Look what happened now...
It's almost SPRING!
The official date for Spring, in the Northern Hemisphere is March 20, 2018, and I can't wait. I enjoy winter, but I'm looking forward to spring this year. I love flowers and of course all the fresh vegetables. I plan on planting another garden and expand my kitchen herb collection.
So I have already started looking for pots, seeds and any/all tools to get a jump on the growing season. I found this 3 Tier Stackable Garden - for indoor/outdoor use. I like the fact that it is self watering and I can expand the number of fresh herbs I can grow NOW and I don't have to wait for warmer weather. It's not too big so you can use it in the kitchen or on the patio. Best part it's under $25USD on Amazon!
Also by growing in my kitchen I have the fresh herbs handy when I need them, plus I keep bugs and critters out of the pots.
It should also help keep the locals out of my pots. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a toad in the yard on or the patio, but not so much in the oregano.
I also really like this Earth Box kit. (It has wheels! How smart is that?) Plus it comes with everything you need- I know I hate driving into town for fertilizer or planting mix. Each trip I find more things I "need" and end up spending $50 when I went in for a $5 item. This kit is a little bit more pricey at $57 but I figure it paid for itself by eliminating all those extra trips into town. You can grow vegetables, herbs and flowers on windowsills, on your deck or even the balcony, or take it inside - with our unpredictable weather I like that I can easily bring the box inside quickly. Plus container gardening means no weeding!
And if you are just starting out gardening and are unsure about which supplies or tools you need this kit has got it all including non gmo seeds. It comes complete with:
I'm ordering one for each of my nieces and nephews so they can start gardening, too. Have you started planting yet? Nothing beats a early Spring garden full of fresh, homegrown vegetables. MMMMM I'm already looking forward to being over run with squash and strawberries!
I will update you on the garden process over the next few weeks and also don't forget I'm planning that BIG Pacific trip - so any advice on where to go/stay/see/avoid would be appreciated.
It's Chinese New Year and once again I'm moved to plan a MEGA trip to Asia.
I really had hoped to go before 2017, but the whole move to England, then move to New Mexico kind of got in the way. Plus there was that hurricane...
I’ve always wanted/planned to sail from California, take in the Hawaiian Islands, then on to Australia, Singapore and end up in Japan. I know that's vague AF and a whole lot of land to cover. I have a friend in Maui I'm gonna spend a week with before moving on to the land down under. I'm trying to allot as much time as I can for exploring there. (2 months? 3 Months?) Then spend six weeks in Japan. And that’s where you come in. Since I have no itinerary, I thought you could help plan my trip.
I also need some logistical help:
I want to avoid flying and take boats and trains as much as possible. If anyone knows the best routes, please let me know. I want to stay away from the tourist traps and really see Australia and Asia. If you visit here much you know I'm an 'off the beaten path' type traveller. I like to eat local and stay in holiday houses over big hotels.
If anyone has traveled through the region this way before, I’d love to hear about your experience and pick your brain for information. You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below and we can chat.
The rough plan is to spend 5 months in late 2020 having this amazing adventure. (Why does that sound so far in the future? It's only 2 years away!) While is this a huge trip, with lots of planning I want the pace to be slow and relaxed so that I have time to really enjoy the experience.
Lastly, if you live in the region, I’d love to meet up, so leave information on how to contact you (if you want to host my friend and me, that would be super, too!)
I’ve been dreaming of a big Asian trip for many years. Japan has always called to me and there are so many places I want to visit.
Who knows what this trip will bring?!
So how is your week going?
We are enjoying the rain today! It's been awhile (maybe a month?) since the last real rain. It's not cold enough presently to snow, but the rain is more than welcome.
People here do not often drive in the rain, so it's the best time to go to the market or get errands done. But actually the pull to stay home and call in sick is strong, lol
(I'm acting like a local, lol)
In my defense I have new makeup to try and a pile of books to read, lol. I was planning on taking a break from purchasing both this month, but that didn't last a week! #FML
I'm not a fan of reading about wars. So it doesn't interest me and I do not know enough about the history to know what is satire and what is fiction. But I will do a full review soon of this book, plus the other two I've read this month.
And yes, I did go out in the rain.
