So not only is it Monday… It’s the first Monday after the holidays. And there are some things we (I) need to deal with.

First of all – there is aHello Kitty dangling by kitchen twine from my living room lamp. By her neck. Upside down. I’m sorry little kitty. I’ll get you down. In a minute – after this coffee. And there are piles of Legos everywhere. And so much laundry in my bedroom that it literally gives me the shakes every time I walk in the room.

Next we need to discuss our resolutions – or our intentions as I chose to call them in my previous post. I know it’s basically the same thing but I need to trick myself. Just give me that, ok? We have vegetable juice to drink and caffeine addictions to kick. (Wait… strike that one because we ALL know that is the most ridiculous notion E V E R) We are going to say no more often while simultaneously being more generous. We are going to run five miles a day even though our asses have been glued to our couch for the past 9 months. We are going to pay off debt and save more and smile more and stop dating losers and start going to church and stop smoking and play with our kids more.

I need to go back to bed now.

But can I just say this? You can absolutely make changes – GOOD ones. You can absolutely keep the promises you have made to yourself and to the ones you love. You are strong and capable and lovely and unique and ridiculously smart. I think the difference with me this year is that I have filtered all of my intentions down to this one thing…

I’m going to be kind to myself and to others.

That’s it – that covers all of the things that I would ever want to accomplish this year. I am convinced that if I can give myself permission, I can live the happiest and most fulfilling year of my life. This may just be an issue that I have suffered with, but I have talked myself into being UN-happy for so long. Like it was my duty to be unhappy and unkind because of all of the shit that has piled up in my life over the years.

Let’s stop that, ok?


So I thought that my first recipe post of the new year should be something that is kind to our bodies while still being stupid good. Part of being kind to ourselves is making sure that we enjoy what we are eating. Healthy can and should equal YUMMY.

A couple of months ago, my friends Melanie and Jonathan asked us over to dinner and we were to take a side dish to share. Mel has some food allergies and that always give me a little nudge to think outside my box of butter and flour that I live in most of the time.

This Red Rice + Quinoa Salad is good and so good for you. I love cooking with quinoa – it’s such a great source of cholesterol-free and low-fat protein. Feel free to get all crazy in your kitchen and mix this baby up a bit. Use a different dried fruit or nut or pile it on a bed of raw spinach or arugula… whatever suits you! This recipe was inspired by one similar that I found in Food & Wine – tweaked slightly to suit my fancy.

It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? <sigh>

Ingredient list and detailed instructions on the recipe card at the end of this post!

I served mine in bib lettuce cups because it’s pretty. And I love pretty food. But this is equally amazing served on a huge bed of arugula or raw baby spinach. Whatever makes you happy, loves!

So – to review….

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Give yourself permission to be happy this year. And eat more gorgeous food.

I love you all! (Especially YOU!)

All photos by Matthew Ray.