30 December, 2011


Another year has almost gone by, and what a year it was! Each New Years Eve I make a list of goals for the new year - looking over those for 2011, there are many I accomplished, while some remain unfulfilled. 

But that is the beauty of life. We are given the chance to dream big and, God willing, each December 31st, we are able to reflect on and be proud of what we have accomplished and given another new year to strive for all that we have not. 

In 2012, I will

And, best of all, I will

Wishing you all a warm and enthralling NYE. And for 2012, the courage to dream big, the perseverance to chase those dreams, and wonderful friends and family to share your accomplishments with. 


23 December, 2011

Joyeux Noël!

Presents are wrapped, the tree is lit and the apartment decorated. All that's left is some cleaning and baking before Christmas arrives. How the time has flown!

I wish you all a happy, happy Christmas!! 

15 December, 2011

Bath time

Today I'm heading to the suburbs to do some Christmas shopping with my mother - I can't wait to get out of the house and spend some time with my family!

And when I come back home in the evening, I plan on indulging in a long, hot, bubbly, candlelit bath.

I have a feeling today will be wonderful.

12 December, 2011

Winter Break To-Do's

Finally, I've finished with paper-writing for the term and now I've got until the middle of January to relax and sink into the holiday spirit. I've got so many great things planned - a visit from my cousin in a week, a cookie exchange party, sleepovers with my best friend and lots of quality time with my fiance and family.

I made a list of to-do's for this month long vacation--time goes by so quickly, I don't want to miss anything this magical season has to offer.

What's on your holiday to-do list?

07 December, 2011

7 December, 1988

On a day when most of the world remembers Pearl Harbor, I am remembering the December 7, 1988 earthquake which devastated northwestern Armenia, completely wiping out the town of Spitak and leaving Leninakan (now known as Gyumri) in ruins. My grandparents' village, the town where my father was born and where I have spent the best summers of my life.

It was an earthquake which left more than 25,000 dead and countless more injured, orphaned and scarred. One I am lucky to only hear about through the stories of my parents and relatives who experienced the unimaginable pain for themselves.

An earthquake that demonstrated the resilience of our people, and one which, today, reminds me of the importance of family and makes my heart ache for all those that are far away.

06 December, 2011

The End of the Semester Looks Like This

Overflowing books, papers, empty tea mugs, cookie crumbles...these are signs of the last week of the semester. Especially the books - they're everywhere--strewn about the table, on the floor, consuming the window sill.

I've got one paper to submit today by 3:30pm (which begs the question, why am I blogging? See: Procrastination), another one due Thursday, and the last one (plus a large research proposal) due Monday.

I suppose this is the price to pay for the otherwise wonderful graduate-student life (flexible classes, researching topics that actually interest me, coffee outings with classmates, long intellectual chats, etc. etc.).

After this semester I will be done with all the coursework required for my PhD (though I'll still take classes that interest me), and the hard part will begin: studying for preliminary exams, formulating a thesis proposal, research, research, and more research and, finally...writing my thesis.

It is all very daunting, to say the least. But, I've learned quite well that nothing good comes easily......and no one said the path towards dreams is paved in gold...or even paved at all.

But boy, am I looking forward to Monday night. To sleeping in the next morning. To strolling the Christmas market downtown, to meeting with friends for hot cocoa and cookie exchanges.

Because the best part of being a graduate student might just be having a month-long winter break (and, of course, a four month summer break, too).

01 December, 2011

Gift Guide - For the Travel Addict

Otherwise titled, "Give me, Give me, Give me"

{1}Leather Luggage Tag - I've got a bit of an obsession with luggage...(as do most avid travelers, I think). This luggage tag is perfect - sturdy, classic, inspiring (you can choose from a variety of quotes).

{2}Gypset Style - For the gypsy at heart. Travel + beautiful interiors + fashion = drool worthy reading

{3}Quincy Coin Purse, by Jess LC - I love the simplicity and colors of these little coin purses. I always use a coin purse in lieu of a wallet when I travel as it's less bulky.

{4}Scratch World Map - I've been lusting after this map for ages. Next year, when fiance and I have our own place, I'm buying this map and framing it. It serves as a fun reminder of all the travels you've had....and any travel addict knows, reminiscing is almost as good as traveling itself.

{5}Moleskine City Notebook - These are available for almost every major city. A journal, map, and guide-book all in one. But the best part? You personalize it yourself, with the restaurants you discovered, secret passageways, great shopping finds. It becomes your personal guidebook. I have one of these for Paris, which I used the first time I went. Leafing through it and re-living those memories makes my heart happy, every time.

{6}Voluspa Decorative Tin Candle - I always take a small candle when traveling, and I make sure to pick out a new scent. Later, when I return home, a whiff of that scent reminds me of the trip (I do this with perfume as well)

{7} Glass Glitter Globe Ornament - Because every Christmas tree needs an ornament that reflects your passion (which is why I currently have 10 Eiffel Tower ornaments. Overkill? I think not.)

p.s. Don't forget to enter the Soap Hope Giveaway!!