29.9.08

this time of year

greenwich park

i love this time of year
the colours of the trees
the cool crispness in the air


outside our house

the mist in the mornings
that make every little thing magical

borough market

glorious days out
celebrating another season & new harvests



blackheath market

everything transitioning
in such
effortless perfection.





all photos by me, taken w/Canon Powershot G9

25.9.08

'girly time' courtesy of disney 1946



i saw this video blog surfing the other day & thought it was 'interesting'. i had no idea disney did a video on menstruation. although it seems slightly long in parts, its a lot better than the ' creepy filmstrip' i had in elementary school. i remember having to go with my mother at night back to school to watch it---none of the girls wanted to be there. i would have much rather had this film or my mum explain things than having to be told by some random science teacher what was happening with my body. anyway, i'd be interested to know how the rest of you girls out there were told about that 'special time'.

24.9.08

i heart cookbooks

i counted 11 cookbooks {not included my binder full of loose recipes from magazines, etc} in my pantry this morning. they fill up almost an entire shelf dedicated to trying to eat & live a healthy life. most of my diet is vegetarian but when we do have meat we go to great lengths to ensure that its free range/organic & the fish is from a sustainable source. all of this effort makes it interesting to shop---we get our staples from one store, our meat, fish & eggs from another & any vitamins or speciality items from either our local health food shop in greenwich or whole foods {called fresh & wild here} in the city. we also occasionally go to amazing local markets like borough market in london bridge to try to add variety to our fruits & vegetables & we bring home good quality olive oils & even herbal/green teas from our trips abroad.

most of my cookbooks are mediterranean or asian based. i've tried to teach myself a lot about nutrition & based on studies these diets are the healthiest. we occasionally make our own american, british & mexican food, but try to replace ingredients with healthy alternatives.

i believe food is essential as a 'basic' in every day living. if you feed your body well first you are creating the foundation for living your best life. what good is spending all of your money on clothes, houses, etc when the most important thing 'you' is not getting the fuel it needs. if money is tight or times are stressful people usually scrimp on the food---my reasoning is aren't these times when the body needs healthy food the most??

my change in diet above i credit to loosing nearly 40 lbs & 10" of my waist. i still have another 40 or so to go which will come w/exercise but i'm making progress frustratingly s-l-o-w-l-y. i figure the slower the better in some ways because it will help me fix the reasons behind why i'm overweight in the first place, thus keeping it off forever.

so just to share these are the most 'used' & 'abused' cookbooks in our house:


love jamie oliver & especially what he did for with his healthy eating campaign here in britain. this books is fantastic, loads of recipes for every occasion. one of my favorite recipes in here is his lentils & organic sausages recipe-----mmmm!


this one is great and does highlights of recipes from all of the mediterranean countries. my favorite is stuffed bell peppers.

sometimes gordon's ingredients can be hard to find but they are still fantastic. i love his duck stir fry recipe i found in here.

at first the whole puree thing seemed a pain, but i like the idea of stuffing extra veggies into your food. i actually really like the deserts section the most from here {hello, the oatmeal cookies???}.

ok this one i'm slightly cheating because i don't actually physically 'own' this book. however, i almost daily check the authors blog {101 cookbooks} which the book is based on. i've mentioned this blog in a post before & its a-m-a-z-ing---i just love it. who knows if i'll ever buy the book when i can just print off her recipes from her site but in the mean time i'm always interested what healthy recipe she'll come up with next.


so just curious---what are your favorite cookbooks?

all images via amazon.co.uk

22.9.08

politics, expats & a global voice

when you move abroad, its impossible to not have your opinion of the world change. before i moved here, i didn't care about politics or anything besides what was happening in my own little life. living here in a city that over 135 languages are spoken, traveling extensively and chatting to people from all over the world and even the way the news channels present over here you really begin to understand the bigger picture. there's other people that live on this planet & everything we do, every choice we make {down to our grocery shopping} will affect someone somewhere either in positive or negative manner. whether you may agree with me or not, i personally feel like for the last eight years the choices made by some leaders of the free world have made a radically negative impact. i don't think some realized what the long term implications would be, but i still find it amazing how choices whether it be on wall street, military action or even choosing 'paper or plastic' at the store can affect not only life at home but across the world.

all of the above is one of many reasons why for the first time in my life i've tried to take an interest in politics {first time i ever voted was in 04}. i believe keeping informed is a moral responsibility for everyone & voting is a huge opportunity to have your voice heard. too many people {i used to be one} are complacent & just dont care. they then complain about how their life is when they had the opportunity to change it? it doesn't make sense now to look back at how i used to think.

