Monthly Archives

February 2016

adventure

30 in 30

February 21, 2016

monterrey2

Have you heard of this trend of doing a ’30 in 30′? If not, it’s basically a pact you make with yourself to do 30 fun things to commemorate your thirtieth year. Pretty obvious, right? I know enough about myself to know that I’m not the best at following through on challenges like that, especially with such a short timeline, but I decided to make a list anyway just for kicks. I figure, even if I don’t do any of it, the exercise itself is fun enough, right?

  1. Go camping in Big Sur
  2. Figure out how to do a capsule wardrobe
  3. Follow through on therapy and my commitment to Intuitive Eating
  4. Attend my niece’s graduation
  5. Go camping in Tahoe
  6. Go to Vegas, baby!
  7.  Accumulate no new debt
  8. Attend my favorite hip-hop dance class on a somewhat regular basis
  9. Set up a creatively inspiring office environment
  10. Read thirty books
  11. Go to Cabo
  12. Reconnect with one old friend
  13. Surprise my mom
  14. Get another tattoo
  15. Make a new friend
  16. Go on an epic thrifting adventure
  17. Host at least one bad ass summer barbeque
  18. Learn how to roller blade
  19. Find my perfect shade of lipstick for day
  20. Build a wall of plants in my living room
  21. Call my best friend at least once a week
  22. Get promoted
  23. Get a proper massage
  24. Take my dog to the beach
  25. Spend a day on a boat
  26. Make a homemade German chocolate cake
  27. Go to a hip-hop concert
  28. Write a letter
  29. Teach my dog how to roll over
  30. Go somewhere fun with my sister

Did I miss something fun? If you did this, what would be your must-have on your list?

damn delicious, travel

Keep yourself alive

February 21, 2016

Napa trip

Uncharacteristically, I decided to participate in the thirtieth birthday shenanigans of one of my work friends this weekend. We took a weekend away in Napa full of brunching, winery visits and farm-to-table fare. To put it short, it was perfect. As I was driving home this afternoon, I decided that I need to make a much bigger effort to break up my daily grind with fun trips. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the motions of life and be a bit of a homebody, but I realize that disrupting my weekly routine is just plain good for my brain. I felt so inspired on the road today, my heart swelled with gratitude for the blessings in my life and my brain swirled with the possibilities for growth at work and at home.

I came home and blocked a bunch of days on my calendar this year for camping trips, time to visit family in Arizona and another trip to Cabo this Fall. It just seems like life is flying by the older I get and I want to make sure that there are plenty of days of pure fun mixed in with the day-to-day responsibilities of life. My best, most excited self seems to emerge when I hit the road, so I’m committed to get to know that side of myself even better this year with lots of fun adventures.

What trips are you taking this year?

 

fashion, Uncategorized

My favorite winter fashion trends

February 16, 2016

It feels like fashion is really killing it this winter. I keep coming across a few trends that I just can’t get enough of. We’re having Spring-like weather here in California lately so I’m not sure if I’ll bite the bullet and buy any of these winter fashion trends this season, but if it’s still blisteringly cold where you are, you definitely should.

turtle neck and skinnies

First up is a throw-back from my adolescence in the late 90s – the turtleneck! I just love the look of a ribbed, fitted turtleneck (in black, of course!) and a nice skinny jean. Even though it’s a bit old school, it just feels so fresh and feminine to me. Jess (via heygorjess) does the damn thing perfectly.

cupcakes and cashmere cape jacket

Next is the oh-so-chic cape, demonstrated by Emily (via Cupcakes and Cashmere). I love how this updated cape feels more blazer and less blanket. I just want to buy a lovely navy number and walk into all of my work meetings like a caped-up boss.

tall boots

Last, we have a not work-appropriate thigh-high boot (via The Little Magpie), at least not where I work. I never though I’d be one to lust after a pair of thigh-highs, but I truly am smitten. They look edgy and a bit sexy and I want them bad. I’m just not sure where I’d actually wear them since most of a my non-work wear typically consists of a pair of comfortable jeans and shell toe Adidas these days. If I were more a ‘go out’ type of gal lately, I’m pretty sure I’d already be sporting my own thigh highs.

