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What will the new year bring?

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For me, it is a new blog focused on showcasing my art, photography and poetry. It also brings the opportunity to visit good friends and make new memories abroad but more on that later. My new blog, entitled Walks in Beauty, is an attempt to make a small personal portfolio of my work available online as well as a way to connect with my readers and friends in a new and different way. Previously I often kept my work private and showed it to people only occasionally but I have decided it is time to share! So, what will this new year bring you?

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IMG_0999Happy New Year everyone! I hope that as you celebrate the old year passing and the new one beginning you will look upon it with renewed hope for a better future for mankind and a more prosperous one for all. Here at home we celebrated with traditional Venezuelan food, a particular staple called the hallaca is what we were making and above are the veggies I assembled to make a vegetarian version for the first time ever. I must say it turned out quite delicious and the friends we had over to celebrate with us enjoyed them very much. The traditional meat ones for made, of course, but I decided to go for making these.

As we prepared for the celebration I took some fun photos with a couple of new apps I acquired on my iPhone. Have a look:

 

photobooth collage

Photo strips taken with PocketBooth and IncrediBooth Apps on iPhone 4s

I think this new year is going to bring exciting things our way! What do you think? Here is a photo of my vegetarian hallaca, and let me tell you that it was delicious!!!

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Have a very Happy New Year friends!

 

I Love My Rose Colored Glasses

IMG_0979The world we live in is as yet very cruel, chaotic and dysfunctional and many who speak of its ills and evils are justified in what they point out to us every day. The warnings, signs of imminent downfall are all there and yet, despite all of this hope must and does still remain. This hope is what propels us to get up out of bed every morning, get dressed and go out into the world to make our mark on each day. I am by no means saying we need to block all reality from our lives and ignore the blatantly awful things which often occur in our world but I am saying that a positive action in a dark world goes a long way.

Helping a neighbor with their garden, reading to children, getting involved in our communities are just a few of the steps we ought to take. We have lost our sense of community and our way in this fast-paced gadget driven world and it is time to take action and restrengthen our human ties once again. Won’t you join me in looking through those rose colored glasses for human inspiration?

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Living in a two bedroom condo in Florida can have its space problems making for some definite clutter but with a little bit of ingenuity one can have a beautiful home without sacrificing space. The last days of December are good for finding great freebies all over the place. The two boxes depicted above were found on a short walk to the community dumpster. Perfectly good and functional boxes rescued from being dumped in yet another more likely than not overcrowded landfill.

Not only do they function as a sort of small side table but they double as shelves for my ever growing magazine collection too. Isn’t that neat? Originally they were to be used as storage ottomans, no doubt they went with some living room set. There are so many things that one can do with free finds! These boxes, for instance, have helped me to get even more organized and they are aesthetically pleasing as well. What sort of reuse projects have you undertaken lately?

Live well, my friends!

IMG_0950A life well lived need not be one full of things and money. Reading, good music, fresh food, an open mind are true essentials, in my opinion, for a life well lived. To travel, even locally, to expand one’s horizons is to live a full life. To sit and sip tea with friends, talking for hours instead of spending four hours in front of a television screen are signs of a life well lived. To take a million photos of one subject and ponder each shot artistically, to share them with a loved one–that is a life well lived.

Are you living such a life, my friends?

You like Chinese food!

Menu from China Village

Menu from China Village

Thus said a fortune I received many years ago in one of those famous folded cookies. Indeed it is true, I do like Chinese food and I cannot remember a time when I ever disliked it. I enjoy even the bits of superstition and myth that accompany the food that most of us love.

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The Rooster or Cock, my Chinese Zodiac sign

I must say, the description is eerily uncanny in how precise it is regarding my own nature. I have no qualms in admitting that I am not perfect and have no wish to deny that I can be selfish and eccentric. Those who pretend to be something they are not play the farce only to and for themselves. A good cup of Chinese tea was in order yesterday as we celebrated my father’s birthday at our friend Tina’s restaurant China Village. My mother worked for Tina several years ago and each time we have lived in Florida we always return to her restaurant and I truly believe it is the best Chinese food in the area.

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An ancient beverage in modern times.

I just could not get enough of that tea! It was so delicious, plain and warm without sugar. I felt it did not need it and the pretty little cup it was served in made it that much more enjoyable. I rarely ask for tea when I eat Chinese but I think I shall ask for it more often.

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My pretty little cup of tea.

One of the highlights of eating Chinese for me is the egg drop soup and egg rolls we’re given beforehand with the fried chow mein dipped in duck sauce (I have not been very successful at attempting to become vegetarian/vegan but I have not entirely given up on it).

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egg drop soup

I have always loved the decorations on the walls of Chinese restaurants and this one near the kitchen and above our table caught my eye yesterday:

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Wall decor at the restaurant

The food arrived, looking delicious as ever and we dug in.

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Sesame Chicken

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Cashew Chicken

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Garlic Honey Chicken

And my favorite but without the tofu:

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Buddha Delight

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Enjoy!

I also received an interesting fortune this time around. Foretelling? Only time and determination will tell. ☺

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Good food, good fortune.

The year is ending…

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Happy Holidays to all of you! Just thought I’d share a quick post with all of my readers. I’ve been MIA for a while now and there really isn’t much of an excuse for it, basically life got in the way. First though, isn’t it great the world didn’t end on the 21st? We have a challenging year ahead of us for 2013 and I’m looking forward to more positive world outcomes.

As far as blogging goes, this past year was an exceptionally rough one for me. An utter lack of inspiration and being in a bit of a funk didn’t really help but the time away helped me plan and think about what I want to get out of blogging. I have found inspiration in some new friendships and I look forward to cultivating those friendships.

What are your new goals and inspirations? I have a new blog project in the works and a great BIG goal for the year which I will share with you all by and by. For now I leave you with great wishes for a Happy New Year!

I ♥ Breakfast!

Breakfast is an all important meal and photographing food is always a challenge. I like showing it as it really is, nothing too fancy— this is not a cookbook, just every day life. ☺ Enjoy!

Oatmeal with berries

 

Cream of Wheat ala blueberry

 

Eggs, toast and coffee...

 

Raisin Bran...because sometimes I feel like having some cold cereal.

 

SUBJECT: Breakfast Foods
CATEGORY: Food Photography
CAMERA: Samsung Strive Cellular Phone

Spots on St. Armand’s Circle…

Next time you travel to Florida don’t forget to come to South Florida’s beautiful Sarasota Bay area. In particular, you cannot miss the fun times to be had and nice places to browse through on St. Armands Circle in St. Armands Key. Here are a few of my very own favorite spots:

For pleasurable shopping: Lilly Pulitzer store on St. Armands Circle 

For good eats: Columbia Spanish Restaurant on St. Armands Circle.

For viewing: Beautiful bay vistas between St. Armands Key and Longboat Key.

Dress me up!

I love a fabulous dress and even more so when it is eco-friendly! Here are some of my absolute faves for this season:

ELEMENTS DRESS $130.00 NOW $45.50, from BTC Elements

ELIZABETH COWL NECK MINI $138.00, from BTC Elements

Nature Vs. Future - Swerve Dress $130.00, from Kaight NYC

Organic Tennis Dress US$ 273, from Bird Textile

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