Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Got A Secret, Can You Keep It?

Yesterday was an awesome day.

+ I had THE most intense gym workout of my life and loved every second of it.
+ The lighting in my backyard was perfect for some jewelry picture taking.
+ Speaking of jewelry - new jewels are about to hit my Etsy store, After Sunset, which means that little spot over there on the right where it says, "Etsy After Sunset" will no longer be a big blank box of nada-ness. Get stoked.
+ I got a new patio set. And it was free. And a surprise. Bada-bing.
+ Giddy-vague-bullet-point-about-a-good-looking-man :)
+ PRETTY LITTLE LIARS.

[insert happy dance here]

The only bullet point we will be discussing today is that last one. #PLL

And, friends, I am not here to discuss spoilers because I accidentally read a spoiler of who Ben chose last season on The Bachelor and it was a life-ruiner. So, I will be sure not to tell you who A is. Or who dies. Or doesn't die. I just want to discuss the greatness that is Pretty Little Liars.

For those who don't know, Pretty Little Liars is on its third season on ABC Family. It's categorized as an American teen drama mystery-thriller and let me just tell you, that's putting it lightly. This show rocks. It rules. It makes me do the Running Man. I've talked up a lot of things on this here blog of mine - like casting for Christian Grey and Katy Perry - but shoot, this trumps them all.

I can honestly say I haven't found a show that I love this much and look forward to every week since the 90s. [I can't go back on my love for the Mickey Mouse Club, c'mon now!] But this show does it for me. It gets me. Every week. Or, back in the Summer, when I started watching the show everyday on my lunch break on Netflix to get caught up.

I even cut my hair like Hanna Marin. Got a problem?


But, in all honesty, this show is my favorite and I'm not afraid to admit it. It makes me jump, it surprises me, and it never fails to keep me on the edge of my seat. I kid you not, at the end of every episode, I've found myself staring at the TV, squealing, "Whaaaat?"

I'm so excited to see what twists and turns the plot takes next. If you aren't already watching this show, pull it up online or on Netflix and start... now. Then come back and thank me once you're hooked after the first scene :) And then thank Toby once you start season three because, let's be honest, he is so right...




I take no responsibility for any spoilers left in the comments ;) Read with discretion or just comment without reading the comments!

P.S. Does anyone else HAVE to sing the theme song at the beginning? I know I'm not the only one.

'Cause two can keep a secret...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Might Sound Like A Hippie

This past weekend is behind me now. With all its bad memories and all the new good ones that I made. My hair has been cut! I'm working on getting a few pictures taken and will share the new look with you soon!

Today, I just wanted to talk about some random but relevant thoughts I'd had on meeting new people. Moving to a new city on the other side of the country is exciting, to say the least. I can go through almost every day seeing nothing but new faces. To some people that may be scary or boring but to me, it's pretty darn cool! There are so many people and cultures and stories to be told.

So, I consider myself pretty lucky to have met so many new people in such a short period of time. Some meetings are mere run-ins and others have developed into stronger connections but through each person, I've gained a better understanding of, well, humanity I suppose. But I've also learned something pretty deep about relationships in their early stages.

It's not just about personalities.
It's not just about similarities.
It has a lot to do with energies.

That's right - I've been learning how much I feed off of or perhaps don't feed off of other people's energies. I know... deep, right? [Is this where I should start talking about your aura?] But it's true! And I never really realized it until now.

Whether it's the girl that started gabbing to me in line at Target, whether it's the new dean that recently joined our church here, the guy I went out on a date with, or my neighbors - I've seen how their energies mesh with my own energy.


And sometimes you meet someone who you'd initially think you have a lot "in common" with. Someone who's nice and friendly and carries conversation well. But there's that something missing, right? There's a weird vibe, or something is just "off." I think it's simply that your energies don't mesh. No matter how hard you try, it's just not there. It's not something we can help. After all, all we are is energy in the end...

