Saturday, September 12, 2020

Saturday Walk




Hubby and I went on a lovely walk in the countryside this morning. The view was breathtakingly beautiful. The walk was healing and restorative.

This year, 2020, has been an incredibly difficult one for all of us worldwide. We still have a few more months left in this year and this pandemic is still having its way with the world and will for a while. On a personal note, I've lost two loved ones, two incredible women, during this spring and summer, during this brutal year. 

Hard doesn't even begin to describe this time, but I get up every morning with even more determination to keep going. I love them both dearly and miss them more than I can express, but I've realized that I honor their lives and legacy by keeping going. They both lived amazing lives and gave so much to so many and I and my family will carry them with us in our hearts always. 

So, as I took every step on my walk this morning, they were with me and they forever will be ❤❤

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Happy Sunday

Dandelions

Wishing everyone a wonderful, restorative Sunday!
🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Film Spotlight: Alice

Alice Movie Poster



From Friday, 24th June 2020, ALICE, the debut feature film from multiple award-winning writer and director Josephine Mackerras, will be released on selected digital platforms (Curzon Home Cinema, The BFI Player, Amazon Prime Video).

This is the story of Alice (Emilie Piponnier), who is a happily married young mother who soon discovers that her husband (Martin Swabey) has an addiction to high-priced escorts. Alice and her son are left with no money. Their home is in jeopardy due to Alice’s husband wasting all of their money on escorts and he fails to pay the mortgage. In order to support herself and her young son, Alice reluctantly resorts to becoming a high-priced escort herself, since she has no one else to turn to for help. She finds out that the work is very lucrative and allows her to collect enough money to pay larger amounts on their very overdue mortgage.

Alice movie - Alice and husband

I was very intrigued by this film and I was drawn in immediately as I was fully invested in how Alice would figure things out for herself. Alice is very much the girl next door in the beginning of the film, but as viewers we get to see her transform into a survivor. Her journey is not seamless, and we get to see her understandable uneasiness as she steps into this new world. We get to see her strength grow from the inside to the outside as she meets the many challenges that she faces as she tries to get her life back on track. 

Alice movie - Alice and son

I loved the realism of this film. One of the main themes is survival and most specifically financial survival, which is a timely theme. Money isn’t everything, but it surely pays the bills and that’s a good thing. Seeing Alice desperately struggling to find a way to support herself and her young son lends a great universality to her character. This is a thought-provoking film and I really enjoyed it! 

ALICE won the Grand Jury Award at the SXSW Film Festival in 2019 along with other prestigious awards. Emilie Piponnier gives an outstanding performance as Alice and this is her first lead role in a feature film. 

ALICE will be released on selected digital platforms (Curzon Home Cinema, The BFI Player, Barbican Cinema On Demand, Amazon Prime Video) from Friday, 24th July.

Find out more at eurekavideo.co.uk 

FILM INFORMATION:
Writer, Director, Producer: JOSEPHINE MACKERRAS Genre: Drama | Country: Australia | France | Language: French | Year: 2019 | Duration: 103 min. | Picture:  Colour | Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 | Format: PVOD DIGITAL RELEASE | Cast: EMILIE PIPONNIER | MARTIN SWABEY| CHLOE BOREHAM
 


Beauty of Nature


The beauty of nature...

Saturday, July 18, 2020

John Lewis 1940 - 2020

John Lewis

John Lewis was an amazing man. He gave so much while he was here. I have looked up to him and have been inspired by him my whole life. He dedicated his life to public service and sought justice for us all. I have always thought that he was the epitome of courage. 

John Lewis

In March 1965, he was beaten severely along with other marchers on Bloody Sunday and on many other occasions and yet he persevered. He endured a myriad of horrible experiences during sit-ins and was arrested over 40 times and was a Freedom Rider during the Civil Rights Movement. He always said that we must get into "good trouble" in order to right the wrongs and injustices that we come across.

