Monday, September 29, 2014

When uninspired

Writers still write on bad days.
Designers still design on bad days.
Programmers still program on bad days.
Actors still act on bad days.

I've been working on a post about motherhood for about a week.  I've edited and reworked.  It's almost finished, but not yet.  The reworking process has left me a bit uninspired, but it's also reminded me that I'm not going to jump out of bed feeling inspired every day.

We all have days when we feel uninspired.  No matter the craft, no matter the person, we all have our days when we aren't particularly feeling what normally gets us out of bed in the morning.

That's okay.

Keep going.  There's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A little Man Crush Wednesday

Photo: Blink Photographic 
I'm going to take this Wednesday post to say how proud I am of my husband.  He works two jobs, manages to always get some quality time in with our little girl, picks up a sponge if dishes are asking to be washed, and always is learning how to become better at his craft.

Today is no different than any other day except that he saw some fruits of his hard labor with a handful of incredibly positive reviews from his students.  It made me happy to hear as he's always wanted to teach and he simply loves teaching what he is most passionate about.

Tell someone you're proud of them today, and let them know their hard work doesn't go unnoticed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was nominated by my dear friend and sister blogger Bridget Lappert from Broke But Bougie for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  Once blogging partners and college roommates, we tackled the blogosphere documenting our post-grad lives and shared our tips and tricks for living on a budget.  Check her out!  She has a knack for finding quirky and classy outfits and writes in a way that will make you feel like you just found your virtual best friend.  Thanks for nominating me, girl!


Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.

Put the award logo on your blog post.

Answer the ten questions.

Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.

Nominate ten people.


Favorite item in your wardrobe?
Currently, it's a sweatshirt I got from Oak Hills Breaking Co.  It's way comfy and I love a good piece of clothing you can lounge in or rock in public.

Three things you love about yourself?
My ability to be empathetic toward others.
My ability to laugh at myself.
My ability to craft a story.

Nicknames people call you?

Favorite TV show?
Hard question!  I'll go with currently - Parks and Rec.

Three things every woman should have in their closet?
A statement handbag.  A pair of flattering jeans.  Something that makes you feel beautiful - a classic watch, bold lipstick, something leopard or something bodycon.

Trend you're afraid to try?
Milkmaid braids.  I just can't.

Trend you're loving?
Gym clothes made chic.

Why did you start your blog?
As a challenge for myself.  I've always loved to write, and I've blogged before, but I never stuck with them.  I was never truly happy with what I was doing, because I was too caught up in analytics and getting recognized.  When I left my job to have and take care of our new little girl, I promised myself I'd start writing for myself and not stop.

Someone you'd love to collaborate with?
Rachel Talbott!

Item you're saving up to buy?
I'll be honest - an area rug.

I nominate 

Your questions, if you accept

1)  Favorite celebrity memoir?

2)  Which actress would play you in a movie?

3)  Favorite leading lady?

4)  Favorite room in your home and why?

5)  Must have accessory?

6)  Guilty pleasure?

7)  Biggest lesson you've learned thus far?

8)  Your favorite place to go to get inspired?

9)  How did you meet your best friend?

10)  Perfect pizza?

Monday, September 22, 2014

From the weekend

On Friday, we headed north to spend the weekend in the high desert.  A good friend of ours invited us to stay with her and her family and get away from the crazy city life.

It was one of the best weekends we've had in a long time.  We were able to relax, have some quality friends and family time, and explore a truly beautiful part of California.

I'll let the pictures walk you through the weekend.

Happy Monday.  I hope you have a great week.

We started off our mini vacay with a day trip to Lake Arrowhead.  The drive was too gorgeous, we had to stop to take in the view and snap a couple pictures.

"Wait!  We gotta get the water in the picture."

In the village at Lake Arrowhead.  We walked, shopped, bought chocolate, and ate lunch on the water.

Waiting for lunch!

We took a family shot in the front of the water to end a great afternoon.