But then there are the people whose company just seems to make you ignite. You just genuinely feel "brighter," "happier," better" when your energies interact. [I think the same goes for the blogging community. There can be people whose lifestyle is different from mine. Or our fashion sense. Or what we do for fun. But whenever I'm on their blog, reading their words or gazing at their pictures, and eventually chatting with them, I connect.]

And, to me, I feel like those are the people you want to spend your time with. The people leaving you feeling "brighter," "happier," "better." Those are the people who take life from ordinary to extraordinary. And those people might not be the same for you as they are for me and that's okay. Just find them. And learn from them. And help them learn from you too :)

Are you feelin' my "energy" on this one or have I turned into a hippie after all? ;)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mom

The right words were hard to find today. As many of you know, on February 22, 2012 I lost my sweet mom to cancer after less than 48 hours of knowing she had it. Her death turned my world upside down and has changed the way I live my life everyday moving forward. Today, in honor of my mom, I am donating my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths so that a woman who is undergoing treatment for cancer can have a free wig if she so chooses.

I wish there was something I could have done to help my mom. To save her. To comfort her. But there are some moments in life that are completely out of our control. Losing her was one of them.

I recently went back and re-read a post from my old blog. It was posted on Mother's Day 2011, the final Mother's Day that my mom would be alive for, although none of us knew it at the time. The comment that follows my post is the one comment I received that day. The comment is from her; my sweet mom.

-- 

“Mama said there’ll be days like this | There’ll be days like this my mama said”
This is my second Mother’s Day apart from my mom; 2,000 miles away. Whether it’s Mother’s Day or any other day, I miss my mom. She’s conquered more in her life than anyone else I know – and that includes successfully raising me ; ) She’s my hero, my friend, my teacher, my coach, my mother and I don’t know where I’d be without her.
Moving far away, being on my own, and so far away from all my friends and family has truly put everything into perspective for me. Whether it’s decorating, cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of the cat, finances, you name it… I consistently think of the examples my mom has given me. She can do it all. It’s taken twenty-five years for me to realize I really should have always listened to my mom. She was always right in the end. But, I guess I’m supposed to make mistakes; to find out the hard way — that’s part of growing up I guess. I still don’t know it all. I call my mom every day practically. Whether it’s for advice, to tell her good news, to complain, to cry, to tell her something funny I saw online, or just to tell her I miss her, she’s a phone call away and you better believe I pick up that phone.
It’s changed a lot from when I was a teenager and hanging out with my parents or going shopping with my mom just wasn’t the cool thing to do. Now, the people I miss most in my life are my parents and I’d shout it from the rooftops. I miss going shopping with my mom and picking up a delicious sour cream & onion Auntie Anne’s pretzel and splitting a Mr. Pibb with her. Every detail. I miss it.
“You’ve given me everything that I will need
To make it through this crazy thing called life.
And I know you watched me grow up
And only want what’s best for me.”


My mom has been there for everything in my life. For all the hours she spent back and forth taking me to dance classes, and never missing a single performance, I’ll be forever grateful. From being the “room mom,” to checking the current weather in Utah, she’s always been present in my life. She’s never let me take the easy way out in life though. She’s shown me that doing the right thing, although not the easiest way, will make me feel better in the end and get me further in life. She’s shown me through the trials she’s encountered in her life what true strength is. I want her to know how much I miss her. More importantly, I want her to know what a lasting impression she’s had on my life and what an inspiration as a mother, wife, and woman she has been to me. I know she probably couldn’t tell from how I acted when I was seventeen or even twenty-one, and maybe she can’t feel it from 2,000 miles away, but she means the world to me. She’s my mom. She’s played the most important role anyone will ever play in my life. I love her so much.
I wish more than anything I was just a short drive away from her and that we could randomly decide to go to the mall together or the bookstore to hang out. The distance makes you realize never to take those things for granted. I hope one day soon I’m back home for good and can share those special mother/daughter moments with her because they are so precious and can’t be shared with anyone else. But for now, I want her to know I’m okay and I miss her.
“Mama I’m okay out here
I’ve seen how hard the world can be
My step is sure and I know my name
I’m strong just like you prayed I’d be
I’m strong just like you prayed I’d be”


