Saturday, March 30, 2013


Good morning and happy weekend.

I don't have too much to report.  Relative to some of my other weekends this month, I'm keeping it pretty mellow.  Other than teaching at the studio and singing at church, my calendar is mostly blank.

And I love it.

Wishing you a fluffy, white bed to hide in for too long on Saturday and a beautiful, hope-filled sunshine-y Easter Sunday.



Thursday, March 28, 2013


When my life is extra crazy, I try to stay calm by pretending everything is calm and easy and peaceful.

Cue this song on my life soundtrack:

Don't need no tv, I don't need no phone - oh wait, it's ringing?  I'll be right there...

Happy Thursday.  Any good songs I need to listen to?  Share below!!

P.S. can't get enough of Casey Abrams?  check out this porch session.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013



I've been getting pretty serious around here lately.  Tackling self-esteem, life clutter management, the new trend of imperfection...

Let's keep it nice and light today, shall we?

I get emails from a million different retailers and try my hardest to ignore them (and yes, I know I can unsubscribe, but I just love the eye candy, okay?)... but sometimes I take the bait and click-through.

Sometimes I buy, usually I don't, but I always love to play the "what would I buy if I had no budget" game.

Coach's shoes this season had me pretty much bankrupt even with the imaginary millions.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Which is your favorite?  Any others that I missed?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Have you ever had a friend admit to being self-conscious about a certain trait, physical quality, or mannerism that you never-in-a-million-years would have noticed?

When you look in the mirror, or at a picture of yourself... what are the "problem" areas that you hone in on?

More often than not, all those hang-ups you have about yourself are not noticeable to others.

If you look in the mirror and instantly despise that left eyebrow with one stray hair that was too short to get with the tweezers... you're not getting it.

Same applies with non-physical attributes...

If you look back on your weekend and ignore all the awesome stuff you did and hone in on the one commitment that fell though (yes I'm talking to myself here)... you're not getting it.

Be kind to yourself.

The same way you'd be kind to a friend.  A best friend.  A cherished person in whom you see so much beauty and allow the teeny tiny flaws to just fade away.

Forgive the moments of imperfection.  Forgive the stray hair, or chipped nail polish, or outfit that looked good at 6am in the dark before you had your coffee, or the bathroom sink that looks clean, but didn't get a thorough scrubbing this weekend.

The less you allow these negative, critical thoughts to creep in, the more room you'll have for the positive ones, the productive ones, and slowly, but surely, these positive, productive thoughts will be on the forefront of your mind.

Being overly self-critical is a bad habit.  It isn't a truth and it isn't just the way you are.  You (and I) can break the habit, and you (and I) deserve to.

Monday, March 25, 2013


"Life is not complex.  We are complex.
Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing."

- Oscar Wilde

Good morning.

I have been thinking a lot lately...

I've been thinking about my tastes and preferences in life and whether or not those tastes and preferences are reflected in my home, my appearance, the way I spend my time, and with whom I spend my time.

For example, if I'm being completely honest, my favorite color is probably white.  I love things to be clean and simple.  I get feelings of anxiety if

For some reason, though, when I create my life, or my schedule, I set myself up for chaos.

Take Saturday.  A day I stated earlier this month that I would claim for myself.

Saturday I woke up at 6:15 to get ready.  I headed to the exercise studio at approximately 6:40 to teach the 7:15 class.  Since I was there already, I took the 8:30 class.

After class I drove with my new friend to a trailhead at Mt. Diablo.  We went on a hike.  We chatted about life and got a killer workout (still sore).  I truly enjoyed the conversation and the sunshine.

3,849 feet at the summit

I was supposed to then visit my sister and niece, but they were exhausted and it was later in the day than anticipated.  Major fail on my part.  I still feel bad about it.

I then went home, did some chores, made some dinner, and got ready to head out again.

By the time I got home, I crashed pretty hard... and then had to drag myself out of bed early on Sunday for another busy (good busy) day.

All of these things are good things.  I value all of these things.  I truly don't want to give up any of these things.  They are all of equal importance and feed different parts of my spirit...