He is a fellow Georgian, although he was born in Troy, Alabama. He served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district since 1987. I am honored that he was part of the Congressional Delegation from my home state. Through all that he endured, from all accounts of those who had the pleasure of meeting him, he was a genuine and kind man. He was a man of great conviction and was very vocal with his views on how to make America live up to itself. He was dedicated to securing our right to vote and championed voting up until the very end of his life. Now it is our turn to continue to work for equality in his name and we must continue to exercise our right to vote always. Too much blood was shed and too many people died for our right to vote and it is our duty to honor all that John Lewis and others did. We must vote!

We live in such turmoiled times and I sometimes wonder how we will ever get through it, but when I get discouraged, I often turn my thoughts to our ancestors…Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and so many countless others and now this list will include Congressman John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian (we lost both of them yesterday). I think of all that they endured on our behalf and I know that they are counting on us to keep going. They worked to change the world and as a Black woman, I know for sure that I owe them more thanks than I can ever articulate. 

One of the most immediate things that I can do to honor the work and life of John Lewis is to vote! Interestingly, just by chance, today I mailed in my absentee ballot for the run-off election in my home state and I will definitely be casting my vote for the general election in November. Mr John Lewis, Dr King, Rosa Parks, Reverend C.T. Vivian and so many others fought so hard for my right to vote and it is my job to use it every chance that I get.

Thank you, Congressman John Lewis, for being such an inspiration and for walking through this world with such honor and dignity while giving so much. Saying simply "thank you" doesn't seem adequate in the face of all that he and so many others did in our name, but words have power, even when they are simple words, so I simply say with the greatest respect...Thank you Mr John Robert Lewis. Thank you! 

Take your rest now sir and thank you again.



Saturday, July 11, 2020

Product Spotlight: Niederegger 2020 Flavours of the Year

Disclosure: I was sent these samples by Chocolates Direct. This is my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Niederegger marzipan

Recently, I was sent a selection of tasty Niederegger goodies from Chocolates Direct. I was given the opportunity to try a selection of their products, along with the chance to experience their new Niederegger 2020 flavours

Niederegger is the world's leading marzipan brand, founded in Lubeck (Northern Germany) in 1806 by Johan Georg Niederegger. Their classic recipe remains unchanged to this day, plus they have a landmark 3 storey cafΓ© in the city centre of Lubeck filled with their luxury products and marzipan cakes.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

It's Okay to Not Be Okay

This has been a very up and down weekend for me…more down than up, but I’ll be okay eventually. There are a lot of things swirling around my head these days, but the main thing is that I miss my sister Mary.

I’ve debated back and forth with myself and wondered if I should just try to keep stuff like this off my blog and just work it through using my journal, but I feel the need to speak up here. I want to be transparent and not hide it. If nothing else, I want to show that it’s okay to not be okay. I find that denial is not helpful for me. This is real life. 

I will get through this grief, but I know that it has changed me. I have gone through grief before and I know from experience that it’s never a straight line. It just takes its own path. I know that I will get through this eventually, but right now I just wish that my sister were still in this world. It's been two and a half months, and even though I know that she passed away, sometimes I still can't wrap my mind around it. Sometimes I think that I'm processing my grief okay, but sometimes I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels. It's hard...incredibly hard. 

I will learn to live with it eventually, but I will miss her forever…

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

July 2020

Pink peony July

Happy July! Happy new month!

May this new month and second half of 2020 bring many blessings, healing and better days to us all πŸŒΈπŸ’•

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Film Spotlight: A Foreign Affair

Disclosure: I was given access to this film for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.


