It's Easy When You're Young Not To Realize That You're Lucky

11.25.2018


I originally wrote this post a couple of weeks ago when the wine and the words were finally flowing after so many months of the well being dry.

The word well that is. The wine well has never been fuller than it has this past year.

The gist of it was an overview of how utterly emotionally exhausting this year has been, juxtaposed with all the struggles of those closest to me and the world at large as a reminder that I have no right to complain. A nice hot mess of feeling sorry for myself and then feeling guilty for feeling sorry for myself.

I don't feel that it accomplished what my inebriated mind intended it to do, so I took it down the next morning.

But I desperately do want to reclaim this creative space again and the only thing stopping me is how overwhelming a feat it seems to pick up where I left off, complete with an explanation or recap of where I've been. So here I am, reposting this in a (ridiculously) pared down version, as a means to rip the bandaid off and just get back at it.

The recap is this: This year has been hard. For me, sure, but for everyone it seems. I don't know if this is just adulthood-induced hyperawareness and this is why adults always seemed so stressed out when I was a kid or if things really are that bad in the world. It sure feels like the latter.

But then we got married and all of the people closest to us came out and made our day incredible for us and for that I am grateful. It was the brightest spot in an otherwise pretty dark couple of years and it has created a lightness in me that has made me cautiously hopeful again. To be the recipient of such love and generosity, to feel like I've entered a new, elevated phase with the love of my life, to be done with the (fun) stress of planning and paying for a wedding, and to have come to my own realization of what needs to take priority now that we have started this new chapter as a family unit.

That reprioritization has made me a lot more aware of the changes I need to make to be the best version of myself that I can be for my husband, my family and friends and the planet. And the best version of me desperately needs a creative outlet and a platform to share and connect.

Which brings me back to this space. My little digital sanctuary.

I'm excited to reconnect and to carve out time for myself to focus on this space in a new way. While this is a place where I still want to write about all things to do with my life (helloooo wedding posts!), living in San Diego, surf shack decor, travels, fitness, and the ocean, I'll also be adding in a lot more about my focus on a more eco-conscious lifestyle and conscious consumerism, my personal creative projects, and eventually, our grand adventure of starting a family (!!!!).

Onward...

Saying YAS to the Dress

5.05.2018


With less than 6 months until our wedding now, planning is finally in full swing! And I could not be more excited.

Back in January I was tearing through wedding checklists like a maniac. But I quickly realized that this is the only time I get to do this. And I want this planning process to be fun and memorable and stress-free too (or at least as stress-free as it can be for a stress addict like me). I want to indulge in it a bit!

So when it came to shopping for The Dress, I decided to make a weekend out of it. Shanna, Makena, Bonnie and I headed up to Venice Beach the weekend after my birthday with a cute AirBnB booked and two dress appointments: one at Dreamers and Lovers in Torrance and the other at my bridal mecca, Grace Loves Lace.

60s Surfy Beachy Breezy Boho California Bride

5.01.2018


That's it. That's the search term I have typed into Google anytime I have even ventured to daydream about my wedding day. And if you have ever searched such a thing in the past 5 or 6 years, you have probably seen this dress: Grace Loves Lace's beautiful Hollie.

For a long time, I only ever pictured getting married in this dress. And since I first laid eyes on it, I've been obsessed with literally anything that Grace Loves Lace puts out. I don't think I have ever even seriously entertained the idea of being anything other than a GLL bride.

Until today. Today, when I have narrowed it down to not one but two GLL dresses that I am painstakingly, melodramatically trying to decide between.

Sadly, neither of the two is the Hollie (let's be honest, that dress would have fit my 27-year-old bod a lot nicer than my 32-year-old bod), but both of them are perfect in their own right. And I am so torn between them that my fearless bridesmaids have even gone so far as to suggest that I look at.... other dresses.

They have a point. If it's so hard to decide then maybe neither of them is The Dress?

So, for the first time since the very beginning of this wedding planning process, I typed in my search term again. And I didn't totally hate what I saw.

Hot Chocolate 5K/15K

3.25.2018


Fun fact: there are like 200 days until Ryan and I get married. And I am no where near the shape I want to be in. So get ready for an onslaught of #SweatingForTheWedding fitness posts!

Starting with this one: a recap of my very fun, very hilly, very hungover Hot Chocolate 5K last Sunday!

