Tag Archives: turning 30

project 30- alicia

22 Mar

AB 1

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

Holding-Flowers-by-Luisa-Brimble

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

my morning with a shaman

2 Feb

shaman

I was in the mood for something recently. By something I was thinking maybe a physic reading. I was not thinking…a session with a shaman. I’m not even sure what I was seeking at the time but I was feeling open to some guidance. The past year has been filled with so many transitions- it feels like my soul has been on a wild ride and with motherhood around the corner I don’t see the ride coming to an end anytime soon. I’ve been feeling so much energy surging through my body- negative energy that I’ve been trying to shed and positive energy that I’ve been trying to embrace. It was making me feel scattered.

I was in the process of compiling a list of physic referrals (yes, this is possible when you live in Los Angeles) when one friend instead recommended a shaman. A shaman? Now that’s one I have never been to before, I thought. My interest was immediately peaked. I asked her what she got from her session and she could only describe it as…a clearer vision. She said it was hard to put the experience into words. Even with little to go on something about it seemed…right. So I took the shaman’s contact information. It actually took me a few months to reach out to her. I think I was a bit intimidated by the word “shaman”. What little I did know about them, I’ve learned from the movies. Did you ever see the Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts movie, “While We’re Young”? There’s a hysterical scene in which they attend a ayahuasca ceremony in a shaman’s home. Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic brew from the Amazon that people drink in the hopes it will bring them personal insights through optic and auditory hallucinations. While that does sound like it could be quite an interesting experience, that is most definitely not what I am currently seeking. Can you understand my hesitation now?

In search of more information I googled…”what is a shaman”?…good ol’ wikipedia had this for me…

A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.

Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment.

Feeling safer with this new information I decided to reach out to the shaman. I was surprised to find myself  on the phone with a woman named Samantha. Don’t lie…you were expecting some elaborate “shaman name” like Angakok or Sheripiari too, right? We had a great conversation and I loved her energy over the phone so I decided to move forward with booking a session. Before hanging up she said to keep a lookout for an email that would have notes on how to prepare for our session. A few hours later I received these…

1) What help or healing do you want in your life at this time? Tell me briefly what is most important when we meet. When we meet be prepared to share a brief spoken life review of main facts and key events – no more than 15-20 minutes.
2) Please no alcohol or recreational drugs for at least 24 hrs. before/after our session, preferably more. Prescription meds or supplements are fine, but please advise if you take meds such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety or anti-psychotics. For balanced blood sugar, please eat before session.
3) Several nights before meeting, ask for help or healing information in your dreams re: our work together. If anything comes, make note of it and tell me. Sometimes other recent dreams may be helpful.
4) Bring a small gift to thank the spirits.

The perfectionist in me immediately focused on “bring a small gift to thank the spirits” and felt anxiety. What the hell do I bring a spirit as a gift? I have a hard enough time finding a gift for Brian for Christmas. If the spirits don’t like my gift will they send me bad mojo? What stores do spirits like to shop? Do I wrap this small gift? After days of intense thought about what to get the spirits I settled on a tiny gold elephant with its trunk in the air (a sign of prosperity). I still don’t know if it was well received by the spirits and yes I still wonder.

The morning of my session I made sure to follow directions and eat breakfast (although, at six months pregnant I’ll admit I don’t skip many meals) and packed my bag with my life review notes and my gift for the spirits. Our session was held in a yurt nestled in the Topanga Canyon mountains. For those of you who have never been to Topanga Canyon, it really is a world unto itself. You don’t even feel like you are in Los Angeles and I think the people who live there like it that way. I asked Samantha how often she makes it down the mountain and she answered, “As little as possible”. The yurt was adorned with ethnic rugs, bright artwork & a table full of crystals and feathers. It felt so magical in there- I wanted to spend an afternoon reading or writing in it. I went into the session with an open mind. I decided to be fearlessly honest about my “stuff”. Luckily, she is a very easy person to open up to. You feel zero judgment from her. Truth is she really didn’t want to get into the details. She reminded me that she’s not a therapist. The broad strokes were all she needed. After probably 1/2 an hour or so of talking she asked me to lie down on the couch. She covered me in a warm blanket, put a pillow under my head and covered my eyes with a cloth. She then led me through a meditation which was followed by chanting, rain makers, bird noises, her soft touch on my head and the feeling of her breath on my throat. This went on for at least an hour. I felt like I was shedding layers in the process- that’s the only way I can describe it. I felt lighter and lighter as our time together passed. There was an understanding that everything was and is in its perfect order. Gratitude washed over me. A calmness. A sense of peace and acceptance. A few tears ran down my face. When she chanted the baby would move so I put my hand on my belly. I think he was a fan. When it was all said and done she swept me down with an eagle feather. Almost as if she was dusting away the “bad” stuff. I didn’t ask a single question about what any of it meant or was supposed to mean. It didn’t matter. I felt light.

After the session she shared with me that my spirit animal- a wolf- showed up. A wolf! Don’t think I don’t have  tons of photographs of wolves around my house now- kidding. But I do have a new love affair with all things wolf.