A Foreign Affair film cover
Photo courtesy of Eureka Entertainment


Recently I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the classic comedy A Foreign Affair by the celebrated director Billy Wilder. The film is a sophisticated satire starring Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich and John Lund, and for the first time it will be released on Blu-ray in the UK on 22nd June 2020, as part of The Masters of Cinema Series from Eureka Entertainment. A Foreign Affair blends an intriguing mixture of romance along with dialogue that crackles with quick wit.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Happy Saturday - June 20th 2020

Yellow flower Happy Saturday


I'm wishing everyone a wonderful Saturday wherever you are!
Stay safe and be well πŸ™πŸ½
🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼

Friday, June 19, 2020

Juneteenth

Today is Juneteenth. 
Please read below to learn more about this day and why it is so important in our history as Black Americans, as well as how it is part of the fabric of American history. 

Juneteenth

Juneteenth

Juneteenth

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Peaceful Bench

I took this photo quite a few years ago. Whenever I need a peaceful moment, 
I go to this spot in my mind's eye.


It's been a stressful time...days, weeks, months...heck 2020 so far. So much is swirling around all the time that it's hard to come up for air sometimes. I like to keep informed, but I know that I've been watching too much news and reading too much social media, so I've been trying to take a break this weekend. I haven't done so great at it, but I'm working on it in baby steps. 

Losing my sister, Covid-19 and the protests have had me on edge constantly. I've been kind of on autopilot for weeks, but it finally took its toll this past week. When I woke up on Friday it felt like I had been running a marathon in my dreams because I was exhausted and I had just woken up. I made it through the day, but once I finished my work for the day, I got back to my bed as soon as I could. The mind and body can only take so much and I got that message loud and clear. 

So I'm going to sit on my peaceful bench in my mind's eye and enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Product Spotlight - Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Lip Treatment Balm

Disclosure: I was gifted this product in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

The last couple of months have been eventful to say the least. The pandemic has been a huge adjustment for us all. We’ve all been adapting to a “new normal” and we’ve been faced with figuring how to do a lot from home. One thing that this time has shown me is the value in taking care of ourselves. Self-care is something that I’ve not been great at for so long, but now I’m getting onboard with it because I’m realizing just how important it is. Even though I’ve been working from home, I still find that I’ve been having more time to “be” with myself. It took me a while, but since I’ve been in less of a rush during quarantine, I’ve realized just how much I’ve not been taking time for myself. I’ve learned my lesson now and I think that this will stick even when things are more “normal” again, although I don’t think that “normal” will quite be normal ever again, but I digress 😊

Nakin Lip Treatment Balm

Therefore, I’ve been using a few products as I commit to taking better care of myself. One of the products that I love is Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Lip Treatment Balm. Recently, I've had the opportunity to try this out and it’s been really great. I tend to have dry lips sometimes and this has worked very well. The consistency of this lip treatment balm is nice and soothing.

This is a great lip conditioner from Nakin's high-performance range. Created with an active complex of shea, mint, argan and baobab oil to flood lips with nutrients and hydration.

Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Lip Treatment Balm contains: 

Mint - which stimulates the circulation under the skin to plump lips

Baobab Oil   - which delivers hydration and superb protection from the environment

Shea Butter – which is a natural salve made of fats that provide healing and softening

Argan Kernel Oil - provides skin protection, healing and soothing from the Triterpenoids that occur in it

Other reasons to love this lip balm:
  • 100% natural  
  • Free from preservatives, synthetic ingredients, petrolatum and mineral oil 
  • It’s an anti-ageing lip balm, a vegetarian lip balm and a cruelty-free lip balm  
  • It’s also wheat free and gluten free  

Nakin Lip Treatment Balm

Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Lip Treatment Balm is also a 2020 Beauty Shortlist Award winner, along with five other products from their range.

This is a great product and it’s a welcome addition to my beauty regimen.

If you’d like to try it for yourself, please visit their site here

Monday, June 08, 2020

Peace During the Storm


I love this photo. It looks like it's just a strange pastel-colored square, but to me it brings peace. It's a photo of the evening sky as I walked home one day. I had had a particularly rough day at work that day and this beautiful sky greeted me as I made my way home. I remember that peace...and through these trying times, I remember the peace again.

