Something To Make You Smile

Even the wildest animals can show you love and appreciation. Here is a little something that will put a smile on your face. Hopefully it will make your
morning a little brighter, if it didn't start so well...

Memories That Make Me Giggle- #1

I think I've always been in love with love. When I was a teenager, I would create scenarios in my head of how I was going to meet my first boyfriend; every time I liked someone, I thought--and hoped-- that would be the person I would end up marrying; I was also given the nickname "Dr. Heart" [by I don't remember who] at one point in high school because I simply liked to talk about it and was good at giving advice to my girlfriends; I also had silly celebrity crushes like most girls do. One that I particularly remember is an old actor, Errol Flynn. Little did I care/know(?) that he was way dead when I saw him in one of my dad's favorite movies. I still had a dream about him in which he was inside some sort of pick up truck and invited me to jump in for a ride. How lovely; I did not want to wake up [and I was just like... 10 ?? 11??]. Anyway... I like writing about these memories. One day they will make me smile and giggle when I read them again. Who was your childhood crush?

Accidentally Captivating

For this Tuesday's picture, I wanted to show you one that I took in Vienna more than two years ago. It's a church that was undergoing some remodeling. The funny thing is that I did not know two people were in front of my camera that day; then I saw the picture when I downloaded it and realized that these tourists were on the bottom right corner of the frame...

I really loved how it looked, as it made the scale of the church stand out more. 
Additionally--in my opinion, by showing up as black silhouettes, they become a unique element and not a distraction. :)

PS: The picture has an extra effect "soften"

Fabulous Fridays (A quote, a song, and a thought)


Quote: "Life is like a rainbow; you need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear."

[Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I heard of Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true...

Thought [why they are fabulous]: Rainbows are magical; I think we cannot 
help but smile when we see one... 
they brighten up our gloomy days, whether
they're gloomy because of weather or because
 something made us sad. Last time I saw one [yesterday]
I had been complaining in my car about traffic; as I was
entering my neighborhood I saw a complete rainbow (the ones that make a whole arc)
and it simply made me forget all the time spent on the road
that afternoon. 

Have a lovely weekend!

PS: I think I want this as weekly feature :)

image source

My Favorite Meal

I wanted to post this earlier; but I had to catch up with some things at the office. It doesn't matter, you have [or should have] breakfast everyday so maybe you'll remember this next time:

Breakfast is my favorite meal! Even though I love real food and desserts, breakfast is just special. It's the first thing we give our stomachs in the day;  we can enjoy it without thinking too much about issues that may bother us at lunch or even dinner. It's the start of a new day, and we should think about that and be grateful. 
Having said that, let me remind you that you should always have breakfast. Don't skip it! Many people skip it for different reasons; some just don't have time because they go to work very early (that's my case but my boss lets me have breakfast at the office- thankfully!), others are just not that hungry in the morning, and others simply do it on purpose because they're following some type of diet. But think about why you need it:

-  You have slept for probably more than 6 hours. Your body is running on empty, your energy levels are low; in other words, you need some "fuel"! 
-   Breakfast will not only give you more energy, but will also help you think and concentrate better on your tasks.   
-  Keep in mind that breakfast should be nutritious; don't have just a donut and a sugary drink because that will make you hungry later. Have some whole grains, fruit, milk... something varied that will digest evenly.
-  Keep in mind also that skipping breakfast does not mean losing weight. Your body will probably get used to not receiving food; it will assume: "this person will only eat two/three times today, I have to store more energy, store more fat, in order to support her/his activities." You will end up storing more on your other meals. On the contrary, breakfast evens things out a little bit, and it may even reduce your hunger at lunch time.

Sometimes my breakfast is very simple: a cup of coffee w/milk and two toasts, one with jelly and one with butter. Other times it's a bit healthier, with oatmeal included. Regardless of what I eat, I love to have it everyday! Give it a try if you're a person that skips it; start by having something small and work your way up. I bet you will enjoy it!

Article: Why is Breakfast so important?
Original photo here Editing done by me :)

New Post Idea- Photography

I suddenly realized that since I started this blog, I have not dedicated a post to one of the things I love more: photography. I think it's because I have been over thinking what should and should not be included in my blog, according to the title. But this is The Joy Of Enjoying! And I enjoy photography, so from now on, every Tuesday I will post a picture taken by me. I'm on a journey... I only have a small Nikon Cool Pix. With it, however, I attempt to take the best pictures I can. One day I will have one of those Nikon/Canon SLRs, but I am still saving for it. I want to share that journey with you; it's not only the transition from a fixed-lens camera to an SLR, but also the new tricks and techniques I learn along the way, which will hopefully be reflected on my pictures! Here is one I took while walking somewhere in Salzburg, Austria: 

