Tag Archives: The Usual Bliss


23 Sep

things that have been making me happy recently…


photo Nick Radford

things that have been making me happy recently..

meeting with our photographer at our wedding venue. I love his energy and his photos melt me

the hint of fall weather in the air. hello scarves, boots, cozy nights in and pumpkin latte’s

receiving the most thoughtful and beautiful wedding gift from one of my favorite bloggers. We’ve never even met in person but I swear I feel like I know her and I most definitely call her a friend. Is this not the cutest ring holder ever?


solo lunch dates

my little family of three

all my favorite tv shows are coming back this week

yoga dates with Katie

getting rsvp’s like this in the mail


watching my momma try on dresses for my wedding

fabulous wedding presents at our door each day

watching a sweet interaction between a father and his baby girl. heart melted

dinner club with some of my favorite couples.

getting to be part of the Abbott Kinney festival next weekend. COME play with us!



project 30 – Amber

5 Mar

I have never actually met Amber but I swear I feel like we’ve been friends for years. The blog world can be funny that way! She writes a fabulous blog, The Usual Bliss, and we’ve become “friends” over the last year- reading and commenting on each others blogs. When writing a list of woman to interview for Project 30, Amber immediately came to mind. She’s such an honest, joyful and smart soul. Enjoy!

sweet amberAmber, 38

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

Slow down. Say yes often. Start a workout habit. Trust your gut. There’s no rush. Find balance. Invest time in bettering yourself. Your mother is usually right. Send your Grandmother more pictures. And it’s true what they say about boys who love their mothers.

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

College- I wish I would have understood my true passions earlier so I could learn about what interests me. Also, money management. That pocketful of tips from working a double shift rarely landed in the bank.

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

Boys who didn’t deserve the amount of attention I gave them.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I have awesome memories about that period in my life. The first time I went to a bar with my folks to hear live music. Realizing the power a woman actually has in the world. Dancing on a table at my graduation party with my Dad. My best friend’s wedding. So much fun that comes with those first few years of independence- your own timeline, choices, friends, road trips. There’s a sense of being invincible in your 20s that fades as you grow older (and wiser). It’s hard to pick just one memory. I think the best thing I did in my 20s was live alone for awhile. Everyone should do it at some point in their lives- I learned so much about who I am. Those years in my little dwellings that reflected nothing but ME are some of my very favorite times in life.

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

By 30, I’d absolutely be married with a couple of kids running around. I’d be a teacher or a writer. I had fallen in love with Durango by then but always envisioned living near the ocean.

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

I was married to my first husband, slowly renovating a fixer-upper in Salt Lake City with a German Shepherd and an awesome group of friends. I was working my way up the corporate ladder in Marketing and deciding it was time to start a family. I was naively happy and optimistic but not caring properly for my own well-being.

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

Truth? I still sometimes worry that life hasn’t shaken out the way I thought it was going to. But there were days when I tortured myself trying to pinpoint the moment when I made that wrong turn that led me away from what I envisioned for myself. Now I know that those “wrong turns” are vital to the path my life has taken. It might not be what I imagined, but it’s better.

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

A sense of self. Women in their 30s know who they are more than they in their 20s. They’ve learned to value and respect themselves more, and have a clearer vision of what they want in life and are better able to figure out how to get it.

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

It’s not a distant horizon at this point! My life now is so very different than it was at 30. I hope the ups and downs continue the way they have, because I’m stronger for it and life is sweeter and more appreciated. I want the same basic things I did at 20: a loving partner, a solid, welcoming home, quality time with my family and friends, and rug-rats. It’s SO time for rug-rats.

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

I have a few favorite sayings that reflect my feeling that regardless of circumstance, happiness is a choice. Perspective and attitude make all the difference.

Wag more- bark less.