The Two Diseases

I’ve been thinking a lot about a lot of things over this past couple of weeks. So much is going on as we all know. We are dealing with two diseases…Covid-19 and racism/police brutality. Covid-19 has cropped up over the last few months, but racism is as old as time. I’m at a loss for words about what to say and I’ve been going over and over it all in my head. It’s a tough time and one filled with anxiety.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch all of the George Floyd video…I just couldn’t. I watched a few seconds, but then I had to turn it off. It’s just too much…it’s all too much. I know all that I need to know…the police killed him right before the eyes of the world. The whole thing is rooted in racism and the disregard for black lives.

I’ve been heartened by all the huge protests across the country back home in the United States and around the world. There are people from all backgrounds. I have been reading a lot about the protests and have found that there have been deaths at the hands of police in other countries in addition to those in the United States. I have heard protestors outside of the United States say that they are out there to protest in solidarity with the United States and also this movement is highlighting the systemic racism in their own countries. I pray that real change happens worldwide.

Racism is ugly and it infects society around the world. I have felt its terrible sting back home in the United States. I’ve felt it here in the UK, when I’m followed around practically every store that I visit or when my so-called neighbors watch my every move with suspicion or when white women clutch their purses as I pass by them while I'm minding my own business. After I pass them sometimes, I'll glance back and they'll let go of their purses and they dangle and other non-black people pass by unscathed by constant suspicion.

One of my work colleagues, who is white, and I were recently discussing racism, in light of what has been happening with all of the protests. She said that at least the UK didn't have problems with racism. I told her that actually I've felt racism on both sides of the Atlantic and her mouth dropped open when I told her about some of the things that I've been through. It was like what I was saying didn't compute...it didn't fit the narrative of what she believed about the UK. She tried to reason that perhaps it was because the incidents happened outside of London. I told her that some did and some didn't. She was thoroughly shocked when I told her that I was followed around shops in London too and the whole nine yards. That's the thing, people like to think that racism happens in other places, but racism can and does happen globally. America definitely has its problems with racism, but it is not alone in this....not...at...all.

I’ve felt racism in a very pronounced way during a time in my life when I should have not had a care in the world, when I was on my honeymoon in 2006 in the Canary Islands. We were treated so badly by the hotel, the hotel restaurant host, the hotel staff, and the tour guides. I couldn't wait to leave. It broke my heart and for a while, it broke something within me. Racism is so tiring and crushing and exhausting and yes violent, very violent, as we see in cases of police brutality.

Whenever the crushing sorrow of racism just grinds me down and I become immobilized, I read a favorite quote from Toni Morrison that always snaps me back on course, even if only for a little while.

“The very serious function of racism … is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says that you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up. None of that is necessary.”

- Toni Morrison

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Spaghetti Sunday Healing

Spaghetti on plate

Simply a picture post today...

I made spaghetti for lunch/dinner today and it was AMAZING!!!

I think it's the best that I've ever made πŸ™‚

These days I'm celebrating the little things...they are healing πŸ’• 

Happy Sunday 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thursday Tree



This is mostly a photo post, just because I love trees!!!

I posted this photo on Instagram today. 

The sky was so blue with a few fluffy clouds that passed by breezily. This tree was glorious as it shimmered in beautiful bright green and danced in the breeze. 

I had a shaky start this morning because I woke up thinking about my sister and missing her...I allowed myself to feel the loss and I sat with my feelings and then I smiled, because I thought of her and us laughing and the memories saved me. 

This gorgeous tree dancing in the afternoon sunlight
made me think of my sister. She loved trees too.

What a beautiful day!

