We Are One – Rosemary Gibbons

My mother use to say ‘Show me your friends and I’ll show you the future.’ I have made a tremendous effort to surround myself with genuine, loving, optimistic and driven people. I truly believe your success will be in direct proportion with the company you keep… good generates good.

In my “Friend’s of Brielle” category, I want to feature the inspirational people in my life. In the last post, Dom Venneri (instagram.com/domvenneri) shared his travel secrets – he has been to some of the most amazing places and spent time with pretty incredible folks. He inspires me to break out of my slightly neurotic planning mold and just be creative and free.

For this post, I am thrilled to share the story of Rosemary Gibbons, a woman that literally left her whole life behind for a much bigger purpose. Enjoy!

My Story of WE ARE ONE

by: Rosemary Gibbons

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When I was young growing up in the Midwest, I would see pictures of children in Africa. My heart was touched and I wished that I could help them somehow.  Many years later I had the opportunity to visit a remote African country, one of the poorest in the world. I traveled to Malawi and saw first-hand the needs of children there.

While visiting a college in Malawi, I was invited to teach a course on Leadership. There was a need because Malawi had been under Colonialism and  then a dictatorship for many years. I had been facilitating workshops on Leadership Development and Team Building in the states, so my experiences fit the need there. During my stay in Malawi, I saw that people had been oppressed and living in fear of taking initiative and responsibility. The country needed strong leaders with the courage to stand up for what is right and they had to be taught; thus education was a priority. I also discovered what I already knew in my heart: that we are all a part of the human race and that there is a oneness that connects us.

In 1998, I sold my house, car and most of my belongings to move to a college campus in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. The joy of teaching those so eager to learn was beyond words. My joy heightened when I met a Malawian man who shared my desire to train up effective leaders who could take responsibility to make the country a better place. We were married in 2000 and set about teaching and training, with the knowledge of “we are one” in our hearts.

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We also founded a nonprofit  501c3 which could enable friends in America to donate and help with our cause. We named it WE ARE ONE. Many have contributed thousands of dollars through the years which has created an opportunity for those who were living in vulnerable and poverty stricken conditions. The connection of people who give and those who receive creates a connection of oneness.

In 2002, a famine plus the Aids pandemic devastated Malawi and nearly an entire generation was lost. Their children were left stranded without care or grandmothers trying to provide for them. We felt led to adopt 12 boys who could be future leaders. These are now in high school and college. We also created a scholarship program and tutoring project which have assisted many to acquire a much needed education.

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It has not always been easy, as I have encountered near death experiences through ill-health and robbery, setbacks, disappointments, and sadness. However, after serving for 18 years in Malawi, I can say that it has been worth it to experience positive results and to learn over and over that we are truly ONE.

Please visit our website and learn more: www.weareonemalawi.org

We Are One Malawi Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weareoneMalawi/

Smoky Broccoli Soup Recipe

I love broccoli and soup so this recipe was a match made in heaven! This is so healthy and easy to make.

Smoky Broccoli Soup

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Serves 8

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups chopped sweet onions
1 Tbsp pressed garlic
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp and 3/4 cup water
1/2 and 1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 cups cauliflower
2 Tbsp ghee
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
5 cups spinach
1 can organic coconut milk
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Sauté onions for 4 minutes on medium heat, until translucent. Add garlic, cayenne, smoked paprika, pepper, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and two tablespoons water. Stir well, and continue heating for another 2–3 minutes. Add chopped broccoli, cauliflower, ghee, and apple cider vinegar and stir well so that everything is coated. Leave for at least 2 minutes so that the flavors mix. Add 3/4 cup of water, another teaspoon of sea salt, and lemon zest. Continue cooking over low to medium heat for another 6-7 minutes.

Once cauliflower is cooked through, reduce heat, add coconut milk and lemon juice, and stir well. Heat entire mixture enough to warm the coconut milk.

Turn off heat and use a handheld blender or high-speed blender (much smoother with high-speed blender). Add a little more water if you want it thinner. Taste and adjust.

Enjoy!

DIY Body Scrub

I love exfoliating body scrubs. I have tried many brands and have to say the simple DIY recipe my cousin Jennifer Ross Hofrichter gave me is amazing.

