31 August 2011

We Are All Connected

Good morning, everyone. I saw this video over on Four Leaf Clover yesterday and really loved it. And even though I'm not a huge "I am connected with this tree" kind of person, I wholeheartedly believe that what we do, and the choices we make will have either a positive or negative effect on others, and our environment. Check it out, it's less than a minute long...

I thought this video and the idea that we are all connected also had special meaning today because I really feel like that applies to the blogging world as well. Everything I read, every post that encourages or inspires influences what I write here on the blog. So many of you put out a lot of creative, positive, and hopeful energies out into the web, and as I take them all in they morph into their own new thing here in my little blog space. Cool, huh?

Yesterday, the lovely lady writing at My Beautiful Life connected to me in a very sweet way- by awarding me and some others the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks you so much, I'm honored! I connected with My Beautiful Life months and months ago...we connected over a mutual passion for watching Rick Steves' videos and a love for travel. She's really a lovely blogger and truely a versatile blogger!

To receive the award one must share 7 things about them...easy enough, right?...

1. My middle name is Neva. Which is my grandma's name. My mother's name is Aven, that's Neva spelled backwards. So I kind of got a two for one with my middle name.

2. I wear the same black running shorts and pink wicking tee every single Saturday because it is comfortable.  When PMSing, I frequently cry about this fact because I feel like I've lost all my young spunk and sexiness.

3. I have too many moles and freckles to count. We did count 61 just on my back! But I love them. They make make my body completely different than anyone elses, and I love how they look on my back and shoulders. I only have 2 ugly ones, and I wish I could get them removed.

4) I add chocolate chips to my chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

5) I hate brushing my teeth. But I do it anyways, twice a day. But if there was one thing I could not do and get away with it...that would be it.

6) I worked in a dry cleaners for close to six years and it was the best job I ever had. If it didn't pay so little I would still be doing it. It's my dream job.

7) This morning I'm drinking a smoothie that looks like this...
...but it tastes like the berries in Captain Crunch Berries cereal.

In addition to my facts, I am supposed to pass it on to 15 other bloggers. Since I like to break the rules and I want the award to be even more special, I want to pass it on to 5....

1. Four Leaf Clover- for posting so many cool things (like that video) and sharing your heart for animals and the environment. You are so cool.

2. Vanisha's Life in Fiji- for posting beautiful pictures of Fiji and having a heart thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big for kids and education!

3. Amy Around the Corner- for posting about anything under the sun, being real and genuine, and accomplishing your goals.

4. Alkeemi- for posting awesome pictures and posts about Indian culture and design. I LOVE IT!

5. Half & Half- for making me laugh out loud (literally) every time I read your blog.

30 August 2011

Warm Cranberry-Walnut Oatmeal

I mentioned this breakfast two weeks ago in a weekend update. John and I were craving something warm and homey, and something that reminded us of cool weather because we were/are  getting so tired of the boiling temperatures we've been having here in Florida. This homemade oatmeal really hit the spot and kept us full for hours. My blog friend Sienna recommended I post the actual recipe for it, and I promised I would. Sienna, I hope you enjoy this oatmeal on a cool day in London!

Warm Cranberry-Walnut Oatmeal
Serves 2

2 cups raw oats
1 cup water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
a dash of salt
Maple syrup to your desired taste

Boil water and add oats, bring to low simmer and stir until thickened (about 8-12 minutes). Stir in toppings and serve warm! Easy peasy!

Question of the Day:
Do you have a go-to, from scratch, breakfast recipe?

29 August 2011

Weekend Update| August 29, 2011

Me and Boomer Conrad

Good morning, folks! Guess what, I got a kitty!

Ah, not really, but we did get to go play with my good friend Caitlin’s kitty cat on Friday night and John really enjoyed it.  He actually considered getting one in the very near future…then someone mentioned that they are allergic and wouldn’t be able to come over and he changed his mind.  Either way I want a cat…I honestly don’t know if I would allow myself to commune with those who dislike them anyway…  ;-)

The real point of this story, though, is the fact that we finally got to go over to our friends Caitlin and Ben's house for dinner Friday night.. Caitlin was the first friend I ever made when I moved to Orlando for school five (!) years ago. She got married to Ben back in March and we finally made it to their place to see their sweet little love nest.