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“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

6 months

1 Feb

6 month_1

Monthly pregnancy update – February / six months

This pregnancy seems to be flying by at an incredible speed. When I first found out I was pregnant I wasn’t sure how I was expected to wait eight months to meet him (although, at the point I was convinced he was a she). It seemed impossibly long. But the weeks keep flying by and somehow it’s February 1st. How is that possible?! Although, I’m just starting to get to the “I’m uncomfortable all the time” stage of pregnancy so I have a sneaking suspicion time might start to slow for me. The most exciting update I have this month is that I can feel him move now! As I mentioned in a previous post I was prepared not to feel him move for a long while due to the position of my placenta. So I was shocked when I felt a kick. It was an unmistakable kick. I didn’t question if it was gas or digestion. Nope, it was very clear to me that something just kicked me from the inside. This is by far my favorite part of pregnancy. It’s such a surreal feeling. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel him and I live for those moments. I always stop whatever I am doing so I can be completely present for it. Brian says he always knows when I can feel him because a big smile washes over my face. I just can’t get enough of it. Feeling my son move inside me is the most magical thing I have ever experienced. With that said, I pretty much hate every other part of pregnancy. My back hurts…I can never get comfortable…sleeping at night has become impossible (the pregnancy pillow I ordered is useless. It’s massive too! It’s like wrestling an alligator in the middle of the night when I try to rearrange it)…I’m tired all the time…I miss moving my body more (doc made me tone down my workouts due to some cramping I experienced a few weeks ago)…after I eat I feel short of breath and claustrophobic…I just don’t feel like myself. Not like I expected to feel like myself while growing a human (don’t worry I’m not crazy). It’s just been a hard adjustment. I feel uncomfortable in my own body most days and I still have so many more months to go. But then I feel him kick and move and it’s all worth it. I’m already so madly in love with him.

I’m feeling…lots of movement from him. He’s most active in the morning around 7am and at night around 8:30-9:00. Luckily, he leaves me alone while I try to sleep. Maybe he knows I’m already having a hard enough time as it is. Thanks, little one. I’m personally feeling pretty calm. Which has surprised me. My anxiety is at an all time low. I’m sure as his due date nears that may change but at the moment life feels exactly as it should and I’m not stuck in my head worrying about the future or much of anything actually. The future feels bright and I feel grateful.

food loves…I’m still going strong with my love of fruit and yogurt. With the amount of yogurt I’ve been eating I wonder if I will be disgusted with it after I give birth.

daydreaming about…what he’s going to look like. Genes are such a funny thing. You really never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes kids look exactly like one parent…or sometimes they are a spitting image of uncle so in so…it’s really a crap shoot. I find myself wondering if he will have light hair like I did when I was born or jet black hair like Brian when he was born…I wonder if he will have Brian’s pretty green eyes…I wonder if he will furrow his brows like me when he thinks…I wonder if he will have finger toes like me. I just can’t wait to lay eyes on him. Oh and I also daydream about sushi a lot too.

can’t wait to…start our birth preparation classes. The more information the better in my mind. I keep reminding Brian that if he had something growing inside him that had to make an exit at some point…he’d be learning everything he could about the subject as well.

least favorite parts of pregnancy this month…not sleeping at night. My body aches as I toss and turn trying to get comfortable. I can’t wait to sleep on my stomach again.

favorite parts of pregnancy this month…feeling him move!!! The fact that my bump is no longer a burrito bump and instead an obvious baby bump. It certainly makes dressing it more fun.

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This ultrasound picture is from many weeks ago but it’s still one of my favorites. His little head was turned towards us so I got quite a clear image of his face. I fell in love with his little chin. I will admit he looks a bit like a  skeleton but a cute skeleton, right?!

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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.

happy list…

15 Jan

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image via 

things that have been making me happy recently…

– feeling baby boy move. After the bad news about the location of the placenta I wasn’t expecting to feel him move for quite some time and then BAM I felt him! Now I feel him move all the time (he has certain times of day he is most active). It truly is one of the most magical things I have ever experienced

– my alloted one cup of coffee. Now that I can only have the one each day I look forward to it immensely each morning. Who knew I could be so grateful for a cup of coffee

– my super snuggly pup. He’s been such a lover recently. Maybe he knows his time as an only child is limited?

– Brian got another promotion at work. That makes two in one year! I’m just so damn proud of him. He works so hard and to see him get the recognition he deserves brings me joy

– the green dream smoothie (almond milk, green apple, frozen banana, kale a parsley) from Kreation. I want one every day right now

– a prenatal yoga class held at a doulas house that totally blissed me out

– long walks on grey days

– watching episodes of “Girlfriends Guide To Divorce”. They are mindless fun and give me a laugh

– my growing baby bump. I have such an appreciation for my body these days

– a bright light filled space that makes being home more right now manageable

– a trip we are taking next weekend to Carmel by the sea for a friend’s wedding. I’m looking forward to celebrating the nuptials and being up north. It’s so pretty up there

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What’s been making you guys happy recently??

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Dalai Lama

 

Dalai Lama