Day Two and Three in Miami...

Highlights...

  • Two awesome massages!
  • Time spent in the "meditation room" at The Standard
  • Lounging by the pool at night with the perfect breeze and city lights across the bay!
  • More Miss Saigon Bistro with our friend, Renee and laughing like we haven't laughed since we were kids!  Did our Interpol friend put something in the water?
  • Finding the coolest bandannas in the Dollar Store and making the store owner hold the store open for us as we had to have one of every color!
  • Shopping...did you know Bloomingdales sells a brand of pantyhose called Spanx?"  Could someone please explain this to me!
  • Time spent in the sauna, which was about ten whole minutes since our lips were about to burn off and the yoga guy's towel wasn't covering his bum very well!  LOL!
  • Steel cut oatmeal for breakfast at these weird tables that were so short we could barely get my legs under them!
  • Lounging on these really cool "beds" poolside at The Delano Hotel in South Beach, drinking green tea and watching out for famous people...was that Puff Daddy?

One_2Three_1

Read More
Day One in Miami...

DrivingRhonda and I had a very busy day on Thursday!  After a flight delay and a missed flight out of Atlanta, Rhonda arrived into Daytona and we left straightaway for Miami! 

Thursday evening we met up with my friend, Renee. We went to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Miss Saigon Bistro for their awesome Noodle Bowl with Lemon Grass.  My sister was a bit nervous about trying something new and when we told the server that she was unsure she would like what we were ordering, he said, "Yeah!  She looks scared!"


Photo5_copy_1Our favorite "British" host offered to take our picture with the "Good Luck" Buddha, but when we asked him to join us and that it would be on our blog, he politely declined and told us he was wanted by Interpol!

Next, we went to  Bodies The Exhibit:

"Both captivating and edifying, Bodies ...The Exhibition unveils the many complex systems, organs and tissues that drive every aspect of our daily lives and unite us all as Humans. Featuring 21 whole-body specimens and more than 260 organs that have been meticulously dissected and preserved through an innovative process, Bodies ...The Exhibition will enlighten, empower, fascinate and inspire."

Photo4

The exhibit was very fascinating! Among many interesting things we saw, we also got to hold a human brain and a piece of lung infected with Lung Cancer.  Of course, they were preserved, but they were real.

Did you know that our bones are stronger than steel?  Did you know that our eyes are the same size at birth as they are in adulthood? 

Next, we had to stop and get some Diet Coke for my sister.  Did you know they have these drive-thru grocery-type stores in Miami called Farm Stores where you just drive up and point out all the things to the guy inside and he bags it and just hands it to you through the car window?

Photo3_copy








Photo1_1













Finally, we made it back to Renee's for some popcorn, Sports Center on ESPN (not me, but my sister)and girl talk and laughter!

More tomorrow about the spa and our events from Friday!

Have a good night!

Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
Spa Weekend in Miami...

Simplify_1 My sister and I have never taken a trip together, so we decided it was time and are heading to Miami today for the weekend!

We are staying at The Standard Miami near South Beach.  We got a terrific deal through Travel Zoo!

I was thinking about this weekend and how nice it will be to relax, which I find a difficult thing to do.  I was at Barnes & Noble this week and bought a new book 1001 Ways to Relax: An Illustrated Guide to Reducing Stress.  I like this entry:

"Try Something New: at least once a month - whether it's reading a classic children's book, joining a tango class, or riding pillion on a motorbike. Exposing yourself to unfamiliar experiences stretches your mental and physical horizons, acclimating you to change and loosening the grip of routine."

So, I challenge you for the month of November to try something new!

Read More
Pride and Prejudice...

I just finished reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I found many amusing things in this book, but the following passage really stood out:

"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."

MMM?  I guess that is one way to look at it!

Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
We Are Excited About...

Linda Woods and Karen Dinino, of VISUAL CHRONICLES fame, appearing on The View October 19. They use Paperbag Studios rubber art stamps in their journaling work and will feature some in their new book JOURNAL REVOLUTION: RISE UP AND CREATE! due out in 2007!

