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Raindrops on Roses…

April 7, 2009

I always love Debi’s good things posts, and one of my main goals for my 24th year (! right: if I’m 23, I’m in my 24th year?) is to cultivate more thankfulness and awareness of the moment and just in general a more positive approach to life. So I thought it’d be fun to do random ‘a few of my favourite things’ lists (I think by now everyone realises I have an addiction to lists…and parentheticals), at least until the lyrics run out. ;)  Here I go with good things from my last week of being 22:

**On Sunday it snowed, and it was the delicious kind of snow where you look out of the window and think you’re in a snowglobe. And I turned on our fireplace and made hot chocolate and read and life was wonderful.

**I managed to get my hair in a messy bun this week! It’s a small bun, and requires a couple of bobby pins, but it feels like such a milestone in the epic Growing Out a Pixie Cut quest I’ve been on for a year now.

**Munching on frozen raspberries and fresh grapes.

**My new, ridiculously high, ridiculously ruffle, perfectly glorious yellow shoes. That I got for half the price of that link, that fit perfectly, and that make me feel like a long-legged, flirty goddess. And they’re vegan!

**A vegan caesar dressing recipe that completely mimics the real thing!

**Planning imaginary vacations that will be taken once I get that whole job thing taken care of.  This involves online research, browsing travel books and magazines in bookstores, and of course lots of dreaming.  Top of the list right now?  Central American and New Orleans (not at the same time!)

**Signing up for salsa dance lessons (my parents’ birthday gift to me-aren’t they sweet?).

**My ridiculous anticipation over receiving this book in the mail. I’m getting a review copy! (Remember that I’ve sworn off review copies except for in the most profound circumstances, lol, so this is only my second of the year.) I’ve got such a serious case of wanderlust right now, I’m thinking about going on a travel book/expat memoir binge.

**Asking all of you wonderful readers for suggestions for said binge. Oddly enough, I’ve read almost no travel books (well, not oddly. I’ve avoided them in the past because I didn’t want to become horribly jealous of the authors and go sell all of my belongings and not turn up until months later down in Patagonia with dreadlocks. or something like that.), so the field’s wide open! And memoirs of people moving to other countries are great too. Leave any titles/authors in a comment, pretty please.

And that about sums up today’s post! Listing little joys certainly made me smile; I suggest you try it. :)

37 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2009 11:11 am

    I’m having a lousy day, so I really enjoyed your happy, upbeat post. Thanks for brightening my day!

  2. April 7, 2009 11:14 am

    Horray for lists!

    I suppose it’s a cliched suggestion, but I highly recommend John Berendt’s work, if you haven’t yet read him. MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL is the bee’s knees, but THE CITY OF FALLING ANGELS was also pretty durned good.

  3. April 7, 2009 12:08 pm

    I love the positive attitude! I need to start being more thankful for the good things around me as well.

    I know it’s an incredibly obvious and cliche suggestion, but have you read Eat, Pray, Love? It got lots of mixed reviews but I personally loved it. It definitely falls in the category of traveling to other countries, and she sort of moves to three countries too I suppose.

  4. April 7, 2009 12:21 pm

    I would also recommend frozen grapes. They are really good on hot days!

    (On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend your eating your new yellow shoes (in spite of their being vegan)…. :–)

  5. April 7, 2009 12:58 pm

    I totally avoid travel books for the same reason … I get insanely jealous and consider ditching my life! Ditto for hearing travel stories from friends and family. I sort of tune them out because I desperately wish I was having those experiences. Luckily the kid is turning 5 next month and we are almost reading to start dragging him to foreign locations.

    And those shoes just SCREAM spring!! I need something like that right now …

  6. April 7, 2009 12:59 pm

    Almost ready, not reading … wow, that was a nice Freudian slip …

  7. April 7, 2009 2:21 pm

    I’m trying to grow out my pixie haircut too! I can’t tie it in a bun yet, still a long ways to go. My bangs reach up to my eyes now though. :D

    And that book.. it sounds so wonderful! I’m putting it on my TBR list, thanks!

