“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”    
                                 -Eleanor Roosevelt-

TAKING A YEAR OFF FROM SOCIAL MEDIAHappy beautiful Mid-August Sunny Sunday everyone!

I will dive straight into what has been on my mind for quite some time now.

It all began with MySpace. Ahhhhh… the early days of social media .. The never ending hours of searching for the cutest background to update your profile with. The MySpace frenzy ended a few years later. Then my relationship with Facebook began in 2009, and Instagram I think 2012. Deleted my FB I had for 8 years this year (downloaded all my photos), and opened another account couple months later just to keep up with local news and stuff going on back home on the East Coast. Created Twitter twice and deleted it. Opened snapchat for one hour and deleted my account. I know… I’m all over the place. Like really woman??! Make up your mind.

Anyways, I’ve already taken a Social Media sabbatical in March of 2017 – June 2017 for FB at least.

Social Media has been a blessing and a curse in many ways to day the least. As I’m sure it has been to many people.

But, the time has come for me to say goodbye to FB and Instagram for the next 365 days ( and Netflix). Or maybe forever. Who knows… Imma stick with one year for now. I will keep my two social media accounts open. I will not be logging in, replying to messages, any requests, and posting. If anyone needs to get a hold of me, you can get in touch with me through my CONTACT page via my blog.

These next 365 days I will be focusing on a few things and one of them being my blog/ writing and creating. I will be focusing on my mind, body and spirit and world in which I live in.

I could get into the many aspects, political and drama reasons as to way I am doing this, but I will not.

I want to live in the present, in the moment. This is all I have.

“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”  -Thich Nhat Hanh-

 

stumptown roasters espresso

 

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Asheville, NC

Every six months or so, I fly back East to Asheville, NC to visit my family and hometown.  This time it was for our third family reunion and my grandfather’s 80th birthday. The gathering consisted of about 60ish or so people. 11 aunts and uncles, and I think 27 cousins and a handful of great grandkids ? I don’t know… I’ve lost count.  I went on FB just to count them on the photo and gave up.

And EVERY time I haul with me my trusty digital Canon camera. I like it. I really do. But I feel as tho for the more this day and age get pulled into the digital era in this case photography, the more I take a step back to the past and desperately cling to the fading age of film photography.

I have not seen my love for taking pictures grow so crazily out of control as it did the moment I was gifted with a 1990’s Pentax film camera back in January of this year.

This time I could not wait to get back home from my trip and have this roll of film developed…

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This camera made me realize some things about life:

1. To slow down and cherish the simple things in life, the everyday moments.

2. Perfection for me does not exist anymore. I do not live to be a perfect human being in any areas of my life, I do not live to please and be perfect for others or get others approval.

And you know what I’ve realized? Life is freakin BEAUTIFUL- everyday simple moments are BEAUTIFUL. The flaws, mistakes, and when life seems out of focus are what make life beautiful.

I took a long detox and cleanse from social media for a while. And it’s been life changing.

This blog is my little corner of the internet where I have decided to share my angle of the world and life.

And I hope that in some sorta way it may inspire you to look at life through different eyes than you have before.

Here are some photos I took on my trip to the East Coast. Some of us cousins all gathered in the heart of Asheville’s Downtown Splashville and afterwards Marble Slab IceCream.

The kiddos even managed to maneuver their way into the local Fire Department.

Times like these in the photos you see made me pause and enjoy every single giggle, and cry and laughter these kiddos made.

Life is simple!!!

Happy Thursday Friends,

Lena

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Tea Time

It’s been way to long since my last post; seven months to be exact.  I will not be going into any specifics YET as to why I have been out for quite some time. All I will say is the break from social media, and  blogging has been much needed. I have 20 beautiful and peaceful minutes to write before I head to bed and get ready for work. I have so much catching up to do on the blog and oh the pictures I cannot wait to share with you all.

It’s a windy and chilly Sunday evening here in the heart of L.A. and I’m curled  up in my Ikea POÄNG armchair with my laptop.

I want to share with you two of my favorite moments from today.

1. Sunday Morning 7 a.m.- Our semi- vegan breakfast(updates and more on that later)… There is mayo on the toast and a bottle of honey so def not fully vegan. We’re still new at this and going through our last two jars of Trader Joe’s mayo and Avocado honey…Hubs and I cooked up a tasty breakfast completed with a pot of Jasmine Exquisite Flower ( Urth Caffe) green tea. We eat out on the patio every morning. There is no kitchen table in our apartment 🙂

 

Tea Time

2. Sunday evening 7 p.m.- Out on the patio. We close out the day with another pot of tea. This time Moroccan Mint ( Urth Caffe). Those are actual flowers in the tea. what??!! yes, mint tea. Hubs is buried deep into his books and computer across from me and I’m reading a new book A Paris Year and thinking about whether I should write a post today.

