I arrived in Malaga and was taken by private car to the town of Benalmadena, a beachy stretch a little less than two hours from Granada. I stayed at Hotel Best Siroco, a darling resort that offered all-inclusive packages as well as standard lodging. The hotel was beautiful, and the weather was divine!
My hotel was a short walk away from the beach and some fantastic local eateries. There was also some fantastic art and gorgeous flowers everywhere I went.
One beer, a good tan, some sangria, and many tapas later, I can confirm that Malaga is a must-see for people who love good food and lots of sun.
This one little town in Spain is such a jewel, and I can’t wait to return!
Happy Fibro Friday! After an emotionally intense few days (I didn’t mention it in previous posts, because I like to focus on joy and ease in this space), I’m feeling so much lighter and happier! As today is Fibro Friday, I wanted to share a story about how I created a fibro flare right before my travels in June.
The excitement and stress of preparing to travel created the first real “flare” that I’d experienced in a while. I’d had achy or uncomfortable days, but I hadn’t felt like I was in a true “flare” in quite some time. So I was surprised when I noticed I had all of my typical flare symptoms: achiness all over; pain in my neck, back, shoulders, wrists, and forearms; brain fog; exhaustion; queasiness; pins and needles in my hands and feet; skin sensitivity, sore throat and dizziness. It has been a LONG time since I had this many symptoms at once, and it was not fun at all!
After noting that my normal activity caused leg soreness, and seeing that the transition to warmer weather was making me more uncomfortable than I’d normally expect, I did a checklist of what may have been wrong. My first thought was COVID, but I knew that my chances of being exposed were minuscule. I had the realization that I was the reason behind my most recent flare – well, me and the stress of traveling, that is – when I rested a bit and some of the brain fog and exhaustion eased up. I allowed myself to get more stressed than normal because of all of the little things that were within and beyond my control: I was so worried about what travel looks like in a post-COVID world, how much tidying I needed to do before I left, checking and double-checking my travel plans, etc.,.
Stress is such a huge trigger, and it can be triggering us behind the scenes: I wasn’t actively feeling stressed but it still affected me. However, awareness and immediately implementing self care helped shorten the flare and made such a difference. Here is the video I made discussing my flare:
That’s it for today. Please continue to take care of yourselves, and I’ll talk to you all soon!
Hello friends! It’s been a while since I wrote on this blog, because I’ve spent the past several weeks traveling, as well as getting back into my groove post-travel. I mentioned how much I wanted to travel in 2021, but as luck would have it, I was unable to go all of the places I wanted to visit.
However, 2022 has been a year that is in my favor, and this year, I FINALLY got to resume international traveling. And it was fantastic!
I went to Portugal, Spain, Greece and Turkey over a 2.5 week period. I’m sharing a few of my favorite travel pictures in this post, but there will be more extensive write-ups on each location in the weeks to come. Look out for those posts, as well as more Fibro Friday details, some of the fun stuff I did to prepare for my travels, and more! Talk to you all tomorrow!
(photos from Lisbon, Portugal)
(Photos from Granada, Spain; Rhodes; and Kusadasi, Turkey)
I believe that the best way to create a life of your dreams is to connect with your dream daily. A lot of people think that the only way to connect to their desired life is through daydreaming, which can be a good first step. But you can do so much more than that, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance.
I believe is connecting to my dream life through the five senses: sight, sound (hearing), smell, taste and touch. So I try to connect with that desired existence through each of those senses every day. I make sure to look at the things in my world that would also be in my future life: for me, that includes my family, my finest clothing and shoes, and some of my “treasures” (jewelry, fine china, keepsake items I’ve collected over the course of my life, etc.).I listen out for sounds of nature that I know I’ll enjoy in years to come (birds chirping, rain on stormy days, etc.). I wear perfumes that smell incredible, and I also make my own fragrances that capture the emotions and aromas that I delight me and now best reflect the scents I want to surround me in my future life. I drink beverages and eat foods that I will enjoy frequently in my future life (lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lovely wines, fine chocolates, etc.,). I am always touching textures that reflect the life of my dreams (primarily silk, satin and – during the cooler months – cashmere).
