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Travel: For Emotional Therapy

January was a very bumpy ride around the globe and has pretty has me wondering how best to recover and hopefully find ways to bring forward as much positivity as possible – although it will be challenging, I often believe things happen for a reason, and those reasons lead to newer opportunities, or perhaps simply a better understanding of this thing called life.

I think my favorite inspiration of late is the pic and caption from Gerard Butler (pictured above) who was apparently on a spiritual journey here and there.  And it got me thinking about the idea of traveling on a spiritual level or one where you embark on a self-discovery journey. Would you – if you could?

Here’s 18 life-changing couples vacation to consider if relationship is something you’d want to work on

IF spiritual is your attempt – then here’s a list of retreats around the world to consider

Undertsanding your mental and physical limitations is helpful to happiness

Best countries for solo travelers simply seeking inspiration

Here’s to hoping for a positive outlook in February and beyond.

Theme for 2020 – Travel

There were no resolutions made on New Year’s eve, nor discussions about self improvement among the family members. No conversations about politics, or any issues outside of our simple existence – which was wonderful. Because the entire day felt surreal, and at midnight, we turned off all the lights, except the Christmas decoration lights, and watched the fireworks along the coast, from the comfort of our home. I couldn’t ask for a better way to welcome the New Year.

I decided, just before turning in that 2020 would be the year of travel, and self reflection, and in line with that concept, I share with you my list from the ten places to travel in 2020.

Alsace France

So happy and proud Armenia was added to the list and naturally to my list –

Madagascar

Montenegro

Finland

Just in case you are undecided, consider this month to month  2020 suggested travel destinations guide

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Our Most Read, Liked, and Shared Posts For 2019

On these last days of 2019, I figured while you wait to ring in the new year, you might want to read the most liked, read, and shared topics here at Raw Silk and Saffron. 🙂

Travel

 

Travel: Best Places to Go In October If You Have Photography In Mind.Coastal Towns In Italy. –  Beautiful Places in EuropeNew England Bound Top Restaurants From Around The World  – For the rest go here

Food

Food: Bean and Toasted Italian BreadLemon Chicken and Mint SauceDessert For BreakfastBean In VariationApple Desserts So Fun To Make  – For the rest go here

Lifestyle

 

Lifestyle: Is It Really LoveBack Pain and Other RemediesWhere Would You Celebrate a Milestone Birthday or AnniversaryWays to Cope with Anxiety – For the rest go here

Boutique Hotel Picks

Boutique Hotel Picks: Hotel Schloss – Austria Stylish Motels Across AmericaAdult Resort OnlyParis Court in Budapest – For the rest go here 

Wait! There is more about romantic destinations  –  anniversary gift ideas or Valentine’s Day Emotional Therapy  –  FashionPositive Living My Outlook for the New Year 2018

Thank you for being a part of our community 🙂

Lifestyle: Do You Ever Ask Yourself?

I bought a book a while ago at a small boutique store in Burlingame, California titled Celebrating You, by M.H. Clark – which by the way is now on sale on Amazon. The book was published in 2012, with the most lovable illustrations by Jill Labieniec .  

At the time I really needed someone to tell me that I was okay, that I was appreciated for all the things that I do, and that I am. But I didn’t know that I needed to hear it. It was when I found the book in the store, and thumbed through the witty reminders  on each page, when I recognized the importance of being appreciated.  The book, which helped me through the darkest of days and nights, now sits on the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf,  I use as my headboard, in my studio apartment. It is the closest to my reach, and each night I glance at the cover before turning in.

Call me a funny-girl, but this little book is my beacon of hope.

This year, I will be celebrating a landmark birthday, and with this notion, it seems, I find myself questioning just about everything imaginable on a daily basis, while reflecting on my entire life (and of course forgetting to jot them down). Not odd, about the pondering. I hear most people do that when reaching a landmark birthday. But it seems during my constant pondering, I am honing in (online) to mostly relevant of questions  to the subject at hand. Such as…

  • What do you like about yourself?
  • Do you take yourself on a date?
  • If you were able to go back in time, what decade would you do-over?
  • What new skill would you like to learn?
  • What’s the worst personal blooper you can remember?
  • What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read?
  • What is the most memorable experience? One you cannot get out of your head.
  • No really – how are you doing?   Thank you for asking.

Here’s what I am proposing – that we share the answers to these questions, pick one, or more if you like, and share with us your response. And I’ll do the same on tomorrow’s post. Who knows, we may very well be developing a very unique community right here.

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Travel: Would You Stay In An Underwater Hotel?

I do love the water, and I live by the ocean in San Francisco, and throughout all my travels I always include a destination connected to some body of water – but a hotel immersed in water is something I have yet to experience or even consider being submerged,  for fear of tapping into my claustrophobia.

But, would you if you could – stay in an underwater hotel?

intercontinental-Shanghai

RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA, SINGAPORE

THE MALDIVES, RANGALI ISLAND

NIYAMA, THE MALDIVES

LOVERS DEEP, ST. LUCIA

WESTIN PUNTACANA RESORT & CLUB

PONANT EXPLORERS FLEET

 

the-apurva-kempinski-bali

THE GATES HOTEL & 24 NORTH HOTEL, FLORIDA KEYS

On another topic – to recline or not to recline- that is the latest question for when flying, especially on a long haul – Here’s what they say.  Do you agree or disagree? Do you recline? I seldom do – too mindful of the travelers around me I suppose. 

