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Tuesday Beautiful Things

June gloom is how Californian’s see this month – due to the relentless heavy fogs along the coast and sometimes even inland. Surprisingly, we had a few gorgeous days at the start of the month, so we took to the streets, parks, and sandy beach walks soaking it all up. Today, the fog has rolled in as expected, and we are once again indoors, wearing sweaters and socks and all things winter related.

For this very reason, I felt the need to share some beautiful things to help stay focused on positive thoughts…

{featured image source and credit here, here, here, here}

Travel Memories

As Summer winds down, I cannot help but reflect on my annual Autumn travels throughout Europe. 🙂

The restaurants adorning the cobble stoned breezy alleyways throughout Rome. Where one can enjoy a meal in a shade-cooled setting for hours on end.

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Lake Cruise on repeat in Switzerland with an unlimited First Class Eurail Pass

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Tuscany ‘under the sun’

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Villages of France

Go here for a list

My trips are never complete without a visit to any number of bookstores throughout England

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Time to Distract

Lots going on these days, once again elevating the stress level all around.

So pause the bad news feed and simply soak it in on repeat for five minutes and then bake this cake.

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This cake recipe paired with a cup of coffee – most anytime of the day

Friend Breakup

Have you ever had a friend break up with you? In a text message?

A few months ago, a work friend whom I’ve known for sometime, fifteen years to be exact pretty much without actually typing the words, let me know that our friendship was over. I didn’t challenge it at the time, but since, I’ve been wondering why…

Funny story. We met in the most unusual way. The commuter train we were on, broke down. So a group of familiar faces who took the same train daily, decided to walk along the route until we were able to catch the next train. Which never happened and we all ended up reaching our destination respective destination and veered to our homes.

Weeks later I ran into him on the train again, we joked about the day the train broke down. And one day to the next of running into one another and stopping to chat, we eventually became commuter buddies. One day he told me he was moving to another town and was going to work outside of the city. I wished him well and that was the end of it.

Two years later, I started my current job and on my first day apparently an email had gone out to the staff to stop by my cubicle and to introduce themselves to me. I sensed someone at my desk. So I looked up, from reading my welcome packet and there he was standing just outside my cubicle with his jaw dropped. Mine too naturally. What were the odds?

Fast forward to fifteen years of daily greetings, weekly conversations and much laughter over coffee breaks, and company outing get-togethers – the pandemic paused work-life as we all know it.

Last year was a blur, and in March of this year I reached out to say hello and after a very brief catch up, he friend-broke-up with me…

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Is this a thing?

Or life in the pandemic altered his thinking?

Should I be worried?

Or let it be?

What would you do if you were me?

Latest Fashion Finds

We were given a choice back in March to either return to the office or work remotely or both. I chose remote as I feel I get more done at home than actually in a bustling and noisy office environment.

But I do miss getting dressed up, casual of course for San Francisco. Putting on some makeup and actually spending time to tame my curls – I enjoyed the ritual before the pandemic.

For a year now, I have steered clear from all things fashion. Mostly because I do have a walk-in closet full of clothes and shoes I am wondering what to do with since I made the decision to work permanently remote. Also the fact, most of my weekends are spent outdoors, sometimes in a very rugged environment, where it is better to dress according to the adventure planned rather than rotating my neglected clothes.

So then why am I falling for these?

click here for source
Thank goodness for retro fashion – click here

Have you returned to the office?

Weekend Thoughts

What are you doing this weekend – is a question most of us ask in text form, or on a call with someone and even through a slack channel at work.

So I thought I might ask here – what are you doing this weekend?

The sun has finally decided to burst through the heavy fog along the coast of San Francisco and I am excited to report that I am actually going to spend some time walking through Golden Gate Park – without a coat and hat on and even gloves during our so called ‘summer months’

I am also going to try a new twist on chicken from a recipe here.

And this cake – oh my how delicious it all sounds.

Full credit here

Also on the list of weekend to-dos is read this novel I’ve picked up in Sonoma at my favorite tiny bookstore.