I love doors, especially old ones! On this picture I also love 
the contrast of materials, brick and wood, as well as their line patterns, horizontal and vertical.
That's all for today, but remember to look for one every Tuesday! I hope you have a great day :)

For Girls: That Time Of The Month Again

This is a post written for all you girls out there. Let's talk a little about those "days of the month." 
Do you feel that they are sometimes impossible to enjoy? Why? Yes, they can be annoying; we have mood swings, cramps, bloated sensations, and so on. So, in order to make them a little more bearable, I made a list of the things I do to soothe those symptoms.  
  • I try pretend those days are no different than any others (if you think "I have my period, therefore I am moody," or things like that, it's more likely you will react that way to things. 
  • I just let myself go with the flow, meaning I do what I feel like doing and avoid doing what I don't feel like doing. For instance, sometimes I plan on going to the gym, but then I change my mind, and I go home to relax instead. 
  • I like getting cozy, especially during those days. I try to use soft/warm [if the weather allows it]/comfortable clothing. If I watch t.v at home, I cover myself with a blanket, etc.
  • Eat/drink something you love-- but be careful, apparently there are some things to avoid too [see below]. Get a yummy dessert, a nice warm coffee or tea, or your favorite sandwich...
  • For cramps, I either drink hot oregano tea or-- for faster results-- I take two Advil tablets. But if you don't like taking pills, try the tea :)
Here are two articles that have some other good tips!

PMS Worries: 8 Tips to Beat Those Days of the Month

Before I finish, let me tell you quickly about one more website: MyMonthlyCycles.Com
It helps you track your periods, symptoms, ovulation days, average cycle length, etc. You can set up reminders for next periods, fertile days, and more. You can plan a pregnancy due date better. Check it out here! 

I hope you're "special days" are a little bit brighter from now on :)

 image source


Doesn't it feel good when we eat something we like and we know that is healthy for us at the same time? For some reason, I have the impression that a lot of people only feel that way when eating vegetables. Well you should include fruits too! Yes, fruits have sugar but it's natural sugar. You may be surprised by how much fruit intake is recommended to you when you read your food pyramid ( In my case, my recommendation is 2 cups. What I like to do sometimes is to type: benefits of [whatever fruit I'm eating] on google and feel great while eating my fruit. Try it :P

Today I ate a mandarin orange, and I will eat grapes later. Here is what I found on them:

In addition to providing half of your daily vitamin C needs, mandarins are also loaded with hesperidin, a citrus antioxidant famous for its bioavailability -- or good absorption into the blood stream.

Not only are grapes a good source of vitamins A and C, but you’ll also find vitamin B6 and folate in these fruits of the vine. And that’s not all. Minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and selenium, as well as trace amounts of copper, manganese, and zinc are also present in grapes. You’ll also get some fiber and protein from grapes. Additionaly, grapes have an abundant amount of flavonoids... very powerful antioxidants.

Now how awesome it would be if pastries and other desserts had the same effect :P

sources: article 1

Have You Felt This Lately?

Have you done something for someone/something lately that
left you feeling good? that gave you that special kind of
satisfaction that comes after helping?

Yesterday it happened to me; a very short anecdote. As I was driving
to a friend's house, I missed the entrance on accident and had to U-turn.
Right before I reached the next curve to turn, I saw a complex of houses
to my right, and somehow I noticed that right on the
entrance, before the mailboxes, a turtle was about to enter the road [at least
she was contemplating the idea].

I think I screamed out loud and quickly entered the complex. I parked
my car in an area I wasn't supposed to park, but it was centered
enough so that my car would not be hit by cars going in--or coming out--
of the complex.

I ran to the turtle, picked it up [meanwhile she hid her head inside her shell]
and I took her to what seemed to be the area from where
she had wondered off: some sort of man-made lake.

I said goodbye to the turtle, and I asked her never to do that silly
thing again. That was not the first time I witnessed a turtle almost committing
suicide. I saved one at my university campus as well; and I
believe I saw one one day near a highway ramp... that time I could not
do anything :( I hope it was my imagination.

Anyway, this anecdote made me feel really good. Saving
an animal's life feels rewarding. We take over
their habitats, and the least we can do is save them if
we see them in danger.

Queen Greatest Hits Contest

As I have written before; I am a fan of Queen. There is a contest started by the Queen Group on Facebook, and I am going to participate because 1) I had already thought about writing more about my favorite Queen songs 2) I can now do it with a chance of winning something!
So here is my list [I must acknowledge there are Queen songs I have not heard yet, so this list could change one day]

- Killer Queen
Killer Queen is on my list because it's one of the songs aside from the popular Bohemian Rhapsody, and We Are The Champions, that made me like Queen and be more interested in the band. I love the style, the tempo, the lyrics, and the highs and lows of the voices, especially in the part "she's a killer, queeeeeeeen..."The chorus has original descriptions of a person: "gunpowder gelatin, dynamite with a laser beam." This is also a song that makes me visualize Freddie's playful personality. Plus it always makes me wonder who inspired it.

