24 hour trip

21 Jul

Our mini vacation to Coronado this weekend with Rachel and PJ was a total success…well minus the 4 1/2 car ride down to San Diego (in bumper to bumper traffic no less) that should have taken 2 1/2 hours. I’m not going to lie…that part kinda sucked with three crazy dogs in the car. But we all survived with our sense of humors in tact.

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the start of the trip

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nala spent most of the road trip cozy in her bed being cute…

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Frank spent most of the road trip digging his tiny claws into Brian’s legs while watching the world go by…

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Cherokee spent most of the road trip letting us all know his displeasure with being seated in the back …

 Once we finally arrived at PJ’s parents lovely home in Coronado, we recharged with a yummy lunch and  white wine before hitting the dog beach. The afternoon at the beach was something Brian and I were pretty excited about considering it was Frank’s first time making contact with the sand and the ocean. I know…I know…such annoying first time parents. All in all the beach was a total success. At first Frank was frightened of the ocean. Each time the water came up to him he would run as fast as his little tush would carry him in the other direction. After watching this hysterical back and forth for a few minutes he finally warmed up to the water when he saw a tennis ball go in. Frank’s love of tennis ball knows no boundaries. When he saw it go in he jumped right in to retrieve it, stealing it away from an eager golden retriever. He’s such a ball thief. After wrestling it away from him and returning it to its rightful owner we found him his very own tennis ball and played a long game of fetch. It was so sweet to see him at the beach – pure joy. It dawned on me that if I am this excited to see Frank experience something new for the first time, I can’t imagine how magical it will be to see our children experience things for the first time. It must make the world come alive in a whole new way.

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cute pup and husband

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just taking in the view of the ocean

After the beach we showered up and hit the town. Coronado is such a picturesque little all American town- it’s pretty darling. We walked through the famous Hotel Del Coronado, had drinks at The Tavern, a delicious Mexican feast at Miguel’s followed by a rowdy card game back at the house (sadly, I lost). It was a pretty perfect Saturday night.

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The next morning we packed up and hit the road in fear that we would once again be stuck in horrible traffic. Fortunately, the ride home was much more mellow. The traffic was mild, Cherokee’s whining was at an all time low, Brian wised up and put Frank’s bed on his lap to keep his tiny claws from mutilating his leg, Frank discovered the joy of air conditioning and we listened to a really interesting Ted Talk.

do you think he could get any closer?

do you think he could get any closer?

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all the kids fast asleep…

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find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365, twitter, facebook

inspiration, gratitude & surprises

18 Jul

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As far as weeks go this one has been pretty good to me. I have been in a really positive head space and that makes all the difference. Although, I was deeply saddened when I heard the news about the Malaysian Airlines plane that was brought down in Ukraine yesterday. It’s a seriously crazy world that we live in. When are we going to realize how connected we all are? Clearly, we are all affected by the issues around the world. We can’t even go on vacation anymore without worrying about being shot out of the sky? Beyond troubling. Alright…on to happier things. We are going on a mini one-night vacay to Coronado tomorrow with Rachel and PJ. PJ’s parents live there and are out-of-town so it was decided last-minute that we should take advantage of their empty place. It so happens that the beach we will be spending the day at tomorrow is a dog friendly one (I didn’t even know these existed!) so we will be bringing Frank as well as their two pups Nala & Cherokee. I am a little worried about the road trip portion considering we will be stuffing four humans and three crazy pups into one car. We must be crazy, right? I might need to spike my coffee to make it through the experience.

I am pretty darn excited to see Frank at the beach though. It’s either going to be a match made in heaven or go terribly wrong. You can garuntee that I will be documenting it at nauseum.

what inspired me this week?

I have been on a netflix documentary kick recently. There are so many good ones!

the music of Sylvan Esso

I love her writing….she makes me laugh even when she’s writing about her children…who I don’t know

what am I grateful for this week?

after the news of the plane broke yesterday…I found myself very grateful for the my life.

my morning yoga practice

work

my new morning routine

what surprised me this week?

I made a bet that my best friend Taline would give birth to her little boy this week. I actually even picked the exact day…TODAY and NOTHING

 

Ho Chi Minh – day one

16 Jul

Day one in Ho Chi Minh was hellish. Hands down the worst day of our whole  trip. It was the perfect storm… Brian was terribly miserable because he was covered in a thousand mosquito bites (I swear that boy must be super sweet because those mosquitos LOVE him). I was terribly miserable with cramps and a rough bout of pms. We had a truly miserable flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh with a snotty and sneezing old man seated next to Brian and two very loud and annoying kids seated next to me. I honesty didn’t know two hours could feel so long. When we finally arrived in Ho Chi Minh it was 100 degrees and humid as F*%k, which made us both even more miserable. In addition we happened to arrive in Ho Chi Minh on a national holiday (May Day) and everything was pretty much closed (great planning on our part). Do you see where I am going with all of this? It was just one of those days.

