photo by Livia Meneghin

hi there.

Welcome to my blog. I'm spending a year capturing happiness, and I invite you to come along as I journey toward a more joyful living. I also write about travel, food, and matters of the spirit. Hope you enjoy!



The cover photo is a throwback to the days of my undergraduate research. I worked in a parrot lab, and the animals I studied ("personality" studies) were budgies.*

*this is the correct name for this bird, though they are often referred to as parakeets

The reason I chose this photo (credit goes  here, by the way) is that I visited one of the Syrian families today, and the father was saying back in Syria they owned birds--which always made happy chirping sounds--and he hopes someday they can have some here, too. 

I have so much to be grateful for today in that I

  • crossed some big items off my to-do list
    i.e., I FINALLY transferred everything from my old laptop to my new one (took several hours...not to mention four months of motivating up to it), and I upgraded my cell phone so I can now take epic photos without having to buy an actual camera(!)
  • made roasted cauliflower and sweet potato nachos and guacamole (not to be eaten together)
  • reached my step count by walking to and from the mall six times from my non-garage-parked car (please see yesterday's post for my stance on paid parking)
  • got a phone call from overseas, and it was nice to hear this person's voice!

But the winning moments were spent with the family. 

This is the third time I've visited this particular family, so we're finally getting to know each other in a way that's more comfortable. One of my friends has been visiting for a while, and she takes the mother out for driving lessons, so my intention was to go and keep her company. But instead I got caught up in helping their 10-year-old daughter with English. She brought out all of her school papers, and we spent time reading together and going over her work and laughing together. 


She is the only girl among her four brothers, and when I asked her to name her family members (I'd point to her brother and say, "What is he? Is he" she'd giggle and say, "No, no! my brother"), she seemed sad she did not have a sister. I told her that I had no brothers OR sisters, so we decided to be each other's sister. 

I look forward to the day when I have some photographs of the two of us (or the entire family!) because she is the most beautiful girl. Her eyes are pearlescent green, and her hair is a rich copper red that I've not seen on anyone before (other than three of her brothers). She loves the color pink, and her second favorite color is red (my two favorite colors as a kid were red and pink), and we bonded over the fact we've both had kidney stones.

Strange, but true.

Anyway, hanging out on the couch together definitely topped the day. Her parents were so sweet and invited Katie and me to stay for breakfast, and we learned some more Arabic words (none of which I'll attempt to spell out). 

Greek. Arabic. I'm going for the gold here--these are SUCH HARD LANGUAGES. And yet this family must quickly learn our language, and they're doing such a great job. I look forward to helping more if I can, and for the day when their house will be filled again with happy songs.

Four Things

Four Things

Abstracted Rainy Moments

Abstracted Rainy Moments