Sunday, 31 March 2013

the sunday slowdown// happy feet

wooly socks + roaring fire

You could close your eyes and swear it was still December around these parts.

Wintry drafts and snowfall are doing battle with the sunshine which is doing it's best to peek through the clouds and warm us all up a bit.

A long, hot soak
I do love the coziness of a cold evening in a warm house though.
There have been two very happy feet wrapped up snug in woolen socks and treated to log fires, hot bubble baths and electric heated bed sheets.

Warm sheets, long socks and tea in bed

Maybe you can tarry a little longer Spring...a certain gal and her happy feet could get used to this 

p.s~ in all the travelling back home hoopla last week I completely forgot to mention I was featured reviewing my favorite book on  I Believe in Story.
I absolutely love Maria's blog~ and if your somewhat of a bookish Matilda like myself you should definitely check her out.
You can read my review of Jeanette Winterson's 'Sexing the Cherry' here.


Friday, 29 March 2013

stars in jars facebook page

Good morning campers ^.^

I have finally got around to creating a facebook page for Stars in Jars.
Free cosmic love & hugs all round if you click through and follow along with me there.
Absolutely do NOT like my facebook page if you're not fond of music, books, crafts or photos of gorgeous bearded men.
But! If mountain caves, blog shout outs, fiery nebulas, George Harrison circa 1974, navajo treasures and  frequent Stones/Joplin/Stevie Nicks video rewinds turn you on then...let's be friends!!!

Love you to the ☾ & ★'s


Wednesday, 27 March 2013


These past few days have been chilly, snowy, nothing to do but roam around the house days.
I have reminiscence written all over me.
Photo albums are being pored over, old love notes read and re-read and journals flipped through and smiled at fondly.

Above is the journal I kept on my first trip to India back in 2009, it's probably been about three years since I last read through it. My fingers tips are worn smooth from turning so many pages that still smell like a mixture of incense and spices, a ghost of a scent trapped and preserved between the pages after all these years.

Reading through my entries I'm amazed at how resolved I was to document not just the events of my trip but the emotions, the connections, the conversations and the lessons learned.
I scribbled down quotes and snatches gleaned from chats with fellow travelers; things that resonated with me or I wanted to remember for future reference. Compliments given to me or assertions on life that had never occurred to me before.

I wrote lengthy excerpts from books that I was reading while I traveled, stories told by taxi and rickshaw drivers, my fortune given by a palm reader.
 There are maps, phone numbers and email addresses scribbled in the margins alongside my own doodles and calender entries detailing what I did each day.
 I will forever know that on June 4th of 2009 I "Sat next to the ocean reading Hemingway and drinking Ginger Lemon Honey Tea".

Every page is filled with the people I met, their impressions on me, the experiences I had, the romances and what I learned from them.

I'm so glad I have this keepsake from the most magical and influential 4 months of my life to treasure and keep for always.

It's a reminder in this time of healing of what once was and what once again can be.

I'll leave you with a final thought- a sentence scribbled on to the first page of my book, whether it was a quote I heard or read or it came from my own brain I can't remember, but it's a nice thought, and one that serves me well in this current path I'm taking...

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Waking up to nothing but the sound of birdsong and wind rolling over the fields and against the windows.

Rolling up the blinds to uncover not the usual sprawl of 15-story apartment buildings and traffic noise, but green grass, blue sky and sun and snow in soft battle with each other. 

After 28 hours of travel and 17 hours of straight sleep... I am finally home.

Open fire, fully-stocked kitchen, loving family-filled home.

I've found myself lingering in my bedroom these past couple of days and trying to get to know it all over again...
 opening drawers, rearranging shelves, leafing through old journals and creating a brand new writing space.

It's funny how brand new everything can feel after just a year away, how you can open your wardrobe only to feel the clothes inside it must belong to some other girl and you could't possibly have picked out these things!

It goes to show how much a person can grow, tastes change and styles evolve as we grow older. I ended up taking a trash bag to my room and purging it of a lot of the things that felt like they belonged to an 'old' version of me.