I’ll be dreaming about a trip to Ireland – someday, when all is safe and sound and masks are hopefully a thing of the past.

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Do you ever see a product and think, I have to have it?

source here

The other day I saw an ad for a FX crime stories season 3 – which will air on September 7 in the US. Not sure how it works across the world. But it’s the story of Clinton and his infamous ‘not’ affair with Monica Lewinsky. I had the commercial on mute and instantly jumped up when I recognized the talented Clive Owen portraying Clinton. Guess what I’ll be doing on September 7th?

What are you doing over the weekend?

TV Show Recommend

What are you watching on television these days?

I normally list a handful of film recommends here for consideration or my recommendation. But The Chair requires a post of its own.

Best show I stumbled upon on Netflix two nights ago was The Chair. And sadly with only six episodes (for season 1 – here’s to hoping for more) the series managed to deliver a wonderfully written story based around so many modern day topics.

With a great cast, and perfect storytelling, we are introduced to…

Single-mother attempting to do it all on her own for an adopted child who naturally hates her. Empty-nester syndrome. University life not so much based around the students (yet) but more of the faculty challenges in keeping up with the times. Power struggles as always in any story. There’s Color issues, gender issues and much more introduced in every 30-minute episode. I could not ask for a better distraction right about now.

Thank you Amanda Peet! Can’t wait for season 2 (hopefully)

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Where Do You Miss The Most?

While plugging away at work, perched on a semi-comfortable office chair in my remote work space at home, my mind occasionally wanders off to very specific corners of the world where I suppose my subconscious wants to be instead…

Dean Village – Edinburgh, Scotland. I stumbled upon this timeless spot a mile or so from the bustling downtown area of Edinburgh. I thought I was dreaming…it was so beautifully preserved.

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Bougainvillea adorned white washed pathways on Santorini Island, Greece

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A stroll along the French Riviera

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This…

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Switzerland… all of it I can spend days walking across the greenest of pastures I’ve ever seen

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Where do you miss the most?

What Are We Doing…

It’s Monday. Well, Monday night in some places. But you get the point. The beginning to a new week. Although most things are spilling over from last week as usual.

Nevertheless, I have to say I had a pretty interesting weekend.

On Friday, our company was gracious enough to give a mental health day-off. Which mean we had the option to unplug without using up a paid vacation day. So – free day is basically where I am going to with.

I totally appreciated it and decided in order to get the full benefit of a mental health day. I would venture out from the city (San Francisco) out by 40 minutes to Muir Woods and immerse myself in all things nature.

It worked, for the most part. Especially since we trekked away from the planked pathways and we went deeper into the woods, where my imagination took hold of everything. To the point I felt a bit panicked, being so far away from civilization with no cell service. I think the smoke filled air from the fires, plus the cold weather also played a part in the eeriness.

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In the end, I was very glad to have had the chance – to simply unplug from all things making up the world right now.

New Thoughtare you ready for Autumn?

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Have the leaves began to transition in fall color in your part of the world?

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I want to venture out to an apple farm this fall. Hope one is open to the public this year. Maybe a fall festival of sorts. I think I may take up a craft or two, how about you?

Breathe Deep

Breathing deep in meditation is key to any positive lifestyle…don’t you agree?

Especially if you have the perfect focal point…

Find a waterfall

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Watch a sunrise

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Walk through a park

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Look to the stars

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Find a lake

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Comfort Zone

How do you manage being out of your comfort zone?

This is something I am struggling with recently. I mean I love a good challenge at work, but sometimes, when dealing with issues falling into the grayish zone, it is very challenging…to make the ‘right call’.

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Naturally working remotely doesn’t help. Or does it? I mean at least, no one can see you panicking if you don’t have your camera turned on.

Normally, I take a day or two to ponder over a situation and do some research to come up with the best solution or one with minimal risk attached to it. But even then I am up at night after the decision is put in place, second guessing myself.

So here’s my list of questions to you

How do build the confidence level to go past your comfort?

Is fear of failing stopping you from making decisions?

Are you a risk taker who is good with dealing with the consequences later?