Finding gratitude in this new year


Today I am thankful for… New Years/new beginnings, snow, good food, my comfy bed, my past adventures, the sun, my cats, reading, meditation, etc. These are a few of the entries from my gratitude journal that I started at the beginning of this year (funky drawings included!).

I’ve been wanting to start a gratitude journal for years and I have, but stopped, and started again, but stopped again. Until this year. I decided that since I spend quite a lot of my time on my iPad, especially in the evenings, that maybe it’d be easier, and I’d be more likely to keep a gratitude journal, if I had it on my iPad. So far, so good! I was even able to find an app that allows both writing and drawing. While I wish I could have stuck with my paperback journal, it just wasn’t working for me.

After watching this video from Marie Forleo, I decided to choose one subject per day that I’m grateful for with five things in particular I’m grateful for about that one subject. This way, I really take time to think about what I’m grateful for and it boosts my mood.

I can’t say with 100% confidence that it’s thanks to my gratitude journal, but so far… 2015 has been really good to me. My main goal this year is to allow myself to be happy. I say allow, because I feel that I (i.e. my thoughts) often get in the way of my happiness and I don’t want that to prevent me from optimal happiness for the rest of my life, so I’m trying to break the cycle now.

Either way, whether my gratitude journal is helping me in the long run or not, the fact that I go to bed a little happier each day, is totally worth it!

Let me know!: Do you keep a gratitude journal? Do you express your gratitude in other ways? Do you think it helps or would help with your overall happiness? Did you make any resolutions this year? If so, what are they?

Snowfalls lead to magical forests and beautiful walks

For the last week, I’ve been blessed with a winter wonderland and what seemed like non-stop snow falls for days! Now if you don’t know this already, let me tell you… I looooove snow! It makes me feel like a little kid from the moment I see my first snowflake in the very first snow fall. When I was younger, I’d open my window and just watch the snow fall until my fingertips got too cold to keep the window open. I’d make full use of snow days by building snowmen and igloos, admiring snowflakes’ intricate designs and I’d even pretend I was a wolf in the snow (did anyone else do this?). I haven’t had a proper snow like this for years so I made sure to be out in it as much as possible this time around… I don’t know when I’ll get another snowy season like this again, gotta make the most of it! I took long forest walks, admiring every twist and turn and the absolute beauty the snow bestowed onto the canopies and sprinkled down onto the ground below. I felt like Lucy in Narnia! There’s just something so magical about snow.






I hope your 2015 has started off wonderfully and that it will be full of so much love, peace & joy!

Pops of color and fun in Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy

Back to Lake Como! Our last stop by boat was to Bellagio. I sure am glad we decided to go on one last adventure even though our feet were already killing us (me!). These are just a small handful of all the Bellagio photos I took. I’ve got a whole other handful to show you of a villa we visited while there, as well. If you ever find yourself in Lake Como, I hiiighly recommend a hop over to Bellagio. In the meantime, take a little walk around with me and enjoy!

The first thing we did when we got there was eat a late lunch followed by gelato, of course! They had some vegan options and they were soooo good!








I don’t know why this photo came out almost like it’s smudged, but it feels fitting.

It was so gorgeous! I wish we could have stayed longer, but we just barely made the last ferry. Next time, Bellagio… next time!

How wolves change rivers (aka how nature works it’s magic)

Time for a little break from Lake Como. I watched this video by Sustainable Human when it first came out and I have no idea why I didn’t post it before (actually, now that I think about it, must have been exams and assignments…). I posted it on my Facebook page, but now that I’ve seen it again, I realized that I needed to post it here, too. I wish information like that presented in this video was taught in school. It wasn’t until my time in Kenya for my Ecology & Wildlife Conservation degree course that I realized just how important every single species is to an ecosystem. From the tiny bugs to the top predator, they’re there for an absolutely necessary reason. Unfortunately, humans have really upset the natural balance, but I love how this video shows how easily and quickly nature fixes a problem.

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A gorgeous villa in gorgeous Lake Como, Italy


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!
This building was actually in Lenno, before reaching the villa.



My brother and I enjoying the spectacular view.