project: painting my lanai floor

 
IMG_0184.JPG
 

my lanai downstairs off of the family room was a little blah. it needs a renovation but until then i wanted an inexpensive way to add a little interest. i’d always loved seeing beautiful wood floors painted with all sorts of patterns and the one that i kept gravitating towards and thought was doable was the checkered floor.

i ended up combining instructions from two different sites. i used the method from southern hospitality to measure the squares and the method to tape and paint the squares from this old house.

IMG_0153.JPG
IMG_0164.JPG

you can read the specific instructions on the sites above and see which suits you better. it said the project would take 2 days but it took me 5 days because measuring and taping with shaky hands was an interesting process. but slow and steady it came together. each day i did one task. the brown base coat was the first step. the floor is concrete so i used a floor and porch paint. next was marking the squares with a white pencil. i used painters tape to then mark the outline of each square i was going to paint white, was the most time consuming part of the project. once that was completed i was ready to paint the squares white.

taking the tape off was fun! i let it dry for a day and then put a mat clear coat on top to protect it and voila! i’m very happy with the way it turned out. it was a manageable project and doesn’t take a lot skill. so if you’ve got a porch, old wood or basement floor that needs a quick sprucing up i’d highly recommend giving it a try. trust me if i can do it, you can do it!

IMG_0183.JPG
IMG_0185.JPG

walking barefoot

HipstamaticPhoto-562729599.165505.jpg
HipstamaticPhoto-564717668.162759.jpg

marc and i are lucky enough to live about 10 minutes from ala moana beach park and on some early mornings we like to walk down the beach barefoot. it feels incredible to feel the sand between your toes and see the beautiful ocean. it’s also an important exercise for me as it helps with my balance, allows my feet to move freely, strengthen, and stretch. it also helps with my dystonia and muscle cramping. i can feel my toes gripping the ground and i also feel the bottom of my feet which i don’t when i’m wearing shoes.

i read that our feet have 26 bones, 33 joints, and 100 muscles, tendons, and ligament, and that our feet were not meant to be in stiff shoes all day. there is a movement called earthing, which talks about how direct contact with your feet to the earth connects you to the energy of the earth. whether you subscribe to it or if it’s a little too new agey for you, walking barefoot just feels good and feels natural.

in hawaii we take off our shoes when we go indoors so we are used to being barefoot. however if you wear your shoes all day, it may seem odd at first to go without them. so just start with removing your shoes when you’re at home. once you get used to it, you’ll never want to go back! your feet will be thrilled to see the light of day, feel the fresh air, and feel the sensation of everything they are touching. imagine if we had gloves covering our hands all the time, even in the summer and indoors.

if you don’t have the luxury to walk on a beach, when the weather permits you might have a park or a grassy area that you could walk on. or take off your shoes for a short time while your gardening, or just walk to the mailbox barefoot. i’d love to know if find walking barefoot beneficial.

~kai

aloha friday

 
alexandra-seinet-24243-unsplash.jpg
 

ahh the new year. i’ve so enjoyed reading all the year end wrap ups and different methods of new year planning on the sites that i follow. two of my favorites are the lifestyle files and gretchen rubin. it is endlessly fascinating to me as a habit junkie.

my sister and i enjoyed the play avenue q at the manoa valley theater this week. we had such a fun girls night and enjoyed dinner at paesano first. this weekend i have a couple of new projects i want to start. the first is making a batch of miso paste and ko chu jang paste. the other is painting squares the floor of my downstairs lanai. happy weekend!

~ my cherry tomato plants are going crazy so i made this easy and delicious cherry tomato relish, and we have been slathering it on everything this week from pork chops to scrambled eggs. i halved the amount of vinegar and sugar and added a sprinkle of chili flakes. if you’re looking for a free form recipe, take a large bunch of kale or chard and slice into thin strips. saute a few cloves of sliced garlic in a pan with olive oil and add the greens. pour in half a cup or so of broth, s&p, cover and simmer until greens are tender. add a few tablespoons of cream if you’d like. pour over a mound of brown rice or canned beans and add a fried egg on top and voila, a quick and delicious dinner (and don’t forget to add a dollop of the cherry tomato relish from above).

~ what i wouldn’t do for adorable chanco’s hair!

~ i’ve heard much about the author tana french, so i picked up her first book “in the woods” at the library and am enjoying it immensely.