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Sitting Outside Again


I posted the photo above earlier today on Instagram. I took it as we sat outside underneath the tree in our backyard here in Wiltshire, England. It has been an all too rare pastime for me even before the lockdown of this pandemic. It's not that I dislike sitting outside in nature...that isn't it at all. I'm a great nature lover. The reason that we aren't usually sitting outside is...well, I'll just say it has to do with a rather unfriendly set of neighbors who are in very close proximity next door. There is a fence separating us and we were safely socially distancing. However, they are always watching us, especially me, with an accusatory glance as if they are keeping an eye on me.

Note to the "neighbors": I am your "neighbor", not a burglar. 

The environment has not been a good one. However, today we just decided to go out and ACTUALLY enjoy our own backyard. Maybe it's the lockdown, maybe it's our freshly cut little lawn, maybe it's just finally getting to a point, after all that we've gone through recently on top of the pandemic...but we were just like "this is our space...let's enjoy it" and that's just what we did and it was wonderful.

I know that this may sound extreme to those who read this, but the effect upon our enjoyment of our yard and other places for me, especially for me as the "outsider", has been profound and has been hard on my mental health. The "outsider" experience has definitely left a mark on me that I am finally fed up with and am actively working on healing. A shift has happened and I really don't care anymore. Let them look...let them think whatever they want about me...just let me be. It's easier said than done when you have to deal with this ridiculous scrutiny, but I'm done folding myself into a tiny square in order to take up less space in this life. Life is to be lived. Losing my sister and all of the heaviness of these times that we're living in, has changed my perspective on so much forever.

I had forgotten just how wonderful it is to just sit outside in your backyard...I can count the amount of times that I've sat out there over fourteen years on one hand...no joke...no hyperbole...just facts. It may sound ridiculous, but oh the crippling energy has been so real for me. It's sad when I think of that, but I can't go back and change it, I can only go forward.

When we went outside, we both took a book to read, but I ended up spending 95% of the time just looking around and looking up at the beautiful green canopy of leaves overhead. I listened to the sweet birds singing and I felt more alive than I have in a long time. Imagine that...something so normal felt like heaven to me.

Friday, May 01, 2020

May and Baking




Happy new month to everyone. It's May again and I'm grateful to see it. It's been a strange time as we continue through this time of quarantine. Also, with the loss of my sister Mary two weeks ago, everything really just seems to be perpetually out of sync. I can't believe that it's been two weeks already. I'm doing a bit better on the surface, but underneath, I'm just going through my grief hour by hour and day by day. Anyone who has gone through grief knows what this is like. We just have to do the best that we can individually in whatever way that works for us. Second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day...

My sister was a good cook, like most of my family. I can cook too, but I've never been able to master baking. I used to joke and talk with my sister about how terrible of a baker I was. She would laugh with me and then she'd offer tips. 

Well, I think the tips might have finally worked...

I made banana bread and it is absolutely delicious...so moist and light.

I know that Mary would be proud. I think I'll give this baking thing a few more tries. I might just turn into a good baker (smile). Thank you for the tips Sis! 


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Peace


Today has been a back and forth day for me. In some moments, I have thought of my sister and smiled, as I remembered her or a time that we shared together. In some moments, I have struggled and it seems that this struggle has intensified as the afternoon has blended into evening and now into night. Usually it's worse for me in the morning. In those first few seconds after I wake up, I often for a couple of seconds, think that perhaps it has all been a bad dream that my sister has passed away. However, reality very quickly sets in and I feel the weight of her passing.

I've been through grief before in my life...my father, my mother and my brother, however, it's like falling back down a hill now. I have evidence from past experience that I have gone through grief and emerged out of the other side...changed just a little, but I have survived. However, I'm starting back at square one again and I can't remember how I got through it before. I guess it's not something that you remember how to do, you just do it with time. All that I remember from times before is that it was hard...very hard.

I am giving myself the chance to feel how I feel because I know that that is the process. I am trying to accept that my sister is at peace now and I am grateful for that.

Peace...

I guess I do remember something from previous times. It's a process of second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Flowers For My Sister



Flowers for my sister Mary...

