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project 30- alicia

22 Mar

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Alicia, 38

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

Follow your bliss. I was too caught up in making money and following a path to securing an executive position in the fashion/publishing industry. Money isn’t everything and if you are doing something you love then the money will come.

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

Enjoying life, being young and free. Don’t get me wrong, my 20’s were a wild ride but I was so focused on my career that I wasn’t being true to myself. I moved to NYC from San Francisco when I was 22 years old, landed a job at Jane magazine doing marketing and events and was determined to become a power player.

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

I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself after I dropped out of college. I was worried I’d never find a job because I didn’t have a college degree and was nervous about entering the workforce. Thankfully, my Dad constantly reminded me that many successful people never finished college or even high school and went on to do great things.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Hands down moving to NYC. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I really grew up and became who I am today because of it. I recently moved to LA after being there for the past 15 years, which is the longest place I’ve ever lived. Now that I’ve been in LA for almost a year now, I realized I’m more of a New Yorker than I thought and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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

I thought I would be married with two, maybe three children. Living in NYC and having a house by the beach.

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

I was not married but in a long-term relationship living in NYC. Traveling a lot both professionally and personally.
I took the leap of faith and started consulting after having a pretty successful career working at various magazines and fashion brands. I was really proud of what I had accomplished up until that point. I worked on some incredible high-profile projects and met some amazing people along the way. To this day, a majority of them are now dear friends.

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

Yes, all the time! I still worry about that now even being 38 years young. I see myself as a work in progress and I always want to challenge myself to do more. Life is a beautiful gift and I never want take it for granted.

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

Discovering the value of self-love. Sure I “liked” myself enough but didn’t realize the importance of loving myself until my long-term relationship ended. I went to Rome by myself after the break-up to have my own Eat, Pray, Love experience and not only did I eat and pray A LOT but I realized how vital it is to love and nurture yourself. This was something I had neglected for so many years.

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

Being happy and at peace with where I’m at in my life. I hope to have children, travel the globe and give back in some way.

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

Follow your bliss. This is my mantra and my daily reminder to push myself to always do more.

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spring has sprung

21 Mar

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photograph by Luisa Brimble 

Spring has officially arrived! Granted this means less when you live in sunny southern California (most winter days felt like spring around these parts) but it does signify a rebirth and renewal no matter where you live. The earth reawakens from her slumber, and explodes with new life. In our own lives, spring can be symbolic of starting new projects, sewing new seeds and coming forth with new ideas. I love the new energy spring brings. I also love that our sweet little boy will be arriving this spring season. He will most definitely be the best thing I have ever hatched in spring!

I had lots of plans yesterday to celebrate the Spring Equinox ( the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north) but I instead had to go with how my body felt and take it easy. At 31 weeks pregnant it seems to be the new normal around here. But that didn’t stop me from thinking (from my couch) about how certain aspects of spring can be incorporated into our daily lives.

RENEWAL

The earth starting to green up represents renewal: clear out the old to make space for the new.

It’s Spring cleaning time! To be honest I have been in spring cleaning mode for the last two months. I think it has something to do with the fact there’s a baby on its way. I’ve been obsessed with cleaning out closets and drawers and saying goodbye to things we don’t need or use. I want the house to feel open rather than cluttered. Brian is not a fan of such activities- that boy loves holding onto things we “might” need one day. But I believe-  if you haven’t used it in the past year, let it go. LET IT GO! Holding on to your old “material stuff” is also a representation of holding on to your old “emotional stuff” in my opinion. We still have a few areas to tackle before I will feel like the job is done but we are almost there.

I also believe that this is the perfect time of year to sage one’s home. Have you ever tried it? I wrote a post about it a while ago that explains the process if you’re interested.

BALANCE

The equal hours of day and night represent balance: a balanced life is a healthy life. Where can you find more balance in your life? I’ve personally realized that I need to find more balance in my work/play life. The last few months have been all about play, downtime and relaxation. Makes sense considering I’ve been growing a human and haven’t been working. I’m not going to lie, it’s been enjoyable but I am starting to feel unbalanced! There are only so many yoga classes one can go to and movies one can see before they start to go crazy. I’m craving order and structure. I miss working and focusing my energy on creative projects. While I know it’s probably not the right time to throw myself fully into work. I have been thinking about how I can find more balance in the day so that part of me still feels alive and well even with impending motherhood.

GRATITUDE

I find that the start of a new season is a good time to give thanks for all the joys, gifts and lessons that the last season brought. What did winter bring you this year? Give thanks for what you have and trust the Universe to continue to bring you more of what will serve your highest good.

