Tag Archives: Surprises

hitting the road…

5 Jun

 

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Brian and I are hitting the road this morning en route for one of my favorite places…Sedona, AZ. We go to Sedona at least twice a year (Brian’s parents have a house there) but this will be a weekend of firsts for us…we are staying there a little longer than we usually do (a weekend always seems to go by too quick), driving instead of flying (we decided that we were both in need of a little adventure) and going alone (we usually bring a group of friends with us but this time around we wanted a mellow trip). I’m looking forward to doing a whole lotta nothing for five days.

Below is my Friday happy list- making a list of the little things that bring me joy each week helps me stay present.

20 things that have been making me happy recently…

pink peonies

watching Bloodline on Netflix

my new laptop- it’s love

planning out our summer calendar (so many weddings!)

wandering the streets of Venice on my morning walks with Frankie

lunches with Crystal

lazy Sundays at home with my family and a stack of magazines

the little dragon pandora station

haagen dazs vanilla ice cream

sipping coffee in bed with a view of our blooming garden

saging our home (more on that next week)

beach weather, pool weather & bikini weather is on the horizon

we’re going to Sedona for five days!

this quote…

ego says: once everything falls into place, I will find peace

spirit says: find peace and everything will fall into place 

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What’s been making you guys happy recently?

 

project 30 – erin

5 Feb

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Erin, 33  / Erin Joy Henry 

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

You are good enough. You are not your career, your bank account, your weight or your ex-boyfriends. Light up the room when you walk in, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I forgive you for being so hard on yourself. Start a self-care regimen, practice yoga and kindness and surround yourself with positive people. If there is too much drama in your life, take responsibility, and ask yourself how you are contributing to it and what you can do to change it. Save ten percent of every paycheck. Build strong friendships with other women, and lift each other up. Soul search until your heart is content.

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

The luxury of time. I lived by myself and had a flexible schedule. I ask myself now, what was I doing with all of that time? I could have gotten so many more things done! I could have taken so many naps! Now that I have a baby, time is so precious, but so is he.

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

The opinions of people who didn’t have my best interest in mind. Those people naturally fade from our peripheral vision anyway. Why would I have cared what they thought?

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Heading off to India with less than two weeks notice with my friend, Signe, and a group of meditators, to stay for two weeks at an ashram at the foothills of the Himalayas. It was a life changing experience, and I went back by myself the next year. If you are ever called to India( or anywhere) find a way to go. It will never be convenient or the right time, but these are the memories that shape the rest of our lives, and these deep pulls on our heartstrings to visit places are never an accident.

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

Good question! I was never someone who planned out my life like that. I never had the wedding planned, the career completely sorted or even the place I would be living, though Southern California was always in the back of my mind. I thought I would be on to another career beyond modeling, which is what I had done since the age of 15, and maybe settled down a little, but 30 seemed SO far away!

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

I turned 30 while living as a single person in New York City. I had a great career as a model, a cute little apartment, I was writing for small publication and forming some life changing female friendships I am so grateful for 30 still seemed very young. I dated often, though nobody was promising as far as something long-term was concerned. I was happy, but knew I was coming to the end of a chapter. I started longing for more space, clean air and some trees. I also was ready for a real relationship, as I had been single for several years. I started planting the seeds to move to California, though I had no good reason! I just knew that’s where I was supposed to be. I finally made it happen about six months later and went back to school at the same time. I had no idea what I was doing leaving my career in New York, but I had faith it would work out. I walked into the classroom and spotted my now partner of three years, Alex, who is also the father of my fifteen month old son. It was pretty much love at first sight. Things got very stressful for a while, moving my life across the country, but it was obviously the best decision, and I”m so glad I listened to that voice again.

