Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Go outside before it is too late

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

Today's weather was a gift. I was indoors for most of it - but I did manage to look out the window where I was working in search of eagles.  As the days grow shorter and then evenings slightly oppressive, I'll take any chance to be outside and bask in the not so warm, yet still bright sun.

I'm trying to come up with a list of things to do to make my 2015 Fall and 2016 Winter evenings feel less than jail time and more like yard time. I'm not a big lover of nesting and making stews and ragouts. I hate coming home from work and staying indoors unless the dog needs a walk.  I'm going to make the effort to get out more.  I have class once a week and god knows, I'll likely be gone one day a week traveling, but it is the other five nights I would like to fill. Watching TV is not an option, I try and limit my weekday watching to the gym.

What are your coping mechanisms for the onset of the long nights?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why we can't have nice things

You know how we feel about twists. #coffeetalk @e_m_o_h @myrakohn

Espresso with a twist is definitely a nice thing and I have 78888 espresso cups that I could be using to make my own. Taken in January 2012 - New Orleans. 

I'm not talking about the usual response to things going wrong or getting broken that seems to elicit this response from the sarcastic me. I'm trying to turn it around and think of it this way - "Why do we  have nice things and why don't we use them" or better yet - "Is it possible to be gracious and accept a nice thing as a gift without getting all defensive and embarrassed and then dismissive because you can't just okay, thanks, bye."

Yup. That kind of nice thing.

I look around at the things I have left to shrivel and die in corners because they are too nice and I'm afraid that our lifestyle is too casual or I'm not pretty or special enough to carry something off. I let a beautiful silk nightdress sit for twenty years before I wore it. Today,  I looked longingly at a soup tureen TH gave me a million years ago that sits in a cabinet neglected instead of serving a lovely soup  to my friends and family because I'm afraid to use it because something may happen to it.

Who uses a soup tureen? I'm going to starting now.

Who wears beautiful silk to bed? Other than Rita Hayworth, I suppose I could/should.

Who should stop coveting and start using? All of us.  Things other than some wines don't really get better with time. I'm not getting all Kon-Mari on you and tell you to release your stuff, but maybe we should all release some of the fear and self-doubt that makes often makes it hard for us to enjoy what we have.

If you see me walking around in a beautiful silk robe carrying around a soup tureen, just smile and nod.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Missed day

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

I had promised to post each day, but yesterday got away from me. 

Today seems to be doing the same.

 Tomorrow should be better.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Packing is a big game of Tetris. This makes it so much easier when the Agriculture inspectors go through each item on your return to the States. 

At least my macarons arrived home safely.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

The little things

There is something decadent about taking a nap in the middle of the day, even if it means skipping lunch or more sightseeing. 

There will always be Paris.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Friday Wrap Up

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

Giverny - Check
La Defense/Grand Arche - Check
Parc Martin Luther King - Clichy/Batignolles - Check
Dinner at Coretta - Check
20k steps walked - Check

Thursday, September 03, 2015

New territory

Can't wait for sparklemotion #nmcdgsept15 #hyattlife @hyatt_etoile

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

I either have allergies or am coming down with the summer cold. This happened to me during Snowdrop Mania in February and I was not amused, but for the most part I soldiered on. I'm going to do the best I can tomorrow to get to Giverny . I have some ibuprofen  and what I believe to be an antihistamine, so down the hatch they go.

My goal this trip is to see four things I've never seen before (not in a particular order):

Vaux le Vicomte 
La Grande Arche
The new park for Clichy and Batignolles 
and if I'm lucky on my way home from Vaux on Saturday - I'll hit the small park near the Palais de Decouverte.

I try and plan and make sure I do things in the most efficient routing possible. I hate retracing my steps, so I make mental maps and then validate them on paper or on-line maps. I still get lost and sometimes things don't work out - delays happen, new and interesting things are discovered or you fall ill and decide that a day in bed is better than four hours on a bus.

I've got a few good decades left in me - most of these places have been around for a long time and are likely to be there next year and the year after.

Are you happy doing the same thing trip after trip or are you always looking for new things to do when you travel?

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Thinking about packing

This is one in a series of boring posts,  which I hope you will find helpful about how I pack for trips so that I'm ready for anything and nothing gets wasted.  First you need to think about your trip and I give you several questions to think about before you start the process.

I wish I could say I’m a packing pro, but I’m not.  My conferences and meetings do not happen in boardrooms or ballrooms. I don’t possess a navy or black suit with three contrasting silk shells. I’m more of a skirt and sweater girl, but even that can be pushing it depending on the meeting I’m attending.  I saw more cargo shorts and polo shirts at my last meeting than business casual attire.

These days I’m doing more leisure travel which can be even more vexing in terms of packing.  I’m not confident I’ve picked the right mix of clothing types.  Will I sweat through every t-shirt I bring and what happens if I get a blister and need to swap out shoes? What if I get cold or too hot?

The great thing is most of the places like I go are in the first world and thanks to globalization – I’m likely to be within spitting distance of a GAP, so I can replenish my wardrobe if necessary.  Better yet, I can subscribe to the weather alerts for the places I’m visiting to get a better idea of what to expect on the ground. 

So, here are my rules to pack efficiently for a trip to the first world.  It takes time and a few iterations to get it right, just like product/market fit.  My objective when it comes to packing is to make sure that everything I bring get used during the trip.

Before starting to pack ask yourself these questions:

What is your packing goal for this trip?
Are you checking luggage?
How are you traveling? Will you be moving around or staying in one place long enough to dry your smalls over night?
Are you participating in an activity that requires event-specific apparel and shoe wear?
Are you the kind of person that can eat a ripe peach wearing a white t-shirt and have it remain white?
Are you averse to washing out smalls in sinks if necessary?
Are you okay wearing the same shirt or pants two days in a row?
Are you comfortable relying on hotel bathroom amenities and leaving your own stuff at home?
Are you planning or willing to buy new clothes on your trip?
How much electronic/craft equipment will you be bringing along with you?

Once you answer those questions – you can start thinking of the most efficient way to pack for your trip so that you can feel confident in your choices and not get cranky when you find you packed five pairs of socks and no smalls.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The first of the month

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

Hello September!  I managed to post each day last month - even if it was a photo with some terse comment.  This month I plan to do better - really!

I'm looking forward to a long flight with a new tapestry and some Orphan Black - now available to download on your i-device or a-device as long as you are an Amazon Prime member. I'm not sure if it will work if you are overseas, but like with many things, VPN is a great solution.

I bought a new suitcase this week - my old girl had over a million miles on her and it was time to trade her for something a little sleeker. I'll give you a report soon. Everyone has their issues with their bags and packing. I seem to have a great way to pack but at the last minute, I start to panic. Mostly this revolves around accessories and shoes.  

No one cares, but I know that you do and you can make yourself crazy.

Off to change out purses again and look for a pair of shoes to go with my purse.