There’s something about certain foods and behaviors that I associate with being on vacation. The connection I often fail to make is the fact that one does not necessarily have to be directly on some tropical beach to get their hands on a mai tai or fresh pineapple. You also don’t need to be even remotely on vacation to forgo pants for a dress, wear less makeup, and bust out a fabulous fake tan. Now, I’m lucky enough to live 2 minutes from the nearest beach, so I really have no excuse. This, I decided to have a little “staycation” of my own. Inspired by this delicious looking recipe on Refinery29, I made a dash to my local Trader Joe’s the minute they opened. I armed myself with pineapple, strawberries, some coconut milk, and chia seeds before running home. Until recently, I found chopping up an entire pineapple a daunting task, but it’s really quite easy and requires little skill. Simply twist and pull off the “stalk,” and cut along the top, bottom, and lengthwise until your pineapple resembles, well…a pineapple. Pair some cold pineapple hunks with some fresh coffee, go out on your porch (if you have one) and enjoy the sunshine. It’s one of the best breakfasts ever. While I was feeling ambitious today, I also whipped up some chia seed pudding, which could not have been easier. You literally need only two or three ingredients:
Mix 1 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup chia seeds, and a little something sweet. I love the flavor you get with Orgeat, but you could also use plain old sugar, agave, or honey. Let the mixture sit for a few hours so the seeds can absorb the liquid, and voilà! You have pudding. It’s magic, and good for you!
I chopped up some strawberries to add on top of the finished pudding, with some pineapple on the side, of course. In future, I’ll be sure to make this in the evenings, so I can enjoy it first thing in the morning.
To improve your staycation experience, I recommend bringing a little bit of that vacation atmosphere to your home. I’m a fan of Slatkin and Co.’s Coconut Water scented candle. It’s a non-offensive summer scent that’s not too overpowering. Throw a little sea salt spray in your hair (I love the below version from Lush) and maybe a little Hawaiian Tropic and you’re good to go! Should you be in the position to get a little sun, do so safely! Wear sunscreen at all times, even when trying to get some color. I love the Maui Babe Browning Lotion for this, but only for short stretches of time. An all-over burn is never a good look, and we don’t want to look like a used handbag in our old age. Last but not least, if you’re looking for a quintessential summer fragrance, check out Bobbi Brown’s Beach. It smells just like it sounds: the perfect combination of sunscreen, salt, and jasmine- very light and clean.
Vacation is a state of mind, really. I use it as a mental reset- a way of pulling myself out of the more banal aspects of my routine. There’s no reason you can’t take that sense of calm with you when you leave. While finding time to relax may not be the easiest thing sometimes, it’s such an essential part of life. At the very least, take advantage of that sunshine and eat something delicious. You sort of owe it to yourself.