At the same time it was a delight to peek inside old tins and boxes and uncover forgotten treasures...trinkets gathered from across the world, a vintage plate filled with my Grandmother's jewelry, letters from high school friends...

It's still slowly sinking in that I'm back here,
but it's a good feeling, 
and there's definitely no place like it.

Friday, 22 March 2013


잘가 in Korean is an informal version of 'good-bye', it's not as final as good-bye though, it's more of a 'see you later'.

While I move further into my final evening in South Korea I hope that this will be a 'see you later' rather than a 'goodbye'. For me, even though the circumstances of my leaving this country are bittersweet I'd like to think I'm leaving the door open behind me when I leave.

Instead of focusing on the negatives and the reasons behind my leaving I'd rather use my final post written in Korea to remember the sweeter memories and experiences from this past year.

My unforgettable night at the Beach House concert.

The heartfelt guest-post I wrote for Roots and Feathers about South Korea and the universal map.

My beautiful, inspiring kindergarten students.

My countless cozy afternoons spent in Korean coffee shops.

The time I paper bombed my city with free smiles.

So I'll see you later then,'s been, memorable ^.~

Thursday, 21 March 2013

blogs I dig

There are certain bloggers in my (long) list of daily reads who make my heart beat faster when I see a new post from them when I log in to my Bloglovin every morning.

These chicks are some of the most artistic,  talented, creative, inspirational, spiritual, bookish and wanderlustin' girls to rock the net.

Whether it's their beautiful photography, hand made creations, rad writing skills or eye opening thoughts on life each of these girls inspire me so much in one way or another every single day.

Three cheers for daydreamers + the internet...check these chicks out!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

pen + paper

It makes my heart so happy to know so many of my readers share my adoration for pretty handritten letter swaps and I've had such a wonderful time creating individual little pen and paper creations for everyone who has contacted me for mail and package swaps.

Since I will be relocating very soon to Ireland my return address for all those who I am currently pen-palling with will be different.

I have emailed everyone who I am actively involved in exchanges with right now to let them know my new mailing address but in case I have overlooked anyone and you haven't heard from me please email me at tremblingstarz {at} gmail {dot} com for my new address.

I don't want this move to affect any standing pen-pals I've already made, I'm forever happy when I'm sitting down surrounded by paper and pen and handmade envelopes connecting with mysterious people from faraway places.

If you want to become a pen-pal don't hesitate to email me.
I'd love to connect with you via mailbox!

heart sabbatical

This past year since I arrived back in Korea has been a full one, packed like a bulging suitcase with  extremes; extreme highs , extreme lows, landmarks and downfalls in both my personal and love life. Things of which I have alluded to on here but not given the full un-edited version.

Sadly, for the past few months the bad moments have overtaken the good, and while I could brush them off like raindrops before, now I feel as if I'm caught up in a full blown rainstorm. 

For these reasons I have made the difficult decision to cut my contract with my school early and take some time off to go home and be with my family. To give myself the time and space for my heart to recover, for wounds to heal.

Living in a foreign country has the most amazing benefits in terms of life experience and rich memories to treasure but when things turn sour it can be a lonely, lonely position to be in.

Right now I'm looking forward to returning to the familiar, the loved ones, the comfort of my real home.

I hope you guys keep following me while I'm on my healing heart sabbatical.
My parents live in the rural countryside of Ireland, the perfect place for relaxation and wound-licking!

And gosh how I can't wait to give my parents a big koala-bear hug! 

➳ desert dreams ➳

desert dreams

desert dreams by louloubelle51

I'm letting my mind flutter and float to more clement climes.
No more heavy coats and cable knits... I long for the feel of floating dresses against naked legs, bare arms and sandaled feet and vintage thrift finds.

I pulled together this outfit inspiration on Polyvore today to appease my longing for summer dress weather.
I've also been pinning outfit ideas like crazy...

...are you guys this achy for summer too?

Monday, 18 March 2013

mail swaps

My love for all things sealed inside an envelope and found hidden inside letterboxes is no secret around these parts and today I wanted to give you a little peek inside one of my received envelopes ^^

I had the sweetest gift waiting for me in my mail box last week... a package swap from the beautiful Nicole from Gypsy in Jasper.

