Language Learning Tips: Reading

Language Learning Tips: Reading

My Love of Languages

I love learning languages. To the point where I often spend more time playing with Swedish, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Russian than I do working. Additionally, I’m looking at Hindi and Hebrew, trying to decide how to bring them into the fold without having to find a mythological artifact to add more time to my day.

I blame the Bobbsey Twins. When we lived in Mexico when I was 11, I read every Bobbsey Twins book our library had. They went on so many adventures and learned a bit about several languages in each book. I would make my own little dictionaries for each book, and that’s where my adoration started.

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Nourish Bowls

nourish bowl

I moved back to Austin at the end of July, after just over six months of wandering. I had forgotten how much goes into setting up a household. Beyond the unpacking and organizing, there’s making new purchases for the little ways that each home is different. There’s doing the little things that never happened at the previous home. And, there’s restocking the kitchen.

Not only is it costly, it’s time consuming, especially since I kept forgetting things. I think it’s finally squared away now, mostly. I spent more days than I’d like eating prepared foods because neither my kitchen nor my routines were ready for me to start back with previous supportive behaviors, much less adding in the new ones I’ve developed since. Read more

Tumbleweeds vs Strawberry Plants

(tumbleweed image courtesy of Denise Rowlands & strawberry plant image courtesy of Gardening in a Minute, under creative commons)


I recently found one of my friends from high school on Facebook, as we all do. He’s a traveler, like I am; a Swedish man living in Rio de Janeiro… for now. I saw a post on his feed, about his ‘tumbleweed’ lifestyle and to be honest, it made me a bit sad.

Tumble weeds have weak attachments to their roots, so the bonds break in strong winds and the dead plant ‘tumbles’ across creation, aimless and devoid of will. Dead, rootless, and following another’s whims, in this case the wind.

No. Read more

When your Think cannot Brain

You know how when you’ve got a lot going on, you tend to forget simple things, like making sure you’ve removed all the styling pins from your hair before you leave the house? Or something… less specific to what I did yesterday… Anyway, it’s like your brain can’t take one more thing.

It’s actually just like that, you’ve reached your brain’s capacity, or maximum cognitive load. Everything you put your brain in charge of adds to it’s cognitive load, kind of like filling a bucket. Worrying about your promotion? Into the bucket. Planning your next get-together with the neighbors? Into the bucket. Studying a new language? Into the bucket. It all adds up and the bucket overflows, spilling out what it can’t hold. Read more

New Orleans and a Year’s Wardrobe in a Carry On


A lot going on right now. Phew

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: I’ve given up my apartment and put my stuff in storage. Okay, so it’s a little different, last time I had a house and sold my stuff.

Right now, I’m in New Orleans, the Irish Channel district to be specific. I’ve got a couple of big projects I’m working on to keep my busy, of course. Those books I mentioned that were calling to me to be crafted? I’m in process on both of them, with sites coming soon.

11 Pieces of Clothing, 1 Carry On, A Year’s Worth of Possibilities

The first one is Carry On 365, a packing system using 11 pieces of convertible clothing to create over a years worth of non-repeating outfits.I know, it sounds nuts, a year’s wardrobe in a carry on bag. I’ve done the photo shoot and have all the clothes with me here in New Orleans and actually, my bag is 5 linear inches smaller than the standard carry on. So, you’ve still got room for any extras that I don’t carry like a travel dryer or make up. Read more

Happy 2014

Happy 2014, my dears!

In the midst of all the resolutions and regrets, I’d like to note that every day is a new opportunity. Yes, the fresh page on the brand new calendar is inspiring (or possibly intimidating), and yet, no matter how wonderfully or badly yesterday went, we’ve still got today. This goes for all yesterdays and all todays.

While acknowledging the past has its importance, please, look at the choices in front of you and live your best story.

*all the hugs*

Not So Green Smoothie


Do you have a difficult time keeping your day on track? I do. When I start my day with a good breakfast, everything else seems to go more smoothly. Usually I go for a ‘green’ smoothie, though with all the blueberries, it tends to look more purple/black. If nothing else, I’ve gotten a decent amount of produce in my body. This is my current recipe:

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Presence of Body

I was in my voice lesson and my instructor asked me to add a series of movements to the vocal practice I was working on. I could not believe how difficult this was for me. Usually when I feel a physical resistance which matches my emotional resistance, I’m jumping off of something not standing in a safe, supportive space.

Singing and playing small do not go together. At all. I knew when I signed up for voice lessons, I was pushing my comfort zone, it’s why I did it. My fears of imperfection needed me to tug at their edges and it’s not like learning to sing was going to kill or even hurt me, really. Read more

One Tiny Thing Thursday: Say it Out Loud

Welcome to One Tiny Thing Thursday, which started at The Social Caterpillar and followed me here. We choose to do one little bit of a part of the scary, instead of trying to tackle the whole overwhelm all at once. Because, starting small is usually better than not starting at all. Join us?

I’m writing a book on traveling with style. One of the things I hated about traveling was the  limitations of my wardrobe due to the size of my back pack. So, I’ve been acquiring versatile clothing, pieces that can be worn in multiple ways and various combinations with each other. I’ve just started outlining the possible combinations and now I’m setting my intention publicly. I’m writing a book with a personal deadline of March 7, 2014. Let’s do this!

If you want to play along, then just tell us in the comments what you’re One Tiny Thing is. And if you like, you can always come back and let us know how it went too.



Welcome, do come in. I’ve been hoping you’d stop by.

Actually, I have. This move has been about a year and a half in the making, though most of it was passive, letting my brain come to terms with the shift my life had taken. I’m not off adventuring like I had been or taking one huge-feeling emotional risk after another either. I’m still shaping my life, my actions, only in smaller, more integrated ways.

I’m not just sculpting my life but cultivating my lifestyle. It’s like the difference between taking out chunks of stone with a chisel and finishing out the details with a file. The Social Caterpillar was all about making myself vulnerable and learning from it. While that’s still an important part of my life, it’s only one dimension. Here, you’ll see more of a lifestyle focus, with vulnerability and risk taking as just one part of the whole. Read more