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20 Aug

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Frankers taking an afternoon siesta on the couch…

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project 30 – amber

19 Aug

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Amber

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

Live life open-hearted and don’t try to fit into a mold. Work hard, trust your instincts and judgment and dedicate way more time to your dreams and way less time to finding temporary joy or romance. The biggest mistakes I’ve made in my career and otherwise were trying too hard to be something I’m not or trying to go down a path that wasn’t true to myself. Once I realized that I can create the life that I want, I actually did it and I was actually way happier.

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

I was more serious about one career path rather than trying out many. I interned for everyone and wanted to try everything, which was great in some ways, but detrimental in others. I see people in their 20s now who are at the top of their game because they jumped right in and made themselves an expert even though they weren’t. I wanted to learn and work my way up the hard way. I did learn a lot, but I also wasted a lot of time. I think if I just trusted my gut, I would have moved faster.

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

The search for true love. I now believe that love finds you when YOU’RE ready. If you are half a person, you won’t ever be complete until you find your other half. Your other half isn’t another person, it’s within yourself. Once you’re whole, you can give what you have to another.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

There are so many great moments with my best girlfriends when I was living in Florida and New York City. We were so silly, carefree, emotional, supportive, compassionate & unsure of ourselves. It was a magical rollercoaster.

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

I wanted to be in a big city and in a fast paced high-profile position in fashion or art.

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

By 30 I had fulfilled that wish. I was working in fashion at big magazines with big stars. It was exciting, but I realized that the fast paced fashion life was not fulfilling for me. I realized I felt more fulfilled by working on my whole life, not just my career. I actually achieved that by slowing down.

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

I think that’s always a fear, but I trust the universe to lead me to the right thing at the right time.

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

Finally feeling confident in my own skin! I think in your 20s you are working out who you are and by 30 you finally get it. It was nice when I finally saw myself clearly.

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

Being a mother who can share this experience and these memories with kids. I also look forward to my next career iterations, since by then I will be an expert!

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

Surround everything with love.

connect with Amber-

website / work / etsy  /

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Ubud : day two

18 Aug

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After a lazy morning at the villa (I could spend hours staring out at the green rice paddies)…

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We decided to hire a driver to take us on a sightseeing tour of Ubud and the surrounding areas. It seemed much more efficient than taking the bicycles out for a spin again. The manager at Desa Bulan helped us put an itinerary together as well as find a new driver since Nyoman was booked that day. We ended up with a handsome young local man named…get this… Nyoman as well! This is when I learned an interesting fact about the Balinese people, they are all named one of four names, Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut- both men and women! Every child is simply named by his or her order of birth. The first-born, boy or girl, is Wayan. The second born is Made (pronounced ma day). The third born is Nyoman. The fourth born is Ketut. That’s it, simple and sweet. Not to mention it certainly makes naming your child easier. The second Nyoman was just as nice as the first Nyoman. Seriously, the Balinese people are incredible. Everyone I had met thus far had such a joyful presence.

The first stop on the itinerary was Goa Gajah (also known as the elephant cave). I happen to love elephants (especially when their trunks are in the air!) so I was looking forward to this stop. Although I had no idea what to expect from an elephant cave? Nyoman dropped us off in the parking lot and kindly informed us he would wait for us there. Once we made it past all the stalls of people selling cheap souvenirs (quite a feat I tell you! Especially for a girl who hates saying no) and a man with a massive snake that one could pay a small fee to take a photo with (no we did not stop) we made it to the front entrance. After paying the entrance fee we were informed that we would have to cover our legs out of respect to enter the temple. Luckily, they had sarongs that you could borrow. Doesn’t my husband wear a sarong incredibly well?

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Goa Gajah was nothing like I imagined considering there was not a plethora of elephant statues (although, I did find one as you can see below). I learned that it is instead referred to as the elephant cave due to its close proximity to the Lwa Gajah (Elephant River). The entrance to the cave is actually a bit scary. There’s a monstrous face with bulging eyes and carvings of animals and humans running away in fear. Despite being a bit dark, the stone work was absolutely beautiful – it was so intricate. For such a popular tourist attraction inside the cave is actually quite small. Inside the T-shaped cave you can see fragmentary remains of the lingam, the phallic symbol of the Hindu god Shiva, and its female counterpart the yoni, plus a statue of Shiva’s son, the elephant-headed god Ganesha

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The next stop was the Gunung Kawi, which is a Hindu temple complex, that dates back to the 11th century  located in Tampaksiring. Nyoman informed us that it would be a very long trek down some very steep stairs to get to the ancient site. This information was slightly disconcerting considering it was incredibly hot and as we all know…what goes down, must go up. Although, after weeks of traveling through the very hot and humid Vietnam, I was starting to find the heat less debilitating. So off we went in search of the magical Hindu complex.

