A Disclaimer

I have written about 10 posts in the last week and posted none.

Mostly, I haven't clicked that lovely orange publish button because the majority of the posts I've written don't follow the "good blogger" formula.  They are filled with more deep thoughts than pretty images.  They don't share any genius new products, pretty places, recipes or DIY projects.  There isn't a single thing you might want to pin.  They don't include amazing anecdotal stories about my wine addiction or my crazy life.  They are just me.  The me that's wrapped up in all the words that float about in my head.

So that's my disclaimer.  Expect to see some of these honest, no picture posts, peppered into the usual business.

And in the words of Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that".


Questions and Answers

There are few things I dislike more in life than unanswered questions.  As a child of the internet age, I've grown accustom to the answer to nearly every question being found in a few short key strokes.

What other movie was he in?
Thanks IMDB!

How long do walruses live?
Thanks Wikipedia!

When do peonies bloom?
Thanks ask.com!

Where is the nearest Dunkin Donuts?
Thanks google maps!

Is he dating anyone?
Thanks Facebook!

I like to learn.  I like to understand.  I like to have the answers and solve the problems.  But what happens when the answers aren't neatly packaged with a bow?  What happens when we can't answer the questions that plague us the most. What happens when the answers we want most aren't at our fingertips?

It's something I have always struggled with.

For me, I have always found a way to cope with and rationalize solid answers.  Even Answers I didn't like. I ask the uncomfortable questions.  Why didn't I get the job?  Did I do something to hurt you? What could I have done better?  Why don't you like me?  Why don't you love me?  And genuinely, I want an answer. Because any answer is usually better than the one I have devised in my head.  I have always thought the best of other people but the worst of myself.  Don't worry, my therapist and I have spent plenty of time exploring this one.

Where I struggle, where I find it impossible to move forward is when I don't get an answer. Is it better to not know than to know a truth that might hurt?  For me, "I don't know" has never cut it.

Yet, so far, some of my most important questions, the ones that make me question every fiber of my being, those are the ones that are answer-less.  Instead of finding resolve in moving on without the answers, I think up every possible answer- most, far worse than the reality.  Some of these questions have sat, achingly on my heart for years, some even decades.  And more than likely they will remain unanswered.

So now the important question becomes, how do I get these things to loosen their grip on me.  How do I forgive the seemingly illusive answers, their keepers and most importantly myself.  How do I live with the idea, that maybe that whole, "everything happens for a reason" line is more of a band-aid than a reason to hold out for answers.  Maybe everything just happens.  Reason or not.  Or maybe there is reason, but I just won't ever find it and faith plays a bigger role than I'd like it to.

Maybe these questions, whose answers seem vitally important are really insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

And at the end of all these questions, I just want more answers. Vicious. Cycle.

How do you deal with unanswered questions?  That's not rhetorical.  Like I mentioned, I like answers!  Ha ha!


Friday, I'm in Love

Well hello loves!  It's Friday again- hooray!  So even though this link-up hasn't really taken off, I'm sticking with it.  Feel free to join me if you like!  This week I've got some serious new obsessions to share with you!  Let's get started.

The fine people at Veev must have noticed that mamma likes to unwind after work because they sent me their new cocktails to try!  I was excited to try their spiked lemonade and their cosmopolitan.  Not only are these drinks great because they are premixed (translation- easy), but they are also low calorie at under 125 calories per serving!  I have to say the cosmo was my favorite! I can't wait to muddle some strawberries in the lemonade- talk about perfect poolside cocktail! YUM!

Maybe I am the last person to find the Kate Spade blog, Behind the Curtain, but I just love it!  How cute is this graphic about the Anatomy of the Perfect Popcorn!  Just life everything else that Kate Spade puts out, this blog is perfect!

Holy cutest workout wear ever!!!  I decided my reward for losing my first 20 pounds will be a new exercise wardrobe and in addition to the pile of Lululemon goodies I have my eye on, I am definitely adding these tops to my list!  I love the Sweat Happy tank!