What are your thoughts on the spring season?

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“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” – Gary Zukav

7 months

11 Mar

7 months

Monthly pregnancy update – March / seven months

I’m a few weeks late in posting my seven month update. Remember when I said I would be posting more regularly because I am not working for many months while pregnant? Yeah, I’m not quite sure what happened to that plan either. I wish I could say it was due to the fact that I am incredibly busy…but no…my days are mellow. I’ve just had a hard time motivating. My energy level is low so I’ve been allowing myself to just “be”. Letting my to-do list become a list of suggestions rather than a list of musts. This can be hard for a doer like me! Pregnancy has definitely taught me how to slow down. It’s actually forced me to. I’m surrendering.

I’m writing this post from a hotel bed in San Francisco with a latte in hand (yes, I have one cup of regular coffee a day…my OB said it was ok!). I tagged along with Brian on a work trip for a few days. He will be in meetings non-stop but I figured it would be fun to poke around the city by myself for a few days. Although, it’s rainy and windy outside right now making bed and room service sound pretty appealing too. At 7 1/2 months pregnant I also kind of hate to sleep alone right now. This coming from a girl who used to love having the house to herself for a few days. But pregnancy has changed that. It’s not like I am worried I am going to go into labor or anything- I just feel more settled when Brian’s around.

The last month has been filled with growth- yes, I am referring to my belly. Well, let’s be honest…my growth everywhere. I seem to have become very pregnant in the last few weeks. I don’t understand how I can possibly have 10 more weeks of growing to do?!!? Is he a giant or something?? This belly is getting crazy. In the last week alone many strangers have asked when I am due and when I say May they are shocked. I mean where do you go from there, right? It makes for a very awkward encounter.

I’m feeling…HUGE- this belly is getting heavy. Lots of movement- he’s a strong little guy who likes work out all day!

food loves…it would still be fruit but my doc has made me cut back. I have slightly elevated amniotic fluid which is sometimes caused by an excess of sugar and carbs. I’ve also become anemic so my doc has told me to up my protein intake. Which has been hard because meat and fish haven’t been at the top of my list of cravings.

daydreaming about…him. I think about him all the time. I just can’t wait to hold him and peer into his eyes for the first time. I literally get teary when I think about it.

can’t wait to…become a family of four (yes, Frank counts)

least favorite parts of pregnancy this month…the lack of sleep. People keep saying…get your sleep now before the baby arrives and I want to scream…I’m trying!! It’s just impossible to get comfortable at night.

favorite parts of pregnancy this month…feeling him move is still my favorite part of pregnancy. Sometimes I’ll forget I’m pregnant (although, that’s getting harder to do these days) and BAM he will sucker punch me and I am immediately reminded I am not alone. It’s just so damn magical to have a little human growing inside you! Yes, even when it hurts a bit.

I already love you so much little one.

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“Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.” – Carrie Fisher

currently

22 Feb

 

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our attempts at a family selfie

reading:

If the book has to do with birthing a child or raising it…I probably own it. The pile of books next to my bed keeps growing. So many points of view on everything! So many details! I might just give up on reading them all and wing it.

looking forward to:

A trip to Sedona (one of my favorite places) this Friday for Brian’s birthday. I’m a little bummed I won’t be able to do as much hiking as I normally do (my OB has put a stop to overly strenuous physical activity) when we go but I’m sure I will find other ways to decompress. Maybe I’ll drink lots of wine instead….kiddddding. Most likely I will just do a lot of reading and if the weather permits I may take this baby bump for a swim in the pool.

I’m also looking forward to a few days in San Francisco in early March. Brian has to go for work so I decided to tag along. He will most likely be working non-stop so I plan to wander the city alone (well, I guess I’m never really alone right now am I?). I actually enjoy this…I can be such a loner sometimes. Any recommendations on places I should visit or eat?

Showering this baby boy! My mom and step mom are throwing a shower for baby boy on April 3rd and my mother in law and aunt are throwing another one for him on April 17th. Something about a baby shower makes it all feel very real…and his arrival  soon.

thinking about: 

birthing a small human. Brian and I toured the hospital a few weeks ago and let’s just say it made the fact that this babe has to make an exit at some point a harsh reality. I’ve been so focused on all the other stuff…baby names, baby room, baby shower, baby clothes….etc that I haven’t really thought about the birth in great detail. Well, the tour changed that. It was all going so well until I happened to notice the huge spotlights above the labor and delivery bed. There’s going to be a stage production happening at my vagina people! I started to break out in cold sweats when I saw those puppies. I keep reminding myself that people have babies every day. I am not special. I too will survive this. I think.

