31 May, 2011

Rome Cavalieri Hilton

A while back, I started reviewing some of the more memorable hotels I've stayed at during my travels....and now that I'm craving travel, I'm resuming my reviews!

Whilst in Rome, we stayed at the Cavalieri Hilton. We didn't really research its location, otherwise we would most likely have picked a different location as this one required rather lengthy (and expensive) cab rides to anyplace in Rome and the Vatican.

However, our gorgeous room, the service and the beauty of the grounds more than made up for an inconveniences. The beds were the. most. comfortable. ever! Sheets so soft, and pillows so fluffy, I literally melted into my bed each night....and even the thought of exploring glorious Rome was barely enough to entice me to leave that bed.

When I am rich, I will buy my sheets and pillows (do they sell mattresses, too?) from the Hilton.

29 May, 2011

Scenes from the Weekend

All but two of these photos are of food. Well, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem....isn't it?

In my defense, it was all part of a bachelorette weekend for one of my closest friends (more photos in another post).

How was your weekend?

27 May, 2011

Free E-Books

Although I (still) refuse to get on board the nook/kindle train, I won't say no to free books. I found a website where you can download free PDF versions of books to read on your PC (or on your Kindle, etc.). They have thousands of books in different languages, covering every imaginable topic. The downloading process is a bit tedious, but worth it, especially since most of the books they have retail for around $20 on amazon in their paperback/hardcover form.

I downloaded quite a few books last night - seeing as how I'm travel obsessed (have you noticed?) I went straight to the travel section and kept downloading until I ran out of patience.

Below are the ones I've downloaded - if you would like a copy of any of them and want to avoid the time consuming downloading process, leave your e-mail in the comments ( I will keep them private) and I will send you a PDF copy!

Frommers 2010 Travel Guides to:

Grand Canyon
500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers
South Africa
New Orleans
Montreal and Quebec
Moscow & St. Petersburg
South Korea
New York
Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyards
Washington DC
Provence & the Riviera
New York Memorable Walks
Eastern Europe
Edinburgh & Glasgow

Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides - Madeira, Portugal

According to Amazon prices, the above would have cost me around $600. That's enough for a plane ticket, people!

26 May, 2011

First Day At The Beach of 2011

Monday afternoon my love (who just came back from NY, having sold his house(hooray!), and who I hadn't seen in nearly two months) and I decided to have an impromptu picnic at the beach. It turned out to be one of our best afternoons ever. The weather was perfect, warm but not stifling. The water was cool but after walking up and down the coastline we quickly acclimated.

It was one of those dream like afternoons you wish would never end. The water was transparent, the sky was a bright blue, dotted with clouds in all kinds of animal shapes. I couldn't stop taking photos, hence the photo overload!

23 May, 2011

She's A Dreamer


She's a dreamer, this girl I know. Constantly wishing, imagining. In her head, fantasies dance like fairies in an enchanted forest. They swoop up and down, around and around, until reality blurs with possibility, until she is sitting one morning with a cup of coffee and in an instant she is transported to a garden in Versailles, with a blank journal and a cafe creme.

But dreaming, she tells me, is not all fun and games. You see, not all dreams can come true at once. And sometimes, you feel guilty for constantly dreaming, and wanting more, more, more, when reality is already filled with so many wonderful things come true.

Can her life include all her dreams? Sometimes, she ponders the possibility that some fantasies will remain locked away in the depths of her soul, never to see the light of day. And the thought makes her heart hurt.

But that's the beauty, or curse, of being a dreamer - nothing can stop the ceaseless tumble of hopes and dreams. They bounce against the edges of everyday life. One day, she thinks, maybe one day, they will break through.

21 May, 2011



What everyone forgets is that passion is not merely a heightened sensual fusion, but a way of life which produces, as in the mystics, an ecstatic awareness of the whole of life, that it is in this way that poetry becomes the greatest truth, by intensification, condensation of experience. While poetry is considered by most as illusion or delusion, it is the only reality, the moment when we are completely alive.
Anais Nin
(is there anything she wrote that isn't genius?)

13 May, 2011

Life As A Grad Student

Found in an abandoned drawer in the office: a paper draft + bottle of Jameson.

Graduate school in a nutshell.

My first year as a graduate student has come to a close, and I can wholeheartedly say that it was a good one. After three years in the big, bad corporate world, it has been so enriching to be back in an atmosphere where ideas are encouraged, like-minded students meet to discuss life and philosophy over coffee, and my efforts are appreciated.

And now, after weeks of sleepless nights and frenzied paper writing, I can rest my brain from principles of economics, civil wars, genocide, conflict resolution and the like.

Happy Weekend!

09 May, 2011


I’ll tell you a secret. Something they don’t teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed.

08 May, 2011


The older I get, the more I realise how much my mother sacrificed for me in life. And sometimes, it terrifies me that I won't live up to her standards. I want her to look at her life, at her children and feel that all the sacrifices she made were worth it.

Because the closer I get to being a mother myself (not for a few years, yet!), the enormity of it all begins to dawn on me.

She sacrificed her world so that mine would be larger.

When I have children, I will do some things differently than my mother. Our parents aren't perfect, after all.

But when it comes to teaching them to be good, honest, kind people, to put family first, to appreciate good friendships, to set goals and achieve them, I will look to my mother's example. And hope that I can do all she did, and still keep my sanity.

Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely mothers! You deserve more than just one day.

07 May, 2011

Lazy Lovers

Devendra Banhart at the Rainbow House - Director's Cut from Oliver Peoples on Vimeo.

(found here, an incredible blog I discovered recently)

I love this short video. Those glasses, that sunlight, lingering kisses, bubble baths for two, cat-eyes, a slow Portuguese melody......perfection.

Happy Weekend!

06 May, 2011

Drunk.....On Life


You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking…ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.
(Charles Baudelaire)

05 May, 2011

Soup at the Hull House

The Jane Adams Hull House, as many of you may know, is located here in Chicago and, in fact, on my university campus.

Every Tuesday during the academic year they provide free soup (in hearty portions) and a lecture. Themes this year have included immigration, genocide, civil war and economic policy.

Though the lectures have been fascinating, for this last soup day I opted to sit outside and enjoy the lentil soup in the courtyard - a little oasis from the city and a welcome break from the stress of finals week.

p.s. Thank you all for your oh-so-sweet comments yesterday. I was writing a paper from morning to night and your comments throughout the day were little sparks of glitter in an exhausting day :)

03 May, 2011

Scenes from the Weekend

1. Window shopping in a newly-discovered (and oh-so-charming) neighborhood

2. Spring in bloom

3. New makeup + (awkward) self-portraits (NYX cosmetics, where have you been all my life?)

4. Amateur photography, around the house

5. Study sessions with tea(with milk, of course) and cookies