  8. April 7, 2009 2:28 pm

    Your post made me smile. Those shoes are so cute. Enjoy your 24th year :-)!

    Hmm, the only “travel” book I can think of off hand (that made me want to visit the places mentioned) is “Eat, Pray, Love”. If I think of any others, I’ll let you know!

  9. April 7, 2009 2:29 pm

    I see Heather (#3) recommended the same book :-). I was resistant to reading it at first but ended up really enjoying it.

  10. April 7, 2009 2:32 pm

    I really enjoyed the travel/food memoir Mediterranean Summer by Chef David Shalleck. He was chef on a yacht on the Mediterranean – lots of beautiful food and location descriptions.

  11. adevotedreader permalink
    April 7, 2009 3:14 pm

    Your list made me smile as well Eva.

    Travel books do inspire wanderlust, don’t they? Some I’ve enjoyed are:

    Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
    To Jerusalem and back by Saul Bellow
    Shadow of the silk road by Colin Thubron
    Planet Germany by Cathy Dobson
    American Journeys by Don Watson
    The Ancient Shore: Dispatches from Naples By Shirley Hazzard & Francis Steegmuller
    Anything by Patrick Leigh Fermor
    Anything by Ryszard Kapuscinski
    Anything by Bill Bryson

  12. April 7, 2009 3:18 pm

    I think you’d look good with dreadlocks! And the shoes are way cute, too.

    Have you read Bill Bryson? If you haven’t, read “A Walk in the Woods.” Also, does something like “Under the Tuscan Sun” count? I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  13. April 7, 2009 3:46 pm

    I recommend Malaria Dreams by Stuart Stevens and Pleasure of Ruins by Rose Macaulay (you can do a keyword search on my blog to get my post on that one).

  14. April 7, 2009 4:16 pm

    Now, will you be salsa dancing in those yellow shoes? Enjoy!
    I second those who recommended Elizabeth Gilbert (at least for the Rome section); John Berendt’s City of Falling Angels (his first book was better, but this one made me want to go to Venice); everything by Mr. Bryson; anything by Mr. Kapuscinski. Also, Songlines by Bruce Chatwin (he was a marvelous writer). And of course, Thad Carhart’s The Piano Shop on the Left Bank…

  15. antipodeanowl permalink
    April 7, 2009 5:28 pm

    Thanks for such a heart-warming post! When I take the time to add up all those wonderful little things in life it never ceases to bring a smile to my face!

    It’s great to hear that you’ve adapted to, and seem to be be loving being Vegan! Vegan shoes, totally jealous!

    A great travel book I would recommend is one called ‘Tales of a female nomad’ by Rita Golden Gelman, it is just brilliant, but I must warn you that it will make you want sell everything you own and embark upon your own nomadic path!

  16. April 7, 2009 5:37 pm

    This post just left me grinning from ear to ear…happiness and gratitude is just so wonderfully contagious, don’t you think? :)

    I loved the snow visual…found myself feeling all nice and cozy by your fire! We got about 4″ of snow today, but it was the heavy, wet kind. Still it made me happy, as I figure there probably won’t be too much more of it for a while so I needed to appreciate what I got.

    Love those shoes, too! Cute, cute, cute!!! I would so kill myself if I tried to wear something like that! Not to mention that I would just look like an idiot. ;)

    I haven’t really read much in the way of travel books. Rich loves the ones by J. Maarten Troost, if they count.

  17. April 7, 2009 6:44 pm

    what a happy post! Happy last week of being 22. Enjoy your birthday!

  18. April 7, 2009 6:59 pm

    LOVE the shoes.

    North of Ithaka, Eleni Gage
    The Places In Between, Rory Stewart
    The Caliph’s House, Tahir Shah
    Almost French
    From Heaven Lake, Vikram Seth
    Apples are from Kazakhstan, Christopher Robbins
    Paris to the Moon, Adam Gopnik
    Ciao America, Beppe Severgnini (this is about an Italian living in the US for a year)

    Most of these are reviewed on my blog under the Books Read in 2007 link…that was a big travel writing year for me.

