29.11.09

Thankgiving weekend

Its been a great few days: full of good food, long walks, movies, christmas lights and warm blankets as the bitter winter cold seems to be settling in. The weather is gray and drizzly today but it just means a bit of yoga at home, cranking up the heaters, popping in a dvd and enjoying the quiet that the rain brings.

Greenwich

Pumpkin Muffins

Covent Garden






P.S. On track for getting my reward w/the gold stars this month. Thinking I may either get myself shoes cause the holes in them currently aren't winter/puddle friendly or chop my hair. Decisions eh?

27.11.09

the 29 day give

I read a story on Oprah.com that has inspired me. Basically its about a woman who was diagnosed with MS and decided to spend the next 29 days of her life doing one act of simple kindness each day. Didn't have to be a material thing, but just one act..like calling someone to say hello, sending a nice e-mail, making dinner for your partner. Well her emotional, physical, spiritual, mental 'buckets' were very very much overflowing by the end of it. She didn't cure her MS, but she sure gained back the ability to live her life.

I've heard a lot about how service is our biggest purpose here on earth. I agree with that. With me personally my problems get so FREAKIN overwhelming sometimes that I forget about others, I forget that there are people out there who have it much worse than I do.

So...I'm going to do a little experiment that I think is perfect for this time of year. I've signed up to the 29 day challenge. I am glad that if you miss a day (or two) that 'its ok' and when you're ready you just pick up where you left off. Gosh, its nice to know I don't have to be perfect with everything.

Anyway, to start the challenge off I'm popping off to the post office a bit later to mail out some goodness into the world. Won't say more than that, other than its lots of 'goodness'.

In the mean time, watch my twitter for updates on what I'm doing each day w/this challenge and I'll report back here at the end of 29 days to let you know my thoughts on everything as well.

25.11.09

The Gratitude List

1. the fact I'm still here, I'm still standing in one piece
2. warm blankets
3. Oprah
4. good books
5. Dr Quinn re-runs to break up the day
6. James for teaching me patience and acceptance
7. Gold Stars (going well, not 100% but sticking to it)
8. The internet
9. Support groups that I've started attending recently
10. meditation and Buddhism for creating it
11. the arts, especially here in this city
12. the smell of crisp bonfire in the cool air
13. a body that still manages to work after what I've put it through
14. pretty pictures
15. my camera and actually starting to figure it out
16. An interview came my way just this week
17. That I have food and a place to sleep every night
18. That I have had the chance to meet people, extraordinary people since living here
19. Kitty and how she runs like crazy every time she sees us
20. Warm showers when its freezing outside
21. Brita Filters
22. Organic Flaxseed + Soya Chips and Hummus
23. Charlie Brown
24. Audrey Hepburn
25. Javier Bardem in Vicky Christina Barcelona
26. Dark Chocolate
27. That I have a few friends that still speak to me even after they get to know me
28. Yoga
29. Mildred, our pet duck
30. Long Walks through Greenwich Park
31. Learning to laugh more
32. River Cottage, the t.v. show
33. Ugly Betty
34. How I felt like this week when I got to get myself a new shirt for my interview
35. Jamie Oliver...his new American cookbook, his restaurant, his causes
36. a cheap weekend to Paris in December, that we haven't had to cancel it out of financial ruin or something. :)
37. Finding a new healthy burrito take-out place today...who do California mission style vegetarian burritos full of nothing but healthy goodness.
38. Sisters and Daughters, Waterstones, Anthropologie, Fat Face, Gap---who give me endless ogling hours.
39. Organic icecream and homemade chocolate pumpkin brownies
40. No dead mice on our living room carpet like we found last month
41. Sunday naps
42. Listening to peoples stories. Every story matters
43. Sesame Street...I hear it was their anniversary recently. They taught me to read.
44. memories/lessons from my trip this fall starting to sink in.
45. the muppets for their countless hours of making me smile
46. mushroom soup with toasted ciabatta bread, with organic ham + cheese slightly melted and a teeny bit of mayo and whole grain mustard on top.
47. Incense
48. the smell of baked goods in the oven
49. London, what a gift.
50. the Present Moment, which I consistently try to enjoy better.

