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fall / winter 2015

9 Sep

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(image found via pinterest)

With 2015 nearing to a close…I know, I know, we still have four full months, but once September hits I can’t help but reflect on how I want the year to wrap up. September – December always seems to fly by and I find myself surprised every year on January 1st- it almost seems impossible that we are there again. The next four months also happen to be my absolute favorite time of year- I find myself most creatively alive during this time. I also love everything to do with the holidays and what they represent- family dinners, our wedding anniversary, carving pumpkins, dressing Frankie up for Halloween, cooking, warmth, bundling up, decorating trees, cuddling & new beginnings.

The last eight months have been an introspective time for me. Rather than exploring the world around me, as I usually do, I have been instead making the journey within. I knew at the start of 2015 that something was off.  I had baggage that I still hadn’t worked through and I was dragging it around with me. I couldn’t hide from it anymore. It was time to do the hard work, even if that meant that other things had to be put on the back burner. Something very hard for a person who desires immediate results like me to come to terms with. Instead I had to trust the process. It reminded me of that quote by Zora Neale Hurston –  “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” Thus far this year has most definitely been asking me some questions. Ones that needed answering and ones that positively shifted something in me once I did. I feel empowered and for that I am incredibly grateful.

Life man, such a wild ride sometimes, right?

When reflecting about how I want the next few months to unfold, it was clear to me that I want them to feed my soul, creative mind, relationships, home & belly. I want to soak in every bit of goodness that 2015 has left to offer me. I have a feeling the next four months will bring an entirely different energy than the first eight did and I am ready for that new energy.

Some of the ways I would like to spend the next few months…

Deepening my meditation practice. I know I have only been scratching at the surface and I am feeling a pull towards more. In addition to developing a stronger home practice I want to explore Unplug Meditation, Against The Stream & Shambhala Center.

Reading! There are fifteen (I might be setting myself up for failure on this one) books I would love to read before the end of the year. I’ll share them in a later post.

Cooking- I plan on spending some quality time in the kitchen! Again, there is something about fall and winter that inspire me to want to cook. I love hearty recipes and the feeling of warmth that comes from the kitchen this time of year.

I would love to put a small dinner party together in our home each month to bring our family and friends together. I want to make a point to enjoy the ones that matter most in my life. I also love to entertain.

I want to finish a few work projects that have been on the back burner for many many many months. As I mentioned previously, I put some things on the back burner to focus on me and it’s time to dust them off. They involve getting two book proposals finished and ready to submit in the new year and revamping my personal website which has been in purgatory for the last six months.

Practicing yoga. I want to make my yoga practice more of a priority over the next few months. My love for it has been renewed recently and I would love to keep the love affair going. My body just feels so much more balanced when I am practicing regularly.

I would love to finally find a property for the business Brian and I have been building with a few partners this past year. I can’t wait to share about it in the new year! Granted we find a property and the ball gets moving.

My home life- one of the most important aspects of my life. It has been in an incredibly solid and fulfilling place and I want to continue to watch it grow.

*

There are years that ask questions and years that answer,

Years that

fall apart

and years that come together…

There are years that cry and years that laugh,

Years that wonder

And years that strike and clap and thunder.

. . .

Your job isn’t to know — not right now, not quite yet.

Your job is simply

to breathe,

to trust,

to rest

To know that it is all a part of the path —

The mystery and the clarity

The hardship and delight

The darkness and the light alike.

. . .

Dear One,

Haven’t you heard?

“This place where you are right now

God circled on a map for you.”

*

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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!

 

home : inspiration

5 Feb

 

As I mentioned earlier, one of my goals this year is to finish decorating our loft. It’s felt unfinished since we moved in. But last year was all about “project wedding” so our home took a backseat.The walls are mostly bare (despite being married to a beyond talented photographer who has tons of gorgeous photos), we don’t have a dining table (despite the fact I love to entertain…we have two stools at our kitchen island we eat at), our office looks like somebody ransacked it (it has become the place in our home we dump everything we don’t know what to do with) and our bedroom is pretty bare as well consisting of just the bed, a chair, a dresser and one piece of art. Clearly, it’s time to spruce the place up!

