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It’s Often The Simple Things…

During my time in Puerto Rico, as I worked on my cookbook, I did a bit of reflecting. Not for any other reason other than that I started paying minute attention to the everyday moments. Something I stopped doing, I don’t know when.  Nevertheless, I looked at my surroundings, my routine, and daily moments that brought me simple joy, because as they say “The best things in life are free.”

So, today I thought I’d share some of those daily, seemingly mundane moments that inspired me to keep them going as I now sit at home and in hopes that perhaps you too can incorporate some of the ones that speak to you.

Lesson Learned: When you pay close attention when you are actively trying to stay present, the smallest of things bring you the most joy.

No.1 – having my morning coffee under the sun.
Early on in my trip, one of the things that became part of my morning rituals was brewing a fresh cup of cafecito and stepping out onto the balcony. Sipping my coffee as I felt the warmth from the sun and the sounds of the roosters crowing was the perfect start to my days. 
No.2 – opening the windows to let the fresh breeze in.
There’s nothing quite like the fresh breeze in the countryside. I’d open the windows as often as possible, letting in the cool morning or evening air. It was a simple act that brought me such a sense of renewal.
No.3 – finding beauty in nature.
On my walks from my grandma’s to my aunt’s, I’d seek out beauty in the everyday. I’d admire the wildflowers or the scent of wet grass after a rain shower. These small moments of wonder reminded me of the beauty that surrounds us daily, and if it weren’t for being intentional, they most likely would have gone unnoticed.
No.4 – cooking a meaningful meal – hi mom!
Cooking my mom’s recipes alongside my family was an emotional and therapeutic experience, to say the least. But the familiar smells and flavors transported me back to my childhood, reminding me of my mom, of home. I was truly grateful to have this experience and want more of these moments in my own kitchen.
No.5 – actively listening to the rain.
There’s something so soothing about Caribbean rain. It just hits differently. So, actually stopping and listening to it drum against the roof or the air conditioners became my afternoon delight. The sound truly calmed both my mind and soul, like I didn’t know I needed it. 
No.6 – lighting candles around the house on a gloomy day.
On those overcast mornings, after the rain, I embraced the gloom by lighting candles around the house. The soft glow created a cozy atmosphere that I craved from my days at home. Also, it allowed for those quiet moments of gratitude.
No.7 – listening to music that reminded me of a great memory or time.
Music has a magical way of transporting me to my most cherished memories. While taking a shower, after long days of cooking I would listen to Spanish classics. Ones my mother would belt out as she cooked or cleaned. Something about this made me feel a deep connection to my past in a way that brought me such happiness and nostalgia.
No.8- gathering fresh herbs or vegetables from the garden.
Accompanying my grandpa to his farm was one of the highlights of my trip. Gathering fresh vegetables and herbs while listening to his stories was a beautiful way to connect with both the earth and my family. It truly deepened my appreciation for the ingredients, but also had me asking why I don’t start my own garden.
No.9- a mindful evening walk.
After long days spent in the kitchen, I found immense peace in evening walks. Strolling through quaint paths or on the beach, I took the time to reflect on the day and feel eternally grateful for being in Puerto Rico with my family. A little invitation to appreciate the simple joys.
No.10- having a meaningful conversation with a loved one.
Spending time with my grandmother, asking her questions I had been too afraid to ask before, led to some of the most meaningful conversations I’ve ever had. These moments of connection and understanding were priceless to me. So, now who else should I seek to have more of these with?
If this has taught me anything, is that often it’s the simple things we overlook within our busy routines. Yet these small, seemingly ordinary things are what bring the most joy and make life truly special. I’ve set out to intentionally savor these every day moments and not let them flee with time. A gentle reminder to make each day count, if you will.


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