Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I was reading one of my favorite blogs recently (Thoughts by Natalie) and got caught up in the archives and this post, in particular, really hit me.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Just recently D and I had a big talk.  Partially because of what I was talking about last week and partially because my hectic schedule (surprise) doesn't only take a toll on me.

It takes a toll on him, too.

Anyway, we had a big talk.

I asked him, point blank, if he still wants to choose me.  I'm a lot to sign up for.  This madness, this hectic schedule, this propensity to collapse in tears when I am feeling overwhelmed... this isn't easy.

I know it isn't easy.

And, after a year, he knows it isn't easy, too.

So I wanted to be sure he was still happy.  He has a tendency towards... inertial behavior.  He likes to keep on doing what he's already doing because it's easier than disrupting the pattern and making waves.

I am a wave machine.

So by now, I am very real.  And so is he.

His hair has literally been loved off (my love is mostly bald, and I wouldn't have him any other way).  My eyes feel like they're dropping out by the time I peel out my contacts and crawl into bed.

He is blessed with a fit physique with a terrible diet and no exercise (I keep reminding him that, eventually, these bad habits will catch up), and I eat clean and exercise regularly to avoid getting "loose in the joints"...

You see my point, though.

We are very shabby at this point to one another.

Here's where I forgot the important part, though:

But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

He, by some miracle, does understand.

My boyfriend, my younger boyfriend with no prior relationship experience, understands.

He gets it more than I do.

He knows how to love so well and he was sweet enough to remind me of how to trust in that love.

I am real now, but it's okay because he understands.

Do you ever catch yourself not understanding this fundamental tenet to loving and being loved?  How do you remind yourself that it's okay to be real?  I have a feeling that I'm not alone on this and that this isn't the first time I'll need this reminder...

Monday, July 15, 2013


Forget Monday.  I'm so over Mondays.

Let's just do Saturday again.

Since I don't think my boss (or your boss) will go for that, though, let's just pretend.

By looking at some really cute dresses by Kate Spade Saturday:

Love this one for a picnic or day-date.

Love this one (probably sans belt) with some cute nude wedges for a summer wedding.

At around $150 each these aren't exactly cheap, but they're more budget-friendly than the "real" Kate Spade brand and you could probably expect the same quality construction.  Plus, the classic design would be great for years to come.

Am I throwing down my hard-earned money for these?


But I wish I could.

Just like I wish today were Saturday.

P.S. If you think Kate Spade pays me to put these images here, you're very wrong.  This little blog is (how shall I put it?)... still awaiting its big break ;)

Friday, July 12, 2013


Today is my half-birthday.

Kind of a big deal.  Even more so than usual (yes, I always take note of my half-birthday and, no, I don't actually celebrate or expect presents).

As of today I'm closer to 30 than 25.

As of this moment I regret typing that.


Anyway, in the spirit of my Food & Fitness Fridays and being self-absorbed, ridiculous, and celebratory, here's one of my favorite healthy and easy dessert recipes.  Top it with a candle for that special half-birthday girl/boy.

Great for one, great for a crowd... and it goes like this:

Paleo Apple Pie Compote

1 medium apple (your favorite variety)
dash (or two) of cinnamon
grass-fed butter (1 tbsp, if that)
coconut milk (full fat from a can, refrigerated)
teeny splash o' vanilla extract
optional: nuts or seeds (I have tried pecans, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds and they were all a great addition)

1. place butter in a saute pan over medium heat
2. chop apple into bite-sized pieces as pan warms up
3. toss apple into pan, dash some cinnamon over it, and stir intermittently (not constantly)
4. after a couple minutes, drizzle a very scant amount of vanilla and optional sprinkle nuts/seeds in
5. once the apple begins to soften (and your kitchen smells heavenly), serve in a bowl
6. top with some of the (separated, top layer) coconut cream
7. ENJOY!!

note: If you have a major sweet tooth and can't bear to eat something without added sugar, I'd recommend a very conservative drizzle of pure maple syrup (either in the pan while it cooks or as a final garnish for serving).

also note: This could easily go in the oven, too: 375* in individual ramekins or a baking dish.  Make sure you melt the butter first to coat the apples (& toss with other ingredients) before going in the (greased) dish.  Take it out when the compote has slightly softened and looks golden & bubbly.

I would share a picture but A) it isn't very photogenic and B) I eat it too quickly every time I make it.

Let me know if you try it.  You could also use pears or peaches or nectarines... whatever strikes your fancy.

This is a fantastic, sweet way to top off a meal without sacrificing your health.

Have a great weekend!!

**UPDATE: I made this Sunday evening with a plum (no cinnamon, just a dash of vanilla) and it was SO good.  I threw in some sunflower and chia seeds for serving and my-oh-my was it tasty.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I'm not going to lie... I had a little bit of a rough day on Sunday following the wedding.

And, no, it had nothing to do with the wine (and champage, okay fine, and Corona) I drank on Saturday night.

It had to do with me feeling a little bit left out.

Of the cool kids' married kids' club.

