Friday, March 29, 2013

I am so incredibly sick of my clothes.

I was warned this would happen.
After several months of only one suitcase full of clothing options, I have come to loathe what I see.
Or, perhaps, it's that time of the month again and I'm just being difficult.
Point is, I look at my little bundle of clothes, and I hate it all. All of it, I say!
I was going through pictures of our travels and it was like deja vu every other photo I saw.
The. Same. Things. Over. And. Over.


I've spared you a billion other photographs, but you get the gist.
I can't wait to have a closet again so I can have room for more than 2 sweaters and 5 shirts!
I can't wait to have drawers so I can fill it with more than 2 pants and 14 undies!

I know I just got done writing a heart-felt post about how this traveling has taught me to simplify, 
but lord help me, if I have to look at these clothes for much longer, I just might lose it.

If it weren't for our upcoming Amsterdam trip, which I hear is still in the 40's weather-wise, those sweaters would have been long gone by now, forever lost in the deep, dark pit of a European dumpster!
Instead, they've been sitting in the deep, dark pit of my pink suitcase.

Anyway.

My complaining isn't going to do me any good, I know this.
I still have another month of travel and even when we do get back to The States,
that doesn't mean I can just go on this wild shopping spree.

I have to find a job first, remember?

Maybe I'll get acquainted with Good Will or The Salvation Army.
I'm sure I can find a good work suit from the 80's for all of my job interviews I'm bound to go on?


Maybe I can score myself a sweet leather jacket while I'm at it.
I hear San Francisco can get quite chilly.


Has anyone seen this movie, BTW? I know we used to own it,
but I think I was like 5 years old, so I don't really remember it.

Anyway...Time for me to sign off.
Thanks again for listening to my rants and raves about silly nonsense.
You're a gem, really, you know that?

Oh, also, I know a lot of you out there are having babies, wanting babies, raising babies, etc.,
so I think you're going to like this guest post & giveaway!
And if you don't have babies on the brain, then I'm sure you can think of a friend, relative, co-worker, or Facebook stalker that does!

Meet Jane. She is a very talented children's illustrator and is giving away one of her pieces that she's currently selling on her Etsy shop (enter below)!
I think it could be such a cute addition to a child's room, play room, or nursery!
Enjoy and let's show her some love! :)

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Hi all you lovely Mish Lovin' Life readers! My name is Jane, and I blog over at Jane Heinrichs: inspiring art for children. (I know, I know, not the most creative blog title considering I write and draw for a living, but hey.)

{That's me....}

I'm writing to you from hot, sunny Cape Town which happens to be the place I call home at the moment.

Wow!  You're probably thinking, that must be amazing, all that sea air, the beautiful mountain, and the wine (yes the wine!).  And then you think, if Cape Town is only her home at the moment, where was her home before?

Just like Michelle, I'm a nomad.  I love to travel. If I stay in one place too long I get itchy feet, and I have to start moving. In the past two years I've been to Canada (where I'm from), Britain (another home), South Africa (home #2), Swaziland (where I was born), the Netherlands, Italy, Namibia, Zimbabwe, the States, and Ireland.

And no matter where I am, I have to draw.  I love drawing; it's like breathing to me.  I'm inspired to draw what I see.  Like this....
{Yes, elephants really can fly...}

Have I seen elephants flying? Maybe not in "real" life, but it isn't impossible, is it?  Nothing is impossible, especially in the realm of the imagination.

I'm sure a lot of you love to travel, love to take photographs, love to scrapbook and save all those fantastic memories from exotic places. Some of you might even wish you could keep an illustrated travel sketchbook or journal, filling the pages with your thoughts and observations about all those wonderful places.

But how does one start?

I'm here to answer all those questions.

When I started travel journalling, I would practically fill my suitcase with paints, papers, pencils, pens, sketchbooks, and all manner of fancy art supplies.  The suitcase was overweight, even before I started packing my shampoos. (Truth).

