you're my favorite : july 15

Windows photo

The last couple of weeks have been a blur of airports, changes, catching up with friends, laughing, a tiny bit of crying, some worry followed by relief, texts with my brother, big kids who make me proud, little kids who make me smile, making plans, lots of coffee, equal amounts of wine....all with a heavy undercurrent of gratitude. I often tell W, "you're a lucky boy!" and he says "no, you a wucky boy!" Definitely wucky. Here are a few things that were my favorite is this very full month...

Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast : Magic Lessons. Brilliant. Simply brilliant. 

Rod Stewart in Carpool Karaoke.  

My Aunt and I discussed generous listening a lot during my visit. I'm practicing it daily. 

I visited with high school friends while I was in LA. I loved catching up with Stacy & Shane (and their beautiful girls) and Maurine. Man, I hit the jackpot in the friends department. I love that we have history and stories and inside jokes...and that we're all figuring out this grown-up thing as we go along. 

I've practiced removing this word from work communications. I was amazed at how often I was using it! 

My favorite salad this month - baby spinach, red onion, strawberries, seitan, feta, and avocado. I could eat it every day. 

Oh, and something that was NOT my favorite : my grind & brew coffee maker. It's so messy. I'm pondering this one: KitchenAid Pour Over Brewer.

 

 


Divorce the Divorce : Gloria Marie Pierson

Divorce the divorce

I’m going to cut to the chase on this one: if I had written a book nearly 3 years ago when I divorced, this book would be its twin. During the build-up and the aftermath, I had countless conversations with my best friends about doing the work. This book is all about that work. Even if you’re NOT divorced, and not planning to be divorced…you should still read this book (just explain it to your spouse ahead of time to prevent any misunderstanding).

 

What I loved: So much! Breaking down the work into weekly areas of focus is brilliant. Each chapter/week has a focus, an activity, and a mid-week “delight.” Two of my favorites (that were definitely a part of my post-divorce learnings)… Morning Rituals (Chapter 19) and Believe & Succeed in 30 Days (Chapter 42). The book explores meditation, gratitude, affirmations, vision boarding…all practices that were (and continue to be) central to the way that I rebuilt my life. Gloria’s style is friendly & honest. She shares her own experiences throughout the book, which brings an authenticity that was key for me.  

 

 What I left: really, nothing…I nodded my head in agreement throughout the entire book. The only thing that I’d suggest leaving is the belief that this book is only useful after a divorce (note - that's not the author's belief. I just think that many people will skip over this book b/c of the title). I think everyone can benefit from a 52 Step Journey to Create Unlimited Happiness.

 

Gloria, thank you so much for sharing this book with me!

 

You can find Gloria’s book here and her website here.

 

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.

 


fifty questions.

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Oh, how I love a list! My friend Lee posted a fabulous list of 50 questions & answers on her blog. In the same web-surfing session, I stumbled on a video of Reese Witherspoon answering Vogue's 73 questions. Although I like a challenge, 50 seems sufficient...

01. Who was the last person you held hands with?

Dan.

02. Are you loud, outgoing or shy?

I would say more outgoing than loud or shy...but in an introverted way.

03. Who are you looking forward to seeing?

I'll be in LA this week...I'm looking forward to seeing my Aunt Betty and one of my besties, Maurine!

04. Are you easy to get along with?

I think so...but you should probably ask someone else.

05. Have you ever given up on someone, but then gone back to him or her?

Yep...fairly often. My friends (and to be honest, a therapist or two) have told me that I have a hard time letting go of people. They're not wrong.

06. If you were drunk would the person you like take care of you?

History says yes. (thanks babe)

07. Do you think you’ll be in a relationship two months from now?

Yes...in fact, we'll be celebrating our one year anniversary two months from today!

08. Who from the opposite gender is on your mind?

Dan...b/c he just texted me a pic of his bandaged leg/toe...flip flop injury at the Neil Young concert. 

09. Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable.

No.

10. Who was the last person you had a deep conversation with?

Starts with D, rhymes with van...

11. What does your most recent text say?

"Skinned my knee, took a little chunk out of my toe and small cut on the side. My pride hurts worse. And I dumped half my kettle corn...(sad face & panda emojis)"

12. How do you feel about abortion?

I am pro-choice. 

13. Do you like big crowds of people?

Yes, which might seem strange for an introvert. I enjoy the anonymity & the energy. 

