Look what happened now...
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!
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-
Sometime back, (I think it was September??) I went on a plant buying tangent. I love plants, but being I travel so much it's tough to keep them alive. I do have a crew of nice people that help me take care of my house/yard and animals, but.... I love many different types of plants from Orchids to Succulents so it can be a challenge for people to tend each one on it's own schedule. That's why I stopped buying plants and cleared out my greenhouse in Texas.
I have had plants on my balcony in Paris, (remember shopping for plants there? Where did I put that post?) And we had way too many plants in England, all of which I left when I moved. So I have held off on buying plants here, but I gave in and started collecting again, lol. #ItsAnIllness
I always gravitate towards pretty plants when I'm out shopping, as you can see from my IG posts.
I think it was early September. I bought a set of these plants for my bedroom, but they ended up sticking out from the wall too far and blocking my entrance into the vanity area. So one ended up in the living room.
The first thing I do when I add a new plant to my collection is repot it.
They take low light well, but cannot tolerate a dry soil. With almost no humidity, (Remember I now live in the desert) and also running the heating, it is very dry inside. I have to mist them daily, to keep them healthy and full. When they do dry out they tend get yellow or brown tips on the leave fronds. So they require a bit of maintenance, but they lend so much color to the house! I'm so glad I was able to get them and keep them alive. I still have minimal furniture in the house so the plants really make it more homey and warm.
Meanwhile my veggie crop...
I didn't grow all that much this last year. I was so disappointed that the raised beds were doused in Round Up and therefore unusable. The previous tenants didn't plant or want weeds so poison was their answer. Because of this my veggies had to go into pots on the patio.
I really didn't raise the potatoes for a "crop" lol. I had a potato sprouting and thought I would just throw it in a flower pot. I chopped it up and planted the pieces. It made a lovely thick plant for my patio.
The other plants including the herbs and baby succulents are wintering well inside.
This is the Oregano I grew from seed last spring. It needs to be separated and it will probably make enough to share with the neighbors, lol. I love having fresh herbs all year long.
With so many babies I started to get creative. (I also ran out of pots, lol) I planted a small fairy garden with the tiny succulents I rescued from the "dead shelf" of Lowe's.
I'm not kidding when I said I was on a buying binge. #Obsession
I bought the tiny mushroom houses on Ebay for less than .50 for both, lol. Because the fairy's need houses right? I think it made it look so cute and the plants do seem to be happy.
I actually have plants in every room of the house now. But I have slowed down on buying since it is winter. I plan on planting more veggies next spring after I return from Canada.
In the meantime I intend to enjoy the plants here.
Catch you later~
It's hard to believe it's almost Christmas!
I've got most of my shopping done and wrapped. (So I will not be tempted to give it away early, lol) and just need a few little things for stocking stuffers. My list isn't that long so it will be a breeze, fingers crossed.
I also spoke to my family in Texas today and told them I was not coming for the holidays. So Monday I will start mailing gifts to them. Well, I will mail some, Amazon will take care of the rest, thankfully.
My brother called to discuss Christmas and tell me about the freak snowstorm they had this week. It usually snows in south/central Texas once every 10-15 years and turns into ice, a big mess and lots of traffic accidents! And people freak out. (See the news story here) But, fortunately this time it was just pleasant snow for about 24 hours and then was warm again. It does make it seem more like Christmas.
It has been snowing here in New Mexico off and on all around us. But mostly it has just been cold, but it is winter after all. We have a short day trip to Santa Fe planed for next month, so we should have really nice snow pictures then!
The bananas went into these vegan flourless cookies. I think I have finally found the holy grail of oatmeal cookies. These cookies were amazing! Let me bake one more batch and then I will post pictures and the full recipe.
I am glad to say I will not be having any guest or be running around the country like a crazy person this year. A staycation seemed like the thing to do originally because I had so much work to do, but I actually am caught up now, thanks to an amazing new admin and extra help! #WIN!
So we could go to Texas..but the more I thought about it, the more I knew sticking with the original plan was the right thing to do. I'm so excited about taking time off from work and just staying home and not having any commitments. It may sound lame, but after the busy ass year I've had it sounds like heaven to me.
Okay, I'm off for my morning walk and then to work.
See you at the airport!
My Fit Fab Fun Winter Box arrived today!
I was surprised that the add ons also shipped with it. From what I had read on line it sometimes takes weeks for them to ship (and to not worry, they are in transit) so I was pleasantly surprised.
