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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

{Source here and here}

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 🙂

Monday Thoughts Of Beautiful Things

Hello…is it just me or does the news make you want to throw up? I think I have reached my limit with too much information and for the sake of my mental health and yours, wish to share some beautiful things to take off the edge.

A random question – why is it that birds on a tree just outside your window fly away the second you aim your camera, even while otherwise remaining completely motionless?

The Indoors

The Outdoors

 

In The Details

{featured image source here, here, here, here}

The Need To Distract The Mind

Someone asked me the other day if I watched the news, and I said not as much as everyone else perhaps since, I’d like to keep my sanity intact while in isolation.  Mental health is very important right now, and in between all the bad news, we need to take a mental break and allow our minds to wander off to these beautiful places – at the very least for 20 minutes a day.

I’d like to set my home office right here please

The idea of a Sunday afternoon tea party imagined

Were you fortunate enough to have a mum who made your birthday cake when you were a child? I was. So this year, in case your birthday falls during isolation – make your own cake and do go on and celebrate

Take a virtual museum tour and simply soak it in

Control what you can – by organizing your home

Brew a cup of relaxing tea – and snuggle up in a favorite spot and take a garden tour

and if all else fails – watch Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on Hulu or NBC in the states

Hang in there, be safe, and be mindful

Decor: How Streamlined Is Your Living Space

Now that we are all adjusting to live-work-play-eat-live-eat-work from home, I know we are all imaging all sorts of ways of making small or even big changes to our space.  For example – the laundry piled in the laundry room is probably making your eye twitch, and that cluttered living room needs a good sorting out. But the question I have is – how streamlined do you see your home now more than ever?

{featured image source and inspiration}

Travel: Cotswolds On My Mind

Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to be driven around in England – you know – on the other side of the road, which I would never attempt – to travel through some of the most beautiful backroads to see  not only parts of the country that are frequented by tourists, but also the side not many travelers explore – unless of course they drive.

The Cotswold became my favorite that year, and I knew it would be a destination I would include in my 2020 June travel plans – until of course…

But you know what – even though we can’t travel right now, I still want to share this article which lists the prettiest Cotswolds Villages – wish I could locate a set of illustrations of the same villages  I bought 20 years ago at a street art fair, but sadly I think I may have sold them at a garage sale when I moved a few years later.

Bourton on the water

Lower Slaughter

Burford – and that is the very bench I sat on for the longest time

Castle Combe

Upper Slaughter

Food: Craving Tacos Again and So It Is

I left my house early this morning with the intend to replenish some of the grocery items I could not get my hands on last week, particularly toilet paper, rice of sorts, and bottled water. Even the almond milk in the refrigerator section has dwindled. At times like these, I cannot help but reflect on just  how much granted we take everything.

So due to the limited supply on some things and alternatives of others, I am continuously shifting my plans for dinner. Also, I haven’t had a solid appetite either, I guess not getting out much and burning any energy.  But today, after my hunt for necessities, I craved food, in particular Tacos, so here’s a cool recipe I am going to try tonight. I’ve never considered pineapple in Tacos.  Also, I won’t use a crock pot. Just my thing. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS start something like this

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, thighs, or a pork shoulder/butt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey   {more}
Featured image and recipe full credit 

On another note – I watched DEAN on Netflix last night. I love indie films and especially ones that are filmed in New York. The story about a father and son who have different ways of grieving over the death of their wife/mother.  I don’t know why stories like this don’t have a bigger audience? 

 

Decor: Paris Apartment For Sale

While unable to put this novel down, I cannot help but try to imagine how lovely the house where the story takes place is. Which then takes me back to my childhood days, where I’d visit aunts and uncles who lived in similar settings – which is best expressed with this beautiful Paris apartment currently on the market.

Or these lovely ones – click on photo to take a tour

Tour One

Tour Two

Tour Three

{featured images full credit}

A Few Observations and Updates

As the shelter in place order was announced in California, I wanted to believe more humans were beginning to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, but it seems from the news and photographs all around, there are so many exhibiting otherwise. But what do I know, except that my family and I did our part in following the directive and stayed home – naturally FaceTiming the rest of the clan who live in far away places.

