fridayyyyy

19 Jun

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{my little buddy with his little buddy hanging with me as I put my makeup on this morning}

What are you guys up to this weekend? Our weekend is shaping up to be a nice one. Tonight we will most likely stay in with Thai food and netflix- we are such creatures of habit. On Saturday morning I want to make a visit to the paint store to pick out a new color for the wall behind our bed. I’ve been inspired to paint it a dark green or blue color- idea 1 , 2 & 3. It’s a floating wall and almost exactly the length of our bed so I imagine it will look like a giant headboard amongst all the white walls in our room. Does that make sense? It does in my head. Saturday afternoon we are going to a dodger game with a big group of Brian’s family to celebrate a 90th birthday. I can’t remember the last time I went to a baseball game. I’m not a huge baseball fan but I am a fan of dodger dogs and spending a summer afternoon outdoors with family. Sunday morning I’m sending Brian off to get a massage (his father’s day gift from Frank) while I tackle a dessert recipe for the father’s day bbq we are having for our two dads that afternoon.

Hope you have a beautiful weekend and happy fathers day to all the pops out there!

 things that have been making me happy recently…

a massage I got this week that put every other massage that I have ever had to shame. SHAME!

this weeks project 30 q&a– I loooooved Liz’s words. Did you read it?? You must! She’s such an inspiring soul

these guided meditations– I’ve taken to doing the three-minute body scan every morning

red/orange nails and toes

an afternoon movie date with my little brother. It’s hard to pin him down (he’s a very busy 20-year-old so when I do it’s quite an accomplishment

buying some new books

work…I’ve been loving my clients recently

watching orange is the new black

pink peonies (they will probably be on my happy list every week until I can’t buy them anymore)

the podcast mortified…so funny

white chocolate peanut butter cups

having Taline and Liam over for dinner

a long hike in temescal canyon with my girlfriend Devon. I haven’t done that trail in ages- so pretty!

this quote…“You will always be too much of something for someone; too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge. Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone–profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are.”– Danielle Laporte

my husband…always my husband

this Tracy McMillan ted talk about marrying yourself…

What’s been making you guys happy recently???

project 30 – liz

18 Jun

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Liz, 40 / be love live

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Well, let me start off by admitting that I am actually 40, so I’ve made it through my 20s and my 30s. And I am all the better for the amazing, beautiful journey that it has been! I’m going to try to do a little time traveling back to my 30 something year old brain, but just know that everything that I share from here on out is from a 40-year-old perspective. And, this 40-year-old perspective is oh so different from my 30-year-old perspective!

So many people are frightened of hitting the big 3-0. I was not one of them. However, I was freaked out, having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I’d soon be leaving my 20s, unable to grasp the idea that I was going to be 30. A real adult, or so I thought. Still, I looked forward to turning 30. I was hoping that it would be “my decade”. And you know what? It totally was! (So far, at least!) In my 30s, I came into myself. I found the courage + strength to live life on my terms. I accepted and loved myself in ways that my 20 something self only dreamed of. I took the time to discover my own path, leaving the pressures and expectations of society behind.

I quit my stable job. Got divorced. Moved to Europe. And embarked on an incredibly freeing journey of learning to live an authentic life.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

Oh, how i wish I had taken my soul more seriously. I wish that I had listened to my intuition more and let the voices of others fall by the wayside. I have always been drawn to a life propelled and inspired by the inner world of our spirit. In my 20s, my heart and soul were all but screaming at me to just be true to myself, but I kept telling myself that my mystic, hermit ways made me a boring person. But, what I really wanted to do was simply enjoy the magic of being married to my husband, roaming the world together, living simply, having adventures, inspiring others through my words and pictures (not my husband’s dreams, mind you). I didn’t want a typical life – I craved something different. I craved the freedom of a gypsy soul.

But, I just couldn’t live like that. I was nowhere near secure enough to understand the seriousness of living life from your soul. I heard and felt the rumblings from within, but I just couldn’t set myself free quite yet.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

I wish that I had taken my expectations less seriously. I wanted to make everyone around me happy. I truly believed back then that, if everyone in my life was happy and content, then I would be. And, in some ways I was. Ignorance was bliss.