I will miss you forever, but I know that you will be with me...be with the family always. Thank you for your love, advice, kindness, protection, guidance, example, sacrifice and SO MUCH MORE.

Thank you for all that you taught me and for lighting the way for me as I grew up, all the way from when I was a baby into my adulthood. You were always there, a constant in my life, and I feel a void right now. However, I know that you're not physically here, but you're always with me.

You planted a seed in my life and it continues to grow and it will continue to flourish within me for the rest of my life. I am who I am because of you my sweet sister and I will be forever grateful that you are my sister and that we've had the blessing of experiencing this life together.

I love books and flowers and interesting new food and eclectic things and exploring new places and beautiful things because of you. You gave me a curiosity about life and opened my eyes to so much. I love the beach because I've spent so many times walking on beaches with you, feeling the wind in our face and the sand beneath our bare feet.

Thank you Mary for being such a great big sister, a second mother and my everything. I know that you will be with me with every step that I take, with every tear that I will shed, and you'll be with me in every great moment that I will experience for the rest of my life. I will carry you with me in my heart forever Sis. Until we meet again...

Thank you for everything.

I love you ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Rest in peace πŸ™πŸ½

Sunday, April 19, 2020

My Sister Mary

I took this photo back in January while I was on a messenger video call with my sister Mary. She stepped outside into the front yard and these tree branches were above her head. I took a screenshot as she lined up the shot. We talked a lot in this way across the 4,200 miles that separated us, but when we talked like this it felt like I was right there with her. I'm glad that we had those talks. I will never forget them.



Our big sister Mary…as my brother Walter said on Facebook…got her wings on Friday. Our hearts are broken because we miss her, but as he mentioned, we have many wonderful memories of her to last throughout our lifetime.

Mary was a daughter, a big sister and an auntie to many and she was a nurse. One of my nieces affectionately called her “Nurse” and it brought Mary great delight because that was who she was…a nurturer always and that is one of the many things that I will remember about her. She was a big sister to William (she is reunited with him and our parents now), Annie, Grace, Geraldine, Walter, and me. As an auntie to our many nieces and nephews, she was their ride to school, nurse, friend and SO much more.

For me, Mary was like a second mother. I can trace so much of who I am today to all that she shared with me as I grew up. When my daddy passed away, I was only twelve. Mary was quite a few years older than me and without missing a beat, she stepped up to stand beside my mom to help raise me. She and Mama together made sure that I had what I needed. Even though my heart is broken, I take some comfort in knowing that I had the chance to thank her for what she did for me while she was still here. Mary, like all of my older brothers and sisters, had a great effect upon me as I watched them all in order to learn how to live.

Mary’s example made me love books…I would see her reading when I was little, and I know that that made me want to be like her and I thank her for that. Mary gave me my first taste of pizza, eclairs, fancy pastry and so many other foods. She was an adventurous eater and that was something that we shared. Mary was my cultural events buddy. One of the highlights was seeing the Alvin Ailey Dance Company with her and my mom one summer evening about sixteen year ago. She also made it possible for the teenage me to see Luther Vandross perform from the 3rd row!!!

Due to the coronavirus, I am not able to go home to be with my family right now and it breaks my heart just that bit more. These times are sad for many who have lost loved ones and cannot mourn them as usual. My sister did not have coronavirus, but I can relate to what many are going through at this time in the history of the world. It’s hard…so very hard.

When I think back on the time that we shared, I realize that a great many of the things that I love now are because she planted the seed in me since the day I was born. I can never thank her enough for her guidance and love throughout my life. I will miss her as all of my family and our friends will. She is not physically here anymore, but the love and memories of her will go on forever.

Thank you Mary, we love you!


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Healing




Today I shared this photo on Instagram and I thought that I would share it here also. It was a tiny reminder that through all that the world is going through during this pandemic, there is still the beauty of nature around us...a bit of the normal. I needed to remind myself of that and I hope that this can brighten someone else's day too.

