Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lovely Reads #5

Sunday mornings are meant for coffee and perusing articles of interest. Whether it's the news, your latest book, or your favorite magazine, a Sunday spent with meaningful-to-you words and images can set the tone for your week. 

Here are some of the items that crossed my radar this week:

Overlooked: 15 Women We Overlooked in Our Obituaries
Better late than never, I guess. Thanks to The New York Times for recognizing these 15 remarkable women. Kudos for adding a form for readers to nominate other remarkable women. 

10 Places to See Cherry Blossoms in the United States
If you can't get to Washington DC to see the blossoms yourself, here are other locations that will put you in a Spring state of mind. Via CN Traveler. 

If Literature's Complicated Men Were on Tinder
This is a treat, via McSweeney's Internet Tendency

How You Can Stop Animal Abuse in the Tourism Industry
Thanks to Nomadic Matt for keeping this issue a topic of conversation. File this under know better, do better. 

Unlock your Hip Flexor: 5 Stretches to Reverse the Damage of Sitting
I can see why they say that sitting is the new smoking. Trust me, you'll feel better. Via Paleo Hacks. 

Just curious about this one...

If you read something noteworthy this week, drop a link in the comments. 

Have a great week friends. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

While I Wasn't Blogging: Catching Up

After a blink-and-it's-gone-February, I feel like I have finally settled into 2018. Clearly, I have lost my pace when it comes to writing and blogging, but not for a lack of ideas.

While I wasn't blogging... 
  • I finished the first semester with my new students from Spain and France and welcomed a handful of new students from Italy for the second semester (and transitioned into second semester with my Spanish and French students). 

  • I broke out of my comfort zone and decided to try CrossFit. I feel like the work I had been doing with my trainer prepared me for this transition. I'm getting stronger every week I love the variety with each class and the motivation from the CF community. I even registered for the Open, the annual CrossFit Games. It feels great to be part of a team and I love seeing what my body can do now that it couldn't when I first started in January. It's all about progress, not perfection. 

  • I started keeping my nutrition on point with whole, unprocessed foods and looking at macronutrients instead of calories for changes in body composition over weight loss.  I've been working with a nutrition coach who monitors and adjusts my numbers (if needed) every week. I'm in week 11 and down 9 pounds and 10 inches. It works. 

  • My husband and I have been delving deeper into real estate investment and are closer than ever to buying our first property. Positive energy welcomed. 

  • We've been planning summer travel. My niece will be here in June, so I'm looking forward to some quality time including her first trip to NYC. We're also thinking about where we want to travel while we're in Spain this summer. And as always, I'm checking out flight deals for unexpected long weekends away. 

Life is good. I'm outside more, meeting friends IRL whenever possible, reading more offline, doing my thing. I'm excitedly awaiting spring, in spite of the nor'easter knocking on our door. 

Ideas are swirling like butterflies. I need to follow a couple of them and see where they lead. 

What's new in your world? Any new challenges or pursuits? Inspire me. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Remembering 2017 and the lovely moments that were

I've thought about a 2017 recap for a while, but it never really came together. In spite of the chaos of the world around me, my inner world remained fairly even-keeled. I'm grateful for that. 

The year started with friends on a snowy New Year's Eve and ended quietly at home on the couch...just him and me, and Gracie, who was not happy about staying up until midnight. 

It was a good year. 

In January, we found a great hotel deal and ventured to Manhattan for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and paid homage to John Lennon's peacemaking efforts in Strawberry Fields. 

We flew south in February for my brother's Gulf-side sunset wedding and soaked up a lot of sun that we wished we could have bottled for our frigid New England winter. 

March was quiet; the blizzard brought some snow-day snuggles with the pup and the hubs and with the hope that Spring would make her appearance sooner than later. Nope. 

In April, I traveled to Milwaukee for WITS17, the Women in Travel Summit. From food tours to a party at the Harley Davidson Museum and selfies with the Bronze Fonz, MKE treated us well and seeing my travel friends was rejuvenating. If you're a woman who loves travel, WITS18 takes place in May in Quebec City! Join us!

In May, we celebrated five years of marriage and ten years together by sharing an ice cream at the place where we met. 

Later that month, we traveled north of the border, to enjoy a long weekend in Montreal. Great weather, great food, great company. A lovely weekend, indeed. 

June was a whirlwind. It began in Miami for a end-of-the-year teacher party rave like no other I have ever seen. Then after my birthday celebrations, it was time for the Tall Ships in Boston, an outdoor Jack Johnson concert, and seeing Wicked for the first time.

It was wicked good!

July brought us back to Europe, back to Spain to see family and friends, and back to Porto, exploring northern Portugal with our friend who visited us from the States. 

How about this sunset though?

In September, I was scheduled to spend time with a friend in Northern New Mexico, but bronchitis and costo-chondritis put my trip on hold. Luckily, by the middle of the month, the cough was better and we were able to spend time playing tour guide in Boston to friends in town for a long weekend. We ended the month cheering on our MLS home team, the New England Revolution, with friends who gifted us with tickets for one of their final home games. Go team!

In October, we were dancing in our seats at the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull concert. 
So. Much. Fun. 

Then, I was lulled into participating in the 7-day black and white photo challenge and I realized that the pads of my dog's feet are heart shaped. 


We ended October with a fabulous Ray Lamontagne concert in Providence and rediscovered what a fun capital city this is to explore. 

In November, I was back in Miami for a quick weekend, eating some of the best Cuban food on Calle Ocho at Versailles, and later, swooning in the sunset of the Florida Keys. 

Then, it was off to Chicago, to learn the ins and outs of travel hacking. It was great catching up with my friend Mona, and she and I made a new friend in Rose. 

My husband and I had the opportunity to catch up with another WITS friend, Vicky, from Buddy, the Traveling Monkey, and then later, enjoy what was left of a warm fall day with drinks on a rooftop bar at a brewery on the Connecticut River in Brattleboro, Vermont. 

Over the Thanksgiving holiday week, it was time to cross the pond once again, this time to London. From Christmas markets to a historical sites to a night at the theatre to see Les Miserables, we had an amazing time. 

And then we were back in December. The month began with an Acoustic Christmas concert featuring the Goo Goo Dolls. Interestingly, there was no Christmas music to be heard, save for one carol from a warm-up group. Humbug!

There were enough fa-la-las later though, when we took my parents and my mother-in-law to a local concert featuring the Glenn Miller Orchestra

What a treat! This touring group is like a step back in time, playing the old Glenn Miller classics. 

If you're a fan of big-band music and you haven't seen this gem, check out The Glenn Miller Story, starring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson. 

The following week, we were blessed to hear former vice president, Joe Biden, on his book tour in Boston. The conversation, moderated by Tom Brokaw, was a message of hope that so many of us needed to hear. 

After all of the holiday merry making, December ended and we ate our grapes at midnight, eager to greet 2018 with an open heart and excitement for the promise that the year will bring. 

While this post ended up being a lot longer than I had planned, for me, it was a fun look back at our year. I hope you have the opportunity to do a similar recap; if not in a public space like this, at least with those you love. 

No doubt, 2017 was not perfect, but it had its moments of love, laughter, and joy. 

It was a lovely year, indeed. 


Monday, January 1, 2018

Start Today...Joy Jar 2018

Happy New Year, friends. 

This is not my idea, but it's a good idea. Thanks, Liz Gilbert

Cheers to joy in 2018. 

Are you starting a new tradition in 2018?