So, life in my 20s was a crazy balancing act. I felt the call to live life authentically, to be free to be me; and yet, I didn’t heed the call. Instead I felt self-induced pressure to be more “normal”. I went through roller-coaster periods of feeling blissfully happy with my marriage, my stable job, and my small town life. I even dreamed of starting a family. And then, after some time, the urge to wander + roam the world, the urge to pack it all up and become a desert hermit in order to give my soul the attention that it needed, took over. I teetered back and forth between these two extremes all throughout my 20s, certain that I had to choose one over the other.

Until I hit my 30s. And then, I began to truly listen. And I found, with lots of help from friends, mentors, counselors, and graduate professors, the courage to act. I didn’t have to choose between married life and a monastic, pilgrim’s life. I just had to choose my life.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I am going to answer this question stream-of-consciously because I cannot remember a specific memory. Or, rather, I can remember so many different moments.

All of the memories that are coming to mind have a few something in common: they involve travel. Like the time my ex-husband and I drove across the country in our silver Toyota Four Runner, sleeping in the back, exploring the vast, beautiful country from coast to coast. Standing in the Painted Desert, feeling connected to the entire Universe. Dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean. Waking up on the Oregon coastline. Camping under the mountains in Glacier National Park. Photographing a buffalo in Yellowstone. Driving on two lane roads through barren, sky-filled South Dakota.

I am certain that this trip symbolized the freedom that I was so desperately seeking (not freedom from my life, but freedom from within).

Amazingly, I had the opportunity to make the coast to coast trip again about 5 years ago, when I was 35. This time, on my honeymoon with my Swedish wife. Wink.Wink.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

In my early 20s, I thought that I would move to Europe and have a job that involved helping others. I desperately wanted to make a difference in the world – I knew that I was here to do that. And, I even more desperately wanted to live in Europe, perhaps even working as a retreat leader for people, while writing books and teaching classes. I could visit bakeries, walk everywhere, and travel the world. I ‘d live with the guy I’d met in Denmark as a young 21-year-old, and I was determined to find anything that would help me get to Denmark to live with him and share the European life that I had been dreaming of. I just knew that, even if it didn’t work out with him (and it didn’t), that I’d still find myself living somewhere different, working as a counselor/teacher/writer. Those were my dreams.

When that relationship ended, I saw my chance to move to Denmark fade away. But, I still felt passionate about travel and other cultures and making a difference. So, I thought I’d be a missionary. But, many people in my life didn’t think that was a safe/smart/good idea, so I decided to set all of those dreams aside and settle down – not at all what I dreamed that I would be doing at 30. But, exactly how I found myself living when I turned 30. Married. Stable job. Happy. Yet restless.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

As I indicated in the previous question, my life was not the dreamy, romantic adventure I had hoped for. It was a good life, though. And, one that I now understand was necessary in order to do some more soul-searching.

At 30, I had been married for seven years to a good man. We lived in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, in a beautiful cottage about 5 minutes from the church where I worked as a minister and counselor. I had followed through on my dream to work in a helping profession, and it was a job that allowed me to travel and explore, taking young people and other adults with me. It was beautiful, wonderful work – guiding and mentoring others on their own journey through life. Writing and teaching and sharing very special moments with others. I was honored to have this job that I loved.

Still, I wanted more. I yearned for more. I wanted to go to graduate school. And, perhaps, I wanted a family. And I still wanted to move to some place different to experience another way of life. But, I had no idea how to do any of those things. At 30 I was still dreaming, but not quite ready to let myself fulfill my own dreams.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Hell yes. Everything about my 20s felt panicky. Like I had to have “it” all figured out. Like there was some race I was running. Against who, I have no idea. I worked hard to make things happen, things that never did happen either because I got scared of following my heart when others didn’t agree or the stars just weren’t lined up right. But, I absolutely thought that things should be done when I thought they should be done. The 20s was a scary decade. A miscarriage, an unfaithful husband, and the inability to claim the life that I dreamed of made my dreams all feel impossible. So, perhaps the only thing I learned that I could control was deciding to help others – to put everyone else before me. I wanted to control. I was terrified of the unknown.

But, oh how I have learned to live differently in my 30s. I learned to love the unknown.

