project 30 – nailah

29 Jan

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Nailah, 30  / Donna & Nailah

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

Everything will fall into place. Stop worrying so much. You’re on the right track! Also, don’t stop working out, your metabolism will slow down.

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

My finances. I wish I was more serious about saving money and not taking on additional debt. I had a good job with lots of benefits at the time but I couldn’t begin to tell you where all of that money went!

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

Myself. I was so hung up on “finding my purpose” and “living my best life” that I probably missed out on opportunities to just have fun. I felt like my life should have been much better at the time. Now I realize that I was at a great place in my life and I wish I had taken a step back and enjoyed it a little more.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Oh man, I have a lot. I think my best memory from my 20’s was my wedding. My husband and I had a destination wedding in the Bahamas. It was amazing. We had 30 of our closest family and friends with us and we just had so much fun. When we got engaged, my husband and I promised ourselves that we wouldn’t get carried away in the craziness of a wedding and would instead focus on celebrating our love and having fun. We absolutely succeeded and I wouldn’t change anything.

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

That’s a great question. In my early twenties, I got certified as a life coach and started a life coaching company. I envisioned myself working with coaching clients full-time and still living in Los Angeles with my husband. I was also working on my Master’s in Communication and assumed that I would be teaching at the college level as well.

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

I turned 30 in 2014 and it was a whirlwind of a year! We moved to San Diego, I found out that I was pregnant, and our daughter was born. My life is completely different than I envisioned it but it’s perfect. I was able to quit my job and work for myself full-time but instead of working as a life coach, I now co-own a social media marketing agency. Again, I could have never predicted any of it but when I look back on the past 10 years I can see the path that brought me to where I am now. Of course, during my 20’s I couldn’t see that clear path and I just felt like I was flip-flopping all over the place.

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

Oh absolutely! I was constantly worried that it wouldn’t fall into place. That was my primary stressor in my early and mid-twenties.

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

I hit a point in my late twenties when things clicked into place. I knew who I was, I truly didn’t care what people thought about me and I felt good about what I was doing with my life. The greatest gift about being in my 30’s is the confidence and self-awareness that came with it. There are still things in my life that are uncertain but I have the confidence in myself to know that it will all work out and that it’s much more productive to focus on what I can control instead of constantly worrying about the future.

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

The things that make my life complete now, I couldn’t have dreamed of 10 years ago. I imagine that in 10 years my life will be so different than anything I could think up now. I do hope that I’m still living my life to its fullest and taking advantage of unique opportunities thrown my way. I hope that my business is thriving and still brings me a lot of joy. I hope that I have a happy and healthy little family and that I will be teaching my kid(s) the values of love and laughter, big dreams and hard work. I hope to feel settled and happy with whatever it is that I’m doing.

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

Jump in. Feet first.

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Connect with Nailah / website / twitter @Nailahblades

 

let’s eat!

27 Jan

This post is dedicated to my love of eating out & my slight interest in cooking at home. Hey, at least I don’t hate being in the kitchen anymore.

LA EATS! 

During the week I am pretty dedicated to eating clean. I mostly eat protein & veggies at every meal (so boring I know but it comes with the territory of working as a fit model). But on the weekends I let myself go a bit (all about balance, right?) This past saturday that involved eating lunch with Brian at our local pizza joint, Pitfire Artisan Pizza, where we shared their chopped salad with pepperoni and salami & the sausage party pizza (fennel sausage / salumi & bacon 
 tomato sauce / fresh mozzarella / saba)- a glass of chardonnay for me and a beer for Brian. Can you say meat fest? OY. It was so yummy though and they have a beautiful outdoor patio to eat in. It didn’t hurt that it was also 80 degrees in LA this weekend,  making the patio the perfect choice for a late lunch.

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LET’S EAT AT HOME!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve tried out a few new recipes at home- my top favorite being a halibut dish that I cooked in parchment paper. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this parchment situation sooner?? Hands down one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever tackled. You basically dump a bunch of fresh ingredients on the piece of parchment paper, wrap it up (kinda like a little present) and stick it in the oven where it steams itself- and VIOLA! you have dinner in 15 minutes. I picked halibut because salmon is pretty much the only fish I work with at home, so I thought I’d totally break all my kitchen rules and not only work with parchment paper but also with halibut. Breaking barriers people!

