Healthy and Sane

The beauty of doing nothing, perfected

February 22nd, 2011 · 14 Comments · breakfast, comfort foods, lobster, muffins, shrimp

I took last week off from work to catch up on my mile long to do list, slow down and relax. I kind of joked on twitter about feeling guilty about not getting enough done, while on vacation, but the truth is it wasn’t really a joke. I kept thinking of more and more things I should have had time to do and then felt disappointed at the end of each day about my lack of progress (basically, nothing new at all – I just didn’t have 8 hours of work under my belt). Luckily we had plans to finish the week with a mini-vacation to Maine! Apparently I’m only able to calm down through forced relaxation!

The very first night we watched Eat, Pray, Love on demand (which btw, I was not a fan of… probably because I read the book and movies never live up to books) and the Italian bel far niente (aka “the beauty of doing nothing”) really stuck with me. Why should I feel guilty for taking days off to accomplish a whole lot of nothing and just relax? We all need to recharge our batteries. The rest of the weekend was definitely dedicated to bel far niente. You better believe that cooking and eating was no trouble at all! Winking smile [My mother in law, Jane, and I shared the responsibility.]

There was seafood…

Shrimp with penne in a creamy herb sauce (+ garlic bread)



I made lobster mac & cheese


[The men cooked and shelled the lobster, I did the rest. It was cheesy and creamy – the perfect Maine treat!]


And couldn’t pass up the seafood lover’s omelet (crab + lobster) at the Boathouse in Rockland.


SO good!


I <3 lobster!

And then there were blueberries… we dug deep into Jane’s recipe archives and found some gems from 1994!!! I was 12 at the time. Good thing I’m older because I could make these babies. Oh my! Embarrassed smile <—that’s me blushing, yes that good!


Lemon blueberry muffins. Heaven!


The very last morning, Jane treated us all to freshly made yogurt blueberry pancakes. They were moist and full of giant blueberries bursting with flavor.


[Email me if you want the recipes for either of these, I took pictures of the printouts!]

These were my favorite food things but the best part was definitely doing only things I felt like doing. I spent some “quality” time with magazines (scissors in hand – what can I say, I found it relaxing!) and watched more House Hunters than I’d care to admit… but that ended up being for the greater good too! The second we got home to Boston, I hooked up my laptop to the internet (together at last! 😆 ) and started researching bathroom vanities, tiles, window curtains, table runners, area rugs and more. Apparently the beauty of doing nothing has its advantages. My creative juices were flowing and I was dying to put them to use. Better yet? I was happy to come back to work today. They were happy to have me back too! Who me?

Are you able to take time off and just enjoy it or do you need to be forced into relaxation (like being “locked” in a cabin with no internet access and cell reception)? I think the Italians got this right. I’m going to try to bring some of that bel far niente spirit more into my life. It really is fun! :mrgreen:

Last chance to enter the UNO’s giveaway!

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - MelissaNibbles

    I definitely don’t need to be forced to relax. I quite enjoy it. I actually have to be forced to get off the couch.

  • #2 - Michelle

    Every weekend I have a list of a million things I’d like to accomplish. Luckily, my fiance is ALWAYS reminding me of the beauty of just relaxing and just being. It sounds like you had a perfect week off!

  • #3 - Lauren

    Sounds like just the weekend getaway you needed! Glad you made and enjoyed the lobster mac & cheese :).

  • #4 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

    So glad you got to finally relax! I am on vacation this week and struggling the same way… I seriously need to be refreshed on Monday, though, so I am forcing myself to take it easy!

    I realy liked the book for Eat, Pray, Love and really disliked th emovie!

  • #5 - Lindsey @Textbooks and Cookbooks

    That food looks amazing! Have you heard of the book called In Praise of Slowness? It is pretty good and talks about slowing down when you can in life! There are chapters on slow cities and slow food too.

  • #6 - Lee

    I’m pretty good at doing nothing!

  • #7 - Tiffany

    I’m glad you had a great weekend. It’s important that we all take those few moments to unwind and relax. I love Fridays, because it’s the one day when I can say “go away” to all my homework and reading and do the stuff I want to do :)

    And that shrimp penne look TDF! My belly literally growled when I saw the photo of it!

  • #8 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    I’m glad you were able to relax! I too often have to FORCE myself to do that. I actually usually schedule relaxing on my to-do list, which is a little counter-intuitive, but it works!

  • #9 - Jess

    glad you were able to enjoy some much-needed and -deserved chill time. it’s so important to my sanity.

  • #10 - No more dieting | Healthy and Sane

    […] The beauty of doing nothing, perfected […]

  • #11 - Kerstin

    I’m jealous of all that lobster and so glad you had a nice relaxing break!

  • #12 - Shannon

    so glad you had the weekend you needed and came back refreshed!!

  • #13 - Healthy Habits Kitchen: homemade meals with a little prep help | Healthy and Sane

    […] actually ended up going away to Maine that weekend so I popped the whole box in the freezer and then defrosted it the day before I wanted […]

  • #14 - alicia

    Sometimes I need to just relax, but oftentimes I feel guilty because I could be doing something more ‘productive’…last weekend we moved, which was nuts, so yesterday I let myself lounge on the couch most of the day. I do feel pretty well rested as a result.

    ..I’m glad you got a weekend to recharge! it really is good for us!!