There you have three of my favorite winter trends. Pretend you had a free pass for retail therapy – which one of these would you choose?

books

My Top 4 Books Lately

February 6, 2016

God, I love to read. I’ve been on a reading bender for the last few months, devouring about two books a week. It all started when I bought one of the $50 Kindle Fires on Prime and figured out how to rent books from my local library through my Kindle. Mind. Blown. It’s so easy for me to get all sort of books – even new releases. I always have a several compelling books on hold and they just pop up on my device once they’re available. It really does feel like magic.

A world where books magically appear in my life is the best kind of magical world. I’m so thankful I get to live in it.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling this weird compulsion lately to write down everything I read. Because the kindle renting feels so impermanent, I need to have a list of everything I’ve dumped into my brain, especially the books that changed my life in some way. The following four books just felt so important to me as I was reading them that I feel compelled to share them in this forum with my heartiest recommendation.

Here they are:

mans search for meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is a BFD in the literary world, so I’m not sure why I had been living under a rock for my entire life until my therapist told me about this book during one of our appointments. True to form, I came home from that appointment, downloaded it and promptly devoured it. Then, I read it again. It’s just such a life-affirming book about the importance of finding true meaning in our limited time on this planet. Frankl argued that a lack of meaning in life leads to a variety of poor human behaviors and a general malaise. Looking around at the way people choose to live their lives these days, it’s easy to see just how right he was. This book might not make you want to quit your job to find your life’s meaning, but it will encourage you to figure out exactly what matters to you and align your actions to your life’s meaning. Highly, highly recommend.

when breath becomes air

On a different side of the ‘meaning of life’ coin, When Breath Becomes Air is Paul Kalanithi struggling to understand the meaning of life as a neurosurgeon diagnosed with terminal cancer. While the book itself is an interesting read, the most beautiful passages, to me, came in the last few pages of the book and in the afterward written by his surviving wife. The book feels unfinished and unedited because Kalanithi passes while he’s in the middle of writing and editing it. It’s a true testament to just how fragile our lives are. It forced me to think about how I’m living my life.

fates and furies

Man, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff feels like it’s exactly everywhere these days. I couldn’t read a post in a blogosphere last year that didn’t mention the title, so I had to give it a read to find out what it’s all about. The writing is engrossing, but the story is even more compelling. My biggest takeaway from this book – and I’m scared to betray my lack of scholarly analysis here – is that it’s important to fearlessly show your warts in a serious relationship. The love between the couple in this book was otherworldly, even though they kept their deepest secrets hidden from one another. I can only imagine how close and transcendent they would’ve become if they’d have let each other in. It’s a good reminder that we not only need to accept the good and bad in the person we love, but that we also need to be courageous enough to let them show the same unconditional love to us.

essentialism

Essentialism: the Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown parades itself as a business book, but I’d argue that it’s a life book. I found myself nodding along to his arguments and fully committed to living my life as an essentialist. It’s easier said than done, especially in the corporate world, but I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Seriously, read this book and let it change how you work with people, how you prioritize what matters to you and how you accept new projects. Definitely worthwhile.

fashion, Style

Slay, queen

February 6, 2016

nadia 1

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about Nadia Aboulhosn yet. She’s one of the few bloggers who I look forward to reading every time she posts, which isn’t nearly enough for my liking. I love the looks she puts together and I love how drop-dead gorgeous she is. I also love how confident she is in herself. Sometimes when I’m having a bit of a personal crisis moment and feel like I couldn’t possibly pull off a fashion choice/meeting/presentation/whatever, I’ll just close my eyes for a second a pretend that I have the confidence of someone like Nadia. Surprisingly, it works.

nadia 2

If I think about it too hard, I get angry that coming across a woman so unapologetically fierce still feels a bit shocking to me. I get so tired of the narrow definition of beauty that we just keep holding onto – one of meekness and wispyness. I wish that all women (myself included) inhabited their bodies and souls with the confidence that Nadia displays. Until then, Nadia, continue to slay, queen.

nadia 4 nadia 3

All images from nadiaaboulhosn.com.