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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 Is A Great Distraction

As we settle into the idea of 2021 simply being an extension of 2020 – in terms of careful consideration of how to manage through the pandemic: work, school, travel, and socializing – I realize that I need to bring back the travel series. Which I limited it on 2020 considering.

So today, I want to share scenic mountain ranges in the U.S. worth exploring. I mean since we are drawn to the outdoors now more than ever, this list should keep us hopeful in planning some amazing road trips this year.

Scenic view of Stanley Lake and Sawtooth Mountains at Stanley Idaho . (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Hiking along the meadows and hills of Mount Tamalpais State Park at sunrise. Credit Getty Image
Scenic view from wooden bench of Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. Credit Getty Image
The Pacific Crest Trail with Dewey Lake was photographed near Chinook Pass, in the William O. Douglas Wilderness, Washington State, USA.
Grand Teton National Park as seen from the Snake River Overlook. Credit Getty Image

{Article and featured image full credit}

Let’s Leave 2020 Behind

Normally I tell everyone who’s stuck in the past to let it go in order to move forward in the most positive way possible. I did believe that up until the middle of January, when all I aimed to do was look forward to 2020. A year of many positive changes was what the Chinese horoscope predicted, which often times do come with a price. In the year of the metal rat, I was destined to succeed in my career but was in line for a dozen failures – in relationship, health and my social life.

I tucked these predictions in the back of my mind, and took a trip to England in January seeing nothing but good in 2020. Until one afternoon, someone dear to me called from the U.S. to warn me about a deadly virus making its way from the east and to be very careful when travelling back to the states at the end of January. I took note, bought a hospital grade mask, surgical gloves-when the items were hardly a necessity nor available in stores, a travel-sized Purell and spend the night before my flight home praying that I make it home safe.

When I arrived at the airport, the driver laughed at me for putting on the mask before leaving the car – but I told him my concern and he insisted there was no way that virus would make it to Europe and that it would be contained sooner than later. On the plane I wiped down my seat, table, and anything that I would touch in my assigned space while the flight attendant watched my phobia in full action and I know from the way she smirked, she was probably relaying to me that they would be keeping an eye on me throughout the entire flight-for fear of being a nut job.

Same thinking was relayed with eye contact at the airport through the immigration lines, when I stood in queue among passengers who had just landed on a flight from China. But I paid no mind, and kept my mask and gloves on until curbside, when after wiping own my luggage, sprayed myself down with Lysol before getting inside the car of a family member picking me up. Crazy was everyone’s first reaction to my pessimism in a land where all things are often looked at with ‘rose color glasses’

As we all know, the news picked up and ran with stories about the virus, while the leaders fumbled about on how to keep order in their countries while enforcing rules and regulations to protect the people, without compromising their political interests or goals.

February I fell and broke my hand, which set me back from playing tennis, cooking, baking, and all other things I considered therapeutic for my weary mind. March someone I love miscarried. In April my dogs health began to deteriorate in the worst possible way, by May the full impact of the virus began to take its toll in our lifestyles, where the world together had to find the means to survive. Friends were tested positive, celebrities, government officials, leaders and the entire time I struggled with what you might call the 2020 depression.

June, when I thought I would be travelling through Europe in celebration of a milestone birthday, I ended up living in fear of this mad virus spreading all around us, and the leaders along with WHO, shifting gears every day on how the human race needed to behave in order to contain, or NOT spread the disease any more than it had already. I watched people lose it in grocery stores, in line for the essentials because someone was standing too close, or because another wasn’t wearing their mask properly, store police monitoring the amount of toilet paper we were allowed to buy and a bottle of rubbing alcohol was selling for five or six dollars. July and August, along with the BLM movement x 10, the California fires added to the lockdown…and by mid August my mother fell and broke her arm, then fell two weeks later, and bruised her tailbone, and then a month later, she fell again, and bruised her hip and since then I’ve been struggling to take care of her alone-all while watching my poor dog age in the worst possible way, and not being able to agree on the inevitable-the toll of tolerance building up to the point, it has surely damaged whatever relationship I had with a partner, family, and even friends. Never mind the political issues that have once again confirmed the wicked corruption running rampant in this country. Oh and yes, I did get promoted at work just as my horoscope predicted…

The question that begs to be answered…do I read what the Chinese horoscope for 2021 has in store?

I think not.

So along with the shared world events, and the ones we are suffering alone, please take a moment to reflect on the most positive of things that have happened this year also…a new awakening about the things in life we have taken for granted…family, religion, simpler moments, and the unconditional love of life.

I want to wish all of you happiness in your own definition for the coming year, and the strength to endure whatever life may throw your way…and do your best not to look back, as it will surely stop you from moving forward.

