Recipe – Slow-Fast Cinnamon Rolls

3 Individual Cinnamon Rolls

3 Individual Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, so the way I make cinnamon rolls is actually much faster than the normal way.  In fact the original recipe for these delights is labeled Fast & Easy Cinnamon Rolls. However, I consider it a slow recipe, because it is still amazing to have fresh, hot delicious cinnamon rolls in our home.  Plus, it is definitely much slower and more deliberate than the alternative (bakery bought or dare-I-say-Pillsbury) – and MUCH healthier!

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Peace the SLOW Way

Finding Peace

Finding Peace

In our house, we discuss a different virtue every week (more on this another time), and we recently talked about Peacemaking.  It was such a difficult topic that my daughter actually asked us to repeat it for a second week (I assure you this has never happened before).  My kids have recognized what most adults seem to forget – that making peace with others and finding peace for yourself is really difficult and really important.

Peacemaking is finding peaceful ways to deal with problems.  It is cooperating, working together, finding things you can agree on, and approaching conflict calmly.  Peacemaking happens in your heart, in your home, in your community, and in the world.

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Start Where You Are

trailhead 2There is an old Buddhist expression “Start where you are.”  I cannot tell you how helpful this very simple phrase has been to me lately.  There are so many times where I overanalyze, overwork, and just feel overwhelmed.  What am I going to do about this?  And how am I going to explain that?  And then these four magnificent words come into my head… “Start where you are.”  And I know what I have to do.

I was first made aware of this expression when reading Yoga Beyond Belief by Ganga White. The idea is when you are facing what appears to be a big challenge, don’t become paralyzed by the bigness of the end goal or by the confusion of the right path to take.   You simply get going and let the journey unfold from there.  For me, there are three main components to this…
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Our Urban Garden Experiment

Templeton Urban Garden

One of our greatest undertakings has been to grow an urban garden in our backyard.  We are equal partners in the challenge.  However, the vision was truly my husbands.  Back when we started looking for homes, he insisted on having a house on the south side of the street, so we could have enough sun for a garden.  And anyone who knows my husband knows that his visions are never small, never half-way, never dabbling.  Sure enough, we found the perfect spot and have been slowly making progress on our quest to become gardeners and grow much of our own food.   Continue reading

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The Power of the Pause Button

Press Pause

I don’t know what it is about the Kennedy’s.  They just seem to have this innate, timeless wisdom.  I mean, how could you not think about “ask not what your country could do for you, ask what you can do for your country” and be inspired?

Well, here we go again.  When I watched this video of Maria Shriver’s commencement address to USC’s Annenberg’s Communications School, I was truly overwhelmed by it’s power.  It is 20 minutes long, but OMG it is so good, it is so thoughtful, it is so deeply insightful, it is well worth it!  There’s also a transcript on the link, if you prefer to scan.

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Brussels Sprouts: Three Surprisingly Yummy Ways

Beautiful Brussels Sprouts

I am a late bloomer, when it comes to my discovery of Brussels sprouts.  How could I have gone so long without them? I attribute this gap in my vegetable repertoire to the inexplicable dislike in our society that has led to a total lack of awareness.  Why do people hate them so much anyways?  Since my cabbage enlightenment, I have found many great ways to serve them (and as you may have guessed from the title of this blog, I’m about to share some of them with you).  They are essentially a staple in our kitchen and I often serve them for company or special occasions.  They have made a complete John Travolta comeback – from b-lister to superstar. Continue reading

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The Joys of Hang Drying Clothes

Dryers are a modern convenience that only a small fraction of the world has access to. We have a dryer; we are lucky. And we use it for drying our daughter clothes, our sheets and towels and my wife still uses it to dry her clothes, but I hang dry mine. There are several reasons for this including:

  • The clothes last longer. I don’t have any proof of this, but this is what sites like Treehugger claim, so I am going to believe them. And hey, all of that lint has to come from somewhere.
  • Uses less natural gas. Obviously when something is hung dry, it is not using natural gas. And we all know the natural gas is a carbon based fuel, is a non-renewable energy source and the new extraction method of fracking is causing havoc polluting ground water in communities where it is practiced.
  • Gives me a few minutes of down time. Yes, I will admit that it takes me 5 to 10 minutes to hang dry my clothes, but it gives me some down time. I ponder about the day, or a book I want to read or think about the chores I have to do. It’s nice down time.
  • Less wear and tear on the dryer. Since the dryer is used less, it will last longer and we will save money on not needing to buy a new one.
  • Adds moisture to the air in winter. In the winter in Chicago, it is very dry. And since I hang dry my clothes indoors in the winter, the dry air sucks the water out of the clothing, making it less dry in the winter. Works out well.

So I save money, help the environment, get a few minutes or down time and help make the house more comfortable. Oh the joys of all of these. I can’t imagine going back to using a dryer.

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On and Off the Mat: Practicing Non-Reactiveness

Practicing Non-Reactiveness

My love for yoga is a source of great inspiration for me.  I am such a committed practitioner that even in my most busiest times, it was the one thing (besides sleep) that I refused to give up.  Yoga has totally changed my outlook on life, and I believe strongly that the toughest yoga is practiced off the mat (i.e when you are not on a yoga mat).  And, so much of yoga aligns with my slow dwelling principles that it is almost hard to write a single blog post about yoga.  It’s too big.  But, I’m going to do it anyways.  Here goes.

I think the wonderfully powerful concept of “non-reactiveness” may shed some light on what I find profoundly important about yoga.  It was first introduced to me by one of my first yoga teachers, Erica Merrill.  She would encourage with statements like this: If you fall out of the pose, simply return to it without reacting.  If we were to stay in the pose long enough, everyone would fall out eventually.  So when you lose your balance, try to practice non-reactiveness. Just get back in the pose and continue with your practice.

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And it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that!

Model Slow DwellersIt has taken us Templetons a very long time to aspire to be slow dwellers – living more deliberately and sustainably, with a mind toward fairness, connectedness and pleasure – but the idea is not new.  In fact, there are many great historians (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thorough to name just a few inspirational thinkers) who have tipped us off to this type of lifestyle.  In my mind, though, one of the greatest slow dwellers was Dr. Seuss. Continue reading

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It’s Better to Give… Really!

A Gift of Happiness... For You!

In this world, in these times, and especially in our house, it can be difficult to find the time to give sufficiently to others.  And, I’m not even really talking about the metaphysical idea of “giving” (a much more involved subject).  I’m really just talking about the simple act of purchasing gifts – big or small for others.  Birthdays, anniversaries, mothers/fathers day, graduations, holidays, teacher appreciations, housewarming, showers, births, farewells, just becauses, etc…. I get overwhelmed by all the commitments.

But, are they really commitments?  Or are they opportunities?  Opportunities to make me happier?  To buy happiness? Sounds crazy, huh?  Continue reading

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