28 November, 2010

Letter to My Favorite Internet Friend(s)

I was first introduced to the blog world when I was planning my first trip to Italy and stumbled upon this blog about a British woman living in Positano, a small town on the Amalfi coast. Positano quickly found its way onto the list of places to go (and it did not disappoint). I decided to start my own blog and little did I know the people I would "meet" and the ways in which they would inspire me. From Sweden to Peru to Italy to Tunisia to Poland and everywhere in between, your blogs inspire me and allow me to travel the world without leaving my room. Though we have never met in person, in a way we meet everyday. It's amazing how small the world really is.

Keep writing!


25 November, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember everything you are grateful for and, celebrate with those you are most thankful for. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

24 November, 2010

Letter to the ex Prince Charming

Dear Prince Charming:

I use your nickname with irony now, as you were certainly not my prince and, if I look back, not entirely charming either. I met you during my first trip to the city I had loved for years. In the midst of my excitement and floating on cloud nine, there you were. Instantly, you were swept into that whirling sphere of time when Paris represented the future to me. You were a physical embodiment of those unexplainable emotions I felt when I walked through St. Denis. When you wrapped your arms around me, I felt the city envelop me, too.

I didn't feel butterflies when you kissed me, and you were never very affectionate. But I put any concerns aside because you were a package deal, you and Paris. But when I could no longer deny the fact that, like two mismatched puzzle pieces, we simply didn't fit, I let you go and realized that I could still keep Paris.

And I also realized what I really wanted in life. And when I got back to Chicago, I realized who I really wanted was right in front of me.

And so, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, thank you. Thank you for being, for giving me a glimpse of what I thought I wanted, so I could realize what it was that I truly wanted. Had I not met you, I would probably still be chasing a distant dream, not realizing that it was already within my grasp.

23 November, 2010

Un Nuovo Bacio

Negli occhi miei
Ormai ci sei
Chissà se con lo stesso sguardo
Vedi me negli occhi tuoi

Allora si
Io devo dirtelo
Mentre provavo a non pensarti
Ti pensavo sempre più

Siamo un po' troppo vicini adesso per scappare via

Tu non lo sai
Prima di te
C'è stato un altro che ha lasciato
Le ferite dentro me

Non aver paura giuro amore sono qui a difenderti
Con il tempo guarirò il tuo cuore cancellando i lividi
E per tutti i giorni che verranno ti respirerò

Io ti dirò le cose dette mai
Di questo amore noi saremo gli angeli
Il mio petto da cuscino
Per la vita ti farà

Sembra cominciata già
Una storia senza fine

Farò girare il mondo intorno a noi
Arriverà Natale senza nuvole
Le domeniche d'agosto
Quanta neve che cadrà
E nel tempo che verrà
Il mio cuore ti sorprenderà

Che freddo fa
Stringimi un po'
Riaccendi tutti i desideri quasi spenti dentro me
Con le dita sfioro il tuo profilo poi mi fermo un attimo
Per giocare con i tuoi capelli che nel vento volano
Prima di scoprire un bacio nuovo
Che sapore avrà

19 November, 2010

Wine Tasting

Thursday night, fed up with arduous paper writing, demanding professors and windowless offices, us ladies of the department decided to relax with a girls night out. After a long day of classes, we headed to a rooftop bar in the loop for their monthly (and, best of all for penniless graduate students, free) wine tasting. For once, my eyes were trained on the menu, and the gorgeous view, instead of mountains of research material. Heavenly.

18 November, 2010


I could really use a swing (or two) in this hammock. With my man lying beside me so I could rest my head on his shoulder as we swish back and forth, under crystal-clear waters, enveloped in a warm ocean breeze.

(source unknown)

16 November, 2010


Today I took a cab to the train station. On the way, I struck up a conversation with the Colombian driver about school, relationships and life in general. I love charismatic cab drivers.

We pulled up to the train station and I handed her my credit card ( I had told her in advance I didn't have cash). She wouldn't take it and insisted on giving me a free ride.

I love when the extreme, unbridled kindness of strangers takes me by surprise.

15 November, 2010


How cute are these little food erasers?