After prepping our guest room and bringing my dad home from the hospital last Friday, then cooking and hosting my annual St. Patrick's Day dinner last Saturday (with the addition of a lentil Shepherd's Pie this year!), I hopped out of bed at 5:45am on Sunday morning and headed to the Gaslamp for my second 5K Sunday in a row with my friend Megan.

Yeah... I was not exactly setting myself up for a PR.

The Hot Chocolate 5K is sponsored by Sweet Valley Organics and it was on behalf of them and their lovely team that Megan and I got to participate. Sweet Valley Organics makes delicious organic dark chocolate-covered fruit and nut snack bites, with mostly fair-trade sourced ingredients. Their Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee Almonds, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Praline Pecans, and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cashews are suuuuuuper yummy. (These are wedding diet approved right?)

Miss B's Coconut Club

3.20.2018


A couple of Fridays ago I finally visited a restaurant that's been on my list for a while now: Miss B's Coconut Club in Mission Beach. I am a total sucker for all things tropical- and island-themed and Miss B's is famous for its Island vibes. Vibes which were so necessary on the dreary, blustery Friday that my friend Makena and I headed in for some tiki-inspired cocktails.

That's right, San Diego gets March weather too! It may not be three back-to-back nor'easters, but a damp, gray, windy Friday afternoon is still just as much of a bummer.

Which is why we needed tropical atmosphere, comfort food, and giant skulls full of tequila, mezcal, pomegranate and cinnamon to distract us from the weather.

Soul Work

3.04.2018


Earlier today, Ryan saw me reading and working and jokingly asked me if I was doing homework (it's a joke only because I'm not in school anymore - finally!). Without a second thought, I told him that I was doing Soul Work, a phrase that felt indulgent and hokey and worthy of an eye roll (or five). But also... accurate.

It's what I've been immersed in for the past month or so coming into this, my "butterfly" year. There's not really a structure or a point or a goal for it. It's just what I feel like spending almost all of my free time on lately. I've been super introspective and in my own little world for weeks: reading, journaling, listening, planning, dreaming.

Here's what Soul Work is shaping up to mean for the month of March:

  • Finishing reading The Desire Map and identifying my "core desired feelings"
  • Finishing listening to The Fire Starter Sessions and completing the worksheets
  • Fully participating in The Salty Club: cooking the recipes, doing the workouts, following the journaling prompts
  • Meditating by the ocean, spending time enjoying it up close or getting in it at least once each day
  • Running or yoga once a day
  • Drinking more water
  • Outlining content for my book
  • Spending more zen time in my little nook in our office
I'm curious to see if there are other people doing Soul Work this season and what that means for them. If you're reading something awesome or listening to a great podcast, let me know!

Three Cheers, Three Cocktails: A Toast To Her

2.14.2018



Strong women... may we know them, may we be them, may we drink with them.

That's how the saying goes right? ;)

This past Sunday I had a chance to do just that and share drinks with a bunch of strong and wonderful women at a Galentine's brunch event hosted at one of my absolute favorite restaurants, CUCINA enoteca.

The event, which was to celebrate women we love with toasts in their honor, featured three delicious cocktails crafted by one of CUCINA enoteca's mixologists, Korie Rogers, featuring Pomp & Whimsy gin liqueur.

And honestly? These drinks were so delicious that it would be criminal not to share them with the world. Which is why I was super pumped today when the generous teams at CUCINA enoteca and Pomp & Whimsy let me know they were cool with me publishing the recipes.

So break out your jiggers, grab your gals and raise a glass filled with one of these amazing cocktails!

Good Intentions

2.04.2018


Rumor has it that it's already February, huh?

Something tells me that's the way things are going to go in 2018. Between wedding planning and work and this weird rate of warp speed that life seems to be moving at in my thirties, I can already tell this year is going to be a blur. I know that some years are just meant to be that way. But after two years that I'd actually rather forget, I want to remember this one.

To do that? I have to get a little more intentional than I was last year.

Last year, in 2017, in my personal life my goal was to not have goals. Just flow or be still. I needed to force myself to not do anything. To be aimless for a while.

But I am not an aimless person by nature. I am a stress and achievement addict, a productivity junkie. Granted, it's a habit that I am actively and aggressively trying to break, but I know that there's a happy medium. Something between relaxed and productive, between flowing and planning, between apathy and anxiety.

I woke up this morning with a new determination to work on finding that balance this year.