~ during my morning routine i’ve been listening to this super chill spotify playlist. it’s such a pleasant way to start my day.

~ the new season of finding your roots on pbs started and the stories are so heartwarming.

~ i bought this lipstick on a whim standing in the checkout line in j.crew and it’s such a favorite of mine now. i’m so paranoid because it seems every time i find the perfect beauty product, they discontinue it! it’s a silky slightly matt pinky peach that is a great everyday color.

my magic morning smoothie

86CD4EBA-0E5E-40A6-99E1-79DF23648484.jpeg

i’ve had this smoothie for breakfast every morning for years. i’ve experimented with different combinations and this ticks the boxes of healthy, delicious, and easy. now it’s going to look like it’s a complicated long list but I’ll explain how to get it streamlined so it comes together very quickly. it’s chock full of healthy ingredients and keeps me full until lunch. i also like that i don’t have to think about it and as a result i’m not tempted to eat other things, that may not be so good. i use a magic bullet so that each person can personalize their smoothie but you can certainly make larger batches in a blender. next to each ingredient I put a note on how to streamline it. you’re not going to believe how much goodness you can pack into breakfast. Enjoy!

Dry Ingredients (i keep all of the dry ingredients in a basket and just pull it out each morning)

protein powder of your choice

1 tablespoon psyllium fiber (helps keep us parkies regular & also keeps you full until lunch)

1 teaspoon cacao nibs

1/4 teaspoon matcha green powder

1 teaspoon hemp seeds

1 tablespoon almond or peanut butter

Frozen Ingredients

handful of berries (i purchase a big bag from costco)

half a banana ( buy several bunches, peel them, break them in half and put them in a ziploc in the freezer)

1 small piece each of ginger & tumeric root (i buy large pieces and slice them into 1/2 inch pieces, throw them in a ziploc in the freezer. you can also read my post about growing them)

kale, chard, or spinach ( the brilliant hack on this is i purchase a large bag of prewashed fresh leaves at costco and i put the bag directly into the freezer. when you put them in the smoothie, they crush easily like potato chips, keep your smoothie cold, and you don’t have to worry about using it up before it spoils!)

put all the ingredients into your blender, fill with cold water and blend. if you’re using fresh and not frozen fruits and greens, add a couple of ice cubes before you blend. so in the morning you just pull out your basket of pantry items, your frozen items, whip it together and you’re ready to go. part of the hassle of a smoothie is always trying to have the fresh fruit and greens on hand so freezing them makes it easy.

~do you have any good smoothie tips? i’d love to hear them!

say hello

hawaii-1438855_1920.jpg

through the various online parkinson’s forums i read and participate in, i’m starting to notice that there are a number people who become more isolated as their disease progresses. just from my personal experience with pd, i’ve had to retire, do much less socializing, and basically much less of most everything. i’m fortunate that i have good support system and live in an area where it’s easy to get out and see people.

but if you’re not as mobile or live in a rural area, it can be difficult. as time passes and you’re pd progresses, your social networks can get smaller. social media can help. you can see and participate as much as you like and keep up with people in your life. however it can’t replace a real time conversation with someone. i deliver meals on wheels each week and in addition to the meal that’s provided, the personal connection can be just as important.

if you know someone who for whatever reason has difficulty getting out, make it one of your new year resolutions to visit or call them once a week or month, or whatever works for you. just call and say hello. tell them about your day, what’s going on in the world, it doesn’t really matter what you talk about. but i can promise you, it will be a bright spot in their day. and you know what, it might end up being a bright spot in yours.

ginger & tumeric - garden notes

IMG_0097.JPG
IMG_0104.JPG

time to harvest the ginger and tumeric. i love growing them because they are so easy to grow in pots and the time window to harvest them is flexible. you can see from the photos below that the leaves are dying and the plants look shabby which is just you want, because that means they are ready to harvest. to plant them you take a knob of either one that looks healthy and cut the little fingers off making sure that each piece has a little bump on it which is where the new sprout will grow from. i put 4 or 5 pieces about 2 inches below the soil in each pot and put in an area that will get good sun. keep well watered and i add an inch of compost to the top of soil each month and that’s it. it grows year round here in hawaii but if you’re in a climate that gets chilly, you’ll want to plant in the spring and they’ll be ready to harvest at the end of the summer. it does take 5 or 6 months before you can harvest but well worth it.

