About Cyprus, Blog, In The News

A Tale of Two Laundry: A Poem

Originally published on Women Who Live on Rocks on 2/16/17. 

http://womenwholiveonrocks.com/a-tale-of-two-laundry-a-poem/

 

Let’s take a moment, and tell you a tale of a girl
who has lived and grown up on either sides of this world.
She hails from the States,
where doing laundry is a piece of cake.
She buys large tubs of Persil and Tide,
never worries that colors will fade and hide.
The smooth gel dissipates and flees,
and the clothes smell like heavenly Spring Breeze.

Every two days with her family of four,
a new load goes in and it’s not a chore.
She sorts the colors from the whites,
then pops them in her Kenmore Delight.
She turns the cycle to scour and scrub,
and leaves the Kenmore to do its job.
In 45 minutes her clothes are gleaming,
wrung dry, but still wet and steaming.

She feigns a moan as she leans down to take the wet pile
and plops them into the other Kenmore beside-her.
Her pressed hardwood floors are cozy under her feet,
while she sniffs a whiff of the laundry softener sheet.
With a turn of a knob, the heat is set.
She may leave her house without a fret.

In an hour or so, it’s time to do some manual labor,
but she has a better idea: and calls in a favor.
“Hey kids! You broke my wine glasses,” she scolds.
“As repayment, it’s time for you to fold.”
Because her TV program is on, she casts an eye to her tweens,
as they bemoan the hard work to fold and clean.
She rolls her eyes and her hands begin to work,
as her kids complain of their toils they must shirk.

Across the wide ocean, another tale unfolds.
Of the same young mother, and it is her story that is told.
She lives on a rock, in the middle of the ocean;
it was her husband’s idea to live here – his notion.
She is surrounded by God’s beauty and might,
and she has not a care in the world – or so she delights.
Except that she has the same family of four,
and this time the high heat makes their clothes smell more.

So she does laundry every two days
except on this rock, this little job seems like a maze.
She climbs her stone steps to the room with the old machine
that cracks, crinkles, and bubbles up when she must clean.
She sorts through the colors of school uniforms and swimsuits,
then she smiles to herself and thinks, “at least it’s not a business suit.”
In go the colors with the cheap local soap,
The powder stings her hands and she mopes.
But she knows that the soap isn’t the worst –
Oh no! The following few hours are the beginning of her curse.

After an hour or two, the machine has stopped its dizzy spin,
and it will be my turn to work, she thinks to her chagrin.
She pulls out the jumbled mess,
unraveling the twisted knot, it is such a stress.
She drags the wet laundry to the top terrace,
where the sun beating down is relentless.
On the Rock there are no need for dryers;
the sun does the trick better than any fryer.
Clothespins shoved in her mouth, her eyes squint in the sun,
her expert fingers hang the clothes – this is no fun!
Oh how her toes long for the cool, hardwood floor!
Instead blisters bead and form as she swore.
She manages to tie the laundry quite loose
and hang down as they form a little noose.
She leaves them to drip-dry on the sweltering stones,
and grabs a lemonade and fans herself as she moans.
“Oh the horror of living on this little rock!”
She flutters her lids and there’s azure blue. Her eyes are in shock.

How can I complain in God’s own land?
I look down at my arms, legs – strong and tanned.
I drift off to sleep as the soft wind blows,
and awaken shortly because this I know:
It’s time to lift the iron to my sun-stiffed clothes.

Blog, In The News, Lifestyle

Aphrodite Inspirations for a more Goddess-Worthy 2017

Originally published on @mindbodygreen on Februrary 8, 2017 (Just in time for Valentine’s Day! Love yourself better)

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-28654/aphrodite-inspo-how-im-living-more-like-a-goddess-this-year.html

At a time of year when the majority of resolutions have gone by the wayside, I’d like to offer a new one—one that doesn’t look at numbers on a scale or in your bank account.

Let’s look at following in Aphrodite’s footsteps. The goddess of love and beauty probably never spent a minute thinking of her curves. Instead, she focused on giving love and making the world fall at her feet.

Here are some secrets from sirens of the Mediterranean on how to live more like a goddess:

1. Adopt a healthier palate.

Naturally, as a Mediterranean lifestyle coach, I teach Mediterranean cooking.

