Monday, March 29, 2010

A holiday...

If you look at my browser right now, you'll see around 39 tabs. This is mostly your fault. You who post about interesting links that I just have to check out, you who write a brilliant post that I read in Google Reader but that I then have to open in another tab to comment on, you who suggest that book or that movie that I need to go and read about. I also have interesting articles or ideas that I think may the basis for a good post here, my Flickr page, where I've been planning to add some photos for weeks... I think you get the idea.
For the most part, I love it, all these interesting ideas, things to read, things to watch, things to think about. I love the stimulation and the creativity. But at the moment, it's all becoming too much, there is too much going on, I can't focus and it's distracting me from other important things in my life.
So I've decided to take a break from it all. Blogging, Flickr, Google Reader... For the most part of April, I'll be on an Internet holiday. I wasn't going to have much time for it, anyway, as I have a busy week of work ahead of me, 10 days of holiday back in Spain (aka wedding planning madness!), and a lot to catch up on afterwards. I'm not making any rules, I may pop up from time to time, but I'm giving myself permission not to.
I'm not leaving by any means, I'll definitely be back in May. If everything else fails,  I'm planning a nice day with a friend at the beginning of May full of writing and photography that will surely get my blogging juices going. So I'll see you back here in May! Enjoy the beginning of Spring!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A (new) meaningful year

Do you remember back in January when I told you I intended for  2010 to be a meaningful year? Well, it hasn't really been working out.

My purpose this year was to find time to get to know myself and what I want. I wanted to make time saying no to some projects so I could concentrate on the ones that are really important to me. I needed to make time to spend with those I love. I needed to stop doing too much and do more of the things that really matter. Instead, the first three months of the year have gone in a blur of wedding planning madness and crazy work hours.

I always see the beginning of Spring as a new start though, and this year, Spring also gives me a second chance to make 2010 meaningful.  I'm concentrating on writing and journaling and on taking photographs that tell a story. I'm loving Susannah's series on How to fall in love with yourself and I'm following her advice. I'm going to take this course, The Handmade Writer,  to get me back into journaling and writing. Because writing is the one thing I always come back to, what I've always wanted to do, what I've always imagined myself doing. So I think it should be a big part of my new meaningful year. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

12 months of being 30: Our wedding, our way

* This post is part of my 12 months of being 30 project, an attempt to record what happens during my year of being 30 through my own collage, photography and words.

I promise I'm not turning my dear blog into a wedding blog, despite evidence to the contrary. I do think that the wedding planning needs to feature in my 12 months of being 30 posts, even though I'll be 31 when I get married (but let's not think about that). And what better day than today, exactly 6 months before I get married? On the 18th of September, I'll be marrying Jon. I can't wait! And not only because the planning will be over then! :)

I'm still having a hard time with the stress of wedding planning, and with the pressure to do things "the proper way" (whatever that means), but for this post, I'm focusing on those things that I'm enjoying. The best wedding advice I've got is to pick two or three things that are important to you and concentrate on those. One of the most important things to me is the fact that we're writing our own vows (something still pretty unusual in Spain), but apart from that, these are the things that I'm looking forward to:

  • The dress: Yes, I'm that shallow but I think I'm allowed. I'm incredibly excited about my dress. I found it in two days, after visiting two shops in my hometown of Salamanca. On my first visit, I tried on lots of different styles. I thought I had a clear idea of what I wanted, but when I tried on those floaty, understated dresses that I had envisioned, they seemed a bit... boring on me, so I changed my mind and chose something a bit more fun! I won't post a photo here, but let's just say that this was my inspiration:

  • The photos: We both decided not to have video, as we can't really see ourselves watching it much after the wedding (I think I'll bow to the pressure, though, and get a friend to record the ceremony, but I'm not paying for it to be done professionally). I do see myself looking at the photos in years to come and remembering the day, the details, the guests... so it was important to find a good photographer that understood what we wanted. The search for a photographer was stressful, specially because we had to do it all online, but we think we've found the perfect photographers and we're meeting them in a couple of weeks, when we go to Spain for Easter.

  • The stationary: Jon is a designer and it was important to him to design our invitations and make them fun! They're now ready and we're about to send them so when they've reached our guests, I'll show them to you.

  • That people have a good time: Let's be clear, we all know (even if we don't like saying it) that weddings can be incredibly boring... I know my guests will be happy for us, but I also want them to have a good time! My biggest fears are that our guests get bored or hungry during the evening!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Random favourite things

It still amazes me what an inspiring place the web is. After only an quick browsing of my favourite websites, I've found some very inspiring things for the weekend...

You know how much I love yellow!

I'm a bit tired with my winter wardrobe (and totally fed up with winter now!!) and can't wait for spring so I can wear pretty dresses...

Via Spool No 72

Ah, my favourite girl crush has done it again... Isn't Zooey Deschanel the cutest?

We've decided to go to Santorini for our honeymoon! I can't wait! Two weeks of doing nothing but being together.... In the meantime, I've been scouring the web for pretty photos of the place:

Friday, March 5, 2010

The perfect digital journal

I've been waiting for this all my life (at least all my online life!). The perfect mix of access to the online world with a traditional journal to sketch, write or store inspiration on.
It's so good, I'm finding it hard to believe that Microsoft would be able to pull it off, but if they do, I'm definitely getting one! iPad, what iPad? (Said by a self-confessed Apple girl!)
I'm seriously excited about the possibilities, watch the video and see for yourself!

Information and video via endgadget.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ice skating

With everything going on, I didn't have as much time as I'd wanted to watch the ice skating during the Winter Olympics. I did stay up until 3am on one of the nights I spent in Barcelona watching the ladies semi-finals, but that was it!
I have been trying to find things online and in the process I remembered what is probably my favourite ice skating couple ever! My sister and I watched them every time they were on TV, and trying to pronounce their names provided hours of fun (Ah, being young and silly!). I haven't been able to find many videos of them online. I guess they were around in the pre-Internet boom years (Remember those times?). I did find this short program that I love:

Now that I'm learning ice skating, I've been trying to look at their technique, their posture, their transitions... but I always end up forgetting about it and just enjoying how beautiful this sport is and how easy these two make it look...

PS. I'll be sending Thank you presents next Monday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Missing Spain...

I spent last week in Barcelona on a business trip. It was a week full of meetings, school visits, seminars and work dinners. Interesting, inspirational but truly exhausting.

As it sometimes happens (but not always!), I felt instantly at home and enjoyed every minute of it even though I was working most of the time.

The food, the sun and the people made up for the early starts and the intensive meetings. And how can you not love a city with a bicing scheme (Bici is bike in Spanish)?

I'm now back in Oxford, trying to remember why I live here and plotting how to take the boy (and the job!) to Spain. This will pass... it always does and I'll be happy once again to live in this wonderful city.

It'll take me a little bit to catch up on your blogs, but I'll get there! And the lovely people who are still waiting for my thank you gift, bear with me. I'll send them soon! :)