puppy dog cuddles
brushing my teeth in the shower
ballet flats with little bows
eating mascarpone straight from the tub
wearing polka dots
colourful embroidery thread
pink paper clips
a new planner
late night chamomile
jacarandas in bloom
sunday evening traditions
This is my sixth birthday list! I wrote it just before my 27th birthday in July and have been making progress, but there’s something about sharing it online for a little more motivation. I stalled on quite of few of last year’s goals – it was a crazy year in a number of ways though, so I’m letting it go and turning my focus to this new year :)
27 Things To Do Before 28
Hike Ngong Hills
Safari in Samburu:
Start my Masters
Send handwritten letters
Read 10 books from the Rory Gilmore list
Print 5 new photos
Lasagna on the 18th
Year 3 of the One Line a Day diary
Go big on Twitter
Post on W+L once a month
Post once a week on Better Dressed
Make the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Yearbook
Take a hot bath
Put myself out there work wise
Continue my ethical wardrobe
Long walks with Rum
More cuddles with Will
Less Facebook, more email
Eat at five new Nairobi restaurants
Summer night outdoor dinner parties
Get organized (outer order = inner calm)
End our use of ‘one-use’ plastic
Eat the Kengeles steak
Take more real photos
Get rid of 30 things
“I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me.”
– Tracee Ellis Ross
I love quotes and I pinned this one awhile ago. What a great thing to be learning. The space doesn’t always terrify me, per se, but it certainly frustrates me. But here’s to inspiration!
As I continue exploring the idea of simplicity, I’ve been reminding myself about gratitude again. I read something about the Tiny House movement last week and began wistfully wishing I had a teeny tiny cottage instead of our current semi-detached house.
I started day dreaming about how great a loft bed would be, how cosy the house would feel, the simple lifestyle it would encourage us to live. I lamented all the wasted space we have in our current home, the spare bedrooms that are rarely used, the three bathrooms that seem excessive for two people (and don’t get me wrong, they are excessive!).
And then I caught myself. We have a small garden, which is hard to find in Nairobi. I have my own study with a view of the most lovely flowering tree. Our hot water system works and we have the best neighbours. Our four bedroom house is cheaper than our previous two bedroom apartment. And yet, here I am lamenting the house I have and wishing for something different. I took a moment to be truly grateful… and it made all the difference.
Any one who has known me for the last few years will know how inspired I’ve been by Hailey Bartholemew’s 365 Grateful project. Hailey recently did a TED talk in Brisbane on how she found the secret of happiness and it’s a wonderful reminder of the power of gratitude. I love her comments on how her perspective of her husband changed.
The 365 Grateful website has been updated and it’s lovely. You can also buy the 365 Gratefuls book online (I contributed some photos!)
There’s a passage in a beautiful book called Bloom that has stuck with me long after I finished reading. The author, Kelle Hampton, had just given birth to her second daughter, a sweet little baby with an unexpected extra chromosome. In the first few days of dealing with the Down Syndrome diagnosis, Kelle’s sister flew in from out of town and delivers an inspiring speech on just how exactly she will go forward. The line that stood out to me most:
“I want you to picture some hypothetical person in your mind – someone who handled Down Syndrome exactly like you wish you could.
Now go and be that person.”
I keep coming back to that idea. Isn’t it so applicable to so much of life?
When I’m facing any kind of challenge and confused about how to move forward, the act of imagining someone else handling the situation brings clarity. And perspective. How do I want to handle it? How will I choose to move forward?
When I’m feeling powerless, I can decide to respond and not react, to let it be an opportunity to be the kind of person I want to be.
I always have that power.
P.S. – Speaking of advice, I mentioned Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed a few posts ago. It is such a beautiful book of beautiful advice. Cheryl wrote an anonymous advice column for awhile, and the book is a compilation of some hard and heartwarming questions and her honest response to them all. It’s definitely on my recommended reading list.
It’s Thursday night, Will is in the kitchen whipping up a delicious chicken masala dish and I’ve got Alexander Fairchild playing. Tomorrow is Friday and I work a half day and then we have a long weekend for Mashujaa Day (Heroes’ Day in Kenya). It feels like holidays! Especially because today was the most beautiful warm day we’ve had in a long time.
So in celebration of all things wonderful, here’s a handful of lovely things that have caught my eye this past week:
The most heart-warming photos of a baby giraffe.
Two lovely Australian blogs I’ve been enjoying: Practising Simplicity and This Little Port.
A truly spectacular Airbnb apartment. Hello Budapest!
A whole collection of free yoga class videos.
The most gorgeous set of salad servers.
I tested out the crispy egg this week. Yum.
A little lost boy finds his mother using Google Earth.
We watched this fascinating film at my friends’ monthly doco night.
(And I’m adding Project Wild Thing to my future documentary viewing).
Would you ever consider being part of an Articles Club? It sounds like the less stressful version of a book club (:
United Front: Breasts without Airbrush
We went back here last weekend and it was glorious!
Donna Hay’s peanut butter fudge.
Nairobi friends: A festival for this upcoming long weekend.
And thank you for all the book recommendations last week. I’m adding Anna Karenina to the list again – after a few failed starts, I will push through! In the mean time I’m reading the lovely children’s classic, The Secret Garden. I have a soft spot for beautiful children’s literature!
Have a wonderful weekend.