26.1.09

bring on spring


images: frillr

its been so gray and cloudy recently i've started really longing for spring. i don't do well in the cold. i prefer mild days, new sprouts of plants and the possibility of warmer days.

speaking of warmer days i saw the new collection for the english classic 'burberry' yesterday for spring '09. love how they capture the essence of the season in their new ad campaign--don't you?

22.1.09

my head is spinning

image from here

my head is spinning after my first two days of:
intern

lots of names to remember
orchestras, receptionists, artists, my colleagues
how to spell all the foreign names
new computer programs to master
fax & copy machines
calling internationally & consistently asking "do you speak english?"

who does what, where, when and how
trying to figure out my daily commute
wrestling with the underground like a cattle drive
readjusting my schedule
adjusting to a 8-7 day of travel & work
trying to find time again to 'breathe'
fitting in yoga
overcoming butterflies the size of panthers

most importantly trying to slow down enough to take every moment in of
the most amazing experience
ever.



20.1.09

happy inauguration day


london is buzzing today with excitement over the inauguration today. i can't wait to watch history as our first african american president is sworn in at 4 pm {gmt} and especially one that i personally helped campaign for . what a great example of a strong, healthy and happy family too. i don't envy the pressures that he'll have, but i've got faith that he'll do his best.

so--mr obama (soon to be mr prez.),

i wish you blessings, health, happiness, success
& the continued ability to inspire.
i pledge to do my part in making the world a better place
and to inspire others to do the same in support of this new era of change.
may god protect you, watch over you
and give you the ability, patience & courage
to take on the enormous challenges america will face.
don't let washington change you too much
& always remember the little guys who voted for you.

yours sincerely,

an american in london



p.s. don't forget to laugh often. a sense of humor is a big part of the job description.


{image from here}

19.1.09

irene suchocki giveaway



images from here

one of my favorite bloggers marta is doing a irene suchocki giveaway on her blog. i've already added my name to the draw, if you like beautiful photos add your name too. i particularly love irene's paris series and the ones above aint bad either!

day of service: what will you pledge?




on this day of service what will you pledge?

the democrats abroad are writing wounded military today. if you'd like to participate-- send a hello or a care package to:
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington , D.C. 20307-5001 USA

Brook Army Medical Center
Attn: Gift Coordinator
3851 Roger Brook Drive
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234 USA

16.1.09

200th post

well--this is my 200th post. can't believe i've been blogging this long. thought it would be nice to have a few links to some of my favorite posts these last two years. thank you to all that have taken the time to support this blog and me!


i'm not a mommy blogger

eat, pray, love


life doesn't frighten me

human dignity

weekend in rome

a new earth

changes

heaven is smiling

real beauty


distractions


hope wins

far away friends

daydreaming

14.1.09

self portrait



today i embrace myself with all my imperfections
my insecurities
my weight
my messy hair, sweats & no make-up
and i say a prayer of gratitude
for what i've been given--
my two hands & feet
my eyes that can see
my heart & lungs that miraculously work without any effort
the ability to laugh & cry
breath
my mind
'taste'
'touch'
'smell'
& even my ovaries.

with the pain you give me
you teach me compassion
patience
acceptance
& remind me of life's little moments of 'grace'.

so today i embrace all of me
i remind myself that the same
miracles that created the sun, moon & stars
that carved places like the grand canyon out of impossibility
are the same miracles that make my life a possibility.



picture of me via poladroid

13.1.09

photo favorites

i've been in a bit of a dreamy state these last few days---trying to get myself in a schedule again & more anxious than a kindergartner on her first day thinking about having to start my new life as 'intern' next week. so, in an effort to get my mind off of things i've been scouring flickr & blogland for photos. as you know i love photography but what i love most is the escape factor and how great a subsitute they are when you can't afford to leave your little apartment to travel cause of crappy exchange rates. here are a few of my recent favorite finds:

mrs french on flickr---she's saved as one of my contacts and i just love the magical qualities of her photo stream. she's got an etsy shop too!

link to picture


link to picture



tec petaja---found via one of my favorite blogs black*eiffel. love, love, love his portraits and he particularly caught my eye cause of his travel section. the images of india and nepal are beautiful. have i mentioned recently how i want to go there?