This time we did not make it through the souvenir stands unscathed. We were approached by a group of lovely Balinese women selling sarongs. It all happened so fast…somehow Brian was lead in one direction and I was lead in another and next thing I knew we were in dueling shops being wrapped in sarongs in the store by a group of smiling Balinese women. In a matter of five minutes I tried on every sarong the store had to offer (those ladies worked quick!). I decided to just go with it- they were all so gorgeous! In the end I purchased one that caught my eye- it was a gorgeous blue one with a lively pattern. Hey, I needed a sarong for the all the temples, right? When I finally made it out of the store I found my sweet husband standing in the street wearing the SAME EXACT sarong! Clearly, this is a sign that we are meant to be together, right?! The couple that sarongs together, stays together.

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In our newly purchased sarongs we took off in search of the site. Nyoman wasn’t lying…it was quite a trek down. The highlight of the hike was most definitely the man we stumbled upon who was selling fresh coconut water- complete with a machete no less. It was amazing! Much tastier and way cheaper than what I normally buy at whole foods back in LA!

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The site was absolutely stunning and totally worth the trek. It is covered in shrines carved into stone honoring kings and queens from the 11th century.

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After Gunung Kawi temple we were dropped off at the Tirta Empul Temple (also known as the water temple) which provides holy water for priests and bathing for ordinary Balinese, who believe bathing in the water can bring good fortune and health. It was definitely my favorite stop of the day. I loved watching people soak in the holy water. I regret not bathing in it myself! I think I was a bit intimidated (which isn’t the norm for me!) by the holiness of it all. There were so many rules and I was convinced I was going to screw something up and terribly offend somebody. Also I didn’t have anything to swim in and the idea of sitting in the car sopping wet for the hour seemed well, not so fun. So instead I watched. There was something so calming about it. It was a seriously magical place.

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Lastly, we took a drive through the Tegalalang rice terraces. Talk about AMAZING. Ever since our trek in Nepal I have been obsessed with terraces. I mean, they are just simply stunning.

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 After the four-hour driving tour both Brian and I were starved and in need of you guessed it…a beer! So we opted to be dropped off in central Ubud to grab lunch.

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After lunch we decided it was time to go back to the villa and cool off in the pool. I mean it’s not a vacation unless there are a few hours in the day spent doing absolutely nothing, right?

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That evening we arranged for a local woman, Wayan Suriani (who came highly recommended) to come to the villa and prepare us a traditional Balinese meal. It was amazing! Definitely my favorite meal while in Ubud.

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Next up…my visit with Ketut, the famous medicine man from the movie Eat, Pray, Love!

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find me elsewhere: facebook / twitter / instagram @kate365 / pinterest

project 30 – sharzad

14 Aug

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Sharzad, 31

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

I would say don’t change a thing! I am not a fan of regret. Everything that happened in my 20’s both good and bad has made me who I am right this minute, and I’m very happy!

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

MONEY! Whenever I had a nice payday I immediately wanted to spend it. The concept of saving was foreign to me. Luckily I married someone who is much better at handling his finances and has definitely taught me a thing or two.

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

My WEIGHT! I was always preoccupied by it. Once I drove to Tijuana by myself to buy diet pills that were illegal in this country. Can we say desperate and obsessed!?! YIKES! Lol

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

There are sooooo many wonderful memories that come to mind. The two that really stick out are the day I graduated from UCLA and the day I married my hubby. Both those days were perfect and led to new exciting chapters in my life. Other than that, my 20’s were when I was able to do the most international travel and I’m so thankful I got to see the world. (But I have LOTS more to see)

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

30 was one of the best years of my life. I started hosting a variety of fun shows on YouTube with a dynamic group of diverse woman. I also got preggers and had the cutest little baby boy ever. I turned 31 in June, and I don’t know how I can top last year, but I’m going to try! So far 30’s are looking good.

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

In my early 20’s I honestly didn’t think much about my 30’s. I was focused on much more important things like what club I was going to that night and what I was going to wear. On a more serious note, I did know I wanted to do something fun that involved travel, people, creativity and freedom… I just wasn’t sure what it was. (Hosting shows on YouTube wasn’t really around back then!) One thing I always knew was that I wanted to stay in LA.

