far & away.

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Sixteen and 1/2 years ago, I was called into the owner's office just two weeks after joining the company. I was terrified that I had somehow failed miserably in my role, and was being let go. There was no basis for that, of course, but I was sweating when I walked into his office. As I sat down, he calmly asked if I had a passport. I quietly answered "no"...frankly a bit confused b/c I knew that the job would involve some travel, but had somehow assumed that 1) I'd need much more time with the company and 2) it would be domestic travel. In the next few minutes, he explained that he wanted me to attend a meeting in London a week later, so I'd need to go to Boston to get a same-day passport. At that point, I had been outside of the US exactly once - a quick jaunt to Tijuana during a debate tournament in San Diego. I hadn't even ventured to Canada. So, a few days after receiving my first passport, I boarded a plane by myself and met up with the owner & my manager in England. It was overwhelming and exciting, all wrapped into one.

My passport is still nearly empty. I've been on a cruise to Mexico, a girls' trip to Costa Rica, and (obviously) multiple trips to Canada. I travel frequently in the US, but still nothing compared to many of my jet-setting friends. 

Travel has been on my mind as I'm settling into a life that offers a bit more freedom. Both of my kids are brave & independent, and they've taught me to be a bit more relaxed about saying yes to new adventures. I have a running list of both domestic and international travel that I look forward to. Barb and I have a trip to Austin, TX for our 2015 installment of Barb & Kat's Excellent Adventures. My Aunt and I are beginning to plan a trip to Machu Picchu for the fall. Dan and I are excited about a possible Mexico adventure. The kids and I are trying to sort out a joint-graduation celebration trip (Hawaii and Bali are both on the potential destination list). 

What's on your travel bucket list?


the life changing magic of tidying up : marie kondo

It seems as though everyone that I know (and every blogger that I read) has read, or is reading, this book. I ordered it shortly after moving into my apartment, after I'd already done so much decluttering & organizing during the move. I knew that it might be a little out-there, but I'm often a little out-there, so...

what I loved: "Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle." I certainly started this process during the move. I was ruthless with what was recycled/discarded (as evidenced by my receipts to Goodwill, Recycle North, and the Got Junk? guys). The author suggests making decisions based on the question "does this spark joy?"...a measurement that has been particularly helpful in editing down to a capsule wardrobe. The section of the book about dealing with mementos & gifts definitely resonated. She talks about "processing the past" while sorting through these items. This concept sparked some ideas about how to capture the stories of many of the papers & knick-knacks that I've carried around in a rubbermaid tub for years - b/c it's the story that sparks joy, not the physical object.

what I left: Some of the more "strict" suggestions simply didn't inspire. Empty my handbag every night? No thanks. I've read many reviews of this book that react strongly to specific instructions in the book. I easily left those aside - the author writes from a culture & practice that is simply different than my own. Yes, thanking your belongings is a little out-there, but so what? No harm done...

Amazon: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing


a season of happy.

I am most definitely in a season of happy right now. On some days, I think that I'm just lucky...on other days, I feel like this season is hard-won. I have talked often about doing the work (health, wellness, spirituality, relationships, parenting...ALL OF IT). My friend, Leigh, has often reminded me to take a moment to enjoy the results of that work. So Leigh...this post is for you

We are settling in nicely to apartment living. Our bright windows are serving my core desired feeling of lightness very well. I went to IKEA last weekend with a friend, and picked up a Kallax unit that we're using as a room divider....now to figure out how to style it. I'm shifting my attitude toward things that are simply different than our house-owning life. Example - having to do laundry on the first floor (we're on the fifth) instead of in the apartment could be annoying. Instead, I'm loving that I can bust out 3 loads at the same time. Less overall time for that chore is a definite WIN. 

I'm hovering around the 30lbs lost mark, which feels really good. I did have a reprisal of hip pain over the past week - but my acupuncturist is handling that. My super-fabulous hair stylist cut 3-4 inches (I think) off my hair last week, and I'm loving that it looks sassy & spring-y. I'm starting to rotate into a spring capsule wardrobe, and will definitely add a few things...and will delete several things that I simply never wore over the winter.

Dan & I took advantage of glorious weather yesterday and chatted about our day over wine & cheese by the river (which is literally a block from my apartment). I'm so grateful that we can talk about the good & the grey and work through the give & take of what we both need & want in any given moment. Because on balance? Life is simply unbalanced...and that's okay.

Life feels good.

 


what I'm reading...

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I've been trying to find pockets of time for reading - on planes, while drinking my first cup of coffee, and/or just before going to sleep. The books that I'm bouncing between right now...