We took a cab from the airport to our hotel, The Hotel Continental, which is a beautiful historic hotel located in the heart of district one (upside of the day). After settling into our room, we attempted to shake off our nasty moods by planning a fun afternoon. First up, we headed to Cholon, Vietnam’s “Chinatown”, home to over half a million people, making it the largest Chinese community in Vietnam. The area was something I was dying to see during our stay because I was keen on going to all the Chinese medicine shops.  Sadly, most of the shops were closed due to the holiday. So instead we aimlessly walked the  sticky, hot and humid streets of Cholon in silence (total grumps). Finally we stumbled upon one Chinese medicine store that was open- WINNING! I excitedly walked up to the two women behind the counter, equipped with my fancy English to Chinese translation app on my iphone and eagerly asked them for the magical herb I was on the hunt for. They both stared at me with a look of disgust and then rudely waved me off. I’ve never been so offended! Clearly, they were not fans. I left the store defeated.

We spent the next twenty minutes continuing to wander the sticky, hot and humid streets of Cholon, while I recounted the Chinese medicine shop experience over and over to Brian (clearly, unable to let it go). Then suddenly (as if things weren’t bad enough) the sky turned dark and it began to rain. This day was officially a wash. At that point we decided to call it quits and hailed a cab back to our hotel (which took forever due to the national holiday), where we holed up in our air-conditioned room reading our books for a few hours. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s ok to hole up in your hotel room while traveling. It’s impossible to be on the go non-stop for thirty days.

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After recharging our batteries we went to a fabulous dinner at a romantic little restaurant Brian found, May restaurant which served French/Vietnamese cuisine that was delectable. After stuffing our bellies we went straight back to our hotel room and climbed back in bed.

END SCENE.

 

well, hello 32!

14 Jul

I turned 32 last week- I am officially a woman in my 30′s! The celebration was pretty mellow this year…I went to a sweaty morning yoga class, spent the afternoon at the beach with my momma, got a mani/pedi and then Brian and I went out for sushi. It was a day filled with all my favorite things. As I am sure it goes with many people, my birthday always causes me reflect on the past year. The last year has been a wild ride. The highs include marrying Brian (I still pinch myself!), building a home, getting off the antidepressants I was taking for my anxiety (more on that in a later post), taking a month off to travel through Vietnam and Bali on our honeymoon, as well as a few epic weekend trips to Sedona and our mini moon in San Francisco and Tomales Bay, Frank (in general) and lastly watching so many of my dear friends get married, get pregnant and have babies.

The lows have included work stress (which invariably caused money stress), disappointing friendships, the separation of a couple that shocked me and the whole gallbladder saga. I feel like that silly surgery stole a few weeks from me, not to mention my digestion has been screwy ever since.

All in all 31 was pretty damn good to me. I have so much to be grateful for. When I look at my life I can’t believe how many things have fallen into place exactly the way I wanted. Is everything perfect? No. But is it ever? The last year has taught me that I am always going to be ok. No matter what. I am much more resilient then I give myself credit for.

I am still working on my goal list for this next year but until then here are a few of my favorite moments from 31.

look at that little puppy face. I die

look at that little puppy face. I die

bachelorette weekend in Sedona

bachelorette weekend in Sedona

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dancing with my maid of honor after much too much wine

dancing with my maid of honor after much too much wine

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with my momma at my wedding shower

with my step mama at my second wedding shower

with my step mama at my second wedding shower

walking down the aisle with my pops. I'll never forget that moment.

walking down the aisle with my pops. I’ll never forget that moment.

first kiss

first kiss

the pure joy I felt at that moment

the pure joy I felt at that moment

a lot of my favorite girls in one silly photo

a lot of my favorite girls in one silly photo

I will never forget this moment. It's hard to pee in a huge gown!

I will never forget this moment. It’s hard to pee in a huge gown!

eating oysters in Tomales Bay on our mini moon

eating oysters in Tomales Bay on our mini moon

the time Brian herded a bunch of cows

the time Brian herded a bunch of cows

the moment it really hit me that I had a husband

the moment it really hit me that I had a husband

our first Christmas in our new home as a married couple

our first Christmas in our new home as a married couple

these two

these two

our first New Years as a family!

our first New Years as a family!

dinner club with baby Margot

dinner club with baby Margot

when my sweet husband crawled into the hospital bed with me to cuddle

when my sweet husband crawled into the hospital bed with me to cuddle

meeting my little sister Briana for the first time

meeting my little sister Briana for the first time

celebrating Frank's 1st bday!

celebrating Frank’s 1st bday!

leaving for Vietnam!

leaving for Vietnam!

morning sunrise in Halong Bay

morning sunrise in Halong Bay

ho chi minh

ho chi minh

temples in Bali

temples in Bali

feet in the sand in Bali

feet in the sand in Bali

celebrating Rachel and PJ saying "I do"

celebrating Rachel and PJ saying “I do”

my best friend is having a BABY

my best friend is having a BABY

me and my little boy

me and my little boy

Thanks for the joy 31! I can’t wait to see what 32 brings!!

project 30 – sophie

11 Jul

I’ve been wanting the sweet, soulful and talented Sophie Jaffe of The Philosophie to do the project 30′s Q&A forEVER. Problem was I had to wait for her to turn 30! Which luckily happened a few months ago. I seriously don’t understand how she was able to accomplish so much before turning 30- impressive! I met Sophie a few years back through mutual friends and I am so grateful to now call her a friend. She’s a big bright light and her positive energy is infectious! Enjoy her answers…

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Sophie, 30

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

Get crazy and let go a bit more often. Have more sex. Create more experiences and trust yourself so that you can draw from them later: people rarely judge a person in their early 20′s for crazy behavior, so make it happen!