Be sure to watch The View this week to see if you spot any Paperbag Studios rubber art stamps in the segment.  We are hoping to see them, so we will be watching!

Linda and Karen are very talented and so funny!  Visit them at The Visual Chronicles Blog.

Read More
38 Miles...

Bikewheel2 Wow!  Do I feel great today!  I biked around 38 miles today on the West Orange Trail outside of Orlando near Winter Garden.  It was a beautiful day and with the exception of the wind, it was wonderful.  I biked 26 miles last Saturday and wasn't sure I could make the 38 miles today, but I did and I feel great! For my second time out I feel good about my performance!  I truly like being outside and biking outdoors, unlike spinning inside, has so many more benefits!

I don't think I mentioned this before, but I am participating in America on the Move...a national movement that encourages everyone to take steps to a healthier way of life.  I am participating through my local YMCA.  We are climbing Mt. Everest, which will take an average of 2,000 more steps a day above normal physical activity for six weeks to reach the top (84,000 extra steps).  We are now in week two.  Check out the web site and see how you can get involved!  Thirty minutes a day of physical activity 5 or more days a week will result in huge benefits!

Have a blessed day!

Read More
Baby Got Bike...

Bikewheel I've been waiting to post about my latest fitness endeavor, because I wanted to make sure it was something I was going to like, therefore want to talk about. 

I have been spinning for years and decided that I wanted to try actually riding on the road.  I went on my first ride on Saturday with a veteran group that rides every Saturday about 26 miles.  I thought I had all of my bases covered; road bike, helmet, ugly bike shorts, etc.  Well, I had a flat tire on my first ride.  Yup!!  We stopped and members of the group proceeded to ask if I had a spare tire.  First thought that ran through my head, "Yeah, I have it slung on my back!  What?"  Anyway, what I did not know was that you should carry a small pack with an extra tube, tools, patch kit and small air pump.  Needless to say, I have been to the bike shop and now have all the things I need, or do I?  I will probably never get another flat tire now that I am prepared.

Once the flat was fixed, the rest of the ride was a dream.  Now, don't get me wrong, I loved it, but it was a good work-out!  The weather in Florida is perfect for being outside and I love the challenge of pushing myself beyond my usual work-out!

I am riding in a Bike-a-Thon on Saturday to raise money for the camp at which I volunteer in the summer.  It will be a good opportunity for me to ride with a larger group!  Maybe one day I will even enter a race!

Have a blessed day!

Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
Unwritten...

Journallockedup I am often inspired by the lyrics in songs and use them to work through journal pages.  My latest inspiration is "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield.  This song truly speaks to me and where I am right now in my life.  I hope you find it as inspiring.  I've posted the words here as well as an audio file.   

I love the line..."I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines.  We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way."

Don't be afraid in all things to be able to make mistakes and learn from them!  This is true in so many areas of our lives.  Wanting to try something new?  Wanting to get out of your comfort zone?  Wanting to be the real you?  What is holding you back; making mistakes, worried what others will think, lack of confidence, lack of knowledge?  "Live your life with arms wide open, today is where your book begins, but the rest is still unwritten!"

Be brave! Be confident! Have courage! Today!

Unwritten
Natasha Bedingfield


I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you can not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you can not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
But the rest is still unwritten

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Read More
An Old Polaroid...

Me I was rummaging through some boxes of old photographs that I borrowed from my mom today.  I was certain that there was this one old polaroid photo of me as a child dressed in a yellow coat and hat, holding a purse.  It is one of my favorites and since I don't have a lot of photos of me as a child, it is a treasure.  I was so excited when I found it, but disheartened to find that the image had cracked and was peeling. Makes for great art, but certainly won't make it for the long haul! 

This picture was taken when we lived in Connecticut. I have to laugh because I am standing in front of one of those old record players that came in a unit the size of a deep freeze!  My parents owned it for years! 

