Tag Archives: life

july 4th weekend

6 Jul

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July 4th weekend did not disappoint this year. I spent most of it at the beach and eating tasty food- both favorite pastimes of mine. I started the weekend off right by taking Frankie for a three-mile walk Friday morning. We start every day with a long walk actually- it’s our thing. I’ve become rather attached to the routine of it. It throws my whole day off if I can’t make it work for some reason! We explore different streets, houses and alleys each day. Frank is a pup who appreciates a new tree to pee on and I am more than happy to comply. After our walk I met a girlfriend for a juice date at Kreation. I opted not to get a healthy green juice and instead ordered a chailicious smoothie. It was to die for- like sipping dessert through a straw. Then I met my mom and my brother for lunch at Back On The Beach to celebrate my birthday a few days early with them. The food isn’t mind-blowing but the restaurant overlooks the ocean and your table is literally on the sand so it makes up for it. After lunch my mom and I headed down to the water for a few hours (we couldn’t convince Nik to join us though). It was a cloudy afternoon so instead of sunbathing and swimming like we had planned we spent most of the time lying on a blanket fully clothed chatting. When I got home Brian made us dinner on the grill- cilantro lime chicken, zucchini and sweet potatoes.

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back on the beach

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Nik looking dapper in my moms hat and my sunglasses

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we worked hard to get this selfie

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I know I’m biased but he’s the cutest griller I ever did see

On Saturday, after sleeping in and drinking copious amounts of coffee in bed, we packed up the car and headed to the beach to meet some friends. It was packed with happy people as far as the eye could see celebrating the holiday. Luckily, the sun was actually out this time and I proceeded to spend the next few hours working on my tan, reading magazines and swimming in the sea. I haven’t swam in the ocean since we were in Bali for our honeymoon over a year ago. I almost forgot how invigorating the salty water can be. After the beach we debated going to a party with our friends but decided a quiet night at home was more our speed. We are getting old, huh?!? So we (Brian) grilled yet again and had a picnic on our coffee table so we could watch a movie (we watched The Judge – meh) while eating dinner. Around 9pm (with ten minutes left to spare in the movie of course) the loud pops began so we grabbed Frank (who was totally freaked out by the commotion) and headed up to the roof to take in the firework show across the city.

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clearly, not impressed with July 4th

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July 4th at Santa Monica beach

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lunch at the beach

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our picnic dinner

On Sunday we spent most of the day doing things around the house. There is nothing that brings me more joy than organizing my home. I know…I really am getting old. In the evening we hosted my Dad and Pamela for dinner to celebrate Pamela’s birthday. That’s another thing that brings me great joy…hosting dinner parties. Especially to celebrate ones I love. Brian and I made salmon, corn on the cob (with cilantro lime butter- with a pinch of lemon zest) and potato salad. I also baked a vanilla cake with fresh strawberries on top for dessert.

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chubby paws

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very busy at work making potato salad

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ever hopeful that something might drop…

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Happy Birthday Pamela!! (please excuse the weird face I am making)

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mi familia

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love

the end.

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
Omar Khayyam

 

saturday night dinner party

15 Jun

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On Saturday night Brian and I had my best girlfriend Taline and her 11 month old son Liam over for dinner. The last time we had Liam over he was a teeny tiny little babe. He didn’t do much other than look cute. Cut to now…he’s a super mobile (he gave Frank a run for his money), giggly & fun little guy. Having him at the dinner table like one of the adults cracked me up. When planning the menu for the evening I tried to accommodate everyone. I’m new at cooking for a baby thing- what can they eat at 11 months??? I settled on a pasta dish & a peach crisp for dessert ( I figured both could be modified for Liam to eat). Definitely not the healthiest of dinners (helllllo carbs!) but it’s all fun and games until your jeans don’t fit, right?

Of course Brian helped me put the meal together. I swear no matter what I do he will always be a better cook than me. It’s ok I guess…I think I might like baking better anyway. I’ll let him be the cook in the family and I’ll handle the desserts. I mean who doesn’t want to be in charge of the desserts, right? I’ve been wanting to make a crisp/crumble type thing for a while now. They always look so damn good to me when I scroll through pinterest. I’ve also been wanting to make something with peaches because nothing says summer to me like a dessert with peaches.

