Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's the Little Things

Thank you to those who gave such wonderful, heartfelt messages of support yesterday! The little speedbumps I've been encountering are nothing in comparison to what a lot of people must face through every day...thank you for your words of encouragement :) It's also a breath of fresh air to be able to identify with other people on so many things.

In the spirit of today's sunny skies and a sunnier disposition, here's something to keep you going until summer! I have no idea who these people are, but don't they look like they're having a relaxing, care-free day?

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A Tip for You (and me): Be sure to give yourself a "personal day" sometime this coming month. Don't waste those sick days! Mental health is just as important as physical health. Get some fresh air, make yourself a homemade meal, sit down outside a cafe with some coffee and a good book, and let the day pass splendidly.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting Through

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As much as I love to see the beautiful and positive things in life, sometimes, it can get tough. Money can become tight and responsibilities can pile up fast. I'm currently beginning prerequisite classes so that I can apply to nursing school in the Fall (gulp!). Along with the doggy and a full-time job, life is becoming pretty hectic.

However, one thing I'm always sure to remind myself is that no one gets anywhere without hitting a rough patch here or there. My parents got married with hardly any money while they both worked full-time in order to make ends meet. When I remember stories like that of people who persevere through the hard stuff and come out so gracefully on the other side, it gets my blood pumping and tells me that nothing is impossible if you work hard enough. Therefore, I am going to hang on for dear life and work my hardest at whatever comes my way! Wish me luck!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Friday...Sunshine to Come!

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It's a bit of a dull, rainy Friday here in Baltimore...but this weekend is supposed to perk up! Salman and I are making our traditional Saturday morning walk to the farmer's market tomorrow, where I plan on buying a nice big block of sharp cheddar cheese and some fresh pastries. (Sometimes, it's okay to eat to your heart's content when you're buying local. That way, the guilt just cancels itself out!)

A Friday Find

Thanks to Postgrad Haircut's post today, I've started gushing over the perfect "hold-all" bag by the Etsy store Rennes le Chateau. The light, distressed brown leather is perfect for spring. There's a little sidepocket inside to store your knick-knacks (lip gloss, keys) and will most likely fit all those free magazines and newspapers you pick up throughout the day...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Brooklyn (Apartment) Beat

Brooklyn strikes me as quirky with a sense of class. It's like a young adult coming into their own. Take a look at these images from today's NYTimes slideshow and don't tell me you disagree...

I love the earthy tones and simplistic nature of these rooms. There's not a lot of distractions. Very simple.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Could Use a Cup

It's another rainy day in Baltimore (cue Counting Crows song) and I'm daydreaming about the perfect cup of steamed coffee with cream and sugar, while sitting in a cafe reading the paper and not having a care in the world. Sometimes, it's good therapy to dream...

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Finally Friday

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Happy Friday, all! Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend, and cherish the life you've been given.

Love. Jackie

Belated Birthday Present!

"In times of war, you often hear leaders—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—saying, ‘God is on our side.’ But that isn’t true. In war, God is on the side of refugees, widows, and orphans." (Greg Mortenson)

"Educate a boy, and your educate and individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community." (African Proverb, Greg Mortenson)

"When you take the time to actually listen, with humility, to what people have to say, it's amazing what you can learn. Especially if the people who are doing the talking also happen to be children." (Greg Mortenson)

I am going to see Greg Mortenson at the Baltimore Speaker Series on Tuesday, April 27th! Salman bought us tickets for my birthday present...I couldn't be happier.

Dakota all Grown Up

I spotted this on this morning. Apparently, Dakota Fanning became a woman overnight and this is her new breakout film. Is there anyone else besides me who really wants to see this?

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Little Reminders

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Salman is in Texas this week visiting family, so I'm home on my own trying to get through a week by myself. Luckily, I have Oregon here to keep me company and plenty busy!

Last night my friend Nicole came over for a girls' night of food and movies. We watched Bridget Jones's Diary and ate Moorenko's Honey Lavender ice cream. This is the second time I've watched the movie, but I forgot how much Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy can make your heart melt. As cheesy as it may sound, he reminded me of Salman- understanding, comforting, quorky at times, handsome (of course) and someone who loves me "just the way I am."

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Style in Song

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To have both a profound voice and profound style , all while maintaining a composed image is worth noticing. Corrine Bailey Rae has all of these...I couldn't have much more of a woman crush on her.

st. patty's day green

in an attempt to make up for my giant faux pas of wearing no green today, here are some green favorites I spotted this morning via here, here, here and here.
Happy St. Patty's Day!

Traveling Across Borders

I've dreamed of traveling since I first learned of the real possibility in high school. Many of my classmates had lived in another country for most of their childhood. Most of them knew more than one language fluently, which I found profoundly exotic. China, Japan, Thailand, France, Russia, India, Bangladesh...the list went on. As an American, I felt uneducated and perpetually stuck in a world defined by its fastfood restaurant chains and culture of no culture. People are more pre-occupied with their jobs than maintaining a life rich in tradition and family. Of course, this viewpoint romanticizes a foreign lifestyle, and what people often fail to realize is the tremendous amount of privileges we have in this country, and the swells of kind people that live in our midst.

Traveling across the country by bicycle changed my views on America for the better. I was able to see a nation rich in culture and tradition, as well as natural beauty. People welcomed us into their communities and homes with open arms and giving hands. Most towns we spent our nights in were bordering on destitute, with little more than a grocery store and a grade school. However, their spirits were high and so were their hopes. They saw the good in others and had the simple, yet beautiful desire to make things better for their families and themselves.


