read ‘em and eat

read-em-and-eat-more-porridge

READ ‘EM

I could spend ages looking at this floral/fashion shoot. Well if I had hours to spare…

The delivery of our blender was delayed because we were sent a vacuum cleaner instead (I kid you not!) but when it arrives I will probably be visiting Simple Green Smoothies every day!

And some more food inspo via instagram.

Talking about healthy eating I love this tongue in cheek definitive guide on it.

This note on 9 years of marriage is perfection. Even though Tim and I have only been married 7 months we have been a couple for over 10 years and so I can really associate with some of these.

EAT

I’ve been ‘powering up’ my porridges this year. I add some milled flaxseed, tahini, nuts and fruit. Kiwis are packed with Vitamin C so I am hoping it will keep the colds away. Also hazelnut milk? It is like drinking dessert and is so good with some porridge (and hot chocolate).

Don’t you love how winter fruits are so colourful, oranges and persimmon and kiwi fruit. The ones here in Italy are so sweet.

How do you ‘power up’ your porridge?

intentions-to-date-january-mycreative

I think this January has been one of the quietest months on this blog, although December also looks like a good contender. I do miss writing more consistently in this space, but at the moment I seem to be having difficulties in keeping all the balls in the air. I simply don’t know how some people do it. I do share more regularly on Instagram though which I am seeing as something that is happening for a lot of people. Anyway: an update of how being intentional is working for me.

I eventually got down to doing some planning for the year. I took a kind of different method with a bit of mood-boarding of what I want my year to look like. I am still using Danielle LePorte’s concept of Core Desired Feelings: and basically I want to feel calm, happy and creative with a heaping of adventure, wander and gratitude.

I do have a few more ‘standard’ goals:

  • Finishing my dissertation (yes that old mess still. The department finally gave us part-timers some deadline dates so it will definitely be finished this year).
  • Improve my Italian.
  • Do all the travelling! (see below).
  • Make an Italian friend (any Italians based near by please get in touch!)

I do still need to work on my intentions for this space and my photography. I feel like they are both stagnating a bit and I need to come up with some actions on how I am going to change that up.

But I feel like things are going well on a personal level. I wrote 1000 words for my dissertation the other day. I seem to somehow have cut down on TV by about 95% (although I am not sure how long that will last). It definitely means there is more time for other activities. Like reading. I even bought myself a Kindle (which I totally love. I went for the cheaper one that needs a light because hey I can keep a light on while reading). Tim and I know spend most evenings reading.

I also started working on building some new habits and I think I am getting a strong B+ in this category. I am using a similar process to my habits chart that I shared last year but no rewards and with a weekly ‘star chart’ feel. I have kept it simple with just five habits that I want to work on this month and with goals that are easily achievable. I feel that way I won’t become disheartened and just give up. So far that means I have gone to bed earlier than normal (which means I also don’t struggle to wake up), have worked out three times a week (even if for only 20 minutes) and begun practising my Italian more consistently again.

I have also really found my five minute journal to be brilliant too. It is amazing how those few minutes each morning and evening really create a positive frame for your day and your sleep. They are helping me create a better and calmer routine in my mornings. Something that I think I will work on a bit more in the next few months.

In other news it seems my secondary word for the year is travel and we have booked another trip for our February break. We are taking the train to Rome and then flying to Budapest. I am incredibly excited by the fact that Budapest has a chain of hummus bars (which I think indicates how lacking Trieste is in non-Italian food) but would appreciate any other tips if you have them.

How are your goals/intentions/resolutions going so far? I definitely think a monthly check-in will be in order. I know they are more personal and don’t really have any major benefit for you but I really enjoy the journalling aspect of this space sometimes so I hope you won’t mind the ramble.

trieste | strange but true

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I’ve had an idea for a project for a while now and this is the first step. Let me introduce you to some beautiful places in my (no longer so) new town … This is the first of many I hope, Let me introduce you to stranomavero.


stranomavero is a boutique store in Trieste which I regularly walk past, gaze in the window and sometimes save up my pennies to buy beautiful bags (okay that only happened once but still). Antonella, the owner of the store, started designing jewellery 14 years ago and set up the original store 7 years ago. The interior is simple and comfortable, kind of like you have walked into a friend’s stylish apartment. A friend’s stylish apartment that is full of stylish clothes. That you can buy.

What I really love about the store is that it exclusively stocks Italian designed collections. A great way to support the local economy!

I asked Antonella a few questions about the shop and Trieste(which I hope I have reasonably translated from her responses which were in Italian. Thank goodness for Google Translate):

Why should a visitor to Trieste come to stranomavero?

stranomavero is conceptually and philosophically an international store in Trieste. It is a “concept store” with a combination of alloy wire accessories by myself and clothing from Italian designers. The result is a unique style that is non-conformist and decoupled from the fashion trends and instead is inspired by creativity and passion.

