0728 Pensieri De Lunedi: Rituals

 

 

 

Rituals.

Rituals.

 

Simple routines can turn into meaningful rituals. They can reflect affect how you feel and how your day will go. Find happiness in them. You are doing them for a reason.

0714 Pensieri de Lunedi: Change.


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My best friend had a great message for me when the year started. She lent me one of her favourite quotes by Rainer Rilke, “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” 

And she’s right. No feeling is final. There were so many broken promises and unfulfilled dreams last 2013 and a part of my spirit was broken. It was time for change. So I cut my hair, boarded my plane, and started my search for the great perhaps. I was scared but as I got closer to New York, courage embraced me. It’s been three weeks and New York has changed me.

This was a journey I had to take alone. And everyday, as I lose and find my way around the city, create friendships with strangers, lose myself in desserts, and learn something outside my expertise, my spirit is renewed.

0616 Pensieri de Lunedi: Work on a Goal.

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Because if we really want something…if we want our dreams to ever come true, we must work on a timeline. You see, time has a funny way of showing us what truly matters and when you don’t show up when you say you will, your fate might just turn its back on you. Perfect timing might not always apply. All you have is now.  Go ahead, take a leap of faith and stop giving up what you can already have now.

0602: Pensieri de Lunedi: My Grandmother’s Grace

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In a few days, my grandmother will be celebrating her 84th birthday and all I can wish for her are strength and peace. 

My grandmother has been a great influence to me. She is the epitome a great woman – strong but kind, simple, graceful, and unwavering. She is our source of inspiration, light, and wisdom. Always primp and proper, I fondly call her the “Jackie O” of the family.  Her elegance and grace are something to look up to. For her, being well-dressed is a beautiful form of politeness. Even until now that she’s in the hospital, she demands that her eyebrows are lined and her dress always fixed.  But her grace goes beyond the physical aspect. 

Suffering from both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is not in any way close to easy. In fact, it is unimaginable – to live in a shaking world filled with spaces and lost memories. But she will make you proud because truthfully, the only way to gracefully battle with pain is to stay silent. So she carries her cross in silence and when it is too heavy to bear, she reaches out for a hand to hold. And in those moments when it is my hand she reaches for and holds, my heart cries out to God that he gives her some of my strength so we can carry her cross together. 

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To my dearest Grandmother Primitiva, I know you will not be able to read this and most of the time, I am no longer part of your “present” but I want you to know that I love you. I will continue to live a life of grace and simple elegance like you’ve taught me to. I will stay by your side and hold your hand until you need me to.  

Always, your granddaughter. 

Surprising Commencement Speech from Jim Carrey

One of the things I look forward to every year are commencement speeches. They give me a fresh take on life and they keep me grounded. We can easily get so lost in our everyday tasks that we forget our purpose and we forget to live.

Not in a million years did I expect such a beautiful speech from Jim Carrey. It is truly mind-blowing and enlightening.

Here are some of my favourite lines:

You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts but all there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make which can either be based on fear or love. So many choose our path based on fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossible out of reach so we never dared to ask the universe for it.  
 
You can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. 
 
Your effect on people is the most valuable currency there is. 
 
That peace that we’re after lies somewhere beyond personality. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of that light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory. 
 
As far as I can tell it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go on how it comes to pass. 
 
After you walk through those doors, you will only ever have 2 choices – love or fear. Choose love and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.

 

0512 Pensieri de Lunedi: Don’t Give Up.

 

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“Say Something” by A Great Big World & Cristina Aguilera has been on repeat on my playlist. There are days when we lose sight of what we’re fighting for and why. Some days are tougher than others.  There are moments when we can literally feel our heart tearing apart from the lack of comfort, depth, and conviction.

Today I remind myself, it is worth it. My faith is bigger than I am and the frustrations holding me down. 

Don’t give up. You are stronger than you think.

Creating Memories in Sydney (6-10)

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”

Benjamin Disraeli

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I have come to realise that as travellers, we find fulfilment not in the number of places we have seen but in the moments and memories we created in our journey. Here are my simple tips on how you can make Sydney a beautiful memory.

6. Drink good wine to celebrate!

Indulge yourself to a day at Hunter Valley and explore the different wineries and vineyards. It certainly is one of my favourite places in the world. Its picturesque  landscape is truly refreshing and the different kinds of wine you can taste are already a reason to celebrate.

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Start your day with light wine tasting at the De Bartoli WinerySome personal favourites of mine are the La Bossa Pink Moscato 2013 and Bella Riva Moscato Del Re 2012. Both have very fruity and fragrant flavours perfect for Spring and Summer.

Afterwards, make your way to the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company and Smelly Cheese Shop where you can indulge yourself to more treats.

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Right before lunch, head to the Pepper Tree Wines and try some of their Syrah. Hunter Valley is known for this particular kind of wine. What I noticed is that the flavour of Pepper Tree wines is quite strong and bitter and the texture dry. If you’re not a fan of such, then you can just enjoy taking photos of their beautiful facade and garden.

Head over to Harrigan’s Irish Pub for some lunch and try their Famous Beef & Guinness Pot Pie and Ultimate Three Beast Burger. They’re succulent and filling!  

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 End your day at the Audrey Wilkinson Winery Buy a bottle and sit at their patio and let the sight marvel you. It will take your breath away and make you dream of dreams of love, hope, and beauty. It will touch your soul and make you feel that you are one with everything that’s surrounding you.

7. Appreciate history. 

Make your shopping experience an insightful one  at the romanesque Queen Victoria Building

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 Marvel at the architecture and all the unique shops you will find. Buy a piece that will remind you of your adventure…one that will make you smile every time you use it.

