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Showing posts from January, 2015

Reading Goals - Expanding Genres

One of the goals that I set for myself this year was to read more... and while that is so very broad, I did break it down a bit more.
1. Read at least one book per month 2. Read things outside of my comfort zone
My comfort zone is generally classic historical fiction novels - think Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin, Jane Austen... and also mystery novels from Mary Higgins Clark. 
A little over a year ago, I had an Audible membership and decided to download A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Stephen Douglas. Narrated by Stephen Fry, whose enunciated witticisms grilled a sense of satiety in delivering Douglas' love of satire and irony, I couldn't have found a better listen on my long bus commutes home from work.
At the time, I wasn't really fond of reading science fiction book. It didn't really interest me, but I recall hearing a friend rave about Hitchiker, and thus, I decided it was time to jump on board that spaceship of alien reading and tr…

BDV: Work, Work, Work

So you can guess by the title this week that I've had a long week full of work. Lots of writing and a lot of editing. Overall here is what it looks like:



So that's pretty much it - not so glamorous, but more realistic of a busy workweek entails.

How did your week go? Hopefully it was everything you wished for.

Much love,

Em

Finding Meditation Spots in the City

Two of my favorite places to go for nature and meditative walks here in Seattle are Green Lake and Carkeek Park. I posted a blog a little while back with some gorgeous shots I took of my first visit to Carkeek Park, which you can go see here.


To be honest, I haven't really been to a lot of other parks here in Emerald City, but for me, these are conveniently the easiest to get to and most familiar. I went to both on separate days earlier this week, seeking moments of peace and tranquility away from my computer. 
Meditation is the soul's way of rejuvenating. It's almost like what a nap is to a cat or small child - a slight rest. In both of my treks, I kept finding locations that were perfect for meditation and quiet time:






Where are your favorite places to go for meditating and finding peace? I'd love to read about them in the comments below.
Peace and love,
Em

The Value of 15-Hour Days

It has been an extremely long day, but it has been productive. I worked at my office job until 3, beat the traffic home and arrived home around 4:15. Since arriving home, I've finished editing and uploading a video, have filmed another tutorial, took dozens of photos, edited photos, and exported the footage into Final Cut Pro. Seven hours later, here I am, writing my daily blog, ready for bed here in a few minutes.

On days like today where I find myself pressed for time, I feel the best about what I'm doing. Perhaps that seems a little strange? For me, when I'm productive and can see that there are fruits for my labors, it is one of the most rewarding things. Thankfully, I like what I do and the results that I get--for the most part.

I wanted to write a simple post to encourage you all. If you feel as though life isn't going where you want it to go, just think about tomorrow being a fresh start. Just do today what you put off yesterday or you will continue to live for …

Hypocorism - An Unexpected Word of the Day

Word of the day:
Hip-pock-or-ism.
What is it? Well, it's simply giving endearment to someone in name... a pet name, of sorts. Honey. My Love. Ernie-kins... to name a few hypocorisms. 
As I'm thinking about hypocorisms, I'm finding myself remembering moments from childhood. My parents always called me "honey" when growing up, and my brother always called me "Doodles" since I always loved to doodle and draw pictures. He still calls me that to this day and I'm quite fond of it.
When I was a preschool teacher, I gave my kids little nicknames such as "kiddo" and "goober" for my silliest ones. To the quiet ones, "sweetie" and "little one," were favorites. For the most part, they didn't mind.
When we give someone a nickname or term of endearment, it shows affection and a doting attitude towards him or her. Even without thinking about it, you're telling the person that you care for him or her, which makes e…

Have You Visited...?

Did you realize yet that BDV isn't my only blog? If not, I wanted to introduce you to my other blogs: Simply Bellezza and All Things Emmy. Why do I have them all separate you ask?

Simply Bellezza: Beauty, Makeup, and anything of that nature. I post a lot of makeup tutorials on YouTube, but my videos will always be added to my SB blog. My most popular blog post to date is about finding the perfect shades of purple eyeshadow for your eyes.

