Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baby Love

Italy was amazing! Sorry I didn't send postcards! Cavorting with local fisherpeople, drinking rose, hanging by the sea in one of those sassy Norma Kamali bathing suits I posted a while back.....All of this in my head anyway:) I promise that when I do figure out how to teleport I will be sure to tell you.

And big shout-out thank you to those of you who posted or emailed me your post-it notes---it means a lot to me when I hear from you:)

I think it's time for a baby update! I feel like it's been a while since I talked at all about actual physical progress and what I've learned.....And some of it isn't just baby-focused--some of it is just good women's health tips.

The biggest excitement of the week is that I had my hormone levels checked and they're all NORMAL!!! Woohoo!! They were all over the place before, mostly low. So in 4 months through acupuncture, herbs, and changing my food and exercise, my body IS actually changing and healing. If mine can do it, yours can do it. I mean that. Sometimes I hear of or read of or see another's success and I think "She can do it but not me". That is absolutely the worst thinking out there. If another's success can be inspiration not defeat everybody wins. This is VERY HARD for me sometimes---I can get really freaked out and scared I'm getting left behind. I was scared to get the levels checked; scared everything I've been doing would be working for everyone but me. There's that saying Feel the Fear but Do It Anyway. YES. There really is enough health, wealth, creativity, romance out there for all of us. K, there's my rant on that.

So the the big discoveries of late.....

1) The Pill:
Thanks to Alisa and Laughing Sage I have learned a lot more about this drug that celebrated its 50th anniversary lately. Did you know our brains aren't finished developing til we're 21? That means if we're going in there and tinkering with its functions before that we can actually get in the way of it developing?! I went on the Pill at 17 for PCOS. That means 4 years before it was finished developing I put parts of it to sleep. And I wonder why it hasn't wanted to wake up. It literally never had a chance to function as an adult woman's. Thankfully our brains are amazing and it's learning now. Tell your little sisters or nieces or whomever to seriously consider not touching the Pill til after 21. And as for after that, it's a personal decision if you want to use it ever or use it for years. I wish someone had told me about the long-term effects of using it: difficulty in cycling naturally again being high among them, but also just the effects of not having hormones in balance and how, like any intricate art piece, every little part affects all the others. The Laughing Sage ladies know waaaaaay more than I do about all of this; give 'em a call if you want.

2) Rest, Recharge:
Like so many Americans, my adrenals were semi-tapped. And I've been getting enough sleep for years (after I fell asleep behind the wheel one night and ran my car off the road--that was literally a wake-up call from the Universe). But I'm busy, I drank caffeine, even if it was only tea in the morning, and my brain was on overdrive a lot of the time. Most hormonal issues start in the adrenals. It's why acupuncturists have so many patients with "low kidney/spleen chi" and "overactive/angry livers". The adrenals are tapped and the liver is overworking. In addition to getting sleep, cutting out as much caffeine as you can (I've had none for several months and it's fine--I've only craved it maybe three times), there are some great herbal supports you can take. Ashwaganda is a tincture you can get at a health food store that supports adrenal function; also many herb companies make Adrenal Support formulas. Alisa gave me Jarro brand, and I've been taking it every day for almost 2 months. If you have adrenal burn-out, there are lots and lots and lots of ways to deal with it.

3) Get Your Mind On Something Else:
I'm working on an amazing play. So there's something that requires a whole lotta focus while being a source of incredible happiness and creativity. I was ready to spend the whole summer meditating on a baby, and I am still doing that, but it's not taking up every waking thought. Which I think is helping. A watched know.

4) What I'm eating:
Meals that prevent blood-sugar crashes throughout the day. Alisa helped me find a template that works for me; all of us are a little different. The general idea being that it's hard for the endocrine system to function properly if there are crazy blood-sugar highs and lows all day. So eating in a way that supports regular blood sugar is super-helpful. I eat a LOT more protein than I did, no refined sugar, not nearly as many grains as I used to eat, and barrels of veggies. What I did, with Alisa's help, was pay attention to what I ate and how I felt: if I was starving 2 hours later it wasn't a great sign; if my stomach freaked out, also not a good sign. It's intuitive, but sometimes we need help hearing our intuition.

So that's what I got for today.

After the post-it post, Juliana found this for me online at this etsy shop. How cute???!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day Off

It's my day off today.

