Friday, February 27, 2015

A Friday Photo and Limitlessness


Today's Friday photo is from April 2013 and it's from another trip to Avebury. I've been to or through Avebury a lot over the years that I've been here. It's one of my favorite places to visit because you can enjoy just wandering around the fields around there.

This is a photo of the church there, St. James. I took this from across the road and through some trees as you can see. I was just getting ready to cross the street, but I thought that the church looked beautiful peeking out of the trees like that. I took the photo in black and white on purpose because I loved the contrast of the dark tree branches punctuating the sky. It looks as if there's no top to the photo. When I look at this photo, it makes me think of limitlessness. There's no lid on things so you can go as high as you care to go. I like that idea.

That's my photo for today. I'll be back next Friday with another one. If you've missed any you can see some of them here, here, here, and here.

Also, I'll be back a couple of times next week before my Friday post with more stuff to share. I hope that you'll visit me again.

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Spotlight: Navajo Nation 1950: Traditional Life in Photographs

Photography is a wonderfully artistic medium and it can convey so much without one word being attached to a particular image. When you look closely at a photograph there is so much to examine as you gaze upon this moment frozen in time.

Navajo Nation 1950: Traditional Life in Photographs by Jonathan B. Wittenberg, published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com

In the book,  Navajo Nation 1950: Traditional Life in Photographs by Jonathan B. Wittenberg, published by Glitterati Incorporated, the beauty of capturing time and place is definitely evident. Wittenberg takes readers on a journey through the Dinetah, the land of the Navajo people.

Jonathan B. Wittenberg
The photographs in the book are truly beautiful and feature desert landscapes alongside portraits of medicine men, weavers, and many others on the reservation. There is a noble air to the portraits that depict the Navajo people and it makes one grateful to be allowed a peek inside this amazing culture. This collection of photos is extra special because Wittenberg was the only non-native photographer to have access to the Navajo people and lands during the years 1950 to 1953. Readers are given a very rare look at the lives of the Navajo people. As a reader, I was moved by the beauty and realness of each image.

Weaving a rug depicting corn, the tree of life

There is such great beauty in seeing the day-to-day lives of people depicted in photographs. When photography is done really well in the way that Wittenberg has, there is an intimacy that is shown without compromising a person's privacy. We are given just enough to see our shared humanity while there is space given to the person being photographed.

Hosteen Bahe Slim, Singer

I found this wonderful book to be a great reminder of the sheer beauty of humanity. The culture of the Navajo Nation is a rich one and as readers we are given the gift of learning as we gaze upon these glorious photographs.

The Rolling Mule, standing rocks

In the front flap of the book, there is a beautiful Navajo Proverb, which reads:

I have been to the end of the earth.
I have been to the end of the waters.
I have been to the end of the sky.
I have been to the end of the mountains.
I have found none that are not my friends.
(Navajo Proverb - From Navajo Nation 1950: Traditional Life in Photographs by Jonathan B. Wittenberg, published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com )

Willie Cly overlooking Monument Valley

This proverb perfectly encompasses the spirit of this amazing book by Jonathan B. Wittenberg. It evokes the serenity and real beauty of the Navajo Nation and their beautiful world view.

Navajo Nation 1950: Traditional Life in Photographs can be purchased here.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Phone


Hello :-)

Just a quick post today...

The photo above is from June 2014 in better times for my phone. Sadly yesterday, my phone decided to die! Ugh!

I'm not looking forward to spending money on a new one :-/

Oh well. It is what it is. All will be well!

Have a great Monday and a great week! :-)

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Friday Photo and Dreaming of Warmer Days


Hello :-)

Today's Friday photo is from July 2013 and as you can see it's a colorful butterfly hanging out on a sunny day. Since I posted a photo yesterday showing those optimistic daffodils trying to pop out, I decided to continue with that theme. Even though it's still cold here, especially too cold for my southern blood...Lol...and it's truly freezing back home and all along the east coast of the United States, I'm gonna think warm thoughts! ;-) I know we shouldn't rush time because time is precious, but it's still fun to dream of those warmer days ahead.

So here's to dreaming of warmer days, sunshine, and beautiful butterflies that decide to pay us a visit!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend! :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Daffodils Coming



I don't know if it's a bona fide sign of spring because it's still kinda early, but I'll take it! These are the daffodils in the backyard that have decided to pop up to see what's going on in the world. It's still rather cold here, but thankfully it's not too frosty today...it's just a little bit rainy.