Nicole is from the Canadian Rockies and she put together the loveliest little treasures for me to discover in her package including stickers, cute woven bracelets, a scarf, wooden beads and this adorable crochet envelope that she hand-made herself.

Everything was so thoughtful and put together with love and attention, right down to the sweet message inside the card.

Thank you so much Nicole, I was delighted with every last thing and can't wait to send a treasure or two over to your part of the world!

If you are interested in taking part in snail mail or package swaps with me see this post for how to get in touch.

I love connecting with people the world over through this little internet pocket I have or through all things handwritten and lovely!

Also, why don't you pop over to Abhaya today where I am guest posting for Sondra while she gypsy steps her way around India (lucky thing). 

You can discover my second Korean love beside the paper goods...cute cosmetics!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

« « love for bloglovin » »

Good Monday champs!

I'm sure you've heard by now the buzz on the web that Google will be ridding the Google Friend Connect feature from it's blogs on July 1st.

Ever since I began reading blogs I have always been a huge fan of Bloglovin as a platform for storing, organizing and reading all my favorite daily blog reads.
It's incredibly functional, has a lovely simple design layout and a great i phone app too.

If you have exclusively been using Google Reader to catch up on your daily dose of blog reading you can easily transfer your list of beloved blogs over to your new Bloglovin account here.

Hopefully the transition won't be too painful for bloggers and readers alike >.<

Friday, 15 March 2013

white day

March 14th in Korea is officially known as 'White Day'~ a holiday in which the boys traditionally shower their sweethearts with gifts and presents... or in my case my students shower me with candy and chocolate and a possible future trip to the dentist.

Dallas and I didn't really celebrate Valentine's Day when we were still together last month but last night we went Dutch as friends and ate delicious barbecued samgyupsal, which is the juiciest pork sizzled up right at your table and then eaten wrapped in a sesame leaf with spicy sauce, garlic and onions.

My heart is forever glad that the friendship didn't die when the relationship did.
It's a rare thing that should be treasured, and I do, with all of my heart.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

kindie teacher moment of the week

Messing around with the Smile Cat App on your iphone with your 7 year olds is educational, non?

Well it's way more fun than practicing for a spelling test anyway...


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

strawberries and turquoise

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Patti Smith on Grooveshark

After Monday's post I have been making small and conscious efforts to savor the tiny and precious moments during my day which I would have otherwise let slip into the part of my brain that doesn't retain memories.

Today as I travelled home from work I studied the faces of the people I shared my subway carriage with, I noticed the pretty turquoise pattern of the subway station's floor tiles, the ornate window grill, the fresh strawberries for sale on the street.

I'm having a little strawberry floor picnic as I type this, taking the time to experience the taste and texture of each one as I sit here typing and listening to Patti Smith. Really listening, taking in the lyrics, gleaning what I can from them. Because this is another of my faults; when I hear music I don't make the effort to absorb the words, instead letting the melody wash in to one ear and out of the other.

Mindfulness is on my mind.
Can you tell?
I'm working on it and it feels pretty good.
Thanks to all for your words of encouragement.
I savor them as much as these strawberries.

Monday, 11 March 2013

chasing sunsets

Happy monday, friends!
I feel I should say that to you, because Monday is such a bugbear isn't it?
Of all of the 7 days in our week Monday is the bête noire, the nuisance, the one to just get out of the way.
As I sat in my empty classroom at 9am this morning eating my porridge from a Sesame Street bowl I was already dreaming of 6 o'clock when I could put my coat back on and go home.
Wishing my life away, in effect.

When that golden hour arrived and I rushed out of the school and onto the subway with my mind set on getting home and putting my yoga pants and the kettle on I didn't stop to people watch, to reflect on my day, to be present. 

It was only when I exited the subway and was stricken by this beautiful, whipped pastel dream of a sunset that I stopped, stood, appreciated and contemplated.
One moment, in my entire day, that I did that.

