Music with heart: an interview with Emaline Delapaix & free downloads!

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If you’ve not yet been introduced, I would love to introduce you to Emaline Delapaix. She is a Berlin based, Australian, singer-songwriter with a soothing, beautiful voice and an equally beautiful conscience.

Emaline suffered with depression until she became a full-time musician and vegan a few years ago. She loves animals and promotes veganism through her work. She even gives a small percentage of her CD sales to local animal charities! Emaline is a completely independent artist who books her own shows and she’s taught herself to play piano, acoustic guitar and the baby celtic harp.

She lives with her Canadian rescue cat Reece who she considers her best friend and says is “big and red and resembles Garfield and we’ve been together for 8 1/2 years living in Canada and Germany.” She begins each morning with a raw smoothie and she sprouts and has a small indoor/outdoor veggie/herb garden in the warmer months.

Emaline contacted me a while back and offered to give away free downloads of her EP ‘Between Breeding Seasons’ to five of my readers! At the time, I was swamped with uni and wasn’t posting on here too much, but now that I’m back and my lovely readers are back (thank you :) ), it is time!

If you’d like to get Emaline Delapaix’s free music download, please let me know in the comments below (just write something like “I’d love a free download, please!”) and I’ll choose the winners (not sure how yet, might just end up pulling names out of a hat) and let the winners know by email within about a week or so. In the meantime, please check out this interview I had with the lovely Emaline below.

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musicnote What inspired you to start creating your own music?

Since I was a small child I knew I would sing and creating music just seemed to come naturally from that, from humming tunes and eventually making songs up on anything I could get my hands on. Music has also been a kind of therapy to me. I was ill recently and couldn’t sing for around a month and found myself becoming a bit depressed when I couldn’t sing along to songs. I found this very surprising and it just confirmed my belief that music heals and comforts in times of need.

heart When and why did you become a vegan?

I’ve been vegetarian since 2004 and thought about doing it for years but simply wasn’t awake yet. I became vegan in 2010 but fell off the wagon back to vegetarianism until 2011 when I went back and that’s where I am staying. I do not want to contribute to the suffering of animals, it’s as simple as that.

heart Why, as a musician, have you chosen to be so outspoken about your veganism? Why do you incorporate it into your image?

Everything I do/say/sing about in my music is part of me and Veganism is part of who I am and how I choose to live my life. If I can educate someone about the reality behind consuming animal products and the cruelty involved so they may think twice than why not? This is the least I can do as far as I am concerned if I have an audience there open to my ideas and thoughts. I am also open about my struggle with depression as well as my love of travel. These are parts of me that I want to share with people.

musicnote How would you describe your music?

Real, honest, hopeful yet sometimes dark but still comforting songs for piano, acoustic guitar and celtic harp.

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You can listen to Emaline’s music at Bandcamp, check out her Facebook music page, her Twitter, and her website.

(Original images of Emaline by Binne Gestaltung)

Random dreams, beautiful blooms & entwining them into daily life

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When I was a little girl, I went to visit my grandparents in Poland and one of my grandma’s had a house in the countryside. Past the house, the farm and the stables, she had an amazing, huge wild flower garden. It made a lasting impression on me and I’m sure it’s had a huge impact on my desire to one day have a similar garden of my own.

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I love flowers so much. There’s just something about them. I’m fascinated by them. I have so many possible careers that I would be happy with. Some follow the line and are obvious based on my degree choice or my writing background, but others are more random, like the idea of working in a flower shop. Can you imagine going to work every day, surrounded by one of the world’s most gorgeous and natural creations?

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Either way, if I ever get a job like that or not, I know that one day I will be a gardener of my very own flower garden. For now, I can wish and dream and make do with little pots of plants on my window sill and enjoying other’s gardens.

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Do you have any random dream jobs like this stored away in the back of your mind that you’re reminded of every once in a while? Do you make do by having bits of that dream in your life here and there? I’d love to hear about them!

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I was away for a little while and I came back to these beauties blooming all around. Spring is in full swing here in Switzerland and I wanted to share a little of it with you. If only I could share the beautiful scents with you, too!

P.S. Tulips are one of my absolute favorite flowers! What are yours?
P.P.S. Happy Earth Day :)

Help put an end to the Cove’s dolphin slaughter

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When I first heard about the Cove a few years ago, I could hardly believe it. Dolphins are one of the most loved animals in the world, how are so many of them (around 20,000) getting captured and brutally killed every year?!

For those of you who have been visiting FLC for some time now, you know I don’t support the harm of any animal and oftentimes find myself wondering how we brought our world to this point. Having said that, we can make a difference.

I hear people say that “petitions don’t make a difference”, but having been signing petitions for so many years, I know that that is simply not true. You can take a quick look at my victory tagged posts to see for yourself.

Please join me in signing this petition to President Obama, Vice President Biden and Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to the United States asking them to help stop the slaughter in Taiji, Japan. The main reasons for the Cove are to collect dolphins for the entertainment industry as well as for the meat industry (often mislabeled and full of toxic mercury).

They need 1,000,000 signatures by April! Please sign and share to help them reach their goal and help finally put an end to this slaughter. It only takes a few seconds, but can make a huge difference. Thank you so much!

(Original image from takepart)

Optimism is the key

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“In my ninety-plus years, I have learned a secret. I have learned that when good men and good women face challenges with optimism, things will always work out! Truly, things always work out! Despite how difficult circumstances may look at the moment, those who have faith and move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley

There are times in life that it’s really easy to get discouraged and find yourself in a funk that’s hard to get out of. Lately, I’ve been finding myself in this funk off-and-on quite a bit with a variety of different topics.

With lots of trial and error, mostly throughout the years, I’ve finally come to the same conclusion as the one in this quote.

Optimism is the key! No matter what life presents to you, optimism makes it so much more bearable.

I have a few phrases that help me get through the rough days and one of them is “worry causes reason to worry”. Worrying does nothing good, whatsoever, so why bother with it? Our thoughts are very powerful, why risk the chance of making your worries turn into your reality?

I’ve found that not only does being optimistic lead to good outcomes, but it leads to better outcomes than when I worry or am aloof about something.

Plus, being pessimistic makes people seem so negative so it affects all those around us and brings them down, too. I believe that being optimistic allows you to be more you. Optimism allows you to relax and trust and let go of that fear of what will come.

I’m sharing this with all of you today because I wish I’d realized this a long time ago (although I’m really glad it didn’t take me 90 years!). Life would have been so much easier! Sure, I slip up and let pessimism cloud my thoughts, but then I remember that being pessimistic just adds to all the negativity that is already in this world and which is oftentimes what brings me down in the first place! Why be part of the problem when it just takes a change of mind to be part of the solution?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Did you realize that optimism is one of the very important keys to happiness a long time ago? Did you have an epiphany or did you gradually realize? Have you tried being optimistic and not had positive outcomes? Let’s start a discussion in the comments below!

(Image clickable to source Mormon Modern, found at The Look-Up Collection)

Finding gratitude in this new year

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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

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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.
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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

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

Read more »

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!