I am absolutely obsessed with Lotus Salon and Spa in Costa Mesa! Let me rewind.  For years, my hair stylist has been my best friend, who happens to work at one of the top salons in Phoenix.  The idea of finding someone I could trust with my mane here in Cali was a little scary.  So a few months back I went to an event at the Lotus Salon and Spa with Lauren and it was my lucky night.  I went home with quite a few products and services thanks to a raffle and silent auction!  After my first visit, I knew I would be back.  I've now seen two different stylists, Bernie and Natalie because of different gift certificates I won. Both of them are creative geniuses and so incredibly knowledgeable on top of being so incredibly sweet!  I saw Natalie yesterday and she helped take me back to my natural color and gave me a gorgeous long layer cut!

And Vanny the esthetician helped me totally change my skin.  I've seen her 3 times and my skin is looking better than it did during years of dermatologist visits and thousands of dollars in skin care products.  If you live in Orange County and you're looking for a new stylist or skin care professional, check out Lotus Salon and Spa!

So that's it for this week!  I'd just love for you to link up and share the things your loving this week.


Why Not Have A Little Calamity

"Smooth rides make boring stories. A little calamity, that's worth talking about." -Meredith Grey

Of course one of my favorite quotes would be from Grey's Anatomy.  So I guess maybe I should attribute this quote to Shonda Rhimes instead.  To that I ask you, what crisis couldn't be solved or comforted with a Grey's quote?  

We all face our fair share of calamities over the course of our lives.  My "disasters" may not be the same as yours, but the scope is relative.  And there is something to be said for the little daily disasters that make life interesting.  

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.  Thinking about the calamities that I've faced.  Thinking about the bumps they've caused in my road.  Some felt more like sink holes than bumps, both causing a less than easy ride.  I can't help but wonder what life would have been like if things turned out more smooth.  Sure it would have been nice if things had worked out "exactly how they are suppose to".  But that just wasn't the life I was meant for.  

Even from birth, my life didn't follow the plan.  I was born almost a month late.  Something my mom probably considered to be a calamity.  As I grew up those bumps in the road were kind of exciting- like going down a hilly road just fast enough to feel that drop in your stomach that you feel on a good roller coaster.  Sure there were some sharp turns that came out of nowhere, but I had a knack for seeing the bright side. Oh to be young, naive and resilient again. 

I wish I could pinpoint the moment that the drop in my stomach became less fun.  These days I seem to always navigate my route in advance.  Planning as best I can for any bumps that may exist.  The days of taking on life with the windows down and no road map are few and far between.  Now I can't afford to just turn off on some unnamed road and see where it leads.  It's become less easy to appreciate the bumps as experience.  The potholes seem to ware on me more.  I'm always a little worried that the road might just crumble under my feet entirely.  

But this quote, the one I wrote down 3 years ago, while watching an episode of Grey's (thanks Timehop app for reminding me), spoke to me when I was at a the bottom of a major sink hole.  

Today, even though my path has been relatively smooth lately, this quote hit me again.  For an entirely different reason.  Three years ago, I needed to be reminded that it's the calamities that build character.  That if nothing else, my experience would give me something to talk about, a way to relate to others.  

But today I wonder, have I been playing thins too safe?  Have I been so worried about protecting myself that I am missing out? Have I been so busy avoiding the bumps and the potholes that I've missed the best adventures?

Maybe I need to shake things up a little.  Maybe my life could use a little less calculation and more adventure. Maybe a little calamity (and I stress the word little) is just what I need. If nothing else the bumps will give me something to blog about right?

Without the little calamities, I wouldn't have stories like the time I tried to break into my boyfriends house.  Or the time a missing black flip flop crippled my packing progress.  Or the day that not even rice-support could save my iPhone.  Despite how irritating these stories were as they were happening, they were worth talking about.  I'm ready to have some new stories to tell.  I ready to take a few risks and see what bumps life throws my way.  Mostly I'm hoping some new risks could lead to some of the most wonderful stories of my life!

Who knows, in three years, this quote may have an entirely different meaning to me.  What does it say to you?  (Oh and bless your heart for making it all the way to the of this post).


Netflix Picks

Because I am sick (again) I have spent the last 2 days watching tons of movies on Netflix.  I have to admit, that even though almost none of the movies that have been on my instant queue are blockbuster hits, I have to say they have given me some wisdom.  I think it is important to note at this point that I don't claim to have good taste in movies.  I like almost all movies but sappy love stories tend to climb to the top of my list followed by uplifting sports flicks.  With that said, here are a few of the movies I've been watching on my laptop!

