Have a nice weekend

Hope you all have a great weekend (and halloween). James is away, so I shall be watching this old classic movie by myself with some chocolate beetroot brownies on the side:


Groundhog Day

I think this should be my new favorite movie, what do you think? Seems to fit pretty well.

I was reading the Wikipedia description of the film and how the main character manages to get unstuck finally:

"After indulging in all manner of hedonistic pursuits, then going through a suicidal streak, he (Phil Connors) begins to reexamine his life and priorities."

Makes you think eh? Wonder if the universe is trying to give the same weird + twisted message to me.


jamie + I

Ok, I've had this secret love of Jamie Oliver the last 6-8 wks or so. I've always liked him since he's done so much food crusading here over the years (he's over in the states now actually trying to do similiar stuff) + adore his Italian cookbook. But, I've really been into him since he decided to do an American cookbook/show full of traditional food from the USA. I've never seen a healthy (ish) book of American dishes before and I'm grateful and a tad bit embarrased that a Brit could create American food like this and this good. Of course the show was just as good and saw bits of the US that I've never heard about. Anyway, get a load of the poster for the show/book:

Its also cool cause he's got a restaurant that just opened like 20 minutes from my house in Canary Wharf, Jamie's Italian. We used to go all the time to another great Italian restaurant, but we were hooked to someplace new when we first went to Jamie's place a few weeks back. The food is fantastic and a good price which is just what we like.

He's also got his own product line. Check out how cool looking some of this stuff is?

Well anyway...I know my love affair with Jamie is just a phase but its the little things that get you through eh? I really love cooking and what can I say... little things like cook books and foodie shows get me excited.

pictures from here and here

Be Gentle

Ok, so I've been fighting serious depression the last few weeks. My trip in Sept. gave me a huge glimpse of what joy could be in my life on a daily basis and I got frustrated because when I came back I found my life issues more than overwhelming. The joy then left and I hated myself because 1. People who just went on life-changing trips shouldn't be this depressed so quickly after and 2. I'm afraid of what people think and that if I say what's really going on in my life they'll leave me (people tend to flee from me for some reason I'm afraid). I know this doesn't sound rational but its what's been happening in the little head of mine.

The last couple of weeks I've had little spurts of being ok, but then panic and feeling overwhelemed followed by shutting down where I've downed an entire box of cookies and hid under the duvet because I've just felt like I couldn't cope with another hour.

I've struggled with depression on and off my whole life but I've found England a pretty difficult country to have it in. The Brits don't like it when people show emotion, they get uncomfortable. Heaven forbid you mention you're a teeny bit depressed as its like putting a big scarlet D on your chest. They don't mean to be this way, but repressing feelings I think is hard wired in their system. I think its the whole stiff upper lip thing. Maybe that's why they drink so much too...this and the lack of sunshine between the months of September-March.

Well anyway I'm writing this HERE to convince myself that this is ok for me right now. I gotta try to bloom where I'm planted and start in the present moment...accept that, embrace it and then S-L-O-W-L-Y move in baby steps forward. My biggest challenge will be to allow myself mistakes and not even think about trying to get through the day...but just get through the next 5, 10, 15 minutes first. Being gentle with me, find fun things that bring me joy and celebrate those little moments and of course laugh more.

Anyone who has ever dealt with depression knows that the above is easier said than done...but its ok. One step at time. Can't wait to think of what kind of person I'll be on the other end of this though....I'll be one tough cookie eh?


Travels: Elephants, Villagers + Venice

I've been going through old photo files trying to see what to upload to flickr to back up, etc. etc. and am realizing that there's a lot of pictures already on flickr that my blog friends may not have seen. Well anyway here are some old holiday pics:


1. VENICE-Rialto Bridge, 2. Venice-Bridge of Sighs, 3. VENICE-St Mark's Square, 4. VENICE

For more of my pictures check out Flickr here.


