Think festive, hear festive, be festive! Our December playlist will inspire a happy holiday spirit. We drink a toast to 2015 and a second to 2016 ahead!
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
I would like to wish you a happy and festive month of December! It is a time for us to reflect on a year almost over, and hope that our dreams and aspirations will materialize in the year ahead.
I love this season, the scent of balsams and firs, the taste of warm stews and red wine, the sound of bells in the street, and holiday lighting. I never tire of Nat King Cole’s holiday album, Christmas carols, and watching “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or attending The Nutcracker. My fondest memories are of the excitement and delight of my children as they experience Christmas morning; it is a day that we always feel happy as a family, no matter what is happening around us, or in other parts of the world.
The holiday season and its traditions unite families, giving them hope and a sense of security, but this year seems different. Though I cherish and appreciate these traditions, I cannot help but reflect on how so many people are in turmoil, and have lost their lives to violence. It is impossible to ignore such tragedies, which at times dim the spirit of the season. However, it is up to each one of us to keep in mind those who are less fortunate and to help in any way we can. Make change the resolution not just for ourselves, but for our communities, for our cities and countries, for all of us in the coming year.
Enjoy your festivities with awareness.
Photo Credit by Caleb Smallwood
Mood of Living is thrilled to announce it’s exclusive Holiday Giveaway of Chef Robert Irvine’s cook book, “Impossible to Easy.”
Irvine is an expert in the culinary arts, and is best known for his TV shows on Food Network, ““Fit for a King,” and “Dinner: Impossible.” In his book, he explains that by establishing a few simple organizational, shopping, and storage habits, home cooks can not only get the most out of fresh foods and spices, but elevate their everyday meals to a higher level of accomplishment and enjoyment.
How to win?
Simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post responding to the following question:
Considering the mood of the month, festive, what is your favorite memory from this time of year?
The most creative and authentic response will win! The winner will be selected Dec. 22. Good Luck, Readers!
When the cameras stop flashing, professional models Valentina Dimitrova & Kristian Vasilev take on an unconventional role. Aside from their modeling careers in NYC, the two are also the co-founders and co-owners of Pura Vida Organic Farm, based in their homeland, Bulgaria. Their passion for organic produce and their interest in living a healthy lifestyle inspired the couple to fulfill their lifelong dream of starting a produce company of their own.
Dimitrova and Vasilev in their greenhouse in Bulgaria during the winter season.
The idea for this business was born three years ago. The couple only had a small garden in Dimitrova’s village, so their first step toward creating the organic farm of their dreams was to purchase more land. Over the next two years, they bought 20 acres worth of small plots, the majority of which were unmaintained vineyards. Today, they are in the process of clearing the land to prepare it for farming, however, the only way for them to cultivate the land is to do it manually. “It’s a dirty and difficult job, and nobody wants to do it for us. So, Kris is basically doing it on his own,” Dimitrova said.
The couple’s biggest tip for creating a healthy farm or garden is to always take care of the soil. “[The soil] is the most important part of any organic farm,” Dimitrova said. “If the soil is not fertile, if it’s acidic or it’s depleted of some nutrients, if it has too much sand or too much clay – you will not have high quality vegetables.” Dimitrova encourages people to grow their own food; even a small patch of land can grow quality produce. The two plan to expand their farmland, and to cater to health food stores in the near future.
“There is no better feeling than creating real, vibrant food — sharing it, and making people happy,” — Valentina Dimitrova