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

I always knew I would end up doing something faaaaabulous… but of course there were periods of time when I was stressed, unfocused, confused and frustrated….However, it was all those emotions that forced me to hustle and create my dream job.

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

I’ve never appreciated being a woman more than I do now. Being able to carry my little peanut in my belly and bring him into this universe is f*cking awesome!

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

At 40 I hope my life looks like it does now with the addition of at least one more bambino, a nice house and have a few more stamps on my passport and most importantly, I hope everyone, including myself, remains happy and healthy. Of course I have hundreds of big/little goals I want to accomplish every year but it’s too many to list here!

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

“If you fail to plan you plan to fail!” That rings true to me in so many areas of my life whether it’s my daily activities, career, weight, exercise or how I travel- I love a good plan! It keeps me on track.

connect with Sharzad – website / facebook / twitter / instagram / youtube

a good reminder…

13 Aug

 

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my note from the universe this morning…

A question to ask yourself each morning, that really lights fires, gongs bells, and summons resources is “what little, mortal, baby steps can I take today that will demonstrate expectancy, prepare for my dream’s manifestation, and above all, place me within reach of life’s magic?”

Please, ask this question and then take those steps, and I promise you’ll go down in history as a giant among your kind.

It’s never too late,

The Universe

project 30 – rachel

12 Aug

 

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Rachel, 33

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

I used to think I would want to tell her it gets better but now that it actually has gotten better I realize I wouldn’t want her to change any of her emotionally extreme or indulgent ways. I spent a good part of my 20’s heartbroken and lovesick. Whether I was getting over a break up or deeply falling in love with someone I always felt heartbroken. In retrospect I know that I had to work through a lot of emotions and traumas. Karmically I was attracted to certain people who allowed me to work through those emotions and come to a deeper understanding of myself which ultimately allowed me to truly love myself. So I think if I were to go back and tell that innocent lovesick girl that it gets better, firstly she wouldn’t believe me and even if she did I wouldn’t want to take any of the pain away from her because it allowed me to become who I am today. So with all that said I think I would tell her to travel more and write in her journal everyday and not just when it suited her.

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

I wish I had saved more money and learned the value of saving and not spending. It’s still something I’m working on. I also wish I had developed a more serious workout regime when my body was more willing to adapt.

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

I might have said heartbreak at one point but now I wouldn’t give that up for anything. I did take myself and my work very seriously then and I still do now but I think it gave me the drive to accomplish what I did, so I guess I don’t have any regrets when it comes to that.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Walking around the streets of St. Petersburg Russia in the dead of winter while trying to get over a broken heart. I know it sounds morbid but it was a really beautiful time in my life and having that kind of really pure solitude allowed me to learn how to be my own best friend. It was an extraordinary adventure.

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

I thought I would be living in New York city happily married with 2 kids making films and playing music. I’m still doing writing, directing, acting and playing music but I’m in Los Angeles and waiting for the day when I can make a living solely from my work.

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

I still am but the worry is less angst ridden and more fueled by patience, passion and gratitude. I have learned to appreciate and love where I am even though I am still working on fulfilling all of my dreams. Some days I do feel overwhelmed that I’m not where I want to be and I have to be vigilante about correcting that and being grateful for where I am and all the dreams I have already fulfilled.

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

Self love and self-knowledge. In my 20’s I had to go through a lot of heartache to understand the importance of self-love. Once I learned how to love and understand myself I no longer felt that I had to hold onto things and people that were no longer working for me or supporting my journey. The things and decisions I used to obsess over in my 20’s are now for the most part easy to include or eliminate in my life now and I’m very grateful for that clarity and wisdom.

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

By 40 I want to have a beautiful home of my dreams living with Blake (currently my fiance). We will have at least 2 children and we will both be thriving in our careers. I will be making films and TV shows as a writer, director and actress and Blake will be making his music and producing for other artists as well as thriving as a visual artist. We will have a garden where we will grow all of our produce and herbs and at night our children will walk barefoot into our garden to collect the fixings for our dinner. We will also have an incredible music studio where we will record our music. Together as a family we will travel the world and experience other cultures and languages and we will always be involved with making the world a better place through art and our humanitarian work.

