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Vienna, Austria | IMMERSION – Essays about existing in places

June 24, 2017

I. The hallway

Grand wooden doors heavier than a very large man graced the entrance to the hallway of our building. Everything in Vienna felt grand and pristine, but the hallway of our building was a story in and of itself. High ceilings, concrete walls, a large spiral stairway. Tucked away in the back was the sweetest little garden that nobody properly tended to. In the middle of the cold concrete room, a tiny wooden elevator with a stool in it. Comical is the only way I can describe such a funny and flimsy elevator. We often took the stairs.

II. The neighborhood (summer)

A long street winding down from our building all the way to Karlskirche, a stunning church with its own gigantic fountain. As I’d make my way there, I would pass a small Italian restaurant, a wine shop that never seemed to have any customers, and a busy convenience store. I often wondered how the wine shop stayed in business, as the bottles in the store front were covered in a thick layer of dust. At the end of the street was a constant swarm of people sitting around the very large (yet extremely shallow) fountain in front of the church. If the sun was shining down on us, you would find hundreds of toes dipped in the cool water. My dog Lola never hesitated to join the crowd and dip a paw or two in. Cooling down was essential on a hot Austrian day.

At night, an oversized cinema screen was set up right by the fountain, under the shadows of the thick and dark trees. Rows of fold-up chairs quickly filled up with tourists and locals. It was almost impossible to tell them apart, but the store-bought beer cans is what gave the locals away every time. Jazzy tunes filled the night air as choppy black and white films from the 50’s graced the cinema screen. A tiny cocktail van was parked alongside the fountain. Tourists sipped on icy cold Prosecco and frilly drinks in plastic cups accompanied by colorful cocktail umbrellas.  Romance was constantly swirled through the hot summer breeze.

III. Winter

Winter in Vienna feels like you jumped into the most magical winter wonderland you could ever dream up. You know those old cookie tins with joyful children wearing cozy hats and ice skating on a large river? That’s the type of joy I would often feel when walking through a Viennese Christmas market. The spicy cinnamon and nutmeg from the brewing mulled wine tickled my nose as I walked past each wooden stall. We would often munch of sausages filled with gooey cheese and wrapped in soft baguettes, as we made our way downtown.
I get very nostalgic for winter. Winter in Vienna was never too cold, although sometimes a little too rainy. I remember waking up early in the morning to a cold apartment and a still sleepy puppy. I would often make nespresso with extra milk, and curl up on the ugly leather sofa under a cozy orange blanket. As ugly as that navy blue sofa was, it was the most comfortable place to lounge and read a book as the raindrops slammed on the ceiling windows overhead.

 

This essay includes a video segment:

art mental health

Bullet Journal: A Beginner’s Flip-Through

January 11, 2017

*this post features affiliate links that I really think you could benefit from <3

Hello friends,

After a much-needed hiatus, I am ready to come back to you with full-force. I mean, as an engaged woman I now have all the knowledge needed to feed your brain, don’t I? Oh wait, that’s not how that works? Oops.
This past month has been a perfectly balanced mix of stress and bliss. I got to visit the beautiful Paris, I spent hours working on my marriage visa application, and I probably drank a solid three cups of coffee a day. Take that as you may, but I think that they were much needed in order for me to survive this month.

I also picked up an awesome habit / hobby that I’m extremely excited to share with you today. That’s right – I started making a bullet journal!

Bullet journal newbie

The illusive “Bullet Journal” – what the heck even is it?
Realistically, a bullet journal can be whatever the heck you need it to be. A daily organizer? Definitely. A monthly planner? For sure. How about a place where you can scream at the world and write all the swear words you’d like? Heck yeah.
I started a bullet journal with the intention of leaving my computer for a chunk of time each day. I also started a daily meditation practice, but more on that another time.
I mainly work from home, so I don’t necessarily need the daily function of a bullet journal, which is why traditional planners have never worked for me.

Enough chatting, let me take you through the early stages of my very first bullet journal!

The journal I use is the Moleskine Classic Notebook, Pocket, Squared, Black, Soft Cover (3.5 x 5.5) . I know that many people use dotted journals, but this was all I could find and I don’t mind it at all.

I also use the thinnest pen from the Sakura 50034 6-Piece Pigma Micron-005 Ink Pen Set, 0.20mm, Black! It’s suuuuper fine, really easy to work with, and doesn’t bleed through the paper.

Before I did anything else, I started off with a bullet key. This key makes it easy to distinguesh tasks and events, what needs to be done, what’s already done. It is a massive helping hand when it comes to organization.

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Next off is my Index, which I fill out as I go. As you can see, I never really intended for this to be instagram-worthy, even though it does get more interesting as we go.

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The next four pages house my 2017 year overview. I didn’t really realize this at the start, but this just ended up being an “important birthdays” calendar. It’s still not filled out, so please don’t freak out if you aren’t on there yet and we’re besties. Promise you’ll make your way.

P.s. This is where my washi tape game starts taking off. Washi tape is the bomb.

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This is my future log. It’s an easy place to write big things that are happening or need to happen. People coming to visit, application submitions, and oh yeah – I’m 23 and still working on getting a driver’s license. It’s cool.

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Queue pretty quotes and a mood tracker. I’m one moody ***** sometimes. My mood tends to go all over the place, so this is a nice way to kind of see an overview of my moody year. I do have to pay myself on the back though, so far I’ve only had one “meltdown day”and a third of the month is already done.

P.S. I started learning handlettering as a way to ease my anxiety. I know that a lot of people assume that I naturally have dope handwriting but uh – no way. I legit learned to write semi-pretty in the last few months.

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These two are probably my favorite pages so far. I was doodling on a little piece of paper, the mountains somehow happened, so I cut those out and used double-sided tape to stick them in my journal. “Seek adventure” is pretty much a life motto for me at this point, so I knew that it would fit perfectly around the little drawing.

On the right is my “attitude of gratitude” list! My best friend uses this phrase a lot, and I dig it so much (pssst check out some of her amazing work in this blog post). You can see what I’m grateful for, but I’m sure this list will grow onto other pages int the future.
I used little letter ink stamps for the letters and that looks super cool in my opinion. I couldn’t find the exact ones online, but these also look great – Hero Arts Stamps Copperplate Number Set!

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Next is a little brain dump for blog post ideas. I covered this up so I wouldn’t spill all the cool beans to you right away, but there’s really good stuff brewing. The right is a quote I really like and a super flashy sticker.

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Next up: organization. I haven’t actually began filling this graph out, but it’s a place to research, compare, and comment on wedding venues for my future wedding. Now that I’m engaged, I figured that this would be a good thing to have in my bullet journal. Please don’t ask me when the wedding is, I have no clue.

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And last, and probably least (if we’re being honest) – is my netflix show tracker! I should be embarassed by my viewing choices but I’m really not. Degrassi all day err day. I’ve been watching it since 5th grade, get out of my way.

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And this, my friends, is where my bullet journal ends. I’m sure that if I update you in a month it’ll be packed with new content, as I’ve been adding pages in it every day. Just remember, a bullet journal doesn’t have to be anything. Use it as a planner, or not – the choice is yours!

Srna

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