I want to spend the next 3 hours here

from This is Glamourous, which I always love browsing

Then get dressed in something like this

Have whatever kind of afternoon she's having

both of the above from Dustjacket Attic, which blows me away every time

Preferably set here

Italian Riviera. Yes, please.

I read today a dream is the same thing as a manifestation. So I'm testing my powers. If I wake up in Portofino this afternoon I will let you know.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Sky came home today from Hong Kong where he's been for a week. He had a semi-difficult time, largely due to the fact that he's a vegetarian and in Hong Kong when you don't know your way around the restaurant scene that can be harder than it sounds. He went to one restaurant and saw this on the menu
Can you read that? It says Chicken Testicles. Wok-seared chicken testicles and pork kidney with ginger.He got a little weirded out and ended up eating McDonald's french fries across the street.

So I wanted to do something sweet for the guy, leave him something at home since he'd probably get home before I did (which actually didn't happen, but oh well). Something that didn't involve long hours of crafting since that just wasn't happening this week.

I don't think flowers are only for girls, especially when the flower is a peony. It's peony time at Trader Joe's. A friend called me earlier this week to tell me; I wait for this all year. Lots of us Angelenos do. $6.99 for 5 when normally they're 4 bucks a pop in a flower store. I indulged and bought 2 bunches.

And propped up underneath them I left this card (in its envelope of course)

from this company, Naughty Betty at Calypso Cards.

Here are some more from them:

that says sixteen-year-old if you can't quite read it

Sometimes it's just right to be a little bit wrong.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Note to Self

This is the header for my friend Juliana's new blog. Remember that Hall and Oates photo? That would be Juliana. (Jules, I had to.)
A) you should check it out because she is the best esthetician you will ever find. B) she inspired this post

She actually had this up on her mirror for quite some time which got me thinking.....
This lovely lady has gotten a lot of attention lately---seen her up on several blogs, and even before I saw her there this same Juliana had sent me her link.

The post-it thing could kind of work the same way. Not in the Stuart Smalley way (SNL watchers are you out there?), I know affirmations can seem totally cheeze. I've tried standing in the mirror talking to myself and I just ended up laughing. But I think there's really some correlation between the way you talk to yourself and the way you feel, and then how your day goes. If your running tape is
try having a happy blissful day. It's hard.
For more evidence of thoughts affecting reality peek at this.

What if the post-it was there to remind us to be sweeties to ourselves....So every time you look in the mirror or get in your car or open the fridge there's a little nudge to believe in that thing or stand for that quality or make that change you said was so important. It's said beliefs are just thoughts you think over and over again. So if you're looking at your note umpteen times a day that's umpteen times you have a chance to think that. It could end up you believe it. Which will probably make you act differently, which will probably make very different things start to happen in your life.

It could be cheeky:
I aspire to this. I want one. But when I forget I want one I forget to do extra booty-lifting things at the gym.

It could be deep:
I was reminded here yesterday that we learn to love by being shown love. I just loved reading that. And we also get what we give, so can't hurt to dish it out in huge quantities

It could be specific, tailored to something in your life you are playing big for:
I like that one.

Your turn. That's what the comment box below is for. I'm waiting.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

OMG Cake

I just got back from my trip to Taos and it was as heavenly as it always is. It's one of the few places on earth that a do-er like me is really happy to have the sole goal of the day be to sit on the porch and look at the mountains. I did a lot of that, as well as some reading, some line-learning for the play I start working on tomorrow, and an ample amount of eating and baking.

My stepmom Amanda used to work at Chez Panisse--in fact she and David Lebowitz were friends in the kitchen. Huh????!!!!! How did I never know this before???? She says he is a beautiful soul. Sigh. I know. She has her phone list from her days in the kitchen there tucked in the back of her Chez Panisse Desserts (which now I have to own. Have. To.) and there's his old phone number. Be still my heart.

In the market on Friday we saw some rhubarb--it is that time after all--so we whipped up the Rhubarb-Strawberry pie from the book: so easy and gorgeous, especially when you cheat and use a Pillsbury rolled pie crust......not that I would EVER do that.......

Then along comes Saturday and we're sitting around the breakfast table and somehow it comes up that the bottle of Sauternes I brought to Taos as a gift years ago is still in the bar cupboard....Then Amanda starts talking about a cake made with Sauternes that was a staple at Chez Panisse....Then she flips through the book. It's there. And we have all the ingredients on hand save a little orange zest which is easy to pick up at the market when we go out to shop for dinner. And the plan is hatched. We're making the Olive Oil Sauternes cake from Chez Panisse that very night with a 1993 Grand Cru Sauternes.

