Ocean Blues


Bolly Cuff in Caribbean Turquoise via Dunitz & Co. 

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the biggest impacts that surfing with Groundswell this summer has had on me is the way it has stoked my recommitment to protecting the environment, particularly our oceans.

Case in point? I now have a reusable water bottle again and haven't purchased a plastic water bottle in weeks.

In that post, I also shared a lesson that I learned from Groundswell's founder about buying power and how every purchase we make is essentially a vote. Going forward, I want my votes to go to businesses that have ethical and sustainable business practices.

Which is why when Dunitz & Co. reached out to me and was generous enough to send me a piece of their beautiful fair trade jewelry from Guatemala, I was excited for the opportunity to showcase them here.

Especially since founder Nancy Dunitz has such a #goals-worthy story: she left behind her corporate finance gig for more creative pursuits and to satiate her passion for world travel. That combination landed her in Guatemala where she fell in love with the beadwork of local artisans and was inspired to start her own company.

Not only is Dunitz & Co. a member of the Fair Trade Federation, but they are also a Gold Certified Green America Business and women-owned and operated. And their colorful, beaded jewelry just happens to be exactly my style.

You Can't Conquer The Ocean


I think it was my fifth surf therapy session with Groundswell Community Project. I was paired up with a volunteer, a surf sister, Rebecca, who I hadn't met before, so I was introducing myself. I was giving her my elevator pitch, a quick synopsis of why I had joined their summer program. 

"Yeah, so I just learned how to swim a couple of years ago and this," I said, sweeping my hand to indicate the ocean on the horizon, "...is the next thing to conquer." 

We didn't have much time. Rebecca was listening, but at that particular moment she was mostly looking for the best place to help me get in the ocean as quickly as possible, trying to make sure I got on a wave or two on a particularly choppy day. Which is why I doubt she noticed when my own words stopped me in my tracks.

"Conquer" the ocean. Like it was just another achievement waiting to be checked off. Like it was something almost mechanical, merely requiring strategy, calculations and persistence.

Like it was even remotely possible. 

This sudden awareness of how I was describing the ocean was the seed of only one of the many salt water-soaked lessons that I learned with Groundswell Community Project this summer. I am profoundly and deeply changed after spending 8 weeks with their wonderful volunteers and their incredible force of a founder, Natalie Small. And of course, with Mother Ocean.

Only now, after reflecting on my experience for the past month to try and make sure I accurately articulate how it's changed me, have I felt able to share. 



For me, the buzz around Wonderspaces started with one picture some friends on a date posted on Instagram. In it, they were in a room with a giant floating spiked balloon. And for whatever reason, I just assumed they were in LA. That's where all the cool artsy stuff happens, right?

But within 24 hours of that photo showing up on my feed, the buzz grew steadily. My friends Makena and Liz both texted me separately asking if I'd heard of Wonderspaces. My coworkers were sharing snaps from their own visits in the kitchen at work. And more and more photos began to pop up on my Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

By the end of the next day, I was almost paralyzed with FOMO.

Wonderspaces, a traveling pop-up art exhibit that's here through July 30th, is the coolest thing to happen to San Diego in a loooong time.  As they share on their website, "you can think of Wonderspaces as a pop-up museum of extraordinary experiences.  Those experiences range from room-sized interactive art installations to virtual reality films and include art enjoyed at the world’s biggest festivals and fairs."

You can also think of Wonderspaces as an Instagram staging area or as a way to justify weeknight drinks, since all of their alcohol sales go to local charities. Because as I finally found out for myself last week, Wonderspaces has got a little something for everybody...

DIY: Ocean Sunset Mala Bead Necklace Tutorial


My introduction to mala beads came shortly after I started this blog in 2013. In fact, I was introduced because of this blog: my first mala necklace was gifted to me by a company that had seen my blog and felt that my voice connected with people who would enjoy their products. I hadn't heard of mala beads at the time, but I cherished that necklace and still wear it to this day.

For those who don't know, mala bead necklaces or meditation necklaces consist of 108 beads and a bindu or guru stone. The idea is to speak or think your intention or mantra as you touch each bead, ending with the bindu, on which you will give thanks to your teachers, whoever or whatever they may be.

If you're just starting out with meditation, I've found that a mala necklace can be a helpful tool to use for focus. And unlike prayer beads in other faiths, you can and should wear your mala beads as a reminder of your intention throughout the day!

Recently, I attended a local gem show with my friend Makena and purchased enough supplies to start making my own mala designs. For my very first mala, I was inspired by the view I am lucky enough to see from my house each night: a brightly colored sun setting into the ocean.

And as it turns out? Making your own mala necklace is just as relaxing as the meditation practice it's used for.

The Ultimate West Coast Road Trip


Today is Memorial Day which means it's officially the start of summer. And the start of summer means... the start of road trip season!

I posted individually about each leg of the 8-day West Coast Road Trip I took last summer, but I wanted to put together a guide for the trip as a whole. And what better day than today, while I was relaxing around the house wishing I had a new road trip lined up for the summer?

Revisiting this trip (one of my favorites of all time!) today made me miss having a trip like this to research and plan out. And a 3000+ mile trip definitely requires at least a little planning.

On that note, I hope that this post not only inspires you to get outside and see some of our beautiful country this summer, but hopefully it helps do a bit of the heavy lifting on the planning front as well!

As for me, I'm ready for my next adventure. Any suggestions???