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I couldn’t help but laugh at the last picture. Dinner parties sure do look different in your thirties! In the best possible way too. As I looked around the table my heart-felt incredibly full.

Below you will find the two recipes…

spaghetti all’ amatriciana 

* ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces pancetta (thick cut), diced
1 small white onion, finely diced
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes*
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
3/4 ounce parmigiano-reggiano cheese, finely grated (plus more for serving)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb dried spaghetti pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

* directions

-Heat the olive oil in a large (straight-sided, preferably) skillet over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the fat has rendered into the pan and the pancetta is crispy and caramelized slightly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the crispy pancetta and place in a separate small bowl, leaving any fat behind in the pan.
-Over medium-low heat, add the diced onion and saute in the rendered fat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and continue to saute for an addition 2 to 3 minutes, being careful to avoid burning the garlic or onion. Deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water, if necessary, to remove any bits of crispy pancetta or bits from the bottom of the pan.
-Add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat for an addition 1 to 2 minutes, or until the paste has thickened slightly.
-Add the pancetta, and any extra rendered fat, back into the skillet, along with the crushed tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a low simmer, and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 15 to 20 minutes. The sauce should be relatively thick. Add the grated cheese to the sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place over low heat while you cook the pasta.
-Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water in a measuring cup, and then drain the pasta. Return the drained pasta back into the pot, toss with a tablespoon of unsalted butter, and add the sauce, thinning with pasta cooking water as necessary until the pasta is evenly coated. Serve pasta with extra grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese on the side.

pasta

peach crisp with gingersnap crumble topping 

* ingredients

Filling
6 cups sliced peaches (peeled and sliced into ½ inch pieces)
¾ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar (packed)
16 gingersnap cookies ((or 4 oz); crushed)
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup butter (melted)

* directions

-Pre heat oven to 375 F.
-Mix peaches, ¾ cup sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a 9 X 9 inch pan.
-In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugars, crushed gingersnaps, ginger, and melted butter. Spread evenly over peach filling.
-Bake for 40-50 minutes, until topping is golden and filling bubbles. You may need to cover with foil at around 30 minutes to prevent topping from overcooking.

peach crisp

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morning / evening routines

19 Mar

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At a recent session with my therapist we were discussing the importance of routines. Especially for people like me who crave order- I find that a sense of order really helps me thwart off anxiety. When listing the things I would like to incorporate into my daily “morning” routine, a 3 mile walk with Frankie was at the top of my list. There is nothing I love more than getting out into the fresh air with music in my ears and my pup by my side. It’s so important for my head space that I move my body first thing- it helps me feel positive, energized & present.

My therapist asked, “Why then, if you know this do you not make time for it every single morning?” 

I thought about it for a minute and then said, “Well, sometimes Frank doesn’t get up in time for me to fit in before I have to go to work.”

As I said it…I could hear how ridiculous I sounded.

“So you’re on your dogs schedule? Shouldn’t he be on yours?” she said rather amused.

Trying to appear less insane than I clearly am…I said, “Well, yeah…I guess I see your point. But he’s almost impossible to move when he’s sleeping.” while taking a sip of my latte

Warmly yet firmly she said, “You have to make yourself happy first, Kate. If you’re not doing that each day, you’re not doing anyone else any good either and it’s only going to get harder when you have children. You must put yourself first, then you can take care of everyone else.” 

As foreign as the concept sounded, I knew she was right. I was suddenly reminded of when the stewardess announces before take-off that in the event of an emergency, you must put your own oxygen mask on first  before helping those around you.

With that said I went home and began working on a morning and evening routine for myself. One that would make me want to pop out of bed in the morning and one that would make me feel peaceful in the evening. Below you can see what I came up with. Granted, I don’t adhere to it perfectly every single day (life is always in flux…especially as a freelancer) but overall I have been doing a pretty good job sticking to it and I can definitely feel the difference.

morning routine

6:00am_ wake (this was much easier to do before the time change. I might need to revise this to a later time…it’s impossible for me to get out of bed when it is still dark)

6:15am_ morning pages (I write three stream of conscious pages about anything and everything. Literally whatever comes into my mind), my morning prayer (you can see it below), my morning affirmations (you can see them below) & meditation (even if only for a minute although five minutes is my goal)

6:45_ coffee with Brian before he leaves for work

7:15_ three-mile walk with Frankie

8:30_ house sweep (things like make the bed, empty the dish washer…blah blah blah)

8:45_ shower & get ready

9:30_ out of the house to a client or at my desk to work

evening routine

6:00pm_ evening walk with Frankie

6:30pm_ make dinner/ watch the news

7-9:30pm_ eat dinner, hang with Bri & watch tv

9:30pm_ daily gratitude list & read

10:30pm_ sleep!