 

Tea Timetea time

And yes it happened. I did  it. I’m back after seven months. Lots has happened. More to come. I’m ready to keep on living and sharing life’s everyday beauty.

Wish you all a peaceful week.

Namaste,

Lena

“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be diminished by a nice cup of tea.”- Bernard Paul Heroux-

 

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Even thought we are two weeks into 2017, I still want to say Happy New Years to you all beautiful people!! For some a new year means a clean slate to start over, to let go of hurts, disappointments, and failures. For others it may mean starting of 2017 without a loved one and finding strength to get through the rest of your day. For many this year will bring many joys and celebrations.

I know for me 2017 will bring many positive and life changing decisions.

Couple weeks ago I saw a hummingbird flying around a blooming flower tree near my patio. And I stood their and watched for about ten seconds before it flew away. That little ten second moment got me to thinking about the past year. As I look back to 2016, I see most of it as a blur. Just as a mockingbird flies at incredibly fast speeds, and doesn’t stay in one place for a merely but what feel like seconds, that’s how I remember 2016 and frankly most of my life.

Most people say the older you get the faster life seems to pass you by. And up to that moment that was my life. When will it stop??! I want to be happy and enjoy living EVERY moment. Is this what the rest of my life is going to feel like? Busy, bustling, stressful days that turn into years and IF I hit retirement age that’s when I will start living and appreciating life? Am I the only one feeling like this? I’m twenty six, and I feel burned out and exhausted. And I’m tired of feeling this way. I don’t want life to just pass me by.

Not one of us is promised to be alive the next minute, hour, or day. That is what 2016 clearly showed me and others. Many will say “Ahhh, that’s the continuing circle of  life, we live we die”. But what about the moments in between?

This is where I’ve told myself ENOUGH. I will hit the slow down button. I choose for myself to slow down , be calm, relish the moments of everyday. That means when I’m drinking a cup of coffee, or brushing my teeth, or cooking dinner, I will be present in that moment. This is hard to do in the living in one of the world’s most busiest and crowded metropolitan cities. Especially when you are dealing with insane amounts of traffic on a daily basis, the  feeling of not having enough time in the day to do anything, and not your brain set in the the constant hurry, hurry, hurry mode.

That is why I’m saying this year will bring life changing decisions for me. Because I will start enjoying my work and career, I will be positive and happy about the traffic I have to endure and conquer on my way back from work. I will be enjoying studying, writing papers, and test taking days for a Bachelor’s Degree. And I will be enjoying EVERY moment I have with my husband.

This may be the most used and cliche phrase out there, but really I wish for not only this year but the rest of your life “stop and smell the roses”. Live in the present. Whether you are experiencing tragedy, new life, regrets, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or happiness, every aspect of life is beautiful.

As I wrap up this post, I’m excited to announce a new series I will be bringing to the the blog called “Moments in Between” celebrating and sharing times in life from a new perspective not only from my life but my readers lives:) . I hope you will join me.

I want to leave you with one of my most favorite quotes written by a poet, spiritual leader and peace activist

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”- Thich Nhat Hanh-

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Hi everyone and happy holidays!!!

I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday was tasty and enjoyable. For Hubby and I, Thanksgiving was wonderful and soooo yummy. I roasted a duck and Brussel sprouts for the first time:) Apart from cooking that day, I started working on a post and finally getting around to publishing it today.

Lately, or should I say the past half year, my creativity reserve has been slowly hitting rock bottom. Maybe it’s stress from work, anxiety, or depression or all combined, I don’t know. I do know this, I’ve missed writing and creating. I perused back to my first post on this blog and read it over and over. What the heck am I missing??!

I’m lacking emotion, inspiration, and the love for writing and sharing I had when my blog first went live. What has been an inspiration to me and has helped get my creative juices flowing is reading others blogs. These are the blogs I keep coming back to read every day, and the ones I look to for a spark of creativity, lifestyle advice, a bit of fashion, and a most of all their writing.  I’ve dubbed, what in my opinion seem to be the 9 inspirational and most beautiful lifestyle blogs of 2016. Each writer/blog has it’s unique voice/voices, styles, and delivers oodles amount of inspiration and beauty through their writing and photography.