I spent some time lingering in the past as I browsed through the boxes of old photos.  I laughed, smiled, remembered good and bad times as well as teared-up a little, especially when I saw pictures of my pop.  The anniversary of his untimely death is next month and it is always a sad time for me.  I did find a photo of him actually smiling and I stared at it a long time. Which brings me to this...I always heard it said that after someone dies we think about all the things we wish we had said. I believe this to be true.  Life is short.  Hug those you love, send a card or e-mail just to say hello and don't be afraid to share your feelings with those around you in a spirit of love and edification!

Love is the true means by which the world is enjoyed: our love to others, and others' love to us. ~ Thomas Trahern 

Have a blessed day!

Read More
A Full Moon...

Moon ..and I don't mean the one in the night's sky!  Okay, I realize that the women's locker room at the gym is meant for showering, changing, etc.  But, today I was just a little unprepared when I walked in and just around the corner was a woman in her early sixties bent over with her uncovered back-side in full view!  I stopped short and I know I must have gasped. I quickly dashed into the bathroom and I just had to laugh!  Call me modest, but locker room or not, I would be behind the curtain!

Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
Thoughts on Friendship...

Treedock_1 Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joy, and dividing our grief. ~ Joseph Addison


To have a good friend is one of the highest delights of life; to be a good friend is one of the noblest and most difficult undertakings. ~Unknown


Blessed are they who have the gift of making friends, for it is one of God's best gifts. It involves many things, but above all, the power of getting out of one's self, and appreciating whatever is noble and loving in another. ~Thomas Hughes


Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
What We Give...

Give I ventured out to Barnes & Noble last night to search the shelves for whatever caught my eye.  Seems I was drawn to a book by Sark titled Eat Mangoes Naked: Finding Pleasure Everywhere (and dancing with the Pits).  I thumbed through the book this morning and this caught my eye:

"I want to learn the pleasures of conscious giving and receiving.  When we consciously receive, we give another the opportunity to be generous.  Receiving is a gift to the giver.  If we cannot receive, then we cannot truly give.  I want to gloriously and graciously receive, without count or measure.  I want to lose track of 'who gave' and 'who received.'"  I want to eagerly do both, with truth and integrity."

Are you a giver or a receiver? 

Have a blessed day!

Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
Do the Unexpected...

Unexpected Today has been like most days.  See, I live quite well by the "routines" I have placed in my life!  I am a creature of habit, which includes holding "most" of my thoughts to myself. Today was a little different and I must say, that I felt a little liberated and left that Starbucks with a smile!  There have been many times that I have wanted to say something, but didn't.  I am referring to those times when you see someone with, say, their fly unzipped or maybe spinach in their teeth.  You know what I mean...you don't say anything because you don't know them or don't want them or yourself to be embarrased and on and on...  Today I decided I would change that! 

While waiting for my coffee at Starbucks a middle-aged gentleman walked up to the register dressed in a light t-shirt and Khaki pants.  His pants were unzipped and although I was not checking him out, I could not help but notice this as his underwear were a dark color.  Okay, here me out now!  The thought crossed my mind to tell him, and of course I just could not.  I thought about what I might say, and even how he might react.  I decided to do the "unexpected" for me and tell him.  I wandered over after I got my coffee, took a deep breath and said..."I would want someone to tell me, but your pants are unzipped.  I realize that I don't know you and this is embarrassing for both of us, afterall I am a woman and you are a man, but I thought you might like to know."  He laughed.  He zipped up his pants and then he threw up his arms and yelled that he was on medication!

Try doing or saying something today that is "unexpected" for you, but be kind!

Have a blessed day!

Read More
Roben-Marie Smith Comments
I am strong!

Strong_1 I've been involved with a round robin group hosted by Celine Navarro since last year.  There are a lot of great artists in the group!  It is called PlayArt Journal and I just finished the journal page shown here as part of Donna Downey's journal.  After a "long" break from my art room this summer, it was nice to get back to "work" on something fun!  I titled this one STRONG. "Today I  learned I am strong. I can handle more than I thought of myself before now."  Are you strong?