Then we were off to Oak Hills Brewing Co.  Our friend's family's brewery.  We got to see the place, relax over some drinks, and hang with friends.  Best glass of ginger ale I've had.  And I'm from Michigan.  

Captured this shot Saturday night.  Excuse the quality.  It's so cute.  I had to share.

Godfather and Goddaughter chillin' on a Sunday.

We closed the weekend on Sunday by going to Mass, eating a huge brunch, and (of course) watching Frozen (for the first time.)

Here's to mini vacays.  They're the best.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Heat wave highlights

The past few days have been days of sticking our heads in the freezer and finding the silver lining. This California heat wave has been record-breaking and (if I'm being honest) horrible.

But these past days had its own set of highlights, so I decided to take a moment and recognize some favorite moments.

1)  Tim and I discovered an awesome indoor mall.
2)  I found the perfect little black dress from the Kardashian Kollection on clearance for $11.99.  Originally $85.00.  Big, big score.
3)  We bought Ella some shades. 
4)  We shopped home decor for our future dream home.  (Thankfully, we have the same taste in couches.)
5)  We got a free Chick Fil A meal.  That was cool.
6)  We got new sheets.
7)  We finalized plans for a trip north this weekend.
8)  We caught up with Parks and Rec.  (One of the best season finales ever.)
9)  We shopped for air conditioners.  This was annoying and hilarious.  Annoying because no store in San Diego county had one.  Hilarious because no store in the San Diego county had one.
10)  Froyo.   

The common theme is obviously buying things.  That's what happens when the mall becomes home for a few days.

I'll leave you with a picture of Ella rocking her new sunnies.

Stay cool, friends.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On the things that weren't meant to be

Have you ever went for something that you just knew you were going to nail?  A job, an audition, an interview, a debate.  And then, for whatever reason, it didn't go your way?

For me, recently, it was a job.  I was in the midst of applying for a social media analyst position that I was confident would have been a perfect fit for me.  Based off the description and my resume, I knew I could have excelled in this environment and contributed greatly to the team.

But due to recent tired days and late dinners, I didn't dedicate enough time to tweaking my resume in order to send it out in a timely manner.  As I was going to send my resume off, the page reloaded with a big "this job is no longer available."  No, this isn't the worst thing that's ever happened to me, but it did hurt.  I put a lot of effort into this particular application -- reading how to best craft a cover letter, researching the company, tweaking my LinkedIn profile.

But enough back story.  This isn't a post on lost job offers.  It's about the lessons lost job offers can teach us.

Some things simply weren't meant to be.

Whatever it may be, some things don't work out and they often don't work out for reasons that we can't yet understand.  All we can do is pack up, take our lessons learned, and start to work towards our next venture.  The reassurance lies in knowing that eventually something will work out.  And when it does, we will most likely be thankful for that one time we didn't get that one job that we waited too long to apply for.

I hope you have a happy Wednesday.  As for me, I've got a date with


Friday, September 5, 2014

Keep your eye on the long term

Recent events and this Medium post written by Gary Vaynerchuk have reminded me of a piece of advice I need now more than ever.

Keep your eye on the long term.

This week I drew a blueprint of what I envision my life to look like in the next 5 years.  I wrote out bigger goals that we want to achieve as a family and that I want to achieve personally.  It was a pretty serious journaling session, high lighters and cookies may have been involved.  I realized 2 things in doing this.  
1)  I had never done that before and 2) I am quite possibly the most impatient person on this earth.

Let's start with 1.  I had a bit of a mess of a childhood.  I spent many of my childhood years in the survivalist mindset - getting through one day at a time. Because of this, I never dreamt about much of anything.  Sure, I had the big blue sky goal every 9 year old girl has of being the next Britney Spears (pre-Oops I Did It Again), but I never actually thought about what my life would be like.  Aside from one day knowing I'd own a jet ski, of course.

In college we had those classic "draft out your 5, 10, 15 year plan" assignments.  But does anyone really take those seriously?  It's a good exercise, but it's just such a weird time to plan for so far in the future.  Now, on the brink of 25, I have a solid 5 year plan.  Is it a bit late?  Yes.  Is it too late?  Absolutely not.

