31 January, 2011

Bangs + Hookah

Just two of the many things that made this weekend perfect.

In other news, a major snowstorm is steadily approaching Chicago - having lived in Riga and Montreal I'm no stranger to multiple feet of snow, and I'm looking forward to hibernating with a steady intake of tea/warm apple cider (new addiction) and catching up on readings for classes which (I hope) will be cancelled.

28 January, 2011

11 Days

He sits at his desk, his back to her - though she imagines his brow is furrowed as he sorts through monotonous work things.

She sits on the bed, glancing around the room and imagining when they will share it, every day.

He stands up, walks a few steps to the bed, leans over her slouching figure and kisses her forehead.

Every day hasn't come yet. But 11 days isn't so bad, either.

26 January, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy

My newfound obsession with organic products (details in a future post). Studying/writing ahead of deadlines = less stress. A plethora of nail colors to beautify my nails and give me a continual splash of color as I type, type, type.

Tutoring (I tutor French). White chocolate mochas. Inspiring messages on coffee cups.

Lentil + Ham soup. Despite my last soup being dumped in the backyard as fertilizer, I made good on my resolution to cook more and this time the soup was DELICIOUS (said claim has been supported by all family members).

Also looking forward to...

A warm bubble bath
Catching up on all your posts (400 of them according to Bloglovin!)
Tea with cinnamon honey
Girls Night Out this Friday
An entire 11 days living with my love, starting Friday

19 January, 2011


I watched THIS video for the first time last night ( Susan Boyle's first audition) and cried.

It's a perfect illustration of how blatantly cruel we humans can be, of how we judge people by their looks or origins, and, perhaps worst of all, how we use those judgments for our entertainment.

If you haven't watched the video already, please take the time and do. It is incredibly humbling and a blunt reminder of how beauty comes in all forms. The challenge is to remember this every day, with every encounter. It's easy to be humbled in the moment, much harder to be continuously so.

18 January, 2011


After this weekend's food fest (see post below), it was time for a detox. Enter the "Green Monster", a smoothie which has been popular, apparently, for quite some time but which I just discovered yesterday. I never thought I would drink something with two cups of spinach, but it's true what they say -- you can't even taste it!

You can find the recipe here.

But its time to do a detox in other areas of my life, as well. Jillian Michaels kicked my butt this morning, and I'm planning on going back for more every day. My room is slowly going from cozy to cluttered and its time to clean out the closets and organize all the rest. Time to get back into school full throttle, and plan the next few months. No more laziness.

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. no apologies or excuses. no one to lean on, rely on, or blame. the gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. this is the day your life really begins.”
-Bob Moawad

16 January, 2011

Scenes from the Weekend (aka Food Overload)

Quality time with old friends. Baklava + French vanilla coffee. Red velvet + creme brulee ice cream. Pesto pasta. Beef hotdog + cheese fries. White Chocolate Mocha.

New Year's Resolution to eat healthy: FAIL (miserably).

New Year's Resolution to indulge and keep up with friends: ACHIEVED.

New Year's Resolution to exercise: TOMORROW (for real, this time).

(If I were to say that my love is out of town and when he is not near I feel a void inside and sometimes fill it with food....would that redeem my excessive consumption?)

15 January, 2011

Chez President Grant

While we were in Galena for our weekend getaway, we stopped at former President Ulysses S. Grant's home for a brief historical tour. As someone who prefers European to American history, I found the tour surprisingly interesting. Just the thought of walking in the same places as others used to hundreds of years ago is mind blowing. I've yet to upload the photos from inside the house (and in any case, they aren't as interesting out of context), so here are some snapshots of the scenery Grant would have seen as he stepped out on his porch for a late afternoon stroll with his wife (the first President's wife to be dubbed a "First Lady").

11 January, 2011

First Guest Post!

The lovely Sonja of the Big Blue Print Ball has graciously allowed me space on her blog to reminisce about my travel memories.

Go here to read my ramblings!

10 January, 2011

Room For Two....At Versailles.

Dear love of my life,

You know how you call me your Queen? Well, Versailles will soon open its doors to visitors for overnight stays.

We could have a midnight stroll in the gardens. Tumble into a luxurious canopy bed. Sleep surrounded by centuries of history and opulence. Wake up to sunlight streaming through floor to ceiling windows.

Just saying.

P.S. Have I mentioned lately how much I love you?


05 January, 2011

Chalkboard Paint

I had heard of chalkboard paint, but it wasn't until I read Meg's blog and saw her creative applications of it that I decided to try my hand at it.

It's really very easy. Chalkboard paint can be found, most likely, at your local art store (call in advance, just in case) and its uses are virtually endless. You can paint wood, cork board, walls, canvases, anything you want to have a chalkboard surface. Some materials, such as wood, require you to prime the surface first for a smooth finish.

I decided to try it on canvas. I did about four layers (with an hour in between layers to allow the paint to dry completely), added a favorite quote and voila!

The quote is from Le Petit Prince - "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye".

04 January, 2011

Improvements, Step I

Today I took a step towards one of my 2011 resolutions: to make my blog better! As you may have noticed, I added "tabs" under my header. Granted, it's a small step, and they aren't really tabs but rather page links. Regardless, it took me about an hour to figure out the html coding and all that technical stuff, so I'm embarrassingly proud of myself. All you blog experts with nice, elegant pages are probably scoffing at me but, hey, at least it's a start!

Now that I've made the tabs, my initial bout of energy is gone and I'm putting off writing the content until later (most likely when school starts and I need methods of procrastination.).

Now, if only I could get started on my #1 resolution: exercise!

03 January, 2011

La Rentrée

I can't believe I'm saying this but, I am very ready to go back to school. I know I'll be complaining shortly, and I can already feel the deadlines looming and late night paper writing marathons are on the horizon but after a month off, I'd rather be busy than sitting at home. Thankfully, I'll be back in classes next week, and my course-load plus two upcoming conferences will quickly leave me longing for days spent doing nothing. But that's the way it always is, isn't it?

Thursday my love and I are leaving on a long-awaited weekend trip, and I (really, really, really) can't wait. We haven't spent much time together during the holidays, so we'll finally have a few days with nothing but each other's company. We'll be staying at a charming bed & breakfast in a small town about three hours away, and I foresee a lot of cuddling, dinners by the fireplace, snow fights and bubble baths.

It will be both a perfect start to the new year, and a relaxing re-entry into the chaos that will ensue next week.