The Motivation Manifesto - I started reading this one on a recent trip to CA. It's a little more "flowery" than I expected, but otherwise right up my alley. 

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up & Better than Before - both arrived yesterday. I suspect that they will both be books that I can't put down once I start reading them. 

Yes, Please! - listening to the audio book on my (short) commute, and on (longer) drives to Dan's house. Hilarious. Insightful. Awesome.

Bowl + Spoon - I have a thing for cookbooks. I've visited this one on Amazon pretty much daily for the last week. Finally ordered it today. 

What are you reading?


spring has not yet sprung.

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Our weather forecasts swings wildly at this time of year - highs in the 50s (when we're lucky), lows in the teens (when we're not so lucky). I'm pretty sure that we say this every year, but....this winter has felt longer and colder than most. I'm craving walks outside, open windows, and flip-flops. 

I'm also looking forward to getting back in the swing of creating something. Not even sure what that looks like yet. I've unpacked most of my scrapbooking supplies, but certainly haven't done anything with them. I have my 2014 Project Life album to finish off. I have blank walls to adorn - which means photos to print and graphics to design. I might even be ready to pick up my camera again. 

Spring is the time of plans & projects. 

- Leo Tolstoy


you're my favorite | march 15

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March was a whirlwind. I went to California. I went to Chicago. I sold my house. I moved. I cried. I laughed. I drank a lot of wine. It was misery and magic, all rolled into one. 

I didn't have a lot of time for favorites, but I think that I can come up with a few...

this purse organizer. Inspired by Shutterbean. It's awesome. 

t-shirt dresses. I kicked off my spring capsule wardrobe early for my trip to CA. I bought 2 of these dresses - one solid, one striped. They will get SO much wear this summer.

daffodil bunches from Trader Joe's. Yes, please.

salti sweet ice cream snacks. met these guys at the Natural Products Expo. Delicious ice cream + pretzel combo (and I'm not even really a pretzel fan). 

Rose Ave by you + me. Dan hates it. I love it. Whatevs.

for some reason, I ate a LOT of sushi this month. Always a fave. 

and most of all...to everyone who has supported me through the month with emails, texts, phone calls, etc...thank you. You're my favorite.

 


the only way out is through.

Succulent2We're in the eye of the moving storm right now. Yes, I've moved a gazillion times. Yes, I have muscle-bound guys (I'm assuming) coming to move furniture on Tuesday. Yes, I have some flexibility in time b/c I'm both an owner AND a renter for almost a week. But...

this is hard work.

I'm anxious to be settled again, and to start establishing new routines. I'm trying to be gentle with myself over all of the should haves that are now staring me in the face...I should have sorted through those photos by now. I should have organized my office earlier. I should have made an IKEA run before the move. 

It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, but I know that it's there (it's not only there, it has a river view!). Trying to breathe, and remember that the only way out is through

Namaste, friends.


green things.

Houseplants

I readily admit that I do not have a green thumb. Yes, I am the daughter of an avid gardener...but that is one of the many talents that I did not inherit. My wish list for our new light-filled apartment includes a hefty amount of houseplants. First on my list is a fiddle leaf fig. I know...I'm a couple of years late on this trendy plant...but I'm determined to find it. 

What are your favorite houseplants? And more importantly...are you willing to water mine???


you're my favorite | feb 15

 

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February flew & crawled simultaneously. How does that work? I spent a lot of time worrying & waiting, shed tears of anxiety and relief, reminded myself to practice gratitude, and drank a damn lot of coffee. Here are a few things that were my favorite - both on & off the interwebs. 

I regret to inform you. I emailed this article to myself so that I wouldn't forget to include it. A hearty hell yes for the honesty.

Super fun dates. Learning how to date in your forties isn't easy. This month? We killed it. Taco Tuesday at a hip bar. Happy hour for a collective office space. A mead brewery & an odd movie. Spontaneity for the win.

Ghost by Ella Henderson. Dancing it out to this song.

American Idol. I haven't watched it in years. This season (on Hulu) is getting me through sleepless nights. 

Toasted sesame oil on eggs. Go make some. I'll wait. 

The Motivation Manifesto. Y'all know that this is right up my alley.

The Give a Shit Manifesto. Word. (also...I'm sure that one of you led me to that link...so thank you!!)

The commiseration of February. Sure, it's a misery loves company sort of thing. But this is the time of year when we all just look at each other and say "I'm just done" and trust that no one is judging you for the fact that you're wearing 3 pairs of tights and 7 pairs of socks. Under jeans & Uggs. Whatever

March is gonna be big around here. March is moving. March is magic.