It seems really simple, but just connecting to my ideal life through my senses does wonders for helping me stay focused on what I prefer, which is a life full of the things that I enjoy most. I am creating a life full of joy, ease, and delightful experiences, and I use my senses to help me with this. I think I’ll be sharing more posts in the future, discussing how I do this in more concrete terms (specific things that I do to connect my senses to my desired life). Look out for more of these posts soon!
I spent part of my week bemoaning the haggard look of my yard. With the warmer weather and more sunshine, my grass has been flourishing… And so have my “weeds”.
I’m inclined to quickly schedule someone to tend to the yard but, as a baby herbalist, I know that the new growth cropping up in my yard has a purpose. I also know that it’s to my benefit to be very familiar with local “weeds”, especially the ones in my own yard. So, before I get the first lawn mowing of the season, I decided to learn more about these early spring weeds.
I have a ton of purple dead nettle in my yard. These pretty little plants are among the first to shoot up when the seasons change. I harvested some and dried them, and I plan to try making a tea with them. These are purported to help with seasonal allergies and are also supposedly anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, diuretic, purgative, etc.,. Luckily, these plants – and their lookalike, henbit – are edible. Unluckily, I dislike the flavor of fresh purple dead nettle. I’m hoping that the dried leaves can be combined with another herb to make a pleasant tea.
I found a narrow leaf plantain coming up near my driveway. I don’t plan on doing anything that requires me to use plantain, as this is commonly used to numb the sting from stinging nettle and from insect bites and stings. But, it’s good to have it nearby, just in case I get a bug bite that needs attention.
My yard also gets quite a few mock strawberries (snake berries) later in the season. These little devils are harmless and edible but they have no flavor. For now, I’m seeing their pretty flowers and sighing about how those little tasteless berries will be popping up soon. Though the resulting fruit tastes like water, the blooms are sunny spots in my yard.
Finally, my favorite weed has appeared! Violets are all over one particular patch of grass, and I love it! These delicate blooms add such pretty colors to my yard. I have “confederate violets) a cultivated subgroup of the larger blue violet family. These are edible but I’m not interested in consuming them: I just love to look at them.
I’m looking forward to seeing what will bloom at the end of this month, and in May. I planted a few seeds, so I’m hoping that those flowers will be blooming in a few weeks.
Did you do any planting or foraging yet? I’d love to hear all about it!
I completed a workshop a few days ago, and the goal of the entire program was to see my future life and lining up with that reality. Here’s the thing: if you have a vision, you can absolutely create it. But there’s a catch: you can unravel your dream by being unprepared and overwhelmed. The best way to create a dream life that you can sustain is to get ready for it now.
One of the exercises I completed was to bring an object from my future reality into my current world. I sat quietly and the idea came to me: champagne flutes. My future self always has something to celebrate, so she’d have gorgeous champagne flutes at the ready. I went ahead and ordered glasses from a collection named after one of my totem animals, the Black Swan.
I realized that my recent order history has several items that reflect my future self and what’s normal for her. I had essential oils that smell incredible and have cultural significance (both scents are Southern-inspired). I combined these to make a lusciously scented body oil. My future self is always glowing, hydrated and smelling fabulous.
Speaking to my hydrated, silky-skinned future self, I also know that maintaining the softness of my skin is a priority, both now and in the future. So I invest regularly in exfoliating products and debriding creams. I re-purchased my debriding cream recently (I just finished up my supply), and I will be repurchasing my facial exfoliating pads if I don’t get the result I desire from some of the other exfoliating products I want to try.
Finally, my future self is prepared for emergencies and makes sure that herself and her family. My future self isn’t undertaking this responsibility by herself (my future husband is at my side, being even more prepared than I am!) But, having emergency supplies always ready is something she prioritizes. I ordered some additional “bug out” bags a few days ago, for my grandmother and her sister (I already have some at my house).
Those are some of the glimmers of my future self, as well as little ways that I’m acclimating to my dream life. How have you all been injecting little bits of your “dream life” into your current reality? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!
Happy Black History Month! I know I’m a bit late with this post, but I’ve been trying to get back on track with my writing and filming schedule (no easy feat, but I’m getting there!)
