet Cobbler
I can imagine no better dessert for a summer gathering than this Blackberry Skillet Cobbler. The entire thing screams July Fourth Weekend to me.
Trust me. This is one of the easiest desserts I know. Even if you think you've messed it up or done something wrong, it all will come together in the oven. I promise.
You can read all the details in the blog post (and drool over the stunning photos of this beauty), but I highly encourage you to find your cast iron skillet and get to work! Ice cream required.
Black Eyed Rye
A few weeks ago at our Rye-Themed Whiskey Night, we served this Black Eyed Rye cocktail as the welcome drink. It was amazing.
The ingredients include a blackberry simple syrup, mint leaves, lime juice, ginger beer, and rye whiskey (Timm recommends Old Forester Rye). Everyone commented on how refreshing and interesting it was.
Here's the great thing about making a batch of blackberry simple syrup. Once you make it (which is the only slightly involved part of this recipe, but I believe in you, and it's not that bad) it will keep in the fridge for months. So basically, make the syrup and then sip on this all summer long!
The Big Short
(This movie is not suitable for children!)
The Big Short tells the story of a group of financial managers and investors who foresaw the Wall Street crash of 2007-08 and positioned themselves to profit from it. It does a great job of breaking down a fairly complicated set of circumstances and making it come alive with humor and excellent characters.
How does it fit into this week's theme? All of the main characters use BlackBerry mobile devices. No iphones here!
"Blackberry-Picking" by Seamus Heaney
Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Bonne Maman Jam
Blackberry jam is my favorite jam, and Bonne Maman is my favorite brand.
Bonne Maman is a French manufacturer of jams and other products, and they taste the closest to homemade, in my opinion.
I also reuse the adorable empty jars for everything from holding silverware to organizing pencils and pens to storing bacon fat to sturdy votive candle holders and even vases for casual floral arrangements. Now that I think of it, the jars are equally as awesome as the jam they hold!
Bonne Maman is the only jam we use at Hurley House and in my own home as well.
How To Freeze Berries
Summer is a great time to stock up on seasonal berries, but sometimes it can be tricky to know what to do with all of that delicious fruit. My suggestion? Freeze it.
Lay the room temperature fruit in a single layer on a sheet tray, pop it in the freezer until firm, and then store them in gallon bags. Use the frozen fruit in smoothies or baked goods! Frozen fruit also makes a cute garnish in a cocktail and a wonderfully refreshing snack on a hot day.
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