Tag Archives: turning 30

weekend

20 Jul

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The summer seems to be flying by at an incredible speed. It’s July 20th already? Le sigh. There are a million things I still want to accomplish this summer- a mix of work projects (I swear, I used to write on a regular basis!), personal goals (I’ve actually been doing pretty good at accomplishing these) & house projects (the list is long my friends. Top of my list is painting the walls grey and hanging art). Not to mention I would really like to make it to the beach a few more times before summer comes to a close. Although, I guess when you live in LA summer never really comes to a firm close, does it?

This weekend I…

Had the night to myself on Friday night. Brian was out for the evening with a few friends drinking beer and playing cards. Initially, I had plans to meet a few girlfriends for dinner but when those plans got pushed until next weekend I opted to stay in. I am a fan of staying in by myself. I’m a fan of doing a lot of things by myself actually. I can be such a loner! It had been a long week and I was feeling void of energy. Nothing sounded better than cozying up on the couch with Frank. So I stopped at the market on the way home from work to pick up the essentials for my party of one…a fresh bouquet of white peonies, sushi, pellegrino, trashy magazines & haagen dazs vanilla frozen yogurt. The makings of a perfect evening in my mind.

Saturday morning I had plans to meet my girlfriend Crystal for a morning hike but some very strange weather rolled into LA this weekend and it derailed that plan. I awoke Saturday morning to rain. It was such a foreign sound this time of year…well, and in general in LA lately that with all the bedroom curtains drawn I couldn’t figure out what it was at first. I was convinced it was Frank’s tiny toenails tapping on the hard wood floor until I got up to investigate and was shocked by the storm outside. The air was thick and muggy. Again, so strange. It ended up being a storm that lasted most of the day and brought with it heavy downpour, thunder and lightning. It was crazy! After abandoning the morning hike, I met some family that was in town from Kansas City (they thought our reaction to the rain was pretty funny. I had to explain that we don’t get weather around these parts often) for lunch at M Street (where I bought the massive bacon chocolate chip cookie pictured below) and then stopped for a manicure and pedicure. When I got home around four the rain was coming down really hard so Brian and I decided it was the perfect excuse to binge watch the last season of “Homeland” which we had yet to see. We literally watched the whole damn season on Saturday afternoon until the early morning hours of Sunday. Breaking only to pick up Greek take-out food for dinner. What a phenomenal season! Fucking intense. Hands down one of the best shows on television in my opinion.

On Sunday I spent the day working on a few projects- I finally redid my media kit (with my brilliant husbands help of course. Thanks, Bri!) I can’t tell you how long this has been on my to do list. An embarrassingly long time. But now it’s done and I can finally start working on putting together our fall road trip from LA to Seattle. We originally planned on taking the road trip this past spring but life got in the way so it had to be pushed to October. Which I actually think will be a pretty epic time to make the drive up the coast. Getting very excited about this trip. We wrapped up the weekend with a movie- we saw “Trainwreck” with my mom and brother. I laughed my ass off for two hours straight. That Amy Schumer is a comic genius. Not to mention she wrote the screenplay as well. I have a new crush.

 

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Friday Frankie

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watching “real housewives of new york” with mom

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the storm rolling in…

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cookie of my dreams

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big yawn

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my favorite sweatpants to lounge the afternoon away in

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done

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white / lavender

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waiting patiently for greek food handouts

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new media kit- check!

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see it!

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project 30 – liz

14 Jul

 

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Liz, 30 / Hott Sauce

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

It’s going to turn out even better than you could imagine.

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

My finances! I racked up a lot of credit card debt and paid absolutely no attention to things like my 401K, health insurance and savings. And I have no idea where all the money went. I wish I’d made some more responsible long-term financial decisions.

And my writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing but feel like I’m just now beginning to trust and believe that my voice is worth being heard. I sometimes fear I missed my window of opportunity.

But hey! My childhood idol Laura Ingalls Wilder wasn’t published until she was in her sixties so there’s hope for us all!