Letter to A Stranger

Dear Stranger:

Sometimes, as I pass you in the grocery store, or sit next to you on the train, I wonder - what would it feel like to be you? What if I was you, watching me? I wonder, what is your life like? What are you thoughts, your hopes, your dreams? What is hidden behind the outlandish hair, the manicured nails, the business suit? What do you see when you look at me?

Is the world so much different from your perspective?

14 November, 2010

Letter to My Dreams

Dear Dreams:

There sure are a lot of you inside me -- my heart and mind are constantly enveloped in a swirl of possibilities.

The incredible, amazing news is that the most important one of you has been achieved - I've found true love.

Now I wait (not so patiently) for all the others --

A cozy apartment where I wake up every morning to his sleepy kisses, of spontaneous trips, of decorating Christmas trees together. Of getting married, having a boy and a girl who have his kind eyes and generous soul, growing old together, of a lifetime of shared memories.

A career where I feel both fulfilled and know that I am making a difference. A life full of love, family, adventure and passion.

Though it seems far away now, I dream of living in Europe. I remind myself that true love encompasses all dreams, so anything is possible.

Yes, dreams, you have changed over the years. And some of you will remain as you are, just dreams. The time for certain things has come and gone. But that is okay, because sometimes, reality is better than anything I could dream of.

Letter to My Sister

Okay, so I skipped a few days. I'm back on track now.

Dear Sister,

Right now you are playing the piano and I. Absolutely. Can't. Stand. It.

I don't know why, but ever since you started practicing for a few hours a day at age 4, I've had this deep-seated dislike, perhaps even loathing for the piano. But honestly, deep inside, I admire your talent and your hard work, even if I can't appreciate it.

We've had our ups and downs and sometimes I feel I still hold a little resentment towards you for things that happened in the past. But then I think of how much you have grown, your incredible generosity, stunning creativity and kindness, and I am reminded of how lucky I truly am.

A few years ago, you wrote me a letter for my birthday, and I was absolutely stunned by how well you know me, it was completely unexpected. I'm really happy that we are slowly becoming friends, not only sisters. I loved people watching with you in London, walking the streets in Armenia, long walks to the library over the summer, and late-night talks in your room about how unreasonable parents can be.

Remember when we were little and I used to drag my mattress from my room to yours so we could have sleepovers? I don't think our parents ever understood why, after years of sharing the same room and fighting over whose side was cleaner, we would voluntarily sleep in the same space, just for fun. Actually, neither do I!

I have to admit, when I was little I wanted desperately to be an only child (probably because you were always stealing things from my room and I dreamt of a place where I didn't have to hide my "treasures" under sweaters and such). But then I realized, who would I have to share my childhood memories with?

I am so lucky to have such an amazing sister in my life (now, can I borrow your earrings?).

10 November, 2010

Letter to My Parents

Dear Parents:

You probably don't realize how much I appreciate you, but I do, and I've written so before.

But I think we would all agree that we are all waiting until I move out. By this age, I've developed a set of ideals and standards that do not often meet with yours. And that's okay, because we are products of different generations, of different cultures. We are the way we are, just because.

It will be easier for all of us to accept this when those ideals are not always clashing over the same roof.

Until then, I noticed you two have started gin-tonic date nights - maybe I will smuggle a bottle of wine into my room and have a date night with myself (if only I could sneak my boyfriend in, too(see: ideals)).

Love you.

09 November, 2010

Letter to My Crush

Dear Guillaume Canet:

Last year, I asked you to marry me. Lacking a response, I have since moved on to another (infinitely better, no offence) man. You didn't expect me to wait around forever, did you? In any case, I see that you have found love with another one of my crushes, so all is well with the world. An invitation to your wedding will suffice to close this chapter of our relationship.



08 November, 2010

Air Mail

I've just come home to a package waiting for me, airmail from Scotland.

I can't say I haven't been eagerly waiting for this - my obsession for snail-mail and lovely things was duly fulfilled when I opened the brown wrapping to find these beauties:

My favorite part - the paper inside is made from recycled money. On some pages you can see larger imprints of bank notes. Quids in!

Thank you, Betsey and Libby for this fantastic giveaway!!

