Amazing Valentine Cookies

I approach the table of snacks, and I see that a mother (Laurie) has made the most beautiful Valentine’s cookies.  I do not want to eat them; I want to photograph them!

Amazing Valentine Cookies

Boring square cookies transform into romantic letters sealed with wax:

A Letter From an Admirer?  

Heart-shaped confections display icing dotted and adorned with tiny roses; a whimsical chocolate heart tempts me with that frosting made to resemble a Valentine’s puzzle.

Puzzle Heart Made from Leftover Icing

I love that God makes people who can do things like this.  Not everyone creates the same kind of flair; I know I could never design such cookies.  But someone else did, and I’m so glad.  The children felt special as they ate such treats.  The took their time about it.

I realize that when we observe (and make) beautiful things, we begin to take our time.  We slow down and savor.  

Living with flair means we embellish things–turning the ordinary into art–for others to enjoy.  It slows us down.

Journal:  What ordinary object or activity can I turn into “art” today? 


How to Savor (and Lose Weight) with Flair

Living with flair means to savor. You take the smallest thing (a punctuation mark, a turtle, a hand in the wind), and like some judge on Iron Chef, you test its quality. Then you announce its worth. Announcing the worth of small things has changed my life this month. I anticipate the greatness of common moments.

Today’s “flair moment” came in the form of a meat cake. They do exist. A friend celebrated her 28th birthday party at my home last night, and someone honored her with a meat cake. The frosting was mashed potatoes whipped as lovely as buttercream. The rosettes were perfectly formed swirls of bacon. It was food art at its best.

I tried a little–just enough to savor the taste. Appreciating its artistry provided more pleasure than the actual eating (although it was good). I love to consider the art in food. Give me sushi or lemon meringue pies, and I’ll enjoy the composition and admire the chef. I tend to not overeat when the food itself is lovely.

And food is lovely. Why don’t I notice it? Eating is common; I do it usually 3-5 times a day, every single day of my life (sometimes more–sometimes a lot more). I tended to not notice my food, though, until this year.

I’ve lost 35 pounds, and it has something to do with living with flair–with savoring things. Stopping to enjoy the beauty of my food has helped me not shove it so quickly, and in such large amounts, into my mouth. Can eating be an act of thanksgiving, of worship, of . . . flair? I want to savor flavors, textures, colors, and smells. I want to take small bites and be completely satisfied with the greatness of small portions. I really don’t need more.

Living with flair means savoring. And, as a result, being satisfied with much less than I thought I’d need (in my stomach and in my life).