A gorgeous villa in gorgeous Lake Como, Italy

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While visiting Lake Como, I got to see a few magical villas. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to live in one. My favorite was Villa del Balbianello in Lenno. It is currently a tourist attraction and it’s no wonder why! (Interesting tidbit: It also happens to be where a scene from Star Wars was filmed.) It felt like I had a little taste of paradise while walking around the garden. I took so many photos, I had such a hard time picking which ones to show you (part of the reason it took a while to get around to posting these… sorry!). Even on the boat ride going around, I took so many snaps. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves from here!
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This building was actually in Lenno, before reaching the villa.
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My brother and I enjoying the spectacular view.
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A short trip to picturesque Lake Como, Italy

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A couple weekends ago, I went on a short, somewhat spontaneous trip to Lake Como, Italy. If you follow me on either Facebook or Twitter, you’ve already seen a sneak peek of my trip. I hadn’t heard too much about Lake Como before and I have no idea why because it’s the most picturesque place I’ve ever been to! It’s no wonder so many celebrities have homes here (I saw many beautiful villas only to later find out they were the home of a celebrity). I couldn’t stop taking photos… of everything! It’s amazing how much beauty a touch of paint can add to a building and town as a whole. I wish every town had color like this! The buildings are built on beautiful mountains that surround the entire lake. Most of these photos are of the gorgeous sights from a few of the boat trips I went on from town to town. A boat as a means to get around in place of a bus is so much nicer! I’ve been to Italy (Venice) before and have been itching to explore more of the country ever since, Lake Como has only made that yearning even greater!
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This white villa is one of George Clooney’s homes.
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I loved the reflections of the buildings in the water… they were like paintings.
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This villa is Richard Branson’s.
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There’ll be more posts/photos to come after this one so come back for more villas, lakeside villages and gorgeous sights!

Meditation: a daily act to love yourself and to love life

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Love. Understanding. Forgiveness. Trust. Compassion. Kindness. Peace.

These are a few of the words that I use during my meditations. I breathe in love for myself and I breathe out love for the Universe and everyone in it.

Breathe in: “I am love, I love myself”
Breathe out: “I love the Universe and all those in it”

The same goes for the other words and any others that I may need on that particular day. When I feel as though the words and breaths have brought me to a peaceful place, I let my mind quiet down and listen to the sounds around me.

This has grown to be a daily ritual of mine and the days that I don’t make the time to meditate reflect that. There are many different forms of meditation. Different ways work for different people at different times in their lives. No way is wrong if it helps in even the smallest way. But these small ways all bunched up together make a world of difference for you, all those around you and the Universe.

There are many harsh aspects to the world and they have taken their toll and so many of us have false beliefs about ourselves that prevent us from living a full life, life as our true selves in and out. This meditation helps to heal those false beliefs and turn them around into the truth… that you are completely amazing and have everything you need, right now, to make life great!

Imagine life without doubts and all those other mental barriers. I’m not saying this is a one time quick fix and you will immediately go jumping for joy in the nearest field, but it may just make your insides smile and that smile will reach your face and allow your whole body to ease a sigh of relief. And that will soon start reflecting in your day to day life.

Give it a try! What have you got to lose? I’d love to hear all about it… even if you try and fail, let me know!

Nature is speaking, are you listening?

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Environmental organization Conservation International has released a new film campaign to promote the protection of our planet with the message “Nature doesn’t need people, people need nature”. The campaign is called Nature Is Speaking and highlights the different components of the world using the voices of Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Penélope Cruz and Robert Redford. The videos show the beauty of Mother Nature, the ocean, the Rainforest, soil, water and the Redwood. There’s still a coral reef and flower video to come.

The videos are beautiful and I’m always up for watching more footage of nature at it’s finest. It’s always nice to see celebrities get on board, as well. I hope a lot of little kids see these, I think that’s where they’ll make the most impact! What do you think? Which video is your favorite? Click the read more tab to watch them all.

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5 Skills Everybody Should Have

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I love positive messages like these and little reminders to improve my life and how I can help improve the lives of all those around me (or miles away, for that matter).

While it can be absolutely wonderful to hold company with others, some of the best moments in your life will be those when you’re enjoying the company of none other than yourself and loving it!

Giving a compliment and having it brushed off is never a pleasant feeling… you want to make that person’s day a little brighter or just let them know they’ve got killer style, smile, personality, etc.

Number three on this list almost makes me chuckle. Ever try and try to keep a conversation going, but find that you’re the only one asking questions and showing interest? Yeah… Definitely something that can be learned, though!

Asking for feedback (or help of any kind) can make a world of difference. Never be too proud to help yourself by asking for help. People love helping others, so give them the chance to help you out every once in a while!

Ever notice that when others use your name in conversation, it makes you feel nice and like you’re truly their main focus? I think I’ve even read about a study that showed that people like hearing their own name.

What do you think of these skills? What skill(s) would you add to the list?

(Original image from: Real Simple, November 2013)