My apartment is chaos right now.  I started a project last weekend that still isn't done and couldn't (didn't?) finish this weekend.  It looks like IKEA exploded in my living room... 

I definitely could use a nice relaxing bubble bath.  And a nap.  And, even if I were home, so is the 20-year-old intern from my work that I agreed to host/house.  And she is very sweet... but I don't feel relaxed or at home when my home isn't just mine.

I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining.  I'm really not intending to, anyway.

I'm trying to sort everything out and, according to my expertise, the best way to start organizing things... is to lay it all out there.  It gets worse before it gets better, right?

So here I am, laying out all the clutter that is my life right now.  Clutter that I cherish and that I have built up around myself.  I have spent years accumulating it all.

And it's time to figure out a reasonable way to pare down.  Spring cleaning for the soul.

As I said, all of this clutter feeds a different part of my spirit.  We are complex.  I am complex.  I need all of my clutter.  I just need to figure out a way to feed my spirit that isn't so exhausting.

Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.

What does that mean?  I am, obviously, struggling to find the answer.

Any insights?  I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I have a lot of things to be thankful for in the grand scheme of things, but try to focus on the small stuff once a week.  Here's my weekly recap:

- SPRING.  Rain, shine, I don't care.  Spring has sprung and, even in California, there is definitely a noticeable change in the air.

- Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons.  My ex came by this week to pick up the last of his things (I've been storing them for quite some time) and I found myself without pots and pans.  I'll review the cookware I snagged (for a KILLER deal) in a couple months after I get some good use out of it :)

- Bloglovin'.  I'm sure you've heard, but Google Reader will go bye-bye as of July 1.  I've officially made the switch and actually love it.

- All of my families.  Church family, studio family, work family (dysfunctional as it may be), friend family, and of course my "real" family.  My schedule may be hectic, but I have so much support coming from so many directions - it's awesome.

- Cheap manicures.  Oakland may be in the news for violent crime on a weekly basis, but this $10 manicure I'm sporting is still in tip-top shape after 5 days.

What's the deal with the picture above?  In less than a month I will be celebrating with four fabulous girls in Las Vegas for my best friend's bachelorette party.  Watch out.

Happy Friday, friends!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I read an article last week about imperfectionism (which apparently isn't even a word - how imperfect of them).

I don't want to say it bothered me, but something about it wasn't quite right. (read it yourself)

I'm sure you've noticed an upswing in "real life" posts on a lot of blogs out there, too.  The things I'm afraid to tell you craze that took off last year was a great reminder that the shiny and polished lives people instagram, tweet, and post about are only brief glimpses into very "normal" and imperfect lives.

Somehow, Jennifer Lawrence has become the unofficial spokeswoman of imperfection.

Did you know she fell at the Academy Awards?

(I sincerely hope you caught my internet sarcasm there)

Before I get ahead of myself, let me state very clearly that I think Jennifer Lawrence is beautiful, talented, and that her candid nature is very refreshing.

But I don't think that celebrating her unabashed openness needs to go hand-in-hand with bashing the more polished women in the spotlight.

I mean, in the same sentence that people praise Ms. Lawrence's foul language or, shall we call them, uncensored facial expressions, they feel the need to put down Anne Hathaway.

(note: I have noticed this in several articles, blogs, and other forms of social media - this observation is not isolated to the article I referenced)

Can we not celebrate both?

Can we not admire Jennifer Lawrence's free spirit and perfectly tousled hair and conversational tone and off-the-cuff interviews?

Can we not also admire Anne Hathaway's professional spirit and perfectly coiffed pixie cut and articulate interview responses and acceptance speeches?

Don't get me wrong - I love the notion that there is beauty in our imperfections.  My apartment is a little crazy right now.  But it's a little crazy because I had a fantastic weekend and I set chores aside in favor of a hike and a wedding celebration.  There is undeniable beauty in that.

But when I get home tonight I'm going to sweep and vacuum and finish the projects I started and do laundry and go grocery shopping.  And my apartment is going to be shiny and clean.  And my life is going to look pretty polished and professional.  And that is beautiful, too.

I guess what I'm saying is... celebrating imperfections and perfections doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. 