And then, when I finally got to my destination, I would be so overwhelmed by the choices (Should I sketch with pencil or pen? Should I paint this page, or not?), that I wouldn't even start.  

Sound familiar?

I had a breakthrough when I went to visit a friend in Dublin last year.  I had already been on countless trips, and had barely drawn a line because I was so overwhelmed.  This had to change.  So I packed only the barest of art supply necessities: one small black sketchbook (very thin), several pencils, and one eraser.  That's it.

Suddenly I felt free.  There were no choices!  All I had to do was pick up a pencil and start drawing.

{Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin}

{Dublin Castle}

And I had so much fun.

Several months later, I travelled to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls with my Mom.  She really loves painting in watercolour, so for that trip we only packed a few pages of watercolour paper, a set of paints, and a few brushes (which we shared).

This is what I saw.

{Victoria Falls}

{Did you know that a group of hippos is called a "bloat"?}


Now that I've simplified travel sketching, and taken away some of the intimidation factor, I really love it!

So here are my tips for creating great travel journals or sketchbooks:

1.  Pick a sketchbook that is smaller than you think you need, and as thin as possible.  You don't want to feel intimidated by hundreds of blank pages.  If possible, find a sketchbook that has only 50 pages or less. And, it's a lot easier if it can fit in your handbag.

2.  If you're planning to paint with watercolour, those small post-card sized pads that you can find at many art supply stores are perfect.

3. Choose ONE method of making art.  Either sketching in pencil, or pen (not both), painting, pencil crayon, pastel, marker, etc.  Then pack only what you need.  Actually pack less than you think you need.

4.  Pack a roll of double-sided tape, or a glue stick, for collaging found items into your pages.  And a small pair of scissors; manicure scissors are great.

5. Make sure you bring your digital camera.  Sometimes there isn't time (or a comfortable spot) to sit down and sketch a scene.  Or maybe you've scribbled the basics, but want to add detail later.  That's when I snap a picture. I use as it as a reference later when I'm finishing up at a cafe or in my hotel room.  Photographs are your friends, use them.

6. And... there is no such thing as perfection. So don't worry if something doesn't turn out the way you imagined it, just flip the page over and start a new one.  It's that simple.  Do you want to know why I haven't shown you whole pages of my sketchbooks, just small images?  Because they're a mess; a complete mess.  Yes, my sketchbooks are filled with drawings, but they're also full of scribbles, random thoughts, and to-do lists... But that's ok.  A sketchbook is like a compost heap of ideas.

Sometimes you don't even need art supplies when a lined notebook and a ball-point pen will do the trick!

{Bored out of my tree in Johannesburg Airport}


Travelling is all about getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things.  That's what travel sketching is about, too. There's no right or wrong way to do it.

But what if I'm not travelling much? You may ask.

That's no problem. Isn't there a neighbourhood in your city, or a nearby city, that you've always wanted to explore?  Travelling doesn't have to mean flying across the globe; you can travel in your own back yard.  It might be just as fun to record the sights and experiences of things you take for granted every day!

There's a lot more to inspire you at my blog and in my shop.  Why not pop over and say hi?  I'll make you a cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer), and we can chat about creativity, and travel, and all sorts of exciting things.

I hope to see you soon!

And, I'm also doing a giveaway to all Mish Lovin' Life readers!
Enter below to win one of these beautiful Giraffe prints from my shop!

Reach for the stars; nothing is impossible.
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xoxo


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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Filling out job applications will be the death of me.

Today was a "work day."
No play for us.

