We hope you've been thoroughly enjoying your summer.
How does this happen every year? One day it’s July 4th and the next it’s mid-August. It always blows us away how quickly it all happens. We wanted to touch base before the summer comes to a close to give you some updates and to share some of our tips for enjoying these last few weeks of Summer.
For those of you who aren't on island with us all the time, maybe you've heard by now that we are now serving food at our cafe in Vineyard Haven. That's right, breakfast, lunch, dinner and more! Check out our menu here to see all that we have to offer. If you haven't tried it yet you are SERIOUSLY missing out. We're talking dips, spreads, sandwiches, salads, juices, smoothies, tarts and tons more. If you're here visiting be sure to stop by and see us.
No matter where you live, be sure to soak up the rest of your summer in whatever small ways you can, September is just around the corner. Here are some of the ways we will be savoring the rest of our summer:
-Take the scenic route
Do you always drive home from work the same way? Try taking the longer, more scenic route and soak up some beautiful views.
-Take 10 minutes (or more!) to soak up some Vitamin D
Taking a quick break from your routine to soak up some rays can seriously give you a dose of energy and maybe a much needed mood-boost.
Seriously. When we slow down and sink deeper into the moment by deepening and lengthening each breath, we can slow time down! Although time is still moving at the same pace, when we are more present time won't feel like it's racing by quite as fast.
-Catch a sunset
Break up your nightly routine by going outside after dinner and watching the sun set. Such a great way to put things in perspective. How lucky are we to be on this globe rotating around the sun? What a trip.
Happy Summer everyone, hope to see you all soon.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Nicole Ferraro, 28, who is the definition of a “NOT YOUR SUGAR MAMA”. This girl doesn’t stop! She is committed to her community, working as a wellness coordinator with Boston Public Health Commission, and is currently enrolled in an intensive yoga teacher certification course. She’s traveled all over and dreams big - and can’t help but inspire those around her to do the same!
What keeps you busy Monday through Friday?
Encouraging people to live active lifestyles and creating/implementing systems and programs to support healthy living in Boston, lots of communication, yoga, cooking and catching up with friends, usually over food.
Probably spending a year in Juneau, Alaska. In addition to being absolutely breathtaking, it was a very new, unfamiliar place that gave me exactly what I needed at that phase of life. I had the opportunity to figure out who I was outside of the system and structure of life in my hometown and in college. I learned (was forced) to slow down and appreciate the beauty in simplicity, that is so apparent if you take the time to look for it. I caught and filleted salmon, hiked to glaciers and inside ice caves, had encounters with bears, whales and lots of porcupines and most importantly, made some really great friends and felt supported and encouraged by the warm, close-knit, quirky Juneau community.
One of my AmeriCorps years as a recess coach at a Boston elementary school. It was long hours that required me to be very high energy and "on" the whole time. Nine year olds can be pretty mean, and I had a hard time not taking all of the kids "stuff" home with me at night. That being said, it was one of the greatest learning experiences and one of the most rewarding and fun jobs I've ever had.
What do you do to give back?
I'm pretty involved in my community through my job, working in Community Health. I work for the city government and am learning more and more each day how small of a world this city really is. For the last few years I've volunteered my time to work at a week long camp for kids with disabilities in Western NY and to lead High School Sophomores in MA through a weekend long leadership conference called MassSTAR. They are both super life giving experiences that I look forward to all year long.
Favorite healthy snack?
Avocado mashed up with a hard boiled egg on toast.
Favorite healthy meal?
Brussel sprout, apple & leek veggie burger from howsweeteats.org. I make them every couple weeks and keep them in the freezer for really exciting lunches. Exciting lunches are a real game changer.
Most cherished possession?
This is a tough one... my most sentimental possession is probably the tie dyed sweatshirt blanket that I got at camp in 9th grade. It lived on the end of my bed in high school, and has since came on many trips and adventures with me. It was my "comforter" for the air mattress I slept on during my year in Juneau and is currently my favorite blanket to cuddle up on the couch with in my apartment in Boston. It's a great reminder of different phases of life that led me to where I am today. I also really cherish my food processor and my camera "tripod" that screws onto a wine bottle.
Favorite beauty product?
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind under eye stick. I don't wear a ton of makeup so it's perfect for those inevitable bags under the eyes when you're on the go. And coconut oil, I put it in my hair overnight every few weeks and use it as lotion daily.
Yoga teacher training. And some Kate Spade Saturday/New Balance sneakers.
How do you ‘treat yourself’?
I take the time to find a new recipe, go to the grocery store and spend hours in the kitchen with Van Morrison Pandora station in the background and glass of red wine.
What do you do for fun?
All things food related (cooking, eating, reading food blogs, cooking club that meets once a month), long city walks or hikes, quality time with family and adventures to see new places and/or catch up with old friends.
How do you keep fit?
Yoga, lots of walking and always taking the stairs.
Advice to young women?
