A little bit of Paris in Dublin!

IMG_1653Today it was late afternoon and I was looking for a place to take a break, rest my feet and get some tea. I looked across the street and felt like I was in Paris when I saw “Le Petit Parisien.” You know a place is good when you walk in and it is vey crowded.

They had different desserts to choose from, I chose a lemon meringue. Here is what arrived, lovely and delicious. I’ll have to ask my Seattle Blogger friend, “Travel-Gourmand,” how this bakery compares to her write up on Seattle Bakeries. If you are headed to Seattle, you’ll want to see her post, “Seattle Bakery Recommendations.”

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An Irish fellow Blogger (Hope I can find her name and thank her.) recommended I try a place called, “Queen of Tarts.” I tried to go there, but it was raining and people had taken shelter inside… good plan!

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There are a lot of wonderful cafes/bakeries to go to.

Makes me wonder, if there is ONE FOODIE BLOGGER out there who has focused on visiting/writing about different cafes around the world. I’d love to see a Blog focused on that.

Anyone have cafe recommendations for Vienna? It’s on my Bucket List.

By the way, I looked up “cafe” to see if it had to have an accent or not. Sounds like BOTH work. What does the Chicago Manual of Style say?

Now, how do I find that specific cafe Blogger? Does this Blogger exist?

 

 

Back in Ireland… Keep your rosary handy when crossing the street.

FullSizeRender 2I’m back in Dublin and I am THANKFUL for these messages painted on the cross walks. I almost got hit by a car. I forgot they drive on the LEFT side (wrong side) of the road! Or like a funny Pub goer said, “Depending on how many beers someone has they might drive on any side of the road.”

As you can see, they must have had this issue in the past with foreigners crossing when they shouldn’t, because they CLEARLY write, “Look LEFT” or “Look RIGHT.” This is full proof. Thank goodness!

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My daughter has been living in Ireland for 4 years, so she’s an expert at walking fast and just crossing at a moments notice. I find it amusing when she reaches the other side of the street and looks back at me with the expression of, “Mama, WHAT are you doing over there?”

THEN, like a true Italian, I give her a frustrated look while I move my hands pointing to this huge commuter train that could have smooshed me and that I was “trying” to STAY ALIVE! We both chuckle at that!

On a lighter note, here is a map of the main part of Dublin. I think you can probably enlarge it. Then you will see that I was exploring the Trinity College area.

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IMG_4415I was looking into taking the “Hop On, Hop Off” tour bus. As I was doing this, I heard Italians speaking. There was a big group of them. Made me think of my Mom. They told me they were from Milan.

Which reminds me. When I was at the airport there was a Spanish speaking woman in front of me. It didn’t look like she had flown before, because she asked me “in Spanish,” if I could help her. I spoke to her in Italian (some words are similar) and moved my hands to show her that she needed to take her shoes off, throw water bottle away, put her purse in her main bag, etc. She was sweet and hugged me. It is a bit stressful, even if we are a seasoned traveler, because we are trying to get through the x-ray machine at the same time our carry on comes out.

It feels good to help someone! That good feeling stays with us for a couple of days!

The week is not over… SHARE YOUR STORY of helping someone!

 

Enjoying nature, finding love…

IMG_0885Isn’t there that saying that “you never know what you might find?” Well, I can say it is TRUE. I was walking on the beach with the goal of getting exercise. There weren’t many stones or shells, so I was walking at a good pace.

Suddenly, I reached an area full of rocks, shells, wood and so on. Having to walk slower, I decided to look at the rocks to see if there was anything interesting. As a child, we were always collecting Indian beads. The goal was to find Indian beads with holes in them, so we could make a necklace. As you can see from the rock photo, we really had to “search” to find just “one” Indian bead, but it was FUN!

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Feeling like a kid again, I started my hunt for an Indian bead. LOW AND BEHOLD, I looked down and saw this piece of glass in the shape of a HEART. I picked it up and turned it in different directions, verifying that my eyes were not deceiving me and SMILED. Yes, it was indeed the shape of a heart!

What a special find!

So, when I say, “finding LOVE,” it felt that way. My “own heart” grew 100 times at that moment. A reminder to appreciate life and that love is around us.

Moral of the story… go out, take a moment to really enjoy nature AND feel like a kid again! You might find your special heart too!

Great post on removing friction! Go for the GOLD!

IMG_1601We’ve all been there, we are trying to make progress on our goals, but we feel there is too much “friction” around us. I’ve been feeling that way, I even looked outside last night to see if there was a Full Moon going on. I noticed the days are getting shorter already, summer is almost over. BUT Fall means we are in the “home stretch.” The count down to December 31 is approaching. WHAT will I still accomplish in 2017?

As I was focusing on this BIG question, I saw an email come in from a fellow Blogger named, “Tynan,” writing about “Removing Friction.” I’ve been following him for a few years. His message today was right on target, he talked about getting rid of FRICTION. There MUST be a full moon, you see he was feeling “angst” too!

He’s a goal oriented guy, always trying to improve his life or situation. I was raised that way too, so I appreciate his message today. Read it, feel encouraged!

He doesn’t tell us anything we don’t know. The reason the message was motivating to me was because I am on a similar path of getting rid of “friction” in my life, so I can BETTER focus on important goals.

Friction = Fears

Get rid of fears, get rid of friction.