{featured image source}

Getaway For The Holidays

My all-time favorite holiday film, is The Holiday, where two women exchange homes during the holidays, in hopes of getting away from their otherwise mundane or meaningless lifestyle – only to discover love in all the right places.

So today, just for fun, I am wondering, which getaway would you choose, if you had the change to exchange or actually simply find the perfect holiday escape…

To this charming cottage – in Montana?
To a townhouse in a metropolitan city?
A picturesque town in Europe?
A farm, with horses and other lovely animals?

Holiday Decor I Have To Say I Adore

While always in search of the unique topics to share here, I think I stumbled upon one that transcends all else/well I mean most else.

Let me explain:

The figgy leaf plant as the focal point, and those striped stockings are the perfect pairing
How cool it is to decorate the laundry room, especially if it’s tied in with the mudroom
creating a fireplace vibe with a bookshelf and stockings to boot
You can never go overboard with garlands, if you are the outdoorsy type
Decorate your outdoors – in the warmer places around the globe
leftover fabric or craft materials make the best of gift wrap for those believers in repurposing

{featured images full credit and source , and here simply used to share in my joy of finding this article}

Two Of My Favorite Things

Those of you who have stuck around, know that I love all things architecture, and most thing cooking or baking in this case. And although I am having a very subdued holiday, no matter the attempt of social media suggesting the hustle and bustle and stress of the holiday prep – THIS is one thing I am going to attempt to create, for the sake of baking, art, and a bit of genuine old-fashioned fun.

Who’s with me?

{featured images full credit and source of article used only to share in my joy of discovering}

Food For Thought

There are so many things I am prepared to leave behind in 2020, but one thing that will be difficult, is the absolute evidence of just how corrupt and unjust our political system really is.

I mean I’ve known for decades and usually smirk my thoughts when speaking with a believer about how great our nation or how fair our system. So in 2021, you’ll be seeing me smiling often when someone decides to embark on a conversation about ‘fair and square’.

That’s all…

Decor: Do Something Nice For Yourself Or Your Kitchen

I realized in recent weeks, while finding my way through a promotion, that I have neglected my home – in that working from home at all hours of the day and night to adapt to this new role had taken precedent over everything else that defines working on the home.

As some of us may know, or those of us overly organized minded, and meticulous, that in order to maintain order in the home, we must effort each and every spare second to tidy up. Well, it disappoints me to say that hasn’t happened in my household since the beginning of October.

One area in particular that needs attention, even though I keep clean and managed after preparing a meal, and serving the family, is the kitchen. Which I also feel needs an update – this part is slotted for the future: Repaint the current cabinets, replace the countertops, either retile the current floor or replace with hardwood (my favorite) and update the appliances.

Until then…I found the perfect inspiration to follow the steps into organizing the contents within each cabinet.

I do love the idea of drawers for the dishes. Have used the concept for years, but this organized approach is a great idea
Pull out shelves – should be used as often as possible – to avoid all the madness of stacking up and tossing actually all items in the unreachable back.
I doubt anyone’s under the sink cabinet has looked this organized and impressive enough to actually keep that door open
pull out spice racks is something every chef needs and even a prep nook for the bakers at heart
This refrigerator is now tagged for the roominess and the streamlines I admire in keeping the icebox always organized
The dream pantry for a larger home-
and the creative wonderful for the smaller kitchen

You’re welcome…

{source and inspiration from here}

Thank you…

On this Thanksgiving Day, this message goes out to everyone around the world, who have done their part this year to abide by all that is required to help minimize the affliction from COVD-19. I want to thank all those who have done their part to live peacefully among all people, no matter the differences in color, race, religion and political views. Most of all, I want to thank my family for enduring the need to stay miles apart this year…

{featured image source is where I miss the most in 2020}

Thanksgiving…

A co-worker of mine tucked away in a far far away place – somewhere in the northern hemisphere asked if I were celebrating Thanksgiving with family this year.

Sure, I said, with my every day family. I’m cooking as usual, but not the traditional turkey, which for years, I’ve mentioned not a popular bird in our home. So chicken it will be, plus all the trimmings I don’t mind making enough for leftovers. Because you see the week after thanksgiving will be the busiest week at my day job.

Miso Butter Roast Chicken with Acorn Squash Panzanella from this amazing source

and oh before I forget – check out this handy guide to finding just about any recipe – Thanksgiving or not.

For the love of cranberry sauce, in my case, all year around if I could, here’s a solid how-to
Yes please to pear tart – easy apparently to make according to this recipe
Lemony cranberry pie – has lifted my curiosity to a whole new level
Who says the side dish could not be the main dish? or the focal point as we all know that it is
Choose your spirit from this list of 87 options
and a few for the non-drinkers of booze and sorts – they will appreciate your efforts for sure for thinking of them

What are you doing this thanksgiving? Will you be travelling to family, staying home, or not even considering the holiday for any number of reasons?