enjoying: 

The downtime I have been able to enjoy before the baby arrives. I haven’t not worked since I was seventeen! Although baby boy and I have done some fit modeling work for maternity lines. Clearly, I believe in child labor at a very early age. But mostly my days are filled with walks, lunches with friends, reading, nesting at home & writing in coffee shops. It’s amazing how fast the day goes when you don’t do anything.

loving: 

my husband, decaf iced lattes from le pain quotidien, pinteresting ideas for the nursery, feeling my son move in my belly, mangos & my girlfriends.

watching:

togetherness, girls, walking dead, life in pieces, grey’s anatomy, how to get away with murder…oh and house hunters international (it speaks to my soul!)

baking project – apple cake

19 Jan

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( my sous chef )

As I mentioned in a previous post I thought maybe I would try my hand at baking with all this free time I have until the babe arrives in May. I figure I taught myself to cook (although, I still wouldn’t considering myself a master chef but at least I’m not afraid of the kitchen anymore) a few years ago when I started this blog, I may as well teach myself to bake too. As a working fit model I kept my consumption of baked goods to a minimum but as a pregnant lady I’m pretty open to them! So what better time to become a baker, right? This past weekend Brian was out-of-town for a bachelor party…in Hawaii. I know, I know…I felt terribly bad for him as well. Poor, dear. So with the house to myself and nothing but grey skies on Sunday morning I decided to tackle a recipe. I had plenty of recipes to choose from via my pinterest account. I seem to have an addiction to pinning sweet treats. I settled on an apple cake recipe because it seemed easy enough for my first attempt. I turned on a movie, The Time Travelers Wife,  to keep me company.  Have you ever seen it? Not sure if it was my raging hormones but I sobbed through most  of it. Such a sweet movie about love. I devoured the book when I read it many years ago and I think they did a beautiful job translating it to the screen. Anyway, back to the apple cake…

It was a very easy recipe- I didn’t get overwhelmed and freak out once while making it (that’s the true test) and it turned out quite good! It was a nice mix of cinnamon and apple flavors and it was incredibly moist- especially tasty with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The only problem is my crust ended up a tad burnt. Maybe I didn’t grease the pan enough? Any ideas? Because the rest of it was cooked perfectly so I’m not sure what I should have done differently?

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the bump snuck into a photo

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Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
powdered sugar, to dust

Instructions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 x 9-inch baking pan and set aside.
-Melt the butter in the microwave and combine with the sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add vanilla.
-In a mixing bowl, combine together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until combined and smooth. The batter will be very thick, but that’s ok.
-Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan. Using a palette knife, spread to make an even surface and place apples in a single layer over the top. Gently press them into the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the top and carefully lever the surface. Scatter the rest of the apple slices over the batter and press them lightly into the surface.
-Bake for about 45–55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

five months

7 Jan

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Monthly pregnancy update – January / five months

Moving right along over here- five months in and feeling pretty good. Baby Glodney is getting bigger by the day! If you ask the pregnancy app on my iPhone he’s currently the size of a banana. The fruit and vegetable comparison cracks me up. At week seven I made the mistake of scrolling to the final week, week 40, to see what fruit he would be by then…my eyes widened when I saw a picture of a watermelon. It scared the shit out of me. I scrolled back to the picture of a blueberry as fast as I could. This growing a human in your stomach thing is wild. It’s so sci-fi! When I see him on the ultrasound screen I still feel like I am watching television. My brain has a hard time comprehending that the television image is happening inside me. You’d think the bump at my midsection would help it feel real. Maybe there’s still a bit of a disconnect because I can’t feel him move yet? I got the news a few weeks ago that my placenta has grown in a really unhelpful place- it’s low and anterior. The anterior part means it’s on the belly side of my uterus. So when he kicks he’s kicking the placenta instead of my stomach. I can’t feel a thing. My OB said I might not feel him move until after week 30. Major bummer… I was so looking forward to the joys of feeling him move. The placenta situation got even more annoying when I learned that it was also low and partially covering my cervix. For those of you who don’t know much about the female anatomy, the cervix is his exit out into the world once he’s fully cooked. So the fact that it’s being partially covered is clearly a problem. If the placenta does not move off the cervix as I progress then I will have to have a scheduled c-section. There’s not even another option. This news really upset me. I had an image of how our son was going to enter the world and that image did not include a c-section. I know that a healthy baby is all that really matters though so I will make peace with it if needed.