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my morning prayer – a slightly revised version of the St. Francis prayer 

Make me a channel of thy peace,

that where there is hatred, I may bring love;

that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;

that where there is error, I may bring truth;

that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;

that where there is despair, I may bring hope;

that where there are shadows, I may bring light; 

that where there is sadness, I may bring joy;

grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;

to understand, than to be understood;

to love, than to be loved.

for it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. 

my morning affirmations

“Every Cell in my body vibrates with energy and health”

 “I will accomplish my goals today”

 “I prosper wherever I turn and I know that I deserve prosperity of all kinds”

 “The more grateful I am, the more reasons I find to be grateful”

 “I express my needs and feelings”

 “I am my own unique self – special, creative and wonderful”

“My life is a joy filled with love, fun and friendship all I need do is stop all criticism, forgive, relax and be open.”

“I choose love, joy and freedom, open my heart and allow wonderful things to flow into my life.”

“I trust in the process of life”

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So there you have it! Do any of you guys have a morning or evening routine?? I would love to hear about them if you do!

project 30 – angela

13 Mar

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Angela, 36

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

Love yourself. Love yourself. Just the way you are. You are 110% perfect in the most beautifully imperfect way. No matter how perfect someone else’s life may seem to the outside world, we are all just a work in progress. Love yourself and trust your heart – no matter what!

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

Financial planning, savings, and investments. In my early/mid 20’s I was married supporting my husband in his career. In my later 20’s I was single and determined to discover myself, and my true path in life. Looking back I was just running towards or away from things. I trusted too much that everything would work itself out in the end. It usually does, but things could have worked themselves out more in my favor had I been more present in ‘the now’ while running towards my tomorrow.

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

I wish I had of embraced my inner-rebel a lot more in my 20’s, and teens even. I was very much “the good girl.” When push comes to shove I’ve always followed my heart, but in a lot of ways some of the choices I made in my 20’s were from fear of not being accepted or loved. I think that’s the greatest blessing of being a woman in your 30’s is that you start to care less and less about what other people think. At least it’s been true for me. I wish I had of cared less about what people thought of me and made more mistakes. Not the stupid and reckless kind of mistakes (like drugs & sex) but more of the academic, fitness, entrepreneurship, and everything investing in me kind of mistakes. I would have rather failed big then than the now of looking back and having not tried from fear of what other people thought of me. I wish I had of risked failing at some things on a bigger scale.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

A lot of people don’t know this about me, but in my early/mid 20’s I was married and a mom. I’m a different woman now with different goals, and am totally happy with my life in a different kind of way. In my 20’s though I was really happy in the role of mom. Even today, thinking about moments, it makes me smile and my eyes fill up with tears (the heart warming kind). The best moments in my 20’s all include my favorite little blonde haired blue-eyed boy; word games in the grocery store, playing in the mud, sock ball fights, hide-n-seek, or snuggling on the couch to watch cartoons. Even to this day I haven’t forgotten the smell of his hair and I can still hear the sweetest words [I believe] anyone can ever hear, “Mommy, I love you.”

I’ve changed so much since then. So many things have happened, but without a doubt being a mom was the best part of my 20’s.

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

In my early and mid 20’s I was supporting the career of my husband. I honestly thought I would be married in my 30’s (naturally) and where I lived wasn’t something that crossed my mind too much because then I felt that my home was with my family, no matter where we lived. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial heart, so even in my early 20’s I was still very passionate about building a successful business. I saw myself in my 30’s running a start-up or agency of sorts. Looking back though, I can see now that I needed to go through some major life changes and experiences before I could really know who I was or what gifts and talents I had to share.

