Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lift Yourself out of the Ordinary

Have you ever wanted to go to a spa or experience another culture but you didn't want to spend the time or the money? Having a new experience can be uplifting and inspiring. It just doesn't always need to involve a journey to get there. You can have it right in your home too.

Just lifting yourself out of the ordinary can be invigorating. I recently got to join in a 3 day workshop that was just a couple of miles from where I live. I met new people and had an experience. I ate in a restaurant I normally eat at anyway but I experienced it anew as I was having my own little mini 3 day vacation.

This can happen right in your own home. You can create a spa night with friends, taking turns giving treatments or if you feel like indulging further, hire someone to come and give everyone treatments. With food and atmosphere you can go to many places and have some fun experiences that cost little and can be done anytime. It adds a lot to include others so invite some friends or even create a monthly dinner club where you take turns as host.

Get simple things to create atmosphere. If there isn't a party store to go easily, look up how to order things on the Internet. A Caribbean night be as simple as candles, jerk steak or seitan or tofu with an island inspired salad and maybe coconut lime squares for dessert with a game of mankala. Take a Mexican vacation buying or making your own tamales, fajitas, tacos or burritos with salsa, guacamole and chips. Get a CD of Mexican music that you can play in the background and maybe have some steamers around for fun.

Gathering the family around the living room on pillows can make for a fun Japanese sushi night. Place the food on a coffee table and serve small bowls of miso soup and a variety of easy rolls. You could buy frozen appetizers to go along with the sushi rolls so that you need not fry anything yourself or if you feel inclined, make some tempura. I like simple rolls like avocado with shredded carrot and cucumber or broiled salmon with cucumber, stir fry fillings with avocado. Invent your own or make fillings and let everyone take turns rolling up the rolls. Cut them all into bite sized pieces and place on plates for all to share.

The more elements you use to create a new atmosphere, such as using a different room to eat in, music, decor, along with the food, the more it will feel like a satisfying experience. Remember to let others share in the work too. Don't feel that you must be clean-up crew if you just cooked. Allow others to pitch in so that you all feel like you contributed and got something too.

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