I will review the box fully in a day or two, but I can tell you now that I was happy with it.
Catch you later!
It's that time once again...
I don't know about you, but I always try (note I said try) to start my shopping months prior to the holiday season. But it doesn't always work out. Mainly because I am super bad at just giving gifts to people as soon as I see them. Shop in October? Give them gifts in October. #Fail
And honestly its like Christmas most days at my house anyway....I see something I like and I buy it. (My shopping philosophy in a nutshell, lol.) So I do try and pick up stuff all year long. But as I said, I buy a gift early and end up giving it early, then I feel weird not giving them ANOTHER gift in December...so its best for me to wait to shop, lol. But when you can find such awesome gifts for under $35USD why not make everyday Christmas, right? lol
So here are a few things that I think would make excellent extra gifts for the 'hard to buy for' travelers on your list. These can all be found on Amazon and are affiliate links. But you know, I only share items I personally like with you.
So can you get a nice gift for under $35 and still be ethical?
Is it good Quality?
Sure! Take a look~
This is something most of us need. AND IT IS VEGAN! So not only will it be stylish, it's also good for our animal friends. And at under $25USD how can you go wrong? I actually have gone through a LOT of jewelry cases, looking for a well made one, one that's not too bulky or too large. This one is quite nice and will keep your gems and jewels organized.
Another thoughtful gift for a hard to buy for person...
This is a really nice yoga mat and perfect for taking on your next trip! Compact, but well made.
They will get years of use and think about you every time they do downward facing dog, WIN!
This one is priced at $30.39 (Mine is shipping Monday, lol)
Unisex, vegan backpack! Its Approx. Dimensions are 32cm L x 34cm H x 15cmD/12.6 x 13.4 x 5.9 inches. It features good quality hardware, making it easy to zip, rust proof, and elegant. While it's not huge, it will hold your 13" Mac Book in style! At only $19.99 you should buy it in multiple colors! It would be great to use for shopping, or while out sightseeing and leave the heavy duty backpack for hiking. I ordered 3 so far as gifts.
You know I have to have a book or journal on my list!
I really like the concept of combining daily gratitude with a 365 day planner. You can log your travel info and have space to list your adventures and all that you are grateful for each day. In fact having the prompt to write something every day you are grateful for makes for a mindful and satisfying life. I like this planner a lot. (Mainly because I wrote it, lol)
There is room to doodle, write your thoughts and a few mandalas to color. Check it out here:
This one features a world map and each state in the United States is scratch-able So it's easy to see where you've been and where you need to go next. It's a nice gift for the travel enthusiast or adventurer. This one is larger coming in at 33¼ x 23½ inches and only costs $28.49 Another WIN!
So I hope this gave your some inspiration and ideas for the people on your list. If you take your time and really look there are so many awesome gifts out there!
What are the most wanted gifts for your family? I'm working on another list of what I bought my son and Secret Santa at work. And I will be posting pictures of my backpack haul Tuesday-so stay tuned for that.
See you at the airport-
PS: I do make a (very) small commission off the links. This helps cover the cost of this blog and my travel addiction.
When I travel people often ask me interesting questions about life in America. Autumn and all the traditions associated with it are especially mystifying to a lot of the world.
So I thought I would do my best to address some of the more quirky aspects of this time of the year. Depending on where you live in the United States this isn't even a "real" season, lol. So grab your pumpkin spiced latte, light that pumpkin cream candle and follow me as we visit the 14 most common misconceptions about Autumn in America.
"Autumn", according to Wiki, "also known as fall in American and Canadian English, is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September (Northern Hemisphere) or March (Southern Hemisphere), when the duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools down considerably."
If it begins in September how can it be all about Halloween? Nope, misconception. There is more to this season than just Halloween! Read on to discover more...
False. You are allowed not to love pumpkins.
Although you will find pumpkin flavored everything, everywhere, from candles to body wash and of course that latte your sipping, it's okay to skip it. People consume way more pumpkin spiced stuff than you would think is humanly possible, but you are allowed to say no. It's not considered odd or rude to refuse a pumpkin cookie or drink.
#3. You have to edit your wardrobe.
Popular culture in North America associates Labor Day, the first Monday in September, as the end of summer and the start of autumn; certain summer traditions, such as wearing white, are discouraged after that date. WTF? It has it's own dress code? Consider this as also false. People wear any color they want. Although depending on where you live, people do tend to wear more "autumn palate" colors. Which sucks if they don't look good on you, but as I said people just avoid them and wear what they want. I am considered an autumn palate myself. (This usually means you have a lot of depth to your coloring with golden undertones. Like natural strawberry blonde hair, chestnut brown or rich red hair. See? Oe of those shades must be my true hair color, lol!)