I’m my mom’s only daughter and she’s my only mom. I just want to make her proud. I love you, Mom. Just know I feel this way everyday… not just today. I miss you and hope you’ve had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I’ve already told you how hard it’s been to get through this post without crying. Let’s just say my mascara is completely smeared right now… I guess that just shows how full my heart is : )
“A daughter is a mother’s gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self.  And mothers are their daughters’ role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships.”  -Victoria Secund

Those were the most beautiful words to read. I would not have missed any of those moments you mention. I loved always being there for you. And I still do.
You brought tears to my eyes, but love to my heart. I miss having you closer, also, and I am so very proud of the young woman you have grown to be.
Thank you little one.

--

I am amazed looking back at this post and its timing. The fact that I wrote all of this to my mom, thanking her, letting her know how vital of a role she's always played in my life, etc. And then, her comment. It was a very rare occasion that my mom would speak from her heart like that. So, to look back and know that we were both able to express these important things from 2,000 miles away, not knowing at the time that it'd be one of our last chances to... it means the world.

I miss my mom more than words will ever be able to express. Although today marks one year since she left this world, my mind, body, and soul are still in shock. Today will certainly be a tough day to get through - for me, my dad, my brothers, my close family, and our close family friends. My mom touched so many lives. She was one-of-a-kind.

She will forever be my inspiration and we will always be the Girls of Summer.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

First Love

I recently sat down to watch a few surf films, one of which was a documentary of three teenage girls from Phillip Island, Australia.

It was one of those films that just spoke to me. The kind you want to watch over and over again because it leaves you with such a lasting impression. 

First Love


"First Love is about love, friendship and following your dreams. This feature length film follows the lives of three passionate young girls from Phillip Island and documents their trip to Hawaii – the first step on their journey to making a career out of surfing."
It's the story of Jess Laing, Nikki van Dijk, and India Payne. Seventeen-year-olds, each sponsored and each surfing the same breaks. And although they're each so different from the other, they share the same first love - surfing. 

While watching the footage and hearing the story of the women who put this documentary together, I was left with several important feelings. I remembered my first love. Not my first "boy" love but my first life love. You know - the first thing your heart longed for. The thing that made life complete. It made life make sense. It's the thing or place that was home for you. Without it, you weren't the same.


It took me back to that first love of mine. I was reminded yet again, as I constantly seem to be lately, that the passions and loves we have never really go away. They're a part of us always. Sometimes life "gets in the way" or we think we have to go this one specific route in life, only to be drawn back to our true love at a later time. I've often caught myself thinking about my first love and constantly talking myself out of it. In fact, I talk myself out of the things I want the most. It still surprises me that I actually made it out here to San Diego as it was one of my life's biggest dreams. But I'm not done yet...

The film pushed me. To never settle. To stop thinking I have to go that ordinary, boring, safe route in life. It reminded me that it's okay to sacrifice everything, go against the current, and paddle out twice as hard to reunite with my first love. I'm here. I'm in San Diego. Now it's time to make it happen. To make a living doing what I love.

What's your first love? Have you pursued it yet? Or are you still paddling out?

--

For more on First Love, visit the website here or find the film streaming on Netflix!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Remember Her Strength

One year ago today, I wrote a post on The One Ache I've Feared to Feel. It was the day my family found out that my mom had incurable cancer. At the time, we were told she may have months to live, but not at all were we prepared for what was about to happen.

I remember I went in to work that morning. I sat at my desk. Numb to the world. What in the hell was I doing at a stupid office? An hour later, as soon as my boss arrived, I told him I was leaving and wasn't sure when I'd return. I drove the long I-66 corridor to the hospital and honestly, the next several hours are a blur.

I remember we had told the doctors we wanted to be in the room as a family when the results of my mom's biopsy were given. I think somewhere in there I tried to eat. I sat. I cried. I walked. I texted Katie, knowing I'd need her support. I read the overflow of love that poured in from this amazing blogging community as I sat and waited.