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The astounding Royal Clock

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 Stroll around Hyde Park and visit St. Mary’s Cathedral.

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Learn about the migration history of Sydney at the Old Customs House.

(Black Chiffon Cover Up: Local find; Black Tube Dress: F21; Rose Gold Belt: Mango; Shoes: DexFlex by Payless; Bag: Longchamp)

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Rub Il Porcellino’s snout for good luck!  The original statue of this popular boar can be found in Florence, Italy.

(At the Sydney Hospital)

8. Walk and let your path unchartered path surprise you.  

Take the coastal walk from Coogee to Bronte and enjoy nature.

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 Stop at Shark’s Point and try to spot powerful creatures.

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Take a dip at your own  ocean pool at  Coogee. Isn’t that romantic and surreal?

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 Take a dip at Bronte even when the water is 20 degrees cold and enjoy the company of nature and of the one you love.

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Spend an afternoon at The Rocks – “the perfect place to escape the everyday, everyday.” It used to be the precinct area of Sydney and they turned it into a heritage site. The cobblestoned lane ways and distressed architecture offer a unique setting for one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, and bars. Walk through the lane ways and you’ll also find the perfect spot to take a photo of the Sydney Opera House. 

9. Embrace Valentine’s for the cliche that it is and celebrate it! 

I have never seen a city give so much meaning to Valentine’s like Sydney. You see young boys carefully and excitedly picking out flowers in the park. You see businessmen rushing to the stalls buying the perfect flower. You see couples holding hand and whispering sweet nothings to each other. Iconic places were dressed with heart shapes and even fireworks gave their testament to love.

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A romantic slant to the famous Darling Harbour bridge

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 Restaurants were giving out free wine to couples.

Get a table at Hurrincane’s Grill and get the best view of the fireworks show while enjoying their oh so good ribs!

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A wall of love was built where people can write love letters and express their emotions.

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Heart-shaped fireworks were the perfect ending to a sweet day.

10. Find your piece of heaven and do something that makes you happy. 

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Watsons Bay was a nice surprise! If you want to experience the authentic side of Sydney, this is the place to visit. Enjoy the fish & chips at the iconic Lady Bay restaurant.

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Get your muscles moving and walk to the Hornby Lighthouse and enjoy a spectacular view of Sydney. And if you’re feeling adventurous there’s a nude beach you can explore in the area.

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 Spend a day at energetic Bondi Beach and enjoy doing nothing and everything. This is the best beach in Sydney for me. The waves are perfect for surfing. The coastline is perfect for a run. The array of neighbourhood cafes and one-of-a kind shops put the icing on top of the cake.

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 (loving my ring from Aldo and bracelets from Rubi)

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 (Denim Top: Uniqlo; Hat: local department store; Bikini: Roxy and Dotti)

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 (Bag: Joan & Klaire; Shoes: Espadrille; White Lace Shorts: Miss Selfridge)

 Live the life you’ve imagined and create memories as you go through your journey.

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Creating Memories in Sydney (1-5)

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”

Benjamin Disraeli

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I have come to realise that as travellers, we find fulfilment not in the number of places we have seen but in the moments and memories we created in our journey. Here are my simple tips on how you can make Sydney a beautiful memory.

1. Create your own traditions

Sharing traditions with the one you love in another country allows both of you to remember a place the same way. For JMT and I, that meant having Campos coffee and Baker’s Delight scones every morning. It was definitely something to look forward to and for coffee lovers, Campos coffee is the perfect way to start a day!

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For the past two years, it has been my tradition to go back to the area of the  Sydney Opera House and enjoy my favourite Baskin Robbins Praline’s and Cream ice cream while being amused by the beauty of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

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2. Open your mind to new forms of art.

Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art and see art in a different perspective. The pieces might be beyond your comfort zone but art evolves so allow your mindset to evolve as well.

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If you visit Sydney during Spring time, a must see is the Sculptures by the Sea at Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk. It’s quite a walk but definitely worth it.

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(http://www.sculpturebythesea.com/exhibitions/bondi/Information.aspx)

3. Awaken your child-like spirit.

Visit the Taronga Zoo and feel like a child again! As expressed in the famous poem, “All I Really Need to Learn I Learned in Kindergarten,” we must live a balanced life and never lose our child-like wonder. This will keep is young. This will keep us inspired.

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Tip: If you want to get a personal encounter with a koala, make sure to go to the booth as soon as you enter the zoo because there are limited slots for the Koala Encounter.

(http://taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo)

4. Lose yourself in good food and know what it means to stop time. 

Stop at Grill’d and taste burgers made good! Match it with a bottle of beer and their divine fries and you got the perfect lunch on a casual day!

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(http://www.grilld.com.au)

Don’t leave Sydney without trying the famous Harry’s Pie. It’s the perfect midnight snack too after a couple of drinks with your friends. Must tries are Harry’s Tiger Pie and Chili Dog!

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(http://www.harryscafedewheels.com.au/Menu.aspx)

Always leave room for dessert! Make a stop at The Star, Pyrmont and get the best of both worlds – macarons by Adriano Zumbo and gelato by Messina! Now won’t that be the perfect way to end a night?

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5. Push yourself to a new adventure. 

When was the last time you pushed yourself to do something new? Make your travel worthwhile and experience something for the first time!

A beach person at heart, hiking mountains is something I rarely do but going through the bush walks of the Blue Mountain was a surprising and breathtaking experience.

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During winter time, the entire mountain turns blue because of the Eucalyptus trees but in Spring it is quite refreshing and colourful.

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The iconic Three Sisters

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Drive to the Jenolan Caves and experience it’s magic. The rock formations are so mysterious and remarkable.

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(http://www.jenolancaves.org.au)

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