5 years is a decent amount of time.  It's not in the grand scheme of things, but think about where you were 5 years ago.  A million things have changed.  In order to achieve long term goals we need a whole lot of patience and perseverance.  This sucks.  I look at a goal and want to get there as fast as possible.  Achieving goals never works this way.  It will always take time and effort and sacrifice.

Which brings me to an added number 3) document the journey.

"My dear journal"

I tend to start writing in journals and then abandon them, but this one I've stuck with.  It has everything in it from what we want for our family, what I want to achieve personally, goals we've reached, etc.  It's the one thing that helps me keep my eye on the long term.  I look through it and I'm reminded of the progress we've made thus far and that encourages me to keep going.

Keeping your eye on the prize makes all those little sacrifices along the way so worth it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

From birth to parenthood: Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about the birth.  In this post, I'll be sharing my recovery experience and some tips for a smooth recovery.

I was not prepared for the recovery, so I was thrown when I found myself in bed for weeks not being able to walk.  This is why I'm sharing my experience.  Yes, this all TMI.

I had no idea my recovery would be as hard and as long as it was.  I couldn't comfortably sit, stand, or lie down for weeks.  For some reason, I thought I'd be released from the hospital and immediately be able to go about my daily life.

Not so much.  Here are a few tips:

Read about the recovery process while you are pregnant.  I was so caught up in the birthing process that I didn't spend much time on researching ways to have a smooth recovery.  I wasn't aware there are degrees of tearing until I was told I had second degree tearing.  (There are 4 degrees, by the way.)

With hazel...everything is your best friend.  Pads, spray.  If it says witch hazel, buy it.  A friend recommended the Earth Mama Angel Baby - New Mama Bottom Spray to me, and I'm so grateful she did.  Worked wonders.  At my daughter's follow up, one of the nurses recommended lining a pad with witch hazel pads.  Gross?  Yes.  But this was the number one thing that helped me to walk and sit comfortably.  There are many brands of witch hazel pads.  I just grabbed a container from our local Sprouts.

Ask family to come out and help you.  (This applies to couples who have family out of state.)  Every family dynamic and situation is different.  And depending on your dynamic, you might think it's best to brave the whole experience on your own.  Do what works for you, but it's definitely hard doing it all on your own.  Between Tim's short time off and my inability to do much, we found ourselves in a tough spot.  We certainly grew individually and as a couple, but having someone else do the grocery shopping would have been insanely helpful.

(If family doesn't travel) make meals ahead of time.  There are a million recipes on Pinterest for frozen meals.  I didn't do much meal prepping, but I wish I would have.  We would have saved money on takeout and we would have had an abundance of meals ready to throw in the oven and eat.

Know and acknowledge your limits.  There's a new baby in the house, but you are still your same self.  You probably want to get up, go out, clean up, etc.  Your body just went through so much.  Give yourself a break.  If someone comes over to drop off dinner and there's burp cloths everywhere, smile and say "thanks for the casserole."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Foolproof nachos

I'm a big fan of this recipe.  Cheap, easy, healthy, fresh and nearly impossible to mess up.

What you'll need:

1 chicken breast 
1 can Cuban Style black beans (Trader Joe's)
Salsa (or fresh tomato)
1 Avocado 
Honey goat cheese
1 Lime
Greek yogurt 
Cayenne Pepper
Red Pepper
Tortilla chips
Black olives

Serves 3-4

What to do:

1)  Chop all fresh ingredients and set aside.
2)  Season chicken with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper, and cumin; cook on medium heat until golden brown.
3)  Shred chicken.
4)  Warm beans on stovetop on low to keep from burning.
5)  In baking dish, line chips and top with black beans, chicken, and goat cheese.
6)  Add another layer of tortilla chips and put rest of chicken and black beans on top.
7)  Put in the oven until the cheese is starting to melt
8)  Top with fresh ingredients, salsa, lime, greek yogurt.

Best served with Strongbow.