having an opportunity to have my voice heard even though i'm overseas is a blessing. i vote in elections back home via absentee ballot. there's 2.5 million eligible american voters overseas & there's been a huge push this election season in particular to get us registered and voting from abroad. i think its amazing that although we're far from home we can still do this. heck, 2.5 million that could easily decide an election if you think about it eh?

i've had a chance to help out with this push recently to get people registered & voting as well. for the first time in my life i started volunteering my time for a political campaign helping register american voters & canvassing across london {funny enough, i'm also now a 'zone captain' for greenwich}. its been heartwarming the response from the brits & other locals who are so incredibly desperate for change. we even had an italian beg to give money to our campaign & unfortunately had to tell him we couldn't accept it!

in the end no matter what party you support, i'm so grateful that we have that voice no matter where you are in the world to put people in office that will make our world better for our children's children.

Dont forget to register to vote.
If you live abroad register at votefromabroad.org.


19.9.08

jazz for the weekend

image via Flickr

what a better way to bring on the weekend than a bit of jazz? here's a song I can't seem to get out of my head at the moment.

anyway, enjoy your weekend. i'll be out soaking up some 'rare' english sun.

18.9.08

jewels in my junkmail

so, i'm into this whole vintage thing right--well who would have known that i would have found such vintage inspired jewels from a mail order catalog? most junkmail in our house gets tossed in our recycling bin as rubbish, but i was pleasantly surprised by what a random company i'd never heard of {based in london}--pl├╝mo had to offer. check out my absolute favorite things from them:

i adore soft things & this mohair blanket just screams insanely soft & warm.



can't believe christmas is just around the corner {eck}, but how great would these be to hang up this festive season?



this color makes me think of summertime peaches & how cute are the buttons???

i knew this place was a keeper when i saw this little black vintage 'audrey' dress. i thought the marlon brando print in the background was fitting too.


well for now {*sigh*} all these are going to be filed under 'in my dreams'. i'm keeping my little catalogue for future though & hopefully one day when i get a bit o' cash i can splurge!


images via plumo.com

heaven is smiling

image via dailymail.co.uk

read about this yesterday. this very rare 'upside down' rainbow appeared here in cambridge recently. personally, i thinks its kind of sweet & a great reminder during all this incredibly gloomy 'economic' stuff at the moment to try to keep positive & focus on our blessings.

17.9.08

real beauty




needed to see this today--thanks marta.

15.9.08

prime time family

i've mentioned on here before that i don't see much of my family. since 2001, i've been home twice & my parents have come to england once. its not a great average i know & i frequently find myself having to justify this number to anyone who finds out. the truth of the matter is-- its complicated. no i'm not 'the angry one' out of the family & no i dont despise them its just if you had the choice of spending three weeks on a beach in thailand or one week running grocery errands down to albertsons with your parents what would you choose?

over the years whenever i've had any money other things have just come my way--like trips to rome or venice or egypt. i've taken these opportunities up because i don't know long i'll have them & i want to see the world while i can. unfortunately these opportunities have meant there hasn't been the 800£ {1600$} leftover for flights to america. it would be easier & cheaper if my family lived on the east coast, but nope---they live near seattle in a state completely across the country! so i have to choose one flight for 800£ or one three week vacation for £1100.

money {or lack of} is obviously the main reason i don't get to the other side of the world but its hard not to feel guilty as heck for spending a weekend in rome instead of going to your grandmothers funeral. i am hoping though at the pearly gates that st peter will be understanding and cut me a bit of slack on this one---i mean i did light a candle for her on the day of the funeral inside the vatican!

as a consolation prize, i am pretty lucky to have 3p (5cents) a minute international phone rates to America--heck i remember i was pretty excited once to get 10 cents a minute long distance with AT&T, so 5 cents is a freakin god send! i phone whenever i can and try to find out as much gossip about whatever's happening with whoever. they think its funny that i ask about the mundane things like what did you do yesterday---but to me its great hearing about how my niece is talking now or even that my parents just pulled weeds all day in the yard---it makes me somehow feel like i'm a part of their lives.

i've also been pretty excited cause the last year or so although they can be pretty rubbish at e-mailing my brother and sister have finally joined the technological age. my sister is on facebook& myspace & my brother does an online photo gallery 'thingy'. i got to see what my sister looked like pregnant, my dad smiling while chasing after my niece, family bbq's and my brothers first wedding anniversary. it is weird seeing these things from a distance though, i feel like i'm watching some family i don't know on the 'tv'. its like secretly watching episodes of americas next top model or something. its a bit embarassing to admit you find it interesting and you're afraid that if you stop watching it will be cancelled for low ratings. but, heck you don't know what you'd do without these episodes as your thursday nights would never be the same.