I remember how we took turns going up to visit my mom for short 10-minute visits. Suddenly, I turned around and saw my brother, who had been up visiting her, quickly walking toward me. "C'mon," he said, motioning for us to get up. "The doctor is up there. He blurted out the results before we could stop him." I'll never forget the look my brother gave me. I knew.

I remember the moment those words came out of the oncologist's lips. I was surrounded by my dad and two older brothers and looked ahead at my mom, exhausted and uncomfortable in her hospital bed. The room was rather dark and a heavy weight seemed to press down from above. Discussing the possible remaining length of your loved one's life... how are you supposed to listen to that?

I remember the way I felt in that moment. Devastated.

I remember the strength my mom had while receiving her diagnosis. As a 45-year cancer survivor of a completely different type of cancer, she had already come to terms with the fact that this horrible cancer would be what took her in the end. She barely even flinched. She nodded her head and that was it.

That was the day I knew my life was never going to be the same. I didn't know when. I didn't know what it was going to be like. I just knew life was going to change forever.

Now, every battle I face seems to be so much less compared to that one. And each time life throws something difficult my way, I think back to my mom's strength that day as she accepted what was to come next...


And in two days, on Friday, it will be a celebration in remembrance of her.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm the Kinda Girl Who...

If you guys don't know Holly from Running in Stilettos... well, to quote Anchorman because, yes, I finally did see it... she's "kind of a big deal!" Also, she's my blog bestie and I just adore her. I'm so excited to be linking up with her today for I'm the Kinda Girl Who...

If you're new here, I hope you learn some fun facts about moi and if we're already friends, well, I hope you love me even more after this ;)

"I'm the Kinda Girl Who..."


+ Can clean out a crab
+ Will never have skinny thighs. Thanks, dancer legs ;)
+ Is allergic to lipstick
+ Could get rid of every social network. Except for Pinterest
+ Will do anything to not have to parallel park
+ Is obsessed with her car


+ Has 3,000 pictures on her phone
+Doesn't wear pink
+ Puts fruit in her fro yo
+ Can't play soccer
+ Starts books and never finishes them
+ Sits and talks to all the homeless animals


+Has a Ke$ha song as her alarm. Don't hate.
+ Can never have too many chambray tops
+ Secretly misses the old Nokia cell phone days
+ Says "Dude." All the time.
+Enjoys dressing up for church and plays


+ Stays up late
+ Hates bandwagons
+ Loves deeply but not easily
+ Didn't realize she had a "type" until recently
+ Misses dance and acting
+ Loves seeing bands at a dirty, grimy dive bar


+ Breaks out the Running Man in the middle of a dance party
+ Enjoys a lot of alone time
+ Can never watch The Notebook again
+ Counts in 8's
+Takes pictures of her gleeful self on Ash Wednesday. Yep...


+ Has been in love with Ryan Gosling since before she even thought boys were "cute"
+ Has faith
+ Takes her lunch to work
+ Is constantly learning and growing and making mistakes
+ Loves her mama
+ Can't imagine life without sunsets and the ocean



+ Believes in supernatural ish
+ Wants to be a million different things at once
+ Just wants to surf
+ Always has to mention her love for the 90's in a post like this
+ Is a just a girl. I'm just a girl in the world. That's all that you let me beeee
+ Gives up everything to chase after her biggest dreams


And that's just the beginning...

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Laguna Beach Birthday

This birthday was a different one. It was obviously the first birthday of mine since my mom passed away so I was rather apprehensive about January 7th approaching. Yet, the day arrived and I had some great plans ahead.

When I turned 20, my family was actually in San Diego, visiting my brother who lived here at the time. The Redskins were playing that day, so my brother and dad headed to watch the game at a local spot while the girls drove up for a daytrip to Laguna Beach. I decided I'd keep the tradition going and headed up there the morning of my birthday this year.

It was a perfect day. The temps were in the 60s, not a cloud in sight. The first stop was La Sirena Grill for lunch. I'm a pretty avid Yelper so I took the advice of the reviews and ordered the Calamari Burrito. It was one of the greatest meals I have ever had! It's a quaint little spot with all seating outside. I later spotted this place on the first episode ever of Laguna Beach. Even Kristin and Talan liked it...