My family is big on olives, olive oil, tomatoes, yogurt, feta cheese, and pretty much all things Mediterranean. It’s pretty easy for us to adopt a healthier diet when our palate is already accustomed to these tastes.

But if you prefer the taste of butter, meat, and takeout, then it may be more difficult to make that change. Below are a couple of quick ways to help you adjust your palate.

Eat at least seven servings of fruit and/or vegetables per day. Pack tangerines in your bag, chomp on dried figs for dessert, eat a salad every single day. I promise if you do this, you won’t have room in your stomach for a full cheeseburger and fries.

Eat beans/legumes at least twice a week. Packed full of fiber, protein, and folate, legumes are a great, inexpensive food that is extremely versatile (black-eyed peas are awesome on top of brown rice; edamame are wonderful on a salad; cranberry beans are great as a stew with coarsely chopped root vegetables—think carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips).

Still unsure where to begin? Take a cooking class! Cooking classes are a great gift to yourself—it’s the ultimate gift that keeps giving. Look them up at your local university, community college, local food cooperative, or local restaurants.

2. Gather your personal army.

Goddesses recognize that life can be tough, and to combat the stresses of simply existing, we need an army of supporters. In this new year, consider building your support village.

Join a success circle that will keep you on target with your professional and personal goals (think of a writers’ group). Reach out to new (and old) friends on social media. Then follow it up with a much-needed but often overlooked girls’ weekend or trip.

Plan a trip that has you swinging from vines, pushing your adrenaline by day, but relaxing in the evening and creating those precious moments that last a lifetime.

And call your mom weekly! She was the founder of your first personal army.

3. Get “om” with your spiritual side.

This is always the hardest one for me. I was born Orthodox Christian and raised Roman Catholic (I grew up in small towns in Virginia). I love the church and its ancient traditions. I love the fact that my five senses are tantalized once I enter a cathedral. It’s an overall experience that leaves me feeling relaxed, happy, and even chatty with my fellow churchgoers.

But then I don’t go for weeks, months, and at one point, even years. I get completely busy with life—workout classes, my children’s sports, traveling over the weekend, work, etc. Life takes over.

This does not happen in the Old World, where religion is still revered and it’s still considered family time to go to temple, church, or mosque. And I have to admit it: The families seem so contented and connected once they spend a couple of hours together on a given Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

So this year, I’ll make religion a priority again. And I’m not talking about the in-your-face, fire-and-brimstone religion.

I think most of us seek peace, love, and serenity on a daily, weekly basis. Give yourself the gift of peace this year. Give yourself the time to meditate, pray, and postulate before a higher being. Make a commitment to chant. Do it in the car or in the shower. Explore Buddhism and Hinduism if the monotheistic ones that you may have grown up with no longer fit.

Find the right religion for you; find one that resonates deep within you and say yes to peace.

4. Become an asset to your company.

One of the things I learned quickly in business school was how to build a balance sheet or snapshot of a company’s financial health. Once I graduated and moved to the corporate world, I began to think of myself and my peers as line items in a spreadsheet. I know, it’s totally unsexy and demoralizing to think of humans in this fashion. But it’s true: We are either a cost to the company or a source of revenue. We are either an asset or a liability.

Take a good look at yourself in the business setting. Are you actually adding value in your role? Could you learn a new skill set that would benefit your company and you? And as always, be certain to promote yourself loudly so others take notice of this new you.

5. Get your glam on.

Women in the Mediterranean know how to be flirty, fun, and sexy—in short, they ooze confidence. In the new year, take a dance class (tango or salsa, perhaps?), become regimented about skin care, eat healthfully, and choose sequins every now and then for a little sparkle in your life.

About Claudia, Cooking, Vegan, Vegetarian

7 Things to do with Tahini that AREN’T Hummus

Hello fellow goddesses!

This article of mine just got published on the fabulous Mind Body Green over the weekend. I’ve done some research about tahini. For those of you who aren’t familiar with tahini (or as the Israeli’s and Arabs call it: tahina), it is ground and crushed sesame seeds. Similar to almond or peanut butter in its consistency, tahini is now being considered a super food (I still cringe as I write that word. It’s all about eating sensibly and back to the basics – without fillers and without being stripped of natural minerals. But I digress). Nourishing, high in copper, calcium, iron fiber, and more, these tiny little golden and black seeds may help lower cholesterol. And they taste good. Tahini is an extremely versatile paste that can be made savory or sweet, depending on the recipe. Tahini is the staple ingredient behind your favorite hummus recipe. But if you are bored with hummus, check out these other tasty, iron and copper-rich foods that will have you as nutty over sesame seeds.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-28325/7-things-to-do-with-leftover-tahini-that-arent-hummus.html

Blog, In The News

Cooking Videos with My Two Mediterranean Moms

Hello fellow goddesses!

