Paris for the Weekend :: TWO

Never in a million years would I ever have thought I would be sitting on a bed, in a hotel, in Guatemala at 7am blogging about a trip to Paris! But don't you just love how life is so strange that way?

On Sunday, after a trip to the Louvre to check out their Islamic wing, my mum and I made our way back up to the Sacré-Cœur to check out the views and have a small lunch before heading back to catch the Eurostar. We had a glass of wine and some escargots (which I'm trying really hard to teach myself to like, I really am) and some moules mariners which were delicious and I devoured in about five minutes flat. I ate so fast because they were so good, but also because I couldn't wait to have a crepe!

I always opt for the traditional lemon and sugar, and although I'm often tempted by the nutella and banana I just can't give up on an old favorite. It was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend spent with my mum, and we're already planning what to do the next time we visit.

Also, side note about Paris, they have the friendliest taxi drivers!! My mum has an injured foot so we took taxis pretty much everywhere and only once did we have a driver who wasn't chatty, the rest were only to happy to play tour guide. So there you have it, Paris by taxi is pretty fun.

I only just arrived in Guatemala last night and it was really late, so I can't tell you anything about my first impressions. We're in Antigua and I've heard it's beautiful so I'll share what I can as my work schedule allows. And I know it's a long shot, but I'm really crossing my fingers I get to see a sloth while I'm here!

Paris and sloths... I blame the jetlag.

Paris for the Weekend

Oh Paris, what am I going to do with you? Paris is one city that I just can't get my head around. Every time I go, and granted this is only my second visit, I feel like I'm not quite getting to grips with the place, like I'm just not doing it right.

I love it, I love the food and the character of the city, everything it has to offer from art to people watching - but I always leave feeling like I've just scratched the surface. Probably because I need to go and visit for longer than just a weekend. I'm not sure that's such a good idea though because I would probably end up eating all the cheese and all the bread, there would be nothing left for anyone else!

This time we didn't stay in an airbnb, we stayed in a hotel and it wasn't anything special so I won't link to it. Two places we did visit however, that I would absolutely reccommend, are the Place des Vosges, where we sat outside and had a lovely glass of wine and listened to a string quart playing in the background. We did a lot of shopping that day and frankly it was lovely just to put our feet up, have a drink and watch the world go by. The second place we visited for breakfast the next day was Les Deux Magots - a beautiful little cafe with delicious food and a wonderful history, some of its regulars included  Léger, Picasso, Hemmingway... you get the idea.

I have more to post on Paris, but I sure do hope you like travel posts because I have lots more in store over the next few months. This coming Tuesday I'm off again and I'm excited to share my adventures!

Just Catching Up

Sorry for the complete lack of posts this week! Things have got away from me a bit the past few weeks and I haven't had much time to sit down and write or take many pictures. But I have been active on Instagram - just posting every day life sort of stuff so if you're into that, then head on over and follow me there. All these photos are from my insta feed if they look familiar to you!

Adam did his back in last week and I have to tell you, it's hard taking care of everything! I mean, he couldn't even walk and was in so much pain he couldn't even stand up straight, so I had to walk Molly twice a day, waking up at 6am, and getting home from work by 5pm to walk her again, cooking dinner, doing laundry, cleaning, wedding admin, etc... I know this is normal life stuff but I've become so used to sharing it with Adam that I've lost the ability to do it on my own and not finish the day collapsed on the sofa in front of the TV. A bit sad, I know.

But I have taken up a new instagram challenge for this month, hosted by Rachel Brathen. It's a yoga and self-improvement challenge and I am determined to keep it up as I am normally so bad with these things.

So, life is moving along and there are a lot of exciting things coming up in the next few months that I can't wait to blog about. Hopefully I won't be so quiet in the coming weeks if I can just catch up on some sleep!

Learning Calligraphy with Quill and Imogen Owen

A few weeks ago I went to a calligraphy class with Catherine and Siobhan over in Angel. I excpected to learn a fancier way of writing, how to dip a pen in ink, and how to add a flourish to my signature - but I should have known there would be so much more to it than that. Calligraphy is all about pressure, technique and practice practice practice. 

The class was organised by Quill and taught by Imogen Owen - it was so well arranged, there were cakes and everything! We had a bit of instruction and then we worked with our practice sheets while Imogen came around and gave us tips. Although I quickly learned that I wasn't going to immediately be a brilliant calligrapher, I really enjoyed myself. 

I should really dedicate more time to practicing, and I have a stack of cards waiting to be written which I have been putting off for weeks until I am a pro. I really do apologise if I am really late on your birthday or congratulations card, but I promise it'll be worth it when it arrives, if not entirely legible.

If you get a chance, check out Quill's classes and see if you can grab a spot for yourself. It's so much fun and incredibly satisfying to learn a new skill.

Personality Begins Where Comparison Ends

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One of my photos from India.

Any creative field can be scattered with landmines. It doesn't matter where your passion lies, whether it's blogging or any other creative outlet, there will always be someone out there doing it better than you. That's the way our brains seem to be wired. Goodness only knows why, but even the most self-assured people trip over second guessing themselves.

It's such an awful feeling, don't you think? It's almost sickening how easy it is to kick yourself for not being good enough.

I had this horrible self-destructive moment the other day on a bus, and then I had a thought that made me feel instantly better. I decided to pour myself into what I love, and what brings me happiness. In my case it's my photography, I just love how it makes me feel when I go back and edit my travel photos from India or Japan. I love dreaming about the equipment I want to invest in, and the people I have yet to photograph. Thinking about potential trips and spending time remembering compliments people have paid me when they see my photos. No one can take photos like me, not because I'm the best of course, because no one sees the world the way I do - and the same goes for everyone.

When I get down about what I think I'm not doing good enough, I focus on what I think I am doing well and I fire myself up to put more effort and more passion into doing just that because it fills me up and makes me feel good. 

What do you do to pick yourself up when you aren't feeling good enough, and start comparing yourself to others?