thirteen in thirteen

i love living near the city, denver specifically. part of the reason? there is so much unknown space, so much room to explore, to learn, and to jump outside of my comfort zone. i love exploring new shops, i love sipping on lattes, new coffee shops, and sipping on cocktails at new happy hours. but most of all, i love pleasing my palate at new restaurants.

for 2013, i’m going to try to try thirteen new restaurants – and i’m going to write about them. i’m going to share the sights, the sounds, the scenes, the service, and my overall satisfaction. one every month and two during one month i’m feeling extra adventurous (or my pocketbook is feeling more flexible).

i have a few on my list already; here they are. a few other ideas are stewing. recommended dishes, required edits, or places to add to this list are all greatly appreciated!

i’ll be needing fellow foodies, let me know if you’d like to join in on the fun!

  1. trattoria stella
  2. central bistro and bar
  3. lucille’s creole café
  4. duo (people rave about their BRUNCH!)

FYI, i’d love to see a great authentic mexican restaurant, a thai restaurant, and a killer pizza restaurant added to this list!

and, if all goes well with my restaurant explorations, i’ll move on to coffee shops, happy hours, ice cream shops, food trucks, wine bars, etc. this could be fun.

if this quote doesn't explain my reasoning behind thirteen in thirteen, i don't know what does.

if this quote doesn’t explain my reasoning behind thirteen in thirteen, i don’t know what does.

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on living.

for some reason i’m feeling inspired today. i think some of it may have to do with the fact that it is 12.12.12. the other part of it is coming from the fact that i got into a really good crow pose tonight in yoga. it really really is the simple things in life. regardless, i feel the need to share this entry i made in my journal this afternoon.

there are always twenty four short hours in a day, right? twenty four measly hours. sixty minutes in each one of them. we are constantly trying to get more for our money – or our time. i doubt our success. today is just an ordinary day – one we should try and make extraordinary:

wake up. brush your teeth before you brush up on the latest facebook updates, twitter feeds, and instagram photos. watch the news, THEN eat your breakfast with the TV off. read the comics. check your emails after you’ve finished any dishes that are laying in the sink. delete junk mail. respond to important messages. catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while – just let them know you are thinking about them.

drive to work. or walk, if you can. don’t put your headphones in, don’t call anyone to talk, don’t even look at your phone. just WALK. at work, FOCUS. open one window at a time. respond to emails one at a time. respond to emails one at a time. go to someone’s desk instead of calling them. work hard. when you’re hungry -go to lunch. wait until your hungry. don’t eat at your desk. turn over your cell phone and put it on silent. if someone needs you, they’ll leave a voicemail or come and find you. taste the ingredients in your food. if you can’t, try bringing something fresh tomorrow. take smaller bites. put butter on your break. use real mayo. put whole milk in your coffee. look out the window while you eat – have you noticed the scenery before? what is different today? introduce yourself to someone new. do your dishes right away. give yourself another minutes of freedom, sans electronic devices. go back to your desk and eat ten m&m’s; no less. work hard. cross off your to-do list. add something to your to-do list that is already done. laugh at the simple pleasure of crossing it off. finish your tasks. breathe.

go home. leave work at work. let a car merge in ahead of you on your way home. would it kill you to let two cars merge? ignore any honks. say hi to a neighbor. kiss the one you love. keep electronics away and talk about the day. write it down if you like that better. spread compliments; REAL ones. watch the nightly news. eat a healthy dinner. go have a picnic. bring a bottle of wine. make up stories about the people around you and their lives. talk to strangers. take a nap if you’re tired. go to yoga – even if you already went this morning. bring a friend. eat an oreo and don’t tell anyone. eat two, actually. enjoy them. read – even if it is a page – before you go to bed. BREATHE.

do one thing at a time. feel yourself living. smile and enjoy life’s littlest pleasures.

EDIT: look what literally JUST came across my twitter feed as soon as i posted this; thought catalog’s list of 32 of life’s simple pleasures.

can i add this situation to the list- 33) when an article relevant to your thoughts comes across your twitter feed.