From what I understand, the after-the-rain smell is actually a complex equation. See the smell changes based on the acidity of the rain. Because of chemicals in the atmosphere, rainwater tends to be somewhat acidic, especially in urban environments. Have you noticed different cities smell differently?
When rain comes in contact with organic debris or chemicals on the ground, it can cause some particularly aromatic reactions. It breaks apart soil and releases minerals trapped inside, and it reacts with chemicals, such as, I don't know, say petrol and this changes the scent, too. These reactions generally produce more unpleasant smells than bacteria spores, which is why the after-the-rain smell isn't always pleasant. But just like the smell caused by spores, the smell of chemical reactions is most noticeable when it rains following a dry spell. Since it does not rain often here, normally the scent is very distinct and took some getting used to.
(I burned a lot of scented candles in the beginning.)
Another after-the-rain smell comes from volatile oils that plants and trees release. The oil then collects on surfaces such as rocks, which we have plenty of. The rain reacts with the oil on the rocks and it becomes a gas. This scent is one that most people consider to be a pleasant, fresh smell. It has even been bottled and sold!
The after-the-rain smell in the UK and EU is different from the smell after the rain in south Texas, Washington state or Florida. So it's crazy when you talk about the after-the-rain smell with someone else, you may mean one thing while your friend is thinking of something else entirely.
Everyone should experience Mardi Gras at least once in NOLA. #TrueFact
(And if you like it then over and over.)
I didn't go this year nor the year before. My friends from New Orleans usually come to visit me. Because to be honest most of the locals leave the French Quarter during Mardi Gras and let the tourist run wild.
And wild it becomes...
I prefer now to only celebrate Halloween in NOLA or go for Jazz Fest. I'm thinking about a trip in early December, which is a lovely time to go as well. I went in 2013 and was ill, so it wasn't that much fun. #FML :(
But if you can't go to NOLA, bring it to you!
I don't decorate for Valentines Day - instead we pull out the creepy dolls and crazy stuff I have bought over the years in NOLA.
Decorating aside, I really want to spend one Carnival in Venice.
Can you imagine?
Happy Fat Tuesday, where ever in the world you are!
How's your weekend going?
I've been waiting for this one. No appointments scheduled and no work, just time to chill. #BIGWIN
One of my goals for 2018 was to get back into a regular exercise routine and also carve more downtime out for myself. Running two full-time businesses keeps me very busy, but I have hired more folks to help me and I can finally start to relax again. The weekends are MINE! lol
Don't get me wrong I did take off some in 2017, and I even managed to exercise and loose some weight. But everything was based on when I could find time, and that was not as often as it should have been. So Saturday I was up early for yoga, meditation and to enjoy the fiery sunrise.
One thing about living in the southwest is the sky, it's rare to see the sunrise or sunset without being moved. It's usually very dramatic and will inspire you, (as it has done for countless artists), to be more creative. If you really take the time to be present, it will also foster an appreciation for nature and our place in it, too.
One of my friends in Paris sent me a picture this morning of his sunrise in comparison, I'm not gonna post it (because it's not mine) and because it was a dull, gray, overcast day complete with drizzle. Don't get me wrong I love Paris, and I also love rainy weather, *which I miss here. So it's a trade off.
But I feel truly blessed to enjoy the best of both world.
(Read between the lines: I will be returning to Europe soon.)
So other than sunrise yoga, my weekend goals are to climb into my new books and practice the art of siestas, lol.
This is the second and third book in the Anno series. I wrote a review here and told you how much I liked this authors writing style, yeah? Well, when I find an author I really like I proceed to buy everything in their catalogue, so far I'm three in and he hasn't disappointed.
I'll do a proper book review next week, but so far I'm enjoying the book and looking forward to reading more in the series.
Now I'm off for a coffee with a friend in ABQ. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and find time to watch the sunrise/sunset.
This is my 8th blog post of 2018. Last year I blogged 127 times, that makes 10.58 blog posts per month, almost 2 blog posts per week. HEY THAT’S NOT BAD. Considering that it is a luxury to actually have time to sleep.
I even made the effort to update the look of the website and added video headers, plus some new pages. I have also opted to add a few affiliate links. I’m actually not sure if I want to continue them, we shall see. I also tried to refrain from bitching about work and being constantly exhausted all the time.