I have finally gotten into my hands my cooking videos with my two Mediterranean moms (my actual mom and my mother-in-law)! A HUGE thank you to the Friendly City Food Co-Op (http://friendlycity.coop/) and to WVPT (http://www.wvpt.net/)for filming!

Golden Beetroot Salad over a bed of Organic Arugula

With my mom, we are giving an instructional video on how to make a roasted beetroot (using both traditional beets and these fantastic golden beets that I have recently been introduced to!) over top of organic, baby arugula, fresh, thinly sliced basil leaves, grated fresh garlic. The salad is then tossed in a light, fresh mixture of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dried mint and salt. So simple, yet delicious, and definitely a staple on our Mediterranean tables.

To get the full recipe, check out the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5styDot0joQ&feature=youtu.be

Roasted Eggplant Salad

My mother-in-law shared this awesome eggplant recipe with me years ago. The roasted eggplant has a smoky, intense flavor that is packed full of fiber, B Vitamins, manganese, folate and more. To add colors, more flavor to the salad, I like to add chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced Italian parsley, freshly grated garlic, marinated artichokes and/or black olives, and topped with crumbled feta cheese. It is a wow salad packed full of flavor, yet very low in calories.

To get the full recipe, please click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdimRiGSBHw&feature=youtu.be

Be on the lookout for a new Live Like a Goddess YouTube channel Coming Soon!

Unleash your Inner Aphrodite. . .

Claudia

Blog, Lifestyle

Following in Aphrodite’s Footsteps: A New Year’s Resolution for the Ultimate Goddess

 

It’s week 2 into 2017. How many of you guys are still hitting the gym? Cut your sugar addictions? As far as New Year’s Resolutions go, losing weight is perennially the most popular. But for this year, I would like to offer a new resolution: one that doesn’t look at just the numbers on your scale or in your bank account. In 2017 let’s look at following in Aphrodite’s footsteps. The Goddess of Love and Beauty probably never spent an excess minute thinking of her excess curves. Instead, she focused on giving love and making the world fall at her feet.

In this new year, allow me to share with you some secrets of how sirens of the Mediterranean make the world stop at their pedicured feet.

Adopt a Healthier Palate

Naturally, as a Mediterranean Lifestyle Coach, I teach Mediterranean cooking. So it’s no wonder that the first thing on Living La Vida Goddess in 2017 would be learning to cook! My family is a huge fan of olives, olive oil, tomatoes, yogurt, feta cheese, and pretty much all things Mediterranean. So it’s pretty easy for us to adopt a healthier diet when our palate is already accustomed to these tastes. But if you prefer the taste of butter, meat, fried foods and take out, then it may be difficult for you to make that change. Below are a couple of quick fixes to help you switch your palate

  1. Eat at least 7 servings of fruit and/or vegetables per day. Pack tangerines in your bag; chomp on dried figs for dessert; eat a salad every single day. I promise: if you do this, you won’t have room in your stomach for a full cheeseburger and fries.
  2. Eat beans/legumes at least 2x per week. Packed full of fiber, protein and folate, legumes are a great, inexpensive food that is extremely versatile (black-eyed peas are awesome on top of brown rice; edamame are wonderful on a salad; cranberry beans are great as a stew with coarsely chopped root vegetables – think carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips).
  3. Still unsure on where to begin? Take a cooking class! Cooking classes are a great gift to yourself. It is the ultimate gift that keeps giving. Look them up at your local university, community college, local food cooperative, or local restaurants.

 

 Gather your Personal Army

Goddesses recognize that life can be tough. So to combat the stresses of simply existing, we create an army of supporters. In this new year, consider building your support village. Join a Success Circle that will keep you on target with your professional and personal goals (think of a Writer’s Group). Reach out to new (and old) friends on social media. Then follow it up with a much-needed, but often overlooked girls’ weekend or trip. Plan a trip that has you swinging from vines, pushing your adrenaline by day, but relaxing in the evening and creating those precious moments that last a lifetime.

