Montepulciano, Florence & Piza - 01/08/2014


Montepulciano, Italy. A quiet town on the hillside. Had some attention back in 2009 when Robert Pattinson and the rest of the New Moon film crew took up temporary residence. The home of the Voltori coven. Made to look a lot bigger and much busier with deceptive cinematography. But still very beautiful. Walk around with me for more.



















Montepulciano is just an hour and a half drive from Florence, and then another hour to Pisa so we made a day of going out there. See video here.











Calm

Being in a good mood, yes it is a choice but, it takes effort. It is not like magic for some people, so for those of us and our boyfriends that need a reminder; here are some small things that may help to improve our mental state.


All it takes is a 5 minute break looking after yourself to be reminded that there is someone who truly understands and cares. Taking time for self care now will prove helpful to others in the long run; and here are some ideas to get you started.

Take a deep breath in...
and breath out
Pop out for some fresh air
Wash your face and moisturise 
Do some stretches
Make yourself a hot drink
Brush and braid your hair
Give yourself a hug
Write a journal entry
Call your Mum or a friend
Watch an ASMR video
Doodling or colouring
Listen to some music
Clean your desk or another small area
Read a chapter
Down a large glass of water
Cuddle with your cat
Take a nap
Scroll through Instagram feeds such as @minimaliving 
Take a deep breath in...
and breath out.


I hope this helps, let me know in the comments.
xxoBeka

Mid-Year Review

As the year is flying by I don't want to let it go without paying carful attention to the important things. I've been inspired by Alieen from Lavendaire to take a few moments to check-in to see how I'm going.

If you want to see how Alieen does it, and many other amazing life tips (I do highly recommend) then see her video here.



Here I'll go through the questions from the worksheet linked in the video description.


WHAT HAVE I ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR THAT I AM PROUD OF?

Let me think what have I actually accomplished?
● Obtained tickets to Ed Sheeran's concerts in March next year.
● Written and produced an EP
● Other assignments; WOW, my post-modernism project was ages ago, I kinda miss the pop culture classes. There are always TED talks I suppose...
● Attempted a dating podcast.
● Released My Perfect Post Planner.
● Broke my laptop.
OH! ● I started a new job. I really hope I haven't lost it. Man, putting my ability to adult has had some pretty crushing results.
● I lived alone for a month; I realised I am the kind of person who vocally greets and says goodbye to their house.
● I made an attempt at writing a mailing list.

I think though, my biggest personal achievement has been establishing a real thirst for knowledge, and working out how to get it. I have listened to many audiobooks and podcasts and watched many videos just to keep filling my head with new skills and information and lessons. I just love it.

Professionally my most proud accomplishment is just staying in the game. I mean with my degree because it's dang hard work sometimes, and my location is not good for anyone's mental state with the rain and bitter cold. I've somehow stopped myself from dwelling when I don't want to work on an assignment. Still after this year, that's it for studying. I have seriously had enough.


DOES THIS YEAR FEEL ALIGNED TO MY YEARLY THEME SO FAR? WHAT CAN I DO TO LIVE MY THEME MORE FULLY?

I knew going into this year that I would find it hard to put any time into something too abstract, so my theme was 'Happy'. This comes from battling with depression and my intention was to do more of what makes me happy and stop things that weigh me down.

One such thing was reading Girl Online: On Tour. I just had to stop. All because of one character who made the main character, and myself through being a highly sensitive and anxious person, rather uncomfortable. I do not agree with the notion of having characters we love to hate. If I hate the character I want their actions brought to light and their motives made impossible but that doesn't mean I will enjoy their destruction. I don't know...I'm getting too deep. Basically I stopped enjoying the book so I put it down and I'm not going to waste my time on something I don't want to do.

What I could do to live my theme of Happy more fully is quit worrying about promises I feel exist to other people. This is not out of being selfish but being an anxious person those supposed obligations can make me feel very not happy. These promises include keeping a gift from a friend that I don't have a passion to keep or obligation to my future self to save money. I still need to know where to draw the line.



WHAT WERE MY GOALS FOR THIS YEAR? WHAT CAN I ELIMINATE OR CHANGE TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT MY GOALS?

I didn't have a list of goals this year aside from pass and be able to graduate. Of course that includes a large number of individual tasks, but I think I can note down some others.

● Pass and Graduate
● Try a path in my career that actually uses my degree
● Have an amazing Zoella style Christmas (Yes, I am already excited for Christmas because I have learned the earlier you start the festivities the better as December 25 is when the party is all over)
● Pay my family members back for my Ed Sheeran tickets
● Find my own place
● Convince Mum to do the Konmari method
● Diminish my amount of plastic trash and consumption


WHAT ARE MY TOP 3 PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS?

My quarterly goals I have listed in this video, but my top three would be:
● Bring home zero plastic grocery bags.
● Post a video every 2 weeks.
● Read 2 books.




Please respond to this post with something that you are proud of achieving this year. Let's make it a link party.

xxoBeka

New Month New Phone

Here are three quick tips to declutter your way out of the July blues (I'm in the Southern hemisphere so it's winter, and depressing).