They cooked us a delicious vegan meal, complete with brownies, and we so enjoyed the natural flow of conversation with them. They are consumer anarchists, too, and much of our conversation was trading ways to save and recent developments in homemade cleaning products. 

Pumpkin Pie Banana Chunk Cookies.... from, guess who....

The fun with friends didn't end on Friday, though. Saturday morning we got up early to help some new friends move into town. Not only did I enjoy moving heavy boxes with my friend Laura and her mom, but it also served as my workout for the day (bonus!)

I can't tell you how excited I am about the new friends God has brought into my life and the ways my relationships with "old" friends has become more and more rich. I really felt so blessed this weekend to be surrounded by great people with similar interests and passion for God. We hung out with friends Friday night, Saturday morning, and had our friends Jen and Nate over for dinner Saturday night.  I didn't realize how much I was in need of community until I started finding it. I hope I never have to go through another season of "alone."

Sunday we went to church and then ran some errands before parking our butts on the coach for some downtime and a movie. We watched one of my favorites...Bottle Shock. It's set in the Napa Valley, and we watched it because we are considering planning a trip there for our second or third wedding anniversary. The more we watched it the more we got excited about the potential for the trip! If you haven't seen this movie, you must. Here's some of my favorite lines:

"You have to have it in your blood, you have to grow up with the soil underneath your nails, the smell of the grapes in the air that you breathe. The cultivation of the vine was an art form. The refinement of the vine is a religion that requires pain and desire and sacrifice."

""Wine is sunlight, held together by water." The poetic wisdom of the Italian physicist, philosopher, and stargazer, Galileo Galilei. It all begins with the soil, the vine, the grape. The smell of the vineyard - like inhaling birth. It awakens some ancestral, some primordial... anyway, some deeply imprinted, and probably subconscious place in my soul."

Question of the Day:

Have you ever visited the Napa Valley?
Any recommendations?

26 August 2011

Friday Replay: Crustless Cranberry Pie

Friday Replay is where I get a chance to replay some of the posts that I wrote back when the only people reading were my mother and husband. So many of them mean a lot to me, and show my heart a bit more, so much so that I want to share them with the many readers I'm blessed to have now!

Crustless Cranberry Pie

This month marked the beginning of cranberry season. This is, perhaps, one of my favorite food seasons, with fresh peanuts, avocados, and nectarines following close behind. Cranberry season always starts this way...

Me (answers phone): Hello?
Mom: Hey sweetie! Guess what time it is!!!
Me: (waits in suspense)
Mom: Cranberry time!

From that moment on we start plotting weekend bake-isodes, calling each other frequently to talk about the latest muffins, breads, or cobblers to leave our ovens. Truly the best time of year. One great things about this season is that, unlike some other fruits, these fresh little beauties can be bagged up, placed in the freezer and used year-round. Enjoy my favorite cranberry recipe here:

Crustless Cranberry Pie

3/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 lg eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup sifted whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup finely chopped pecans

1) Preheat oven to 375. Grease 8" pie plate or 9" square cake pan.

2) Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in flour with spatula. Fold in cranberries, pecans and spread evenly into pan.

3) Bake 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Serve hot or cold. Bon appetit!
Question of the Day:
What's your favorite fall food?
P.S. So sorry, friends, for all the radio silence. I'm still around, and I'll be following up on all your blogs really soon...it's been a bit of an insane week.

24 August 2011

Travelogue: Fez, Morocco

Bab boujloud

Hello, connoisseurs! Today is a day I've been looking forward to for some time now. The chance to finally share the pictures and experiences so close to my heart from our honeymoon to Spain and Morocco. Fez is a magical city, and you can't help being drawn in by it! Fez is the cultural capital of Morocco and consists of miles and miles of alleys burrowing through the bustling medina enclosed by huge walls and accessible only through any of the twelve city gates. No cars are allowed in this city, only pedestrians and donkey carts.