Let's continue to be honest and open and share our "real life" moments... but when you work hard and that hard work pays off and you have something shiny and perfect to share, you shouldn't be embarrassed or ashamed or afraid that someone will rain on your parade and call you a phony.

Let's not turn Anne Hathaway into a villain or an insulting name to call someone who seems to have it all together and Jennifer Lawrence into a hero for being "real" and sometimes behaving a little unprofessionally (there, I said it - it is, after all, her job to be in the public eye).

I, for one, embody a little bit of both of them (and I'm pretty sure everyone else does, too).

Imperfect and perfect can (and do) coexist.

I would love to hear from you on this issue.  What's your take on imperfect vs. perfect?

{images: 1234}

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Nothing like a weekend recap on a Tuesday to make you feel stranded in an ocean of never-ending weekday workdays.

Anyway, I had a(nother) fantastic weekend.  I promised myself that March would be full of "me" weekends, because April is full of "everyone else" weekends (in a good, fun way).

Friday night my boyfriend and I had a delicious dinner at my friends' house.  I got to finally congratulate them in person on their (no longer) recent engagement.  Can't wait to celebrate with them on their big day in August!!

I also learned that I have a serious fear of birds going on.  They have chickens and I had a cow (couldn't resist a terrible farm animal pun, sorry).  But seriously... chickens in a coop are cute... chickens flapping wings around being offered to you to hold are terrifying unpredictable wild animals.

Saturday I finally started the project that I mentioned way back here.  This color is just so great:

Benjamin Moore - peony

I'm going to slap on a couple more coats of paint this afternoon (lunch break projects are stressful the best) and hopefully order some new hardware.  Finished photos in the next week or two for sure.

Then I went on a romantical date hike with a new friend.  We grabbed a couple snacks at Whole Foods and headed out to Tilden Park in Berkeley.  We made it to Inspiration Point just in time to enjoy the sunset.

Sunday I sang at church, took a killer class at the exercise studio, and went to my boyfriend's brother's wedding.  Love me some weddings.  The bride was glowing, the weather was perfect, and neither the groom nor his brother could hold back their tears.  So, so, so sweet.  And then it was lights out by 8:30.

How was your weekend?  Has it already faded into the past?

Monday, March 18, 2013


It's Monday again.  Funny how that happens on a weekly basis.

I must confess, I fall victim to the Sunday blues all the time.  That sinking feeling.  That impending doom that is Monday morning.  The start of another week.  Didn't I just finish a week?  Do I really have to start another one?  Can I possibly trudge through it all again?

The quote above pretty well summarizes how I manage to persevere.

I've mentioned before that I'm less than thrilled with my current job situation, and that I'm in the planning stages of some major changes.  I truly do believe that I have a purpose that is personal to me.  It isn't my sister's, my best friend's, or my neighbor's purpose.  It's mine.

I have a unique set of talents, skills, and experience that allow me to contribute exactly what I contribute to the world around me.

You do, too.

So, yes, it's Monday.  But you were made to do something.  And you will do it.

So keep going, okay?

The world needs you to.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Spring is just about to, well, spring.  We had some gorgeous weather this week and, despite the fact that my work has now flagged Pinterest as a malicious URL... they haven't yet taken away my blogs.

Some of my favorite reads this week include:

- Kenzie (Cave Girl in the City) put together a festive, yet normal looking and super cute outfit to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Lovely day for a Guinness!!

- Jenna (Eat, Live, Run) became a Noonday Collection Ambassador.  I'd never heard of the company, but their accessories are lovely, affordable, and support an amazing cause.

- Erin (Apartment 34) put together a fabulous round-up of Kilim Rugs.  Love this trend.  It is such a great way to bring some warmth and rich color/texture into otherwise modern spaces.

- Last, but not at all least, Hayley (The Tiny Twig) wrote some beautiful words about not being able to do everything... and accepting that.  My favorite part:

That means I'd have to admit that I'm not good at everything
and I can't do it all.
And that stings.

And, I even hate that it stings.
Of course, I want also to be awesome at humility.
I want to be good at everything,including but not limited to humility.

I can relate to that post all too well.

And with that, I'm off to try and accomplish too much this weekend ;)

(recap next week...)