My 2018 new year resolution is blog at least 3 posts per week. I have never really cared if anybody reads this silly little blog, it has been more about documenting some of the places I’ve been and the insights I’ve had. So I am always surprised that people do follow. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU! 🙂 for your continued support.
Okay back to reviewing 2017...
This is somewhat surprising.
We are still here, on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. I post mostly landscapes and of course food picture from here or random selfies, lol.
Honestly I am so in love with the mountains and the blue sky here and of course the house. We have a nice garden and mostly this feels like heaven. So I try to keep the house tidy and minimal even though it's big 2 story with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and a huge bonus room I use for an office, but I don't actually talk much about the house. The kitchen is nice, much better than what we had in the UK, but not as well thought out as the kitchen in France. But it works for us, as you may have noticed I am sharing more food picts and recipes.
More Vegan Food
I have posted more and more vegan recipes and cooking stuff in general this past year. Mostly because I have been home more and have the ability to cook more. I still want to remind you I am NOT a food blogger.
I think I have taken more selfies in 2017 than all the past years combined. Remember when you wondered what I looked like? Yeah, those days are long gone.
But back to my hair, it is still blonde - And yes, I’m bored with it. I considered cutting it off this year, but I think I will wait another year. It grows pretty fast though and if I do not flat iron it you
can see it is really thick. Using the flat iron may make the style look better - but I hate how thin and flat it looks. :(
Travel in 2017
Travel this past year was sparse. Well, compared to other years when I'm running back and forth to NOLA, Florida or France. But I did mange a few adventures...
Janurary here in central New Mexico started out snowing...
I am still impressed with snow.
It was fun for a few days and then it was over. #Goodtimes
Jan - left the odd snow storm and headed to New York City. It was dark, cold and snowing there too. But New York is always amazing no matter what the weather is like.
This trip was part busines/part fun.
In February we left the dark and flew to Iceland.
This was a destination that's been on my son's bucket list for years, but I was not that excited. But guess what? I LOVED IT!
And totally not what I expected. It did snow while we were there, but we still managed a night trip to see the Northern Lights. We stayed 7 days and it was not long enough. I'm sure we will return soon.
March was a short Vegas get away and April was me at home planting a garden and experimenting in the kitchen.
May I had company and showed them around the area here. You can read about it here. I also started a mini food diary to share what I eat (people still ask) and what I typically purchase at the market.
August I began "What Are You Reading?" A quick review of my recent reads and such. Work was still very busy, but I made my mind up I was going to make time to read and relax more.
September another review and of course the hurricane hitting my home in Texas. I actually didn't talk much about it. Maybe this year I will be able to share more, it's just completely overwhelming. STILL.
October was Halloween and I was supposed to go to NOLA for a right old party, but I came down with a bug and spent it in bed. #FML (But look out this year!)
November I blogged about American Myths and more book reviews. We debated on going somewhere exotic for Christmas, but decided against it. After spending the holidays in Europe and other amazing places it was nice to just stay in and chill for a change. We did explore around the area, here some. Check out this short video if you want to see an ancient Native American site we hiked.
I also posted more about my not so secret love of flowers and house plants this past year.
So I posted more about gardens and houseplants than ever before. It's not quite an obsession, but almost.
So all in all it was a great year. We didn't travel as much as usual, but that's okay too. I'm so thankful we are able to live in a nice place, with lots of natural beauty and good people.
I'm also thankful for you, taking the time to read my silly little blog. I appreciate it and the encouraging emails I get from ya'll. Thank you for your friendship and support!
Do you have big plans for this year? I can't wait to see what adventures 2018 will bring!
See you at the airport-
I went through a pile of books inJanuary...too cold to do much outside and all, lol
Here are the ones I have managed to rate so far - I have also included the "3 Word Rating" system...if you don't have time to read my full review.
Generally if I don't like a book I stop reading it and do not review it...as I figure it is a waste of my time. So usually any book I take the time to review I at least mildly like or can find some virtue in.
As you can see by my past reading posts here and here - I have eclectic taste in reading material. If you click the image of the books you will go directly to Amazon and can grab them at a good price, used or otherwise. This is an affiliate link.