3 ingredients, great exfoliation and you choose the scent – easy, inexpensive and useful.

Easy DIY Body Scrub Recipe

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  1. White Sugar
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Essential Oil (she  used lemon, I used my orange oil from Marrakesh – but use whatever you prefer)

Lather up and enjoy!

Motivation Monday: #TRUTHBOMBS w/o Jan 25th

Dirty Halo

My friend, Lauren DiPrima, knows how much I love motivational quotes and got me Danielle LaPorte’s #TRUTHBOMB cards. There are 134 sentences that provide a little inspiration. I loved this one. It put a smile on my face and it’s a great way to kick off this week!

Swan’s Sesame Noodle Recipe

A chef is a person who is a highly trained, skilled professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation of a particular cuisine.

Although my dear friend Yao-Hsuan Huang (aka: Swan) #swanskitchen wasn’t formally trained, she is proficient at cooking everything – seriously! She gets inspired and just creates magical dishes that are not only delicious, but a beautiful sensory experience. I tease her all the time and ask her to be my personal chef (I could only wish!).

She was kind enough to provide one of her favorite recipes for 3QT.

Sesame Noodles

Swan’s Inspiration: Every year I make my friend’s husband, Tom, a dish for his birthday. One year I brought him a bucket of banana pudding to a bar. Last year he requested sesame noodles. This request made me think of my mom’s liang mian (cold sesame noodle) recipe. She uses Taiwanese sesame paste. I substituted peanut butter because that is what I had on hand. I also added a bunch of veggies. You could really throw in any of your favorite vegetables. The sesame noodles were a hit and have made multiple appearances at other parties.

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Ingredients:
1 box of spaghetti (any brand- I usually buy what is on sale)
12 oz bag of sugar snap peas
1 c of vegetable oil
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1/3 lite soy sauce
3 T sesame oil
1 T agave nectar
2-4 cloves of minced garlic (depends on how garlicy you like it)
1 T grated ginger
2 T toasted sesame seeds
1/2 c smooth peanut butter
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 orange pepper, sliced thinly
1 yellow pepper, sliced thinly
5 scallions, sliced diagonally whites and greens
2 carrots, shredded
1 c cilantro
1 T toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
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Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously, so it tastes like the sea. Cook spaghetti to al dente according to package. Usually it’s 9-10 minutes. During the last 3 minutes the pasta is cooking, throw in the sugar snap peas. They should stay floating on the top. After 3 minutes use a slotted spoon to transfer the sugar snap peas to a bowl of ice water. You want to shock them so they stop cooking and retain their color and crunch. After they are cooled slice then diagonally.
2. While the pasta is cooking whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, lite soy sauce, sesame oil, agave nectar, garlic cloves, grated ginger, 2T toasted sesame seeds and peanut butter. This is the sauce.
3. Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce.
4. Toss in all the peppers, scallions, carrots, sugar snap peas, and cilantro.
5. Garnish with 1 T of toasted sesame seeds at the end.
6. Enjoy!

3-D Eyebrow Embroidery

I have no eyebrows. They are shapeless, thin, and downright ugly. I would spend money on shaping, tweezing, waxing, threading, but nothing ever seemed to work. The only time they would look decent is when I would get them professionally done by a make-up artist, and honestly, who has the time to do that everyday? Also, there are so many bells and whistles involved! I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler let alone try and outline an eyebrow.

I was in an eyebrow funk until my dear friend, Lorin Carlino informed me about 3-D eyebrow embroidery. I immediately conjured up images of needles, patchwork and 3-D glasses and couldn’t grasp what this was.

Eyebrow embroidery is also known as cosmetic tattooing, semi-permanent makeup, pigment embroidery, 3-D eyebrow embroidery, or micro-blading. It’s very common in Malaysia and Singapore and has slowly been gaining traction in the U.S. Semi-permanent pigment is pushed into the surface of the skin with a fine blade to mimic the growth/look of existing hair and create natural looking brows based on your preference. The technician draws in your dream brow prior to the procedure to ensure the shape/style the customer desires.

