Kayaking alone for 150 miles from Manhattan Beach to Tijuana ? Who would want to do that? Would you do something like this?
What should we as parents know about technology in our kids’ lives? Common Sense is an independent, non-profit organization that helps kids thrive in a world of media & technology that Rates, Educates & Advocates. This organization sponsored a presentation at my son’s middle school which I had the benefit to attend.
I love to eat. When I try to eat less, I end up gaining weight because I obsess so much over my restrictions that I end up caving and eating more than usual!
Have you tried a Ginger Rogers Cocktail? This one is so delicious. The fresh ginger simple syrup and mint really make this a special summertime drink.
Will my kids eat Kimchi Fried Rice? I think not. My kids are the pickiest eaters. They like to eat bland food with ingredients they know.
Have you wondered how Vitamin IV infusions work? It’s the new hot thing in Beverly Hills and many metropolitan areas where health, fitness and skincare are big business.
Do you have Resting Bitch Face? As you can see, I do.
I wondered how I would be received at the Blogher16 conference I was about to attend with thousands of strangers.
Last summer, my family and I went on a Galapagos Islands vacation. The Galapagos are a group of islands located off the coast of Ecuador, on the north end of South America near the Equator.
Who likes spicy drinks? This is a good one. It will satisfy both sweet and savory tastes. A dash of simple syrup gives this drink the perfect balance of spicy and sweet.
Spicy Grapefruit Cucumber Vodka Martini
1/3 Jalapeno or 1/2 Serrano pepper, thinly sliced
1/3 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise (nice addition by my friend- Thanks Julie!)
3 oz Grapefruit juice
2 oz vodka
Dash of simple syrup (more or less based on preference)
Garnish with a slice of pepper and a few slices of cucumber
So, what do you think? That I know how to make lots of alcoholic cocktails? Yes, it’s true. My friends call me “The Mixologist.” My preference is vodka. Will you try this recipe this weekend? It is delicious. Let me know how you like it!
Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.
Have you been in the mood to cook lately? With this heat, it’s hard to motivate! What grabs my attention lately are fresh summer recipes that look easy.
The players with the most Poker Chips in their hand take the most risks.
I’ve watched people play poker in Vegas and the players who “go all in” or “double down” are not the players with 2 chips left.
My friends who have the most risk in the stock market are not the ones struggling to make their car payment.
What if each little bit of our self-esteem was like one poker chip?
When a speaker at a seminar suggested this, it made me think. I thought hard.
I thought about how my own self-worth influenced so many of my decisions in life as well as my behavior.
- Several years ago, I was invited to audition for “The Voice” TV show based on a recording I sent in, but I never showed up because I was too worried about having to ask my family to watch my kids that day. And what my boss would think if I missed work. And what if they didn’t like my voice?
- I always wanted to avoid conflict with people (especially my ex-husband) so I did not speak up when something bothered me or when I was let-down.
- Expressing my opinion or asking for something might cause him to think I’m a “nagging” wife.
- I was overly apologetic with everyone, even if it wasn’t warranted.
- This led to resentment with no confidence or strength to change.
When self-esteem is lacking, we settle.
- We don’t speak up for what we want in life.
- We allow people to use us.
- We are fearful to say “no” to anyone, even if our plate is overflowing with commitments, for fear of how we might come across to that person.
- We want to be nice, liked, and loved more than we want to take care of ourselves.
- We care so much about what “others might be thinking” that it controls our behavior more than we do.
- We build resentment towards spouses, friends, and others because we blame them for our unhappiness.
- We risk being stale and stuck in the mundane “duties” of life rather than embracing our interests and running with opportunities.
The more self-esteem we have, the more risks we are willing to take.
I collected “poker chips” a number of ways, but primarily used 3 strategies.
These helped me build self-worth and start taking control of my own happiness.
- I started speaking highly of myself; no more “my thighs and butt are so big.”
- I stopped comparing myself to others; no more “If I only had her talent or her body.”
- I respectfully said what I needed to- when I needed to- and quickly realized the result was not what I feared.
- I realized that healthy disagreement is ok and can be empowering and build respect.
Yes, there are still times I catch myself comparing my legs to hers, but I stop myself quickly.
Risks don’t have to be dangerous or crazy.
Trying a new job that excites you can be a “risk.” Or telling your spouse how you really feel about something or asking him/her for something you need.
I didn’t realize how low my self-esteem had become until I gained it.
With it came an exciting, rewarding life, with more amazing friendships and plenty of adventure!
- I do even more for other people now, but it’s because I choose to and it makes me happy.
- I travel more.
- I have an opinion about things to discuss with people.
- I enjoy motherhood fully.
- I make time for personal interests, goals, and dreams.
- I take risks because it makes me feel alive (Yes, I hailed a cab naked!).
Think about yourself, your self-esteem, your self-worth, and add up your “poker chips.”
Are you the confident and adventurous one with stacks of poker chips in hand?
Or are you the one with just 2 chips, who doesn’t have enough to risk anything; the one who doesn’t value themselves enough to have a say in their own happiness?
How many poker chips are you playing life with? How could life change if you collected more?
Build your poker chips! You are worth it.
Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt.
Have you thought about remodeling your kitchen? It’s daunting, isn’t it? We thought about our kitchen remodel for about 5 years before we finally decided to go for it.
We started our project a year ago. The kitchen portion took about 3 months. After you read this post, if you’ve been thinking about it, you may decide to pull the trigger!
Our house was built in 1999 and the builders did not build to optimize the view. In Manhattan Beach, most houses by the beach are built with living space on the top floor to take advantage of the ocean views. Homes are very close together with lot sizes between 185-270 sq feet.
While our family room has a view, we felt the kitchen needed it too. This was our main purpose for the remodel, but in the process we wanted to change themes from Mediterranean to Transitional. We also wanted more light in our kitchen. We were interested in creating an open floor plan for our kitchen and living spaces. That way, I wouldn’t feel so “closed off” when I was making a meal while everyone else was in the family room! I love before and after pictures, don’t you? I’m excited for you to see these.
Before and After Shots of our Kitchen Remodel.
I still can’t believe what a difference it made!
Our homes are such important parts of our lives, aren’t they? Home is our sanctuary. My husband and I wish we had done this project years ago when we first starting thinking about it. Stay tuned for my future post on the main points I learned from our remodel! And if you want to see my powder room remodel, click here.
Designer Credit: Danijela Zaric of Space Intervention. For info on her services, contact her at Shunkica@gmail.com. She is talented!
Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.
Have you been on a biking tour? A few years ago, Dave and I went on a wine tasting bike trip in France
Have you ever been to a 3 Michelin starred restaurant? It is the highest distinction a restaurant can receive in the world.
I admit, I’m a tiger mom. I think about and plan for how my boys will get ahead.