project 30 – erin

31 Jul

EMH_01-crop

Erin of Coined LIfe, 30

What would your thirty something self tell your twenty something self?

Be kind to yourself – you’re learning. My 20’s were a time of self-discovery. It wasn’t until after I finished grad school in my mid-twenties before I fully understood that I could do ANYTHING I wanted with my life. Including creating a life for myself that had nothing to do with my formal education. That it’s more about the quality of life and taking risks than the security of a traditional job for me (it’s not for everyone, but I do know it isn’t for me!). I had a hard time focusing at work knowing I was supposed to be at my assigned spot for a set number of hours each week. I realized early into my “career” I should have had the “World’s Worst Employee” coffee cup in my cubicle!

What do you wish you took more seriously in your twenties?

I took myself TOO seriously in my 20’s. The only area I could have taken more seriously was better financial planning. I spent most of my 20’s living in expensive cities like Washington D.C. and L.A. and added travel and becoming a freelance web designer to the mix. Really, I have no regrets. It was well-worth it to have those experiences. Without taking those risks I wouldn’t be who I am nor where I am as a business owner. I’m taking my financial future more seriously in my 30’s (as one probably should).

What do you wish you took less seriously in your twenties?

Ummm… myself! After grad school I put myself in a position to move in a very professional trajectory with my career. Two years as a junior at a consulting firm. Go back and get my PhD (paid for by the firm, of course!). And then “working my way up” in D.C. Two years into my D.C. days I made the decision to follow my heart and moved to L.A. for my relationship at that time, which took me off course from the “original plan”. I stressed a lot about my decision to not follow “the plan” for a solid 2.5 years, but eventually L.A.’s creative vibe and my fellow creative friends (like Kate!) helped me to chill and not take myself too seriously.

Favorite memory from your twenties?

I traveled to Greece when I was 21 as part of a study abroad trip. That trip changed my worldview on so many levels – how I looked at food, cultivating relationships, politics and history. I grew up in a small town (pop. 500) and had gone to undergrad in a small town (pop. 17,000 with college students!). The experiences of traveling aside, I made a deep, unshakable friendship with one of my fellow travelers. She’s my soulmate in many ways. I can’t imagine that trip or my life without her.

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

I thought I would be in D.C. doing the career thing!

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

By the age of 30 I had lived in Detroit for a year, followed by D.C. for two years, then onto Los Angeles for four years and finally moved back to the midwest in October of 2013 (at the age of 30). I have lived out of bags and boxes for most of the time since then as I transitioned into a new home and lifestyle. My boyfriend and I bought a home in June of this year in Columbia, Missouri. We’re settling in, blissfully awaiting the arrival of our first child in December of this year. Life is nothing like I pictured in my early 30’s; it is better than I could have ever imagined.

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

Absolutely. In 2013 I went through a major breakup. I had been with my boyfriend at the time for almost 8 years and engaged to him for almost 2 years. One day in September of last year I had this moment of intense, acute clarity. I couldn’t see myself spending my life with nor marrying him, which had been my plan for many years. Most of my worry about what life would look like and how it would come together had been on my mind for the better part of a year before that day. In that day and in that moment of clarity I felt at peace, finally. Once I made the decision to end the relationship, I trusted everything would work out the way it should. It has worked out beyond any expectations I could have had.

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

Knowing the value of my time. I was a “yes” person and a people-pleaser most of my life. Owning my own business and gaining wisdom (I hope!) with each passing year has given me the confidence to say “no” and not feel guilty for drawing a line. I know my priorities and value my time.

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

Traveling with my now-boyfriend / soon-to-be husband and our two amazing kids in the summertime, working and running my business(es!) during the rest of the year. We have our first child arriving in December of this year and would love to have one more after that. Being surrounded with lots of love and family time. I love the thought of having incredible little people in our life who are curious and having the means to share the world and fulfill their curiosities in my 40’s.

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

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coelho (really anything by him “gets” my soul and the way I feel about life).