We woke up at 11:00am. <--Boo hoo, I know.
We ate our breakfast delivered by room service. <--I should just shut up already.
We motorbiked our dirty clothes to a lady who has a laundry service down the street because I officially have zero clean underwear left.
In fact, if you must know, I have taken a pair of undies and am now wearing them inside-out. <--classy.
It was either that or go commando. <--Even classier.
Normally, we do our laundry in the tub to save money.
But this particular hotel is the shower/toilet combo room, so no tub is accessible.
Hence the $2/load laundry bill we accrued.
That's fine by me though! Saves my biceps and back from aching.
Though, if we're being honest here, I should probably say that it saves Verner's biceps and back from aching because I usually end up dancing and prancing around as he's breaking his poor back washing our dirty clothes.
But before you think I'm a good-for-nothin' little princess,
just know that I am in charge of the "hang-up-to-dry" duties!
Yes, he washes, rinses, and rings, while I then have the task of finding strategic places to hang the clothes around the room for drying. <--i never claimed i was domestic.

Anyway.

After that, we grabbed some Pad Thai to go and hauled it back to our little 10x10 hotel room for work time.
I worked a bit online for Fasha (I've been doing some online marketing and "building his online presence" for his chiropractic office in San Diego - thanks for the work, Dad!).
I also attempted to write another recap post on our travel blog, but failed miserably because I somehow got caught up with the latest celebrity scandals. Darn you, WonderWall!
V Dizz did his work online (and is currently still doing so as I'm typing this, because he's a good little worker bee, unlike someone else in this room).

After my celeb fix, I decided to hunker down and do some job hunting.
I think I've decided that I want to find something that is only part-time to begin with.
Hell, if it were up to me, I wouldn't work at all, so part-time is just going to have to do for now, thankyouverymuch.
I figure after having a 6 month hiatus from the work environment, it would be in the best interest of everyone involved if I slowly eased myself back into the workplace.

We'll be spending the first month or so at V Dizzle's sister's home in Noe Valley - San Francisco.
THEN - if all goes as planned and Mishi here gets herself a job - we can sign a lease for our very first official apartment together!

But first. That job thing.

I've been looking at some random jobs - airline business, hotel business, admin business. I'm pretty open to it all as long as it does not involve me being cooped up in a little cubicle, staring at a computer screen all day with zero human interaction.
I will live in a box on the streets before that happens! <--Okay, clearly, that's a lie, but you get my point.


I also need to find a place that I can get to via public transportation, because we will not have a car, nor do we plan on buying one anytime soon.
I am hoping for a scooter purchase sometime in the near future though. <--Fingers crossed.

Anyway.

I've probably applied to about 6 jobs and I already want to gouge my eyes out.
I don't understand why they have you "upload your resume" and then they want you to still manually fill out your entire education and work history.
Seems like a waste of time, if you ask me.
I don't even have a working cell phone for these employers to call me, so I don't know why I'm jumping the gun so soon and applying!

I have such mixed feelings about going back to work.

In fact, I may or may not have just said to The Dizzle in the best whiny voice I could muster,

"I don't want to work! Why can't I just be a stay-at-home MOM!?!"

Please take note: we are nowhere near having children and the mere fact that I'm presenting the option of us having one just so I don't have to work should probably tell me that we're definitely not ready yet.

Aaanndd on that note...

I'm sure something will come along that will mesh well with me and be a good fit.
I'm just being my silly, impatient self right now and needed a few moments to vent about it.
Thank you for listening and good day.

xoxo



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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sweaty Yoga and Large Packages.

I just experienced THE most intense 90-minute Bikram Yoga class of my life.
In fact, I don't think I've even ever done yoga for a full 90 minutes before.
Let alone spend that long in a super hot, super sweaty room doing uber-hard yoga poses.
{And let's just set the record straight that this was a beginners class, so the only reason why they were hard was because I'm extremely out of shape.}

Anyway.

The Dizzle and I have been talking about doing yoga basically ever since we left the country.
We somehow had this fantasy that we would be these exotic world travelers that did yoga everyday on the beach.

You know, something like this or equally exotic:



But do you know how many times we've actually done yoga in the last 5 months?

Zero.