After lunch, a walk over to Muse, a super cute boutique, was necessary. Although they were under a little construction at the time, all the ladies that worked there were so sweet and we had a good time chatting for a while. I got two new sets of earrings that I just adore :)

Next, was Heisler Park. It's another Laguna Beach favorite of mine; perfect for a leisurely walk and where I've taken some of my best pictures ;)






There's something incredibly special about this little spot. Especially on a Monday afternoon in January. It's tranquil, yet, you can look up and see all the beautiful homes nestled into the hills. It's peaceful, yet, you pass joggers, moms, tourists, couples cozied up on a park bench, and people just like you, yet with a different story.

You have all the perks of a small town - cute shops, dynamite eateries, winding streets, and all the quirks that come with a little place - yet, you're right there in the middle of it all. Standing in Heisler park, looking out at the blue Pacific, you have your back to one of the most beautiful places in the world [in my opinion, the most beautiful] yet you're still surrounded by pure and fresh nature everywhere you turn.






There are several different spots throughout Laguna that I love exploring and walking down to the tidepools is always a real treat. I took it all in. The sights, the sounds, the fact that I was one year older and hopefully wiser ;) But, wow, what a year. 

And to sit there and digest the fact that, here I was, only a short drive from my new HOME. My dreams were coming true. Right before my eyes.

I could have stayed there all day. However, the sun would be setting soon. There was one more stop before heading back down to SD. I needed cupcakes.



[Not pictured: One Cupcake]

So, off to Casey's Cupcakes we went! I'm thinking a review of this place is in order. Just so I can go into greater detail and make you all crave a cute cupcake. I mean, can ya get any cuter? After that, we cruised past my favorite Laguna home high up on a hill, and coasted down Highway 1 just in time for the sunset.



I've always been a water baby. A beach girl. The ocean is my home.

So, to return to this special spot on my birthday sure was a lovely treat. I feel so blessed to live within driving distance of Laguna Beach. It's the perfect little reminder of just how beautiful this world we live in is.


And as for you, California, I love you :)
Thanks for another amazing birthday.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Long Hair Care Routine

One week from today, I'm donating my hair! This is something I've wanted to do all my life and next Friday, on the anniversary of my mom's death, I'll be chopping off 8+ inches of my hair in honor of her.

Some of you have asked what products I use on my hair and today I wanted to share with you what my "long hair care" routine has been these past couple months. First of all, let me say that my hair grows rather quickly. I have fine hair but I have a lot of it. When my hair gets really long, volume is pretty tough to get, as the length pulls down.

Scissors haven't touched these locks since the very beginning of July so, needless to say, my hair and bangs are pretty unruly at this point. Here are my go-to products I've used and loved to keep my hair as healthy as possible until February 22nd arrives:


1. TRESemme Breakage Defense Shampoo - No complaints here. I am a huge TRESemme fan because you get a lot of bang for your buck. This shampoo has lasted me almost three months and, believe me, that's a long time for this "shampoo everyday" girl!

2. Brocato Rootfix Root Lifter Mousse - Unlike most other mousses, this mousse doesn't foam up into a cloud of fluff. I spritz is straight into my roots about one minute before blow drying and, let me tell you, I can definitely notice on the days I decide to skip this step. It gives my hair that added "oomph" to last through the day and night!

3. Brocato Swell Volume Leave-in Volumizing Conditioner - I mean, what part of the name doesn't make you want to use it? This spray is my saving grace. Not a day goes by without this in my hair. Not only does it nourish my hair with vitamins, but it thickens my hair. I only spritz this on the lower three or four inches of my hair while it's wet, do my make-up while it really soaks into my hair, and then blow dry it.

4. TRESemme Breakage Defense Conditioner - I don't know about you, but I have tangly hair to the max. There are several conditioners out there that don't seem to do a thing for the tangles but this one isn't one of them. It strengthens my hair, de-tangles, and smells yummy!