24.11.09

Thanksgiving Love

This time of year although I'm in a different country, I tend to think of two things I really loved to do every Thanksgiving:


picture from here

+


picture from here



Nothing says Thanksgiving Love like a bit of Charlie Brown and Macy's mixed in with friends, family, a good meal and topped with lots of gratitude.

Perfection.

20.11.09

Oprah


I'm incredibly devastated by the news that Oprah's ending her show in 2011. I've watched her most of my life and consider her a huge mentor and hero. Particularly these last 4/5 years when I started initially having a lot of career trouble her and I spent many, many an afternoon together. When I've felt alone like no one was there (which happens a lot), I turned to her show for comfort and it got me through many a dark day. If it wasn't for Oprah I wouldn't have: read Eckhart Tolle's 'A New Earth', discovered Dr Oz, known about the 'healing' place I went to in Arizona (which changed my life), had the motivation to loose the 50 lbs I've lost so far, known about Barack Obama, discovered Martha Beck and Elizabeth Gilberts 'Eat, Pray, Love', I would have never learned ways of coping with stressful times, that I deserved to live my best life, I would have never been inspired by her work in Africa, would have never learned how to organize and decorate my house from Nate Berkus and the list goes on. I really do credit Oprah to who I am today.

I'm hearing a lot of Oprah haters saying "Good, glad she's gone, good riddance" since the news which makes me angry. I feel like how can you hate someone who is my hero?? I guess also for someone who I have found such inspiration and joy from, I don't understand how some can spread such hate. Dislike is one thing, hate is another and to me hate just hurts the individual giving it. I also just don't understand why people would dislike someone who does nothing and has done nothing but good in this world. But, if people choose to hate or choose to dislike something its their decision. That's the great thing about this world is people's ability to choose.

Anyway, Oh how I wish I could get tickets to her last season. Its been a #1 mondo beyondo dream of mine to be a guest and chatting away telling her in person thank you or at least an audience member. Sadly, the demand for tickets are going to go through the roof now and I'm worried that my huge dream will slip through the cracks. Who knows I guess...even putting out my dream like this into the universe, you never know if it may come true.

In the mean time, I'll be mourning my daily source of inspiration. I'm sure it won't be the last of Oprah and I'll be able to still have her part of my life in little ways through O magazine and other things...but I'll still be mourning 25 years of glorious memories and a good friend.

I wish Oprah the best of luck next year in her last season. I hope nothing but blessings comes her way for all the joy that she's brought to people and to me. If I can be half the person she is by the time my life is over, I'll be pretty pleased with things.



picture from here.

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Happy Weekend


1. ...I come to find a refuge..., 2. Black Hmong child - Sapa, Vietnam, 3. Old memories are like old memories, 4. Mountain air, 5. 123/365, 6. Sacré Coeur, 7. For man..., 8. watching the fog roll in, 9. chair, 10. All is love, 11. Biarritz_MG_0324, 12. Beach Huts, Essex 2, 13. Untitled, 14. Untitled, 15. for dawn, 16. vintage, baby., 17. fall, 18. sunday., 19. Vanity Fair Outtakes, 20. Untitled, 21. Top Ten - #9 George Clooney, 22. We hold the future, 23. .o66, 24. ***, 25. Echinops



Off to the city again...to try a new yoga place and to buy vitamins. Enjoy your weekend.

christine
xoxox

19.11.09

Early Christmas

James and I met up in the city yesterday, went to the National gallery and wondered through the West End looking at Christmas lights. It seems too early for Christmas. There were carolers, brass bands playing christmas music already. It takes me a long time to get into the holiday mood I guess. I think the lights and window displays are pretty good this year though. Selfridges and Carnaby Street were my favorite:


Selfridges

Carnaby Street


P.S. There's more pictures on flickr.

London Anthropologie

Anthropologie just opened their first European store here in London. I had heard about anthropologie a lot before, but oh my heck when I checked it out yesterday in the city I was not expecting that I'd like it so much. I really like how everything has an eclectic travelling feel. I read on Oprah that there's a reason for this, the main buyer actually gets things for the store whilst travelling the globe! I like also how things seem so vintage too. Totally, totally, completely me. These pictures below are a few items I saw yesterday that I'm bookmarking to get at some point. The book is actually a journal, looks like an old book but its a blank journal. Boy, my dusty wallet was screaming for a bit of fun money yesterday.