Overlook of Fez.

It has been said that to walk every alley of the city would take all of three months to do. They vary from broad to almost impossible to walk through...and one is left to wonder how these buidlings were even build up so close to one another. You look above you to see two buildings leaning on one another and wonder if their ancient stone might crumble on top of you at any moment.

John and I were privileged to spend two full days here. One we spent exploring on our own and the other we spent buying up souvenirs, going on a guided tour, and drinking as much Moroccan tea as is humanly possible.

I know people are anti-guided tour, and usually I am too, but because Fez is so huge, so confusing, so busy, and every single alley looks the same, a guided tour will help get you to the best sights in town that you probably wouldn't be able to find on your own. The only downside to these tours is that they are designed to get you to spend money (and too much of it at that!) so be polite, say thank you, maybe even tip people for their presentation, but don't feel obligated to buy.

One of our stops on our guided tour was to a hand woven fabric store. As you can see they make beautiful scarves, blankets, and even duvets. Any guided tour will take you here, guaranteed. I did purchase here. The prices weren't that bad for what they were (hand dyed and woven). No bartering here...the price is the price.

At the tanneries

Another stop is the tannery. There are many in Fez, but this is the most famous. The prices are VERY steep here, I would buy in another city if you plan on traveling around Morocco a bit more to avoid the Fez mark-up. The tanneries are the largest in the world and smell absolutely disgusting. Part of the tanning process is to soak the skins in fermented pigeon poop, and it smells absolutely rancid. They leave sprigs of fresh mint around the railing to hold to your nose...this feels a bit snobby (in a "I'm so wealthy and can't stand the stench of those lesser" kind of way) but it can't be avoided, the smell will cue your gag reflex.

Many other stops were made, but one of my favorites were to the many mosques in Fez. Fez is known as the "Mecca of the West." As I mentioned, it is the cultural captial of Morocco, but what makes it so is that it is the spiritual center of the country. Here you will find the oldest mosques in the country, and some of the most grandiose.  We were allowed in, Morocco only allows Muslims into their mosques, but you can stand at the front and take a look inside.

As you speak with the locals you find that the people of Fez are very proud to be so. Their attitude is that of a Texan or a Saudi...they believe whole-heartedly that they are from the best place in the world! When you ask people in other Moroccan cities where they are from they might hold their chin high, their hand to their heart and proclaim, ever so loudly and proudly, that they are from "the beautiful city of Fez, the spiritual capital!!"

When you're not touring I recommend walking up and down the streets. There are two main "roads," the Talaa Kebira and Talaa Seghira. There is more than enough to see on these two roads and if you want to venture far off the beaten path just make sure you know those two street names so that people can point you back to them.

When bartering for souvenirs take it slow, build a relationship, and get to know the storekeeper. Stop for mint tea and some schwarma. One of my favorite memories was stopping in a (literal) hole in the wall where an old man was grilling up questionable meat. We decided it looked like an adventurous place to eat and squeazed in the five foot by five foot hole to sit at a wooden table with an absolutely ancient old Moroccan couple already eating their lunch. We sat down and made small talk. Very, very small talk in broken Moroccan Arabic and bits of French. The chef brought us mint tea served in glasses that I swear haven't seen soap in years and we sipped happily away. The old couple slid over their plate of meat and bread and insited we share with them until our food was ready. There we were, with people we had never met, sharing a meal and having a good laugh over...well, I'm not really sure...the inability to communicate, I suppose.

Question of the Day:
When you travel do you do guided tours?
What's your favorite "with the people" memory?

23 August 2011

Coconut-Curried Lentils and Rice

The supplies

Happy Tuesday, folks! Today I have a special recipe to share, it's one of my all-time favorites from Supermarket Vegan, a cookbook by Donna Klein. Vegan or not, you should pick up this book, it is filled with delicious recipes, and I promise you that you won't even miss the animal product. Not only is this recipe good for you, it's also easy to make and tastes like it took all day.

