Thursday, September 4, 2014

Staycation: a week long artist date

Sunflower in the garden

It's nearly the end of summer here in the US.  The summer garden is nearing its end so it doesn't need constant tending, so we had planned a family vacation for the beginning of September.  However, scheduling conflicts, some wallet draining repairs to our, in general, caused us to change our plans.

I decided to take the time off anyway and indulge in a frugal and creativity filled home retreat of artist dates as taught by Julia Cameron in the Artist's Way.  So I could immerse myself in my creative endeavors, I made a schedule to help me focus to get the most of my time. Those who know me, realize that I'm not a sit back and relax kind of gal,  so here is a peek at some of my staycation and artist dates wish list. 
  • morning meditation, workout and walk with the dog
  • fresh pressed juice or smoothie breakfast
  • email and social media break
  • morning creative activity
  • healthy, mostly raw lunch
  • email and social media break
  • afternoon creative activity
  • walk with the dog
  • mindfully cooking a nourishing dinner
  • quality time with hubby enjoying our stacks of books and backlog of movies

 My wish list of creative activities include:  
  • mixed media artwork for the sketchbook project
  • blog post writing
  • recipe development for future blog posts - done while crafting lunches and dinners
  • canning and preserving the garden harvest
  • closet and bookshelf editing 
  • thrifting for fall wardrobe additions (done)
  • dance choreography for fall dance performance season
  • website updates
  • photo editing
  • excursion to take new photos
  • garden maintenance (done), fall planning and planting
  • day trip with hubby for historic house tours and used bookstore and antique treasure hunting
  • mailing handwritten notes and surprises to stay in touch with friends and family
  • periodic review of my yearly goals for fall through the end of the year
  • girlfriend time at yoga class and brunch (done)
  • excursion to a newly opened neighborhood coffee shop for iced tea and writing time
My retreat is shaping up nicely and I'm enjoying bouts of mindful creativity.  Here are a few highlights of my activities so far.

Rich berry-chocolate breakfast smoothie 

Makes 2 generous servings (vegan and gluten free)

Handful of kale or spinach
A frozen banana or two
About a cup of fresh or frozen berries or additional banana  (I used raspberries)
About 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used dark, raw powder)
2-3 tablespoons nut or seed butter (I used peanut butter)
Coconut water or nut milk (I used coconut water with pulp)
Splash of vanilla extract
Sweetener to taste (agave, maple syrup or a couple of pitted medjool dates)
A generous tablespoon of each maca powder and flax seeds (optional)

Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.  Add about a half cup of ice if you like a thick milkshake-like texture.  Taste and add or adjust sweetener as desired and blend well.  

Marie Forleo and Chris Guillebeau discuss How to Make Your Life More Meaningful and Exciting in this video which gave me inspiration to get focused and set my intention for my stay at home retreat.

New thrift store adventure at the sweet Charity's Closet Resale Boutique at Savage Mill, MD

This vegan sunshine bowl for lunch kept me fueled all afternoon. A bed of lettuce, sweet red pepper, grated beets, tomatoes, avocado, mung bean sprouts, leftover brown rice with pinto beans and pumpkin seeds drizzled with a tahini, orange juice vinaigrette

I may not get to everything on my wish list, but I have plenty to keep me active and engaged in the activities and projects I relish, but don't always get to spend as much time on as I'd like.  I think this soul enriching break could become a regularly scheduled event each year.

What would you do on your dream staycation?

Thanks for reading!

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