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  • I found hope in Hope thanks to nature and my nieces.
  • Reminder: There is always light at the end of the tunnel(s).
  • Possibilities.
  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman
  • Spring is always the most alive after the darkest and rainiest of winters. #hyggehouse
  • "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C. S. Lewis. Or, as the Secret Sisters sang, "Tomorrow will be kinder."
  • "It was here in Big Sur where I first learned to say amen." Henry Miller

Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

Amen
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  • Last week I drove through the area of Malibu that was most hard hit from the fires. It was completely devastated only last December but now, life is blooming again in a way I've never seen it before. The scars are there and it will take 20yeara to get back to where it was but life is back. That's the amazing, heartbreaking and beautiful thing about life. #malibustrong #earthday

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Cookery

Wonderment – Chocolate

February 22, 2008

Chocolate. Such a nice word, isn’t it? Dark Chocolate – even better. When it’s good it’s oh so good but when it’s bad it can turn people off forever as it did me when I was younger. It wasn’t until my early twenties when I lived in New Zealand and went to a chocolate factory I really started to appreciate chocolate. And if I thought it was good in New Zealand, you can imagine how I felt when I finally went to a chocolate shoppe in Belgium than France!

My only bit of chocolate snobbery is that it must be high-quality, junk free chocolate. This is due mostly because of taste preference although since I am allergic to gluten, I can’t have most chocolate that is flavoured or mixed with things.

And what are my favourites? I thought you’d never ask.
Chocolove: This is hands down my favourite because it’s the easiest to find in the US, the ginger flavour is amazing, the pure 77% dark chocolate is the best after dinner and the price point is wonderful. I love these so much I often give them out as gifts and confess having turned certain girlfriends into Chocolove Addicts.

Leonidas: One night in Brugge I found this. I took a sample box (about 17 pieces) back to my room. I thought I’d have a piece or two before going out. I couldn’t stop and spent the night watching a movie and going through the box. It. Was. Heaven. I’ve found that they’re not as good when buying them in the US and have had problems when purchased in London. But the store in Brugge and Cork, Ireland were both fantastic. And they have gluten-free truffles. My favourite was the white chocolate with strawberry cream.

Butler’s Chocolates: Discovered in Ireland, this Irish Chocolateire makes fantastic hot chocolate and even better truffles. Most are gluten free but double check the web site. What I love is that they teamed with Irish Designer Orla Kiely to produce a special box which I had to buy. The chocolates were devoured very quickly, however.

Dagoba: What I love about this company is all their chocolates are gluten free (and it says so on the wrapper) and 100% organic. They have some pretty strange (to me) flavours so I mostly just stick with the lavender which is oh so lovely with Earl Grey Tea.

What are yours?

  • Reply
    LindaNo Gravatar
    February 28, 2008 at 9:33 AM

    I was always a milk chocolate fan until I moved to France. Now I love the dark chocolate. It’s hard to beat anything bought in France.

  • Reply
    TracieNo Gravatar
    January 22, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle, WA. Chocolate covered figs, salted caramels and oolong chocolates- and their hot chocolate is so perfect, it is hygge in a cup.

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