So I guess you could say it was due time we get our butts in gear and take a step closer to being an exotic yoga couple. {not.}

V Dizzle found this Bikram studio here in Phuket, so we hopped on our motorbike and headed over today.
Turns out, this studio is owned by Bikram's cousin?
And since I'm not a yogi, I just now learned that Bikram is an actual man, not just the name of this yoga style.

Here's Bikram with his sexy tiger:


Anyway, our yoga instructor was this super toned, super white, super smiley guy from Canada, but has been living in Thailand for the last 6 years or so and also speaks fluent Thai, which he was teaching the class in both English and Thai (kinda neat).

Oh, and he was also wearing these super tight, super short VELOUR TIGER SPANDEX SHORTS.
Did you hear that? VELOUR. TIGER. SPANDEX. SHORTS.

Exactly like these ones, except...Tiger print:


And let me tell you, this man's package was surprisingly large and in charge.
So you can imagine the distraction throughout those 90 minutes as he was bending and stretching in gorilla pose, or whatever those crazy names are.
The Dizzle and I were trying our darndest to stifle the laughter bubbling within us.
Fortunately, we managed to keep them in.

Anyway, I was sweating so profusely that not only did I sweat through my own towel beneath me, but also their towel that was beneath that one.
And I was wearing a pink sports bra.
And this pink sports bra decided to bleed a lot of pink blood.
All over my towel.
And all over theirs.
To which I then had to buy their towel for $10.

What am I supposed to do with a $10 pink-stained bath towel??
Tiger-Shorts told me that the towel said "Bikram" on it, so it was a "special towel."
Yeah, sure, Tiger-Shorts. Very special.

Anyway, I'm laying in bed now, my body feeling like jelly, but in that good way.
However, I plan to stay here for the rest of the evening.
If only I had some wine next to me, then this night would pretty much be perfect.


xoxo



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all you need is love.


i support love and equality. 
yesterday, today, and for always.


xoxo


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Soaking it in.


It hit me today that we only have one month left of this traveling journey.
34 days, to be exact, until our foot lands on American soil again.
And then what? Back to the real world?
I really dislike that saying, "back to the real world."
Does that mean I've been living in a fake world?
Because it definitely doesn't feel fake.
In fact, I've felt more alive and real in the last 5 months than I have in...well, ever.

People keep asking me if I feel like I've changed from this experience.
And you know, I think I have, yes.
Nothing drastic or anything. I mean, I'm still me.
It's not like I'm going to go back to America only speaking Buddhist quotes, eating a strict vegan diet, and allowing my armpit hair to grow out.
{Why that image just came to me now, I have no idea.}
But something, I think, has definitely shifted within me.
I feel like I see the world with more clarity now.
Almost like these goggles I've had over my eyes have finally come off.
I've learned to appreciate the simpler life. The simpler things.
I suppose living these past 5 months with all of my possessions fitting comfortably inside one suitcase has really put things into perspective for me.

I remember one day, way back when this traveling thing was just an itty bitty idea, and The Dizzle and I were laying on my bed talking about how we could actually pull it all off.
I remember asking him what he wanted out of it.
What he wanted to gain from doing something as drastic as this?
He said he viewed it almost like one big "Reset Button".
An opportunity to get back to the basics, cut out all the bullshit, and really explore what it is he wants.
Discover what will make him feel passionate about life.
I nodded my head in understanding,
but I don't think I really understood it as much as I do right now, today.
I've been fortunate to be able to watch him grow, watch us grow, so much over these last 5 months.
He's grown on a personal level, he's grown in our relationship together, and he's grown to form a new appreciation for life and all of the opportunities it has.

I feel confident that we will be going back home as "us," yes, but also as "us, with a new perspective."
I realize it's only been a short time away from home, but I suppose it doesn't take long, when you're out of your element, to truly recognize what matters to you and what's important in your life.