Items of Business

picture from here

1- We've decided to do things differently this year for the holiday season. We are drastically, drastically cutting out things, cutting down on the entire holiday season (like to the bare minimum) so we can afford to go to Paris for New Years Eve for a few 'quiet' days (plus cashing in our airmiles helps). We are getting to the age that we don't want more 'stuff', we want more wonderful experiences to remember. Last year I felt like we were eating for a straight 3 months and we don't want that nor the wastage and hassle that comes with the holidays. Paris is also cheaper (believe it or not) than London and so we'll be saving money rather than trying to do things @home over this period. It will also be great to get there before the year is over and in a season we've never been to the city yet. Don't know if it will snow, but I hear the holiday decorations and fireworks on the Eiffel Tower are divine.

2- Our flat will be available to rent for this period 31 December (morning)- January 3 (afternoon) if you are interested in spending New Years Eve in London. We are only 10 minutes away from Greenwich Park and 20 minutes from Big Ben where the fireworks are. Contact me (see sidebar) if you are interested.

3- I want to apologize for the manically depressive tone my blog seems to have @ the moment and has had. I know I can write whatever the heck I want on here, but still I want to inspire people not make people want to flee. The truth is I think on blogland people want to forget about their troubles and I'm stock full of troubles (at least temporarily). Well anyway, I'm not going to completely hide everything that's going on in my life but maybe write things a bit better/with more of a positive + humorous spin as to not sound so completely suicidal.

4- There's a chance that I may put 'blogher' ads back up. I'm not trying to sell out and go all complex again and although the money was crap I did get more exposure for my blog through them and thats what my intention is for this blog to make more friends/connections with wonderful souls.

5- I'm looking for any potential work I can do remotely (from my house) for any of you. If you have things that need typing (I speed type) or researched, or similiar things that can be done from afar...let me know as I can be your gal :)

Besides this---Nothing exciting going on with James and I. Been changing around quite a bit on our flat, watching movies, basically sticking around our little corner of SE London. Lots of stuff coming up in the next few weeks so many things to post!!


Early Fall Bokeh: Greenwich


Online Inspiration

Have been having a bit of a set-back with my spirits recently. Trying to remind myself what I learned over my healing retreat....meditate, nourish myself, take one moment at a time. Well funny thing is this morning I woke up to a lot of much needed inspiration that hit just the right chords at the right time:

picture from here

Stephanie Nielson or 'Nie Nie'...I've known about for a while because its been impossible not to if you are on Blogland. I was reluctant to follow her initially because she's LDS and I've had such a painful history w/the church (I formally took my name off this yr after almost 10 yrs of not practicing). I didn't want another mommy blogger on my blogroll either because frankly I find it difficult to relate as I don't have or ever want children. Well anyway... I decided one day to just give up my resistance and give her a chance and I read her entire blog in like an hour and a half. I fell in love with her spirit and her courage in the face of such huge obstacles. She is an inspiration and a reminder to me how far you can go with a bit of gratitude and love in your life every day.

picture from here

Kelly Rae Roberts: I have been following her for a while. I'm drawn to her uplifting and inspiring art. This morning I found this picture on her blog (see above) with this written:

.....for all of you struggling with overwhelm, critical decisions, heavy relationships, financial burden, illness, anxiety, vocational struggle, creative ruts, and unending tiredness....hold on, hold on, hold on. you are not alone. you are more than your struggle. and you are deeply, deeply loved.

I wish she had comment boxes still because I'd tell her how much I needed to hear this today. I'm grateful for the post she did. When I can swing a few pennies I think I may actually buy the print of this painting to remind me of this experience.

Finally Kindness Girl and Tara Whitney. I found Kindness Girls blog through Jen Lemen and twitter this morning. I think its awesome what she's trying to do with her guerilla goodness (random acts of kindness) project. Inspiring and makes me want to think of ways to make my own guerilla goodness every day in my own life. Tara...love her, love her photos....and what a timely and awesome picture she posted today....needed it like you wouldn't believe. You MUST check it out here.

So thanks Ladies for the inspiration today and thank you universe for sending it my way.



autumn harvest

We went to Borough market for the first time in like forever yesterday. It was fantastic as always to see the autumn produce again. The smells were divine and I was reminded of how much I am grateful to live so close to a place where every visit you can always learn so much about food.

+ of course a bit of street jazz to finish the morning.

two weeks till the borough market apple festival by the way.