 

Belong Magazine Blog

Belong Magazine IS a physical, hard copy blogger, media influencer, entrpreneurship magazine and their site/blog feels like community. They have contributors such as bloggers, diyers, photographers, writers, designers and many more creative people they contribute to the quarterly magazine issues. Each printed, and published hard copy of the magazine is gorgeous. It’s not only the visual aesthetics of this magazine and blog that make you keep coming back for more, but also the many beautifully written articles and pearls of wisdom each writer shares. Their blog and site are are full of ideas, inspiration, recipes, encouragement, business and social media advice and much more. I got the chance to meet the founder and editor, Brooke Saxon-Spencer, of Belong Mag at at blogging conference back in May of year, and let me tell you… Brooke puts her sweat, tears, all her love and energy into her work.

Reading My Tea Leaves 

Reading My Tea Leaves …that one blog I wish I had known about YEARS ago. It’s been around for a while. Erin lives a a simple lifestyle. That is what her blog is based on”a practical and purposeful approach to a simple sustainable lifestyle”-Erin Boyle. I enjoy reading her series My Week in Objects. She finds joy and pleasure in life’s little things. She and her family life a a NY 500sq ft apartment!! Talk about wow!! Her blog and writing has this calm, uncluttered, homey feel to it that makes you coming back for more.

 

Blare June

Blare June is beauty, empowerment, style, positivity, and epitome of success all wrapped into one. She is a full-time psychiatrist doctor in training and there are not many healthcare professional lifestyle bloggers out there. That was one of the reasons I started following her beginning of this year and also because of her pretty  pretty photos:) And after I looked around the site a bit and read a few posts, I was hooked. She focuses a good part of her blog to mental health, but also mixes in a bit of fashion and lifestyle in between.

 

the Freckled Fox Blog

The Freckled Fox

Emily Meyers of the Freckled Fox… I cannot begin to tell you how much her life story has not only affected me but also many others around the entire globe. I check her blog daily for her life updates and wait in anticipation for the next chapters of her and her family’s life. Every post she writes … raw, emotional, and beautiful heart tugging life moments and struggles she goes though. Her story is simply beautiful. She is an inspiration and a pillar of positivity to many women out in the world. To hear more of her story visit Marvelous Moms to listen to a podcast by Emily Meyers on Faith Hope and Freckles.

 

Inspirational Indulgence

Chelsea!!!! Gahhhh!! I love this girl… She writes with passion, and her blog Inspirational Indulgence is full of SO MUCH encouragement, inspiring articles and really cute outfits. She motivates and inspires you to live better. She puts so much hard work into her blog and on top of it all she is about to finish up her masters degree in counseling. AND she’s working on a book.  I’ve been following Chelsea’s blog since the first couple of posts. She writes with confidence, power and fearlessness.

Zoe London Blog

Zoe London

Zoe is a blogger from London. I began reading her blog for a couple of years ago. What really intrigued me about her blog was the beautiful photography and all the traveling she did!!! Oh and if you plan on going to London one day, definitely check out her many posts and recommendations of places to eat and visit. But I keep coming back for more because of her writing. My favorite post she wrote was God Knows I Triedin regards too how blogging is slowly fading away and how blogging has changed. Zoe talks about life in London, and the struggle it is to make it asa full-time blogger. I hope to meet her in the near future as she travels again to Los Angeles:)

 

Me and Orla blog

Me & Orla

Me & Orla is a blog based out of London. It’s about the adventures of a mother journeying her way through motherhood and recording those special moments. Sara also devotes a major part of her blog to sharing tips about Instagram, all sorts of hashtag challenges, and tons of photography knowledge. I cannot get enough of her photos!! Her blog carries this sense of the London country-side charm and enchantment you see in movies and photos.

a pair and a spare blog

A Pair & A Spare

This is my go to DIY blog. Geneva creates some beautiful projects along with really pretty photos and step by step instructions. It is thanks to her I decorated my apartment with lots of green plants. Her blog is full of all sorts of ideas/decor for the home and office. Plus she has a youtube channel that entails many of her projects and creations. Geneva is also the creator of the one and only The Simple Sandal, cute, and simple leather sandals that would go with any outfit. In between her DIY projects she also blogs about her home, food, travel and beauty.

the skinny confidential blog

The Skinny Confidential

Lauryn Evarts has been my favorite blogger since I’ve dived into the world of social media and blogging. She built and created The Skinny Confidential Brand from the ground up. Her brand has now expanded in a book, podcasts, and SO MUCH content on healthy eating, exercise, fashion, home decor, beauty and wellness. She talks real life. No sugar coating on her writing. I often listen to her and her hubby’s live podcasts. Lauryn also designed her whole website. Her blog screams chic, fabulous, and confidence. Lauryn also gives many tips on blogging full-time, and how she got to where she is today.

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Welcome to my blog! I'm Lena-a nurse by day, lover of nature, yoga pants, tea and coffee in between. This is a place where I document life's moments, along with adventures/travel and little bits and pieces of practical simple living. I'm Thank you for stopping by <3

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