31 January 2013

Gratitude list::ABC’s::

A:: to be ALIVE

B:: the BIBLE

C:: Choice

D:: Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey
E:: Excavations

F:: Freedom

G:: Girlfriends

H:: HABITS (the good ones, at least)
I aspire to make my own jams one day. I bought a really good one, orange and cinnamon, at the Christmas market here in Milan the other day. :)
I:: Italian

J:: Jesus

K:: Keeping space open for spontenaity

L:: Laughter
M:: Mornings

N:: Nail polish

O:: Oportunity

P:: Poetry

Q:: Quiet

R:: Rome

S:: Slumber

T:: Traveling
Prague with amazing luggage!
U:: Urban gardens

V:: The Vampire Diaries

W:: Walks

X:: xoxo (kisses & hugs)
Quiet Night in Prague
Y:: Yogurt

Z:: zucchero (sugar in Italiano)

Photos found here, here, here, here, and here

30 January 2013


I am really enjoying this class! It's keeping me creative and conscious of my days as they pass. I feel I have so much to record and remember and be thankful for, but I've always waved it off for another day. Not anymore! I want to live fully awake! (now if only this Italian internet would start working more consistently...)

29 January 2013

My 2nd Roman Saturday

There are a lot of pictures, I know.
But this was my Saturday (my only full day off at the moment) and I enjoyed it immensely.
Italian class in the morning,
wandering the tiny streets,
enjoying a cappuccino and panino with a new friend,
browsing a locally-made arts & crafts market,
resting our feet over a Spritz (a before-dinner drink)
and reconnecting with other au pairs for a dinner out (eight of us!)

I can't wait for this Saturday to come around! 

25 January 2013

What does 'Pursuing a Smile' mean anyway?

In the past I've been solely a blog-on-occasion-for-a-purpose-kind-of-girl.

I had a blog in college when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy--that lasted about four months, five at the most. I did the blogging for a volunteer group that I was involved with, when we departed for Thailand for two months. I was in charge of group updates. And finally, I had a blog when I moved my life from Florida to Prague to teach English and accomplish my dream of living in Europe (at least for part of my life). That endeavor lasted two years, but by the end I had stopped blogging regularly as life abroad can fill up one's schedule quite quickly.

Now, almost eight months since I left Prague, I am beginning up again. This time it is my sincere hope to make this home for a long time. I'm tired of creating blogs to match what I'm doing at that particular moment. I may change countries or cities or flats a million more times, but I need some permanence in my life. Even if it is only online. I clearly have some commitment issues, with four blog start-ups in the past six years. And countless physical moves since I began college back in 2006.

So, here it is, my 5th blog and hopefully, my last. Pursuing a Smile is about my journey. I've combined Pursuing (from my Prague blog) with Smile (from my previous Italian blog) to create a home that will follow my wandering ways. In spirit, in emotion, in wonderment and adoration, in gratitude, in physical adventures, and in small moments of my life. I have always been know to be a smiling person, nicknamed 'Happy Hannah' or the-girl-constantly-smiling, so I only find it appropriate that I share my smile here too.

Come, reflect with me. Voyage with me. Pursue a smile everyday.

24 January 2013

Reflections + Recollections

My life slows to an easy pace. The days are short and wet in winter in Rome. I watch the two children every weekday from 1-7:30pm, so my mornings are long and lazy. I don't rush out of bed, instead I linger and piddle around on my laptop reading blogs. I should get more into a routine. But I am LOVING having the mornings to myself, to stay in my pajamas until I have to work. I don't even feel guilty about not going out early to see bits of Rome before the tourists swarm the city. The rain keeps me captive in my little cozy flat. And I've been a willing prisoner too! 

1) my typical breakfast-in-bed served on a silver platter by me, for me. ;)
2) shelves and the trinkets I've lugged around in my baggage from one destination to the next.
3) my 'headboard'='Bon Voyage' bunting, an old map calendar I've made into a collage of Bible verses about the WORLD, and my Baltic-Sea-driftwood-souvenir that's had heads turning every time I carry it around wrapped like a bow. You should have seen me at the airport! Ha!
4-5) my newly acquired handmade genuine Italian leather shoes. January is the month to shop in Italy. Sales galore! 
6) view from my lazy winter mornings in bed

19 January 2013

Welcome to my new home online!

Hello world!

I'm so excited to be blogging again, mostly because a lot has happened since my last posting phase (found here) but also because I've missed recording my thoughts, inspirations, memories, and life.  

So, here's a quick hello! See you all again soon!