My Dad had no time for fears. As soon as they crop up, deal with them he would say! It’s your life, if you want to cry in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, so be it. You are a grown up, I’m not here to coddle you. You are the ONLY one to change your life!

Fears are anything that hold us back. Like Tynan says in his post, it can be as simple as buying a new set of pliers to get a job done, organizing our files, cleaning out clutter, creating a spread sheet, hanging those curtains, negotiating a new phone plan, etc. Make a list of ALL the things you have been avoiding, and tackle each one head on!

Let’s have a goal… by Monday ALL frictions are removed!

Like this guy on his motorcycle taking that tight corner, we are going to tackle our fears “head on!”

We’ve GOT THIS!  We are “In the RACE to WIN it.” We are going for the GOLD, not Silver or Bronze — GOLD, we are Olympians!

Post your goal below… THINK of December 31… and THEN own it!

Let’s see who gets to the FINISH line first!

 

Mom and her tea cups…

IMG_0531One year my family was in Florida. I was in 7th grade. My mother loved to go to flea markets. We were looking around and suddenly my mother came upon a complete tea set, similar to the one photographed here. It was white with little pink roses on it. She was determined to have it! We brought it home and from that day on, it became a fun game to say, “Is it time for chai?” Amazing how excited we got for “tea time.” I think it was the “ritual of it.”

With four kids in the family, we each had a job. One person would put the kettle on, the other person would get the tea pot and put the tea leaves in it, the next person would get the tea cups out of the cupboard with the sugar and creamer… and don’t forget the spoons and some cookies if we had any. It was a TEAM EFFORT! We would normally sit and watch a British show that my mother got from the library and for that next hour we “felt British!”

Fast forward, 25 years and now most of the tea cups have broken, but there are a few survivors. Now there are grandchildren who have been learning about “tea time,” which is wonderful.

Not long ago, I had a LUCKY find. I was at an antique shop and I couldn’t believe it. I found this beautiful “in tact” tea set. I was very excited! Best part, it only cost me $25. They told me it was “spin the wheel day.” I spinned this wheel and received a 15% discount. That made this purchase even “more fun!”

So, “tea time” continues on… now, we need to find a good British show.

What family story do you have to share? Don’t be shy.

Fortune Cookie Writer Retires After 30 Years Due to Writer’s Block

IMG_1588See this fortune cookie?! That is how writer’s block looks to a fortune cookie writer.

Donald Lau, CFO at Wonton Food, Inc. has been the writer behind ALL those fortune cookies we read after our Chinese meals. Can you imagine, 30 years of creatively writing 100 fortunes a year? That is a big job! I commend him for writing this long. We all know that “writer’s block” is terrible.

Mr. Lau hired his replacement, a fellow by the name of James Wong, 43 years old. It’s good that Wong is young, if he follows in Mr. Lau’s footsteps, he could be writing fortunes well into his 70s.

Did you know that Wonton Food, Inc. is the largest manufacturer of fortune cookies in the United States? They have operations in New York, Texas and Tennessee.

Since reading this story, I have a better appreciation for fortune writing.

Here is one message that I saved. It was a good one.

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How about YOU, do you have a special fortune you saved?

Curious to know… WHAT was YOUR FORTUNE?

 

Summer camp… fun or horrible??

Boy embarrassed camp siteI’ve been listening to parents say they are sending their kids to summer camp. Some kids are excited and others reminded me of myself (WHY do I have to go???).

Here’s a funny story from one camp I went to.

Upon arrival, we were greeted and toured the camp. That night after dinner we were told how FUN our experience would be. We sang some “rah, rah” songs to build team spirit and then the Camp Counselor explained that every day we needed to check the board to see what our camp duties were. Taking care of the “camp site” was part of team building.

Inevitably, we all got KP Duty (Kitchen Patrol). That meant we were responsible for serving campers their food, cleaning the tables, taking the dishes/glasses to be cleaned, stacking chairs on top of tables, sweeping, etc. Anything to do with preparing and cleaning the dining hall, so it was left in “pristine” condition for the next meal.

I think we KNOW that when counselors say camp is going to be FUN, that is a code word for “be prepared” for “anything and everything” to possibly happen – good or bad!

My first night there I was on KP Duty. Everything was going fine when loud thunder struck. I heard banging on the tables, loud singing and a camper looking embarrassed and running around one of the tables. This was horrible, WHAT was going on?!

An older camper explained. The camp leaders had a song they would sing if they caught you eating with your ELBOWS on the table. BAD NEWS if that happened. A camper would be “innocently” eating their hot dog when suddenly at the top of their lungs, the camp leaders would point to the camper who had their elbows on the table and start singing this song:

“Elbows, elbows on the table, this is not a horses stable, but a first class dining table!”

(ROUND the table you must go, you must go, you must go, round the table you must go, YOU WERE NAUGHTY!)

As the poor camper was running around the table and being humiliated, the ENTIRE group of campers would be clapping, singing and poking at the camper.

This was considered, “FUN.”

Did I put my elbows on the table… by accident, YES! Did I suffer humiliation, YES!  Did I enjoy going to the cafeteria, NO! But admittedly, it sure did cure all of us from putting our elbows on the table, because we were too busy trying to catch some else at it.

AND to this day, I still remember the words to that song!

Summer camp — NOT FOR ME!

Come on… I KNOW you’ve got a story to share… the COMMENT section is waiting for you!

Let’s all have a laugh!