5. Brocato Cloud 9 Hotshapes Miracle Flat Iron & Curling Spray - When you have long, un-trimmed hair, I will warn you that it usually doesn't style very well. I've relied heavily on my clipless curling iron to give me loose, voluminous waves. The waves mask my grown-out, uneven layers and make my hair seem a bit less dramatically long. Because of all the daily heat I'm applying to my hair, this spray not only protects and prevents heat damage, it also leaves your hair feeling "silky and smooth."

6. TRESemme Extra Hold Hairspray - What can I say? I like my hairspray. I didn't grow up in the dance competition world for nothing! Although I no longer use enough hairspray to make my hair a firm object, a little teasing and hairspray around the crown is necessary to keep my hair from being pulled down flat onto my scalp.
Long hair = heavy. Hairspray = my best friend.


I have loved my longer-than-usual locks and it's been so wonderful to see my natural highlights brought out in the long waves. My hair has blown perfectly in the San Diego salt air, but it's time for this hair to go to someone who needs it more than I do. I'll soak up the last few days of wrapping it seven times around the barrel of my curling iron. Then, it'll be time to try something new and, for that, I can't wait :)

Any questions? Let me know!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 Days and One Recipe

Welp, today is the start of Lent for those of us who observe it. I must admit, I'm pretty darn excited. It's been a while since I've had the ashes placed on my forehead and it certainly symbolizes a lot to me this year. I love periods of time that challenge me to become better.

In previous years, I've always taken a different approach to Lent - a time of self-examination, self-denial, and amendment of life. Instead of giving up a food or sweet something, I always decided to pray more. I wanted that period of self-reflection. So, in addition to praying every night, for the next 40 days [and hopefully after that], I will be starting every morning off with a meditation, a prayer of thanks, a prayer for peace.

Prior to this Ash Wednesday, I also decided there were some things I wanted to give up. Things that, with time, had lost a lot of importance in my life. I knew that what little time I was being spent with those things could be spent somewhere much more worthy of my time. So, those things have been gone from my life and I haven't looked back since :)

Now, where were we? Ah, yes... speaking of becoming better. Since the move to San Diego, I've been challenging myself to try a bunch of new recipes. When I went home for Christmas, one of the appetizer dishes I decided to make was stuffed celery. 


Here's what you'll need:
[This makes 16 servings]

+ 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
+ 2 tablespoons sour cream
+ 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
+ 20 green olives with pimento, chopped
+ 1 bunch celery, cut into bite-size pieces

And here's all you have to do:

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in the walnuts and chopped olives. Spread filling onto the celery pieces. It's also good on crackers.

--

I found the recipe over here while scouring the boards for tasty treats. My sister-in-law who doesn't love olives even liked the stuffed celery. Shoot, I'd even spread that stuff on sliced cucumbers. Yum! Super easy to make and just the perfect finger food! Last Christmas, I made spinach balls and they were a hit as well!

In the spirit of Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras earlier this week, I made Shrimp Jambalaya and, I must say, aside from my chocolate chip cookies, it is THE greatest dish I've made! Hungry now? Go make some stuffed celery ;)

I can't wait to see what positive changes will take place in these next 40 days and all the fantastic new recipes I've yet to try :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Mountains of Life

Yesterday, I wrote about saying "yes" to life. I have seen this theme appear and reappear lately in my life. So, I feel it's only right to write about this in greater depth.

I've mentioned briefly on here how I found a church in San Diego that I just love. It's been the church that I've searched my whole life for. And believe me, I've done a lot of searching. "Religion" or "spirituality" has always been a journey for me. A very personal one. For now, I'll just leave it at that. But this past Sunday in church, the focus was on mountains.

The passages chosen were all about mountains and then there was the sermon. There was one phrase that really hit me, "Mountains are what spiritually grow us." I started thinking about the mountains I've had to face in my lifetime. But then I started thinking about the person I was before those mountains were placed along my path. Holy cow, I have changed!

I look back at the times when I was pessimistic. The times when I questioned my own self-worth. The times when I thought I had the worst of everything and wanted what everyone else had. Who was I? I was a young teenage girl who looked at life's mountains as defeat. Instead of conquering them, I allowed them to conquer me. They broke me down until nothing was left. But then, one day, I put my foot down.