Connect with the lovely Erin!

blog, twitter and instagram @erinhaslag

_MG_2158

 

365 til 33

30 Jul

1cfda758c950c9fec65a3a184d210cf4

If you’ve been following along with my blog since the beginning then you know that I come up with a list of goals to tackle each year. The first year,  365 til 30 my goals included driving across the USA, learning French, learning how to tango, going camping, spending a week at Tassajara, Learning how to cook, volunteering, getting a French bulldog & publishing my writing. I was pretty damn successful that year in accomplishing my goals. To the point of obsession actually. Accomplishing those goals before turning 30 was all I could think about for 365 days. Brian was very happy when that year was over. HA. Over the last few years I have continued to create a list of goals…doing so helps me focus on the things I want from my life…a framework if you will.

365 til…33!

Travel

Every year you can pretty much guarantee that one of my goals will be travel related. I am a travel nut! Seriously, why can’t I just travel the world and get paid for it? (Is anybody listening? I’m totally available if you want to pay me to travel) During 365 til 30 my travel goal was to drive across the country (check!)…during 365 til 31 my travel goal was an overseas trip (Brian and I went to Hong Kong and trekked Nepal!)…365 til 32 my travel goal was again an overseas trip but this time for our honeymoon (we took a month off and went to Vietnam and Bali) This year my travel goal is much simpler, all I want to do is take a road trip with Brian. I love road trippin’ with that man. Actually, it was on our first road trip together that I knew I loved him. We were only a month into dating when I asked him if he wanted to take a road trip to Santa Fe with me to visit my friend Chantal. He must have thought I was crazy. Who would want to sign up for that many hours in a car with a person you’ve only been dating a month? The answer to that question is ME! And him I guess Brian as well because he said yes. Luckily, it was a total success. This year I’m thinking a road trip from LA to Seattle. My ideal stops along the way would be….Big Sur, San Francisco, Ashland, Eugene, Portland, Olympia & Seattle.

Learn

This year I am dying to learn more about photography. For a girl who appreciates a beautiful photograph, it is a crying shame I can’t shoot one as well as I’d like to. Especially when it comes to this blog, I would love to post higher quality photographs. Well, I guess I do sometimes but sadly they are not shot by me and instead by my photographer husband. With that said, I will be signing my ass up for a photography class as well as making Brian teach me all his tricks. He even has an extra Canon Rebel camera waiting for me. Winning!

Writing

You can also pretty much guarantee that one of my goals each year will also have to do with writing. This year it is travel related. I want to publish my various travel (road trip, Hong Kong, Nepal, Vietnam & Bali) essays. Wish me luck!

Health 

I want to go vegetarian for a month. Ever since my gallbladder surgery a few months ago I have had the hardest time with my digestion. It’s been driving me crazy! I’ve decided that meat might be the culprit. This coming from an Irish gal who loves a good steak. Sigh. I thought what better time to test out vegetarianism then now! Oy…I’m scared. Any vegetarians out there want to offer some advice?

Home

Decorating our new home has been on hold for a bit now…between shelling out money for our wedding and honeymoon we have been neglecting our home. The space totally deserves more! I plan on decorating with the help of pinterest and my very talented interior designer mother. So here we go…one room at a time.

find me elsewhere:

instagram  @kate365 / facebook / twitter

Liam

29 Jul

My best friend, Taline gave birth to her baby boy, Liam on Friday. I know….I know…babies are born everyday but his arrival really pulled at my heart-strings. Probably because Taline and I have been best friends since the 7th grade (oy! that’s twenty years!) and she’s like a sister to me. We’ve stood by each others side through so many ups and downs (OH….and the stories we have on each other…we are taking those to the grave!). I seriously trust her with my life. She’s such a beautiful human being and now I can safely say she’s a beautiful mama. I’m looking forward to standing by her side in this exciting new journey.

Brian and I spent Saturday afternoon visiting with the new family at the hospital. Man, that little Liam stole my heart. He’s beyond precious- so teeny tiny and absolutely perfect. He made my ovaries hurt! HA.

Welcome to the world Liam! You got very lucky in the parental department!