Our first project was the dining table but after going back and forth we’ve come to the conclusion we don’t really have space for one. Well, at least one that we would want. So we’ve decided to take out the existing marble counter on the island and put a much bigger wood top on it. One that has a huge lip around it so we can seat lots of people. Brilliant, huh? So now we are waiting patiently for the new wood top to be finished so we can have it installed. Patience is not a strong suit of mine. I’m already planning out dinner parties to throw the minute it is installed.

In the meantime I’ve been looking at pinterest for home inspiration ideas. When you look at my home board it is pretty clear what I like – neutral tones with bright pops of color & I’m a fan of ethnic rugs and prints. Luckily Brian likes most of my ideas expect he will NOT get behind my fabulous idea to paint the guest bathroom teal. Seriously, you would have thought I said “let’s have a baby!” with the look he gave me when I mentioned the color teal.

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Foto Maria Rosenlöf Styling Linda Wiktorsson-Lång*

52

18 Sep

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Oh, change.

I’ve been trying to find my balance amidst all the change this year has brought me. Somedays successfully…and others…well, not so much. I’ve always found that I have a hard time with change. Which is surprising to me because my life always seems to be full of change. Almost as if I seek out the very thing that is hard for me to deal with. Last week my therapist asked me a very interesting question…”how do you think you’re going to feel after you are married?” Huh, I hadn’t really thought about that. All I have thought about is how I feel now. The pure excitement I feel about becoming Bri’s wife. I recalled a few different responses some of my friends  have had after the big day…one felt claustrophobic…one felt let down and a little depressed after the high of the day was over…one said she had never felt better. How would I feel? I didn’t really know.

I sat there thinking about how I thought I would feel and then I remembered the last big change in my life and how I reacted.

Ruh-Ruh…I thought

Seven months ago we bought and moved into our beautiful new loft. A loft that I swear looks exactly like every home image on my vision board. Finding out we got it was one of the most exciting moments. I just couldn’t believe it was going to be ours. I was overcome with gratitude and felt like we were the luckiest people alive. Not to mention I was dying to get out of our miniature and rundown bungalow by the beach. I hated that place and complained about it on a daily basis. It was tiny (I literally had to move Brian’s surfboards every time I needed to get in the fridge), there was no dishwasher (and the sink would back up all the time), little closet space (clothes would fall on my head each time I opened the closet), had no heat (we seriously froze in the winter!) and only one parking space. ( I collected many parking tickets during this time)

I was ready to get the hell out of there. I was so excited in fact I started packing up our place a month ahead of schedule.

But after we moved into our new home my excitement popped like a balloon. Suddenly, I felt depressed. I felt discombobulated. I felt isolated. I felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of it. I just didn’t feel like myself. I actually cried for a few days because I missed our old crappy little bungalow by the beach. I missed having to huddle around the wall heater in the bathroom brushing our teeth in the morning.  I missed the cozy holidays we spent there with our Christmas tree taking over the whole living room. I missed the view we had of the park from our windows. I missed cooking dinner with Brian in our tiny kitchen. I fondly remembered the time my heel went through the hard wood floor because of the termites. I remembered laughing so hard we cried because we could hear our neighbor do…well, everything through our paper-thin walls. I missed that bungalow so much that I wanted to be transported back. It was rickety and old but it was oh, so sweet, and filled with charm. Our life felt really simple while we lived there and I’ve come to learn I really like simple.

I felt crazy admitting my feelings to anyone because I thought that they made me sound ungrateful (I mean, who was I to complain??) and I hate seeming ungrateful because I try consciously to operate from a place of gratitude every day. But, as hard as I tried I just couldn’t shake it. I felt depressed. I remember calling my mom and asking, “Why do I feel this way when I am so blessed and lucky? I got exactly what I wanted. What’s wrong with me?”

Many moons have passed since that time and now I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I get home everyday and look around our home with a smile on my face.

I’ve learned that change is hard for me. Even fabulous and exciting change. Even change  that I want badly and work hard to create. Growing up and taking on new responsibilities is hard.

But, I wouldn’t change any of it. I am blessed. I am grateful. I am excited. Actually, I’m excited for all the next steps that this life may bring, even if they make my cry for a few days.