IMG_4028.jpg
IMG_4031.jpg
IMG_4030.jpg
IMG_4037.jpg

here are the knobs after i’ve taken them out of the pots and cut off the stems. the ginger seems to always be more prolific and although it doesn’t show up in the photos, it looks spectacular with little pink young shoots at the ends, and when you break a piece in half, the smell is wonderful even with my loss of smell. it has a sweet and spicy smell at the same time.

IMG_4036.jpg
IMG_4046.jpg

then i break them into pieces and scrub them clean. since they are so fresh, the skin is thin so you don’t need to peel them. i like to slice them into little half inch slices and i put them into ziplocs and into the freezer they go. i pull out a few pieces when i need them and sit them on the counter, and they defrost in just a couple of minutes.

IMG_0120.JPG
IMG_0130.JPG

for my morning smoothie they can go directly from the freezer into the magic bullet. they are also delicious chopped and added to curries and stir fries. i also simmer the ginger to make tea. there is lots of information about how both tumeric and ginger and their health benefits and there is even some research being done to see if it can help with parkinson’s. happy gardening!

favorite books of the year

boy-2604853_1280.jpg

i not only enjoy reading but love to read or listen to what others are reading. it seems that for every book i read, i add another dozen to my “to be read” list. hey but that’s half the fun. i love listening to the what should i read next podcast and anne bogel finished 200 books this year! wow. but no matter if i read 1 or 200, my only requirement is that i enjoy the book. if i start reading and i’m not able to get into it, i stop. sometimes it just doesn’t fit the time in your life, so don’t stress it. there are too many other books out there to read.

here are the books i’ve read this year. i’ve enjoyed all of them since i completed them but i’ve put a star next to the ones that i enjoyed the most. let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them or give me some of your recommendations because of course i need to add more books to my tbr list!

Non Fiction:

dominick dunne: a life in several acts - robert hofler

the curated closet - anuschka rees

*audrey at home - luca dotti = this is a beautiful love letter from a son to a mother with her family recipes. audrey seemed like such a gracious person.

johnny carson - henry bushkin

*blue zones - dan buettner = describes the lifestyle and health habits of areas in the world where people live the longest.

the purple diaries: mary astor and the most sensational hollywood scandal of the 1930’s - joseph egan

it’s all relative: adventures up and down the worlds family tree - a.j. jacobs

epic tomatoes - craig & sara lehoullier

bunny mellon, the life of an american style legend - meryl gordon

*living in a foreign language - michael tucker = you may remember him in the tv show la law but his love of italy just oozes out in this light hearted and charming book.

the hygge life - gunnar karl gislason

garden home - p. allen smith

soulful simplicity - courtney carver

the total book of houseplants - russell c. mott

secret gardens of hollywood - erica lennard

*why not me? - mindy kaling = listen to this on audio as mindy is so funny and disarming.

how to be well - frank lipman

*me talk pretty one day - david sedaris = anything by david sedaris is good, especially on audio because he has such a distinct voice. they’re usually funny or touching essays about his life.

let’s explore diabetes - david sedaris

the stranger in the woods - michael finkel

the murder room - michael capuzzo

the blue zones of happiness - dan buettner

a fine romance - candice bergen

calypso - david sedaris

i’ll be gone in the dark - michelle mcnamara

the art of southern charm - patricia altschul

is everyone hanging out without me? - mindy kaling

*perseverance - tim hague = had to throw one in for the fellow parkies. tim talks about his journey with pd and how being on the tv show the amazing race changed his life. his story is so positive and inspirational.

*the gifts of imperfection - brene brown = this was my favorite non fiction book this year. the title says it all!

wallis in love - andrew morton

*bad blood - john carreyrou = fascinating real life story about the rise and fall of elizabeth holmes and her billion dollar company theranos. i hear they are making a movie version but read the book first.

paris in the fifties - stanley karnow

american kingpin - nick bilton

*killers of the flower moon - david grann = real life story of the osage indian nation in oklahoma in the 1902’s. their vast wealth made them a target of an intricate plan of murder.

american fire - monica hesse

this is marketing - seth godin

Fiction:

*maude - donna foley mabry

the swans of fifth avenue - melanie benjamin

*charlie & the chocolate factory - roald dahl = i don’t usually read children’s books but i saw this at the library and it was a childhood favorite of mine so i picked it up to see if it holds up. it totally does.

the bette davis club - jane lotter

*still life - louise penny = this is the first of a mystery series and ended up reading three of them this year. these were my favorite fiction books this year.