And call your mom weekly! She was the founder of your First Personal Army.

Photo from Your24hCoach

Get Om with your Spiritual Side

This is always the hardest one for me. I was born Orthodox Christian and raised Roman Catholic (grew up in small towns in Virginia). I love the church and its ancient traditions. I love the fact that my 5 senses are tantalized once I enter a cathedral. It’s an overall experience that leaves me at the end of my 1+ hour relaxed, happy and even chatty with my fellow churchgoers. But then I don’t go for weeks. Months. (at one point, even years). I get completely busy with life – a workout class, my children’s sports, traveling over the weekend, work, etc. Life takes over. This does not happen in the Old World. Religion is still revered. It is still considered family time to go to temple, church or mosque. And I’ve got to admit it: the families seem so contended and connected once they spend a couple of hours together on a given Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

So in my new year’s resolution, I will make religion a priority again. And I’m not talking about the in-your-face, hate-spewing, hell-damning religion (because I don’t personally believe in those, nor go to sermons that espouse those). I think most of us seek peace, love and serenity on a daily, weekly basis. Give yourself the gift of peace this year. Give yourself the time to meditate, pray and postulate before a higher being. Make a commitment to chant. Do it in the car or in the shower. Explore Buddhism and Hinduism, if the monotheistic ones which you may have grown up with no longer fits. Find the right religion for you; find one that resonates deep within you. Say yes to peace in 2017.

Become an Asset to your Company

One of the things I learned quickly in business school was how to build a balance sheet: a financial sheet that provided a snapshot of a company’s health. Once I graduated and moved to the corporate world, I began to think of myself and my peers as line items in a spreadsheet. I know, it’s totally unsexy and demoralizing to think of humans in this fashion. But it’s true: we are either a cost to the company, or a source of revenue. We are either an asset or a liability. Since then, I have not forgotten these simple truths.

In the new year, take a good long look at yourself in the business setting. Are you actually adding value in your role? Could you learn a new skillset that would benefit your company and then you? And as always, be certain to promote yourself loudly – so that your higher ups take notice of this new you.

Get pampered

Get your Glam On

Women in the Mediterranean know how to be flirty, fun and sexy. The men drop to their pedicured toes because we Mediterranean women ooze confidence. In the new year, take a dance class (tango? Salsa?), become regimented about skin care, eat healthfully, and choose sequins every now and then for a little sparkle in your life.

Here’s to a brilliant, healthy, goddess-worthy 2017! Do you have any other healthy resolutions for 2017? Drop me a line below!  

Lifestyle

Take Back the Weekend

What happened to lazing around at the beach or a park on Saturdays? Or church and a large family gathering on Sundays? That’s what I want to know.

family-getaway-beach-chairs-jpg-rend-tccom-616-462

My weekends got hijacked the moment I stepped foot on American soil and enrolled my kids into public school. It seemed to happen overnight. One day my generation were kids – riding our bikes, telling ghost stories in the middle of fields, exploring abandoned and most definitely about to collapse wooden houses. We got into colleges and floated by at frat parties and all-nighters at the library. We grew up in simpler, less competitive times. And I know I sound old right now.

But this is the deal: the blissful, ignorant relative calm of the 80s is how people still live outside the crazed energy of the US. In the Mediterranean, no one in their right minds would consider infringing on family time to watch their kid kick a ball down a field. It doesn’t happen. Sports practices are after school once per week. Period. Music classes may occupy an additional weeknight. But that’s it. And as for competitions, recitals and so forth? Once per semester. Simple.

There is no illusion the kid in question will go pro or to the Olympics. There is no discussion of athletic college scholarships, probably because colleges are already rather affordable to the average household income. But I’ll withhold political discussions at this point.

While many Westerners may scoff at the lack of competitiveness in the Mediterranean (and visions of imaginary portly, lazy kids may abound in their heads), let me say one thing: what is lacking in athletic prowess is more than compensated in family-focused lives.

