Instagram of the Day: Things happen for a reason…

I haven’t done an “Instagram of the Day” post in a while so I decided that it was time for one. I’m feeling extra ‘in-need-of-motivation’ today so I thought I’d give you a dose of inspiration for your Monday blues. I picked up this trinket a little less than two years ago at a little store on Martha’s Vineyard. It was a store full of motivation, happiness, life and zen; a type of store I can spend a lot of time in browsing everything. While I was in this store, I picked up this trinket and a mug that simply said ‘Let Go.’ The trinket has now been turned into a key chain (I got a hole drilled through it in Cambodia).

I’ve always been the type of person who had to have full control of what goes on in my life. What I wanted to study, where I ended up for school, what I did for my internship, how my future looked, etc. Until I realized that nothing is really in our control. We just have the power to do the best in what we do now, focus on the present and hope that things work out the way we want them to. There are times when I didn’t achieve or get what I wanted. I usually spent those times punishing myself – but looking back, we always realize that things do work out in the end – and you know what, it even works out for the best, better than what I could’ve imagined. Where I am today is definitely not somewhere I had planned to be 5 years ago but it’s definitely a lot better than what I could’ve asked for. Everything that I did link to each other and shape who I am today – hence everything that has happened to me in the past has had a reason behind it: to help me be where I am today. I was only able to realize this when I let go of all expectations and control of the future and just focus on the present with an open mind.  I now truly believe that:

Things happen for a reason; just believe. All you have to do is simply… let go.

*You can now follow my Instagram on your web browser: instagram.com/nananapark

Lazy Sunday Cafe Days: Cafe Fuel America

I love lazy Sundays spent at a cafe. Cafe with great coffee, food and awesome interior. There used to be one near where I lived but now that’s a little far away so I didn’t have a hang out spot until I found this gem around the corner from my house: Fuel America.

I went inside and immediately loved the interior design. The lighting, the furniture, the wall decorations, the way to cafe is set up, etc. My favorite, however, was the little art corner I discovered. On the shelf were drawing books, sketch books and lots of color pencils, markers, crayons and sharpies :).

While my sister was studying, I managed to get some reading done and doodle on the pages sipping my cafe latte. It’s a perfect spot to just relax and get some work done as well! Oh, not to mention, I love the music they play there as well! Can’t remember a particular song so I’m just gonna share with you what I’m listening to right now, haha.

Definitely going to make it a regular visit :) I actually can’t wait for the weekend so that I can go back.

Feel free to join me for a little study date!

Friday Fantasy

Did anyone notice? Maybe some of you noticed… hope SOMEONE noticed.. that I have not posted a Friday Fantasy post in a while. Oopsies… well, it was kind of intentional. Having it weekly was just too much. Too many places to fantasize every week. But I think it’s about time I bring it back. Especially after seeing TripAdvisor’s recent list: Traveler’s Choice Wine Destinations. You know how much I LOVE wine. Unfortunately I have not been to any wine destinations in the world but that could be changed, right? So here are my top 5 lists of wine destinations I want to visit.

1) Tuscany Italy. I had to add this to the top of the list because well, it must have been picked the best for some reason right? Looking at the photos though, I definitely understand why it was picked as #1.  It’s said to be hard to find a bad bottle of wine in Tuscany. To be honest, I’ve never tried Italian wine but I think I should! Any recommendations? I know what I’ll be doing when I’m in Italy! Countryside wine tours – here I come. The no.1 winery in Castellina In Chianti, Tuscany, Italy is: Azienda Agricola Casanova

Photos of Azienda Agricola Casanova, Castellina In ChiantiThis photo of Azienda Agricola Casanova is courtesy of TripAdvisor

2) Hunter Valley is the oldest wine region in Australia. I’ve been telling people that I want to go to Australia to work in a winery so this is kind of perfect. Maybe I will go to Hunter Valley and work in a winery some day. Apparently there are over 140 wineries with Semillon and Shiraz. The no.1 winery in Pokolbin, Cessnock, NSW, Australia is: Scarborough Wine Company.

Photos of Brokenwood Wines, PokolbinThis photo of Brokenwood Wines is courtesy of TripAdvisor

3) Province of Mendoza, Argentina. Argentinian wine’s one of my favorites. Anyone who loves a good Malbec apparently go to Mendoza. I do love a good Malbec. There are apparently more than 1,200 vineyards. “And if you’re into adventure travel as well as tasting excellent wine, look no further—Mendoza offers ample opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing and rafting. ” Why am I not there right now? The no.1 winery in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina is: Bodega Ruca Malen.

Photos of Bodega Ruca Malen, Lujan de CuyoThis photo of Bodega Ruca Malen is courtesy of TripAdvisor

4) Costa de la Luz, Spain. How can we possibly leave Spain out from the list? We all know I love a good bottle of Spanish wine w/ tapas and awesome conversations. :) This destination is apparently perfect for sherry and art lovers. “There, you can sample excellent VOS and VORS sherries and view works by Goya and Velazquez from the owner’s personal art collection.” Sounds like the perfect destination for me. The no.1 winery in Jerez De La Frontera, Spain is: Tabanco Plateros.

Photos of Tabanco Plateros, Jerez De La FronteraThis photo of Tabanco Plateros is courtesy of TripAdvisor

5) Long Island, New YorkThis is on the list because, well, it’s unexpected. I thought Long Island was only known for its.. you know.. iced tea. Apparently most vineyards are small and bottle their vintages in very limited runs, so it’s unlikely that you’ll find them in local stores or restaurants. It’s the perfect destination for wine lovers who want something different.  “Local Syrah and Merlot are reliably good, but try some sparkling Pinot Blanc and excellent rosé, too.” Since this is so close, maybe it’ll be my first destination from the list. The no.1 winery in Peconic, NY is: Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard.

Photos of Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard, PeconicThis photo of Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Click for a list of TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2012 Best Wine Destinations World, U.S., Europe & South Pacific.

Have you been to any of the wine destinations that are on the list? Any that are not on the list you’d recommend?