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juices
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup water (plus more as needed)
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Rice of your choice, for serving

In a large, deep-sided non-stick skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened (3 minutes.) Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, water, brown sugar, curry powder, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to low simmer on low heat. Cover and cook until lentils are tender but not falling apart, 40-45 minutes and stir occasionally. Stir in the cilantro and remove from heat. Serve over rice.

Question of the Day:
Do you cook ethnic food at home? If so, what kinds?

19 August 2011

Friday Replay- Moroccan Mint Tea

Friday Replay is where I get a chance to replay some of the posts that I wrote  back when the only people reading were my mother and husband. So many of them mean a lot to me, and show my heart a bit more, so much so that I want to share them with the many readers I'm blessed to have now!

Green Tea and Mint

Have you been to Morocco? If so, you most certainly indulged in this overly sweet concoction. If you're like me you found that after one or two glasses you suffered from addiction and though it was 100 degrees outside you needed a piping hot serving every hour on the hour. 

Though this recipe can never replicate the actual experience being served mint tea in an old dusty Moroccan coffee shop, it does get quite close to actual flavor. Here's step by step instructions for creating this at home:

What you will need:

Gunpowder Green Tea (I found this brand at my local Middle Eastern market)
A handful of fresh mint leaves (rinsed and patted dry)
Medium sized tea pot (I bought this at M.E. market, but can buy here)
Adorable little tea glasses (these were given to me as a gift, but you can buy something like it here)
Boiling hot water

Step 1: Boil 6 cups water in an electric kettle or a stove top kettle.

Step 2: Place 2-3 scoops of gunpowder green tea in medium tea pot. (See below)

1 scoop

1 scoop is enough to fill the little well in the cup of your hand. (I have tiny hands)

Step 3: While the water is heating, pick all the leaves off the stem of the mint plant and place in glasses (really stuff them in)

Step 4: Pour boiling hot water into medium tea pot (an inch over the spout) and let steep for 2-3 minutes.

Step 5: After 2-3 minutes, swish water around in pot and pour 85% of the water out into a glass (this cleans the leaves, the water should be murky) and then fill, again with boiling water to the same line. This will be the tea you pour into the glasses.

(Final) Step 6: Let the new water steep the leaves for about 6-7 minutes. Add 4 heaping spoonfuls of sugar pour into glasses. The higher you pour, the more the hospitality. And it creates a nice bubbling on top of the tea.

18 August 2011

Finding a Reason to Run

I wish I looked like this when I ran....

                                                                                                     Source: foreverfit.tumblr.com via Hannah on Pinterest

But instead I usually look like this....

                                                                                                               Source: buzzfeed.com via Hannah on Pinterest

As you know, John and I have been "training" for a 5k. I feel like, lately, I've gotten into a rut. I know that if I work at it I will enjoy it, because I have before! Three years ago I took three months to train for a 10k and I felt amazing. There's nothing like being able to run for 20 minutes straight without breaking a sweat, and even though I miss that feeling it's not enough to get my butt out the door.

For some reason I can't find my motivating factor. I've tried...

"Running to stay fit." - Even though my body has definitely seen better days I seem to be content with it's smushy state.

"Running so I can have a rockin' bod." - Even though my body has definitely seen better days I seem to be content with it's smushy state.

"Running so I can eat whatever I want." - I'll eat whatever I want running or no running.

"Running so I'll have more energy." - Yeah, but I don't have the energy to start running!

"Running because it is fun." - Lies.

"Running because people who run are really cool." - Don't worry, I already have that covered. ; )

"Running because you're fleeing from law enforcement." - I've definitely considered committing crimes in an effort to jump start my training.

See? I'm at a loss here! I have exactly 5 weeks left to prepare for my 5k and I'm way behind! I'm trying my hardest to have the fact that I have to run 3.1 miles in 5 weeks be my motivating factor, but there's only one problem there...I'm the master procrastinator. I never worked on a homework assignment early...always the night before. I thrive on pressure! The only problem is, I know that it is impossible to train for a 5k the night before.  Oh Lord, do I need help!