You don't have to use a 17-year old Sauternes, though it did make the cake otherworldly. It was really so delicious I'm not sure how to express to you the degree. It's light. It's moist. It's not too sweet and then you add apricot whipped cream. In the play I'm about to start I play a food writer. So I guess every time I try to write about food I can say I'm doing character research.....

There's the little miracle about to go in the oven
And there's me and Amanda with the finished product in some vintage aprons we found here
Here's an up-close look at the sumptuous ladylike beautiful piece of kitchen mastery. You take a bite, close your eyes, and say Oh.My.God. Hence its nickname.
And how, you ask, can a girl on a gluten-sugar-free diet ingest Olive Oil and Sauternes cake? Because every once in a while no matter what kind of plan you're on you can step out of it if that stepping out allows you to step into life. Call it the 80/20 rule, and God bless my healers they all subscribe to that philosophy.

So here it is, the recipe for
OMG Cake
otherwise known as Linda's Olive Oil and Sauternes Cake
from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsay R. Shere

5 eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 T mixed orange and lemon peel, finely grated
1/3 c plus 2T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c good Sauternes (the better the wine the crazier the cake)
1 c sifted flour
1/4 t salt
2 egg whites
1/2 t cream of tartar (or just a good dash)

Butter and flour an 8-in springform pan (we had a 7-in onhand so we used that and baked the extra batter in a little pie dish and it worked great)
Preheat oven to 350
Separate the 5 eggs and beat the yolks with half the sugar til light yellow and thick. Beat in citrus peel. Beat in olive oil then the Sauternes.Mix the flour and salt and beat into the egg mixture til mixed.
Beat the 7 egg whites with cream of tartar til they hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining sugar til whites hold stiff peaks. Fold into yolk mixture thoroughly. Pour into prepared pan and bake, turning if necessary for it to make evenly (if you have a little old oven like mine you want to do this, big new one like my dad's no need) for 20 min.
Lower temp to 300 and bake for another 20 min. Then turn off the oven, cover the top of the cake with a round of buttered parchment, and leave it in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
Serve with apricot cream: whipped cream into which you fold some homemade (or not--I don't think the police will come if you use good store-bought) apricot jam. You could also, per Lindsay's suggestion, serve with sugared peaches or nectarines and sabayon.

When I wasn't in the kitchen or at the table eating the fruits of the kitchen here's what I could see from the porch:

Whidney the llama
a few of the 14 chickens and handsome rooster; inside the barn to the right of this pen are 5 4-week old kittens and their ferile mama--anyone need a kitty in the next month or 2? Amanda's getting them fixed and everything.....

an ornamental crabapple or plum-we're not sure which. This one is blooming on the plaza, but Taos is blushing with all kinds of ornamental trees right now. I wish I could go live in this one

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Girl Power

"Bather on a Rock" by Pierre August Renoir
I saw this painting for real last week. It is so so so gorgeous. So feminine. I took my mom to the Renoir exhibit at LACMA as part of Mothers' Day....Renoir is the first artist I remember my mom saying she loved. We walked through it together and loved the same ones...Being there I remembered my grandmother, and how much she loved looking at and thinking about art, how she knew so much history about so many pieces, how we ran (literally) through the Louvre together when I was 13 because we had limited time and there were certain pieces I HAD to see, according to her. All of a sudden, through these paintings, I felt connected to this lineage of women in my family---I imagine my great-grandmother, for all the eccentric things I've heard about her, would have loved the exhibit too. The apples don't fall far from the tree, and it's nice to feel connected to generations before in sudden unexpected moments on a could-have-been-any day. Have you thought about yours?

I do think about this, of course, as I dream about having kids. What are mine going to get from me and who can I be now to be the best possible parent to them? Several of you responded that you want to hear more about some things I'm doing for my health to make the baby miracle more possible. So today's the day!

I had my third call with Alisa at Laughing Sage on Tuesday and we got way into the energetic part of healing. I've been rocking my food plan---little to no gluten and sugar (did you know--I didn't--that there's a link between infertility issues and gluten??? Don't go crazy now but should you ever need this info it's out there) and way more thought to different nutrient ratios at each meal. Let me pause here and say the very act of eating according to someone else's plan for me is divine intervention. I am one of those girls that don't like anyone telling me what to eat and when to eat it and I consider it a freaking miracle that I am not only willing but HAPPY to do this. And feeling great! God/The Universe/My Deepest Self definitely does for me what I cannot do for myself.