14. Do you believe in luck and miracles?

Wholeheartedly. 

15. What good thing happened this summer?

Lots of good things! I've seen my core desired feelings manifest in big & little ways. 

16. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

Uhm, I plan on it. 

17. Do you think there is life on other planets?

Yes. I don't necessarily believe that said life looks like little green aliens...but I do think that it exists. 

18. Do you still talk to your first crush?

No...but I think we're friends on FB. 

19. Do you like bubble baths?

Hmmm. Sort of. I like the idea of them...but they often turn out to be more trouble than they're worth.

20. Do you like your neighbours?

Tricky question. I live in an apartment building. I don't really know my neighbors. There are a few people that I see regularly in the lobby or the elevator, and they're always kind. 

21. What are your bad habits?

I apologize too often. I overthink. I forget to pay bills. I ignore my to-do list when it's not very interesting. 

22. Where would you like to travel?

British Columbia. Austin, TX. Portland, OR. Hawaii. Ireland. Bali. Italy. Machu Picchu. And many, many more...

23. Do you have trust issues?

Hells yes. 

24. Favourite part of your daily routine?

Taking the time to sit for at least one cup of coffee in the morning. Sometimes I meditate. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I just chat with Dan or Austin. 

25. What body part are you most uncomfortable with?

My thighs. "Thick" would be an apt description.

26. What do you do when you wake up?

Think about coffee. Whine that I need coffee. Make coffee (or beg Dan to make coffee). Impatiently wait for coffee. DRINK THE COFFEE. 

27. Do you wish your skin was lighter or darker.

Maybe a smidgen darker. Especially in the winter, when I'm Casper-like.

28. Who are you most comfortable around?

My kids. My friends. Dan. 

29. Have any of your ex’s told you they regret breaking up?

Not that I recall. As a side note, I am still friends with many of them. 

30. Do you ever want to get married?

For a third time? No thanks. That decision doesn't preclude a long-term relationship... 

31. Is your hair long enough for a ponytail?

Yes.

32. Which celebrities would you like to have a threesome with?

Bradley Cooper and...I'll let him pick. 

33. Spell your name with your chin.

Wait, what??

34. Do you play sports?

Nope. I played basketball in the fourth or fifth grade. I was on the gymnastics team during my freshman year of high school. That is the extent of my experience actually playing sports. 

35. Would you rather live without TV or music.

TV. Although that would mean living w/o Shonda Rhymes, so I might need to change my answer. 

36. Have you ever liked someone and never told them?

I'm sure that I have, although I can't think of an example right now.

37. What do you say during awkward silences?

"Well, this is awkward..."

38. Do you think age matters in relationships?

I think that "age is just a number" is true in most cases. 

39. What are your favourite stores to shop in?

I actually don't like to shop, but I'll wander through stationary boutiques & bookstores. 

40. What did you want to do after high school?

At one point I wanted to be a TV news broadcaster. Then I wanted to be a lawyer. 

41. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

I believe that we can all begin again, but that it's a choice that we make for ourselves. No one owes us a second chance. 

42. If you’re being extremely quiet, what does it mean?

That I'm thinking...or in need of coffee. Or both. 

43. Do you smile at strangers?

Always.

44. Trip to outer space or bottom of the ocean?

Outer space. 

45. Do you want a roommate?

Maybe.... 

46. What are you paranoid about?

Bodies of water that I can't see the bottom of. Parallel parking. 

47. What was the meanest thing someone ever said to you?

“You have zero business sense. You just yell & cry to get your way." (all untrue)

48. What was the nicest?

“You are amazing.”

49. Have you done something recently you hope no one finds out about?

No. (and I have no idea who ate the last of the peanut butter custard. Ahem.)

50. What language do you want to learn?

Spanish. 


thoughts on magic : mid-year.

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My One Little Word has been fairly quiet this year. It has hung around in the background... occasionally whispering when I needed a mental boost. It hasn't been particularly sparkly & extraordinary, which is okay by me. Magic has shown up in ordinary, everyday sorts of ways.

I was super excited to learn that Elizabeth Gilbert launched a podcast in support of her upcoming book, Big Magic.  I listened to it on the way to work this morning and LOVED every minute of it. Oh, and get this....near the end of the episode, I pulled up being a car with a vanity plate at a red light. The license plate was "GOMAGIC." For reals. (I desperately wanted to take a picture, but hands free, y'all.)