Three generation of a family sharing a meal. Stock photo from Huffington Post

Three generation of a family sharing a meal. Stock photo from Huffington Post

One of the most important pillars I noticed in the Mediterranean is the focus of a strong family bond. I could try to explain it by noting political instabilities in the region, and therefore focusing on the health and wealth of your own, immediate family is of utmost concern. The lack of trust in a government working for the people and by the people could also be a contributing reason why family is more important than all else. But really, I don’t feel the need to explain it. Rather, I would like to talk about the effect that happens in this environment. According to sociologists studying the effects of extended family, considerable research points to benefits of children growing up around grandparents and other important family figures. (http://family.jrank.org/pages/473/Extended-Families-Study-Extended-Family.html) Instead of focusing on artificial (and often times fleeting) sports relationships, shouldn’t we be more focused on cultivating long-lasting, meaningful relationships with family and close friends?

On a typical Sunday in the Mediterranean, we go to church in the mornings. Jews and Muslims would go to their prayers of worship on Saturday and Friday, respectively. But for us, after Sunday service, lunch was almost always had at my in-laws. They live in a modest home with a ginormous garden full of citrus, olive, pomegranate, persimmon and fig trees. Since retirement, they had gotten into the habit of planting seasonal vegetables. So lunches, while simple, were centered around local, organic veggies in season and fresh baked bread from the baker down the road. We usually shared a bottle of wine, plenty of laughter. It wasn’t a large, elaborate meal, but it was our tradition that most on the island held sacred.

But by the time coffee came around, extended family would begin making their rounds. Cousins, uncles, aunts, children, all stopped by for a cup of Turkish coffee, glass of homemade lemonade, or a piece of fruit. The children would play in the garden all day long, weather permitting. They climb trees, pretend to skate down the rickety driveway, throw rocks at the houses across the ravine (they could never hit it). Basically, they weren’t doing anything special. But they were bonding. They were playing, living healthfully not in front of a screen, not being directed by a coach, and always under the watchful eye of a loving adult.

img_2833

My fabulous four

They were part of a team. But I guess it wasn’t a formal one; it was a family one.

Lifestyle

Olive Picking Time

In the Mediterranean, late Fall/early Winter is olive picking time. Truthfully, it’s not met with much enthusiasm. It’s one of the many chores, the labors of love, of living in God’s country. All summer long, knotted olive tree branches weigh heavy with green olives slowly ripening in the relentless summer.

old-olive-tree

Did you know that black olives were nothing more than ripened green olives? That was a total news flash for me. 

Most families in Cyprus have their own olive trees. And with these olive trees, they provide their own families’ supply of organic olive oil for the year. If you come from a particularly wealthy family, you own an orchard. The olives are collected by teams of seasonal workers; but even then – the entire family still pitches in and helps pick olives on Saturdays and Sundays.  Olive picking is a family affair.

img_30131

As an American, all I knew about olive oil was that it tasted good (especially when I dipped fresh bread into it with salt, pepper and oregano). I could find rows of bottled virgin, extra virgin, cold pressed, and regular olive oil lining my grocer’s shelves.  But I had no idea what all these really meant.

After living in the Mediterranean for 8 years, and going through 7 harvests, below are some of interesting facts about olives that I thought I’d share.

Lessons Learned from Olive Picking over the Years

  1. Wear long sleeves, gloves and boots! Olive branches are super scrappy and they tear through skin like a sharp razor. Okay – that’s an exaggeration. But they really do hurt! I’ve got one scar on my hands from years ago that still hasn’t healed from an olive brush. As for the boots – olive trees do not need much (if any) watering, so the ground below is quite dry, and often brush-like. They are also a breeding ground for rodents, which totally gross me out. Where boots to protect your pedicure.
  2. Process of picking olives hasn’t really evolved much over the years. Spread a big blanket on the ground and then begin to gently hit shake the tree branches. For high up branches, you will need a ladder, a broom stick or both. Be careful when standing below! Dropping olives are like big pebbles landing on your head!
  3. Olives are really bitter off the tree! They are pretty much inedible. Trust me, I’ve tried. To get them to table-serving worthy, you need to ferment and cure the olives. The process of curing/fermenting involves adding it to salt-water brine and changing out this brine for about a week. Then letting the salted olives soak for another few weeks, until they get soft, salty, squishy and yummy.
  4. BUT to get high quality OLIVE OIL, you should press the olives within 24 – 36 hours of picking. Once pressed, keep the olive oil in dark barrels, hidden from direct sunlight for a month to allow the debris to settle. Then the oil is spectacular.
  5. You need about 3 kilos (10 pounds) of olives to yield a liter of olive oil. The skin and pits are the heaviest part of the fruit, and therefore there is a significant amount of waste when pressing. Interestingly, in recent years that debris has been used for all sorts of commercial use: crushed pits are baked into bricks, which are used to build houses. Broken skin is soaked and used into making soaps and cosmetics.