So we were talking and I told her what's been coming up for me is this lack of trust that my body can get better. This fear that this isn't going to work for me. A deep down quiet fear. Relate? Maybe not to this issue but is or has there been somewhere in your life you're scared you're going to fail but you pretend you've got it handled? That fear is almost shameful--like you really don't want anyone to know, or if they do know you make light of it because if anyone knew how bad you feared it they'd think you were a total freak? In our call one of the things we discussed is that the antidote to not trusting isn't "trusting more". Because Guess What you can't make yourself do that. The antidote is compassion. If it's the heart that connects the mind and the body (the heart is right there in the middle) it's a good idea to come from there when bridging a gap between the two. I've talked about this a lot in my yoga classes, and I felt such relief when she said it. I've been putting so much pressure on myself to Believe Believe Believe. I told you I have that perfectionism thing. And now my only job is to be super-sweet and kind to myself and---this is important, maybe turn the music down--MAKE A DECISION. Make a decision I'm getting better. No ifs ands or buts.

You've heard this before, right? Like attracts like, commit and Fate commits with you, you experience what you focus on---I know you have. Yet for me when I'm in the middle of something painful it's like I lose all my skills to do that. I know I know what to do, yet I feel I can't. That's when I need someone inspiring, like Alisa yesterday, to say it. I hear it again, and suddenly my willingness comes back. Like when your coach told you absolutely no doubt about it you could get that ball in the basket. You knew you could, you just needed to be reminded. Have your re-inspirerers on speed dial.

I sat down this morning to meditate, and before I did read a few pages of the most recent Wayne Dyer book and it occurred to me: it's my body's natural state to be healthy; it's my body's natural state to be able to have kids. That's part of the deal when being born a girl. All I'm doing now is returning my body to its natural state by believing in the mysterious processes that let that happen. I don't micromanage breathing and it happens beautifully; I don't need to micromanage this and control how it's all happening. My job is simply to treat my body really well and believe in it. Maybe a little less doing and a little more being, which is, in itself, divinely feminine. Decision made. Which means when sneaky fear comes up I get to say "Thank you for sharing. Now shut the F up and get out of my head I have way better things to do." You are totally allowed to talk to your fear that way:)

I'm going to leave it at that for now. I have to pack to go to New Mexico because I'm going to see my dad and stepmom this weekend and I am SO EXCITED. Taos is one of the most healing places on Earth to me. Looking forward to doing a lot of mountain-gazing and playing-with-dogs. I am so grateful to have this chance to trust and believe in another miracle. My mom and grandmothers have done it a lot so I have faith in myself.

*Also want to say to those of you who wanted specifically to know about effects of birth control on the body that I will get to that soon! And if you have specific questions just let me know.

Wishing you a wonderful rest of your week and weekend. Let me know your thoughts.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Party for a Sea Monkey

Yesterday was the baby shower for one of my best friends Kate, her man Ben, and their soon-to-be-born daughter known for now as Sea Monkey.

Kate's sister Sienna, a rad artist, singer, and food stylist hosted a Mad Hatter's Tea Party at her cabin in the sky in Silverlake. Sienna is one of those people with VISION. The house she now lives in with her husband Dallas is one of those that without vision you'd see and run away from. Instead they gutted the inside, installed beams in the ceiling, cleaned up the junk out back and made an open, airy, well, cabin-in-the-sky.

Kate and I have been friends since college when we met in Italian class. She was a year ahead of me in school and my senior year she spent traveling all over Europe. She surprised me on my graduation day by showing up unannounced. I think that was the most emotional part of the day for me. And now she's having a baby! She and Ben aren't getting married, so this was their big party. As much as we all hear it in books, this is really what life's about: crossing milestones in life with the people you love. It's so bizarre that a few months ago Kate was Kate being one of my maids of honor, and now she's Kate plus Sea Monkey and she and Ben are creating this amazing family.

So the party!