Forever Strong
Sweaty, dirty, dedicated boys aside, this movie was actually pretty good.  It had me from the beginning when I found out it was loosely based on a kid from Arizona.  I laughed, I cried, and more than anything I appreciated the solid values this movie portrayed.  Oh, and it's about Rugby- something I know little about- but enjoyed anyway. 

A Warriors Heart
Clearly I was in a sports mode.  This movie, about a lacrosse player brought me back to high school when I was super attracted to the lacrosse team... pretty much anyone that played lacrosse.  There was just something super hot about how brutal the sport was- Kellan Lutz didn't disappoint.  Yep I cried in this one too.  A Warriors Heart is a story about a troubled boy who uses sports to become a man. Sounds cheesy? I loved it!

About Adam
Even if you set aside how distracting it is to watch Kate Hudson use an Irish accent, this movie was not my thing.  It must have been released in Europe because as the movie ended I was mad at all the characters. I mean I know sisters are taught to share, but this was too much.  I guess I don't think a playboy or liars are attractive.

Waiting For Forever
This one started out slow, but it's easy to fall in love with the main character's quirky ways.  I adored his crazy conviction and warm heart.  Basically he's a guy you want to be friends with.  And Rachel Bilson stay true to her usual character.  It's the story of a man who holds strongly to hope and love.  

A Little Bit Of Heaven
Okay, I only have one complaint with this movie and it's the scenes that happen in "heaven"- they were cheesy.  Otherwise, I loved this movie.  Have a box of tissues ready!  I mean, get ready for ugly faced tears. It's a story about the life in death.  I loved the perspective and the way it took a sad topic and made it uplifting.

Love, Wedding, Marriage
Mr. Lutz makes another appearance on my queue.  I really liked this movie because it talked about some of the things I wish I'd known before I got married.  Basically, it's the story of a recently married marriage counselor who finds out her parents are getting a divorce and her attempt to fix it.  I liked one part so well I actually wrote it down.

"Wine makers purposely deprive the grapes of water and overwhelm them with sunlight, stressing them out.  Only the best and strongest grapes survive, but those are the grapes that make the best wine.  It's a lot like marriage.  Only the ones that can handle the hard stuff turn out to be the finest wine."

Seen any good Netflix movies lately?  Let me know about your favorites, in case I'm still sick tomorrow!


Friday, I'm In Love

It's that time again!  The most beloved day of the week! The day that will be forever immortalized by that terrible, but catchy Jessica Black song.  Don't pretend you aren't singing it in your head now.  And also the day that I post about all the things I'm loving!  Link your Friday Favorites below too!  Be sure to check out what everyone else is loving!

So I mentioned earlier this week that last weekend I got to meet the lovely Ashley of The Shine Project.  Ashley is an absolute doll and the work she does with Threads is amazing! Threads is a cause driven business that changes the future for at risk kids. Purchases made directly impact students, many of which are the first in their family to attend college. By purchasing Threads you are wearing more than just a bracelet, you are wearing change. 

I've been eyeing these pretty baubles for some time, but when I found out I could go check them out in my neighborhood, I had to make my first Threads purchase.  I love my new bracelets and I can't wait to add a few more to my collection!

Image from Rags to Stiches

As soon as I saw this tutorial on Alissa's blog I knew I had to share it and try it myself!  Who doesn't want to look like not only princess, but steal the style from one of the most iconic women of the day!  It looks pretty easy to follow these instructions too!

Image from Hello Merch
If you haven't heard of Hello Merch, I strongly suggest you go check them out immediately!  Something about these shirts are calling my name. I guess I want a shirt to remind not only myself, but those around me that despite how I may appear, I am, in fact a grown up.  And I kind of envision my imaginary future family wearing these shirts to Disneyland.  I got one of the Hello sweatshirts last winter and it was my go to on a chilly evening!

They may be stupid expensive, but I don't care, I am currently obsessed with Rainier Cherries!  They are for sure a luxury, but I think they are worth the splurge.  They are the Honeycrisp apple of the cherry world.  

Alright lovelies, link up and share some of the things you are in love with on this lovely Friday!!



I swear I saw this on Pinterest ages ago, but this is my take on creating a personalized painted canvas mantra.  

What you'll need:
A canvas
Alphabet stickers

First place the stickers on the canvas.

I actually typed it out first, so I could get a good idea of how it would look and how to place the stickers.  Make sure each sticker is firmly placed.