Not because I'm trying to rush D to the altar.

Not because I'm eager to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding.

But because all of my best friends are experiencing something that I know nothing about and I can't relate to where they are right now.

They don't have any cool secret married handshakes or married kid meetings I'm not invited to, but I know that on some level... they are in a totally different phase in life than I am.

And, unfortunately, this post isn't going to end in a huge Oprah-esque A-HA!! moment of clarity in which it all comes together and I find peace within myself.

Look at the picture at the top of this post.

That couple is loving the present moment.  That couple doesn't care about anything going on around them.  They are in love and in the moment.

They are D and I at the September wedding I mentioned on Monday.

I need to get back to that.  To not feeling lonely because I don't own a house or have a husband.  To feeling loved and loving because that is what is happening right now.  To not worrying about where we're headed because if I do I'll miss out on where we are.

I know all of this to be true.

I just need to get there.

Monday, July 8, 2013


This weekend marked a pretty momentous occasion for me.

I am officially retiring...

As a bridesmaid.

In December 2010 I was a bridesmaid for one of my best friends from high school.  It was a Christmas-time wedding at a gorgeous golf course in our home town.  She and her husband are now parents to an adorable son and even though they've been living out of the country almost since their wedding day... I get to see them in a few weeks!!

In June 2011 I got to be my sister's Maid of Honor.  It was a small church wedding and very no-fuss.  So simple, beautiful, and very them.  I don't think she's ever looked happier.  She and my brother-in-law are now fantastic parents to my adorable niece.  I love them all to pieces.

In September 2012 I got to be a co-MOH for one of my best friends (and college roomie!!) when she married her high school sweetheart at a storybook perfect venue in the North Bay.  The wedding was probably the most joyful I've ever attended.  Everyone was just so happy to be there celebrating the perfect couple.  They are honing their parenting skills with the cutest little puppy I've ever seen.

In May 2013 I got to be the Maid of Honor for another best friend (and college roomie) at an indescribably perfect Maui wedding.  She and her husband have the most flawless looking wedding album I've ever seen.  They are both radiating with love and happiness in every.single.picture.  Even the candid ones.  I need to work on that skill.

And on Saturday I got to be a bridesmaid for another high school best friend (and college roomie) at an elegant, gorgeous church wedding in San Jose.  They are such a joy to be around and the girl has to be one of the most beautiful brides to ever walk the earth.  It was so sweet to watch the two families officially become one (her best friend from kindergarten is the groom's cousin - small world).  They are in Aruba on their honeymoon and get to come back to their first new home.  Congratulations are definitely in order.

And, with that, I think I'm done.  I definitely have more weddings to attend in my future (ahem, August and February), but I actually have to figure out what I'm going to wear to those and, aside from the honor of being asked to sing at both... I'm just a guest!!

If I had a dollar for every comment I've received about 27 Dresses or "always a bridesmaid..." (seriously, people?  that's rude), I would have a solid start to my own someday wedding fund.

So, to all who asked me to be a part of the biggest day of your life (so far)... thank you.  From the bottom of my heart it means more than you could know.  The pros far outweigh any "cons" you felt guilty about.  I love you all so much and am so flattered you wanted me there by your side.

The absolute best part about being a 'maid (or MOH)?  Looking your best friend in the eye as she glows with bridal joy and love and saying goodbye and good luck as you head down the aisle to watch her get married.

And now I'm crying (again).

Congratulations to everyone and happy wedding season!!

P.S.  I do, eventually, plan on doing a bridesmaid series here... it's just that I'm a little worn out.  I promise it's coming, though!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013


It is Independence Day (if you live in the United States) today.

Whether or not you're a hugely patriotic or nationalistic person, you're probably at least excited to have the day off work.

If you don't have the day off, let me say "Thank you!!" for working on a holiday
and I hope you get time-and-a-half ;)

At church this past weekend (side note: I'm not about to get preachy, so please read on) the priest brought up a fantastic point regarding freedom.

He said (I'm paraphrasing here), "We spend so much focusing on what we're free from (slavery, oppression, etc.), but often fail to ask the question, 'what am I free for?'"

What am I free for?

What use is freedom if we don't use it?

In the context of his message on Sunday, (this part is going to get a little more religious, but if you can appreciate a big-picture message, read on) Jesus was explaining to his disciples that the old (Hebrew) laws didn't hold power anymore.  There was a new covenant and a new (much simpler) message:


That's it.

Freedom from all the laws and restrictions and do's and do-not's for the purpose of loving one another.

To bring this full circle (and truly take the opportunity to offend everyone), whatever judgments people hold in the name of the "laws" of the Bible should be cast aside in favor of love.

In California last week, gay marriage was reinstated.

To anyone who thinks this is an insult to "holy matrimony", I'd point to the greater message:


That's it.

We are free from judgment for the purpose of loving one another.

And this Independence Day, I am so proud to be part of a country that (at least for one moment on one day) chose love as law.

Hope everyone has a safe, beautiful, love-filled holiday.