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

Are you kidding? YES! I was always a person that worried even when things were great, that the other shoe was going to drop and I needed to be prepared for the rainy day. I was a big worrier! It wasn’t until I learned how to meditate, and breathe my way through whatever feeling I was in, that it got better. The thing is, there will always be ups and downs, that’s just the way life is. I learned for me, if I can just stay as present as I can in any moment, I will get through whatever life throws my way. I’ve gotten this far, so why wouldn’t I? Knowing this, I can put more of my energy into the positive things in my life, and be grateful, especially when things are good, rather than taking up space in my mind worrying what may go wrong. It’s still something I work at. Just after my son was born, I worried I would never work again, and another career would never fall into place for me. That was such crazy thinking. I tried my best to be present as a new mom, and enjoy the time I was lucky enough to have to stay home. Months went by, but slowly my old modeling clients started calling again, and the nutrition business I have been working on for years finally came to fruition. I still can’t believe I worried things wouldn’t fall into place. There’s a saying I love- “spirit meets us at our point of action,” meaning, keep plugging along and doing the work, and things will align, but maybe not how or when we thought they would.

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

The things that once seemed so hard, are easier. That comes with self-confidence and self-love, that at least I didn’t have so much of in my 20’s. I think in our 30’s we have a much clearer idea of who we are and what we want in life, so the path to get there isn’t so rocky.

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

I hope I have a healthy family. I would like to have more children and some dogs, and live in a beautiful place with clean air and a big yard. It will probably be more North of Los Angeles, but I”m not sure where that is yet. I hope to continue working with people on their health goals, working in a career I love. I hope to have really good friends, and be close with my family and my partner Alex. I hope to travel often, and introduce my children to other cultures. I I hope to have financial freedom. I hope I”m still learning, reading books I never though I”d get to, and practicing yoga I never believed I could do. I hope I”m a role model, and that I worry less, and make others feel good about themselves. It’s only seven years away, but forty still seems like an eternity away!

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

I am not religious, and if you aren’t either, you can replace the word God with Universe, Spirit or whatever fits for you, but I love this one.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson

connect with Erin – blog / twitter / instagram / facebook / pinterest 

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

 

project 30 – gillian

15 Jan

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Gillian, 32

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

There is magic in the seemingly mundane, everyday stuff. All you have to do is look for it. Stop thinking about your life, and start living it. Show up. Be where you are. Keep an open mind, and look for the good in yourself and others. Let each situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be .The answers to your questions are far less complicated than you think.

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

Cultivating self-love and self-respect. Looking inward instead of outside myself for validation and praise.

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

What others thought about me. Or rather, what I thought others thought about me.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

The first memory that comes to mind is the afternoon my younger brother, Jake, told me and my two other younger brothers, Luke and Henry, that he was going to propose to his long time girlfriend, Vanessa. It was a gorgeous day, and we were sitting in the grass outside of LACMA. I remember feeling so happy that Jake had found such a wonderful woman to share his life with, excited to finally have a sister on the way, inspired by how much Jake and Vanessa loved and respected each other, and grateful for the special bond I share with my brothers. Their joy is my joy.

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

I thought I would be living in either Boston or New York building my practice as a Psychologist or Social Worker, after having earned a graduate degree in either field.

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

Well, it looked nothing like I’d thought it would. Thirty was actually a pretty tough year. I was working as a pilates instructor and taking classes to finish up earning my BA in Psychology so I could apply to grad school. I felt pretty uninspired during this time. I wasn’t living a life I loved, but I also didn’t know what changes to make or how to make them. I didn’t know it at the time, but acknowledging that changes needed to be made was the first step that set the wheels of change in motion.

I lived in a pretty uncomfortable state of “not-knowing” for a few months until one day in February of 2014 I agreed to help out on a low-bugdet short film that a family friend was directing. The director, Greg LaVoi, was (and is) a very talented and successful Costume Designer, who was spreading his wings and directing a film for the first time. A month later, Greg hired me as a costume assistant on a pilot he was designing. I fell in love with the work almost immediately and Greg became and still is a true mentor. Over the past year, I have worked as a costume assistant on 2 short films, a feature film, a commercial, styled four photoshoots featuring local designers, and I have been the head wardrobe stylist on 2 music videos. It’s been a truly amazing year and I’m so grateful for it.

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

I was more worried about getting in my own way, staying stuck. I found that once I opened myself up to having a new experience, opportunities started to present themselves. Once I realized that I wanted to be a wardrobe stylist, I promised myself that I would say yes to every job no matter how small or how daunting.

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

For me, the greatest gift has been the shift in my perspective. These days, I’m much more focused on being a positive presence in my relationships and in my work. I want to contribute, and I’m willing to make mistakes. First and foremost, I want to continue to learn and grow.

