You are amazing. Do you know this? If not, here’s a huge pat on the back from me. I put out my cry for help the other day in regards to my upcoming vacation (leaving tomorrow!), and you replied with fantastic tips, links, even the owner of the Headquarters Gallery & Boutique in Montreal wrote in offering to be my tour guide. I mean, hello? And human kindness is hard to find? Whatever! Then reader Nicole commented about the current issue of Budget Travel featuring a story, My Montreal Is Better Than Yours.
Not realizing the issue was online, I ran out to perform pre-vacation errands (toothpaste, travel size shampoo, maps) and hit the local Barnes & Noble for a copy. I haven’t read Budget Travel in years. I can’t recall if I even ever read it. For some reason, when I thought of Budget Travel magazine, visions of articles featuring the top 10 hookah lounges in Amsterdam and the best hostels in Europe (not already featured in a teen horror flick) danced in my head. Was I wrong.
I couldn’t put my finger on why, but this issue looked different to me perched on the newsstand than when I’d passed it by before – I felt compelled to grab it this time, and to read it, which I did from cover to cover. Why hadn’t I given it a chance before? As I scanned the editor’s page the answer was revealed: It was JUST given a major makeover. No wonder! It looks prettier. A little like Cookie magazine (layout and design) mixed with Travel + Leisure (I’m a huge T+L fan), I loved the font, the format, the imagery, everything felt very fresh, hip, and young. But not too young. I didn’t get the impression that BT was only geared towards the college crowd, but us older girls can be proud of our quest for a good travel bargain, too. Above all, no peddling of hostels as a hip alternative to hotels and a very informative issue all around. There was even an article about hugging pandas in China. Hugging! Pandas! That was all it took for me to fill out the subscription card.
And Nicole, thanks for the tip because I found the best blog in this issue authored by two Montreal-based bloggers, Endless Banquet. I can’t wait to get up north now and check out all these great places! And everyone else, go read Budget Travel!
(some images from budget travel and the endless banquet)
Flickr is still my favorite site, hands down. There is no other website on earth that does it for me quite like the fantastic images that I discover in the many photo streams there.
I think it’s important to use our time wisely, even when it comes to mundane pursuits and what others may consider “time suckers” when referring to hobbies involving entertainment – like watching movies, television, surfing the web, etc. I have to defend this by saying that to me, it’s not a time sucker if it’s productive in even a small way. If you’re parked in front of television, glazing over as you half watch a program, that’s a bit of a waste. One would be better using their time sleeping as that is at least repairing the body! But if you are watching a program that, when you walk away from it, leaves you feeling energized and refreshed, then that’s positive, and that is using free time wisely. Sure, we can’t over-analyze everything we do because that’s no fun. But if we are devoting considerable time to something, it’s good to ask whether or not it really is refreshing or is it simply a time sucker, energy sucker, and altogether draining. This spans everything, from friendships to hobbies, even career, but I’m focusing more on websites and the time spent online. And this leads me back to Flickr.
On Flickr, I see people living life. Tons of images showing families spending time together, great food shots from devoted cooks and newbie chefs trying out a recipe for the first time. Pet photos, images of handmade crafts (lots of soft toys!), and travel shots that will take your breathe away. It’s also fun to peek inside the homes of others, even to look at the self portraits people snap of well, themselves. When I look at all of these images from my nearly 1,300 contacts, I walk away feeling like a new standard for living has been set.
It’s not about just accepting what we’ve been given. It’s about being more.
To borrow from the army, Be All That You Can Be. I like that expression. I walk away from Flickr feeling inspired to bake more, plant more, and just be a little more than I may be today. Not in a do-it-or-die self-promoting way, but in a let’s take it up a notch way. This is what I call finding refreshment from the whole online experience. For me, it’s through the blogs I read and the lovely Flickr site.
Your turn. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have Flickr favorites that you would like to link to in the comments below? Go for it!
I have to mention that this post is a result of a lovely conversation that Marisa and I had today. She is wonderful. :)
(images: sources noted beneath each photo)
Help a girl out. For our upcoming anniversary, we’ll be in Quebec City and Montreal. Any cool tips to share?
I’ve been to Montreal about 20 times since it’s only a 4 hour drive, but we’re always there visiting friends, not really as tourists. I’ve never ventured far out of their neighborhood (near Atwater market), Old Montreal, or the downtown area, but since we are spending the first two days alone, we’re going to explore a little so I’d love some help.
I’m looking for vintage and modern home stores, good eats, clothing consignment shops, Japanese shops (for zakka, magazines, books, CD’s), bakeries, sew shops, and fun little districts where there’s a heavy concentration of coffee houses, eclectic shopping and galleries to cruise. (I have a few city links for Montreal in my right column, but I’m willing to beef it up to benefit all if you care to leave links.)
Anyway, thank you in advance for any fun tips you may have. Oh, and we leave on Thursday and will be in Montreal for the first 5 days, then it’s up to QC until the following weekend. I’ve never been to QC, so I’m completely lost when it comes to what’s what up there. Of course, there are a slew of travel sites, but I’d rather hear it from my friends, so please share! :)
A vision came to mind right before I fell asleep last night: write a post combining two delicious favorites, wedding cake and interiors. So I hopped out of bed this morning determined to pair tall, delicious, multiple layered, highly decorative, wedding cakes with some of my favorite interiors. All of these wedding cakes are from the delightful San Francisco bakery, I Dream of Cake, and the rooms are from House Beautiful, Domino, House & Garden, Blueprint, and Coastal Living magazine. One is from West Elm, too. So let’s play Turn this cake into a room, shall we?
What’s black and white with intricate patterns all over? This cake may appear as a dainty little treat, but if you translate the patterns of this confection perfection into life size prints for a room, the impact is amazing.
A bit of clutter is comfortable for some. A cake with lots of patterns deserves to be paired with rooms also sporting multiple personalities and color. The end result? We all love it. I call the cake, and these rooms, refined chaos. Which is exactly why they work.
This bird’s nest cake is charming, I tried to find its pattern and texture in these spaces and think it all works together nicely. Each room is almost inspired by nature, even the more traditional space with the crewel upholstered chairs.
So what do you feel like doing now? Decorating or eating? :)