These daffodils reminded me that Spring has arrived even though we're all quite preoccupied and rightfully so, with getting through the worldwide threat of the coronavirus. For me, seeing these beautiful flowers was a tiny bit of healing.

This is a terribly hard time for everyone and the news is just jarring everyday, but there have also been many bright lights that are shining and helping light the way. I have been heartened by the stories I hear of people banding together and helping each other. I have been so incredibly grateful for the heroes out there for us everyday...the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, grocery store employees, delivery people and all of those who aren't able to stay home and who are saving us. I applaud them all...thank you doesn't even come close to saying it all, but they are heroes!

I'm also overwhelmed to see how people are using their gifts to uplift and help people escape all of the bad news for a while...people like all of the DJs who are playing music for thousands of us on Instagram and reminding us of the healing power of music and also reminding us what community is all about...we are one! There are dance classes, yoga classes, guided meditations, church services and so much more. I am loving how people are stepping up to share what they do best. They are healing...wow are they healing! I know that many of them have helped calm my anxiety and I have a more level head again. Something special is happening and I pray that we all never forget what we were able to do by banding together.

Until next time, stay safe!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Better



In my previous post, I wrote about my anxiety about the coronavirus. I know that I'm not alone. It's scary for sure. However, I've taken a step back from watching wall-to-wall news coverage as I mentioned a couple of days ago and I must admit that I'm already feeling a bit better. I check in once a day or so to see what's happening and then I turn the television off or to another channel. 

I've only just started on this journey to try and calm down some of my anxiety, but I'm already feeling calmer. It's a surreal time, but I'm sensing this slowing down in my life and I know that I needed it.

Here's to finding peace in the midst of the storm...

We will get through this. 

Stay safe.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus Anxiety


These are such troubling times to say the least. 

The coronavirus has been concerning me for a while now, just like it is concerning for everyone. There are so many unknowns and it all just gets worse everyday. It is a nightmare that seems to have no end right now.

I know that I've been watching too much wall-to-wall coverage and now it's finally catching up to me. 

I want to stay informed and I will, but I realized today that I have to take some mental health breaks from all of the social media and news coverage. Balance is key. 

Please take care everyone...stay safe and be well.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Random Food Post: Stripey Donuts


I love food...I know, a lot of people do...I'm not rare :) 

I of course love the taste of food and I love cooking, even though I hate washing the dishes.

However, I also like looking at food. I love the design elements especially found in desserts.

Pretty food is a thing for me. I even admire it for a few moments before it goes into my mouth. 
Ha, ha.

My admiration for pretty food happened the other day when I came across these stripey donuts at the supermarket. They're very zebra-esque and I'm kinda intrigued to try and recreate this design myself even though I'm more of a savoury cook and not much of a baker.

I have to say though, that even though these were beautiful to look at, they were kinda dry. Oh well, at least I enjoyed the pretty food aspect and they brought a smile to my face :)

Until next time.... 


Wednesday, March 04, 2020

12th Blogiversary

Courtesy of Pixabay

Today is my 12th Blogiversary!  

I can't believe that I've been blogging for twelve years off and on. Time does fly. I admit that my blogging has been quite sporadic over the past couple of years, but I'm always operating in the hope that I can get back to blogging much more. When I show up here at my blog, I'm instantly happy and it brings back good memories when I scroll back over older posts. 

On this blogiversary day each year, I always look back at that very first post in 2008 and I'm instantly nostalgic. When I wrote that first post I was very actively trying to figure out how to "be" here in this new land. I have to admit that I was struggling a lot back then and I still do sometimes, but I firmly believe that this blog has changed the trajectory of my life in so many good ways. I love that I began this blogging journey on March 4th, which always makes me think of marching forth

Typing those first words on my very first post really opened up a new path in my life, that I am still exploring. I've been given great opportunities through blogging, but the most important thing that blogging has given me has been simply to give me an outlet, especially during a time when I needed it the most. 