Clearly, I'm thinking about my OLW today. And here's my reminder-to-self - magic is something you make. Sometimes it just happens, but sometimes you have to create it. I revisited my 2015 Intentions list (here) and I'm pretty pleased with how many I've incorporated into my days/weeks I'm pretty certain that the 2nd half of the year is going to be FULL of magic...and it's up to me to make it so. 

Here's to more MAGIC.


apartment updates!

Gallerywall1

Our living room wall is no longer bare! (side note: it's really hard to get decent non-glare pics in a room full of windows) I'm really happy with how this collection turned out. Sources: three feathers | walk the path photo is my own | hamsa | houses | choose happiness | gold foil courage framed print was on clearance at Home Goods for $5...score! | ampersand is just a type & print situation | california flag...random google image download | costa rica photo is my own.

Fiddleleaf

 My fiddle leaf fig is still doing awesome. I picked up the ampersand marquee on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond. Austin laughs at my affinity for the ampersand. 

Cookbooks

In the small category of "things I don't love about the apartment"...we have really bad kitchen appliances. It takes a little over 6 days to pre-heat the oven to 400. Sigh. I'm blaming the appliances for the fact that I do a lot more drooling over the cookbooks than actually cooking from them.

 


you're my favorite : june 15

You're my favorite banner

How is it the 5th of July already? I'd like someone to slow down the universe a bit, please. We have a lot of #summer15 to live, and it's going by a little too quickly. A few favorites from the blur that was June...

Wayfare & Wander : Remember those choose your own adventure books? My lovely friend Lauren is using that concept for this gorgeous new travel site. Brilliant. 

Elephant Journal : lots of "aha" posts last month. 

Graduation : Austin & his friends have big dreams & goals - and I'm so excited to see them start their next chapter. 

Florida : vacations are fun. 

Scout & Co Coffee : a chemex for two + donuts = happy. 

Halloumi cheese : salty summer goodness. 

Club W : I've opened two bottles from my first shipment - both were delicious. I'm already looking forward to my next box. 

 


#summer15 : a florida adventure.

One thing (of many) that Dan & I totally agree on is that we will make travel & adventure priorities in our life. Last week, we headed down to Florida to visit Dan's Mom...with Dan's little ones in tow. Travel with littles is an adventure, for sure...

Sunglasses

Our morning departure flight was cancelled, so we spent our first vacation day as a staycation day. Let's be honest - the change was an unexpected wrinkle in our carefully laid plans and was nearly our un-doing. Despite a rocky start, we donned our shades & headed to the airport for an after-dinner flight.

Troopers

These two were rockstars during and after the flights - even when we arrived in Florida at 1 o'clock in the morning. Side note: $0.60 gel clings for the airplane windows were a solid hit, and Melissa & Doug's Water WOW! sets are brilliant. 

Golf cart

Golf cart adventures & a morning at the pool = fun.

Beach days

The ocean is definitely my happy place. Listening to the belly laughs in the waves was definitely my favorite. Hearing W shout "a big one!" with sheer joy was worth every moment of two-year-old-ness.

Roller coaster

Our adventure included a very long, very hot day at LegoLand. M was my constant roller coaster companion & wanted to ride everything at least twice. Dan was happy to NOT ride the coasters...

Mini thumbs up

Miniland USA got a solid thumbs up from W. The lego scenes were amazing! 

Kindness

We also danced, ate great food, tolerated tempers, survived the heat, enjoyed a few (many) gin & tonics, navigated roles & routines, and laughed a lot. Like most vacations, our days flew by and the trip ended too soon. Here's to kindness, laughter, adventure, gratitude, travel, and #summer15!


celebrating endings & beginnings.

 Austin graduated on Saturday - with cum laude distinction (the white tassles) and as a member of the National Honor Society (the yellow sash). This kid is going to do great things.

Kar

 Kindness & grace for the win.

Boys1

These boys have grown up together. The friendship, support, and kindness that they've practiced have laid the foundation for bonds that will last a lifetime. 

Boys2

 In the fall, some will head off to Utah, Montana, Maryland, and British Columbia...and some will stay closer to home. I am so excited for the adventures that they'll ALL experience. 

Dankat

 And this guy? So grateful to have him by my side and in our life.