images from here

9.1.09

financial advice from suze orman on oprah

suze orman was on oprah yesterday giving advice on surviving this year of economic doom & gloom. i have to admit i was in shock about how bad some people have it right now---things like 23 credit cards, debts of $50-90,000 and serious risk of loosing their houses. our finances are really tight {like everyone} but we have been lucky partly because its only just slightly better over the pond in england & my partner is a savings god who knows how to make money spread as far as possible. still we're not going to get complacent and we're moving a few things round to try to survive as best we can.

i took loads of notes from the show and i'd love to share them with you:

  • commit to being honest with yourself, no more deceit and lies. if it means admitting you may have been wrong---take the leap.
  • make your home life a reflection of the inside. if your house/finances/etc are unorganized it may be likely that some other aspect in your emotional life is unorganized too.
  • finances are often a reflection of our 'spiritual consciousness' being reflected back to us.
action plan for credit cards

step 1: pay off credit card debt
step 2: get out of credit card debt before you have a savings account

action plan for spending

step 1: sit down with expenses and separate wants v needs
step 2: circle all expense that are wants
step 3: if you have debt or no savings, eliminate the 'wants'

* money for emergency fund does not belong in stock market

action plan for savings


step 1: save enough to cover 8 months of expenses
step 2: decide how much you can save each month and add 20%
step 3: search around for a savings account with a higher interest rate

action plan for retirement

step 1: don't panic when the market drops
step 2: keep investing monthly in retirement
step 3: if you need money within 5 years take it out of the stock market

stocks

change things around to create income, be aware that its unsure of when stocks can be guaranteed again.


commit to make 3 changes

1. don't spend money for one entire day
2. don't use your credit cards for one week
3. for one month don't eat out



you can get a free e-copy of suze orman's '2009 action plan' off of oprah until the 15th of jan. also oprah is doing a webinar next week again with suze orman---you can sign up here.

8.1.09

the old & new



images via polanoid

we've been hit by a huge cold streak this week. temperatures reaching close to -10C/14F in most of the country. lakes have frozen, even the trafalgar square fountains have froze. we've had our first snow this year and beautiful frost that gives everything such a magical feel. my partner james tells me that this time of year is necessary {the cold} in order to prepare the ground for new life in spring. the cold killing off bacteria, everything shedding their leaves & skin so to speak--downsizing to prepare for their yearly rebirth.

in my own life--i kind feel like after a very long cold winter, i'm finally getting a chance to shed the old me and embark on endless possibilities. this week i was offered an internship in the music industry at a very big artist management agency here in london. its not a permanent job and only for 3 months, but its an opportunity, a chance to nourish my creativity again and feel like i'm progressing. although i have no idea what the rest of the year will bring--i'm ok with this because i'm so grateful that after two years of so many walls put up, finally a little door has opened up for me---little old me!!! so i'm going to enjoy the ride one day at a time and see where it takes me.

because of my internship i had to say goodbye to my yoga teacher today as well. yoga has been a gift to me these last 2 years-something that has sustained me, helped me to reconnect with myself & has planted seeds of desire to learn to love me again. who knows if i may see my yoga teacher again in a couple of months when my internship ends but i couldn't leave today without at least saying thank you for what he has given to me.

i said hello to a new season/series of oprah oprah this week too. on monday she talked about her weight loss struggle and most things that she said really resonated to the point i was in tears. she said weight loss is about truly loving yourself again and finding out what you are really hungry for. the entire show was very much what i needed to hear at the exact moment in time and i'm grateful for her inspiration & strength of example to me--particularly because of my own weight battles. i'm going to do my best to love myself in 2009, embrace my body for what it gives to me daily and hopefully become healthy physically where i need to be to allow my body to help me to live my best life.

so as i embark on the' new' and shed the old these next few weeks i reflect back and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the experiences i have been given. they say that every person you meet (the yoga teachers, even the oprah show), every experience you have is exactly what you need at the exact moment to grow, to teach or to learn. true joy is not possible without pain and i understand now that every moment i've felt such frustration & hopelessness these last two years was a lesson--a lesson to prepare me for this moment in time today where i feel such palpable exuberation & joy. so universe/god thank you---thank you for these gifts, thank for constantly teaching me and helping me to progress even when i think otherwise.