    Paul Theroux is supposed to be quite good, although I haven’t read any of his books yet. Bill Bryson is funny, but I’d stop after a few…his sarcasm can get overwhelming.

  19. April 7, 2009 7:01 pm

    Oh, and Happy (early) Birthday!!

  20. April 7, 2009 7:03 pm

    What’s better than a pair of shoes and a nice hairstyle to perk up your day?? I ask you.

  21. April 7, 2009 7:11 pm

    I loved this post! There are so many things for us to smile about when we take the time to stop. I know all about the messy bun–I’m growing out my hair right now and have the worst hair cut ever, but I’ll get through it (with lots of bobby pins). :) Have a great week, Eva.

  22. April 7, 2009 7:27 pm

    Twenty-three!? I kid you not Eva, I usually know the general age of anyone I meet as soon as they start to talk, even online. I took you for quite a bit older because of what you read and how you write. From me that’s a big compliment. I’m 59-a very old and old-fashioned 59. I rarely relate to anyone near your age. By my experience you are marvel, and a joy in the book blogging world. Great post, there are everyday things to appreciate if we look around. I’m not a travel reader but I’m sure many bloggers are. Have fun with it.

  23. April 7, 2009 11:14 pm

    BermudaOnion, I hope your day got better! :)

    Memory, ohhh-I’ve actually read both of his books and really enjoyed them (especially Midnight). Thanks for the rec though!

    Heather, I tend to make personal resolutions on my birthday instead of New Year’s, so I’ve decided to become an optimistic, cheerful person! ;) I shall definitey keep Eat, Pray, Love in mind…I’m concerned that I won’t like her at all, but maybe I’ll be surprised!

    Rhapsody, frozen grapes are very yummy (although with snow on the ground, it’s not like I need cooling off!). lol @ the shoes. :D

    Kristen, I’m so glad I’m not the only one!! One of my best friends has been on a year-long research trip and I’m SO jealous. When I have kids, they shall have to become good travellers quickly.

    Claire, isn’t it annoying?! lol I loved my pixie cut to death, but I cursed it for a good four months straight when I was growing it out. And of course now pixie cuts are all the rage, so there are pictures of adorable ones everywhere to tempt me. :)

    Valerie, thanks! I’m glad you said you were resistant to Eat, Pray, Love at first, because that’s how I feel.

    Carrie, that sounds great!

    A Devoted Reader, thanks for the nice long list! The only one I’ve read is Travels With Charley (back in high school-loved it). I have Kapuscinski’s book about Angola on one of my challenge lists this year.

    Chartroose, well I’m glad you think I’d look good with dreadlocks, hehe. I can’t see myself trying them any time soon! I haven’t read any of Bryson’s travel books (just finished his Shakespeare bio), so I’ll start with A Walk in the Woods. :D

    Emily, I love both of those titles, so I’m off to keyword search your blog!

    DS, lol-I’m not sure they’re salsa shoes (they weigh a ton), but I definitely strut in them. :D Thanks for the recs!

    AntipodeanOwl, I definitely love eating vegan. I’m not calling myself a vegan, because I still wear silk and wool and don’t feel bad about it. ;) Tales of a Female Nomad sounds great!

    Debi, you inspired it!! And I wasn’t sure I could walk in the shoes either-I spent a good 30 minutes walking around the store in them just to make sure I wasn’t going to twist an ankle. :D I’ve never heard of Troost, so I’m off to look him up!

    Rebecca, thanks!

    Softdrink, thanks for the recs; I’ve only read Almost French which I really enjoyed. And I won Paris to the Moon from you! So I’m off to find it! I love that you do the Slow Travel thing-very jealous. :D

    Kim, nothing’s better! :)

    Trish, bobby pins are life savers for bad haircuts! That and, for me at least with stick-straight hair, a curling iron.

    Sandra, I took that as a compliment and thank you very much. You’ve made me blush and smile, which is always a good thing.