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

I hope to be in a healthy, loving relationship, have a successful career as a wardrobe stylist, and maybe a couple kiddos.

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

It’s as true today as it ever was, he who seeks beauty will find it”– Bill Cunningham

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Connect with the lovely Gillian / website / instagram @gillianfield

NYE – Sedona

6 Jan
totally blocking the epic view.

totally blocking the epic view.

It’s been awhile since the idea of hitting the town on New Years Eve sounded appealing to me. It really never ends well- too much pressure! I much prefer quiet dinners and champagne at home with friends. So when Brian’s parents invited us to tag along with them and a friend of theirs to ring in the New Year at their house in Sedona, I jumped at the invitation. I have a big crush on Sedona (as well as his parents and their friend Lynn).

Sedona is an incredibly magical place. Maybe it’s the majestic red rock canyons as far as the eye can see but the energy there can be felt. Considering the last year has been a rather difficult one, I couldn’t think of a better place to say goodbye to 2014….and hello to 2015!

I have been to Sedona many times before but as many times as I have been, I’ve never been there during the winter months. Usually when I go I can be found lounging by the pool in a bathing suit. So when we booked the trip I excitedly asked Brian if there would be snow (us California girls don’t get to see snow that often, you know)! Brian informed me that it was possible but not likely. Snow in Sedona isn’t a normal occurrence. He said he had been there once before when it snowed and it was only a measly foot or so and burned off quickly the next day.

So it’s possible, I thought!

With this news I spent the next two months praying that it would snow during our three night stay there. If I were a mathematician I would have known that the odds were not stacked in my favor. Luckily, I am not. So I kept envisioning myself cuddled up on the couch, with the fireplace crackling, sipping a glass of wine while planning out my 2015 goals…with snow on the ground.

I had a vision people.

Well, somebody heard my prayers (clearly, I have decided this is a good omen for 2015) because it snowed. And I’m not talking a light dusting of snow…I’m talking over a foot of thick powdery snow that did not burn off the next day. It snowed all day on the 31st, from the moment we woke to the moment we went to bed. It snowed so much in fact, that the 5 mile road from the house down to the town was closed, making our fancy dinner plans out a thing of the past.

The next two days were spent playing in the snow, sleeping, eating, reading, drinking, playing cards/dominos, watching TV and dancing (sadly, the dancing was me and me alone…even sadder that it was to Taylor Swifts “shake it off”…I blame cabin fever…ok and maybe the wine.)

It was kinda the best New Years ever.

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thanks Brian

thanks Brian

what Sedona looked like when we first arrived

what Sedona looked like when we first arrived

don't mind if I do

don’t mind if I do

there's really nothing like a husband in the kitchen

there’s really nothing like a husband in the kitchen

we woke up on the 31st to snow!

we woke up on the 31st to snow!

love

love

happy boy

happy boy

happy girl

happy girl

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don't mind if I do

don’t mind if I do

engrossed in his book

engrossed in his book

seriously?

seriously?

15

serious game of dominos

 

YUM

YUM

peaceful

peaceful

just had to do it

just had to do it

always shooting pictures

always shooting pictures

winter wonderland

winter wonderland

totally worth the hike

totally worth the hike

totally blocking the epic view.

totally blocking the epic view.

blue skies again

blue skies again

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To see some beyond gorgeous photos (as well as an amazing time lapse) that Brian took during our stay…visit his new photography journal!

project 30 – carlynn

9 Oct

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Carlynn, 33 / from the fabulous blog jjbegonia

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

That everything is going to work out for the best, even if it feels like just the opposite sometimes. Keep the faith. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. The heart breaks will heal and give way to new loves, opportunities, and layers of you that never would have been revealed without them. Believe in yourself and the value you bring to this world. You are going to make a lot of mistakes, but you will learn from them, and they will help guide you to where you need to be. Practice gratitude. Be thankful when things have not turned out as planned, because there are so many better, brighter things in store. Tell people you love them, even if you know they might not say it back. And always be nice – to your friends, family, strangers, and most of all to yourself. You deserve to have everything you want in this life.

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

I wish I had taken my passions more seriously. I have always loved to “create” through cooking, decorating, photographing, styling, and writing, but it took me a long time to nurture those things. I always saw myself as weird because my interests were so different from most of my friends’ when we were in our early 20s especially, but I wish I could have reframed that or seen it as special, instead.