20140727_A9A619220140727_A9A6205

20140727_A9A6211

20140727_A9A6219

20140727_A9A6247

20140727_A9A6246

*

photos by BHG

Ho Chi Minh- day two

28 Jul

With our wretched first day in Ho Chi Minh behind us and a good nights sleep under our belts, we awoke in much better moods and excited to explore the city. First up on our itinerary was a stop at the Ho Chi Minh Museum. It was relatively close to our hotel so we decided to walk. The minute we stepped out of the hotel doors the thick hot and humid air enveloped us. It felt even hotter than the day before. How was that even possible? While I am not a huge fan of humidity, I quickly learned that my husband reallllllly doesn’t enjoy it. I won’t go as far as calling him a baby but I will say that there was some serious complaining going on.

photo

can you see the pain in his eyes?

After a twenty-minute walk, we arrived at the museum looking as if we had just showered. This weather was definitely going to take some getting used to! The museum was interesting (despite not being air-conditioned)- we both learned so much about Ho Chi Minh’s life before he became the president of Vietnam- I never knew he lived in France for a period of time working in kitchens or that he traveled many other countries in Europe working on a boat from 1911 to 1917. I’d say the museum is a must stop when in Ho Chi Minh…I mean the city is named after him and all.

Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset

photo

After the museum we headed over to Pham Ngu Lao, which is the backpacker district. It is made up of two parallel streets- Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao and a handful of tiny connecting alleys. I am a fan of exploring the backpacker district whenever I’m in a new city- they always feel more alive than the ritzy tourist areas. We wandered through the maze-like alleys taking in the sights (I could easily see into the locals homes from the narrow alleys, which was very exciting for a nosy person like me!) and smells (considering, nobody has air-conditioning and it was lunch time, the fragrant smell of food wafted out of the open doors…making me very hungry).

20140727_A9A5427

photo

With intense hunger pains now occupying both of our brains we decided it was time to break for lunch and picked a restaurant named Tiny’s at random. Well, maybe it wasn’t so random- it was the cleanest. We grabbed a table in the corner, luckily by a fan and quickly ordered two large Bintang beers to combat the heat. While I am not much of a beer drinker in my everyday life, it is pretty much all I ever order when I’m in Asia. Mostly because, my normal glass of chardonnay costs more than a meal for six and well, it just seems more authentic. You can safely say I wouldn’t be ordering a Bintang beer if I was in the south of France.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

photo-2

photo-1

After a decent lunch (nothing fancy at Tiny’s) of chicken hotpots (chicken, veggies & rice) we decided it was time for us to take break from the heat and headed back to the hotel. This became our daily routine – explore the city until around 3pm and then scurry back to the hotel for a few hours to read, write, shower (I showered three times a day in Ho Chi Minh) and nap in the cool air before heading back out for the evening. After our break we went to a Moroccan themed rooftop bar named Casbah that overlooked Notre Dame Cathedral for sunset cocktails (more bingtangs please!) and then had a truly amazing dinner at Thai restaurant named Golden Elephant.

Day three up next!

*

find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365 / facebook / twitter 

10 / 52

27 Jul

photo

I was sitting at my desk the other day when I got a funny feeling that I was being watched. I turned and looked down to see this. Such a little creeper. He proceeded to stay like that for a few minutes too. He’s so weird.

Side note – I have not been doing a very good job about keeping up with this weekly series. Sometimes I feel like people are sick of all my Frank photos. My brother even shamed me recently by telling me that I look like a crazy person on Facebook due to the amount of photos I post of Frank. What can I say? I’m a proud mom and it’s hard not to considering he’s so damn photogenic.

Anyway…I’m back…or should I say…we’re back.

*

find me (us) elsewhere : instagram @kate365 / facebook / twitter 

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

the start of the trip

photo-1

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

photo-3

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

photo

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.

photo

happy

photo-1

cute pup and husband

photo-2

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.

photo-6

photo-7

photo-8

photo-5

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?

photo-4

all the kids fast asleep…

*

find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365, twitter, facebook

inspiration, gratitude & surprises

18 Jul

56b0951c592ca6d9ee6361296b524b45

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

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,768 other followers