*a fatal grace - louise penny = these get even better the more i read.

major pettigrew’s last stand - helen simonson

*rebecca - daphne du marier = this is a classic for a reason. after you read the book, watch the movie with laurence olivier and joan fontaine.

her royal spyness - rhys bowen

gone girl - gillian flynn

a royal pain - rhys bowen

the dead wake - erik larson

beneath a scarlet sky - mark sullivan

the no. 1 ladies detective agency - alexander mccall smith

*a tree grows in brooklyn - betty smith = a beautiful novel about the coming of age of a young woman in brooklyn in the 1920’s. voted one of the best 100 books by the great american read and rightly so.

emma - jane austin

royal flush - rhys bowen

*a rule against murder - louise penny = by now you see this is the 3rd louise penny book i read this year. by this book you really start investing in the characters inspector gamache and the others in three pines.

the mysterious affair at styles - agatha christie

*rules of civility - amor towles = i think i just like books set in new york in the early 1900’s.

royal blood - rhys bowen

tears of the giraffe - alexander mccall smith

the cruelest month - louise penny

the secret adversary - agatha christie

~ happy reading!

year end wrap up

irina-iriser-773969-unsplash.jpg

2018 has been an interesting year for me both professionally and personally. i’ve been slowly wrapping up my work in real estate over the last few years, but this year i’ve retired completely. i’ve emptied my office and let go of anything i needed for work, both physically and mentally. at the beginning of this year i chose two words that would describe my sort of theme for the year and they were “accept” & “embrace”. i tried to weave those themes through all aspects of my life and they turned out to be the perfect words for me this year.

it has been a wonderful year for spending time with family. bronson & austin were able to take extended visits home. we took several incredible trips to korea, japan, san francisco, new york, and a gorgeous driving trip along the southeast coast of the u.s. visiting six states. all in all its been a wonderful year that i’m very grateful to have experienced. for the coming year, the words that i’ve chosen are “growth” & “connection”. i’m still planning how i’m going to incorporate those themes, so i’ll do an updated post after i’ve done some thinking.

as for parkinson’s, it seems that this year there has been an increase in awareness. i’m seeing more and diverse people talking about their pd publicly which helps connect our community and shine a spotlight of awareness. there are all walks of life who have pd and when you see someone with pd that you have things in common with, it helps us feel like we are not the only one. there are many studies going on and really interesting ways that researchers are looking at pd. this article in the tomorrow edition talks about how they want to change the way PwP are involved in research. the fda also approved a new treatment called inbrija this month.

i think the most important thing that has continued to happen this year is that there are more ways than ever for people with parkinson’s to connect with each other. there are more support groups where you can meet face to face, and not only have general support, but specific groups like young onset , women’s groups, and groups for dbs. there are online support groups and forums where you can make great connections with people all around the world and in your own backyard. there are social networks where you can read and see great photos & videos. there are more walks for awareness, groups that bike, run, box, you name it. as the research world moves forward and we of course look forward to better treatments, slowing progression, and a cure, we have to continue living our lives to the fullest now.

i’m looking forward to 2019 and all the wins and challenges that will go along with it. what are the two words that you’ll use as your theme for the year?

~ kai

aloha friday

beach-buildings-city-412681.jpg

it’s been a busy couple of weeks as it probably has been for you too. i’ve really been enjoying all the activities but notice that i do need to pace myself. that’s probably one of the biggest frustrations with parkinson’s for me right now, is not being able to do as much as i’d like. but i’m doing my best to take the time when needed to rest and recharge so that i’m ready for the next activity. speaking of which, there will be lots more eating and merry making this weekend. i wish you, my fellow parkies a very happy new year! you have been a tremendous source of support, laughter & inspiration and i look forward to another year of sharing our stories on this journey together. XOXO ~kai

here are some best of 2018 lists to enjoy:

~ 50 ways women over 50 enjoy fashion by brenda kinsel.

~ favorite feature stories for 2018 by serious eats.

~ anne bogel’s favorite listening experiences of 2018.

~ best books of 2018 by goodreads.

~ npr’s best tv shows of 2018.