anyway, james and i are hoping to finally get over there for easter in 09---but until then i'll just tune into one of the best shows on television:

'the family'

{back- dad, sister, family friend, niece, mum
front-brother in law, brother, sister in law}



starring:


the all american dad


the smiling mum

the newlyweds

the sister



and of course, 'the baby'

13.9.08

doesn't everyone have an etsy shop?

it seems as if everyone is doing an etsy shop nowdays. well as of this weekend i've joined the crowd and have one too. i've been thinking about it for a while actually with doing some sort of extension of our 'travels' as i'm always going 'somewhere'. i'm also pretty desperate for some way of trying to nourish my creativity at the moment and figured 'why the hell not'?

so.......we've decided to sell some of our best travel photos as prints and i've also got those vintage postcards i mentioned in a previous post from paris on there. our shop will primarily be photos and amazing vintage finds, although i may get uber keen and try to hand make some 'travel' related items sometime in the future too {don't hold your breath, heheheh}. i was pretty darn nervous actually about putting any of my pics out there cause i'm far from a pro, but i figured i should try to give myself a bit of credit. you never know some people may like them.

so.... if you are in a 'perusing' mood---check out my new shop {link here or in the sidebar} & tell me what you think!

11.9.08

vintage inspired fashion

what a difference a good nights rest makes eh {referring to my rant in yesterday's post}? sorry about that--it was kind of one of 'those' days. a girls got a right to vent every once in a while though & with everything i'm dealing with, i think i'm entitled.

anyway--usually putting the word fashion & i in the same sentence never happens but today whilst doing my daily read of the ny times my eye caught these babies. they are fresh off the press from ny fashion week and 'michael kors'. how stinkin' cute are these?



images via style.com

i totally feel like they are like straight out of a fairbanks/crawford pictorial {see below}--sand, windswept hair & fake tan included. there's just something so 'eternally chic' & sublime about the whole vintage thing don't you think?


image via vanity fair

10.9.08

frustrated

frustrated with doctors who don't seem to listen
with not knowing what's going on in my own body
with no answers after TWO YEARS
that i have no energy anymore
with the fact that i'm in pain in places that shouldn't hurt & i want it to stop
that the doctors are even starting to suggest that its 'in my head'
for horrid periods that last two very long weeks & that make me throw up
for abdominal pain that puts me into the E.R.
for the strong possibility that i may never have children
for the possibility i may have to have a hysterectomy
for feeling like i'm going to have to live like this forever

frustrated with how hopeless i'm feeling at the moment
how its a fight to get out of bed everyday
to stay positive, to focus on my many many blessings
to remember the good in james
with how i look & how much of a struggle it is to eat well & exercise everyday
with the fact i still need to loose 40 lbs after working my ass off to loose 40.
with my clothes.

frustrated with politics & stupid people
with trying to understand what good can ever come from a McCain/Palin ticket
with horrible press, horrible lies and an election season that won't end
with trying after 8 years to understand again---McCain? Palin? why?
for people that don't bother to look up obama's record & accomplishments on google
who say that he's an empty suit
for people that question your intellect if you support obama
for making this into an episode of days of our lives instead of remembering that people are loosing jobs & their homes.

frustrated with my relationship
how we seem to be arguing more and more
how we just don't have the money to get married
how james has drunk more than he should in the past
how in the past i've had to go to the e.r. because he's drunk an entire bottle of wine in 15 minutes
how we're the best of friends, but how we still struggle to talk sometimes
how i wish i felt more confident around men
how i wish i felt like i deserved james

frustrated with my career
how in 7 1/2 years of living here i've never had a permanent job
how i've been unemployed for two years
how i can't even seem to get work experience or volunteer opportunities
with applying for more than 250 jobs---all rejections
with having to depend on james for money
with not having any financial independence
not having the cash to visit my family in america
with the fact that i've only been home twice since i've been here
how i've never met my sister- in- law or my new niece

frustrated with the fact i struggle at making friends
how even in the blogging world, hardly anyone wants to know about or be in my life
with fitting in, feeling like i belong
with how big london is and how bloody hard it is to make friends here
with how when you do find decent people they either have kids or all they want to do is get wasted in clubs

frustrated with my life at the moment
with the fact i'm 32 and i'm unhappy where its going
with the fact that i'm in the best city in the world and i still can't relax
with the fear that i'm going to wake up and my life will be over



frustrated about everything



but


will dust myself off,

put a smile on my face




take a deep breath




& start a new day




tomorrow....