My life is a bit more complicated than it was when I wrote that very first post back in 2008 and right now I'm working on making it a bit less complicated again. I know that I can never go back to that time and that looking back too much can be toxic, but I think that reflection once in a while is a very helpful way of checking in with myself. I think cutting down on some of the complication in my current life starts with getting back to square one with myself and doing the things that I love. I've been running on fumes for the last while and my tank is ready to give out if I don't help myself. I've come to realize lately that I don't really do much that I love anymore. I just do what needs to be done and not much else (I know I'm not alone in feeling this way). That has to change. Life is to be lived

Only I can make the changes that are needed to get me back on track in life. This blog offered me a great outlet in the beginning, so now it is time to let it do its quiet magic again, to help me look within. I am ready to do this. Here goes :)


Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
~ President Barack Obama




Sunday, March 01, 2020

Hello March


Wishing everyone a great new month!
πŸ’πŸŒΈπŸ’πŸŒΈπŸ’πŸŒΈ

Monday, February 10, 2020

Good morning


Good morning! Welcome to this beautiful new day that we have been given. I hope that your day and week are wonderful πŸ™‚


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Film Spotlight: Cloak and Dagger

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this film for review. All opinions are my own

Photo Courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

On chilly winter weekend afternoons, I’m often to be found either curled up with a good book or watching a classic movie. There’s nothing like enjoying an atmospheric thriller in the pages of a book or onscreen. Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a classic that I hadn’t seen before, the film noir classic Cloak and Dagger.

Photo Courtesy of Eureka Entertainment


This 1946 WWII espionage thriller, directed by Fritz Lang, stars Gary Cooper and Lilli Palmer. It is Lang’s follow-up to the noir classic Scarlet Street. Cloak and Dagger is a spy tale with a commanding Gary Cooper performance and a wealth of masterful suspense sequences. This is an aptly-titled film, as Cloak and Dagger is a consummate wartime espionage suspense picture, and an intriguing mixture of genres for Lang: part spy thriller -- part romantic melodrama.

Above: Lilli Palmer
Photo Courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

Nuclear physicist Alvah Jesper (Cooper) is recruited by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services to become a reluctant undercover agent, traveling to Switzerland to meet with a fellow scientist regarding information on Germany’s plans to construct an atomic bomb. After his colleague is assassinated, Jesper must sneak into Italy via the underground resistance, to contact another scientist. While there, Jesper falls in love with resistance fighter Gina (Lilli Palmer, in her first Hollywood role), and the two must battle shootouts, double crosses, and narrow escapes to smuggle the scientist out of Italy.

Above: Lilli Palmer and Gary Cooper
Photo Courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

I loved the atmospheric quality of this film. It was very easy to get into the film and travel to another time and place. This was an intriguing film that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Masters of Cinema are proud to present Cloak and Dagger on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition available from 27th January 2020.


Title - CLOAK AND DAGGER (Masters of Cinema) Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition

Starring - GARY COOPER | LILLI PALMER | ROBERT ALDA

Certificate - PG

Run Time - 106 minutes

Picture - B&W

Genre - Thriller / Film-Noir

Year - 1946

Country - USA

Language - ENGLISH

Subtitles - ENGLISH (Optional)

SPECIAL FEATURES
- Presented in 1080p from a high-definition digital transfer
- Optional English subtitles
- Uncompressed LPCM mono audio
- Brand new audio commentary by film critic and writer Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
- Spycraft – A brand new video essay by David Cairns
- Cloak and Dagger: Lux Radio Theater [57 mins]– Radio adaptation from 1946
- Cloak and Dagger: The Radio Series [approx 660 mins]
- A collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by Samm Deighan

Available to order from:

Eureka Store

Amazon