~ allure’s best of beauty 2018.

~ the 24 coolest tech gadgets of 2018 by gizmodo.

~ the world’s 50 best restaurants of 2018.

~ top 50 movies of 2018 by imdb.

19 for 2019

it’s that time again. time for goal planning for the new year. i have always loved goal planning and over the years have incorporated many different styles and methods. so i thought it would be fun to do it with parkinson’s in mind. 19 for 2019 is a popular goal setting idea of choosing 19 goals. here we go.

  1. join a boxing for pd class.

  2. join a support group.

  3. join an online pd forum and share your experiences with someone who could use your help.

  4. sign up with the michael j. fox foundation trial finder to see if you can participate in a clinical trial.

  5. commit to doing a little exercise each day.

  6. find something to laugh at each day.

  7. make a donation or give of your time to a pd organization.

  8. eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

  9. meditate for 5 minutes a day.

  10. write down one thing each day that you’re grateful for.

  11. sign up for a podcast about parkinson’s.

  12. practice being present.

  13. order or put together an aware in care kit.

  14. see your dentist.

  15. keep a journal of your changing symptoms and write down the specific items to discuss before each doctor visit.

  16. make a new pd friend either in person or online.

  17. if you shop with amazon, sign up with amazon smile which donates a portion of your purchase to the MJF research foundation or any other charity at no cost to you.

  18. learn and practice how to fall.

  19. whatever it is you tried and didn’t finish. it’s ok. just begin again.

    ~ now it’s your turn. i’d love to hear what are your goals this year?

aloha friday

erin-walker-462490-unsplash.jpg

four days until christmas and thrilled that my youngest son austin is home for a visit. my mom is counting the days and can’t wait to feed him. that’s what grandmothers do. for christmas eve dinner, we’ve decided to have a fondue dinner which will be fun and different for us. in hawaii the cuisine is a mix of many cultures. so for holiday dinners it’s common to have traditional food mixed in with korean, japanese, portuguese, filipino, chinese, & many other cuisines. my mom is korean so no matter what the meal, if it’s at her house there will most likely be kim chi and other little ban chan which are little side dishes served tapas style. happy holidays to all my fellow parkies.

~ 27 breakfast recipes for a hungry holiday crowd.

~ fda approves focused ultrasound for pd. this is interesting and something i want to read more about.

~ this is a great tip for list makers - the rule of 3.

~ can’t wait to see mary poppins returns.

~ happy holidays!

Living w/Style & Parkinson's: Sharon Krischer

Biking with Mr. Twitchy

Biking with Mr. Twitchy

Sharon Krischer has an incredibly full life. She has a wonderful blog called Twitchy Woman, which gave me the inspiration to start my own blog and is a motivating advocate for Parkinson’s. So I was thrilled that she agreed to do my first interview in a new column called Living w/Style & Parkinson’s.

Sharon tell me a little about yourself.

I grew up in St. Louis, met my husband, Joel, at the University of Illinois and followed him to University of Michigan where he went to law school.  I live in Beverly Hills, California with Joel, otherwise known as Mr. Twitchy, and our dog Lucy.  We have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren.  I have a master’s degree in Audiology and had my own Calligraphy and stationery business for about 15 years.  I then got involved with non-profit organizations, serving as president in several of them and found my niche training others to become leaders. We love to travel and have been all over the world in the last 10 years.  

Sharon & marilyn, stylish at the parkinson’s moving day walk

Sharon & marilyn, stylish at the parkinson’s moving day walk

Enjoying the cold fall weather in Quebec

Enjoying the cold fall weather in Quebec

What is your journey with Parkinson’s? 

I started noticing some odd things in the spring of 2008.  I would be writing and my foot would start to shake, and it intensified after breaking my other ankle in August. In January 2009, my Internist sent me to a Neurologist who said I had a Parkinson’s like tremor.  He put me on Requip and sent me home with no information about PD.  I was also diagnosed with breast cancer that same month and had a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation.  It was not a good month for me.  When I came out of my fog from everything about 6 months later, I went back to my internist, insisting that I needed to change doctors.  He then sent me to a Movement Disorders Specialist, who diagnosed my PD, changed my medications and gave me a lot of information.  I have been with her ever since. I have been fortunate that I have tremor dominant Parkinson’s, which progresses much slower than other types.  10 years later, I am still doing well. 