Life is a process that we create. We are active, and yet we just let it unfold. Most importantly, we must stay true to ourselves. Because, when we tap into our souls and live from them, then the life that unfolds before us may not look at all like what we planned, but is pretty much always way more beautiful + amazing than we ever could have imagined.

Yes, our days are numbered. And we are not guaranteed tomorrow. So, the best thing to do is to just be. To simply be present. Right here. Right now. To give it time. To stay true + open + aware. We are creating our own lives with every single moment. And, everything falls into place in its own time. We can’t understand or predict it, but we can trust and breathe and soak up the life that we live. And, in time, it all makes sense.

My 40-year-old self, tells my 20 something self to relax a bit. And my 40-year-old self tells my 30 something self to keep on discovering and listening and being.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

For me, the greatest gift of being in my 30s was claiming my life as my own. I learned to listen to my soul and to say “F*ck it!” to the expectations to be anything but who I truly am. And by learning to put being before doing, I found a deep level of inner peace that I had been searching for. From that peace, I took risks. I found courage. I changed my life.

I went to graduate school. I traveled to Europe again. I divorced my ex-husband. I quit my job. I sold my things. I took off to live in Denmark. I fell in love – with a woman. I re-married. I moved to Sweden. I left the church. I began writing. I found myself.

The greatest gift that I received in my 30s was freedom. The freedom to simply be me.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

As you know by now, I have already crossed over this horizon; but I am a mere 40 something baby, since I just turned 40 a few months ago. I can say that, as a woman in my 30s, I did not have anything specific that I was aiming for by the time I turned 40. I was still coming into my own all the way up until then (and still am now). And I don’t make those kinds of plans anymore. I am much slower and much more in the present moment these days.

Not that I don’t have dreams and goals. Oh yes, I do. And they are out there on my 50 year old horizon. They inspire me and help to keep me aligned to my true self.

In my 40s, I hope to continue to evolve and transform. I hope to find even more peace. And I hope to begin to make a shift from learning (which I did in my thirties) to teaching and guiding. I want to continue to travel and write and photograph. I am currently writing my first book – a memoir that tells my story from my divorce to my 40th year. But my biggest, most practical goal hanging out there in the future is to shift all of this into a business. I’m not a business person at all, but I have to trust that things will unfold as time passes.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

My blog is titled “be|love|live” because these are the ways that I discovered how to live an authentic life in my 30s, how to be true to who I am and to make a difference in the world. So, I’ll leave you with my three of my favorite quotes:

BE: “At the center of your being, you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tau

LOVE: “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” – Frederick Buechner

LIVE: “Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital; your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer. There is a track just waiting for each of us and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else.” – Joseph Campbell

My 40-year-old self has learned a lot. And has a lot still to learn. Though I have advice for my 20 something + 30 something selves, I am thankful for how they have led me to exactly where I am right now. Do I wish I had known more back then? Maybe. But, maybe not. Because it’s all part of the beautiful journey of life.

And somewhere along the way I finally listened to my soul. I took one risk after another, afraid of losing it all at one time. But, I listened. And my soul sang for me. And here I am. Just me. There’s no use trying to be anything else. We all have been created to be exactly who we are, the challenge is to find the courage + the strength + the craziness to listen to that inner voice, telling us to just be…. well, us.

connect with the lovely Liz / blog / instagram: @belovelivephotography / facebook: Be Love Live

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saturday night dinner party

15 Jun

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On Saturday night Brian and I had my best girlfriend Taline and her 11 month old son Liam over for dinner. The last time we had Liam over he was a teeny tiny little babe. He didn’t do much other than look cute. Cut to now…he’s a super mobile (he gave Frank a run for his money), giggly & fun little guy. Having him at the dinner table like one of the adults cracked me up. When planning the menu for the evening I tried to accommodate everyone. I’m new at cooking for a baby thing- what can they eat at 11 months??? I settled on a pasta dish & a peach crisp for dessert ( I figured both could be modified for Liam to eat). Definitely not the healthiest of dinners (helllllo carbs!) but it’s all fun and games until your jeans don’t fit, right?

Of course Brian helped me put the meal together. I swear no matter what I do he will always be a better cook than me. It’s ok I guess…I think I might like baking better anyway. I’ll let him be the cook in the family and I’ll handle the desserts. I mean who doesn’t want to be in charge of the desserts, right? I’ve been wanting to make a crisp/crumble type thing for a while now. They always look so damn good to me when I scroll through pinterest. I’ve also been wanting to make something with peaches because nothing says summer to me like a dessert with peaches.