Find a practice. Any practice. Whether it be yoga, writing, knitting, juggling... anything! Something that you do regularly, that you can grow in and that grounds you and makes you happier, healthier version of yourself.
"You can do anything" has been my life mantra for most of my adult life. I appreciate its positivity and simplicity. Recently the following quote has become a powerful daily reminder: "Unclench your fists, unlock your knees and also the door to your heart, take a deep breath, and begin to swim. Begin to let the waves do their work in you." -Shauna Neiquist
Unclench my fists (see above), do less (say no to more things/have less on the schedule so I can be a better version of myself when doing the things that matter most), do a handstand & bake bread!
A yoga teacher once shared a quote with me and it changed my life:
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” [Alfred D. Souza]
Up until that point, I had looked at my life in terms of milestones... Once I finish college, I’ll really be an adult. Once I get promoted, my real career will begin. Once I pay off my loans, then I can start doing the things I love.
Then I realized that it’s all real life and it’s all worthy of being loved.
Having long term goals is an important way to keep life in perspective and to make sure you’re on track to achieving your dreams. But having small daily goals is just as important to keep you motivated and moving forward. By achieving small goals on a daily basis, you instill in yourself sense of accomplishment that makes it easier to take on the big stuff.
Here a some easy ways to love your life every day:
What in your life are you avoiding right now? Notice the energy that this feeling creates in your body. See if you can drop the urge to change whatever this thing is and just accept it for what it is (even if just for a moment) and send it love. Notice the energetic shift that this creates. Let us find peace in our lives by fully accepting what is in front of us instead of resisting and avoiding what is. When we are looking at our lives through the lens of fear, we create feelings of suffering and want things to be different, but through the lens of love, we remove the veil of illusion and everything feels lighter and just as it should be. This way of viewing things takes a little more conscious effort as we are collectively programmed for fear but this is not normal even though we've grown to believe that it is. Love is real, fear is not. In what ways can you be more loving and accepting of your life?
To Make: Combine all ingredients except apple cider vinegar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once a simmer is reached, lower heat and continue to simmer for an additional 10 mins. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour mixture into a quart-sized glass jar and add 1 C of cider vinegar. Shake and let sit at room temperature for 2 days. To use, simply strain the mixture and enjoy!
This is probably our favorite time of year. We tend to feel more creative during these quieter winter months because we have more time for self care and reflection. We have been taking long morning walks on the beach and playing with new recipes in our kitchen (like the white chocolate fudge pictured above—amazeballs). In order to keep ourselves on track and moving forward during this slower time of year we like to start off our week by doing what we call the “circle of life” exercise. We draw a circle and divide it into say 8 categories; Love, Creativity, Finances, Health, Family, Fun, Purpose, and Support for example. You can really use any categories you like but this is a good baseline. Then you judge each category on a scale from 1-10, so if you are feeling low in the “fun” category you would place a dot closer to the center of the circle, or on the outside of the circle if you feel like that is a strong point for you. So at the end you connect all your dots and sometimes it doesn’t look anything like a circle. Sometimes it looks like a shriveled up raisin or a pear maybe. But that’s great! Because now you can have something to focus on for that week. So last week my fun category was low so I chose to focus on that one. I began knitting, I planned a night out with friends, I took walks on my most favorite beaches and I went shopping one day. After a week of putting more energy into having fun now when I do that exercise fun is at a 10. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of effort to make great changes in our lives. It is such an empowering exercise because it puts the reins back in our hands and reminds us that we are in charge of our own lives and changing the things that might need a little tweaking. A little bit goes a long way. What do you guys do to feel empowered around your own lives?
Okay, so our first attempt at our online “challenges” was fairly successful! Ky was traveling in Spain and my phone dropped in my dog’s water bowl a few days into it and I didn’t have my phone for about a week. So we did what we could and more than anything it was a fun activity to be involved in and we will continue to do it and give it our best. There were many “ballsy” moments throughout our ballsy challenge but there was one day in particular that felt the most empowering. We caught wind of the fact that a woman we hadn’t met was making false accusations about us. Instead of letting rumors fly and harboring any negative feelings towards this person, Ky and I got in the car immediately and drove to her place of work, to introduce ourselves and confront the issue head on as this has always been the best way to approach these situations. I have spent a lot of my life avoiding confrontation so this felt like a really ballsy and scary thing to do. Without going into more detail about that particular situation, on the drive home Ky and I both came to the realization that the “ballsiest” thing that we have done is start our own business and put ourselves out there. You make yourself more visible to the world and with this comes more criticism. It can feel like a really scary thing at first to be “seen” in this way. I know for me, especially at the beginning, I felt so vulnerable sharing something so close to my heart for fear that people wouldn’t like it. Ky and I have both become stronger, more empowered, confident individuals through this process of putting ourselves out there by growing our own business. It has been the most challenging, rewarding, empowering and ballsiest experience so far. We look forward to a lifetime of growing and puttiing ourselves out there. Bring it on.