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Eat, Drink 'n Play

A travel & lifestyle blog featuring good food, good travel and good living. About Me
Simple intention

Simple intention

“When you recognize that this life is yours — it is your one and only life — everything changes ~ AJ Leon” Over the holidays, I watched the documentary Minimalism. An awesome film that shares the stories of people who are living with less. But more than the notion that our lives would be so much simpler if we just got rid of stuff, the message of the film is about creating a life of meaning. To fill your life with the things, the people, and the experiences that add value. That really struck a chord with me. And it also made me think about the boots. The boots, which now sit slumped over and lonely in my closet, are a shining example of an purchase gone bad. Did I need those boots? Hell no. Are they the best boots ever? Not really. Have I worn those boots? Umm… only one time (and they’re so uncomfortable.) Do I love these boots? Not even a little. The honest truth is that I just wanted the boots. That’s it. There is no mystery here. We all like having new things. And when I saw those cute boots hanging out on the display, I just wanted them to be mine.  In that moment. And, of course, the “high” I got from owning those stylish new suede boots vanished faster than the charge showed up on my Amex card. Those boots add no value to my life. Quite the opposite happened, actually. Not long after tucking those boots into my closet, a very heavy guilt set in. Regret, with a capital “R.” I thought of the boots, often. How... read more
Tell me something good

Tell me something good

It seems like everywhere I turn, there’s bad news. Sad news. Some news this year hit close to home, while other tragic headlines come from so far away — both in location and in comprehension. As a country, we have struggled through a volatile presidential election. One that tore apart families and alienated friends. Anger bubbled to the surface and poured out onto Facebook Pages. People “unfriended” each other and tempers flared. It was craziness. Negative, destructive – craziness. We live in such a weird time – this time where the word “unfriend” is a thing. Can you imagine saying that out loud to a friend who disagreed with you when you were on the playground. “I can’t believe you think the Backstreet Boys are the best. Obviously New Kids on the Block should win. I really can’t believe you! I’m unfriending you.” Imagine the scene, really. It’s kinda … well … stupid. Putting all the shitty election shit aside, we would all agree that there are bad things happening in the world – really bad things — and if you spend too much time absorbing the images, the videos and the stories, well, I think it can suck the life out of you pretty fast. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should stick our heads in the sand and pretend everyone is holding hands around a campfire singing Kumbaya all day long. There’s a ton of horrific stuff going on. The kind of stuff that makes us feel so helpless and pissed off that our hearts hurt. The kind of stuff we can’t even imagine. Obviously we can’t ignore it, and we... read more
In a cabin in the woods

In a cabin in the woods

Oprah has this section at the end of her magazine where she shares “What I know for sure.” And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what I know, or rather what I thought I knew. So what do I know for sure? Turns out, not a hell of a lot. Growing up in London, Ontario, Canada, I never for one moment thought I would be here. In this cabin. In the woods. Curled up in front of a fire, the Blue Ridge mountains framing the double doors behind me. I never even dreamed I would live on this side of the border. Even when we lived in a city shared a border with the US, it always felt so exotic when we exited our home country and explored the “other side.” Today, though I will always be Canadian, I proudly carry a U.S. passport. What I DO know for sure? Never say never. Two years ago, when we traded in the cul-de-sac two-story for the condo in the “big city,” I thought I knew exactly what the next 10 or so years would look like. By downsizing our life, we gave ourselves more room to explore. We would walk to local bars, restaurants and coffee shops. We would take in the outdoor concerts on the square and take cooking classes. We would sit on our new patio, sipping manhattans and waving to neighbors passing by. We would visit museums, stroll through art shows and make our own wine at the you-brew. And we did. We do. When we moved to the condo, we were moving away from a time... read more
What is home?

What is home?

We moved from Canada to Atlanta in 1999. It’s hard to believe that of the nearly 25 years that my husband and I have been married, Georgia has been our home for more than 17 of them. And home it is. As much as I have a deep love for “my country” – and miss my family (and, well,  Tim Hortons coffee…) — when you move to another place, you have no choice but to make it “home.” Sooner or later, even if you’re fighting it, your life starts to morph and mold around this new place. Not just the geography of it – the entireness of it. Things sound different. Smell different. Feel different. Are different. And you become…well, just a little different. You settle into what becomes your new normal. The grocery stores that I visited at “home” were Loblaws, No Frills and A & P. Here, I shop for groceries at Publix and Kroger. The Mac’s Milk variety stores don’t exist here. If I have a hankering for a Coffee Crisp or a scratch ticket, I head over to the 7-Eleven or RaceTrac. Oh, no, wait… no Coffee Crisp bars here. Those chocolate bars (aka candy bars) don’t make their way this far south of the border. And don’t even get me started on the fact that I’ve had to wean myself off my double-doubles. The hydro bill is…I quickly learned, called a power bill here. And while I’m on this rant, I want to make a note that a toboggan is not a hat, people. It’s a sled. You slide down snowy hills on it. You can imagine how surprised I was... read more
The Journey – Just Busy Being Me

The Journey – Just Busy Being Me

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice – – – though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. ‘Mend my life!’ each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations – – – though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – – – determined to save the only life you could save. ~ Mary Oliver Note: I am good. Very good, indeed. After posting this poem, a friend reached out with “Are you ok?” I guess I can see where she might think I was digging through something re: THE JOURNEY… but I just love to read Mary Oliver’s words and this one struck me today. So, no, my life doesn’t need mending, but I do love at the end of this poem where it says “… there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company.” My birthday is next week and it’s always a time of reflection for me. Every... read more