“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it, and it smiles back at you.” Peace Pilgrim

“Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.” William James

 “If you want to be happy, BE.” Leo Tolstoy

Guest post by the usual bliss

13 Jul
Hey, guys! I’m Amber from the usual bliss, and I’m so honored to be lovely Kate’s final guest blogger this week. When she asked if I’d be up for it, I thought, “Yahoo!”  What fun to “play house” on one of my very favorite blogs! It’s kind of like being little and unexpectedly getting to go to a friend’s house to play after school- and the friend has way cooler toys.

While thinking about Kate’s much-deserved hiatus from 365 til 30, I kept coming back to the idea of ESCAPE. What’s your escape from reality? Some people dive into a great novel, a steaming cup of tea on the side table. There are those who immerse themselves into hobbies that bring them joy, like cooking or crafts. Here in Park City, many people recharge by hitting the trails, on foot or bike. My husband-to-be can lose himself for hours in his music room, creating riff after riff on his guitars. He also keeps his sanity with steep ski lines on our frequent powder days, coming home energized and satisfied. Everyone has their thing that brings them back to center.
My idea of a dreamy escape has always been the beach.  Growing up in Southern California, I spent a lot of time in the sand. But I’m not talking about those beaches (though many are quite beautiful). I’m talking about the tropical, poster-perfect beach. We all know the scene: sunlight twinkling off of teal-blue water, gently lapping against fine, white sand. A slender palm tree arcs gently over the ocean, and there’s not a soul in sight. The calm beckons you.  A rum cocktail feels mandatory.
I’ll admit that I daydream about beach perfection a lot more often in winter. That’s probably because winter where I live looks like this:
Whether the snow is deep or it’s the height of summer, I often wish I could pull an “I Dream of Jeannie” and just cross my arms, nod my pony-tailed head, and open my eyes to a breezy tropical coastline. I’ve been lucky enough to have spent some time in recent years on a few incredible beaches. With one glance at these photos, I’m no longer sitting at my desk at 6,500 feet above sea level, landlocked in the mountains. If I just close my eyes, suddenly I’m bikini-clad with sand in between my toes.
I can hear the waves breaking on the sand- sometimes softly, sometimes with a rumble. I’m rubbing in the last of the sunscreen, remembering to get the tops of my feet. A few seagulls coast overhead, lower than I’d like, scouring my towel for an unfinished snack to poach. A drop of condensation slides down my Tecate into the sand before I pick it up and take a sip, feeling it cool me from the inside.
It’s the perfect temperature- not too hot and with a light breeze blowing my hair around. I glance at my book, open and page-side down on my towel, and decide to enjoy the scenery instead. I lay back on my elbows, looking out over my sandy toes at the waves tumbling in. The ocean is vast. The sky goes on forever.
It’s warmer down closer to the sand, and I feel my body heating up. I take another sip of cold beer and count my freckles, letting myself get warmer… warmer… too warm. I peel off my sunglasses and leave them on my towel. My steps toward the water are quick- the sand is hot! Before I even feel the relief of the chilly water on the soles of my feet, I’m thigh-deep in the breaking waves. I turn my back as a wave hits, splashing water over me. I dive in toward the horizon, surprised by the chill. A few kicks and paddles and I’m past the short break, feeling the energy of the ocean. Feeling alive. I turn onto my back and undulate with the sea, staring at the scattered fluffy clouds far above me.
I paddle back toward shore, allowing the waves to nudge me along. As I emerge, dripping like a sea creature, I squeeze some ocean out of my hair. The breeze that was pleasant earlier feels chilly now, blowing across my wet skin. I dive for my warm towel, all toasty from the sun, and wait for the heat to soak into me. Soon, my muscles relax and my heart rate slows to normal. I close my eyes again, listening to the lullaby of the waves, and feel myself drifting into my second-favorite escape: a dream-filled nap.
Whether you can go there in person or need to fire up the old imagination, find your version of escape. Whatever you do to unplug, do it today.
It’s Friday, after all.