- Good Old-fashioned Lover Boy
Again, a song with great rhythm and playfulness. What I like about this song as well, is that it is very honest. I don't recall any other songs that have given me a glimpse of a singer's private life more than this one. Freddie is not afraid to sing about this; and I love that.

- I Want To Break Free
I cannot listen to this song without imagining the video and laughing at the image in my head of Freddie and the vacuum cleaner. Again Freddie is not afraid of doing what he feels like doing! Polemic arose in the US because of the video, or so I read, but I find it very funny. That's one reason, but aside of that, I love the song for what it is! It's one of those pieces that make me raise the volume in my car, lower the windows, feel the air... and feel free! My favorite part is the middle, only instrumental, a lot of guitar. Love it!

- The Show Must Go On
When I feel sad or something, this song reminds me of strength. The lyrics are powerful, but behind it all is the knowledge that Freddie did this with not much strength left. That whole album...
When I am reminded of the horrible things that happen in this world, I hear this song too. What are we living/looking for? Another hero, another mindless crime...
Additionally, this song contains one, if not my favorite, Queen phrase "my soul is painted like the wings of butterflies, fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly my friends!" I try to live happily, and to keep my inner child always alive, so I love this phrase.

- Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Here is a song that always makes me dance, or if I'm in my car, move around however I can. I love the simplicity of the lyrics, yet the powerful message behind... how crazy and complicated love is. I love the style of the song, because I think it's unique within Queen's large collection... reminds me of Elvis, whom I also like!

And that concludes my top 5 favorite Queen songs list. 

Mellow Yellow Monday- Paulie The Cockatiel

Here is my contribution to the Mellow Yellow Monday Blog. This is Paulie, one of my two cockatiels. He is very sweet and mischievous.

He has mellow yellow feathers on his head and tail. Look on my sidebar to find his latest mischiefs! Thanks for visiting


Far In Distance, Near At Heart

My boyfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for a little more than 5 years. And I'm not talking about a 2 hour drive (which a lot of people complaint about and I don't get it!), but about being 5000 miles apart. I am not sure how we do it; I think time has made us stronger and we are a bit used to it by now. I see him twice a year usually, and I was just with him in Venezuela for 9 days. Now I miss him again, but I think the day when we will be close to each other is coming soon. So what's a few more months, right? Almost there!
If you are in one, hang in there! It's a hard, but very special test to pass. I want to write more about it, so I'll try to come up with ideas on what to post. Hugs!

image source unknown :(

Thanks Radar!

I miss the rain when it hides for a looong time. I think the best part is before it starts, when you hear thunder in the distance and watch as the sky gets darker.
Yay for rain! How's the weather where you are? Regardless of how it is, find something positive about it! :) And if you have rain on your forecast, check out my tips for rainy days!

A Little About Venezuela

I'm back from Venezuela. I was there only 9 days but I think
I made the most of my time. Although Venezuela can be a very dangerous and crazy city
(robberies, kidnappings, horrible traffic, lines everywhere,
bad customer service in some places), one can still have
a good time, learn about the culture, admire the mountainous
surroundings in Caracas, go to nice beaches, and
experience a different lifestyle.

Despite the problems it may have, I think every city
can offer many adventures. I wish Venezuelans took more advantage of
the natural beauty of their country. Unfortunately their government
is not in the best shape right now; and the services they provide (in hotels, restaurants, shops)
can leave one a bit disappointed (not always though).

Here are some facts about Venezuela and things I noticed:
- their oil is extremely cheap
- their traffic is extremely bad
- women LOVE to be in the beauty salon
- cars make a lot of noise in the morning
- their shanty towns don't look as unsightly as
in other cities thanks to the green mountains all around
- their shanty towns are called "ranchos"
- some houses have female names instead of numbers: Berta, Alicia, Joanna...
- streets in Venezuela are crazy! They don't follow any type of grid or anything. But
one can usually be oriented again by looking at the "Avila," a national park-mountain.
- 10% tip is many times included in restaurant bills
- apartments have gates on the windows and at the entrance (not the building entrance only,
but the apartment one) ; houses too. All for security
And those were some of the things I remember most.

In Venezuela you can find:
over 1860 miles of white-sand beaches fringed with coconut palms lining the Caribbean coast
South America's largest lake, Lake Maracaibo as well as
the third-longest river, the Orinoco,
and world's highest waterfall, Salto del Angel.

I have not forgotten

Hello all!

I have been on a trip and will be back Monday. I will write about it :)

I am sorry for the late notice :(


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