Friday, March 15, 2013


Okay, this week was a doozy.

And, to be perfectly honest, I was this close to writing a bitter version of TLT (oh my gosh I just created an acronym.  I must be cool) of all the stupid small things that pissed me off this week.

But that really isn't the point, now, is it?

It's the opposite of the point.

So, without further ado, here are the few bright spots in a dark, moody, stressful, frustrating week:

- Pi Day.  Heck yes that picture is of me.  Heck yes I have a tattoo of pi behind my ear.  If I weren't eating like a cave lady right now (more on that another day), I would have made a pie.

- Hard cider.  Getting gluten free people drunk since... I don't know when.

- Getting RSVP's for my best friend's bridal shower.  I love weddings.  Good thing, since people love having me in their bridal party ;)

- Food bloggers.  Inspiring me with recipe ideas on a daily basis.  Paleo petite vanilla bean scones?  Why thank you, Slim Palate.

- Gorgeous weather.  73 degrees when I was driving home from work on Wednesday.

- The Biggest Loser.  Honestly, if happy tears were worth money... I could retire.

Hope your week was better than mine.


Thursday, March 14, 2013


I want to go to there.

I want to escape to a place with swirling seas on jagged rocks, tall trees, cliffs, and radio silence.

No more text messages.  No more emails.  No more phone calls.

Just some peace and quiet.

Obviously I'm having a rough week...

What are your tactics for finding peace in the midst of total chaos and stress?

I'd love to hear them.  And try all of them instead of going to work tomorrow.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Good morning.

Pardon the radio silence this morning.

My brain is still asleep.

And I didn't have any coffee this morning.

Double whammy.

Happy (Daylight Savings) Monday.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


I thought it might be a fun Saturday activity to share some of my favorite reads from the week.

1 - The image above is from ignite light.  This blog contains some of the most inspiring, breathtaking images on a daily basis and makes me feel so happy and so alive.

(Also, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I think the splashing waves above kind of resemble a heart..)

2 - Victoria of VMAC & cheese fame created a gorgeous graphic with a killer quote.  She consistently delivers quality content with stellar design.

3 - If you think the above inspiration board is lovely, be sure to check out Design Bright's new look.  Written by none other than my best friend, this blog is full of fresh ideas and amazing creativity.

4 - Wardrobe Oxygen is one of my favorite fashion blogs.  This post in particular was just so well written.  She does a great job of mixing and matching classic pieces into fun, work-appropriate looks for any body type.  AND she did a post admitting she was a huge NKOTB fan.  Not gonna lie, I like the Remix, too.

5 - Thoughts by Natalie is another wonderful blog written by a strong, intelligent, beautiful young woman who seeks to inspire other young women to live enriched lives.  This week's post struck a chord with me because, let's face it, we've all been there.  Loving her challenge this month.  I'm doing pretty well so far!!

What are your favorite reads?  I'm always looking to build up my Google Reader repertoire...

Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Another week, another list.  It's good to have a grateful heart, you know.

Here are a few of the little things that have made my week:

- An amazing first experience with acupuncture.  More relaxation, please!!

- A free top-off on my glass of wine during a mini girls' night weekly ritual.  Extra tip for you, sir.

- I wore a white shirt on Wednesday and didn't spill my green juice, my coffee, or any drippings from my delicious turkey burger on it.

- Whole green juices.  Just wow.

- We get longer days.  Not super excited to lose an hour of sleep, but extra sunlight after work makes me so happy.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


First of all, a huge AMEN to Bill Cosby.

That man is hilarious, fashionable (I mean, how many people have a type of sweater named after them?), and just so insightful.

Anyway, this quote (and such a lovely design from such an inspiring site) really resonated with me this week.

I'm facing a major life decision right now and have all but fully committed to taking the leap, but am struggling with the fear.

I know I'm being vague, but it all boils down to this:

happiness vs. financial success

At what point is financial reward not worth the sacrifices in quality of life, free time, self-worth, and overall happiness?

I know I'm not alone in trying to strike the right balance.  I have several close friends going through the same soul-searching process.

In either extreme, the "right" choice is obvious:

Would I bring physical/mental/emotional harm to another human being to be set for life?  No.