I'm always excited when I see these daffodils pop up each year because it lets me know that spring is on the way even when I can't see it :-)


Book Spotlight: Michael Jackson: The Making of "Thriller" 4 Days/1983

When I was a teenager, I loved MTV and thankfully I came along in a time when music videos were played continuously on the channel. It was the early 80's and music videos were really coming into their own. Some might say that the king of music video was Michael Jackson and I wouldn't disagree. He broke through the color barrier on MTV and he made landmark music videos that he often called short films. I was a great fan of his work like many, many others and it was always exciting to see what he would come up with next!

Michael Jackson made several amazing music videos throughout his career, but the quintessential, landmark video that he is remembered for is the one for his song "Thriller". It is a masterpiece and is firmly cemented in our cultural DNA.


In Michael Jackson: The Making of "Thriller" 4 Days/1983 by Douglas Kirkland, published by Glitterati Incorporated, readers are given the opportunity to witness music history as the book follows the making of this epic music video. This superb video was directed by John Landis and the screenplay was co-written by him and Michael Jackson.

In 2009, this groundbreaking music video was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, and is the first video to ever receive this prestigious honor.

Douglas Kirkland's documenting of Michael Jackson during this creative process is a treat for any Michael Jackson fan, music lover, or film buff. It's a great behind the scenes adventure that shows the painstaking detail that went into bringing all of the moving parts of this production together.

I love the hologram cover of the book because it shows the transformation from the music star Michael Jackson to his zombie alter ego from the music video. The book features dozens of photographs that show so much step by step detail that it makes you feel like you were there on the set during those days in 1983.

Along with the numerous photographs, there are also interviews and quotes from musicians and celebrities who speak of Jackson's legacy and his influence upon music and popular culture as a whole. There are contributions from Sir Paul McCartney, Diddy, Beyonce, Steven Spielberg, and many others.

Douglas Kirkland does an excellent job of bringing his amazing artistry as a photographer together with the artistry of Michael Jackson. Kirkland photographs Jackson in all of his glory as a musical icon, but he also captures him as an energetic, playful, hardworking, gifted human being. We were so fortunate to witness Michael Jackson's genius and Douglas Kirkland has done an exceptional job in showing us what pure creativity looks like.

In the introduction by Nancy Griffin she writes:

"Throughout his career Jackson's burning ambition to be the greatest kept him focused on his legacy. He once quoted Michelangelo as saying 'know the creator will go, but his work survives. That is why, to escape death, I attempt to bind my soul to my work. And that's how I feel. I give my all to my work. I just want it to live." 
(From Michael Jackson: The Making of "Thriller" 4 Days/1983 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com)

 "From the time he was a boy it was Michael's aim above all other things to transmit the joy he felt when he was singing and dancing. This was his gift to all of us, and it was huge and heartfelt. His music and his moves are eternal." 
(From Michael Jackson: The Making of "Thriller" 4 Days/1983 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com)

It was a true joy to read this book and to look at all of the amazing photographs. I came away from it wanting to put more effort into everything that I do. What an amazing book!

Michael Jackson: The Making of "Thriller" 4 Days/1983  can be purchased here.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Visiting Bath on Saturday

I just wanted to drop in and say hello. Happy Monday! :-)

I hope that everyone had a great weekend. My weekend was great! My other half and I went to Bath on Saturday and it was fun as always. It was cold, but it was still a good day out.

One thing that I love about Bath is the beautiful architecture.

Here's a photo that I took of Bath Abbey as we walked around. This is a small section, but I love this angle.

Just beautiful...


Have a wonderful day!

Product Spotlight: SleepPhones

As we all know, sleep is so important and getting a good night's sleep is essential for us to feel our best. Throughout my life my relationship with sleep has been one of ebb and flow. I've never really been a full blown insomniac thankfully, but I've definitely gone through times when I just couldn't fall asleep because my mind was all over the place. At other times, due to work or school commitments I've missed out on adequate sleep. These days I fluctuate with my sleep patterns somewhat still. Usually the culprit is my chattering mind. Lol. I'm usually lying there thinking about what I need to get done or something like that. Inevitably, I end up being a bit tired because I haven't slept enough.