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

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank

The first time I ever read this quote I was living in New York city and was walking around the upper east side where I was currently living. It was Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) and someone was holding up a big sign that had Anne Frank’s image featured prominently with this quote below it. I saw it and immediately burst into hysterical tears. If someone like Anne Frank could say something so profound, insightful and hopeful than we can all follow suit. I don’t believe people are born evil but they can be taught, which means that evolutionarily speaking they can be untaught. Treating all people with love, kindness and compassion is one way I can contribute daily to making this world a better place and I make it my mandate to do it everyday even if and especially when someone else is unkind to me.

 

connect with Rachel – website / twitter

her projects – Without A Home / They’re With Me

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Ubud : day one

11 Aug

 

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We arrived in Bali late at night- via Malaysia Airlines no less! We booked the tickets long before any of the accidents occurred. This leg of the journey was causing me some serious anxiety but it ended up being a very enjoyable flight. Sure, I had to take a xanax and have two glasses of chardonnay to calm my nerves but we landed safely! The first stop on our Bali tour was three nights in Ubud. We arranged for a pick up at the airport through our villa. Our driver, Nyomen (who happened to be the sweetest man on the planet) greeted us with a big smile and a sign that read “Glodney” – I was still having a hard time remembering that I was now officially a Glodney!

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After an hour’s drive we arrived at Rivermoon Villa, our home for the next three nights. The villa is part of a seven home compound called, Desa Bulan located in the village of Lodtunduh- just outside the center of Ubud. I found the it on a fellow blogger’s site, Hither & Thither, when researching places to stay in Bali. Brian and I both wanted to stay somewhere intimate rather than a large hotel. We certainly chose right because this place knocked our socks off the minute we walked in- even in the dark of the night. The villa is owned by an Australian couple (she has a cool interior design blog) who split their time between Bali & Australia. Not a bad life, eh? You can tell how much they love the villa because every detail is perfection, from the jaw dropping outdoor bathrooms to the romantic canopy beds. After oohing and ahhing over the place for a bit, we ordered a pizza to be delivered (I was shocked that this was an option!) and crawled into bed.

When I awoke in the morning, I popped out of bed like a kid on Christmas to see the villa in the light of day.  Hands down…one of the most gorgeous homes I have ever stayed in. In the morning light I could now see what surrounded us-vibrant green rice paddies as far as the eye could see. It was the most peaceful place I have ever been. Bali had stolen my heart and I had been there for less than 24 hours.

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One of the many perks of the villa (other than the view!) was a staff of three that came into our place each morning and prepared us breakfast. They were such a lovely group. I couldn’t get over how warm the Balinese people were. After a delicious breakfast (eggs & fruit for me and banana pancakes for Brian) we decided to take a bike ride into town and explore. The staff generously offered us motorbikes but we kindly declined and instead opted for the bicycles- they seemed much more our speed.

And off we went to explore central Ubud! We peddled through the narrow and windy roads as cars and motorbikes zipped by us…it was a tad terrifying especially when we had to go down steep hills and I discovered my brakes were useless. What was supposed to be quick 10 minute trip somehow turned into an hour. Clearly, we were lost. We even found ourselves stuck in a rice paddy. Oh the looks we got from the local farmers as we made our way through! They were rather confused. By the time we made it to the heart of town we were both covered in dirt and sweat. But that didn’t stop us from exploring. Ubud is known as the cultural center of Bali because it is home to many artisans. The stores are filled with beautiful wood & stone carvings, paintings and crafts. In addition to art the town is filled with cafes, temples, clothing stores and yoga studios. I fell hard and fast for Ubud- it offered all my favorite things! I could honestly see myself living there.

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We stopped for lunch at a little Balinese cafe and ordered two spicy fish dishes with rice and vegetables.  We decided to go as light possible because we had big plans for dinner at Naughty Nuri’s that evening, a favorite of Anthony Bourdain when in town and famous for its ribs and martini’s, something Brian had been looking forward to for weeks.

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After a lazy lunch we braved the roads once again and peddled back to our villa for an afternoon swim in the gorgeous salt water pool. It was during this swim I made Brian promise we would come back to Bali and stay at this villa again. If only I could figure out how to split my time between Los Angeles and Bali.

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After a few hours by the pool we cleaned up and headed out to dinner at Naughty Nuri’s. Anthony Bourdain was right…this place kicks ass. The dirty martini was the best I have ever had, which surprised me considering I don’t equate Bali with a killer dirty martini. Oh, and the ribs…to die for!

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Bali driving tour / water temple / Balinese cuisine up next!

 

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