DREAMS: hilarious ones.

i’m dreaming in spanish again (wahooo!). last night’s dream was fantastically hilarious. part of me wishes it could actually happen, most of me is glad it never will.

picture me in a red dress and a heinous pair of floral clogs. i am supposed to be resembling a young blonde comedian. but i’m a brunette, 15 years younger, and when she steps into the room to introduce herself i don’t recognize who she is. she is offended. i’m pacing around what resembles a green room along with 15 other people – some of who i recognize as friends, others who i’ve never met. i’m not really talking with anyone and i’m pretty sure most of the conversations i’m having with myself are half in english, half in spanish. our pictures were hanging on the wall like we were in a museum. and then i realize out what is really happening.

we are about to go on stage for a comedy show. yes, ME. about to give a stand-up routine to a LARGE audience. and by a large audience i mean an ARENA FULL OF PEOPLE in TEXAS. as we parade out into the arena (i for some reason am still in the dress and the heinous clogs, everyone else has changed into normal street wear), a larger than life man (picture a michelin man float) is reading a poem to the audience as we all line up to give our routines. in the green room i drew the number 15 –  i would be the last to perform. great – i get to watch everyone else make the crowd laugh as i ponder my unplanned five minute routine. then it hits me – i will do a mockery of my life, walking through the hysterical ins and outs of my everyday life. recounting stories of things that only happen to me (this would be totally possible, by the way. and hysterical). this will get the crowd for sure.

and for some reason i come to believe that the audience is full of people who speak spanish. i MUST get their support, i think. i will win this comedy contest by connecting with the spanish speaking audience. (all of this planning is happening while my competitors re-do their routines from our last show -we were a traveling troupe, i guess). in spanish i would introduce myself and share my plan. i was going to convince them to laugh when i told them to. [cuando yo les digo que se rien, tienen que reirse aún si no les he contado un chiste]  i would have the audience in cahoots and i would without a doubt win the competition.

i woke up before it was my turn to go up to the mike. thank god. but i did get to see quite a few contributions from my troupe-mates and they were hilarious.

daily prompt: morton’s fork.

i’m trying to get back into the habit of writing. i don’t really care if anyone reads what i write. blogging is just a good excuse for me to take time for myself. to think and to reflect.

which leads me to today’s daily prompt: morton’s fork. answer this: if you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? why?

reading blogs is refreshing – it is a good source of inspiration, new recipes, beautiful photos and stories from the lives of (sometimes) strangers. but writing, for me, is more refreshing. and going back and reading my own blogs is even better. on days that i miss argentina i go back and read about the good days, the bad days, my hysterical with the locals, and my language successes and failures. on my wine blog, i take my own recommendations and share them with others in my life (my roommate dubbed me a wine whisperer this week – what a compliment). studying accounting i don’t get too many chances to write (at least not anything beyond the frequent analysis of the accounting standards codification) so blogging is refreshing and has helped me keep my writing skills in check

how did i even get started writing? my dad started a blog for our family almost nine years when we first moved to the philippines (and when blogging was just an up and coming trend). i LOVE looking back and reminiscing on all of the things that we did in that wonderful country, all of the people that we met, and all of the travelling we were able to do during our time in asia. he’s done a good job keeping the blog rolling since we moved back to the US. i think there is something to be said about writing about your own experiences and having the ability to look back as time passes. this blog is like a journal. something i’ve for some reason never really been able to keep on paper.

selfish, perhaps. BUT isn’t self-reflection a must? i can’t wait to read my own blog 10 years from now. i’ll probably be laughing, but i’m okay with that.

—on a completely unrelated note, ed sheeran’s album + is playing in the background as i write. it is wonderfully beautiful, peacefully rejuvenating and the perfect album for winter nights on the couch. here’s my favorite – a team – check it out, ya’ll.

t minus 108 days (re-write: HINDSIGHT)

the daily writing promt from wordpress’ the daily post sparked my interest tonight. the challenge? re-write your first blog post.

the original post? a rambling about my countdown to my trip to argentina.

and the re-write? here goes nothing.

one hundred and eight days until the best five months of my life. this has to be the most incredible soon-to-be adventure life has thrown my way and i can’t wait to see what it has in store. opening my acceptance letter this morning was one of the best birthday gifts i could have received. after all, we should strive to collect moments, not things. hard? yes. worth it? YES.

it’s official- for five months i will call the city of mendoza, argentina my home. and i will fall in love with the city, the people, the language, and again with my life. i will be the happiest, most adventurous person i’ve been all my life.

blogging WILL be the best thing for me. it will be a place for me to boast about the good days, to complain about the bad days, and to virtually share all of my adventures with those i love. blogging will transform me. it will give me a space to explore my writing, my feelings, and myself. at first this blog will explore my life in a new country, new situations, and a new language. little do i know it will become a sort of passion. a sort of release. (DAD, did you hear that?) keep up with me here. get excited with me as a i prepare for what will be the most growth filled, transformative, energizing, sense-arousing, and rewarding experience of my life.

can you do this with your first blog post? I DARE YOU.