Question(s) of the Day: 
How do you stay motivated to run/work out?
Any tips for training for a race?
What keeps your workouts fresh and fun?

16 August 2011

Photo on Pointe

Photo Credit: John Malone

If I'm shooting straight with you, I don't really feel like blogging today. I need a day off, a day more disconnected. And that's exactly what I plan on having! But I didn't want to leave you completely hanging, instead I came to share a beautiful photo my husband took yesterday.

John has been trying to learn more about the art of digital photography and, in an effort to improve his shots, has started doing the weekly photograph challenge over at the Digital Photography School. This week's challenge is "shoes" so I dusted off my old pointe shoes and let him work his magic. I thought this one turned out lovely, and looks almost like a water color painting with all the yellow and blue hues in it.

What do you think of this picture?

P.S. It's amazing the difference 20 pounds makes when supporting your entire body on your toes. My ballerina days are clearly over... 

12 August 2011

Friday Replay- Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers

Friday Replay is where I get a chance to replay some of the posts that I wrote  back when the only people reading were my mother and husband. So many of them mean a lot to me, and show my heart a bit more, so much so that I want to share them with the many readers I'm blessed to have now!

So, I have a bit of a stalking problem. I love Jenna's Eat Live Run blog. I seriously can't get enough of it. Her stories are great and the recipes are delicious. I found this one a few weeks ago and she demanded her readers make it for dinner. I did, and they were amazing!

I kept everything the same when it came to the burger, but changed the toppings to suit my tastes and those are the only changes I have made to the recipe below. If you haven't already, check out her site and give her some blog love. Then cook this for dinner!

Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers
makes 4 burgers

1 lb ground turkey *
1 egg, slightly beaten
5 oz frozen spinach (about half of a bag), defrosted
3/4 cup feta cheese
1 tsp salt + pinch of pepper

Mix together all ingredients with your hands and form four medium sized patties. Cook patties in a greased skillet for about 6 minutes per side, or until meat is completely cooked. Serve on toasted buns with thinly sliced red onion, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. 

*I prefer ground turkey breast

Question of the Day:
What's on your menu for tonight? 

11 August 2011

Generosity Killed the Cat

My husband is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and I'm not just saying that because he's my husband. I remember one of the first times we met at church, he had picked up a ton of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches from where he worked and we packed ourselves in a car to go find homeless people in need of food. There we were, surrounded by mutual friends, barely introduced, and consumed by the smell of fresh chicken. It started to pour and I remember stopping at an abandoned gas station where an old man was sitting, getting soaked. John grabbed his umbrella went sprinting toward the man, leaving him with both a sandwich and his umbrella so he didn't have to sit in the rain.

As he ran back to the car I thought to myself, "now that is one hunk of a man."

I say this to prove that John's intentions and dealings with people are always pure. He's got a heart the size of Texas, people!

John + little Zimbabwe girl = See? I told you...best guy ever!

Fast forward to two weeks ago, I get a call at my office mid-morning with a panicked husband at the other end of the line. Boy did he have one hilarious story to tell...

We live in a pretty decent area, but just a block east of us is...well, let's just say I don't walk around by myself at night.  John was leaving the house around 8:00 a.m., as usual, when a homeless woman stopped him at the entrance to our complex and asked him for money. He politely declined, not feeling comfortable doing so as she seemed pretty heavily sedated by substance use. She asked if he would at least be willing to give her a ride to the next block and, his conscience now heavy-laden with the guilt of pushing her aside, he agreed to do so.

So she plopped into the passenger side of his tiny silver Miata and they started down the street...one eye on her at all times as she didn't seem to be in her right mind and was lacking judgement. She continued to ask for money and would point at ATMs here and there saying, "look, you could just get a little cash for me right there!"

With John refusing to offer a hand out the woman now proceeded to solicit John for sex. For a fee, she could perform any number of services for him and then be on her way...fiddle-dee-dee. John, now absolutely mortified that he had picked up an opportunist hooker and offended that someone would offer to perform such things for a fee sternly explained that "no, he would not like a blow job" and that "he was married, very happily married, and not interested in such things from strangers...or even other people he knows that are not married to him." (Good man, see?)