I posted a video on my YouTube channel last week, discussing the Black authors that I will be reading this month (I originally had five hardback and paperback books, but also added some digital books to the mix, just in case I finished before the end of the month). I’m focusing on reading up on a few different topics (not just self help!) and branching beyond American-centered stories, which is new for me.
Here is my book list for the month: I’m looking forward to diving into these.
It wouldn’t be my book list is I didn’t include at least one self-help/advice book. Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu promises to show me how to achieve more while doing less. Less effort, more results? Sign me up!
The next two books are about the history of Black entertainment in the US. The Power of Pride by Carole Marks and Diana Edkins spotlights the superstars of the Harlem Renaissance, including some lesser-known luminaries of note. Then, I’ll be enjoying Brown Sugar by Donald Bogle which focuses on Black actresses, singers and other entertainers from the 1920s to 1970s. I’m really excited for both of these books, since I’m in love with all things vintage.
Finally, I have one more book that made it onto my back-up list: Clay’s Ark by Octavia Butler (I previously read Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind, in this set: “Seed to Harvest: The Patternist Series“). As a huge Octavia Butler fan (I posted about her ages ago), I’ve been eager to get back into reading her books, and Clay’s Ark was next on my list. And, since March is Women’s History month, I can always continue my reading streak and carry this book and the Toni Morrison one into the next month, if I run out of time in February.
That’s my reading list for the month: I’m looking forward to each of these! Do you have any books you’re reading this month? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below. Also, here’s my YouTube video, discussing these books a bit more:
Here are some pictures from the Worsham Rockefeller bedroom:
I was captivated by all of the fine details of this room: the ornate ceiling, the embellished door, the tasteful sitting area (I’d venture to call this a proper boudoir area, but it retains a certain formality that I wouldn’t expect in a French-inspired boudoir), the harmonious color palette of burgundy, brown, and gold . . . Everything about this room is so carefully selected and perfectly appointed.
I hope your New Year Day was fantastic! If it wasn’t everthing that you’d hoped, just take heart in the fact that it’s only one day out of 365: you are able to create even better experiences in the year to come!
As for me, I had a chance to bring in my New Year Day in the BEST way: re-reading one of my favorite books (Rejuvenate! It’s Never Too Late by Eartha Kitt), journaling in one notebook, working on my vision journal, and sipping my favorite wine. I set some intentions and savored the moment when the clock turned 12.
I didn’t go out of my home because there’s no need to take a risk with my health unnecessarily, and it wasn’t like I had many friends in town, anyway. But I was happy to spend this day enjoying my personal space, and I feel that the experience of bringing in the new year in a space you enjoy is a great way to set the tone for the year.
I also started working on future blog posts (which, honestly, is what I do on most weekends, so long as I’m not too busy). I have a lot to share in the upcoming year and organizing my thoughts beforehand will help me tremendously with ensuring that those ideas are shared in the most effective way.
I had a wonderful and peaceful entrance into the new year, and I’m excited for all the incredible experiences that will find their way to me in the months to come. On a side note, I find it no coincidence that this is my 777th post: a good omen if ever there was one!
Hi friends! I know that I missed the Writers Wednesday post yesterday, but since it’s the first couple of days of NaNoWriMo, I don’t have much to say. I’m still figuring out exactly what I want to write, so an entire update post was sort of unnecessary. I figured this paragraph would be more than enough to explain what’s going on. Now, back to the topic at hand …
Recently, I went to Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA) with a group of brand new friends. After enjoying tea in the museum’s garden, we checked out the Fine Art and Flowers exhibition. This was a 5-day long exhibition that featured fresh flower arrangements inspired by some of the museum’s current art installations.
I only wish I had more time to see all of the arrangements (it would take at least two visits to make sure that I saw all of the flowers). But what I saw, I enjoyed immensely. Here are some pictures from the exhibition:
I saw a few more arrangements but didn’t have the chance to photograph them. The flowers were such a bright, welcome addition to the museum. I didn’t bother getting the map of the locations of all of the arrangements: I preferred to discover them on my own. I loved how it was almost like a scavenger hunt to locate the arrangements! If this year is any indication, then I can comfortably say that the creativity of the floral artists will wow us for years to come. I can’t wait to see the floral arrangements next year!