Like anything, when you work for your food, it tastes all the sweeter. But I got to admit: I’m glad it’s only once a year.

zeytinler-6

About Claudia, Blog, In The News

Mediterranean Cooking Class @ Friendly City Food Coop

Hey all – just a reminder that the Harrisonburg Friendly City Food Coop is getting Mediterranean-Friendly tonight! I’m teaching a class open to the public from 6 PM – 7:30 PM  about the goodness of eating fresh, local and light. Learn how to make hummus, tzatziki, tabbouleh, and fennel. For more information and to book your tickets, check out their site:

Mediterranean Diet

Grab a friend and a cutting board! See you there!

Live like a goddess. . .

Blog, Cooking, Lifestyle

La Vie en Rosewater

La Vie en Rosewater

rosewater

Rosewater is made from steeping fresh petals and distilling. Photo from www.steptohealth.com


In the Mediterranean we try to use all natural products with a deep history of its beneficial uses, instead of relying on man or factory-made ones. This was, of course, primarily dictated initially due to the region’s lack of buying power and remoteness. But, as the people of these regions slowly gained in wealth and imported products began permeating the local markets, some traditions stay true. Rosewater is one of them.

Rosewater is one of those truly multifaceted products which are used in the kitchen to sweeten foods, as well as in the bathroom and bedroom as a beauty and healing product. Best of all, the luxurious scent of this marvelous little water adds a bit of zest to your cooking without breaking the bank. The cost is under $5.00 for a 12 ounce bottle.

The homeopathic roots of rosewater date as far back as the ancient Egyptians. According to legend, Cleopatra would take milk baths with rose petals floating to keep her skin soft, smooth and gloriously scented. Even in recent times, it is said the streets of Beirut are filled with the scent of rosewater in the late Spring and early Summer, as the rose petals are pressed, steamed and distilled to make this many faceted beauty and food product.

Rosewater for skin

Rosewater is typically spritzed on the faces of women with sensitive skin or rosacea, due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. For those with acne, applying rosewater as a tonic reduces the amount of bacteria on the skin. So it makes an excellent, all natural toner for skin that has broken out due to excess oils. Even for those of us who don’t necessarily have problematic skin, rosewater is a gentle, fabulous pick-me-up. The scent awakens your senses better than coffee (well, that may be a stretch, but it does work). Rosewater enjoys a natural aromatherapy healing to elevate your senses.  Rosewater is refreshing, inexpensive and luxuriously scented; keeping skin soft and hydrated – which is important for all skin types at any age.

Rosewater for Men

While some men may scoff at smelling like roses, let me point out that rosewater is an excellent aftershave. It stems from the very same reason that rosewater is good on sensitive skin: it helps to calm irritated skin. And don’t worry about smelling like a girl: the rose scent is light and generally dissipates off skin within the first 30 minutes.

Rosewater in the Bath

The calming, luxurious effect that rosewater has on your skin can have the same effect on your other senses. After a long, busy day, a deep bath in hot water with a few drops of rosewater and any essential oil (my personal favorite is Jasmine) relaxes even the most stressed out Type A out there. Best of all, you go to bed smelling like a bed of roses – with the added bonus of softer, brighter skin.

Rosewater in the Bedroom

Try spritzing your sheets with a bit of rosewater to release the Aphrodite within.

Rosewater in the Kitchen

In addition to using rosewater for beauty purposes, try adding a splash of rosewater in the kitchen for a refreshing twist on simple salads.

Rosewater in the Laundry

Give your freshly laundered clothes a little goddess love. Spritz folded clothes with a few sprays of rosewater. Your family (and you!) will love it. It makes your entire wardrobe, closet, drawers smell heavenly. Simple pleasures like this go a long way in making one feel luxurious and pampered, without spending a fortune.

img_1423

Moroccan Cucumber Rosewater salad is light, refreshing and perfect for cleansing the palate. It is served in most evening meals.