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Boutique Hotel Pick – JK Place – Capri, Italy

I haven’t been to Capri in 20 years, but I remember it fondly. So last night, my wanderlust had me searching Netflix and Amazon Prime for films based on the Island and naturally all of Italy. Which I found and listed below for your reference. But for the sake of this post, a boutique hotel pick in Capri was all I can think about for the planning stages of a trip this year to this romantic destination, brimming with breath-taking scenery, cuisine and nightlife, and some of the best beaches in the world.  As for me, I crave smaller details and sometimes luxury in accommodations , because I spend a great deal of time in my room, penning from the inspiration I draw by my environment, whether here or the next novel. And this hotel will suit me just fine, while in Capri. Care to join?

Here’s a list of films made in or about Capri, but my all time favorite classic – It Started in Naples – but really mostly in Capri 

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Food: Dinner Tonight – Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Vodka

Short work weeks are great – even though they sometimes feel the longest. Do you ever feel that way? But there is one thing for certain – I love home cook meals, and actually and no matter how tired, I am – I look forward to rolling up my sleeves, or getting into my comfy clothes, and putting my hair up and opening up the refrigerator door to see what wonderful meal I can prep.

Last night – around midnight I woke up craving pasta – which is something I try to limit making – carbs and all. And yes there are noodle variations, but I like to keep it real with the carb. 😉

Anyway, I searched for a different option than the normal spaghetti with meat sauce and this wonderful recipe popped up,  and guess what, it’s happening tonight!  I think I’ll add chicken pieces and even some whole peanuts – weird you might think, but I have a palette for these things.

INGREDIENTS

On another note – there is the strangest cheesiest indie film I watched on Netflix last night, which I want to recommend, and suggest you stick it out past the first twenty minutes – it will surprise you in the most perfect sort of ways – great dance moves

When You Can’t Get Away On A Long Weekend

This weekend is President’s Day in the U.S. – honoring all the men who have led this country in one direction or another. The interesting thing for this year, was that Valentine’s Day coincided with President’s Holiday – which means one can opt for a long weekend, if planned right.

But how about some of us who, due to some serious obligations, did not leave us much room to plan – to escape for a four day weekend. So we improvised – hubs and I, dressed in comfy clothes, with backpack in tow, and we walked across the city, each day in a different direction, exploring new neighborhoods, or ones we haven’t been to for years, and experienced new eateries – some good, some I rather not talk about (I swear 4.5 star ratings are sometimes fabricated). We took photographs, stopped to enjoy the views, and even were thought of as tourists, in our own town. Which felt great and for the three days – being Fri-Sun, we escaped from all of our troubles and that in itself was priceless.

Day 1 – Walked from ocean beach through Golden Gate park – to the Conservatory of flowers 3.5 miles, stopped for lunch here, and headed back home through the Avenues – Sunset, while admiring renovations gone right. Dinner was at home – considering how crazy restaurants get on Valentine’s Day/eve, we opted to eat in, tacos of course with ocean facing window seat, we watched the sun set before settling in to watch a film and two, and dessert of course.

Sighting of pink Magnolia in Golden Gate Park

Day 2 – Walked along  the edge of Sea Cliff and through the Richmond District, to the Presidio 5 miles, lunch here, desserts here, and back through the Richmond district to our car, napped under the tree, close to the Legion of Honor, and then home.

Day 3 – Across the Golden Gate to explore Sausalito, and Tiburon, and lunch here, followed by some fun shopping in Corte Madera Town Center where I had my eye on this, this and anything this, coffee in one of the few Barnes and Nobles remaining, while we thumbed through magazines, and then home to watch the sunset before winding down with dinner and a movie.

Native Burger in San Francisco

I have to say this was one of the best stay-home weekend escape.  Have you ever done something like this? And if so where, might I ask?

Films we watched and recommend

Cut Bank-Thriller

Avanti- Comedy

Danny Collins-comedy/drama

Arthur Newman – dark/drama

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Travel: By Train From England and other Destinations

Travel by train is my choice, and if we had the luxury throughout the U.S. to do so in an efficient manner, I would be somewhere every weekend. So, I have to plan trips throughout Europe to experience some of the best train travel. Here’s a few I am considering,  past Paris, during my next extended trip to England.

Amsterdam

Biarritz, Spain

Bruges

Scottish Highlands

Meribel in Switzerland

Penzance in Cornwall

How about you – do you love train travel? For some of the best adventures – go here 

Fashion: Interchangeable Casual Career Wear

Living in the city – being San Francisco – and working in the tech industry – I have to say, I am often leaning towards casual, comfortable and interchangeable pieces when updating my closet – and with that said, here are some of my recent favorite pieces from Nordstrom:

Food: Chicken or Beef Tacos – Another Version Added To My Collection of Taco Recipes

Tacos it is – again – but I am not complaining and after testing out this recipe, I doubt the family will complain either. Except for one thing – I do not like ground chicken – I preferred pulled chicken instead. So, that’s how this recipe will go down in my household. Feel free to add you favorite protein.

INGREDIENTS

CILANTRO LIME RANCH

  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped + 2 tablespoons brine
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt  {more}

On another note – would you take a trip to New York just to see this Broadway musical – about Princess Diana?  

Decor: Have You Been To The Cotswolds?

Two years ago, I planned a trip to England, which included The Cotswolds. Here’s the thing about the destination – it is best explored by driving. But there are trains/local transport, or tours which take you to the region, unfortunately mostly to the touristy parts. I was fortunate enough to experience The Cotswolds past all of that – the tucked away neighborhoods, shops and boutiques which were located off the beaten paths, and even strolls through the countryside. Either way you go, The Cotswolds are worth the experience.

So you can imagine my aw, when I saw this article about a restauranteur and his 1919 Cotswold cottage renovation.

Here’s how to experience some of the best Cotswold cottage stay