Lorin sold me on this and I made an appointment at Tina Lee Skin Care in Chinatown. This is NOT a fancy spa. It’s tucked inside the Hair Le Pell Salon in New York City’s Chinatown (18 Pell St / 212-966-8740)

Tina Lee

The procedure is simple:

  • Recline in a chair while Tina fills in your brows to your liking.
  • She applies numbing crème and within 3-5 minutes begins filling them in with the little blade and ink.
  • Pain: I have a high tolerance for pain so it didn’t bother me. It literally felt like someone taking a hairbrush and twisting out knots from your hair. It was uncomfortable. I’ve had friends who cried (yikes). It’s very dependent on each person. BUT regardless, it’s a 10-30 minute procedure depending on how much you have to fill in AND it’s totally worth it (ever hear Pain = Beauty) because once it’s complete and you see how perfect your brows are, you will forget any discomfort you had.
  • Recovery: Again this is dependent on the person. Tina gives you an herbal topical solution to use the next 10 days. It moisturizes and seals in the semi-permanent ink. It has a very herbaceous smell. I use it at night before bed. I had no down time. Some people may experience redness for a day. Your brow area will be tender for a few hours after. That’s about it.
  • Maintenance: this lovely procedure lasts up to a year. Tina suggests clients return within 3 months of original application to fill in any spots. Most clients go for a year/year and a half before starting over again.

This has truly been one of the best beauty investments I ever made.

 

 

 

Beef & Spinach Lo Mein Recipe

Beef & Spinach Lo Mein Recipe

I love noodles. I love Asian food. Let’s be real – I just love food in general! Another warm, comforting dish is beef & spinach lo mein. Believe it or not, this is under 500 calories per serving and gets your lo mein fix in. It’s also super easy to make. Enjoy!

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TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

SERVINGS: 5

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound beef top round steak, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces uncooked spaghetti (I use wheat and/or gluten free)
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 package (10 ounces) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

Directions

  • In a small bowl, mix the first six ingredients. Remove 1/4 cup mixture to a large bowl; add beef and toss to coat. Marinate at room temperature 10 minutes.
  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1-1/2 teaspoons canola oil. Add half of the beef mixture; stir-fry 1-2 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from pan. Repeat with an additional 1-1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef mixture.
  • Stir-fry water chestnuts and green onions in remaining canola oil 30 seconds. Stir in spinach and remaining hoisin mixture; cook until spinach is wilted. Return beef to pan; heat through.
  • Drain spaghetti; add to beef mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle with chili pepper.

Motivation Monday w/o Jan 18th: Take Chances!

This is one of my all time favorites and a way I really want to live my life. The “Youngest you’ll ever be again line” always gets me…  Stay inspired!

Life

Top of the Shop Spice: Ras el Hanout

Keith and my palettes changed after our journey to Morocco. The spices were unlike anything we ever tasted. So vibrant and flavorful. The stand-out was Ras el Hanout, which means ‘Top of the Shop’. It actually originated in North Africa thousands of years ago and can include up to 100 individual spices. Each vendor in the market holds their recipe as a closely-guarded secret. Some believe the seductive ingredients in Ras el Hanout produce an aphrodisiac – I have no complaints about this! The blend is exotic and spices up many of the ground beef or lamb dishes I make. It can also be used on steaks, chops and chicken.

You will find variations of this because there is no set recipe, however, this is the one I use and enjoy.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons powdered ginger

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preparation:

Measure all the spices into a medium bowl and mix with a fork until combined. Close your eyes and take a slow inhale through your nose. It will transport you to a Moroccan market. Transfer the spice blend to an airtight container and apply liberally to your food.

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w/o Jan 11th: The Virgin Way

I absolutely love business and self-help books. A good friend, Daniel Udell, recommended Richard Branson’s  The Virgin Way. http://www.amazon.com/The-Virgin-Way-Everything-Leadership/dp/1591847370

Virgin Way

I opened it and couldn’t put it down. His story, writing and advise is spot on. The major themes are to Listen, Learn, Laugh, Lead all while doing what you love and making other people’s life better. Perfect motivation for the new year. Happy Reading!