And that, friends, wrapped a great blanket of melancholy around me.
Because I realized in that one solitary moment that I have been failing miserably in two of my aspirations for this year; learn to be more present and in the moment and practice mindfulness.

I shouldn't chase the sunset.
I should be present for all of the moments in between me getting out of bed in the morning up until I see that sunset.
I shouldn't count the minutes but be an active observer of them: paying attention to every emotion, every sight, sound and smell. Every child's smile or teacher's words, every 5 year old's hug or the way the light reflection changes through the window with the passing hours.

What a sad thing to let these moments pass by unnoticed, to let them fade un-acknowledged and unappreciated into another Monday 'done and dusted'.

It sounds so easy.
Tomorrow I will try harder.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

the sunday slowdown

 Do you ever wish that Sunday mornings could just last forever?
Today's was the perfect, lazy, slow-wake-up kind of morning with cups of tea and bacon sandwiches and The Beach Boys and jumping in and out of bed till noon.

Later the sunshine (sunshine!) enticed me into the shower and out to the tracks to watch my buddy put me to shame by running 10k while I slouched on the stands, listening to Radiohead and messing around with photo apps on my phone.

She's a master deceiver, Madam Weather, especially when she is in transition and my fingers finally became numb enough by the wind chill for me to sneak off and hide out in a coffee shop with a book, a chocolate latte and the warmth of a sunny spot next to a window.
Because, really, what sunday is complete without a little coffee shop action?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


⋙⋙⋙ reading⋙⋙⋙


I've just ordered a beautiful deck of Tarot cards and a book on how to read.
I had a very interesting first experience with Tarot reading earlier this year and so far every last thing the reader predicted for me has blossomed into a reality.
The future is and should be the wild unknown, but it can't harm to pull out the map and compass and try and explore it a little can it?
Even if I the cards don't show me anything or the right side of my brain ends up rejecting the concept of readings I'll be happy just to own these cards for the sake of their beauty and mystique.

⋙⋙⋙ planning⋙⋙⋙

To catch up with an old beardy-weirdy friend and ex-cohort and a beautiful gal I've only know through the internet but have managed to magically bond with somehow online.
I can't wait to see them and introduce them to new stomping grounds and make a weekend-load's worth of memories.

⋙⋙⋙ watching⋙⋙⋙

My current tv candy is the exceptional HBO series 'Girls'.
I'm in love with Lena Dunham and how she sticks her two middle fingers up at the stereotypical female body type.
I listened to Robyn's 'Dancing On My Own' on repeat for about a week after watching the episode where Hannah starts jamming out to it while tweeting.
Jessa is one of the most amazing tv characters written. To quote: 
""I'm going to look 50 when I'm 30, I'm going to be so fucking fat like Nico, you know why? Because I'm going to be full of experiences."
A to the men.

⋙⋙⋙ eating⋙⋙⋙

Big ol' mugs of hot British tea and toast dripping with butter and marmalade.
Tastes like home sweet home.

⋙⋙⋙ writing⋙⋙⋙

Lately I've been trying to spend less time typing and more time putting ink to paper.
My first love has always been writing stories and I've been scratching out a few picture and idea mood boards in my notebook for a short story idea I've had.

⋙⋙⋙ listening⋙⋙⋙

{{Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie}}
I've been going rock-steady this past month or so. 
Blasting out eclectic sessions that leave drum-beats on my soul...
Jimmi, The Stones, Janis and Stevie Nicks have all been hollering from my speakers and shaking up this gal to her core.

⋙⋙⋙ learning⋙⋙⋙

"Sometimes the healing is in the aching."
.. ▻▻▻◈◅◅◅ ..

Sunday, 3 March 2013

little family

Friday nights are for friends and food, bars that allow music requests, painting the boys lips with lipgloss and laughter.
Big, big belly laughs that spill tears from the eyes and hurt the stomach muscles.
We started at the coffee shop and moved on to a local haunt to celebrate two of our dear co-workers departure from our school. 
We had a strange diet of squid and sausage, beer from the tap and requests ranging from Christina Aguilera to The Kinks.
I love my sweet-spirited Noonas (sisters) so much~ and damn but aren't they gorgeous??!