Travel Surfing

I'm bored....really bored. My activities are pretty limited right now and despite exercise, job searching, cleaning, reading, venturing out on weekends,etc....I cant do much in order to save the ole pennies as we are hoping to maybe do SOMETHING over the holiday period. So I've been surfing again ...this time I've stumbled upon a topic close to my heart--some awesome travel-esque pictures:

Sara Remington...a commercial photographer..whose blog I've been following for a while went to Argentina and Calabria and these are pictures of her trip:

I love these pictures as they make me feel as if I'm right there participating...especially the meal one above heck I can totally picture myself asking someone to pass the potatoes.

Some other sites I've rather liked recently as well are Alexandra Grablewski and Anna Williams who both do some pretty amazing travel photography as well.

I've been thinking a lot about what my destiny is in life and poignantly I read yesterday that...we all know our destiny all ready we just have to get rid of the thoughts and clouds of emotions that get in the way of remembering what it is. Looking at the above...has made me wonder if I should do that for a living...I don't though...I think I have a heck of a lot more clouds to clear out before I'll know for certain.


Rainy Days

picture from here

Well the weather has been like this ever since I got back. Boy do I wish I was lying. Its made the adjustment even worse from sunny 101 degree temperatures to low 50's, gray and completely miserable. The job market is still horrid, I still have relationship stuff to iron out and can't help but want to flee like crazy. I felt like I was in heaven my week away literally and I felt like ugh why can't I keep this incredible joy I had whilst I was there F-O-R-E-V-E-R. I secretly wanted all my problems to disappear when I left (which they did temporarily) but instead they were waiting for me with a big red bow on top once I got home. I've been clinging on to my week away with nails and everything resisting my life here and then read this today:

From Martha Beck, Finding your Own North Star,

"Once you do begin to experience real joy, you will be tempted to cling to whatever brought such happiness into your life....People who haven't felt much joy tend to hang on to every shred of happiness like a drowning victim gripping a rescuer by the neck......They hang on so tightly that they lose their ability to either give or receive. This stops the natural flow of life and quickly kills off the joy it is meant to protect. Albert Camus wrote, "In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." The confidence that your capacity to experience joy is internal and indestructible grows as you let go of joyful experiences and find that they are replaced by others even more wonderful. You learn to hold your own happiness lightly by remembering that YOU are its source,and that there is an infinite supply."

Hello, this is me this week completely. Its the universe telling me again to snap out of it. The way I felt at the healing resort was such a rare experience for me I have been afraid of letting it go because I was afraid I wouldn't have the same joy come to me again. But the truth is...I have to make room for new joy...new lessons...new wonderful experiences to come my way and even if I do have set backs..I'm not the same person as I was before. Once I let it go and trusted in the abundance of good things out there it was not suprising how much better my day was today. I know its only going to get better too, I just know it.


my heart is still here

i think my heart is still on holiday.
having a rough time adjusting to life back home.
got to focus, lots to do.
just have to take one day at a time and live in the now.
easier said than done when my mind is still on the brightest night skies, falling stars, good food, relaxation and the best i've ever felt ever about me.
meditation, yoga will help me go back anytime i want.
just have to trust myself that its all possible.
and remember to breathe.


Friends: old & new

Did I tell you I made some new friends on holiday? It was hard not to with the activities we did...stripping all down to our vulnerable selves and everything. It was fantastic because I got a few e-mails/names to take away and even did the social thing and had dinner with people a couple of times. It felt sooooo good to make connections with real life people, not just computer ones!! I hope that the friends I made on my trip I will be able to keep for a very long time.

Speaking of friends...I want to tell you about a dear friend Kara. I knew Kara from way back when in Jr High. She was popular, I was a band geek. Anyway...I felt like a queen back then because she spoke to me all the time and was so kind. Oh her kindness!! It made such a confused geeky kid feel like I was important because SHE was speaking to little old me! Well, through glorious Facebook we've managed to re-connect like we never lost contact ever. She's got the sweetest little family and I'm very grateful that she's in my life again. You can never feel bad when you speak to her and no surprise she's a creative soul like me. I LOVE PICTURES and she's a professional photographer (How funny it seems that I always connect with creative people) and I could look at her pictures every single day. She's given me permission to post a few of my favorite shots of hers:

P.S. She does do color pics, but these happened to be my favorite. Anyway...go check out her site and send her some happy thoughts/love/good Karma!!