Note:  don't buy pretty glittery stickers that happen to be the right font and on sale, because if you are like me, you won't want to paint over them!  I just hate wasting sparkly things!

Paint over the entire canvas. Let canvas dry completely.  I was hoping that the pops of pink, purple and turquoise would show through more than they did. If I did it again, I would probably use less black.

Peel the stickers off carefully.  Take special care with the A's, V's and anything with pointy edges.
Voila!  Hang on your wall to remind yourself of the things that are important to you.  My canvas was the perfect centerpiece to my new gallery wall!


The Dancer In Me

Every now and then, the dancer in me wants to come out.  She comes out through the nod of my head on a certain beat, or the flick of a hand to emphasis a note.  She comes out when the emotions I have bottled up inside find a perfect song to express themselves to through movement.  Sometimes, I can only envision the steps this stiff, inflated body would perform if it could.  Sometimes I surprise myself with the lasting strength of my center and the momentary extension that leaves me sore.

I was never a phenomenal dancer, but dance did something phenomenal for me.
It gave me a coping mechanism.
It gave me strength.
It gave me confidence.
It gave me passion.
It gave me peace.

Nothing has ever felt more like home than a stage- even if it was the makeshift stage I created in my sunken living room.  Whenever I was home alone growing up, you could bet I had the music up, burning holes into that living room floor with the soles of my feet.  No matter what I was feeling, I could find the right music to tell my story to.  These moments of dancing clarity were for myself and myself alone.  The moment I heard the slam of a car door, I turned off the music and went back to doing something less emotional.

In college I got to choreograph for a "dance club" that I started with a few other girls that needed their fix.  There was nothing more thrilling than seeing my combinations coming to life before me.  Sadly we were never able to get a group to consistently commit to coming.  Post college, I took the occasional dance class when money allowed.  When it didn't, I moved furniture aside when I need to clear my head and once again, my living room was my stage.

Nothing has changed.  I still find myself choreographing my emotions until somehow the movements help me make sense of my feelings.  Music has always had a away of giving me all the answers I know in my heart.  Sometimes I ache to find a room with wooden floors and mirrored walls if only to spend five minutes leaving everything I am on the dance floor.

Today is one of those days.  No, nothing is wrong.  I am not dealing with one of life's challenges.  I am just dealing, and the plain and simple truth is that I "deal" better when I am barefoot and spinning.

I am my best when I have dance to look forward to.  Someone once told me that they could see the joy that dance brought me because after class I always sparkled.  I need to sparkle again.  I think it's time to find myself a place to dance.

What is your passion?  Are you doing that thing that makes you sparkle?


Life Lately: That Time I Went Blog Missing

You must think I disappeared right along with Google Reader huh?  Nope, still here, just slacking. So to ease myself back into writing regularly, here is a little glimpse of life lately according to my IPhone.

Finally got my room together!  I've still got lots to add to my gallery wall, but I think my neighbors were pleased that I finished hammering for a while.  Oh and see that black canvas in the middle.  Come back later this week to see how I made it!

Not only did I pick up these gorgeous bracelets over the weekend from Threads, but I got to meet the Ashley, in the flesh!  Oh my gosh you guys, she is just as sweet in person as she come across on her blog.  Can we be best friends?

I met a little nugget named Rosalie who stole my heart and simultaneously tugged on my uterus and begged me to make her a best friend.  Not now uterus, not now.  I couldn't get enough of my best friend's perfect little girl.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't momentarily consider taking her home with me.

I painted my nails and had some fun with a paint pen.  I'm usually more of a neutral nails girl, but the heart kind of won me over!

My cousin found this super old picture of the two of us and I fondly remembered the days when I could pull of bangs and baby pink.

I celebrated independence with a bottle of champagne and a marathon of Lifetime Movies.  It's not Independence Day with out The Elisabeth Smart Story or the Blue Eyed Butcher.

Minnie Mouse and I had something in common last week.  What can I say, I'm kind of addicted to the nail paint pen.

I got super inspired by something I heard in social media conference, so I decided to draw it.  Too bad I didn't follow the advice- hence my 2 weeks of silence.

Don't worry, I am getting back on track!  With that said, join me this Friday for Friday I'm In Love!  Where you can link up and share all of your favorite things from the week!