All Things Emmy: A cooking, DIY, and other hobbies-based blog. I've been somewhat neglectful of this baby; however, this is changing with planning and some amazing ideas! Find out what my favorite cookie is here and stay tuned for some Valentine-inspired things.

I think that it's easier to separate the content into categories so that you can follow only what you are interested in.

What kinds of things are you interested in? I'd love to know what you'd like to read about here - or even in my other blogs.

You should also follow me o…

Wish, But Do

I've been thinking about the goals that will lead me to fulfilling my dreams. With the change of the year, I'm sure that others are thinking of the same things too. Instead of wishing for good things to happen, make a plan so that they will.

The thing about goals is that they are easy to write out, but not always so easy to follow. What I understand to work well is to break down a goal to individual components to slowly and easily accomplish each one step by step.

For example: buying my dream house - saving the down payment





1. Look over your budget now to plan for your down payment. Each day, plan for how much or how little you are allowed to spend. Is that $5 coffee habit going to buy you a house? Probably not. Instead, reallocate that money to savings.

2. Set savings goals and rewards. For every $500 saved, invest this so that you earn interest. Meet with a financial adviser to set up your portfolio that best suits your needs.

3. Make extra payments towards paying off deb…

Beautiful Inspiring Vacation Ideas

So, I haven't taken a relaxing vacation in a while, and I've got a bit accumulated vacation time built up that I'm eager to use up soon. I've got so many choices of places that I've been eager to visit... but what to choose?



 Aaah, the choices are endless. I'm happy to dream though. Go follow my Places and Spaces board on Pinterest for some more inspiration.

Happy dream vacations!

Em



BDV: Savory Bliss

This past week has been a long one - lots of hours at work and a lot of trying to get caught up on sleep. I am looking forward to going to bed here in a few minutes.
Sometimes during the winter, my cabin fever comes on quite strong and I only want to get out the house to do something, even it it's just errands.  Last weekend, my roommate treated me to brunch at Georgia's Greek Deli and we had stopped for doughnuts at Frost while on our way to run some errands. These doughtnuts are so very delicious. They are slightly higher priced than that of a standard doughnut, but are made in various flavors to even having cupcakes!

And the delicious damage:


And this is a hot cocoa chocolate cake doughnut. How incredible does that sound? It was so very creamy and delicious without being too sweet or rich. 
Sundays are my relaxation days - usually - and I love to cuddle with Ernie-cat. Here, I caught him crossing his back legs and thought it to be the most adorable Ernie-antic in a while. 

Kids' Dinner With A Grown-Up Twist

My dinner tonight? A grilled cheese sandwich, but not just any grilled cheese. Mine is made with a creamy colby-jack cheese AND smoked gouda. Delicious.
Since it is now about 10:30 at night, and I just finished eating and am still working, you can imagine that a very late dinner would have to be quick and easy. Grilled cheese to the rescue with a side of sweet peppers and a small cup of orange-carrot juice for dessert. The healthier sides justify my not-so-healthy dinner, even if it is an adult-version.
To graduate the grilled cheese to a doctored-up grown-up version, I swap out the American cheese altogether. I don't care much for it and much prefer a blend of more "premium" cheeses. Swiss is another favorite.
If I had more time tonight, I would have also grilled some onions to stick inside of my sammy. It is one of the most marvelous grilled cheese ingredients you can add. Growing up, my mom would add a slice of ham or turkey, depending on what we had on hand, or even…

Yearning for Springtime Flowers

Now that Christmas is over, I'm ready for the next season.  I want springtime weather and pretty flowers to be all over the place. The cold is also getting to me. Can I also be strange to want longer days too?
We'll see if our recent drop in temperature will mean snow - if it does, well then I will have to wait a bit longer for spring. If not, well, I may be in luck as the temperatures are mild during the day.
In the meantime, I will enjoy glimpses of spring in the form of pictures:
Oh how I love cherry blossoms. I remember when I took this picture - I was walking to school on my college campus and found this gorgeous tree on my way in 2007.
The beautiful violet crocuses budding from the ground. I had the delight in seeing these every morning at my bus stop as there was a small patch of grass in the side walk where these grew. So lovely! The parrot tulip - a photo from Spring 2013 when I went to the Tulip Festival for the first time up in Skagit County. I cannot wait to go ag…

The World Beneath Us

I love to fly and always look forward to it so long as I have a window seat to be able to gaze out the window.