6.1.09

detox

ok, so i probably enjoyed the holidays a bit too much. i felt like a marshmallow on new years day---too much of everything will do that to you. we ate pretty healthy compared to some, but i think the mini mince pies got me by surprise. well anyway when i got last weeks goop newsletter from gwyneth it sounded like a welcome sigh of relief. james and i started on saturday and will be finishing this saturday a little detox session. lots of soups, herbal teas, tons and tons of vegetables and hopefully a bit of a kick start to finally getting my weight down to what it should be for health & strength to ensure that i can be the best i can be. i've slightly altered the menu given {we don't have a juicer, but we can go out for juices to whole foods & crussh} but we're generally following what gwyneth's recommended. day 4 and although i'm slightly tired my stomach seems to be a lot happier than it was earlier last week. avoiding sugar has been the worst but no pain no gain eh?

here's the newsletter

my favorite recipe is the broccoli and arugula/rocket soup {see below}. its an easy cheap base recipe for loads of winter soups.


image & recipe from here

broccoli & arugula soup

serves 2
time 15 minutes

ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove garlic thinly sliced, 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped, 1 head of broccoli cut into small florets {about 2/3 pound}, 2 1/2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon each ground salt & pepper, 3/4 cup arugula {watercress is fine too}, 1/2 lemon

directions: heat the olive oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. add the garlic and onion and sauté for just a minute or until fragrant. add the broccoli and cook for four minutes or until bright green. add the water, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. cook for eight minutes or until the broccoli is just tender. pour the soup into a blender and puree with the arugula until quite smooth. be very careful when blending hot liquids; start slowly and work in batches if necessary (you don’t want the steam to blow the lid off). serve the soup with a bit of fresh lemon.

{if you want to use it for other soups replace the broccoli & arugula}

5.1.09

new year confessions

ok, i'm going to put myself out here for a bit. any true change you must admit you've got a problem first so i figured it might push me in the right positive direction of 'improvement' if i held myself accountable and published here. i'm not really a fan of disclosing absolutely everything of my intimate personal details though so my apologies if some points don't go into as much detail as you'd like. {hard enough writing what i did} anyway, here goes:

  • i've got an eating disorder. no, its not anorexia/bulimia but food addiction. i find it difficult to not emotionally/comfort eat & i am particularly drawn to sugar. my weight has always been an issue (up & down) and for the rest of my life i will constantly have to remind myself to exercise regularly & to eat well. educating myself on nutrition/the body has helped and i've managed to loose about 10 inches from my waist after a lot of hard work. i've got another 5 inches to go before i'm out of the 'danger zone'.

  • i struggle with relationships. i don't know what it is but people have never flocked to be my friend. maybe they feel that i'm too much work, don't increase their social standing, no fun or that i'll depress the hell out of them emotionally. when i do make friends---i tend to frequently think in the back of my head, "are they doing this cause they feel sorry for me?". who knows---over the years i've stopped worrying about it as much as i used to {i used to be consumed with this}. some days it still bugs me though & i'll have an overwhelming palpable taste of loneliness all over.

  • i'm afraid of commitment. there james i said it. yes we haven't had the money to marry but in all honesty its more because i'm afraid of screwing up & failing. i don't want to wreck my relationship or complicate things & part of me frankly doesn't see the point of getting married as well. poor james has stuck with me despite numerous episodes of me threatening to leave, breaking up with him and even most recently calling off engagements in an effort to work on our friendship.
  • my self-esteem sucks. i've known this for a while but it wasn't until i started going to counselling to deal with the emotional stress of my health problems that i realized how bad it was. along with jane eyre, i've been recently reading, 'the road less travelled' and in it it mentions obviously that your childhood affects your opinion of yourself, but one particular passage that hit me said, 'you spend your time/attention on things that you love'. i don't love myself enough and i have no doubt that if i work on this that other things may fall in place too.
  • i think too much. i need to relax and enjoy the moment and stop thinking about things i need to do later on in the day or everything else under the sun. if it don't i'll wake up one day and my entire life will have passed before my eyes. true joy is in the present moment.
with this said--i see its snowing outside. i'm off to play & catch some snowflakes on my tongue.