Lake Superior, MN

In the Blink of an Eye

“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time”. – Steve Jobs

Time seems to go by in the blink of an eye. It seems like just yesterday I was a child playing in the sun. The next blink I was graduating high school and off to college. Another blink I landed my first job, and then was married, had children and turned 43. It took a whirlwind weekend in New York to realize how insanely fast life is going and how time never seems to slow down.

I was out dancing with some of my dearest friends from the social good blogging world to Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and it struck me how long it had been since I’d heard that song and furthermore how much longer it had been since I let go and danced. It frightened me.

Lake Superior, MN

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Vanoise National Park, France

Behind the Scene: A Virtual Blog Tour

Jaime Perez of My Travelouge kindly nominated me to participate in a virtual blog tour. The challenge asks that I give readers an inside peak at my blog through the framework of answering four questions. What is my workflow process? What am I working on? How does my work differ from others of its genre? Why do I write and create what I do? I thought it was an interesting challenge that would force me to reflect on my blogging and also gain insight into how other bloggers I enjoy reading create and sculpt their blogs.

Workflow

For me, the first thing I need is inspiration. An idea. Something that makes me want to drop everything and write. Since I am a travel blogger, I usually try to organize my blog around an event or a trip. In fact, the concept of thirdeyemom all began because of a memorable trip: My hike along the Annapurna trail in Nepal in 2010. If I am not writing on a specific place, I look for inspiration and ideas through reading books, current events, photo challenges and social good campaigns. For the most part, my blog is organized around series of stories about trips I’ve made and how these experiences have impacted my life.

During a trip, I take tons of notes documenting my journey and snap as many photos as possible. I also research a destination before, during and after my trip by reading travel books, non-fiction and fiction books on the place, and I also search the internet for missing information. I soak up as much as I possibly can while I’m there and then wait until I return home to begin blogging. The most recent series I’ve written on include Ethiopia and Cuba.

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brilliant yellow flower

Searching for color in a colorless sky

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky”.- Rabindranath Tagore

It has been one of the coldest January’s on record and we have been housebound again. As I look outside my windows at the pure white snow, I long for color. I dream of spring when the world comes to life again and the earth is reminding us of the beauty of life. The virgin green foliage, the violet lilacs, the buttery yellow daffodils. I know, I’m dreaming as spring is still a long ways away. So instead, I thought I’d create some color to inspire my mind and bring you some life.

brilliant yellow flower

White tropical flower

Although I’m tired of white, I can never tire of a beautiful white flower like this one in Honduras.

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Iceland waterfall

Mantra: Never ever give up

I started the practice of yoga this week and am realizing how much I need this right now in my life to balance my body, heart and soul. Today I’m dedicating my mantra to someone I love very much. My mantra is to never ever give up.

Iceland waterfall

When life kicks and breaks us down, fight back and stay strong. The mind is a powerful thing. It is up to you to decide each and every day whether or not it will make or break you. Stay strong.

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“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”. – Alice Walker

Iceland

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Lake Harriet Minneapolis Minnesota

A Glorious Fall Day in Minneapolis

Today is a glorious picture perfect day in Minneapolis. A day that makes me feel incredibly happy to be alive, breathing in the fresh crisp fall air and marveling at the gorgeous display of Mother Nature’s brilliant fall beauty.

I took a run around my lovely urban Lake Harriet, reflecting on what is on my agenda for the week. I couldn’t stop taking pictures along the way. It was so heartwarmingly beautiful that all my worries and concerns drifted away. That is what nature is supposed to do. To refresh, revitalize and invigorate you. My dad has passed on his love for nature and being outside to me. In honor of his birthday, here is a collection of photos taken today on my run. October 7th always marks the peak of our fall colors in Minneapolis. I can’t think of a better birthday gift than the beauty of nature.

“Happiness is largely an attitude of mind, of viewing life from the right angle” – Dale Carnegie

Lake Harriet Minneapolis Minnesota

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Tucson Arizona Sunset Cactus

The Power of Being Positive

The last two weeks have been extremely difficult. I found myself last Monday on an unexpected trip to address some very personal family matters. Throughout it all- the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs – I remembered one eternal thing: The power of being positive and how being positive impacts your life. How you view what comes your way can make or break you.

No matter how hard life slams you down against the ground, you’ve got to fight back. Life is all a matter of how you deal with the cards you’ve been dealt. Of course it is excruciatingly hard to remain positive when everything turns dark but I’ve learned throughout my forty plus years on this earth that you must. The power of being positive is the only power you’ve got against uncertainty and things you cannot change.