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

At 30 I was living in Los Angeles, CA (and that is where we met :-). I spent my late 20’s and the beginning of my 30’s doing a lot of healing in L.A. I was really blessed to have met three phenomenal people there and they played a huge role in me becoming who I am today. In my 30’s I had the opportunity to spend moments around a lot of really successful and inspiring people. This and working with one of the most sought after personal development coaches took my belief system of what life had to offer to an entirely new level. My perspective, my bubble of what the world looked like burst open in my 30’s and I started to really believe in myself for the first time. As I’m saying this, it sounds like something dramatically life changing happened then, but it was the opposite. I worked all the time. I was quiet a lot. I asked questions. I listened. I paid attention. I believe there are times in life when you need to be in the spotlight (to share your gifts) and then there are times when you need to be behind-the-scenes (to learn lessons). Those were my behind-the-scenes years and I didn’t waist a single moment. It was all a learning experience and I’ll forever feel indebted to the universe for those opportunities.

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

(Laughing) I’m still a little worried. Well, in some ways. I didn’t figure out whole-heartedly what I wanted to do with my life until around 33. I’m 36 now. I had a lot of life obstacles in my 20’s that were unexpected and very challenging especially considering my age. In some ways they set me back externally, but they pushed me forward internally. I hope that makes sense. I’m still a work in progress though even in my 30’s, and I love it! 

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

I think the whole package of knowing who you are, knowing what you want, and feeling more comfortable in your own skin makes everything about life more enjoyable in your 30’s.

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

2013 and 2014 I spent building the foundation on a few of my projects and spending a lot of time going through the motions of everyday life. 2015 I want to begin living my life on purpose again. I want to travel more, write more, and experience more. I want to have more compassion, empathy and understanding for myself and in my relationships. I want to take things to the next level in those regards. I want to work on being in the now, to create and carry a more whole and balanced ‘me’ into my 40’s (which is just three and a half years a way… yikes!!).

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

My mom use to say, “This too shall pass.”

When I was little and a teenager I thought that this saying only applied to the tough moments in life; like when I would scrape a knee or when a boy had broken my heart.

In my mid 20’s I realized it meant something very different (at least to me the meaning dramatically changed).

During that time my mom had been diagnosed terminally ill with cancer, given 4-6 months to live, and was spending the last months of her life with us (me – her only daughter, son-in-law, and grandson).

It was in those months I began to realize how precious a moment was.

Excruciating at times to watch my mom experience so much pain and loose herself to tumors, every last moment was still a blessing. It was a blessing because it was one more moment I got to spend with her.

Our time on earth isn’t guaranteed. It doesn’t belong to us. We don’t own it. Every moment is a gift and we are just the managers of the time we’re given.

I think of, “this too shall pass,” constantly. It helped me get through that time of my life, be more present, and stay grateful.

It’s not about being positive all of the time and ignoring the pain in a situation, but instead knowing that no matter what happens I’m the manager of this moment, of how I want to look at the situation in front of me, whatever actions I take next, and the memories I’m creating. Because… “This too shall pass.”

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connect with Angela

facebook / google plus / twitter / be the news / naked honest

I can’t stop thinking about this…

4 Nov

 

 

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I was saddened to hear the news of Brittany Maynard’s passing over the weekend. In case you haven’t heard about her story, she is the woman who recently become the face of the death with dignity movement after being diagnosed with a glioblastoma, an aggressive form of terminal brain cancer. Her story really struck a chord with me, not only because we were close in age and both newlyweds but also because two people in my family who I loved very much passed away from the same form of brain cancer and let me tell you, it is a horrible way to die.

While I know that the ‘death with dignity’ act, which advocates that terminally ill patients be allowed to receive medication that will let them die on their own terms is controversial and not the kind of topic I normally discuss on my blog, I still felt compelled to share about it. I feel strongly that people have the right to make this decision for themselves when faced with such a bleak sentence. I don’t think of it as suicide. I think Brittany summed it up perfectly…”They try to mix it up with suicide and that’s really unfair, because there’s not a single part of me that wants to die. But I am dying.”

I can’t even imagine having to make that choice but I also can’t imagine spending my last few months on earth withering away in pain. I think her choice was incredibly brave. After following her story this past month I of course knew how it would end but I was still upset when I found out that she had passed and was surprised to find myself crying. It felt funny to cry about the loss of someone I’ve never even met. But something about her story cracked my heart wide open. It reminded me how fragile life is. I was overcome with gratitude that I got another day. Another day to laugh. Another day to cry. Another day to experience it all, to have my heart cracked wide open all over again.