+

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” – Anatole France

grateful for you

21 Mar

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Dear Readers,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your warm, thoughtful, enlightening and honest comments to my post about my issues with anxiety. I was truly overwhelmed by the response. It was very difficult for me to write about something so personal that I am also embarrassed about. The morning I posted it, I spent a good twenty minutes going back and forth with myself before hitting “publish”. Once I finally did, and it was out into the open, I felt relieved. It felt good to be the authentic & messy me. Now you all know my dirty little secret and after reading all of your comments, I know that I don’t suffer alone.

We’re all a work in progress, huh? And this living thing can get a bit messy and confusing sometimes.

I was telling Maggi, my life coach about how touched I was by the feedback the piece received and she reminded me of something that was rather painful for me to hear as a writer- that up until “The Cloak”, I haven’t been sharing as deeply as I used to in my posts these past few months.  At first, I scoffed at this and pointed out a few posts here and there that I did but I knew that she spoke the truth. Totally annoying when that happens, huh?

I used to let it alllllll hang out here. But these last few months have been so difficult for me that I just couldn’t go there. I mean it’s taken all my might to just make it through the day with my anxiety, the stress and joy of planning a wedding, buying our first home, worrying about the future, building my career and showing up for my family, friends and partner. I was scared that if I stood still long enough to describe the tornado to all of you, while I was standing in the friggin center of the tornado, I would be swallowed up.

Does that make sense?

So instead, I decided to focus on the little joys in life like nesting, cooking Sunday night dinners for family, creating a new office space and going on artist dates with myself. It helped keep me somewhat sane in these anxious times. I can’t be heavy every day, ya know? Also, part of me didn’t want to seem ungrateful. When I started this blog my life was in the shitter. I was broke, confused about my career, supplementing my freelance income with nannying (which was truly painful activity- I could write a whole book about that year), depressed and single. In a little under two years my life looks completely different. I am getting married to the man of my dreams, my writing career has enjoyed many great highs and advancements (even if I am still want more), I’m not stressed about money, we are proud new owners of a loft that I swear looks exactly like the images on my vision board and I’m generally a very happy person.

I got everything I wanted these last two years.

I was afraid that if I told you how off I was feeling you guys would think I was nuts, negative or ungrateful.

But then I thought, maybe that’s it. Maybe getting everything you want also comes with a price and being a woman in your thirties is hard to navigate. The stakes are different from being a woman in your twenties. I doubt I’m alone in feeling this. So I decided it was time to share about my fears and anxieties and curl up on the couch on a rainy Wednesday afternoon and write from the most honest place I could.

I am so very honored that you guys responded with such love and I am grateful for each one of you.

Thank you for being on this journey with me and thanks for again reminding me that I am not alone.

L,

Kate

 

check-in

7 Mar

When I originally started this blog a year and a half ago, it was ALL about accomplishing my goals. My obsession with it was actually verging on insane! I was NOT going to turn 30 without accomplishing all of them.

While it is still is a blog about setting goals and making them happen, it has also become a blog about everything that happens in between! All the lovely moments that make up my life.

The other day it dawned on me though…holy shit I am more than half-way through my 30th year?!!?!? WHAT!? Seriously? WHAT?! I’m going to be 31 in four months?!?! With this daunting realization I thought it would be a good time to check-in with myself on my progress with the goals for the year….

– Overseas trip (CHECK!)

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When I put overseas trip on my list I had no idea where we would end up traveling. I just knew I needed to get out of the states and go on an adventure with Brian. We settled on Hong Kong and Nepal and I am so grateful that we did because what an adventure we had!! If you haven’t read about our trip you can below!

Big news / the travel doctor / the toe  / Hong Kong 1 / Hong Kong 2 / Arriving in Nepal / Kathmandu / Patan / the monkey temple / Bhaktapur / trekking: the group / trekking: the water buffalo / trekking: the starry night.

more posts still to come…

– Volunteer as a big sister

I made a bit of progress with this right out of the gate, settling on the organization I wanted to work with and filling out the paperwork. Then the strangest thing happened…I did nothing after that. Life got in the way and I’ve had my application folded up in my date book ever since. But, the good news is I plan on sending it in this weekend once we finally set up our printer and fax! Fingers crossed that they think I am a suitable candidate to be a big sister.

– Artist dates (CHECK!) 

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I haven’t done as many of these as I would like but I have started them! You can read about them here, here and here

– New living space (CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!)