The most important thing I’ve tried to hold onto with all my might is the realization that no matter what —-you must never ever give up. The power of being positive will get you through anything and everything. No matter how hard life beats you up and knocks you numb to the ground. You’ve got to believe.

Arizona Sunset

“Seeds of faith are always within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth.” – Susan Taylor

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Inspiration

“It is impossible to live without failing at something – unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default”. – J.K. Rowling

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This week has been a bit hairy so I thought I’d post some of my favorite photos of mountains I’ve hiked as they always calm my soul. Photos above from France, Nepal and Guatemala. This fall, I will be adding Bolivia to my list of great hikes. 

Stay tuned…

Adventure Travel France Guatemala Nepal TRAVEL BY REGION Trekking/Hiking

Moonlighting at Moonlight Basin

Author’s note: This is my last post on our recent family vacation to Big Sky, Montana. To see other posts on Montana, click here

Mid-week during our ski trip to Montana we opted to try out neighboring Moonlight Basin ski resort. Known as Big Sky’s little sister, Moonlight Basin is smaller, cheaper and humbler yet in my opinion equally if not more beautiful and pristine. We spent a wonderful day skiing there with our dear friends who joined us on the trip. Two families, with two kids each, the same exact age. It was a wonderful day like all the rest.

The day started out iffy. Weather was moving in and it was expected to rain. But we couldn’t complain as the last five days of our trip in Montana had been absolutely spectacular with perhaps the bluest sky I’d ever seen. If all else fails, perhaps we’d have to get a day pass and hang out in Moonlight Basin’s magical, misty pool, slope – side.

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Home in the mountains

Yesterday we left for a long awaited vacation and I can’t tell you how incredibly ready I was to get out of town. The last few weeks have been a bit difficult especially given our recent family stint with the stomach flu. Spring has not even attempted to visit and the weather has been unseasonably cold. All in all, my spirits were sinking and it was time to leave.

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Adventure Travel Montana

A visual feast at Macy’s Painted Garden

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 9.41.47 AMThis year’s Macy’s Flower Show is a definite stunner to the senses. The theme is The Painted Garden and is inspired by the colorful, brilliant flowers, jewels and market hues of India and Southern Asia. For most Minnesotans like myself, who are literally starved of color right now, the rainbow hues of the Painted Garden offer a visual feast to our hungry eyes.

As you walk through the room, all at once you are at peace as you smell the fragrance of a thousand flowers. Gentle background music lightly hums in your ears, and the room is an elaborate display of colors ranging from a magnificent variety of tropical flowers to the brightly colored hanging umbrellas and gorgeous paintings along the walls.

I still can’t decide what my favorite flower or work of art is at the Painted Garden. But I’d have to vote either for the centerpiece of the show, the elaborate, exotic elephant sculpture which proudly wears a blanket made of 20 different species of dried and fresh plant material or the insanely surreal Phalaenopsis Blue Orchids which are out of this world.

Come, take a look for yourself at some of the gorgeous flowers that paint the 8th floor of Macy’s department store in downtown Minneapolis. You will not leave this post disappointed!

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The Joy of Spring Flowers

“That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind”. – William Wordsworth

Spring time is still a ways off here in Minnesota where the landscape is still blanketed in snow. Depending on the year Spring can begin anywhere in early to mid April and usually is a confusing time of year when we can see literally four seasons in a week. It can one moment snow and a couple days later be shorts and t-shirt weather.

Minnesotans are hearty people, me included. You have to be in order to live in this kind of climate. You must embrace the bitter cold days of winter and cherish the hot and sticky dog days of summer. Otherwise it would be best to pack up your bags and leave now.

In honor of Jakesprinter’s Sunday Theme: Arrangement, I thought I’d bring you a sneak preview of spring flowers. In all their delicacy, beauty and vivid colors, they are bound to bring a smile on a cold winter day. Also in celebration of this month’s focus on phoneography, all these photos below were taken with my iPhone in Colonial Williamsburg last April. I do of course have many pictures of spring flowers in Minnesota but for some reason these photos are special to me as they were the first flowers of Spring I captured last year. Spring comes quite a bit earlier in Virginia! Enjoy!

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world”. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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What could be more beautiful than spring flowers? Spring….I can hardly wait! 

To see more interpretations of the theme “Arrangement” click here

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