We don't have all of the details mapped out for when we return.
But something tells me it's all going to be okay and we'll figure it out, just like we've been doing.
And in the meantime, I'm going to soak in these next 34 days we have.
Because, clearly, playing Sand Mermaids is the true definition of "soaking it in."


xoxo


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Monday, March 25, 2013

From Crying to Gambling - My Muay Thai Experience


Okay, so hear me out. There were a lot of mixed emotions last night and I would love to tell you why.
The ThaiDizzle and I decided that since we only have about 3 weeks left in Thailand until who knows when, we figured we should partake in a little Muay Thai boxing match at the local stadium down the street. So we bought our overpriced tickets (about $58 a pop) and headed in.

The next thing that took place was completely unexpected.

Children came into the ring. Children! I'm talking a couple of five-year-olds here.

They're so small, you can barely even see them in the ring.
I did the liberty of pointing them out for you in this picture, just in case you couldn't pick them out.


I had a bad feeling about this from the get-go, trust me.
And Kid #2 right there? You could tell he did.not.want. to be there.
But Kid #1? Oh man, he was in it to win it.


This fight lasted maybe 30 seconds, because by the time the 5th kick happened, poor Kid #2 started crying! So the referee stopped the match and then he hugged the little kid and then the kid, shoulders heaving, left the ring, straight into the arms of his dad.

So then that's when my tears were shed. Literally, I cried.
Okay, maybe 'cried' is a strong word. It's not like I was sitting there sobbing.
So let's say, I wept. A couple of tears leaked out.


I just felt so bad for that little boy! He didn't want to be a Muay Thai fighter. He didn't want to get embarrassed in the ring by getting the shiz kicked out of him by another little boy. He probably just wanted to go play, oh I don't know, whatever it is little 5 year old boys like to play.

Anyway.

What I'm about to tell you next confuses me as I'm sure it will confuse you as well.

I'm not quite sure how it happened or what shifted inside of me, but the next round began.
This time, with 10 year old boys.
And the next thing I know, The Asian in me took over, and I was somehow throwing money down to one of the brokers, placing a bet on who I thought would win!

I know! It's disgraceful! It's sickening! It's horrible!
Gambling on CHILDREN FIGHTING?? The nerve!

But uh... somehow the 10 year olds just seemed tougher?

See? Tough.


The Karma Gods must have been around though, because I lost that bet.

And the other two that followed...

Anyway.

After the first 2 rounds of kids, they moved on to the men for the rest of the night {thankfully}.
And let me tell you, these guys were brutal!
Kicking, punching, shoving, you name it!


Just in case that GIF isn't enough for you to get the 'gist' of it, here's another one:


Crazy huh?

But you know what's even crazier?

The fact that they can go from angrily pummeling each other, to every so often, taking a little break to hug each other.

I liked to imagine them whispering words of affirmation into each other's ears.


So as you can see, last night was filled with many emotions for me.
Certainly many that were unexpected.
But all in all, it was quite an exciting night.

{Who knew child fights and excitement could be put in the same evening?}

Enough about me though, how was your weekend?


xoxo



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Friday, March 22, 2013

Flabby in Phuket, amongst other random facts.


1. V Dizzle seems to be getting skinnier while I am just getting flabbier. You'd think with all of this "traveling" and "exploring" would come a sleek, slim, and trim bod. But, no. That is only the case for The Dizzle. I tried to get myself motivated by writing down "Daily Exercises".

They went as follows:
   - 100 squats
   - 100 crunches
   - 50 push-ups

That's all. That was what was required of me. I don't think that's much to ask of myself.
But do you know how many days I actually accomplished that? 
ZERO. Zero days did I do those exercises.

And I wonder why I'm getting flabby...

2. Phuket is... okay. There are some places that are very beautiful, yes. But for the most part, it is very crowded, way more expensive than Koh Samui, and definitely not as pretty, in my opinion. I'm not complaining or anything, I just thought you should know. And if you'd like to know another one of my opinions, I think it's ludicrous to charge anyone, anywhere to lay on the beach. The beach should be public property, am I right? Which is why when the Thai man tried to get us to pay $7 for a chair, we lied and said we only had $4. 
Like, we literally went to the trouble of hiding our money before going to the beach so that we could open our wallet and show the man we had nothing else. So sneaky. So cheap.
In the end, we got the chairs for $4. 
In the end, we only saved $3. 
Yes, this I know. 
But it's the PRINCIPLE!