Artichoke-Tomato Halibut en Papillote (aka artichoke- tomato halibut in parchment paper)

Ingredients
2 (4 ounce) halibut fillets, boneless
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 lemon slices, ¼-inch thick
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed and drained
12 grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place one piece of halibut on a 12×12 inch piece of parchment paper. Drizzle each side of fish with 2 teaspoons olive oil and top with 2 lemon slices. Arrange half of the artichokes, tomatoes, and basil on top of fish. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Repeat the process for the second piece of halibut.
Fold up parchment paper like a package, sealing in the ingredients. With the seam at the top, tuck the ends underneath. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of fish. Add 15 minutes of baking time for each additional inch of thickness.
Transfer to a plate and carefully open the package to release the steam before serving

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word love

25 Jan

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friday frankie

23 Jan

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He just melts me.

currently : one

22 Jan

 

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currently….

thinking about: how excited I am about the possibilities that 2015 already holds, our new business (can’t wait to share more!), babies (I am 32 after all:), how to be the best version of myself everyday, blogging, a new book proposal, travel plans for the year (we have four weddings on the horizon in 2015…one is in England!) expansion, speaking from my truth & being present.

grateful for: there will never be a week that goes by that I am not grateful for my husband (he just makes everything sweeter), hot baths, dates with my momma, feeling connected & sushi.

watching: Girls! I am surprised by how much I adored the first two episodes of season four (I liked the first season but hated the second season so much that I gave up on the show for a bit) but I decided to give it another shot this season and I laughed out loud while watching it- LOVE. I am also on a crusade to watch all the oscar nominated films this year before the big show…I crossed one more off my list this week, Selma- it was such a beautiful film. Watching it made me feel aware (and possibly bad) that I didn’t march in the ferguson or Michael Brown protests. I think we (or maybe just me) forget what a difference we can make in combatting injustice with our voices.

loving: my life

project 30 – christine

22 Jan

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Christine, 30 / Huckle & Goose

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

Oh man. Many things. Ask lots of questions- don’t be afraid to look stupid. Meet lots of people from different walks of life, older, younger – there’s something to be learned from everyone. Don’t settle. Don’t compare. Not following trends is trendier. Decide what you want to be, keep asking those questions, and do a lot of soul-searching until you get there.

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

Not slathering baby oil on myself while sun bathing?

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

I always fall into the trap of taking things seriously. I suppose it’s just the way I am. But in my 20’s I felt like I had to stay on the early twenties path- graduate college, get a job, get married. But there is no defined path. Especially if you’re determined and have a vision for your future. I could’ve given myself permission to trek off the beaten path a bit.

What is your favorite memory from your 20’s?

I have three- marrying an amazing man and welcoming my two sweet gremlins into this world. I can’t imagine life without them.

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

I studied (and liked) finance in college, but quickly found that I was not fond of it in the working world. I felt stuck and discouraged at that point, convinced I made a grave mistake, and lost the vision for my future for a few years. At 24 I got married and we moved from Chicago to Washington DC. It was such a breath of fresh air and the change of scenery I needed. Though I was still working in finance, I began to search for other careers that would strike a chord, but nothing (except for briefly considering architecture school). It was around this time that I started blogging and began a small paper design business to sort through all of this and have a creative outlet. But it became pretty clear that if I ever  wanted to experience professional fulfillment, I’d just have to do my own thing. So at 25, I began to envision being a 30- something in DC with a business I built from the ground up that would somehow make a difference.

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

First I’ll say my 30th birthday was a little over a month ago, so I’m a complete freshman in this league of experienced, wise 30-somethings. But honored to be in such company. Where am I now…well, that do-my-own thing dream that was really blurry at 25, is now a startup called Huckle & Goose that I launched (alongside my sister-in-law) with just months to spare before 30. It’s surreal typing that out.

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

I think I was more worried I’d find something I loved but never take the leap. I did though. And some days are incredible, some are not, but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.

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

I’m just at the start of this new decade, but I can already sense there’s more freedom to be more of myself maybe, more honest.

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

I hope that I choose respond with grace and optimism to all the challenges that come with this new decade and by 40 I’ll be the best version of myself yet.

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

Make your vision so clear that your fears become irrelevant.

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connect with Christine

Huckle & Goose / twitter / facebook / instagram @inklemonade @hucklegoose

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home office update

19 Jan

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My big plans for today’s post was to show you pictures of our new and improved home office space (complete with the desk Brian built from scratch yesterday- that husband of mine never stops impressing me) but instead I have the picture above. Pretty, huh? Why is it that home projects always make everything worse until they make them better? Our house looks insane. Somehow this project has spilled into every other room in our house- guest bathroom included.  Frank is walking around completely confused by all the furniture changes. He is currently chewing his bone while seated on top of a box- I’ve decided to just go with it.

With our work schedules this week, I imagine I won’t be sharing a finished home office picture until next Monday. I also imagine that I will lose my mind at some point this week. There is nothing that makes me feel more insane than clutter.

Happy Monday!

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