Through the doom, I am trying my best to maintain a positive attitude – I mean, don’t get me wrong, by Friday I felt the worst version of myself, and could not snap out of it. I guess I was completely coming to terms with how things are going to be for a while and even afterwards.  This is how I usually am with most traumatic events in my life: Shock, denial, overly analyzing the situation, much brain-storming with family members and friends, and then calming down to rationally handle whatever life had thrown or in this case, is throwing my/all of our way. 

I do want to point out tho, that over the weekend I found myself only hearing the slightest of happy sounds from outside, which we normally take for granted – being so busy every second of everyday.  You know the sounds…

of birds chirping

The rustling leaves 

Children playing in their backyards without a smartphone in sight

Music, conversation or laughter drifting from the neighboring opened windows 

Boys or men playing catch for half-hour every morning in front of their house 

Less air traffic noises, the sound of the ocean crashing against the shore, and most of all the gentle breeze and Spring showers. 

Some of the interesting questions that have come up during conversations with family – which I want to pose here and see if anyone wants to share their opinion.

Would you consider starting a business from home?

Does a part of you wish that the old-fashioned human connection stays on after?

Would you be thankful for this amazing planet of ours

Would you make time to visit a senior home and bring with you  a sheet cake or cookies? 

Would you pray more to your god? 

Here’s a book recommend if you are having a difficult time coping

One of the funniest books I am currently reading and recommend for a hardy laugh or two

a helpful guide to lessen the effects of anxiety – which as we know it, most of us suffer from

This article suggests why you should postpone your travel plans rather than cancel them and I couldn’t agree more

{featured image source}

Culture: I Watched A French Film and It Helped

In my efforts to remain calm and positive as the captain of my ship here in San Francisco, I decided to open a bottle of red and watch a film that would,for a few hours, take me far away –  like Europe,  and in particular the French wine region.

Now, if you are not familiar with French films, they tend to run long – sometimes over two hours, to include every detail and then some. Which I love about – film makers outside of the U.S. – They do away with too much editing, to keep true to the story.

The other aspect of French films, is the English translation – which is the only thing I can relate to – of their beautiful language, metaphors  and to some extend wisdom. If you listen to the narrative throughout a film carefully, you might just pick up on it. This aspect keeps me nostalgic because I’d like to think I was a Frenchwoman in some former life, and therefore able to relate. Er…perhaps it could be because of my similar upbringing.

Anyway, I decided to jot down what I learned from watching Back to Burgundy on Amazon Prime last night

  • The art of wine making – which I’ve always thought I wanted to do – own a winery in Napa
  • The struggles of wine making – which I only knew parts of – mostly the weather related part. But my GOD – what a nightmare it can be if not managed properly.
  • The feast and celebration after a fine harvest – which I always imagined being invited to in Napa or somewhere in Europe.
  • How truly passionate the people of France are – even if they come across something different to those who don’t understand their culture.
  • Learning to grow through the most difficult of times and rediscovering family and traditions resonated more now than ever.
  • How simply beautiful the French women are – even if they are covered knee deep in crushed grapes.
  • The French shabby chic decor – and chateau style homes throughout the wine region are truly an inspiration.
  • That a beautiful French film can actually pacify my longing to travel right  now.
  • A glimmer of hope – that someday life will become normal again and that through all of this struggle, we as humans, hopefully have learned a valuable lesson. Not to take life or anyone in it for granted – ever again.

What are you doing to escape right now?  Tell us.

{featured image source here, and here}

Let’s Share What We Are Doing to Keep Distracted

Besides writing more now than ever, working from home, and baking in abundance, I set aside a few hours a day for the following:

Visiting one virtual museum a day from Google Arts and Culture and escaping into another world  

Watch virtual tours exploring national parks and aquarium and  the zoo 

Spend time soaking up  online home decor ideas to share with my FaceTime far away friends to keep the hope alive

Since working from home is not a choice at the moment until further notice – create a family work space in the house – perhaps a formal dining room that doesn’t get used much often – turn it into work and study zone

I’d love to turn my mother’s kitchen to a vintage one true to its 1930’s style – rather than the current mistake of an update that was done in 1990. Talks of the update keeps her mind busy and her soul to keep looking forward instead of being sucked in with all the bad news

Each day I pick an article of interest or usefulness and share – and this is today’s useful suggestion on how to detox your home which has now become your most time spent destination – create a plan and complete one task each day

And last, embrace the slow-living  right now to create a quality of living for you and your family

Today's advise - don't stay in your pajamas the entire day while social distancing