Letter to My Best Friend

We've known each other for 24 years….it seems so surreal. How many 24 year olds can say they’ve known their best friend for 24 years? When we were little we fought over that purse I wouldn’t share with you, or your hairband that I wasn’t allowed to touch. When we both moved to different continents, we sent letters, each eager to impart more succulent secrets than the other. Miraculously, we found ourselves in the same city as teenagers. We fought over boys, bonded over strict parents, and dreamt of college in Hawaii or Europe. Granted, we settled with school stateside but, managed to infuse a large dose of international flavor into our education with hours and hours spent in Greektown or Italian Village, rather than class.

Sitting in a Greek Café, I daydreamed aloud about going to Europe. Without missing a beat, you said “let’s go!”. Within a few months, tickets were booked, hotels reserved, and a mountain of memories was on its way. Though I have had, and will have, many more trips to Europe, nothing can overshadow those summer weeks spent hopping from plane to plane, from city to city. Remember alternatively falling asleep and giggling hysterically at the airport in Spain? That loco night at Razmatazz? Meeting our supposedly attractive tour guides in Barcelona? Hair dryer mishaps in Paris? Nights spent eating delicious seafood in Positano as the waves crashed just feet away from us? Last night your parents came over for dinner, and your dad and mine rambled for almost an hour about their trip to Italy…20 years ago. It’s reassuring to know that 20 years from now, that will be us – sitting around a table with our families, telling stories from our “crazy youth” while our kids and husbands roll their eyes and say “there they go again”.

Our friendship started as a necessity. Our parents were best friends so we were naturally expected to bond. Over time, through distance, arguments and many incredible memories, we’ve become friends and, even family, by choice. Our friendship is forever, and that’s the best kind.


07 November, 2010

Letters - 30 Day Challenge

I saw this in a few blogs, and decided to imitate. It's a 30 day challenge in which each day you are to write an honest letter to a different person. I'll start tomorrow. The challenge goes:

A Letter to …

Day 1 — Your best friend.
Day 2 — Your crush.
Day 3 — Your parents.
Day 4 — Your sibling (or closest relative)
Day 5 — Your dreams.
Day 6 — A stranger.
Day 7 — Your Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/love/crush.
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend.
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet.
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to.
Day 11 — A Deceased person you wish you could talk to.
Day 12 — The person you hate most/caused you a lot of pain.
Day 13 — Someone you wish could forgive you.
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from.
Day 15 — The person you miss the most.
Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country.
Day 17 — Someone from your childhood.
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be.
Day 19 — Someone that pesters your mind—good or bad.
Day 20 — The one that broke your heart the hardest.
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression.
Day 22 — Someone you want to give a second chance to.
Day 23 — The last person you kissed.
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory.
Day 25 — The person you know that is going through the worst of times.
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to.
Day 27 — The friendliest person you knew for only one day.
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life.
Day 29 — The person that you want tell everything to, but too afraid to.
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror.

06 November, 2010

Procrastination 101

Things I have done so as to avoid writing the multitude of papers that are due by the end of the semester (which is THREE weeks away?!!)

laundry (technically needed to be done....but technically did not have to go to the store to buy MORE detergent when current bottle is half full)

reading (not related to paper writing)

caught up with favorite TV shows online (very important)

sorted box of old treasures (letters, mementos, etc.)

read blogs

read more blogs

painted nails (and was reminded of why I let the professionals do it)

looked up possible hairstyles (bangs? highlights?)

bubble bath (to reward myself after all hard work)

Which is why, at 9:20 PM I found myself surrounded with reading material (paper related, this time), pens, highlighters, raspberry tea and a promise to self never to procrastinate again.

And I thought to myself, one quick blog post and THEN I'll start studying.

05 November, 2010

Bursts of Color

Fall is my favorite season but, unfortunately, it doesn't last long in Chicago. And especially now, after the crazy winds of last week blew all the leaves off the trees, it seems that winter is right around the corner.

04 November, 2010

Paris, London, New York, Oh My!

I absolutely adore these prints by Blanca Gomez. You can find them on her Etsy shop, here.

01 November, 2010

I Won, I Won!

The lovely Betsey from the equally lovely Una Bella Vita blog had a giveaway and I won! I can't wait until I receive these little goodies to feed my journal obsession......thank you, Betsey and Libby Walker!