  24. April 8, 2009 2:27 am

    What a wonderful post! I love your yellow shoes, and the fact that you spent your weekend in a snow-globe :D

    ps. completely unrelated to this post, but the Emma Larkin book sounds wonderful. Never heard of her before, though I’ve read some of Orwell’s Burmese Days

  25. April 8, 2009 3:29 am

    I remember doing a post like this long long long ago. I guess we all need to write up lists that make us happy. I might give it a try…

    Good job with the list Eva and all the best with the salsa classes :)

  26. April 8, 2009 5:03 am

    That’s a great list to start of your new year. I hope things just keep getting better and better.

    And I understand about getting the book you said you wouldn’t, it happens to all of us. :)

  27. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 8, 2009 8:11 am

    What a nice list! I was not as thankful for the snow as you :)

  28. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 8, 2009 8:13 am

    Oh, I really enjoyed Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr.

  29. _lethe_ permalink
    April 8, 2009 9:10 am

    My favourite travel book (not that I have read many) is A Visit to Don Otavio: a Traveller’s Tale from Mexico by Sybille Bedford, originally published in 1953 as The Sudden View. Great fun!

  30. April 8, 2009 11:12 am

    What a fantastic list! It reminds me that it’s appreciating the little things that make a bad day look so much better.

    I totally understand your messy bun happiness! I’m a chameleon with my hair – styles always changing. Right now I’m growing out a inverted bob and reminiscing on when I could twist my hair into a messy looking chignon. But soon enough I will be yearning for short and easy again :)

    Oh and uber-cute shoes!!

  31. April 8, 2009 12:37 pm

    I just got yellow sandals too. If you squint just right they are similar to yours- Target, Mossimo brand, Wiley Wedge Sandels. I’d give you a link, but it’d be hideous. I can’t WAIT to wear them.

  32. April 8, 2009 1:18 pm

    I remember that feeling! I have grown out the Pixie cut twice now (I know, I know, and yes I still did it a second time!) and I remember feeling elated at being able to pull it back!

    I love lists.

  33. April 8, 2009 2:28 pm

    So good to see you back Eva! I love reading your list and will try to do one of my own in my journal. I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately and I think I need to focus on all the goodness around me.

    And, those shoes – I’m so jealous – They are so cute!

    Oh and as far as travel books go, I remember enjoying Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman. Enjoy your armchair travels for now :)

  34. April 8, 2009 5:23 pm

    Wow. Shoes that don’t eat meat… Who woulda thunk it?


  35. April 8, 2009 7:38 pm

    raindrops on roses – this post is so you, Eva! and I love it :-D thanks for cheering me up with the news that you got snow, because we’ve had snow for two days in a row now! We all want to stop wearing winter things now! Ok, something to be glad for: the cardinal likes to come feed at our bird feeder now :-D

  36. April 14, 2009 11:17 pm

    Tuesday, thanks! The Larkin book is incredible. :D Her name is a pseudonym, since she travels in Burma.

    Violet, lists are definitely great pick-me-ups!

    Nik, thanks!

    Stacy, I think it’s because I grew up with almost never experiencing snow…so it still seems magical whenever it falls. :D And thanks for the book rec!

    Lethe, thanks for the rec! It sounds really interesting: even though Mexico’s pretty close, I haven’t seen many travelogues about it.

    Joanne, I’m a hair chameleon too! I haven’t dyed my hair since I’ve been growing it out from the pixie cut (since once you dye it, you can’t really go back!), and it’s KILLING me. I have to avoid that whole aisle in Target, lol. I mean, I’m enjoying my natural hair colour, but I’m also longing for change. :)

    Lisa, yellow shoes are the best!

    Jessica, I bet I’ll end up getting a pixie cut again at some point too…once I finally forget how long it takes to grow out. ;)

    Iliana, I definitely think lists are a good way to stay positive!

    Walrus, :P lol

    Susan, thanks so much!! I’m a little tired of winter too, but at least it’s pretty. :D I’m jealous of your cardinal! We have hummingbirds in the summer, but we don’t get many winter birds.


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