Autumn, especially in poetry, has often been associated with melancholia and depression. The possibilities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is fast approaching. Skies turn grey, the amount of daylight drops rapidly, and many people turn inward, both physically and mentally. For this reason it has been referred to as an unhealthy season.
Is it? No, of course not, although if you suffer from SAD, (Seasonal affective disorder, which is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons) this can be a difficult time.
And you are bombarded by "Back to School" advertising, mobs of people at the mall and overpriced school supplies. Well sorta...
Autumn also has a strong association with the end of summer holiday and the start of a new school year, particularly for children in primary and secondary education. "Back to School" advertising and preparations usually occurs in the weeks leading to the beginning of autumn and people take this time to shop for schools supplies.
#5 ~ True. Everything is "Back to School" from sales to events. People want to squeeze in as much freedom as possible before returning to the confines of school routines. The sales are usually stationary items, like paper, pencils, etc. But also clothing goes on sale and the stores are generally mobbed with shoppers.
#6 Autumn is all about the foliage!
#7 Pumpkin (here we go again) Pie is all anyone in America eats!
Didn't we already address this one under #2? Pumpkin pie is a tradition for Thanksgiving, but it isn't usually consumed all season long.
What else do you think of when you hear "Autumn"?
Part two and another 7 common misconceptions will be up soon, so check back and enjoy that latte'!
See you at the airport!
I hope your having a good week.
It's craziness like always here, lol. But even so, I took the afternoon off to unwind and enjoy the thunderstorms, soon it will be ski season and snowstorms.
Simple pleasures are really the best...you know? Soft, fuzzy sweaters, a big cuppa hot tea, a good book and add the delicate smell of amber candles for a prefect afternoon. Today has been relaxing and life is good. #win
I think I owe you about 6-8 book reviews by now, (true story) but instead of writing them up, I'm busy reading more books and shopping on line. #MoreGoodtimes
If you follow me on Goodreads you know I've read 18 or so of my 25 books for the yearly reading challenge. I actually have read more, but I can't be bothered to update my file yet.
I also have about 5,000 road trips to write up. We have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather and exploring the desert and surrounding towns.
Also I have been fake baking and experimenting with new Raw Vegan dishes.
Except more on that adventure very soon...
Catch you later ~
You should make an effort to travel the world, or at least travel more and further than you are now. You know it's a lot of fun, but it’s also good for you. I can honestly say I have grown more as a person from my travels and adventures. I've met amazing people and had life changing experiences along the way. I encourage you to explore more, do more, see more and not put it off.
Become More Open Minded
By exploring the world you realize that there is more than one way to do things. Cooking is done differently, parenting is done differently, and even the rhythm of life might be very different. (And that’s just the beginning.)
You will come across all sorts of new ideas that challenge the way you’ve been thinking about things. That’s a good thing because it gives you the opportunity to rethink how you’re doing things and become more mindful about your own life.
We live in a very global and interconnected world, but experiencing more of it in person will help you understand it better, which brings us to the first big benefit of traveling the world…
Experience New Cultures
As you travel the world and interact with the people living there, you learn a lot about different cultures. Its fun to try new food, go shopping in a very different atmosphere and look at very different products, stumble through conversations in a foreign language, and just soak up the fact that things can be done differently. Traveling is a great way to experience new cultures and learn from those experiences.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Because so many things are done very differently and the entire culture is different from your own, traveling gets you out of your comfort zone. It’s great when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or just need some fresh inspiration.
When we stay in our comfort zone, it’s hard to grow and it’s hard to change how we live our lives. Stepping out of that zone and doing things that are new, uncomfortable, and challenging is how we grow has human beings. Traveling is a great way to do that.
I encourage you to make travel a priority and not wait to go explore. If actual world travel isn’t an option for you right now, do a bit of armchair traveling by learning more about a foreign country including its culture and language as you plan your trip.
See you at the airport!
Welcome to my travel blog, my healthy Vegan lifestyle blog and my life! It's a lot, but it's my passions and I just love to write about it. Here I share tips, stories and photos from my adventures and life. This is the place where people can find daily inspiration to travel and motivation to live healthier lives. I'm just an average woman in the world. Follow my journeys as I travel, shop, and meditate my way through life...
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