What makes Trieste special?

Trieste is a multicultural border town with Latin, Slavic and Germanic populations interacting on a daily basis. So in a rather small area there is a collection of various identities, souls, cultures which are all so different. The Italian stands out because it was always claimed as such, but at the same time there is a jostle for space and visibility by the other identities which are never silenced. This feature attracts and appeals to those who come to visit the city.

What is your favourite thing to do in Trieste?

I like to walk along the streets of the Old Town (Cavana, the old Jewish Quarter, Rive) and look at the palaces of Liberty Trieste, I savour and enjoy the air of nostalgic Trieste which flourished during the Austrian rule. The Bora (a locally famous winter wind which is freezing cold and very strong) is what I love the most. Walking against the wind, along the waterfront or on the dock by the Maritime Station when the sea is all abuzz …. so much life energy!!!!

read ‘em; no eat

I swear by February I will have got on top of this here blog and will share a decent breakfast with you again. I did in fact make a really good breakfast this morning but we had invited friends around and I didn’t feel like it was polite for the host to hold things up while I took a photo. So will try that again. Stay tuned.

On a side note my house only ever seems to be tidy for about 5 minutes at a time. Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyway, here are a few links from around the web this week which seem to be rather foodie orientated (perhaps to make up for the lack of a breakfast)

READ ‘EM

This looks like a great way to get more of the veggies in while being delicious. Now if only I had a spiral thing to make zucchini noodles.

It is going to be a late one for me but I am looking forward to joining this Dean Street Society call to up my Instagram game.

Our friends showed us this video of John Joseph (frontman for the bad Cro-Mag) making a smoothie. Warning: he has written a book called “Meat is for Pussies” which might give you some indication of how the video goes. But I love how he breaks any stereotypes of what a vegan is.

I am about to go on a smoothie craze because we treated ourselves to a Vitamix with some wedding gift money. I am pinning recipes like crazy. Let me know if you have any favourite recipes. I am also interested in using some protein powders so if you have any recommendations let me know.

On the other end of the food spectrum I am liking the idea of this mac and cheese party. And just incase you think you would find Mac and Cheese on menus in Italy. You won’t.

Okay that is all I have for you this week. Have a good week folks!

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In last week’s post I mentioned hiking in Chapman’s Peak and really wanted to share some more pictures from the day. It is one of our (pretty recent) New Year’s traditions to get as high as possible on the first day of the year (although this was admittedly the second). It really gives you some perspective.

Plus this part of the world is just so breath-taking. And how about the fauna? The Western Cape is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and is the only place in the world where you find these type of plants called fynbos (fine bush). It smells amazing too! Kind of like rooibos tea but better.

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read ‘em and eat

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READ ‘EM

I think Freya’s key to happiness is such a perfect insight.

Every few months I resolve to be better at staying in touch with my friends around the world. And mostly I fail but this is a beautiful idea to keep connected with your global community that I might steal.

Thanks to my friend Donald I discovered the five minute journal this week. You can buy the app, an actual journal or they share the whole journal (which has some research and explanations) as an Issuu so you can read it and then just go make your own journal with a notebook you have lying around. Admittedly I have just done the latter because I didn’t like the idea of doing it on my phone and I wanted to start straight away. It is definitely a really helpful tool in helping me to live my word for the year, Intentional. I have now done it for five days but have changed the ‘gratitude’ question slightly in line with advice from Marie Forleo about making gratitude more precise.

I made this beetroot soup the other day. I have to say I was a bit … scared … about what beetroot soup would taste like but it was really good. And it felt so healthy I was sure I lost weight just eating it! (Okay maybe not but it felt like I was getting all the good stuff). Plus with the little bit that was left-over I added it to an abundance bowl as a dressing. I love multitasking food.

I think I might take up Rosie’s call for learning/re-learning a skill. I have a few in mind, I just need to get some materials …

EAT

I haven’t had too many exciting breakfasts since my return to Italy. This morning I met a friend for coffee though and this is the standard Italian breakfast out. Un brioche con cioccolato e un capo in b, per favore. Seriously I don’t know how they stay so slim! I don’t often have this for breakfast. In fact this is probably the first time in about 4 months, but sometimes you wake up late on a Sunday and are eager to catch up with a friend. A ‘capo in b‘ is short speak for a cappuccino in bicchiere (a glass). The cappuccino’s in Trieste are much smaller in size than the rest of Italy. Just an espresso glass size. Which is plenty big enough for me. Also Trieste is the only place (as far as I know) where you ask for a coffee like that. Even an espresso is called a ‘nero’ (black).

There you go a little lesson on coffee in Trieste. This year I plan to share a little more about the city which I hope you will enjoy. At some point I will also pull out my actual camera to start taking pictures again!