A few weeks ago, we did a vision boarding exercise at work. Mine came out more or less how every vision or mood or inspiration board has come out for me since I was a kid. There are constants: fitness, the ocean, surfing, bright colors, fun, art, food and the outdoors. All of which I want more of in 2018.

So, even though it's one month into the new year already (shhhh), I'd like to set some intentions for this year:
  • Protect the Ocean: Towards the end of 2017, I started to find a renewed sense of purpose, a mission around ocean conservation. It started with a surfing program and continued through beach doing clean-ups and watching documentaries. I was so driven towards environmental action and animal protection as a kid and I lost that part of myself in my 20s. It feels really, really good to get it back. This year, I want to focus even more on reducing waste, being more mindful about how my lifestyle choices impact the environment, educating myself more on my purchases, and choosing the planet over convenience. 
  • Don't Be Sorry, Be Better: I've written my fair share of apology texts and spent days of my life feeling bad for things I've said or done. I need to focus on ways that I can be better instead of sorry. 
  • "Remember When You Wanted What You Currently Have": This is a quote that I see pop up from time to time and it has never been more relevant than this year. There are years where we have everything we could ever want. Those times are fleeting and I think this year is going to be one of them. And since it won't be that way forever, I want to make sure I am savoring every bit of it. 
  • Stay the Course: I want to continue studying A Course in Miracles and growing from what I learn in my studies. I notice that when I distance myself from studying the Course, it's because I want to do something that doesn't really align with its teachings. Which should be the first sign that something is awry and there is a lesson to be learned. (And if I want to sound like a real crazy hippie, I'd share that I am becoming of the belief that the Course is the true path to ending emotional legacies, which means that I have be intentional about creating time for it.)
  • Let Go without Letting Yourself Go: Somewhere along the line I confused letting go with letting myself go. I let go of fears about my health and Lynch Syndrome by just letting go of taking care of my health at all. I let go of people's opinions about me and somehow this manifested in letting go of the way I showed up. I don't want to do this anymore. It's time to put some effort into my appearance all the while making sure that I'm doing it for me and not someone else's opinion of me or what I should look like. 
  • W.A.I.T.: The most important acronym for me these days: Why Am I Talking? I really need to work on this one this year. Work on listening more, interrupting less, being mindful of why I'm saying whatever I'm saying. Is is because I want to control something? So someone will like me or think I'm smart? Paying more attention to why I'm saying whatever I'm saying feels key.
Let's do this 2018.

Thank You, 2017

1.01.2018


There's been a meme going around the interwebs that goes something like this: "2016: Caterpillar; 2017: Cocoon; 2018: Butterfly." Cheesy? Yes. But also, accurate. At least for me.

2017 absolutely felt like a cocoon year. It started off with me still reeling from a rough 2016. I spent a lot of this year feeling vulnerable and apathetic, aimless and lost. I cried a lot on my way to work, I spent more time journaling than I have in years, I did a lot of going to bed right after I got home from work and I hunkered down for most of the year, not really having the energy or the desire to give much to others. I was just depleted... I couldn't "give" anything because I sort of felt like I had nothing left to give.

And for much of the year, what little I had left seemed to get exhausted by the news. Natural disasters, mass shootings, Trump's latest atrocity... there was never a time where it felt safe and so the cycle of vulnerability followed by my defense strategy of retreat and apathy continued.

But as I sat down yesterday reflecting, prepping this annual recap and looking at pictures from the year I realized that despite months of working through that depression, a lot of good stuff did happen in 2017. For instance, instead of deaths, there were births: 7 of our friends and 6 of my co-workers welcomed new babies into the world. Instead of poor health, there was self-care: unlike 2016 where I was constantly sick and stressed out and googling WebMD about my newly uncovered Lynch Syndrome, I don't think I visited WebMD once this year or had one health-related anxiety attack.

This was the year that Ryan and I began apart and ended engaged; the year that I recommitted to taking care of myself spiritually and healed so much through A Course in Miracles, surfing and solo travel; the year that I got involved by marching in protest, joining ACLU, making frequent calls to my representatives in Congress, donating when I could, making lifestyle changes and learning about important issues; and the year that I really learned how to let go of what wasn't serving me.

Ultimately, I'm thankful for 2017. It may have often been a dark one internally, but I see now how those dark spots were so necessary for what's coming up ahead. Here's a look back at everything that went into it...

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