I began to get involved with the PD community about 5 years ago when I started getting phone calls and emails from people asking if I would talk to their relative, friend, co-worker who was recently diagnosed.  Those meetings led me to start my blog, Twitchy Woman, in March 2015 to reach out to a broader audience.  I never imagined that I would still be writing the blog almost 4 years later.  And the blog has created many opportunities for me, including being an official blogger for the upcoming 2019 World Parkinson Congress in Kyoto.

PD women looking good!

PD women looking good!

I love reading your blog and in it I can see how active you are in the PD community. What would you say those who are thinking about being more involved and what is a good way to start?

Start in your community – go to a support group, join a PD exercise, boxing, yoga or dance class to meet others with PD.  Attend local programs put on by a local or National PD organization.   Find out how you can get involved in one of the organizations at the local level.  The Parkinson’s Foundation, Michael J Fox Foundation, APDA (American Parkinson’s Disease Association) Brian Grant Foundation and Davis Phinney Foundation are all National Organizations that are good to reach out to.

What are you enjoying right now? 

My grandchildren!  Actually, all things considered, things are pretty good for me, and having Parkinson’s has opened up a whole new world of opportunities. I have met many new friends with PD, we laugh together and cry together, we understand each other.

 What is one of your challenges right now? 

My tremor in my foot is acting up again, creating some problems for me.  I did not start to take Sinemet until 5 years ago and have never increased the dose.  I am worried that my symptoms are starting to get worse.  My other challenge is to slow down.  I often take on much more than I should because I forget my limitations.

Do you have a morning or evening routine that helps you start or end the day well?

I take my dog on an early morning walk, which at this time of year, is before the sun comes up.  It is so quiet and peaceful.  A good way to start the day.

Do you have any favorite beauty products?  

I use mostly Laura Mercier products.  However, my dermatologist has a cleanser that she developed, which has really helped relieve my dry skin.  And for my itchy scalp, a beauty supply recommended Klorane Sos Serum with Peony for Sensitive and Irritated Scalp, which works better than anything else for me.

How would you describe your style in three words? 

Casually stylish, contemporary, youthful

 What is something you do for self-care?

It seems that everything I do is for self-care:  yoga, boxing, tennis.  Exercise 5-6 days a week.  Massage every two weeks.  Piano lessons, which are supposed to help my brain.  Playing tennis with friends every week, leading an active life. 

On one of her travels around the world

On one of her travels around the world

 
With Ninja Warrior, Jimmy Choi

With Ninja Warrior, Jimmy Choi

What makes you laugh? 

 My husband and my grandchildren!

 What or who inspires you right now?

 I am inspired by all of those people with PD who work hard to live the best life possible with a chronic disease.

 A food you love, a dessert you love, a song you love. 

I love berries, pasta with a great tomato based sauce and almost anything chocolate, especially good brownies.   A song I love:  Your Song by Elton John

Thanks so much Sharon!

Don’t miss Sharon on her blog at Twitchy Woman and her Facebook page @twitchywoman. Sharon will also be blogging for the World Parkinson’s Congress this June from Kyoto, Japan.

keeping a positive attitude

lauren-peng-43963-unsplash.jpg

it’s always amazing to me to see how positive, people with pd or other chronic illnesses can be. they are the first to offer empathy, constantly spreading positive messages, and looking for the bright side in tough situations. and that’s in spite of having some really tough days. or maybe it’s because we have some really tough days.

on those tough days you try to go with the flow, ride it out, work through it, keep yourself occupied, remember that it could be worse, put it into perspective, feel sorry for ourselves, or get irritated that it prevents us from doing the things we want to do. any and all of the above. boy, no wonder we’re so tired. but we always seem to remember that the storm too shall pass, and there will be sunshine again.

i look at Instagram and see the daily posts of inspiration and encouragement. I read all the wonderful blogs of people with pd, or an online forum who share their personal journey and i can’t help but feel better at that moment. so the next time you’re having a tough day, connect with someone else who has pd and most likely their support will be just the thing you need to feel a positive attitude again. i’d love to hear if you have had an experience with how someone else with pd helped you through a tough day? ~kai

aloha friday

IMG_0081.JPG

christmas is getting closer and i’m enjoying the season. we’ve agreed as adults in the family that we won’t exchange gifts but will get gifts for the kids. there really does come a point in life when you just don’t want more stuff and it’s the time spent with each other that really does mean the most to me. this weekend i’ve volunteered to paint my moms guest bathroom and maybe bake some holiday goodies. hope you have a peaceful weekend.

