Adaptation

JBD BEACH 2015

My high school French teacher, a multilingual Jackie O.-chic mother, wife and world traveler, Madame Musacchio, once told me: “Jennifer, you will adapt the things you love no matter where you are.” She was continuously sharing wisdom, especially with a small circle of us 11th grade girls. It was after traveling with her and studying in Poitiers, France, at the ripe age of 16that I began to practice her sage advice. Moving back and forth (and back and forth again, and yet again) across the United States, I am adapting the things I love no matter where I am. We are all in motion. The moon changes, the earth orbits the sun, we are in constant adaptation. On your journey, wherever that may be, choose to cultivate an acknowledgement of you. Yup, simply your very own existence. Close your eyes and breathe in and then out. Feel your feet firmly on the ground. Straighten out your spine. Breathe again. What is it in this wild life that you see for yourself? What do you want? What is the place you want to be a part of? It is all actually possible. Creating something from nothing has been going on since the beginning of time. Adapt the things you love wherever you are today. Linger into your beautiful future. It’s bright.

Image Credit: Jenny Graham

One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies

one pot pasta

I hosted my first dinner party in my new beach abode last Month. The couple of hours leading up to my friends’ arrival found me in a full joy of cooking. I hadn’t cooked a meal for more than myself or a party of two in so long. I was reminded of the total, complete fun meditation it is to create and simmer and taste the goodness of a new recipe. It prompted me to skim the web for more delicious notions…I am making this easy, not-a-lot-of-prep-time-required one today. Bon Appetit.

One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped; 1.5 lbs organic chicken breast, cut into small chunks; 2 large roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips; 6 hot cherry peppers, chopped and deseeded; 1 28 oz can organic crushed tomatoes; 1 cup cooking sherry or white wine; 1 cup water; 1 lb Rigatoni; 1 cup pecorino romano or parmesan cheese; ½ stick butter; ¼ cup heavy cream; 2 teaspoons fresh basil; ½ teaspoon sea salt; crushed red pepper flakes.

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the garlic and chicken. Sauté the chicken until it is just browned on the outside but not cooked through.

2. Stir in the roasted red peppers and hot cherry peppers, and sauté for a minute. Add in the crushed tomatoes and sherry or wine. Add in the water and pasta and bring to a low boil. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Reduce to low heat and add in the butter, basil, and salt. When the butter completely melts into the pasta, add in the cream and cheese. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with additional cheese, basil, and red pepper flakes.

4. Serve warm.

Recipe found here.

LIFE IS A GRAND SURPRISE

JBD Portola

My mom is my go-to gal. I am tall and she is (as she likes to call it) not tall. I may be someone who craves and carves out alone time and she may be someone who relentlessly relishes entertaining a crowd. Where we differ rings true, yes. But this woman who gave birth to me is one of my best friends, the most cherished of them all. Recently we were on the same page with basic life feelings: what does it all mean + what is the real reminder of what matters most. Long story short, we simultaneously began text sharing the quote below with one another, over and over again when needed. It’s worthy of giving to you. Simplicity and love, today and always. xx, JBD

Life is a grand surprise. A big adventure. And no matter how hard we try, we can’t prepare for it! We can practice yoga and we can meditate and we can work our way through past hurts and we can be kind and we can do our best to be good people. But we cannot predict what lies ahead. Think the meaning of life is being happy? Perhaps, but the meaning of life is also to be sad. The meaning of life is to FEEL. To take each moment as it comes. To let go and enjoy the ride. When joy arrives, be grateful but don’t cling to it. When pain arrives, do the same. Be grateful because it’s part of the adventure. It holds great meaning. But don’t cling to it; don’t be a martyr. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Be grateful that you are a part of the magic of this life. Be grateful for your ability to heal. Open up to everything life brings you and know that nothing is permanent and that’s a wonderful thing. Sadness and joy. Happiness or pain. There is beauty in the unknown. Just look at this morning’s sunrise. How could I ever have expected it? ~ Rachel Brathen

Image: Jenny Graham // Quote: Rachel Brathen

Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?

Dearest and beloved JBD’ers,

Bonjour from the City of Angels.

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It has been one month since I’ve settled back into West Coast living. I do not miss a second of the New York City lifestyle, alas my heart feels free and wild once again. I do, however, still adore Paris and I’ve been plotting my next visit. Diane Ratican authored a book which illustrates a parallel between the city of love and the city of angels. A visionary approach, indeed, the balance of daily life between these two metropolises is highlighted. Full-color artwork is featured by Eric Giriat and Nick Lu. Join me in celebrating and embracing opposites, similarities and eccentricities. Two questions remain for your right brain: Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?

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Images found here.

The Invitation

Each moment we get on this planet, in the bodies we’ve got, is a gift. Today, on my trip around the sun, I want to give something to you, a re-gift if you will.

My brother’s fiance shared The Invitation with me during a time of change, growth and a welcoming in of a new version of myself. Over the years I’ve passed it along to nearest and dearest pals and I just think it is full of beauty. I hope you enjoy this gift.

P.S. Celebrate and rock out, always.

JBD TREE

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Poem: The Invitation by Oriah // Photo: Jenny Graham