8.9.08

on my mind

1. Valley Presbyterian Hospital - Emergency Room Sign, 2. School Buses, 3. Sparkling rain in the city of Champagne, 4. Senator Barack Obama, 5. Tadasana (mountain pose), 6. Money, 7. hope over fear, 8. Whistle Job Uncertainty 03-07, 9. the accidental bokeh heart.


i've had quite a bit on my mind these last few months . my apologies if i haven't completely shared with you absolutely everything, its just i'm not the best with communicating what's in my head sometimes. thus, the collage above is kind of a representation of what i've been thinking about or what's been occupying my time. i think pictures say it better don't you? i'm ok though & my heart is filled with gratitude for all the strength i seem to have been given. so here's a few things i've been grateful for recently:

- free healthcare
- having a great doctor in the E.R. this weekend, who took the time to listen to me & was the first to make some real connections about what may be going on with my health.
- an appointment this week with specialist number 4.
- yoga & meditation for the food they bring to my soul.
- the chance to take another class, this time online with berklee college of music.
- james
- absentee ballots
- learning to trust in the universe even in uncertainty.
- hope & the power of positive thinking
- living so close to such beautiful parks.

3.9.08

hilarious vintage ads

found these ads perusing the internet the other day. i thought they were absolutely hilarious & some scary & slightly disturbing. all the images are from a fabulous blog that you should check out: found in momma's basement. you seriously could spend hours on this site, its just so weirdly entertaining! double click on the pictures below if you'd like to read them better.





umm, ok?





i can't believe people were seriously this sexist. the last one is just inadvertently hilarious.



these sound like box office hits!

--------------

these last two are just because:


make toast not war.






this one's for the ladies. Check out the guy---Brad Pitt way back in the 80's!!

1.9.08

greenwich, in-laws & the human race

over the weekend, james and i were super crazy busy {which seems to describe everything at the moment with me}. his parents came down from the midlands & we spent most of the time entertaining them in greenwich & canary wharf. although i enjoy seeing them having visitors can be draining. i'm the type that has to clean the house about 3 times over, getting everything perfect so i can relax but in reality that doesn't happen till they're gone. i like to put little touches when we have house visitors {thank goodness they stayed at a hotel though} like fresh cut flowers, nice organic biscuits to serve with a cup of tea & lighting candle/incense to create a soothing environment. i think the home is a real presentation of yourself which is why i go to such effort when we have friends over. either this or i must have some martha stewart blood running through my veins after all.

although i didn't get any pictures of his parents {camera shy}, here's a few highlights from Saturday. there wasn't a cloud in the sky all day i might add which is rare for london and made the day that much better.


we managed to catch a few minutes of a cricket game going on in the park. considering how hot it was, i'm surprised they were playing with their heavy clothes.


wandered around looking at all the trees in the park. i love trees & yes i occasionally do hug them {you should try it sometime}. this one is gorgeous & quick random fun fact ---some of the trees in greenwich park are older than america!


it was such a beautiful day. although you can see the pollution over the city---the sky was still blue, people were out with their families & it was glorious.

mildred

on the way home, we of course had to visit our pet ducks george & mildred at brookmill park. all george could do was feed his face on the bread that we gave to them {typical bloke eh?}---mildred though she decided to totally strike a pose & show off in the water. doesn't she look grand?

when we got home we raided the freezer for our skinny cow mint chocolate chip ice lollies/popsicles. a perfect end to the day!

sunday evening we were crazy enough to do a 10k run in the freezing pouring rain {thus no pics} for the nike human race 10k campaign held at wembley stadium.


i thought it was a great concept----25 cities across the world uniting for one day in the name of health & sports. it was more rock concert/race as there was pre race performances by moby & pendulum & there was great music around the course too including some coming from a swinging 60's double decker red bus. our time wasn't exactly the best we've ever done {we usually do 6 miles in an hour, hour/10} but it was wet & dark so i think that's a great excuse. although the race didn't start when we hoped cause of the concert, we were cold & didn't get home till nearly 11---it was a wonderful evening.

so that was my weekend in a nutshell. we're hoping for a bit more of a quiet weekend for the next couple of weeks, but i then remembered i've got a 5k race next weekend as well!