Sunday, January 31, 2010

What a Long Strange Trip it's Been...

So today I informed my parents that I'm concocting a marathon, multi-month backpacking adventure, kicking off in Jan, 2011. As expected, their response was pretty unenthusiastic.

Suddenly, I felt like i was 21 again, sitting at my parents kitchen table and informing them that I planned on living in a VW Bus and driving around the country. They were equal parts horrified and angry.

In retrospect, the VW Bus plan was pretty ridiculous. And, not surprisingly, it never came to fruition.

But this time, I am locked on to my plan of a backpacking adventure. It's something that I've wanted to do ever since I studied abroad at the age of 20, and my then-boyfriend and I would meet people in hostels who'd been traveling for months -- or even years.

My father made the point to me that I already do a pretty significant amount of traveling. It's true: my once or twice annual jaunts to far off places have allowed me to rack up quite a few stamps on my passport. And my job allows me to travel quite a bit in the country too.

But a week or a couple of weeks in a foreign country is a vacation. It's not "traveling." Certainly, there are obstacles, challenges. There is a new culture to confront, new customs to learn. There's a lot of picture taking and restaurant hopping. But the whole experience is very temporary. I'm just a transient visitor, in this weird limbo where I'm far from home, but still not completely immersed in another culture.

I enjoy my trips, and I always return with a new perspective. But I want more. I want to linger in a city for weeks. I want to get to know local people. I want to become a regular at a bar, establish a routine, have a home base. I want time to read, and write and reflect, rather than just tearing from one city to the next, frantically recording everything I saw and did because otherwise it will just become a fleeting memory.

I struggle to do the things that I used to enjoy. In New York, it's impossible for my brain to focus. Too many distractions, too many people, too much everything. I used to write -- a lot. Every day, in fact. And I used to read voraciously. Piles of books. Now, there's too many other things I have to do. When in reality, the things I have to do just leave me stressed and always, always, always anxious.

I run through the accomplishments of my twenties: moved to New York, got my Bachelors, then my Masters, started a business and watched it grow into a success. Lots of traveling, lots of friends, lots of fantastic memories and good times. I've had lots of luck and lots to be proud of too. But I know that I need to keep moving my life forward. Continuing to push myself and find out what more I can do.

If I had to pick an ideal time to go on an adventure like this, the time would be now. As my lease ends, and my NYC friends scatter, I know that it's time for me to move on too. I have no boyfriend or husband keeping me in one place. My jewelry business can be put on hold for a few months without completely disintegrating. Basically, if this journey doesn't happen now, it could very well never happen.

I'm not the type of person who believes in "living every moment to the fullest." But I do FULLY BELIEVE in taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. And the opportunity is now presenting itself. So I need to take the leap. Onward!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Please Do Not

Apparently foot-flushing is a real problem in Belize. Who knew?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Oh, Belize

Your loveliness has sucked me in....

More pics coming. Just as soon as I get the sand out from between my toes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We have a winner!

The Queens Metal January giveaway is officially DONE and DONE. And the winner of the lovely Friendship Necklace is.........................................

AprilandAshley from Tulsa, OK. Congrats! I did a little looking around AprilandAshley's profile after randoming selecting their name, and I saw that they have a great blog where they write about nail polish and make things from concrete. Awesome!

Thanks to everyone who participated and stay tuned for February; I've got more pieces I'll be giving away!


As for me, I'm mere hours from departing for Belize!  Don't know what to expect, but fingers crossed for sunshine, beachiness and lots of face time with some fishys. Maybe I'll even see this:

I'll try to post once I'm out there so keep it here to follow my adventures. If I ever write a travel memoir, I think it will be called "An idiot and a plane ticket."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Queens Metal GIVEAWAY!

January can be such a downer - cold weather, no holidays to look forward to.... I think we could use a little wintertime pick-me-up. So I decided it's time for an AWESOME FABULOUS QUEENS METAL GIVEAWAY!

So I'm giving away one of my all-time bestselling necklaces - the friendship necklace (retail value $30)

To enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment to this post telling me your favorite piece in the Queens Metal shop. I'll be drawing the winners name at random on Jan 19th, which means you only have a couple days to enter!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How I Spent My New Years

It was a five and a half hour drive to New Hampshire, where we'd be taking in some New Years festivities. We needed to keep ourselves entertained.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Next Up, I Take a Swim in the Matching Coffee Mug

Hmmm, $80 for the fork, another $80 for the spoon. Who could resist a bargain like that?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Maybe I'll Cook in 2010

Shoestring-kinda sweet potato fries and a new sandwich concoction:
- black beans
- arugula
- fresh, homemade salsa (heavy on the big chunks of tomatos)
- crumbled feta cheese

Mix it up, stuff it in a lightly toasted pita shell, top it with hummus (I dig the SPICY kind). Quick and tasty
* wrap the pita shell in tin foil to keep it from crumbling as you chow down!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A NEW New Years

Every year, I work with a different women’s nonprofit and create for them a custom piece of jewelry to be sold as a fundraiser.

This year, I am creating a piece for Ophelia’s Place, a small nonprofit whose mission includes: “…Empowering individuals, families, and communities to redefine beauty and health through initiatives that increase self-esteem, improve body image and introduce alternatives to dangerous desires for perfection.”

I learned about this organization only because I drive by it every time I’m upstate visiting my parents. But after meeting the Executive Director and seeing the facility, I have to say I am blown away by Ophelia’s Place.

Since meeting with the ED, I’ve been thinking a lot about body image; my perception of my own body and how I observe the bodies of others. It’s the New Year, and for so many of us, a new year comes with resolutions to lose weight. January is often a month spent repenting for the holidays “transgressions” and trying to fix the imperfections we see when we look in the mirror. Of course, the problem is that once you become caught in the cycle of body-hatred, it’s pretty tough to get your mind to stop running that loop.

One of the handouts Ophelia’s Place distributes includes the list below. I’ve decided to make sticking to this list my resolution for the New Year.

Revolutionize Your World
*I choose to listen to my body.
*I choose to redefine beauty, success and health.
*I choose to believe I am more than a number on the scale.
*I choose to accept a compliment.
*I choose to challenge the distorted beliefs I have about my body and my worth.
*I choose to take up space in this world.
*I choose to stop the diet talk.
*I choose to throw out my scale and clothes that don’t f it comfortably.
*I choose to start meaningful conversations and getting to know my neighbors from the inside out.
*I choose to change the subject or walk away when the conversation turns to
berating our bodies.
*I choose to provide a variety of foods, none being labeled “good” or “bad”.
*I choose to not comment on my body, my child’s body or the bodies of others.
*I choose to listen harder to what my children are saying and not saying.
*I choose to celebrate others for the joy they bring to my life rather than how they look.
*I choose to give of my time and be a role model.
*I choose to challenge narrow thinking.
*I choose to spread the word that beautiful, healthy people come in all shapes and sizes.
*I choose to start living my life now!

For me, I think I need to make more of an effort to *accept a compliment* and to *change the subject or walk away when the conversation turns to berating our bodies* and to *choose not to comment on the bodies of others*

As for the custom necklace for Ophelia’s Place, stay tuned!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Went for a Walk/ On a Winters Day....

Remember summer? Ohhhh those were good times.

On the boardwalk in Santa Cruz this past summer while traveling up the coast doing craft shows.