It all started last weekend… I was relaxing at home with my parents after a fabulous Thanksgiving…
Still full from a deliciously scrumptious Thanksgiving meal, we set up shop in our cozy back room and lit up the television with Julia Roberts… and Eat, Pray, Love…
I love Julia Roberts… gotta love that laugh even from the days of Pretty Woman… one of my all-time favorite movies…
The story behind Eat, Pray, Love was incredible… quite inspirational, in fact…
I thought the movie could have been done a bit better, but that’s ‘ta chat about at another time.
Right now, I’m all about the EAT… the PRAY… the LOVE.
And, that’s just what I did this weekend.
Except, one lil’ minor change.
No Bali, No Italy, No India…
Just my good ol’ Manhattan.
And I’m still all smiles.
Friday was EAT.
And boy o’ boy did I EAT. Yes. A lot. Hehehe. But, hey it felt good and tasted incredible and I enjoyed n’ savored each and every bite. I even caught myself gigglin’ and smilin’ in between bites…. dancin’ around my apartment to Christmas Carols by Frank Sinatra..
Food in hand…then mouth… then belly…
What did I create…
Well, let’s just say it was everything indulgent that I could imagine…
I started with a pasta dish… added lots of flavor using my special cheeses and toppings… There’s nothin’ like a big bowl of my favorite gluten-free pasta a sprinkle of Garlic Gold Nuggets and vegan parmesan cheese on top… swimming in a pool of homemade tomato sauce… exceptional. Done and done. Then, unwashed dishes in my sink. I grinned ear to ear. And what did I do next?
I baked. Delicious Double Raw Cacao Cookies…
Recipe soon to come…
And I clearly polished off half the batch by the end of the night…
And went to bed. Hehe… A perfect Friday night. Then, I dreamt about my next two days: Pray… and Love.
Well, sorry Mom I didn’t attend church or light a candle, as I know you were hoping I was going to say… But I had my own lil PRAY sesh…
YOGA…. and lots of it…. YOGA YOGA YOGA… just me and my yoga mat… time to clear my mind… think about life, my family, my friends… changes, good and bad and the beauty in life… which will bring me to another post at another time, yet I’ve been really thinking a lot about life lately… perhaps it’s because I miss my lil’ baby sister more than anything in the whole world… she’s half way across the world and I just wish I could hug her and hold her… her distance is so far but we’ve become even closer (somehow) because we’re best friends to begin with so I’m not sure how much closer we could get… but we have and we did… and we’ve talked about life, past-present-future… it’s funny, although she’s younger than me… we’re on the same page… the same wavelength… the same mentality in life…
We want the same things out of our lives…. we’re young, we’re single… we’re happy. We love our lives… We’re traveling, exploring, asking questions, learning and teaching others. We’re quite different from our groups of friends who are in a different spot in their lives and that’s okay. And we’re okay with that. Actually, we’re happy. Very happy… And smiling. And taking it all in. One day at a time… And learning.
Learning about life.
About our bodies.
About… Life is too short… Take risks…
Open your eyes, your heart… our LIFE… Whether it’s adapting a ‘clean eating’ regiment, or picking up n’ movin’ out to Boulder, Colorado… or Paris… or Bali… Why not, right?
Well, that’s just what Saturday was about… a lot of thinking… a lot of helping people… working with my clients and taking it all in. Absorbing it all.
And remembering that no matter what happens, I love my life… my food… my family… my close friends and simply, I love the fact that I love all these things… that’s pretty great, huh? As for my lil’ sis, well she’s still half way over the waters far, far away… but she’ll be home soon for Christmas and I truly am going to run her down when I see her on the runway of JFK Airport here in Manhattan… her Uggs in my hands… her favorite Jelly Belly candies… and a huge hug… Get ready, Aly… Only a few more days… and we’ll be together… bakin’ cookies for Santa with mom n’ dad and the whole Valpone family… I hope you’re ready… You betta rest up on that long, long flight… I’m gunna cook n’ bake with you until we’re all outa gluten-free flour, hehe…. xo
I had a fabulous afternoon with my gal pal, Kerri, who is an amazing buddy… Such a fabulous day… again, a lil’ bit of yoga to Love myself in the morning, then an afternoon with my dear friend, a lil’ hot tea, cookies n’ chit chat… Perfect.
To top off the day, I attended the Park Avenue Christmas Tree Lighting and sang Christmas carols with Manhattans Upper East Side… it was such a beautiful night and a fabulous event, where every tree was lit one after the other… from 90th street all the way down to Grand Central Station…
Yes, I still haven’t found my true LOVE yet. But, hey… no one’s givin’ up here… Keep on truckin’ and he’ll appear on that white horse, right mom? Hehee….
The moral of this weekend was to show that although I may not have a million dollars, or even a half or quarter of that… or anything at all… I’m happy. Because I love my life, I love working with people… helping people, learning about life in every stage… understanding that money does NOT buy you happiness and wishing others could see and understand that. But, hey… To each his own and you’ve just gotta live your life the way you want and remember to do what makes you happy… whether you’re married with 6 kids in Oklahoma or single and struggling in Portland… or simply not sure where the road is going to take you… sit back, relax. Deep breath. Life will go on… You will find your true calling…
But just remember, don’t rush… Life isn’t about the big this, the big that, the fancy car, the glamorous house… the fast car… it’s about YOU and your happiness.. and believe me, back from my days when I worked at VOGUE Magazine and Polo Ralph Lauren… I love my nice things, who doesn’t, right? But… there’s a time n’ place for all of this…
Simply put…make sure you are happy with you.
Have you Eaten, Prayed, Loved?
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Great post and Congrats. Going to start following your blog and look forward to your future posts.
Thank you so much, Norma. I appreciate your kind words. Have a wonderful evening and I look forward to hearing from you again!
Love the article………………….and loved the picture of you …………….you are radiant ! I cant wait to read about all those healthy & tasty recipes at Xmas and good family times……………………………..
Aww; thank you so much! Such a nice comment..you made my weekend. Have a wonderful day and I look forward to seeing you over the holidays.
You are an inspiration! Keep up the eating, praying and loving!
Lots of love!!
Awwwwwww; I love you, Addy…thanks lovey. Have a great day and hope to see you soon. xo, Aims
I love this post! Your cookies look amazing!
Awwww thanks Al, you are so sweet… xo Have a great day. -Aims