 

Moroccan Shredded Cucumber Salad

Used as both an aperitif and as a digestive, this cucumber dish helps to cleanse the palate in between meals and bites.

  • 1 English or American Cucumber, peeled (if desired) and shredded
  • ½ teaspoon of Sugar or Stevia to taste
  • Dried Mint
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater

In a large bowl, shred cucumbers, sprinkle in sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Add mint and rosewater. Place in fridge and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.

 

Watermelon, Basil & Feta Salad

In Greece, with the extreme heat and no one with a ravenous appetite, watermelon and feta is a simple summertime dinner. Add some fresh bread and a dash of rosewater for an island-flair.

  • Ripe watermelon, cubed
  • Chunk of Feta
  • Fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons rosewater

In a large bowl, combine the above. Enjoy the compliments you will receive on this simple, yet exotic salad.

 

Have I convinced you to give Rosewater a whirl? Do you know of any other fantastic recipes that uses this elixir of the goddesses? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment.

 

Blog, In The News, Lifestyle

Islanders Have Nothing to Do, so they Do One Another

Originally published on 8/25/16 on Women Who Live on Rocks http://womenwholiveonrocks.com/why-islanders-have-more-sex/. A little more tongue and cheek than the usual drink Hibiscus tea (http://www.livelikeagoddess.com/hibiscus-heart-health/) or how to make a rocking Spanokopita (http://www.livelikeagoddess.com/spanokopita-spinach-pie-with-fresh-mint/). I hope you all enjoy it!

 

Why Islanders Have More Sex

WRITTEN BY: CLAUDIA HANNA

 

This may be one of the best well-kept secrets of island living: we are *horny* here. Not like a little bit horny, but straight out, teenage-frenzy-horny. Have you ever noticed that you feel a bit more,ahem, amorous while on a beach vacation? Maybe it’s the sun, sand, and alcohol (a less-than-holy trinity), but the killer combo makes most people impossible to resist a flirty glance, a stolen kiss, or, if you’re lucky, a bit more.

*click for image credit

Now take those stolen, sweaty moments and expand it into days, nights, weeks, months, and possibly years. There are plenty of times for the unholy of sanctions to strike. And that is exactly what is happening on my rock. All. The. Time.

I’ve got a few possible explanations as to why we islanders get in-between the sheets more than the average colder climate dwellers…

The Weather

Yes, this one is really quite obvious. As mercury rises, pheromones release, sending us all into the friskiest of moods. There’s something about ladies in short dresses, bare skin, and sweat beading (because it’s so stinking hot) that has men slinking through the streets like alley cats looking for food.

We Come Alive at Night

To deal with the relentless sun, we sleep by day and play by night. With the nighttime comes locally-produced (read: cheap) beer, wine, and liquor. While northern friends may flock to the rock to escape cold, blistery days, we island-dwellers shrink from the relentless sun and then come alive by night. The nighttime living turns into nighttime loving, once alcohol is introduced into the mix, especially if we have all this excess energy to be consumed due to our lethargic, sunny daylight hours.

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Vacation Brain

It’s the vacation state of mind. The perma-vaca mood that permeates the islanders has many locals and expats alike howling at the full moon. We can’t help it. There’s a relaxed vibe that does not translate in higher latitudes. With both brains and bodies in chill-mode, we return to our natural animal-mode. We are blessedly stripped from typical Western cultural norms, business attire, and polite banter/behavior.

But while I can go on and on about the weather, the nightlife, and the holiday-mindset, do you want to know the real reason why islanders get it on so much?

There’s nothing else to do.

Really. It’s that simple. In America, where I’m from, we were constantly climbing the corporate ladder, or training for a marathon, or helping in a charity, or starting a business, or taking a child to tennis/track/violin/you-name-it. On our rock, we have no large corporations. Non-profits are feeding a stray dog or cat. And absolutely no one would be stupid enough to train for a triathlonhalf of the year (it’s simply too hot). So a better form of exercise is… you get the picture.

And there you have it: plenty of time on your hands, no high pressure aspirations for a killer career or a multi-million dollar venture, scant clothing or modesty, plenty of alcohol-imbibing, and nocturnal living. This is why islanders – at least on my rock – are having more sex.

How about on your rock? Have you noticed an exorbitant amount of busy-ness between the sheets in the absence of business on the streets?

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