Monday, January 30, 2012

northern ireland: a little city, a little country

i finished up editing all my photos from my travels abroad 
i went from 700+ to about 400... still too much to share 
i've been thinking about how to share without an overload of stories and photos 
so everything will be broken up in parts over the week.. 

i hope you enjoy .... 
northern ireland was breathtakingly handsome - from the people, to the food, and the scenery... 
"40 shades of green" they say, but if you ask me i'd say more like 100 shades! i don't know that ive ever seen so much greenery in one sitting. 

we stayed with my stepfather's family in the countryside (carnlough) and they treated us like royalty! ulster fry breakfasts every morning, lots and lots of guinness, and a new home away from home.  they had their own chickens, so we had fresh eggs every morning. its hard to eat eggs now!

the sun would come up at 10am and set around 4pm - short days but what sensational beauty!
when its dark and cloudy, the deep, moody greens run for what seems like forever, 
and when that bit of sun hits the hillsides, those greens are effervescent. its like magic!

we were lucky to not have any rain during our stay, but wouldn't have minded if the clouds had decided to weep a bit. it was cold... oh so cold. but as an ol' wee irish man said to us, "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes" and boy is he right! we packed and dressed the part, so the chill didn't bother all that much.

we spent time in belfast city, where remnants of the many years of war have left their mark on the old buildings, church walls and cobblestone roads. hotel europa is actually the most bombed hotel in the world. it has been bombed 36 times - i don't know that i'd ever want to stay there; not with that luck!

taylor and i did what we love best, wandered down alley's to find those little secret pockets of marvel, had tea and pastries, and had a nice private walking tour and history lesson from my stepfather. we also ran into a priest who was kind enough to share some stories of the good ole days back when he was a wee boy.

everyone in belfast was very kind with lots of stories to tell. those fighting irish sure are proud of who they are and where they came from. they love to talk (but eek! kind of hard to understand), share, and are some of the friendliest people i've encountered.
to see more photos of the countryside and belfast city, please visit my flickr

stay tuned!
tomorrow i will share our visit to the giant's causeway and the carrick-a-rede rope bridge

Thursday, January 26, 2012

hearty breakfast

a little scrambled egg breakfast over onion dill rye bread
i miss my european breakfast - coffee and a pastry - but that can only last for so long
so, heres to a good, hearty american meal to start the day

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

world traveler

as i get settled back home, i'll have more pictures and stories to tell about taylor and my travels to europe

until then, here's a sneak peek from my iphone...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

healthy snack: pear and yogurt recipe

i don't know about you, but around 3-4pm every day, i start to crash
the yawns start a'comin, the droopy eyes, and my overall energy plummets
so i like to pack some healthy snacks for this time of day
to give me a little boost.

this snack is my favorite right now
... lets call it the "pear pick-me-up"
its only 4 ingredients and super easy to make.

a ripe, soft anjou pear cut into small cubes
about 1/2 cup of guava, pineapple and papaya probiotics (here)
handful chopped raw walnuts
sprinkle of ground cinnamon

put it all together and thats it!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

candied walnut waffles

i made jars and jars of candied walnuts over the holidays
so we've been adding them to everything
yogurts, salads, ice cream, on their own

...and waffles of course!

happy, happy wednesday

Monday, January 2, 2012

official resolution list

for 2012...

be creative: take my camera everywhere! continue to be open-minded to breaking rules and thinking outside of the box.

be more economical: save money and pay off car, start putting money away each month towards a house, and think twice about buying things i think i "need".

be smart: read all the books that i've started and haven't finished (life of pi, breakfast at tiffany's, water for elephants, the help).

be in-love: love myself as much as i love others and treat myself as i do others.

be more decisive: be more confident in my choices and seek less approval. i'm bound to make mistakes, but better my mistakes than someone else's.

be active: do yoga at least 3 times a week and walk whenever possible instead of driving.

be a visitor: continue traveling and go to places i've been longing to visit - vancouver, japan, paris, london...

be beautiful: more heels, less sandals; more dresses, skirts and pants, less jeans. keep my nails polished, my hair done and keep skin perfumed and moisturized. when i feel pretty, life seems a little easier.

be rough: find more comfort in the uncomfortable (mind, body and soul)

and we're back!

now that the holidays are over, its nice to get back to some regular blogging.. at least for this week. 
taylor and i leave for europe in 8 days!!
i'm still debating whether or not i should bring my computer...

anyhoo! the holiday break was a hit!
i spent it with family and friends
eating good food, sleeping in late and relaxing, getting errands done (that piled up over the year),
and enjoyed free time overall

happy 2012 dear friends.
lets make it a good one!