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Alyssa

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I’m the first to admit that I cycle through hobbies and interest fairly quickly.  A couple years ago, four months of my life was completely devoted to embroidery. I thought of embroidery non-stop, and I organized my nights and weekends at home for optimal embroidery time. Then — suddenly — I didn’t want to do it anymore. I now I have two bags of half-finished embroidery projects I haven’t looked at in over a year.

Since then, I’ve been trying to ease into my hobbies a little slower. I still flitter between interests, but I try to find a balance between each, and I don’t let myself do all the work I usually want to do in a day. I’m hoping this will keep the momentum going and prevent burn out!

What’s my latest hobby? Making my own clothes. And I think this one is going to stick. Because not only does it include the the crafts I already love to do (embroidery, knitting, weaving), it let’s me use these skills in a more practical and efficient way.

A few weeks ago, I complained on Instagram about how hard it’s become to find clothes in my preferred style and fabrics. Am I totally out of style? It seems the stores I used to count on for interesting, well-made clothes can’t be depended on anymore. Basically all I want to wear are fit and flare dresses in opaque natural fibers. No sheer viscose that hangs off my body with no shape – that’s what I keep seeing in stores! A friend suggested I try my hand at sewing, and although I initially responded with a “No, I’m really not good at sewing!” I kept thinking about it. And then I started doing it!

You may have heard of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It came out a few years ago and caused a stir. It’s been parodied in the media, and I know an equal number of people who either benefited from or hated the book. The primary take-away from Marie Kondo (her nickname is KonMari): Decide what items to keep and discard based on their answer to one question: “Does it spark joy?” If it doesn’t, you thank the item for serving its purpose and you get rid of it.

After a rainy 24 hours in Geneva, Joseph and I set off on a 4-hour train ride to Milan. We’d been traveling for over a week – from Colorado to Iceland to London to Switzerland – and we were tired. We’re introverted homebodies, and being out and about in foreign countries wears us out.

When we crossed the border into Italy, we suddenly got excited. We didn’t realize how much we’d been longing for familiarity until we got a taste of it. Our train pulled into the beautiful station in Milan that we’ve visited half a dozen times, and we suddenly felt totally at home. Everything changed, like a switch was hit. It was completely unexpected and completely wonderful. I no longer regretted the way I’d planned our trip, spending a week in Italian cities we’d been to before. This week was a refuge towards the end of an exhausting and exciting vacation.

Joseph and I spent months planning our 10th anniversary trip. 7 cities, 7 plane rides, 8 hotels – 18 carefully-planned days. This quick trip to Switzerland was one of our last editions, and we really did it for one reason: we wanted a snowy winter wonderland.

Unfortunately, as happens, our 24 hours in Switzerland didn’t show us the best weather. It was rainy and cold the entire time. We landed on a Sunday and left the next Monday, and we tried to enjoy it as best we could given the weekend hours and nasty weather. There wasn’t much for us to do, especially since the one place on our list (United Nations) had closed for the season three days earlier.

We stayed in just about the cutest hotel imaginable, Hotel Edelweiss. The whole place smelled like cinnamon – that’s basically a dream come true for me! A warm, welcoming refuge to the rainy days outside. I’m a light sleeper, and every time I woke up I caught a big whiff of cinnamon and then easily fell back asleep. It was lovely!

Continuation of my posts about our recent 10th anniversary trip to Iceland, London, Geneva, Milan, Venice, and Colorado. Click here to see all the posts, and click here to see the recent post about our first two days in London.

On the advice of a friend, we decided to spend our last day in London at Windsor Castle. The 45 minute train through the English contryside is wonderful in itself. What a nice break this was after two busy days in London!

We especially enjoyed seeing the childhood home (and current weekend home) of Queen Elizabeth II after watching The Crown!