I have four more books I still need to write a review on so hopefully there will be a part three before March, lol. Of all the books I've read lately I really enjoyed Anno-Dracula. It could be because I just came off a week long binge of watching Black Butler and was already in a dark and depraved Victorian mindset, IDK. But it really is a witty, well written book, complete with Mrs, Stoker, Professor Moriarty, Inspector Lestrade and other notable characters.
3 Word Reivew:
"I LOVED IT"
Two pages in and I'm looking for more in the series!
This was witty, well written and an all around brilliant read. I loved all the classic characters and events woven in an alternative Victorian London ruled by Dracula. I played "spot the vampire" and other famous people in this gritty alternative reality. I found quite a few and was surprised at the ones I missed- check Wiki to see if you can recognize all of the classics woven into the plot.
Warning: if you are a lover of the "Twilight Saga" this isn't for you. This is gritty, ugly, vampires and other beings behaving badly, chewing up Victorian London in a deep fog and not a single one is sparkly.
Looking forward to reading the next in this series.
When I'm not reading about vampires in Victorain London I like to read about Ancient Ruins in the Southwest, lol
Ancient Ruins of the Southwest
3 Word Rating:
I Need THIS
This is a welcome guide for every traveler when they are exploring the southwest, so glad I found it.
In this book there is a clear descriptions of each site, time-saving tips for the traveler, nearby towns and other helpful information. Filled with photos of ruins, petroglyphs, artifacts, and maps, this easy to follow book will enhance your trip to the areas listed. Use this book to plan your visit and make the most of each trip. #Win
Overall great guide to archaeological ruins of the American Southwest. Can't wait to start exploring some of the sites listed in this book!
I also happened on a good book on modern astrology...
True as the Stars Above
3 Word Rating:
Well Written Book
Well, actually I had to search this book down, as I understand it is out of print now. It was the worth the effort! I enjoyed the writing style and loved the book is full of information. It's a witty and a well researched look at astrology in modern times. The author shares information and answers questions about astrology you might have. Believe in it or not, you will learn more about this art and the also some of the famous people who swear by it.
Glad to have this book in my collection.
What are you currently reading?
Catch you later!
I am Valentine shopping today and I thought I’d share some of my finds with you. If you are like me, you want to get a nice, thoughtful gift for your best-y, but also don’t have time to search the entire (internet) mall for a cool gift.
I have a couple of girls that I buy for and then of course everyone in my office gets a little something. Here are a couple of thoughtful gifts I found so far:
For my "I Want To be Healthier" friend you can't go wrong with a Ninja Professional Blender. There are a lot of different blenders out there, but if you are going to actually use it, then get a professional quality. This baby has 3 speeds, pulse, and single-serve functions. Perfect for making all those amazing vegan delights! This top shelf blender will pulverizes ice to snow in seconds making creamy frozen drinks and smoothies in mere minutes. #Win
If you really don't want to spend that much, but still want an amazing gift..
One of my close friends is just discovering the fascinating world of aroma therapy and I know she will love a diffuser.
I like the unique and compact design of this aroma diffuser. It puts out a good mist of oil and can run up to 10 hours! Mine only runs 3 (puts an extra one of these in the cart for me!) Plus it is super quiet and has adjustable LED lights. I think Vanessa will love this one! #AnotherWin
I also need a housewarming gift for a co-worker and found this lovely stain-glass panel. This lovely 10 Inch Stained Glass Tiffany - "Tree of Life" Art Glass piece will be a great addition to their home and it is nicely priced at under $70.
Everyone else on the list is getting this:
This is a set of 6 (vegan) handmade bath fizzers. The mixed flavors are, RELAXATION (Lavender), DETOX (Vanilla), ENERGIZE (Grapefruit), DESTRESS, SINUS (Peppermint), CONGESTION RELIEF (Eucalyptus). So I figure everyone else in the office will LOVE these.
Next shopping post will be for Valentine gifts for the guys!
Please note that these are affiliate links and I do make a few pennies if you purchase from them.
It does not change your cost and helps keep me in tofu and paint supplies. Also I would never recommend anything I didn't personally love.
Catch you later-
Just a Woman in the World. Sometimes a lonely traveler, sometimes with the Krewe. Eating, shopping and meditating my way through life...
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