I think our country has gotten a lot of things wrong in the past and in the present: some Americans believe that we are a nation unto ourselves and that we owe the world nothing except our competitive edge to tower over others and rise to the top. However, I feel that if we all look very closely, it doesn't matter if you travel to Paonia, Colorado or Korphe, Pakistan- people are struggling for the same basic rights that allow dignity of the human spirit: Education, access to Health care and a healthy lifestyle, freedom of Religion and freedom of Thought.

In Greg Mortenson's new book, Stones into Schools, he refers back to his previous book, Three Cups of Tea, and the belief that one cup of tea means you are a stranger, two cups means you are a friend, and three cups means you are family. What would happen if we took the time to travel to communities throughout the country and throughout the world, sit down with a family, and share a cup of tea? Where would a conversation begin and where would it take us? What similarities would connect the concerns and desires of a family in the US and a family in Central Asia or Africa?

I bring this up because I find myself, along with many other young individuals (yes, I consider myself young and still a bit naive), grappling with the notion of purpose and my place in this life. There's always a struggle between the concept of formal education and the education provided by life experience. I've always been one to learn from experience- my perserverance shines through more often when I'm climbing a mountain than when I'm writing a research paper.

've found myself experiencing a particularly strong desire to travel lately, and to do something for people who need it most. But what to do, exactly? Where does one start? Do you teach english abroad? Do you offer your services as a community health worker? Do you plop yourself down in an unknown country and expect to learn as you go?

What is the best way of giving as much of yourself as possible?

I may not be cycling across the country this coming summer, but that doesn't mean I will be sitting at home...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

film favorite: Inglorious Bastards

Salman and I watched Inglorious Bastards the other night.

I couldn't help but buckle over in laughter when the scene came up with three of the Bastards making a worthy attempt at acting Italian.

How does Quentin Tarantino come up with this stuff?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rainy day...again.

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Sun would be so sweet right about now.

Sunday Space

Sorry this is a bit belated- Sunday got away from me somehow...
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I want to go swimming in this room.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


young people love what is interesting and odd, no matter how true or false it is. more mature minds love what is interesting and odd about truth. Fully mature intellects, finally, love truth, even when it appears plain and simple, boring to the ordinary person; for they have noticed that truth tends to reveal its highest wisdom in the guise of simplicity." (Nietzche)

I'm not a particular fan of Nietzche, but this quote is so beautiful, it was worth sharing.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bay Bridge

A bit of nostalgia. Happy Friday, all.

En Francais, S'il Vous Plait

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Just cute.

Happy Friday, all.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 4 Week of Women: Who Has Stronger Necks?

Nicholas Kristof, the NYTimes columnist, frequents the DRC as both a journalist, philanthropist and human rights activist. A video in today's NYTimes online shows Kristof documenting the strength and grace of Congolese women who must carry otherwise unbearable loads of materials (wood, cement, water) in order to earn a living and take care of their families.

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So, the answer to this question??? WOMEN of course!

Back on the Bike

Does this picture look at all familiar to some of you?

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I got back on the bike this past felt wonderful.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

For the Rough Days

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“There is an inner strength and an inner peace within us all, which the world cannot penetrate and the hypocrisy and ignorance of the human mind cannot poison.” -Naresh Jhali

Day 3 Week of Women: NieNie Dialogues

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I cannot remember how I first came upon Stephanie Nielson's blog. All I know is that it kept popping up in various other blogs' "most visited" lists. I was intrigued and inspired by her story and her heroism as a woman, mother and wife, even following a fatal plane crash where her and her husband survived.

Check out her blog HERE and get carried away reading about her love for family, cooking, and generally living life to the fullest.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 2 Week of Women: Frequent Flyers

I'm dedicating this week's posts to WOMEN...particularly those who have gone off and done the extraordinary, despite the odds.

This photo makes me think of an old-school Charlie's Angels episode...but these women are the real deal. Check out the inspiring article on NPR.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day!

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Wow, so as soon as I finished the previous post, I came upon Nicholas Kristof's blog post, exclaiming that it's International Women's Day!

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Be sure to spread the word!

The Solution

(In response to Laurel's comment below, I figured I would create a post.)
Lately, I've been engrossed in the book, Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Kristof (a NYTimes columnist and humanitarian) came to speak in Baltimore about a month ago, and his words were so moving that I couldn't help but buy his book. I encourage everybody to read it. Kristof writes a sincere and touching piece of journalism that possibly holds the answer to most of this generation's global, economic, social and political problems: Women.
"Women aren't the problem, they are the solution."

If you've already read this book, there are a couple others that are written by another inspiring individual who has spent most of his life advocating for women in South Asia and the Middle East. Greg Mortenson has made a household name for himself, but if you haven't had the opportunity to read his books, YOU MUST!

Too often, we promote celebrities or politicians as the heroes of today. However, we often fail to see the individuals who have risked their lives day in and day out to selflessly promote peace and equality in this world.
I hope you take the opportunity to read either one or all of these books!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Space

In honor of the spring weather we were treated with today...

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...Got to go on a bike ride today, myself. However, didn't have the time to plop down and read. I'm putting this on my to-do list for next weekend.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cute Couples

Anybody spending time with a special someone this weekend?

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Isn't her voice so sweet?

Happy Friday everybody.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Take Notice

Mandy's notice board from her blog: 16 House. This is something I'd love to have in my office...there's some great inspiration on this, as well as a few great reasons to laugh. (see the little boys with their noses pressed up against the car's rear window?)

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Sunday Spaces"

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Beginning next week I will be posting pictures of beautiful and unique spaces found around people's homes, favorite shops, or a particularly gorgeous outdoor space.

The series will be called "Sunday Spaces."

Also, if you have a picture of your own favorite space that you'd like to submit and have posted, you can email it to me!