3. After my Lady Boys extravaganza in Koh Samui, a friend suggested I read the book "LadyBoys: The Secret World of Thailand's Third Gender." I immediately downloaded and devoured that book! The stories that were told by these women men lady boys, are so riveting and draw you in completely!

So now, every time I see a lady boy here in Phuket, I find myself smiling and giving them a knowing look and head nod like I know where they're coming from and understand them so much better than anyone else. In reality, I'm sure I look extremely stupid and they're wondering why this half Korean girl is staring so much with a goofy smile and eyes wide. 

Maybe I should stop doing that.

4. Yesterday, The Dizzle and I went and had Thai Massages. They put us in this little curtained-off area with two little futons next to each other and went to work. 
V Dizzle's girl immediately said, "Ooohh, you a BIG MAN!" 
The next thing I knew, she was straddling his back and digging her elbows in deep. 
That's when I decided to close my eyes and turn the other way. 
Give them a little privacy. *wink wink*

A few minutes later, I could hear some noises coming from this girl on the other side of my curtain getting a massage. 
It sounded very inappropriate. And very loud. 
If. You. Know. What. I. Mean.

...

Aaaannndddd that's all of I've got. Very riveting post, I know.
But I shall leave you with this.
I hope you have a wonderful Friday and a wonderful weekend.
I've been seeing posts about how it's Spring now.
It's funny how removed I feel from that. I can barely figure out what day of the week it is. And I've been sweating balls since we got to SE Asia back in January, so hearing that it's Spring time doesn't quite phase me, know what I'm saying? 
But hey, if Spring means better weather for you, wherever you are, well then hip-hip-hooray!
I'm happy for you. :)

Now I must go feed this flabby belly of mine.


xoxo


*Meet Sue, today's guest! She wrote up little hello for you all!*
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Hi I’m Sue known as the Crochet Addict.


I would like to say a huge thank you to Michelle for letting me post on her beautiful blog!
I have been crocheting since Feb 2011. I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome among other things. One of the symptoms I suffer from is pins and needles in my hands.  Doctors wanted to increase my medication but I decided to do a bit of research first. That’s when I found out about crocheting. Crocheting helps me in so many ways. The pins and needles are reduced as the nerves are being stimulated. You get such a buzz when you finish a project and when someone compliments you it makes your day 100% better.
I learnt to crochet from a video on You Tube. I decided to make my son a teddy bear:



Now he isn’t perfect but my son loves him lots!
I bounced about a bit and made lots of different things but nothing really fixated me. Then my son saw a picture of a dinosaur hat and asked if I could make him one. I decided to jump in feet first and design my first hat and scarf set.  Now this is when I became an addict.



I don’t just crochet and try and share my journey, crafting, reading, family, loves and life as well as any giveaways I find.  I also try and promote handmade things as much as possible.


On Thursdays I show off different items and patterns that follow a theme and have an open thump linky for other people to share
  
 

On Wednesday’s I show you what I am making, reading and what is going on in my life. On Friday I show you what I’ve finished and on both days people can link what they are doing.  I don’t restrict any of my linkies to crochet.


On Saturdays I open my blog to guest bloggers. This is a special day that is purely about the guest blogger.

On Sundays I search the web and find giveaways for you to enter. This is the day I try to host my giveaways and give you the opportunity to link to your giveaways.
The other days of the week I give myself some flexibility. I often post my free patterns on these days and any updates with anything that’s different from the norm.


I hope you’ll come & visit:
Crochet Addict UK Blog  
G+  
Twitter  
Pinterest  
Ravelry

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xoxo


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