1. Spend some time on Pinterest looking for minimal, organized, clean and clutterfree work spaces. I find that my mood instantly lifts when I see a space with great potential for productivity. Save It, and set it as your home and lock screen background.


2. Remove your unnecessary apps. On Androiddevices you can access your full collection of apps in an automatic folder with no need to put a short cut on your home screen unless you use it often.


3. Pull out the Google Calendar widget onto your home screen. This way you'll instantly be reminded of appointments and how far away certain dates are. I've also made more of the weeks in my final semester of my bachelor's degree. The fact that I can see when my assignments are makes things more real in a good way- allowing a visual to the anxiety in my head.

That white open calendar forces me to realise what I really should be worrying about rather than the 1 hundred projects I also promised myself I would do.


What are your simple tips for clearing a messy head?

xxoBeka


13 Reasons | Reacting to My EP [VIDEO]

Things I could do to Stop being Lazy

Things I could be doing right now that would push back the voice in my mind saying I haven't been productive in the last hour:


Make my bed
Sort a new system on my shelves
DIY some pen holders
Write in my journal
Read the final chapter of my book
Install software waiting to go onto my new computer
Take an online french class
Edit a video
Plan out podcast episodes
Start writing my next ebook
Film my next Quarterly Goals video

It's my semester break but that doesn't mean I have no work to do.

What are you guys up to?

Easy and Nutritious Quinoa Salad

Healthy and delicious quinoa salad that truly fills you up. It's a perfect side or meal on it's own. I recommend making a large bowl of it at the start of the week so you have the healthy option on hand whenever you're having naughty cravings or you're on the run. Read on to find out how to make this simple and fresh yumminess.

*        *       *
Ingredients
Red Quinoa
Baby Spinach leaves
Red Onion
Tomatoes
Basil Feta Cheese
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Start of by cooking up 1 part red quinoa with 2 parts water; On a high flame until boiling, then reduce heat and cover. 

As it cooks you can prep your vegetables; fresh and juicy tomatoes, red onion and also crumble up some feta cheese, I recommend a basil infused selection and using a grater. You can chop the feta into chunks but what I like most about this dish is that every bite is the same. 
When the quinoa has sat in the fridge and cooled down toss the ingredients together and serve on a bed of baby spinach, or mix the leaves in. Drizzle with olive oil for a simple dressing and season to taste.
*        *       *

 I honestly give this dish 10/10, it is just so good.
What other dressings do you think I should try? Let me know what you think in the comments.

xxoBeka


All-Time Favourite Films


Today I'm running you through my top three inspiring movies of all time as a 21-year-old. I do highly recommend these pictures if you haven't seen them yet, though I can tell you now they're not for when you want something light-hearted. I like films that get me thinking, these last few years I've been on a soul search, you know that typical young-adult finding myself stage, and should I end up making similar decisions to the protagonists in these three movies I don't think I'd be going down such a terrible path.


A decade ago, when I was eleven, I would have listed my three most favourite movies as;
● The Princess Bride
● Sky High, and
● Snow White and the seven dwarves
That's something political, something supernatural, and something related to life of minorities (no pun intended) - However my perspective has changes and obviously interests have become more grown up and refined for a typical happy narrative. Such as...

ARRIVAL
Gets is in this list for just for the grace I feel I'm given because other people in the world care about the details in communication.



THE IMITATION GAME
With music by Alexandra Desplat, Benedict Cumberbatch's performance in this so very moving and comical...
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
I don't mean to choose all films that show you how it ends at the beginning but maybe it's related to a deep-rooted issue of my being a control-freak and wanting to know how everything is going to turn out. The Social Network is on this list for Zukerburg's creative thinking and pitiless understanding that algorithms are allowed to be changed after you launch a project, it's just the way the internet and businesses progress.

THE INTERN
I'm a blogger, an entrepuner, a millennial; of course I love this movie. Robert De Niro's character is so loveable with his dedication to routine and initiative, while Hathaway portrays the reality of being caught in the difficult place between love and what is easy.




CRAZY, STUPID LOVE
People being real with their emotions, and I'm a sucker for makeover montages. I love the indie-pop soundtrack and dang, I so ship Emma Stone with Ryan Gosling because that means there's still hope for redheads.

MIRROR MIRROR
If ever I just need cheering up, this movie will do the trick. It's funny, a familiar tale of Snow White and the seven dwarvs, plus there's a song at the end, wedding's are already awkward so why not burst into song to turn the cringe to 50. "Not to 50!"

Can you guess the reference for a secret addition to this list?

Happy popcorn munching,
xxoBeka

All the Food


Food Roundup; All the recipes, cooking hacks and eating related posts on this website.



3 Things I've Learned About Food
And how to consume it better.

Microwave Mac'n'Cheese Recipe
My Favourite Recipe by Alison Halt.

Halloween Treats
Fairy Rice Cakes, Skeleton Cookies, Cupcakes and so many sweets; a tame halloween for my sheltered family.

Embrosia Recipe
A Kiwi Classic; a simple and delicious desert.

Making Cheese-Rolls
The perfect savoury snack for morning tea or to accompany a hearty bowl of soup.



Homemade Crepès
And how to consume it better.