If I was truly happy sitting around all day earning zero income would that be a good idea?  No.

But most of us are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

I myself have been in this same situation before - not all that happy with my career, but lured in (or trapped in) by financial stability.  If I were to do what I truly love (whatever that may be), I'd probably take a huge pay cut.

I do believe that, in the long run, if you do what you love, then the money (or, I should say, the success) will follow.  Notice how I qualified that statement by saying in the long run?  My concern isn't five years from now.  Goodness knows I'm not now where I thought I'd be five years ago.  My concern is next month's rent.  And the month after that.  And, well, you get the point.

How did I start this rant?

Oh, right.  I'm "all but fully committed" to taking the leap.  I'm this close.

So stick with me, folks.  It's going to be quite a journey, and I'll be right here to share it with you.

What do you want?  What's holding you back?  I'd love to hear from you!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Oh apartment living...

Before I step up onto my soapbox (let's just save that for another day), let's just cut to the chase and say I'm looking for nightstands and table lamps.

Based on the post title, you probably figured out that today I'm looking at lamp options.

Let's just dive right in:

I know, I know.

I'm all over the place.

If I told you one of them only cost $16.99, would you immediately tell me to get that one no matter what?

Which is your favorite?

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


On Friday I told you I was going to have a "me" weekend... and I told you I'd check back in to let you know how I did.

That's what this is.

- exercise
- Trader Joe's
- Tiki Bar

- walk to gym, yoga class, walk home
- quality time with niece + sister
- hike in Oakland wilderness (see above image) with new friend + pup
- date with my love (walk to/from dinner at a local brewpub)
- pass out at 9pm

- church
- cleaning frenzy (looooove this - no, really)
- time with friends
- new laptop shopping
- delicious, healthy dinner at Herbivore (no, I'm not vegan)

I'm going to go ahead and say I won.  It definitely helped me ease into my week.  Four more weekends in March to go... hopefully I can keep up with this trend.

What are your tricks for making sure you maximize weekend time?

Monday, March 4, 2013


I promised myself a self-indulgent, (relatively) quiet weekend.  I'll let you know tomorrow how I did, but just in case you need a quiet, easy way to coax yourself into another long week, here's a beautiful song that I think will do just that.

Rather than a flashy music video, I thought I'd share his wonderful live version.

Simple and good.

"Oh Lord, I'm getting ready to believe."

All religious discussion aside, I think if I were to answer honestly, I'd say I'm getting ready to believe in myself.

The question is, what are you getting ready to believe in?

Friday, March 1, 2013


Good morning, March.

I, first and foremost, am shocked (or shamrocked?!  okay, that was bad) at how quickly this year is flying by.

My primary goal for March is to take it easy.  I have an insane couple months ahead of me and feel no guilt about being self-indulgent this month (in a time spent on myself kind of way, we can talk about budgets some other day).

Here is a brief list of the little things I'm thankful for this week:

- I get to see my beautiful niece tomorrow.  In two months she has absolutely captured my heart and I feel so blessed to be able to watch her grow.

- I get to see my sister tomorrow.  One year ago today she wasn't even pregnant yet.  Today she is a fantastic mom.  I am so proud of her.

- For the most part, I have a great boss.  He had a financial adviser come talk to us this week to give us an overview of the various types of investment accounts (both retirement and otherwise) and some broad suggestions on how to set ourselves up for financial success.

- New friends.  It is so hard to make new friends once you're in the groove of real life and not only have I made a few lately, but they are proving to be amazing women that totally inspire me.

- Old friends.  I got to spend some much-needed quality time with two of my best friends this week.  I am so lucky!!

- Pedicures.  Oh my gosh, yes.

- Alone time.  I walk the fine line between an introvert and an extrovert and, for the most part, only meet the needs of the latter.  I would love a Friday night that includes yoga, a bath, a glass of wine, and a book.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to pencil in a date with myself on my calendar for tonight...

Have a self-indulgent weekend ;)

p.s. so not a coincidence that the image this week is from Ireland
p.p.s. so not a coincidence that the image this week is from a retirement website (planning ahead...)