I reached deep within me. I decided to look at life - to look at those mountains differently. God [the Universe] put them there for ME to CONQUER. Those mountains were there to help me grow spiritually. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. But it was the spiritual growth that helped me take on every challenge from that day on.

The mountains of my life...
They grew me.
For the better.

"See every difficulty as a challenge, a stepping stone, and never be defeated by anything or anyone."
-Eileen Caddy

Friends, some people settle for the path of least resistance. They settle for the ski-lift up the mountain so they can enjoy the view at the top. But isn't the view so much better - don't we learn so much more - if we are the ones that get ourselves there? It's never too late. Change today. Say "yes." Stop settling for the path of least resistance.

And like the song I always picture my mom singing to me says...

"I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance."

-Lee Ann Womack

Monday, February 11, 2013

Saying "Yes!"

I'm that girl that never went camping growing up. I didn't climb trees. And doing the whole Chinese Fire Drill thing at a stoplight just never tickled my fancy. I knew what things I was comfortable with in life and which things I was not. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for getting outside of your comfort zone - I mean, hello... I moved to San Diego! But what happens when we start saying "yes" to life?

I've met someone here in SD whose motto is to just say "yes" to life. To say, "Sure, why not?" After all, it could eventually be life-changing. Each time I've spent with him, I've found myself saying "yes" to something I would normally say "no" to.

Example Numero Uno:

He took me to hike Torrey Pines for the first time. Am I a big hiker? Um, no. But I had heard amazing things about hiking Torrey Pines so I was all for it. Then, he told me there was a great spot on the hike to run. Am I a runner? Definitely not.

I was skeptical. My attitude was very, "Ehhh." But sure enough, once we hiked up the cliff, it was time to run. I agreed to it and we started running. Immediately, in my head, I told myself this wouldn't last very long but hey, at least I tried it right? Well, we kept running. And talking. And laughing. And before I knew it, we finished out the entire hike with that run. The best part is that I wanted to do it again. I got SO much out of it! I felt pumped. Excited. Proud of myself.



Example Numero Dos:

This weekend we were hanging out and he mentioned that we should go dancing. I'm a dancer but I've never been one to just "go dancing." So, my "Ehhh" attitude began again and I figured I'd just have to talk him into doing something else. He starts telling me about this place with really healthy food and said we should go there. Okay, good. My plan to avoid dancing was working.

We got side-tracked and I told him the story of how I forgot how to ride a bike. [Seriously. The whole "it's like riding a bike" saying is a joke.] His response was, "Well, that's unfortunate because we are riding bikes tonight to get there." You're kidding me.

Note: I may or may not have gotten myself onto the bike, peddled once, and veered directly into his car. 

Anyway. We laughed hysterically and then I told him I would just run to the restaurant. Well, that wasn't going to happen. Much to my dismay, I rode on the handlebars of his bike. As terrified as I was of being thrown off, I ended up having a blast. We rode alongside the beach and having the salt air in my hair was the greatest feeling :)

I was pleasantly surprised when the restaurant we went to was a restaurant I went to the first time I visited my brother here years ago. That restaurant has since closed and the new one has opened up but how cool to randomly go back to visit a special spot?




It's weird coincidences like that one that make you realize you're right where you're meant to be. I felt so happy. If I hadn't said "yes," I wouldn't have felt that breeze in my hair. I wouldn't have smelled the delicious salt air. I wouldn't have watched the waves crash from that deck. I wouldn't have been reminded of a fun spot my family loved. I wouldn't have made new memories [some that we will laugh about for years.]

So, start saying "yes." You might be terrified. You might be nervous. Perhaps you doubt your own capabilities. Or perhaps you really will nearly crash your bike. But keep seeking those opportunities. It's in those "yes" moments that you really feel life.

And just in case you were wondering... I ended up saying "yes" to dancing that night too :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

February Confessions

It's time to confess.

I confess:
I've been singing "Only Hope"A Walk to Remember style on repeat.
It's pretty much my favorite movie.