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I couldn’t help but laugh at the last picture. Dinner parties sure do look different in your thirties! In the best possible way too. As I looked around the table my heart-felt incredibly full.

Below you will find the two recipes…

spaghetti all’ amatriciana 

* ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces pancetta (thick cut), diced
1 small white onion, finely diced
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes*
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
3/4 ounce parmigiano-reggiano cheese, finely grated (plus more for serving)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb dried spaghetti pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

* directions

-Heat the olive oil in a large (straight-sided, preferably) skillet over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the fat has rendered into the pan and the pancetta is crispy and caramelized slightly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the crispy pancetta and place in a separate small bowl, leaving any fat behind in the pan.
-Over medium-low heat, add the diced onion and saute in the rendered fat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and continue to saute for an addition 2 to 3 minutes, being careful to avoid burning the garlic or onion. Deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water, if necessary, to remove any bits of crispy pancetta or bits from the bottom of the pan.
-Add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat for an addition 1 to 2 minutes, or until the paste has thickened slightly.
-Add the pancetta, and any extra rendered fat, back into the skillet, along with the crushed tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a low simmer, and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 15 to 20 minutes. The sauce should be relatively thick. Add the grated cheese to the sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place over low heat while you cook the pasta.
-Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water in a measuring cup, and then drain the pasta. Return the drained pasta back into the pot, toss with a tablespoon of unsalted butter, and add the sauce, thinning with pasta cooking water as necessary until the pasta is evenly coated. Serve pasta with extra grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese on the side.

pasta

peach crisp with gingersnap crumble topping 

* ingredients

Filling
6 cups sliced peaches (peeled and sliced into ½ inch pieces)
¾ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar (packed)
16 gingersnap cookies ((or 4 oz); crushed)
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup butter (melted)

* directions

-Pre heat oven to 375 F.
-Mix peaches, ¾ cup sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a 9 X 9 inch pan.
-In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugars, crushed gingersnaps, ginger, and melted butter. Spread evenly over peach filling.
-Bake for 40-50 minutes, until topping is golden and filling bubbles. You may need to cover with foil at around 30 minutes to prevent topping from overcooking.

peach crisp

*

goodbye, sedona

9 Jun

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Oh, Sedona…I’m not ready to leave you today. You definitely delivered on this trip. I fell in love with you and my husband each a little more this weekend…I didn’t think either was possible. It was just a really good five days away. The kind of days where you find yourself filled with so much joy that you wish you could stop time and absorb the feeling a little bit more. Instead, you have to file the moments away in your heart and hope you don’t forget them.

For all the times I have been to Sedona I have never done a travelogue for it, so instead of throwing a few highlights down right now I plan on doing a proper post for it in the next few days. I’ve decided Sedona deserves it.

Now I must go so I can help Brian pack up the car to make the 7+ hour road trip back to LA (podcast time- anybody have any favorites that we should listen to?)…and home to Frank! Man, I missed that little love muffin these last few days. I must have texted the dog sitter…oh, I don’t know…a 1,000 times in five days. She must think I’m insane.

Until next Sedona!

 

saging

8 Jun

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Grateful for my recent jolt of positive new energy, I decided to ensure that it sticks around by cleansing our home (and me, for that matter) of any negative energy. Enter in… saging. As hippy dippy as I can be sometimes… I’ve never saged (also referred to as smudging) before. Gasp! But, the word on the street is, it’s a great way to rid yourself and your space of any lingering negative energy, in turn, making room for new energy and intentions.

Sign me up, universe.

Considering I live in LA, it was easy to find a store that sold sage for smudging. I walked over to Mystic Journey Bookstore on Abbott Kinney in Venice, marched straight past the display of crystals and the shelves of self-help books and over to the basket of sage. I picked through it for a bit, trying to decide which one I wanted. Each one was wrapped in a different color ribbon and varying in size – so many choices. I ended up settling on a medium-sized bundle wrapped in a pink ribbon. It just felt like the right one for the job.