Other than my placenta situation it’s been an easy pregnancy so far. He’s been good to his mama. We’ve been working on cleaning out our office to make room for him. It was a much bigger project than I intended it to be. How can two people possibly hoard so much crap in a few short years?? I put Brian to work during the holiday break. I can safely say he’s had more  exciting and restful breaks from work. The room still looks crazy- papers and boxes everywhere but we are making progress. My goal is to have it totally cleaned out before the painter comes January 16th to paint the room.

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I’m feeling…so tired. I kept hearing that the second trimester would bring with it a surge of energy but I have yet to experience that. Maybe it’s because I’ve been sick with either a cold or food poisoning for the last month but I am totally wiped.

food loves…fruit. It’s not a worthwhile day unless there is fruit involved. I can’t seem to get enough vanilla yogurt with bananas on top. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up. I would also be happy if I could eat a chopped salad from Coral Tree Cafe for lunch everyday.

food hates…ummm there’s not much this pregnant lady won’t eat.

daydreaming about…a big family trip we might take (if we are brave enough) with the little guy in September. They say it’s easy to travel with babies when they are young so we are toying with the idea of taking him to a foreign (don’t worry we aren’t thinking third world this time) destination.

can’t wait to…paint his room.

least favorite parts of pregnancy this month…my weakened immune system and the fact that you can’t take cold meds when you are pregnant. Such a cruel joke.

favorite parts of pregnancy this month…ahhh so much. I love when Brian puts his hand on my growing belly to say hi to the babe. I feel so connected to my husband right now and it’s such a sweet time in our marriage. I also love putting my own hand on my belly and talking to him. Playing the name game with Brian has also been fun. I of course already have the perfect name picked out for our son but to be fair I’m going through the motions of looking through books and putting a larger list together so we can discuss. Compromise at it’s finest.

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around these parts…

5 Jan

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(image via)

Happy New Year lovely people!! I’m always a bit shocked when a new year arrives. Time seems to be moving at warp speed. Where did 2015 go, you know? Although, I’m ok with putting 2015 to bed…I like the sound of 2016. The number just feels good rolling off my tongue and I love the energy that a new year brings. 2015, was an intense year for me- intensely hard and intensely beautiful. I said it on my instagram account but it felt as if 2015 had two acts. Act one kicked my ass- it was filled with lessons, hard work, big questions & uncomfortable (albeit needed) personal growth. I can’t say I enjoyed that period but I know that it lead me to a better version of me, so, high-five Universe! Thanks for dragging me through the shit! I truly believe that we must go through dark periods to earn and appreciate the lighter ones, and act two of 2015 was just that…a big bright light. It was  one of the sweetest periods I can ever remember experiencing. I’m so grateful for the gifts it brought me.

This new year feels different from most for me. I’m usually all about starting the year off with big goals to accomplish in the 365 days I have. While I do still have goals this year (working on a new vision board now) my intention for this year is less about attaining things and more about enjoying things. It’s shaping up to be a year that I will have to be ok with things moving at a slower pace than I am used to. I officially stopped working last week until the babe arrives in May. I knew it was coming considering my job as a fit model is based on my measurements and they have certainly changed dramatically in the last few months. Even with the preparation, it was a hard pill for me to swallow. I really enjoy working and the idea of stopping sounded less than ideal. All my clients were great about it though. They were very supportive and reassuring that they would have me back when I was ready. So my plan is to go back a few months after he is born (granted I can get back to my measurements!). Even with their reassurance I found it hard to turn all my clients over to another fit model. I felt such a lack of control! I had to remind myself that change is inevitable and letting go was ok. There will always be new clients. On to a new adventure, right?!

So what am I going to do with myself for the next 4 1/2 months before he arrives? Your guess is as good as mine. Someone told me I could spend it getting his nursery ready. This idea made me giggle…who needs 4 1/2 months to ready a nursery? God help me if it takes that long! I’m hoping to fill my time with more writing & blogging. I’ve really neglected both for some time. I used to blog every damn day and now I’m lucky if I do once a week. I also hope to fall into a regular yoga practice. I haven’t gone to one class since finding out I was pregnant (In the beginning I was scared that I would hurt the baby but I think I am moving past my “scared of everything” phase). Ok so I definitely have blogging, writing & yoga to fill my days. My other ideas include a once a week artist date with myself, baking (because what better time to take up baking than when you are pregnant…I’m already getting bigger so why not just throw myself all in, you know?) & home projects (it’s so funny how strong the urge is to nest and ready your space before the baby arrives. Like he is going to care about the new credenza or which shade of grey I paint the walls!). Any other brilliant ideas about how I should spend the next few months?