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

Work! Not that you should ever blow off your job, but I treated every one I had as the end-all-be-all and felt burnt out very early on. I missed important events, and time spent with the people I love, in the name of getting things done, which is ridiculous.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

There are too many memories to choose from, but they all involve travel in some way. A trip to Jordan with one of my best friends that forced me to see so far outside of myself. A cooking class I took in Italy with another BFF, where we ate everything in sight, wandered through cobblestone streets, and shared drinks with dreamy Italian men. A school program in Switzerland that introduced me to the person I think of as my “soul sister” because I have never laughed so hard with or felt so connected to a person as I did/do to her. A camping excursion to Joshua Tree that stands out as being beautiful (I loved looking at the stars!) and funny, and strange in the best way possible. A last-minute weekend in Maine with my Mom and sister that was filled with bike rides, lobster, shopping, and Scrabble games. I could go on and on… !

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

I thought I would be married with children, and living in New York City, working at a magazine. At one point, I think I had said I wanted to be a Sportscaster and live in Paris, too. I mean…that first part makes no sense to me even now – especially since my sports knowledge is pretty limited – but Paris might still be nice!

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

Oh gosh, nothing at all like that! I was a mess! I was living in Santa Monica, working a job that was draining me, and feeling very alone. 30 was a hard year for me but I look back on it now, and I am really proud of the person I was then too because that was the point at which I decided I would never live like that again, and that I had to make some changes.

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

All of the time!

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

The greatest gift is in feeling as if I am the most “me” I have ever been. I have such a better understanding of what makes me happy and what I want and need, than I ever had in my 20s. I also feel so much more secure in showing that me to the world.

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

I hope that life is not too different from it is now. I want to “create” forever, in whatever form that takes. My sister and I always reference my “Big. White. Kitchen.” dream. I hope to have a home with a nice place to gather, that my {eventual} husband and I can fill with children, family and friends – and good food. That really is the ultimate for me.

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

“Trust the timing of your life”.

This is huge for me because I have zero patience. I want what I want when I want it : ) I have learned though that everything reveals itself at exactly the right time, and that the best thing you can do in any given moment is enjoy what you have in front of you.

XOXO

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connect with carlynn : blog / instagram / facebook / pinterest 

inspiration, gratitude & surprises

26 Sep

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I have been a tad absent on the blog recently. I had big plans for the content I wanted to put up (seriously, I had the calendar all planned out) but instead daily life kept getting in the way and I had a hard time sitting down at my computer for a solid block of time. Luckily, I had a bunch of fabulous project 30 interviews lined up- did you read them? They were all fabulous! (Chelsea, Katie, Tobi & Amy Nicole).

The past few days have been full…we had friends staying with us, my momma’s birthday & Rosh Hashanah. In addition I have been under the weather the last two days. It’s just your run of the mill sore throat, headache & body aches but it’s knocked me on my ass. I just want to sleep all day. Sadly, Frank thinks sleeping all day is stupid. He’d much rather torture me with his tennis ball. Seriously, what do people do when they are sick and have small kids at home??? If a puppy is driving me nuts I can’t imagine a baby.

I’m planning on taking it pretty easy this weekend. The only thing I have on the books is a date with my little sister Briana. We are going to Aquarium Of The Pacific! I’m not sure who is more excited about this outing!

What inspired me this week?

30 things to start doing for yourself 

All the beautiful and moving essays that have been posted on the Manifest-Station recently

This quote…”The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.“- Fabienne Fredrickson

What am I grateful for this week?

Long visits with Taline and baby Liam

A beautiful Rosh Hashanah dinner with family. It was such a warm evening filled with love and laughter…Shana Tova!!

Lunch with my brother and my momma to celebrate her birthday at a restaurant on the sand

My family for offering to take Frankie out on dates these last two days to give me a break while sick in bed

A margarita date with my friend Jen Pastiloff 

It’s officially fall…bring out the pumpkins and pumpkin candles!

My dear friend Ali had a healthy & beautiful baby boy

My husband…always my husband

What surprised me this week?

My experience at the DMV…story coming Monday!

Lastly, have you seen this video yet? I’m obsessed