My initial plan was to sage the house by myself while Brian was at work, but then I thought it all the way through and realized that it might be best to have Brian involved in this particular activity. Not only because it happens to be his space as well, but also because I’ve been known to accidentally light things on fire.

So I waited.

I wasn’t quite sure what Brian would think of my plan. Luckily, he was game for some saging and it turned out to be an unexpectedly fun husband/wife activity. The only member of the family who wasn’t into it was Frank. He made it very clear early one that he is not a fan of smoking plants….I don’t think he will be saging his dog bed anytime soon.

Brian and I went from room to room with our smoking sticks of sage, sometimes together but mostly we moved separately. We had a common affirmation/intention for each room though. I found the experience incredibly grounding. Maybe it’s due to the ceremony of it, but I immediately felt lighter when we were done.

If you haven’t tried it, I would most definitely recommend it.

How to sage your space-

* things you need…sage…a bowl to hold the smoking stick over and a cup of water to extinguish it in after.
– open every door and window in your house
– light the stick, and when it catches fire, blow it out and allow the embers to start to smoke (like you would light incense).
– set your intention for each room.
– walk around the room, waving the sage stick so its smoke drifts into corners, along walls, around windows, and along ceiling lines. As you do, imagine the smoke absorbing negativity, problems from those who were in the space before you, toxicity, and anything else you want to go away. See the smoke dissipating and floating out the windows, and imagine that bad energy flowing out of your space, making room for positive, fresh energy.
– extinguish the stick in the cup of water

and viola! Hello, new energy!

 

hitting the road…

5 Jun

 

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Brian and I are hitting the road this morning en route for one of my favorite places…Sedona, AZ. We go to Sedona at least twice a year (Brian’s parents have a house there) but this will be a weekend of firsts for us…we are staying there a little longer than we usually do (a weekend always seems to go by too quick), driving instead of flying (we decided that we were both in need of a little adventure) and going alone (we usually bring a group of friends with us but this time around we wanted a mellow trip). I’m looking forward to doing a whole lotta nothing for five days.

Below is my Friday happy list- making a list of the little things that bring me joy each week helps me stay present.

20 things that have been making me happy recently…

pink peonies

watching Bloodline on Netflix

my new laptop- it’s love

planning out our summer calendar (so many weddings!)

wandering the streets of Venice on my morning walks with Frankie

lunches with Crystal

lazy Sundays at home with my family and a stack of magazines

the little dragon pandora station

haagen dazs vanilla ice cream

sipping coffee in bed with a view of our blooming garden

saging our home (more on that next week)

beach weather, pool weather & bikini weather is on the horizon

we’re going to Sedona for five days!

this quote…

ego says: once everything falls into place, I will find peace

spirit says: find peace and everything will fall into place 

*

What’s been making you guys happy recently?

 

project 30 – jessica

4 Jun

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Jessica, 30 / owner of Cotton Rainbow

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Things happen for a reason. Be patient because when it is right, it will happen.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

My friendships. I lived my life like a spinning top, moving from one new thing to another. I didn’t really stop to appreciate what was in front of me and really work to make those friendships thrive.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

Figuring out what was next. I wish I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?
Having my daughter Ella. It was the most incredible day of my life. I have never in my life felt more alive.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I thought I would be a successful event planner who had it all. I thought I would be married with a few children and be totally financially stable . I would have the perfect work/life balance and have it all!

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

I am exactly where I should be. I turned 30 with my husband Eric and my daughter Ella and my 2 dogs. I am a co-owner of my own business Cotton Rainbow, a children’s gear company. I love being a mom. My road to having a baby was extremely difficult and not one that I would have ever imagined. Looking back, I now realize that it happened for a reason.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Absolutely! Doesn’t everyone?

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

Perspective. I have not been 30 for long (yep, a whole month) but I can honestly say that my 20’s were all about the journey.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

I envision having another child and my business being super successful. I hope to have multiple people working for Cotton Rainbow. I want the office to be super baby and dog friendly and will allow my employees to have a great work/life balance. I hope to have traveled with Eric and Ella. I am so excited to watch Ella grow, learn and discover the world.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

“Treat no one lightly and think nothing is useless, for everyone has one’s moment and everything has its place.” – Pirkei Avot

connect with Jessica / instagram @cotton_rainbow / Facebook / twitter /

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