So recently I've been trying to do better with my nighttime rituals in order to put me into a better zone for a good night's sleep. I've been turning off my phone a while before I go to sleep which is very peaceful just by itself. And I've been reading around bedtime which helps me to enjoy my reading, but it also helps slow me down so that I can rest. One other thing that I've added to my ritual is the use of SleepPhones.
Photo courtesy of SleepPhones

SleepPhones are these wonderful headphones that you can wear as you sleep. There are thin removable speakers positioned inside a soft headband which are very comfortable to wear. You can play any type of music, audiobooks, meditations, white noise, or whatever you like as you relax at bedtime. I love that the SleepPhones are padded and you don't have to worry about anything sticking into your ears, especially if you're a side sleeper like I am. I also really like that the speakers can be removed so that you can wash the headband. I have the SleepPhones® Volume Control Headband Headphones.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Product Spotlight: Insure My Handbag



I'm often out and about going here and there in my daily life as most of us are these days. Sometimes I'm in London or simply on the High Street in the market town where I live. Whenever I am, I always have my handbag with me as my constant companion. As many women will attest, one's handbag can seem like the place where we virtually carry our lives around with us. Many of us carry our mobile phones and other gadgets along with our wallets and other bits and pieces. I know that if I lost my handbag when I was out and about, I'd be devastated.

A Friday Photo and a Moody View


Today's Friday photo is another one from the archives. I'm having fun looking back and remembering these times past. I hope that you enjoy having a look along with me :-)  This photo was taken in August 2012 in Bournemouth. It was a weird-looking day...it was sort of dark and light at the same time so my photo turned out like this...kind of eerie. I love a sunny day, but I also love a moment in the day when it looks like this. I love a bit of the unusual. This photo was taken in black and white so it probably came out a lot darker than it would have in color, but even as I looked at it with my own eyes in full color on that day, it was moody like this :-)

That's my photo for today. I hope that you have a great weekend wherever you are!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Food Spotlight: Dorset Cereals



I am a person who loves cereal and I've been a fan for most of my life. I remember fondly sitting in front of Saturday morning cartoons when I was a child, with a bowl of cereal of some kind being my companion. Back then I enjoyed a few varieties but didn't veer far off of my faves.  As I've grown up, I've continued to eat some that I used to like when I can find them, but I've also developed a taste for a wider variety of cereals. 

On a recent trip to the supermarket, as I was walking along the cereal aisle something different caught my eye. I was looking to try something new and I found it. That discovery was Dorset Cereals. They've been around for a while, but I had never tried their product. I was excited! My first purchase was the Simply Delicious Muesli and from the first spoonful I loved it. It's a blend of rolled and toasted flakes with dried fruit, brazil nuts, roasted hazelnuts and sunflower seeds. It was just what I was looking for. Once I finished my original box I purchased another. Now I have a new cereal to add to my faves list!

Photo courtesy of Dorset Cereals

Recently, the good people at Dorset Cereals sent a few more varieties for me to try and I must say, I like them all. Here are the ones that I received:



Clockwise from upper left: Simply Nut Granola, Simply Oat Granola, Tasty Toasted Raspberry & Apple Muesli


All three cereals are delicious. 

Photo courtesy of Dorset Cereals

The Simply Nut Granola has gently baked oats with almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and a hint of golden syrup. I loved the well-rounded taste with the various nuts, especially the cashews and that bit of sweetness from the syrup just pulls it all together beautifully. 

Photo courtesy of Dorset Cereals

The Simply Oat Granola is a delicious mix of oats & sunflower seeds, that is gently baked for a wonderful taste to come through. It's substantial, but not heavy in any way, so you feel as if you've had breakfast but you don't feel overly stuffed. It's a really satisfying start to the day. Through all of this I've realized that I really like granola!

Photo courtesy of Dorset Cereals

The Tasty Toasted Raspberry & Apple Muesli is scrumptious. This is a new variety and I like it a lot. It's a blend of toasted flakes, lightly mixed with dried apple, raspberries and sweetened dried cranberries. I love the fruit mixture as it wonderfully compliments the flakes for a fresh-tasting morning treat. 

So my love for cereals continues to grow. It's gone from eating various kiddie cereals when I was a kid to discovering the wonderfully textured tastes of mueslis and granolas. My love for cereal covers lots of ground now and there are tastes for my every mood. On the days when I feel nostalgic, I'll go to my faves from childhood and other days when I'm wanting something more, I'll go for muesli or granola. A variety of choices...what's not to love!


*Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for review. All opinions are mine.