Thankfully the corner (red flag...) where she needed to stop wasn't far and he was able to escape with little more than a shell-shocked psyche and one too many unpleasant mental images, feeling dirty the rest of the day.

And that, my friends, is the story of how my husband- eager to help and offer good will- accidentally picked up a prostitute.

10 August 2011

What's in Your Lunch Box?

What do you eat for lunch? It's pretty safe to say that if you are an American, and you work the 8-5 you likely eat out most meals for convenience or pack up leftovers from last night's dinner. The leftover dinner I can certainly get behind, but the eating out I cannot. I can say that, because that used to be me. I used to eat out most lunch breaks because I thought planning ahead might take too much time. Turns out it doesn't...and I was burning a whole in my wallet and clogging my arteries for no good reason.

A big mac is not a meal. This, my friends, is a meal! Since I started making up my lunches ahead of time (I usually mix up a big batch of whatever I'll be having on Sundays and eat on it all week or do another lunch making day mid-week to get me to Friday) I have experienced zero to few afternoon headaches, completely done away with mid-afternoon drowsiness, and no longer have a need to snack since my lunch does such a good job of meeting my nutritional needs.

This recipe is one example of many that can be made in advance and shoveled into a to-go container for lunch time. (See below for other recommendations if you're looking to revamp your lunch life!) I got the recipe from Angela at Oh She Glows and altered it here and there to suit my tastes. Here's what tasted best for me...

Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Salad (a.k.a. "OMG this tastes as good as Qdoba or Chipotle but with 1/3 the fat and calories")

Will feed one person 4-5 days and a couple for 1/2 the week.

1 cup uncooked quinoa (red or white, I used white)
14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 of a large cucumber, diced
2 green onions,chopped
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1 (2, or 3, yum!!) avocado, diced

Juice of 2 small limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions.

2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the chopped vegetables and whisk together the dressing.

3. Allow quinoa to cool after cooking for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add the beans and vegetables and toss well.

4. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste.Chill to serve. Keep in sealed container.

Question of the Day: 
What do you usually do for lunch?

Other lunch ideas: 
Chicken Salad (sandwich or wrap) 
Grilled Chicken TexMex wrap 
This or this soup and a 1/2 sandwich

*I usually bring along a piece of fruit and a little snack too (like a small baggie of chips and a square or two of dark chocolate to cure my sweet tooth.)

09 August 2011

Inside My Jewelry Box

Today I'm taking you on a tour of my jewelry box. My jewelry box is one of those things that I would grab if my house ever caught on fire, not because it's worth a lot of money or is filled with precious gems, but because each piece of jewelry I own has a story in it and a memory attached to it. When I travel I like to pick up funky pieces of jewelry that I can keep in my family and pass down to future generations. Here's a look at what I've got so far...

I bought this barrette in Venice at a little shop in St. Marks back when I was 16. 

My friend Kayla bought these for me in Togo, Africa.

I bought these in a Moroccan souq.

My friend Becky got these for my birthday in Japan.

My husband bought these for me at a shop near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa. They are malachite stones.

I also bought this in Venice, Italy at a Venetian glass factory. The symbol is Chinese for "woman."

I bargained hard for this in Morocco, made out of camel bone.

I bought this from the same guy as the above necklace. Handmade from shells.

This was passed down to me from my grandma. My grandpa bought it for her in the Holy Lands years ago.

My friend Becky bought these for me on her trip to Palau.

Kayla got these for me in Tunisia. They were given to me at my bachelorette party.

I bought this at a art show...supposedly picked up in Bali.

I paid way too much for this in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Bought at an art show, also supposedly from Bali.

As you can see, I have got quite the collection! There are only a few pieces of jewelry that I own that are not from other countries...my wedding ring and a couple pairs of cheap earrings I picked up here or there around town. My friends also know how much I love collecting, they always bring me earrings when they travel...and I love it!  

Question of the Day:
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry? 
Which is your favorite out of my collection?