Read More
Roben-Marie Smith Comment
Priceless...

Good


A new toe ring...$4 dollars!

An excellent pedicure...$25 dollars!

A new pair of supportive, comfortable and fashionable Reef  flip flops...$37 dollars!

A new pair of supportive and comfortable, but "un"fashionable Asics running shoes...$65 dollars!

A HAPPY pair of feet...Priceless !!!!

Shoes

Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
The Nation's Oldest City...

When I lived in North Carolina a never did visit The Biltmore Mansion and when I lived in Orlando I seldom went to Disney World.  It is funny how when you live somewhere it is easy to have the mind-set that "one day I'll go" and then you either move or just never take the time.  Yesterday I spent the day visiting The Nation's Oldest City, or at least St. Augustine, Florida claims this title.  St. Augustine reminds me of Charleston, South Carolina, where I grew up and a little like Savannah, Georgia, too. 

Merenee_1

My friend, Renee was up from Miami with her family and we decided to spend some time shopping and taking pictures. The biggest treasures, of course, were the ones we caught behind the camera lens.

Door2web_1

We especially love all the old buildings.  On one corner we found an old pottery studio.  The building most certainly needed to be condemned.  The building itself looked like it was made of aluminum and the front door was wood along with the window's frame.  The whole building was leaning toward the road and the trees at the edge of the street had sprouted up around it, surrounding it with limbs and roots.  The trees really had "grown into and around" the small building. I thought for sure that this building must be on the city's Ghost Tours route!  I'll bet it is very spooky at night!

It was a beautiful day, although it is still pretty hot and humid here in Florida.  We are in peak hurricane season, so any day without a storm looming is a good one this time of year.

Door1web

Door3

 






















Cemone_1

Cem2



Another place we visited was the Huguenot Cemetery.  It is supposed to be haunted, along with a lot of other places in St. Augustine. Makes for good stories by the fire on cold winter nights!

Take the time some weekend this fall and visit a landmark or destination of some kind near you!

Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
A Yummy Souffle!

Mekelly I found a souffle that is so very yummy, but it won't go to your waist line!  My friend, Kelly Kimer and I spent a little time together at Art Unraveled and she shared with me, once again, one of the coolest new art supplies:  Sakura Souffle 3-D Gel Pens! These incredible gel ink pens write, then dry to a 3-dimensional, opaque, matte pastel colour line! It is useable on light or dark materials.  The delicate, fluffy line requires only a few minutes to dry, but the results are very eye-catching!  These are a must have for art journaling!

~~~~~~~~~

My friend, Ronnie took several classes at Art Unraveled and in keeping with her every-developing talent for creating stunning jewelry, made several pieces last week. 

She made a bracelet in Sharilyn Miller's  Beaded Bangles class.

Ronnieone

She also took a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer called Stick in In Your Ear.  She made two beautiful pair of metal earrings.

Ronnietwo

Read More
Roben-Marie SmithComment
A New Journal

Texturejournal I have to admit that I do get pretty excited about the feel, smell and beauty a new journal!  I have admired the work of an artist by the name of Bridgette Guerzon Mills for some time. Today I received one of her handmade coptic bound journals called "Texture of Life" in the mail and it is beautiful!  The journal was carefully wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a polka dotted ribbon.  I especially liked the handmade tag tied to the packaging which featured one of Bridgette's collages. She also included an ATC as well as one of her gift cards.

The journal is 5 x 7 and the covers are painted and collaged canvas boards.  Bridgette finished the front with a soft piece of fabric and a rectangular piece of copper mesh set off with eyelets. The coptic binding is done in an olive thread, which sets it off nicely from the ivory of the journal's pages.  I sense the pages calling to me and I feel the need to lightly sweep my pen over the them..... Okay, back to reality! 

Bridgette's work is lovely and she has a lot to offer.  Visit her shop at Amanobooks to see all she has to offer!  Visit her Blog also!

Read More