It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting on my living room floor standing on the precipice of what feels like might be a full on nervous breakdown. Okay, so I’m totally aware that I’m being just a little dramatic, but I figure, what the heck, let’s indulge—because lately things have felt unsteady, in limbo, in flux, and ultimately, uncomfortable.
I’m going to be honest, my eyeswoon world feels like it’s on shaky ground. The challenges of growing a business are weighing on me – every time I believe I take 2 steps forward, I feel thrusted 3 paces back. My one constant gal decided to move on to other endeavors last week, which left me feeling completely overwhelmed. Managing a blog on your own is no small feat and losing my creative counterpart—someone to sit next to, bounce ideas off of, celebrate joys or ask for advice has me in full-on crisis mode! There are many kinds of swooners out there, I happen to be the kind who craves and honors collaboration. It can get pretty lonely sitting at your computer by yourself—just you (your increasingly panicked thoughts) and the screen.
In addition to big changes at work, I just placed my apartment on the market and am dealing with the uncertainty of where I’m going to live (eek!) I have this grand idea that maybe I’ll move away from New York and start fresh somewhere (anywhere) because lately I’ve been yearning a departure from the fast paced hustle of the city. And finally, I am rather unhappy with my son’s education and beginning the overwhelming process of finding a new school for him. Work-life, home-life, childs-life… big decisions muddling my mind. Reeling from all these changes I came up with a trifecta of a formula to cope: Indulgence. Passion. Escapism.
If there is one thing I can always count on to settle my mind, it’s the calming and meditative nature of baking. It’s the one place I feel in control right now—here everything is a precise science, which I find to be incredibly soothing. I know that if I follow a series of regimented steps the end result will undoubtedly be something truly swoon-worthy (taking care of the indulgence aspect).
With indulgence squared away let’s talk about escapism. There is no better distraction from an unsettled mind than guilty pleasures. To be so enraptured with whatever sense is experiencing pleasure, that there is no way you can even begin to think about anything else. The following is the winning-est combination known to man (or at least to woman). Sex and chocolate coupled with baking and beauty. This lineup gives you an idea as to what my mind’s landscape looked like Sunday morning—dealing with the aforementioned crisis and the looming Valentine’s Day (that’s where passion comes in).
I was trying to put together an eyeswoon post about Valentine’s Day for Harpers Bazaar that wasn’t hokey. I wanted to create beauty and deliciousness and take my mind off everything. SO for a number of reasons I began to research a Valentine’s Day inspired post that celebrates sex and indulgence metaphorically through food. After researching the top aphrodisiac foods I stumbled upon chocolate and beets and BOOM – that was it. I decided I would create a cake rich and decadent in both flavor and appearance: a deep and dark, earthy and beautiful, blood red chocolate cake. This would fix everything.
The best part of the entire experience was having to go through three different recipes to get it juuuust right, which means I got to taste three different beetroot and chocolate cakes until my efforts resulted in the just the right balance of pureed beet and chocolate with a velvety moist texture. So did I cure the unsettled mind and resolve any of my dramatic mini crisis? No, not really. But sometimes you just need to escape (isn’t that what Valentine’s Day sex is for)?
Next order of business: more escapism in the bedroom with the hubby. Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Photography captured by Chloe Crespi and share on Harpers Bazaar.com