Upon arriving one was greeted by the Caterpillar (complete with hookah) in a field of astroturf mushrooms
The tea table was set up out back:
Sienna and their dad Jack, who happens to be an art director, stacked tea pots, teacups and plates from thrift stores, glued them together at lopsided angles to create Mad Hatter chaos

Jack blew up the original Alice illustrations and from them created these wooden pieces which were all over the backyard

Another of my dear friends Ami (seen in the first pic by the caterpillar) is one seriously gifted woman in the kitchen and she made the mini lemon and chocolate tarts as well as 4 flavors of macarons: olive oil vanilla (my fave), rose, apricot, and chocolate caramel. Sienna made shortbread cookies she decorated to look like the White Rabbit's pocketwatch and the Queen of Hearts' playing cards
I was on the savory committee, and yours truly made this farro salad after the girls at Crispy Tarts sent it over (thanks ladies!!!!! it was delish!) and tea sandwiches made with this spread and some shaved fennel. I didn't get pics of that---oops--but they were super yummy as were all the tea sandwiches and salads made by those of us whose purpose was to make food that would balance the sugar crashes everyone would be going on otherwise. Yes, there was tea, but also Pimms' Cup punch for those of us not carrying a child.

There was the art station with blank onesies and fabric paint and pens; Kate and Ben's friend Ethan filmed guests talking to the parents and the baby; Dallas stocked a wheelbarrow with beer and manned the cotton candy machine (for reals); and after the sun went down there was a dance party on the back porch.

Here's Kate
and Kate's mom, who dressed as a flower arrangement

and this amazing orchid centerpiece Sienna did with teacups

And oh yeah, we all wore hats.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wonder Woman strikes again

If you've been reading for a while you are well acquainted with my admiration for one LA chef named Suzanne Goin. My friend Kate was having lunch at Tavern last week and texted me she was having a celebrity siting--it was Suzanne. In our decade plus years of knowing each other and living in this star-studded city neither one of us has ever texted about seeing someone famous. Our fanship clearly runs deep and now I just refer to SG as Wonder Woman.

It's been fava bean time here in So Cal. Fava beans are so celebrated by me that I almost wanted to do a maypole dance at the start of this month since spring means these tender greenies. All across the city menus are sporting them; I guess they're kind of trendy. I care not. So are platform wedges and you know how much I love those. I first made favas in my pre-Sky days for my friend Juliana's birthday---made a spring vegetable stew with guanciale (translate: pork jowl. yup.). It was my first attempt at cooking with them--previously I'd only heard of them when Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter talks about eating a victim with favas and a fine Chianti.....I still remember that meal (mine not Hannibal's) and favas have only thrilled, never disappointed. As the cook in a now-vegetarian-household I am floating in a sea of possibilities with favas. Sweet little things.

I first had this recipe when I worked at Campanile. I didn't know what had hit me. It was a heavenly food: ultra-delicious, a very fashionable color, and from what I could tell it was healthy too. I have tried over the years to make my own version and it's been good but never great. I was making it like I'd make hummus since that's what I thought it kind of was. I'd blanch the beans then puree them with olive oil and garlic and maybe some herbs. The texture was hummusy not velvety and the flavors were clearly differentiated rather than melded together in alchemical sumptuousness.

Then I got my paws on that cookbook I told you about and the riddle is solved. Wonder Woman has her recipe for Fava Bean Puree on page 68 and I made it last night.
(That's it in the middle with the olives and feta that will go on top of it).
Served it with a ginormous green salad with shaved radish, English cucumber, avo, roasted beets, some leftover quinoa and a red wine vinaigrette. Spring on a plate.

Fava Bean Puree with Oil-Cured Olives, French Feta, and Garlic Toasts
from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin

*In this recipe the favas are shelled and blanched while other stuff cooks. I shelled, blanched, and skinned the favas in the afternoon and left them waiting for me til the evening when I made dinner. Worked great.

1 baguette (I used some La Brea bakery multigrain bread I had around--not as French but totally yummy)
1 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 1/2 lbs favas in the pod
1 sprig rosemary (I didn't have any and used oregano)
1 chile de arbol, crumbled (again, didn't have and used a random dried chile I did have---kinda spicy in certain bites--you decide)
1/2 lemon for juicing
1/2 c pitted oil-cured black olives cut in half
1/4 cup sliced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 lb French (or not) feta
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375
Cut the bread on the diagonal into 1/4 in slices. Brush both sides with olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet and toast 10-12 minutes until golden but still tender in the middle. While toasts are warm, rub with a garlic clove.
Mince remaining garlic clove
Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile remove beans from pods
Blanch beans for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain and cool them in ice water, then slip them out of their skins.
Heat medium saucepan on low heat. Add remaining olive oil, the rosemary, and the chile. Let them sizzle for a minute or so, then stir in minced garlic. Sizzle for another minute then stir in the favas, a little salt, and some freshly ground pepper. Simmer beans 5-7 minutes or til tender. Strain beans, reserving oil; discard rosemary and chile
Transfer beans to food processor and puree. With motor running, slowly pour in half of reserved oil until the puree is velvety smooth (MMMMMM). Once you're there, pour in more reserved oil to taste. Squeeze in some lemon and taste for seasoning.
In a small bowl toss olives and parsley with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Crumble in feta and mix gently.
Spoon warm puree onto a platter. Place grilled toasts around and scatter feta-olive mixture over the puree

