I have never understood the venom hurled at Gwyneth Paltrow, by the press and bloggers alike. Since she started her lifestyle site, Goop, not a month has gone by without some critic feeling compelled to ridicule her or just be plain mean. Gwyneth happens to be beautiful, talented ad comes across as a decent human being. And no, she doesn’t quite live the life the rest of us do, but so what if most of the vacation suggestions to be found on Goop require a platinum card and most of the fashion on sale is beyond my reach? The woman has style and I sometimes draw some inspiration the same way I do from Vogue – I won’t buy St. Laurent but it can give me ideas. And, this week, I found a couple of interesting things on Goop I felt worthy of a share.
Always looking for some interesting and light cocktails as an alternative to my beloved Campari and Soda, I came across this Watermelon Margarita, courtesy of Goop. On the first evening of real heat, I bought my first watermelon, blended it and made a batch. Then I enjoyed it on the patio, with some grilled chicken and the setting sun. It is rather sweet so you might want to tone down the agave syrup. Alternatively, if you have access to fresh guava, I can see guavas being a worthy stand-in for watermelon and lending more acidity to the overall drink.
Whirl three cups of seedless watermelon in a blender and strain.
Combine 1/4 cup of agave syrup and a 1/4 cup of water and heat gently on the stove until the agave is dissolved.
Combine watermelon juice, agave syrup, 3/4 cup of tequila and the juice of two limes. Stir, refrigerate and serve when really cold.
Romantic relationships: we seek them, we want them, we pine for them, we end up getting them and, more often than not, we screw them up. Often we are attracted to the wrong traits and don’t realize the mess we are in until we are knee-deep in it. In this article, psychiatrists Robin Berman and Sonya Rasminsky, break down the advantages of being with an emotionally grown-up partner and how we can behave as grown-us. Most of us will recognize nasty habits we (or our partner) display, and will find some practical suggestions on how to break them. All very common sense and yet, it very often eludes us. Read the whole article here
Elizabeth Gilbert knows a thing or two about compulsion when it comes to men. Whether you read “Eat, Pray, Love” or not, and whether you are fan or simply detested the book, this short piece Gilbert wrote for the New York Times Magazine on her addiction to men and how she broke free of it, struck me for its honesty. Her memoir started with the break-up of her marriage, and she only hinted at this compulsion: it was very courageous of her to share it in such detail.
Mark Bradford is an African-American Los Angeleno artist who grew up around South Central, at the time of the riots. Raised by a single mom, his childhood was better than most underprivileged kids’ but he was still a witness to the divide between blacks and whites and, once grown up and on the way to becoming an established visual artist, Bradford poured his consciousness and his activism into his work. His pieces are large and can take years to complete. Bradford’s new work is currently on show at the Hammer Museum : I love his complex layering, which is as much about taking away as it is about adding.
The words “legally blind” and “photographer” might sound odd used in the same sentence. Yet, Tammy Ruggles, afflicted by retinitis pigmentosa (a progressive disease that leads to blindness) is legally blind but able to take striking photographs. It wasn’t until she had to abandon her job as a social worker because she could no longer drive that she thought of becoming a photographer. Still able to discern shapes and shadows, Tammy’s work is all in black and white as high contrast is what she can see best. Mary takes hundreds of photos, trusting what she can barely intuit, and then she transfers them to a computer where she can better see them, close up: most are discarded but what is left is precious. And beautiful. Not to mention inspiring. I found the story through Austin Kleon and you can read about Tammy’s journey here.
Images of Mark Bradford’s work copyright by the artist and taken by C&S
Images of Tammy Ruggles’ photography copyright by the artist and courtesy of Vox