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As much as I loved our little bungalow by the beach I wanted to move on because I couldn’t stand sharing a miniature closet with Brian anymore. That and the kitchen drove me nuts- the oven didn’t work for most of the time I lived there.  Let’s just say it was the perfect bachelor pad!

I was ready for us to have a space we could grow in. So I put this one the list thinking we would just rent another slightly bigger apartment by the beach. But sometimes the universe has bigger plans for you! Because we ending up finding a loft that we loved, made an offer, beat out seven other offers and now have a new home to build a life in. High five, Universe!

– Get a French Bulldog

Frank : inspiration photo

Frank : inspiration photo

We couldn’t get Franck until we moved but now that we have  it’s time to find our little boy and bring him home! I’m thinking we still need to settle in our new home a little bit more before we add a puppy to the mix. Soooo, maybe July? Maybe as a 31st birthday gift to myself!

– Publish my writing 

I work towards this goal everyday with my book agent. But alas I have not snagged the right book deal yet. Maybe in the meantime I should focus on publishing my writing other places. Do any of you have any fabulous leads?!

– Ballet classes 

I start a 6-week course at Align Ballet March 30th!! So very excited to get back to the barre. Posts about the experience coming soon!

– Yoga retreat (CHECK!!)

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Awwwww what a magical weekend that was. In three short days I had some major breakthroughs, adopted the motto “Be Fucking Amazing!“, laughed more than I thought possible and met two lovely ladies whom I now call dear friends. Oh, and came home to a surprise engagement!!!

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Speaking of engagements, let’s be honest, I wanted to put “get engaged” on my list of goals for the year but didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment! I also thought it would be slightly awkward to put such a thing on a public goal list. But it was on my secret list! So check that one off too!

What an interesting, life changing and fun eight months it’s been!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
C. S. Lewis

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find me elsewhere:  instagram @kate365, twitterfacebook

313

21 Jan

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With our move a few days away, I find myself excited to get into our new space and sad to leave our little apartment at 313. It’s a pretty sweet little guy- it’s always flooded with light, has worn wooden floors, is three blocks from the beach and across the street from a big green park. It’s been pretty good to us these last few years. So much of our history has happened in its walls. It’s where Brian and I had our first awkward date. Have I ever told you how awkward Brian was in the beginning? I spent the first few weeks wondering if he even liked me. He always says he’s happy I stuck with him during that time. I saw potential! It’s where Brian first told me he loved me as we stood in the shower soaping our hair. It’s where we had our first and only big fight when getting ready for bed and I stormed out dramatically in the middle of the night to go back to my place. Then I got home and thought…maybe that was a bit much? It’s where we’d stay up late on the couch, listening to music, playing gin rummy and drinking booze, the game getting more heated and pathetic as the evening went on. It’s where we decided to take the next step in our relationship and move in with each other. A few weeks later, I nervously and excitedly unpacked my clothes, making 313 my new permanent home. It’s where Brian came home one night as I was cooking dinner and said, “I got the promotion at work“- we dropped everything and went out for steaks and martinis to celebrate. It’s where I woke up at 4:30 am and packed the car en route for the Buddhist monastery in search of answers and adventure. It’s where I accidentally dropped Brian’s toothbrush in the toilet and tried to cover it up quickly. When he caught me, we laughed so hard we cried on the bathroom floor. It’s where we cried from sadness on the couch after Brian’s grandmother’s funeral; the first terrible loss together as a couple. It’s where I learned how to cook. It’s where I got a call that a project of mine got fabulous feedback and we popped a bottle of champagne and celebrated on a school night. It’s where Brian worked endless hours to put together his first photography show– spread out on the floor framing each piece perfectly. It’s where I battled my anxiety issues and won (hopefully). It’s where I turned thirty. It’s where we celebrated our first Christmas together. It’s where Brian put a ring on my finger and told me that nothing would make him happier than if I became his wife- we cried on the floor after hugging and laughing. It’s where I’ve sat up countless nights writing at my computer. It’s where we sat in bed one night and excitedly hit “buy” on a ten day trek in Nepal; then looked at each other and said “what did we just do?” It’s where our story as a couple began. It’s the place we will drive by with our kids one day and say that’s where mommy and daddy fell in love.

Find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365, twitterfacebook