I was also very brave and took pictures inside. I wasn't sure initially cause I'd never done it before, but I saw like a bazillion people taking pictures too so I did it. Here's a few that I managed to snap:




What can I say, I'll definitely be going back. Thank god, not everything in there requires selling a kidney to afford to buy it. In the mean time till I get some money, a girl can dream.

13.11.09

Toys

After an impromptu Buddhist meditation class today, I decided to check out a museum nearby that I've never been to in London before, the Museum of Childhood. Surprisingly it was an absolute delight.

They had freaky dolls. I think old dolls like this are freaky don't you?



Miniture Doll Houses, some going back to the time when America was just getting started. I love the detail. Even after all these years, the detail is so obvious:


I discovered Britains version of the Barbie, 'Sindy'. I don't know I kind of like her. She seems a lot more sassy and stylish than Barbie. What do you think?



Career Sindy


Domestic Sindy-- A girl not afraid to do a bit of ironing


And getting down and dirty, whilst loving every minute.


but still has time for the girls at the salon


to get that perfect look

And meet up with her stylin' boyfriend for a ride around town.



But although Sindy may be a bit more 'hip' and down with it, Malibu barbie and her friends will always beat the Brits with their California sun-tans and beach 'ensembles'. You just can't get that kind of tan in British weather.


We also have Joe Cool


And the smurfs...but wait a minute I think they were originally European. (Go figure, with smurfette eh?)


Well, It doesn't matter what toys are better though, cause I got to spend an afternoon looking at toys and remembering a teeny bit of what it was like to be a kid again.

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If you'd like to see better versions of these photos (I hate Blogger by the way with what they do with my pictures) and even more toys check out my flickr.

12.11.09

Sabrina Ward Harrison

I'm in Love with mixed media art and considering all the time I've got on my hands...I can ogle for hours my new favorite finds from Sabrina Ward Harrison:


can all be purchased here.

10.11.09

What it feels like in pictures

Sometimes this is what it feels like:



Unemployment



+
Living with someone who abuses alcohol



+

being stuck

health issues

lonely

But....every day its a lot of these:



which helps me every day get a bit more of this:



+



A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~ Lao Tzu



original picture locations/credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

8.11.09

BonfireNight Fireworks



Remember, Remember the 5th of November....
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.




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

P.S. In other news....Progress report for Gold Stars: Doing well, by the end of today I'll have 4/4. Already noticed huge differences in me. James mentioned yesterday he may want to do his own chart too. Yes, change is coming.

6.11.09

Flicker Friday: Fall Edition

The Flickr Favorites this week are from my photo's. I've been enjoying long walks in our parks and have managed to get some pictures I'm proud of so here goes:


1. Red, 2. Blistery, 3. steps, 4. Dark Orange

This is of the exact same place...different seasons:

1. pink, 2. Seasons

5.11.09

SuperNanny 101


Ok, I've decided I need a serious organized action plan in order to make these big changes with me. Its not that I haven't tried to fix things before...I have and do every day...but this time I'm going to approach it a bit different.

Have you ever watched Supernanny?? We used to get her all the time over here until the Americans stole her. Its ok though cause only now we can watch her kick some ass stateside. I don't have kids as you know, but I find the fact that she can whip even the most demonic child into shape absolutely riveting.

So.........I think I'm going to do a bit of Supernanny 101 on myself and whip the demonic child in me into a bit o' shape too. I don't think its patronizing, I think its a bit of a science experiment (pavlov's dog anyone?)

Ok, so my plan is this:

1. Set 5 teeny goals to work on every day that will make huge changes in the long term.
2. Give myself gold stars/stickers on our calender for each day that I make efforts in each goal.
3. Have consequences (aka...the naughty step) if I don't get a certain number of stars each week.
4. Have rewards on a weekly and monthly basis.

So what do you think? Those of you with kids...isn't this what you do to make positive changes?? Why wouldn't this work on an adult too eh?

-----------------------
I haven't figured out the other details but will report back soon. I have picked my 5 goals though to work on everyday:

  1. Write 5 things I'm grateful for in my journal
  2. Exercise for minimum 30 minutes in some form
  3. Meditation
  4. Apply/Look for work
  5. Do something fun/creative

Anyway, I will report back here on my progress and if you don't see me post...ask me about it!



picture from here.