~ michael j. fox foundation 2018 year in review. lots of great research ongoing.

~ balloon based play therapy for parkinson’s-this is a fascinating article and i think is a great idea.

~ oh parkinson’s - this new holiday song for parkie’s made me laugh!

~ the new york times cooking site revealed their 50 most popular recipes of 2018 and the number one recipe was chicken francese. if you’re looking to free form cook, a nice pot of portuguese sausage, kale, & potato soup would be comforting. saute an onion, a few cloves of garlic, add sliced sausage. when its brown add some chicken stock and thyme if you have some lying around. simmer for a few minutes, add a couple of diced potatoes and shredded kale, s&p to taste & cook until soft. with a chunk of good bread & a glass of wine, what else do you need?

~ enjoy reading books? how about doing the 2019 reading challenge from the modern mrs. darcy along with me.

~ don’t wait for someone else. do it alone.

easy slow cooker applesauce

OriginalPhoto-565051585.023254.jpg
HipstamaticPhoto-565053329.971906.jpg
HipstamaticPhoto-565069462.439748.jpg

this is an easy and healthy snack or dessert that’s great for adults and kids. i used granny smith apples because their tartness balances out the sweet. it’s great on yogurt with a sprinkle of granola or nuts, warm oatmeal, or ice cream. enjoy!

6-8 granny smith apples, cored & cut into quarters

1/2 cup apple juice or cider

3 Tablespoons sugar or honey (i used coconut sugar but any sugar will do)

sprinkle of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of ground cardamom (optional)

add all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and mix together. put on high and check after 2 hours and mash with potato masher or inversion blender into big chunks. Cook for another 1 to 2 hours checking after each hour and mashing to your desired smoothness. Add a little additional liquid if needed each time you check on it.

classic ballet flats

~this is not a sponsored post. i just love these shoes.

some things never go out of style, and one of those things are ballet flats. my favorite right now is felicia by sam edelman. first off they are very light which helps me with my gait. clunky shoes make it easier for me to trip. they have elastic on the rim of the heels so they adjust to your feet which help them fit well, and are very easy to slip on and off. i travel with them and have walked many miles in them and they were super comfortable! and of course they look darling. they come in many colors and fabric styles so you are sure to find one you like. i have a classic black suede, a blue striped fabric, and a leopard print leather.

since they are a classic design, you can stay with a traditional color or you can go a little trendy if you want, with the color or pattern, and they still remain timeless. they’ve held up to several years of heavy wear and still going strong.

i wear a 6.5 and they are true to size. if you’re looking for a classic, comfortable, stylish pair of flats, i’d highly recommend them. have you tried sam edelman shoes or do you have a great ballet flat that you can share with us?

~kai

aloha friday

don’t you love the outfits these gals are wearing? especially the leopard print hat! i picked up two tiny little metal desks that an elementary school was throwing away and i’m so smitten with them. they are solid metal and have probably been used for the last 50 years and still going strong. they are bit rusty but i sort of love the rust. i can sand them and paint them but i’m leaning towards leaving them as is. i’m not sure how i will use them yet, maybe an end table or a nightstand, even a plant stand would be interesting. the cutest thing was when i picked one of them up, a little piece of crayon fell out! i wondered how old it was and all the little ones over the years who have used that desk. this weekend i’m taking an online photography class and looking forward to a nice long walk. happy weekend.

~ interesting article about the correct way to sit in a chair.

food

~ i once heard that it’s not what you eat between thanksgiving and new years, but what you eat between new years and thanksgiving. so with that guilt off of my conscious, i’ve enjoyed a few extra treats including my yearly panettone. there are so many delicious cookie recipes going around. alison roman’s salted butter & chocolate chunk cookies seem to rising to cult status & the fascinating world of competitive cookie decorating seems appropriate for the season. serious eats has some good ideas for homemade food gifts. this year i’ll be making granola, mustard, & flavored salts for my gifts.

if you’re up for something healthy & delicious try this free form recipe, sweet potato & arugula salad. cube & roast sweet potato. toss with arugula, toasted nuts, pomegranate seeds, red onions, raisins, a little pomegranate molasses, & toss w/vinaigrette. it’s delicious.