I confess:
+I'm waiting until I cut my hair to get a California Driver's License. Sometimes I can be such a girl...


I confess:
+I get ridiculous anxiety before doing two things: Killing a bug and sending an email.
I have to re-read the email at least 20 times.
As for the bug... well...

I confess:
+My apartment is being fumigated today. This may or may not take care of my bug phobia. Pray for me.
And also, just know that this happened the other day:


I confess:
+I read about 4 different books at once and none of them are fiction.

I confess:
+I might actually finally watch Anchorman now that I live in San Diego.
Might.

I confess:
+Every time I'm at church and the "Peace be with you" "And also with you" part comes along, I think of Dane Cook.


I confess:
+I think I'm over The Vampire Diaries [gasp!]

I confess:
+I've already caught myself saying SoCal lingo more than once... "Cruise," "Kickin' it," "Way chill." Are we seeing a pattern here? Also, am I the only one who didn't know what a "roadie" was?

I confess:
+Lesson learned in life: One wrong turn and you're in the bad part of town

[Moments before the wrong turn]

I confess:
+I walked into the coffee shop yesterday [after getting lost in the "bad part of town" looking for a library], ordered a drink, sat down and started working, and the guy comes up to tell me they closed an hour ago. 'Scuse?

I confess:
+The Carrie Diaries episode from this week has now played three four times in a row on my DVR. I put it on while I'm getting work done, don't watch it, then hit, "Start over" when the episode comes to an end. Note: I have confessed this in previous months.

I confess:
+Every time I watch Teen Mom 2 now and see one of Chelsea's dogs, I still want to cry [Did you see the episode about her dog, Frankie?] :(

I confess:
I'm getting REALLY tired of all the Blogger spacing issues.
Don't make me move to Wordpress...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Know 2012 is Over

I was going to get started on my birthday recap but then, while going through pictures, I realized I never even wrote about the days [and New Year] leading up to my birthday. Here it is in pictures:

For Christmas, I asked for Lola by Marc Jacobs as it has been at the top of my "I want this perfume" list for a couple years. I must say, it sure looks nice alongside the rest of my collection!


When I ventured back to the East Coast for Christmas, I left Stella at my house and had my neighbors take care of her. I hated being without her and knowing she was alone for so long. I'll most likely be taking her with me next time. However, the joy in her eyes as she heard my voice the night I got home was unlike anything I've ever seen :)

Stella also has a handsome admirer, Charlie... He's in love. She's skeptical.



Upon returning back to San Diego, I really started to settle in and get acquainted with my new home. Naturally, sushi and chocolate were both involved. If you haven't tried Extraordinary Desserts, it's a must. I mean, look at the flower petals. San Diegans are such romantics...

Also, I clearly cannot get enough of the SD skyline.



I experienced my first San Diego Farmers' Market AND Swap Meet in the same day. While at the Farmers' Market, we got some delicious paninis and fresh juice. I went with the watermelon cucumber. Yum!

 I remember visiting my brother here years ago and we passed the huge swap meet on Sports Arena Blvd. It was the first time I heard the term "swap meet." Now, here I was actually going to it years later.

While at the swap meet, I was surprised to find Dave Hester standing next to me. Some of you may know Dave from the show Storage Wars ["Yuuup!"] He has a little spot set up where you can buy many of the miscellaneous finds he brings from storage units. Pretty cool stuff!


The NYE Party I went to was a NEON party. I waited until Saturday, December 29th to decide that I was going and had to throw together a NEON outfit in the middle of Winter. Lucky for me, I love bright colors. I found the below jewels at H&M. My date wore an awesome Kelly Kapowski shirt with neon pink. We looked fabulous and had a wonderful time :)

Seeing the San Diego skyline as the year went from one into the next was magical. I even hashtagged a shirt #NYE :) Cutting pink tape is not an easy task, my friends.



Woof. That post was all over the place and so were the pictures. I have taken SO many pictures thus far in California and, I must say, the pictures that are coming up in my birthday recap, are some of the best ;)

See ya later, 2012...