While flying to Los Angeles a couple of years ago, I took some snapshots of the world below us from five miles in the air. People disappear as they become smaller than ants and the world appears to be a toy train set, will patches of land textures and colors sewn together. Such an amazing sight:






Do you have wanderlust yet? Where you do you want to fly to next?

Traveling in dreams,

Em

Home in the Mission

Last summer, I made a trip to Montana to visit my family and to see my niece graduate high school. It was the first time in four years that I had been home, and as a Montanan girl at heart, I had decided to capture images of my most favorite places just so that those images would remain true to me in my heart.

One of the most beautiful places built in Mission Valley is in St. Ignatius at the Mission Church, as it has been come to be known. It rivals many other Catholic cathedrals and other churches, even in Europe, with how intricately beautiful all the hand-painted details are for all those murals, all painted by the cook, no less.

I had the incredible honor to spend several hours with my grandpa listening to how he grew up going to Sunday Mass in this church, to seeing his birthplace, right across the street. We walked around and he talked about taught in Sunday school from sisters who were old enough to remember the original missionaries who brought Catholicism to Western Montana. …

Greek Brunch at Georgia's

Weekend afternoons are well spent while having a relaxing brunch at one of your favorite breakfast stops, and that has to be one of my most favorite weekend excursions. For me, my favorite brunch stop would be the unexpected Georgia's Greek Restaurant & Deli in North Seattle. Once featured on the Food Network's, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, its Greek charm hasn't subsided with its quaint and artistic interior and delicious food.
The food here is nothing short of tasty. Order a classic omelet, or one made with loukaniko, a Greek sausage. I recommend trying the Katerina's omelet: made with chicken gyro meat, olives, and other delicious ingredients. They even use classic goat-milk based cheeses. 
Along with a filling omelet, you can get a warm pita and a side of fried potatoes, crisped and seasoned to perfection. If you are craving something more on the sweet side, order a single pancake. Theirs are so fluffy and have a slight crisp to the bite. Pair it with their qu…

Carkeek Park in Photographs: A Lovely Day

I was hoping to go to Carkeek Park this weekend as I thought the weather would have permitted, but our beloved Washington rain returned.

Carkeek Park is a beautiful forested park with hiking trails and a beach settled in Northwest Seattle. It's a little respite in the city and I go there every so often to hike up the hill or if I want a more serene moment listening to the waves crashing on the rocky beach.

I remember my first time going to Carkeek. I lived about a mile and a half away from the park and didn't own a car. I decided that I would walk to the park and go through some of the trails. Little did I know or realize just how much walking I would do that day...all the way down the Piper's Creek trail to Hillside Trail and down to the beach, and then, coming back, up South Ridge Trail and then onward home. I don't know how many miles I walked that day, but it showed in my achy body the next day and the blistered feet (note to self: thicker socks with that one pair …

BDV: Enjoying the Little Things

January 9th-18th, 2015

This week has been, for the most part, fairly relaxing. At work, I finally am caught up on some of the things I've been behind on, and it feels wonderful. I spent so much energy and time to focus on completing as many tasks to the best of my ability, and coming home from work, all I wanted to do all week was rest, which isn't a bad thing by any means.

As I've gotten older, I've begun to cherish my time at home even more. In the winter, it's so much easier to be a homebody than to go out and do things. I save that for the weekend, mostly. I don't think I'm alone in that since so many people have hectic lives filled with work, appointments, chasing the next paycheck, bills. All of those things can distract you from seeing the beauty in the little things, such as cozying up in bed with a good book or cuddling with your furbaby.

I'm at home now, laying on my bed almost ready to fall asleep, as it is 10pm. I'm very happy with my re…