~ as if you don’t already have enough gift advice, but these art prints from society6 are unique & affordable.

~ kai

little mood boosters

juan-cruz-mountford-559414-unsplash.jpg

when you have parkinson’s, your mood can go south quickly and out of nowhere. you may have a wearing off period or side effect from your medication, you suddenly get fatigued, or if you’re like me, you can get a little foggy (it sort of feels like fireworks are going off in my brain). when you’re having a challenging day, sometimes just doing something small can pick you up and make you feel a little better. it sort of interrupts the cycle just long enough to get you back on track. so i’ve found little mood boosters that can help.

~ go outside and just look at the sky

~ take a walk

~ listen to an inspirational podcast or audio book (if you need suggestions email me i have a bunch i like)

~ read a few pages of an inspirational or funny book

~ listen to some upbeat music

~ call or text a friend or family member

~ meditate

~ clean or declutter something that can be finished in one sitting

~ organize my to do & want to lists

~ watch a short funny video

~ be a tourist in your own city for the afternoon

~ dance or sing for five minutes

what things do you do that help boost your mood? ~kai

aloha friday

well we have worked through all the thanksgiving leftovers and the christmas tree is up, so i think we are off to a good start to the holiday season. marc, justin and i had a fantastic dinner last night at rangoon burmese kitchen. the fermented tea leaf salad was such a bright different flavor. i also had two wonderful leisurely lunches with friends looking over kahala beach which was just dreamy. the weather is so beautiful i hope to get out and do some walking this weekend at ala moana park.

~ the new season of the marvelous mrs. maisel starts december 5th. love this show.

~ podcasts i’m enjoying:

~ if one of your hobbies is genealogy research this site has really interesting free webinars with great tips on how and where to research.

~ good books i’ve recently read:

~ caroline’s house on unfancy is just charming.

~yotam ottolenghi’s recipe for slow cooked chicken with crisp corn crust sounds mouthwatering.

enjoy your weekend! kai



losing your sense of smell & taste

kevin-mccutcheon-698687-unsplash.jpg

one of the potential symptoms of parkinson’s is losing your sense of smell, which in turn lessens your sense of taste. foods become more bland and not as interesting. my coffee in the morning used to be an incredible experience of smell and taste first thing in the morning and although i still love the experience that comes with coffee and my morning routine, the coffee itself is definitely not as flavorful as it used to be.

as i’ve mentioned in a previous post, it might also be contributing to why my sweet tooth has increased. my taste buds might be seeking more extreme flavors to get satiated. so it can be easy to go overboard with salt or sugar while cooking without knowing it. so here are few things that can help boost the flavor quotient of food.

  1. vinegar & lemon juice - both of these can bring an extra depth of flavor to most dishes. you can add a tablespoon of vinegar during cooking or at the end, but use fresh lemon juice at the end of cooking to keep the flavor bright.

  2. citrus zest - aside from the juice, the zest with all the oils adds a wonderful intense citrus flavor. zest the fruit first and then juice it.

  3. spices - you can go in so many different directions with just the use of spices. spice blends are also a great. i have been loving sumac lately.

  4. herbs - fresh or dried they can add tremendous flavor to foods. if you can have a few pots of them growing, even better. something as simple as a large handful of chopped mixed herbs in an omelet can elevate the dish to something special.

  5. condiments - mustards, hot sauces, ko chu jang, harissa, & miso are all great ways to add an umami bomb of flavor.

  6. bitter vegetables - radicchio, endive, broccoli rabe, and mustard greens. adding these to salads, soups, stir fries can add a pop of interesting flavor.

  7. pomegranate molasses - this used to be an exotic ingredient but now can be found in many grocery stores or online. it’s thick and has a sweet and sour flavor and is delicious. add a spoonful to your vinaigrette, drizzle it over roasted vegetables, or brush it over cooked meats while they are resting.

    many of these spices and condiments will last for a long time, so i have a ton of them in my fridge. that way i can cook simply but change the direction with a different spice. i can pick up a package of chicken thighs and pan fry them with a mustard sauce, or smear them with a ko chu jang sauce and bake them, or simmer them in a curry sauce.

    have you started losing your taste and smell and if so what are some other ways that you add flavor to your foods?

    ~kai