The Lifestyle with Alisa Murray August 2017

Friendship Booklets

My Nana used to tell me that I would be lucky if I could count all my friends on one hand. That was true in middle school and college but as years have gone by and I have grown older, I have had and still have more friends than I can count on all my hands and toes! Friendships are an important part of our lives. Our life experiences and how we interpret and then relate them to our friends is an important part of having an enriched life. Friendships and the closeness that we feel to others happens to be a marker of happiness.

Friendships all have their ups and downs and some even have their seasons. We all have people who we hung out with in high school and have not seen in 30 years and as life has flown by… neither were less from not having had the company of the other! There are seasons when the people that we connect with the most are perhaps in the same stages of their lives and their companionship is more about relating than connection. The same unfortunately goes for marriages as well. That is why so many couples spend the first halves of there lives with the person they fell in love with and made children…only to find themselves divorcing and connecting on a deeper level with someone entirely different from their first loves in their golden years. People change and our needs change in what makes us feel engaged and connected to those close to us.

Recently I came across a “Friendship Booklet” and it made me think about my old seasoned friends that have known me since childhood and how their long past with me effects everything about how they see me in the world. It also made me think about how different the answers would be from my newer friends who only know the “Alisa Murray.” This booklet can be homemade or found in FLOW magazine and it asks many questions.. some of which are: “A moment I’ll never forget”… “Our friendship is valuable to me because”…. “What I have learned from you is”… you get the point. For myself, I recommend you grab a bunch of really cool paper and in your own handwriting ask a few questions. The article I read recommended that you make a bunch in one booklet and just leave it lying around but I think it would be more likely to actually get finished and also act as a conversation piece between you and your friends if you added it to a gift that you were giving anyway fro their birthday or the holidays. Ask them to return it to you either with your gift or as their gift to you the following year and that way it will get back to you finished!

The booklet is an obvious exercise of reflection. The answers to the questions can be quite powerful and enlightening! They may even have a lasting impact such as to encourage you to make changes in your life to be a better friend or remind you of how much your goodness has changed forever so many peoples lives! The old friends still carrying memories of what we once were will have a totally different perspective than the newer friends. Each set giving you a valuable and enlightening look at how those we cherish see us. If you wanted to take this exercise even deeper, I think it would be quite interesting to send a booklet of similar questions to friends that we have lost touch with and see if they even filled the questions in giving us some sort of understanding specifically why we are no longer in touch or close! In any case friends are a major part of living a happy life and sharing how any why they are so important to us is part of building a deeper connection. The Booklet allows for that to take place…I am making them for all my friends and I hope you consider doing it too! A happy life is not measured in how much money we have accumulated but in how many lives we have touched and been enriched by. Friends are necessary for a happy life!

“ The August List ” with Auntie A

Back to school days are here and after trying and testing routines to make the crazy scheduled days go smooth I have found that if you will cut up veggies and fruits, boil eggs and sort cheeses and crackers into separate zip lock baggies you can grab and go in between home to school and prepare a quick snack when you pick them up before dance and sports with an assortment of goodies that are healthy and won’t break your budget!
Pick a nice spot with morning sun and plant the seedlings you started last month as they are now ready to move to outside and should be producing in a few short weeks. I like to cut back all herbs now as well and really trim things up so they are forced to push through the end of summer early fall.
Sign up for a continuing education class. I am always learning and working on something and I find that it keeps me busy being productive and not watching TV! Masterclass, Skillshare are great if you are a self starter and our local Community College always its offering something interesting.
On my nightside now….You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero and the latest issues of bella Grace and Psycologies magazines.
Purchase season tickets to the Alley, Stages or the Houston Ballet. Both my children are so much more well rounded having been given the opportunity to see theater regularly.
Make poblano peppers stuffed with basmati rice and shrimp! It’s a favorite poolside and an easy make ahead on those first days of school when everyone still longs to be home and not running around!
Get all the planning finished for Labor Day celebrations and assign each family/friend their recipes so it’s off your list and into their hands!
Books and more books! Take a room and gut it and really organize everything. Currently I have removed all books from the children’s playroom and will sand, repaint and then only put back the books that we have decided to keep and take to our library to donate the rest.
Schedule a make up class and learn how to contour your face or buy just one beauty magazine and see what’s trending in colors for the fall sop you’ll be ‘in the know” come party and gala time in a month or so!
Watch me on Fridays on KPRC2 mid-day and I will tell you what to do with the children in the city! Each week there’s something new and sometimes free!

Auntie Alisa’s Stuffed Poblano Peppers with shrimp and jalapeños and cheese

3 Poblano Peppers cut in halves and seeded
1/2 cup of pimento cheese spread with jalapeños
1 cup of cooked basmati rice
18 large deveined and peeled shrimp
1/4 cup kernel corn
Sprinkle of cilantro
Handful of mexican blended grated cheese

Set oven to 425 or if making ahead place in pan covered overnight in refrigerator
In a small bowl combine the rice and the pimento cheese
fill each halved poblano pepper with the rice mixture
place in oven safe pan and add shrimp (3 per half)
sprinkle corn and cilantro and top with cheese
Bake until the shrimp turn pink and then turn onto broil for 2 minutes

Serves 6

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