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

Reading in my free time. Now that I have kiddos I just can’t muster up the brain power/ physically energy to read more than one page without passing out.

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

My life has always been pretty serious. I was forced to grow up and take a mommy role of my brother at a young age. I had a wonderful childhood and made the most of it, but there wasn’t a lot a couldn’t take seriously because I didn’t have much of a choice.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Traveling all around the world/having adventures, Getting married + Giving birth to my two beautiful boys/the first most magic years with them.

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

I was still really discovering what I wanted and needed in my early 20′s so it was hard to project what may be possible by 30′s. A lot of shifts and awakenings occurred in my early 20′s. My childhood best friend died suddenly and unexpectedly and my mom developed breast cancer; both of which rocked my world. I know for sure I thought I would be on a more traditional path, educationally, and probably would’ve gotten my masters or MFT or be employed in a hospital as health psychologist. Really happy that didn’t happen :)

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

Married to the greatest man, 2 gorgeous kids + a prospering business I could’ve never dreamt up.

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

Never.

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

Perspective.

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

Quiet moments with myself (reading finally… maybe?), building family memories with my hubby, parents + children and lots of vacations traveling the world, soaking it all in with my beautiful friends and their families.

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

“Be Soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” -Kurt Vonnegut

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connect with Sophie

facebook, twitter and Instagram @philosophiemama

starting the day off right…

7 Jul

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I’ve recently decided to make some changes to my morning routine. Inspired by my friend Rachel who recently cancelled her FB account because she was tired of being a slave to it, I began to think about how social media in general plays a role in my daily life. My typical weekday morning routine would usually go something like this…Brian’s alarm goes off and he gets out of bed, makes us coffee and then brings Frank and coffee to bed for a morning snuggle. All of this is great and I wouldn’t change a thing but once Brian gets up to take a shower I would invariably find myself finishing my coffee while scrolling through Facebook, instagram & CNN (the last one isn’t bad) on my phone. It dawned on me that spending this precious early morning time focusing on everybody else’s world instead of spending it in my own head space was creating a very unfocused, drained and unsettled energy in me. I really think this early morning time before you step out into the buzz of the world is sacred. I go through phases where I have had a healthier morning routine and I always notice such a difference in my life when I do.

There are three different tools I have used in the past that have always helped me connect and get centered with myself at the start of each day. There was a period I wrote “morning pages” everyday with my coffee. The basic concept is to write three longhand, stream of consciousness pages every day, first thing in the morning, no matter what. Writing these pages requires you to be honest with yourself. It’s challenging to write every day about the things that are bothering you and what’s going on. You recognize the truth about what’s working or not working in your life.

The next is reading my “I am so happy and grateful” list each morning. This list is a list of things I want to manifest in my life which I write from the present tense every few months as if they have already happened.

“I am so happy and grateful that _________”

In doing so I let myself imagine and experience these things being a reality. Writing this list also helps me get very clear about what I want my world to look and feel like rather than just letting life happen to me.

Lastly, reading a list of affirmations every morning. My current list….

nothing can upset my peace of mind unless I allow it

I am healthy, happy and hopeful with every person I meet

Everyone who comes in contact with me today will feel that there is something good and beautiful in them

I see the benefit in everything. No obstacles just opportunities

I think only about creating value

I am just as happy about the success of others as I am about my own

A “from this moment onward…” spirit in all that I do today

I give so much time to my own improvement that I have no time to criticize others

I am too strong for fear, too kind for anger, and too happy for worry

Everything changes

I’m going to aim to do all three exercises every morning but I know that If I do at least one that I will feel the difference. So I am saying goodbye to social media in the mornings and I am going to instead spend some quiet time with my head.

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What are some of your morning routines? Tools for a better head space? I’d love to hear!

weekend snapshots: 2

30 Jun

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1- the cutest little shadow

2- yoga…yoga…yoga…with dog hair all over my leggings. sigh

3- date with my little sister. I love that she ordered a virgin pina colada at lunch. She cracks me up

4- the face of a happy dog after the dog park

5- Hollywood forever cemetery movie night

6- glasses of red wine on our favorite blanket from Nicaragua

7- middle eastern picnic

8- me and my love

9- LA nights

10- my brother and Frank adore each other. I can’t figure out which one is more muscular

11- snuggle bug

12- Sunday night dinner… spicy pasta, salad and red wine.

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find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365, twitter, facebook

 

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