No good pic (iphone how could you disappoint me?) of finished result but take me on faith here.
We pretty much licked the plate clean.
See previous post for another thing you can do with favas that will take you about 15 minutes to prepare.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Girl's Guide to Making a Difficult Decision and of course some Food

I want these shoes so much.

The Luella by Cynthia Vincent in nude. That has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of this post.

How was your weekend? I was up til 7am on Saturday morning as I had an all-night shoot on Friday for this rad show followed by a callback for a play 3 hours later. I was so tired when I lay down for 2 hours that I forgot to set my alarm. The Universe worked a miracle and had my friend Alysia call me at 9:30am which woke me up. I was out of the house SEVEN MINUTES LATER and on my way to Pasadena. Good thing I still had eye makeup on from the shoot. I made it.

Sky and I walked to Gjelina for dinner on Saturday, put our name on the list, came back an hour later and got in. Another miracle. It was so good--I hadn't eaten there in a while and was excited to see what spring treats they were serving up. I am a fava bean ho and sho nuff they had some, served barely past raw with paper thin radishes, parsley, and pecorino. MMMMMMMMM. Then we had the cauliflower which we always get: roasted til its charred in lots of vinegar. And third miracle: Sky agreed to something other than the Margarita pizza. Kristina and I get to bond that our favorite thing to do when dining out is try the most unusual-sounding thing on the menu and we married boys that could eat the same three things for the rest of their lives. We had a pizza with heirloom spinach from that amazing vendor at the Wednesday farmers' market whose name I forget, asiago and a garlic confit. I am allowed to practice the 80/20 rule on my gluten-sugar-free plan so I made that 20% count. After dinner we had salted caramel gelato from Nice Cream which is lighter than a lot of ice creams I swear.

Now that I know I can eat a little bread once in a while I feel I can confidently keep my New Year's promise to perfect pizza crust and macarons.

As it usually does, fatigue set in a couple of days late and today I've been dragging. And that too is interesting because I have to make a decision about a project I could work on for the summer and I'm finding it very difficult. And that's what I want to talk a bit about.

So often I, anyway, think I have to reason myself into a decision when I find it difficult. Of course there's nothing like the deep peace you get when you know unquestionably the right answer. But what about when that doesn't happen? What about when there are pros and cons and your heart feels split and both sides sound good and both sides have drawbacks? That's my day today. Here's how I'm handling it:

1. Buy some time: it's really ok to say I Don't Know! Then name a date you think you can make a decision by and ask for that. I got so nervous doing this! Like "Oh I don't want them to think I'm not grateful or excited! Oh they'll change their minds! Oh, I'll look like a diva!" NONE of these things are true. It is the absolute worst decision you can make ever to say Yes or No to something when you're really not sure for the sake of trying to make someone like you or approve.

2. Make a pros and cons list. Practical and helpful. Gets things on paper and might clear some rattling chatter from your head and let you see in black (or if you're using colored ink that color...) and white what you're drawn to and what's got you wanting to pull back. (By the way I like these Sharpie Ultra Fine Point markers for writing. Martha does too! They're in her May issue)

3. Talk it over with people who know you well, whose feedback you value, who you know aren't going to jump in there and try to tell you what to think or do.

4. Get out a journal and see what comes out.

5. Meditate on it. Literally. Ask before you do that you hear the right answer for you and that you trust it.

6. When that doesn't work and your brain keeps nattering away walk down to the ocean (or its equivalent in beauty and magnitude), look out in front of you, take some deep breaths, and maybe just sit in the not knowing. It's only Monday after all, and you said you'd let them know on Wednesday.

All I know right now is I am waiting to hear from myself What's the Decision of Faith and What's the Decision of Fear. When I get that answer I'll know exactly what to say and it will feel SO GOOD.