This was the statement that she released shortly before her passing…

“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more,” she wrote on Facebook. “The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”

I loved the last two lines…spread good energy. Pay it forward 

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Did you guys follow along with this story the past month? Would love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

Ho Chi Minh – day 3

4 Aug

After eating breakfast at the hotel we headed back into the sweltering heat to explore. First up, a very sobering morning at the War Remnants Museum. So sobering in fact, I didn’t even make it through parts of it due to the graphic nature of some of the photographs. You forget how truly devastating the Vietnam War was. The morning left me in tears. Don’t worry this post gets less depressing.

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 After the museum we decided it was time to try the southern Vietnamese pho. As I mentioned in a previous post there is a bit of a debate as to whether the northern or southern pho is tastier. After polishing off a big bowl of southern pho, I came to the conclusion that it was the winner. I found it lighter and more fragrant. There were also more options with the vegetables you could put in, including basil (although basil is a herb isn’t it? but you get the point), which added such a nice kick. For Brian the pho debate was more of a tie…noting that he liked the meat better in the northern pho. So there you have it folks!

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After filling our bellies (thank God we were walking as much as we were otherwise I am convinced I would have gained 20 pounds on this trip) we headed to “antique street” to look for…you guessed it, antiques! Brian and I love to come home with treasures from our travels- my favorites include…a bright blue woven hammock from Nicaragua, a plush orange blanket handmade in the mountains of Nepal and the colorful bells from Nepal that hang around water buffalos necks on the trekking trails to warn you that they are coming. I make Brian wear them around the house sometimes. HA.

That day I was on the hunt for a small elephant statue with his trunk in the air, which supposedly brings good luck. Brian was much more open to what his treasure would be. We strolled from tiny hot store to tiny hot store.

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After hitting the whole block we circled back to our favorite one to do some bargaining- something Brian excels at and I fail miserably at. You can pretty much sell me anything. On the table…one elephant with his trunk in the air, one buddha head and two opium pipes (to be used as table art and not for smoking said opium). I let Brian do the talking while I continued to explore the shop. I can’t even watch people bargain with out getting uncomfortable. Finally I heard Brian say, “Do you take American Express?” and I knew we had a deal. We were now the proud owners of an elephant, a buddha head and two opium pipes. Winning! Clearly our antique street success called for Bintang beers so we decided to head back to Tiny’s in the backpacker district.

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After a few Bingtangs we headed back to our hotel for the routine three-hour afternoon break in our air-conditioned room, but not without a stop at the famous pastry shop, Tous Les Jours. Yes, this trip to Vietnam was becoming quite indulgent. Because of the French invasion in Vietnam many French influences can still be felt and I quickly learned I had a favorite…the baked goods!

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After picking out a few (I blame Brian) we walked back to the hotel where we then proceeded to eat pastries in bed while sipping on iced Vietnamese coffees.

After our siesta, we went out for Greek food followed by after dinner drinks at Casbah. Casbah had a completely different energy than the previous evening. The place really livened up as the evening wore on. It was packed with people and there were even belly dancers! The place was jumping. Luckily we found a quiet spot outside and away from the chaos. After imbibing in a few too many beverages, Brian and I decided it was the perfect time to face-time with Frank (yes, you read that correctly), via my sweet mama who was staying at our house to watch him. We both did the math and concluded it was 10am in LA, so we dialed and eagerly watched the phone as it rang. Suddenly my moms sleepy face appeared on my screen and she confusedly said  “Kate??? Hi honey. I can see you? I can see Brian? Why are you guys calling me at six in the morning?” Two thoughts crossed my mind at this point…shit we woke her up!….and….I can’t believe she’s never face timed before? It was then she shrieked “Does that mean you can see me?!! OMG I’M NAKED!!!”. At that point the screen went black and all I could hear was yelling. Poor thing! Not only was she rudely awakened at six am but now she was convinced her son-in-law just saw her naked. I was laughing so hard I was literally crying. Moments later she reappeared in a robe and just as I was about to reassure her that we couldn’t see anything the volume of the music went from 0-100 and a belly dancer appeared in front of our table. Clearly, it was our turn for the show. I tried to yell over the music but she couldn’t hear me and there was only one thing to do…wave and hang up. She must have thought we were insane.

After the required belly dancing show we strolled back to our hotel laughing about the evening. My heart and my belly feeling very full that night…day three in Ho Chi Minh was a good to us.

project 30 – erin

31 Jul

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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

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