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

Oh lawd. Basically everything else! I have spent (and, I’ll be real, continue to spend) SO MUCH energy stressing over my career, friendships, boys, family, body image, health, the works. If it’s a thing, I’ve panicked over it at least once. I spent most of my 20’s thinking two steps ahead trying to plan for what might come next. I wish I had slowed down and enjoyed every step of the way for what it was.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

If I had to pick just one, I’d of course pick marrying my husband – snuck that milestone in right under the 3-0 wire just three weeks before my birthday. Nailed it. Brian is the best, full stop. Every day we spend together is the coolest, funnest, grandest adventure, but declaring our vows in front of our nearest and dearest was in its own sphere of amazing.

But really, I think when I look back what I’ll always associate with my 20’s is not one particular memory, but a whole collection of experiences gained living in New York. Working for my terrifying boss and having weird roommates and mice (ew) and drunkenly running around the East Village and never having enough money and figuring out the subway system and being surrounded by so much diversity and culture and general overstimulation. It’s such a singular, wild and intense place and I feel so much of my 20’s decade has been defined against this backdrop. It’s not for everyone but I’m so happy I’ve lived here. I can’t imagine spending these formative years anywhere else.

I do have one image that stands out, I was riding the D train from my job in Manhattan to my apartment in Brooklyn, just a few weeks after moving into the city which means I was 22 or just freshly 23. This train line goes across a bridge over the East River. As we came up from the tunnel it was that perfect time of day, the golden hour, and the sun was low and shimmery on the water, slipping down behind the tall buildings of lower Manhattan and I just sort of drank it all in, the bridges and the river, Brooklyn ahead of me and the famous New York City skyline behind me and it sounds a little cheesy but in that moment I realized this was my life! I was where I wanted to be and I was so happy.

It sounds so cheesy but sometimes I’ll get a moment like that again, I’ll be zipping along in a taxi or rushing to meet a friend somewhere and catch a glimpse of some building or person or smell from a food cart and suddenly be overwhelmed with gratitude and think “This is your life! Your whole, real life. Remember this!!”

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

I thought I’d be in PR or an event planner, living in New York City in an apartment with a lot of chic exposed brick.

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

Living in New York City (check!) working as a publicist for a major national publishing house (this marries PR and events with my other true love, books, so check anddd check), in an apartment with several weird chandeliers but sadly no exposed brick. No washer/dryer, AC or dishwasher, either. Why do I love this city so much again?

I feel like I ought to be paying Kate big bucks for therapy (Kate, do you take Blue Cross Blue Shield?!) because it took me sitting down to answer this blog Q&A to force me to pause, look around and realize…I’m kind of right where I always wanted to be.

Life is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. There are many experiences I’ve had I wish I could erase or things I’m going through now I wish I could change but overall, I’m like, MAKING IT HAPPEN. And so many things, as I said above, are even better than I could have imagined. I’m married to the most amazing guy and I have great friends and I’m well-respected at my job. I run and cook and have finally figured out how to style my hair (Another thing I’d tell my 20-year-old self: put down the box dye, girl.) and I have this brand new sweet baby niece and feel like I’m closer to my family than ever.

So why am I always think I’m never quite enough?

Hence owing Kate those big bucks. Guys, I am right now having an epiphany. Live on national, um, internet. So if you had to ask me what I would tell my 30-year, 10ish-month-old self it would be stop being so hard on yourself, you’re doing great.

(Fellow worry-warts and self-critics reading this, pause right now, sit down and take stock. I bet you’re doing a lot better than you think you are! I think you’re great.)

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

Um, literally all the time. See everything else I’ve already said. Worrying is my #1 hobby.

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

An overall confidence and sense of self. No longer feeling the need to listen to “cool” bands because some dude likes them or stay out late drinking because I don’t want to feel left out or pretend to have read all the smartest literature or follow fashion trends. Like, crop tops? Hell no.

I have a better sense of what I like, what I want and who I am. And I think I have a better sense of who and what matters. I don’t want to say I care less what people think about me at 30 than I did at 20 because I do still care how I am perceived, but now I’m getting a little bit better at identifying, you know “is this person’s opinion of value? Will it help me to become a better person or truer version of myself?” and if yes, I’ll try to listen and learn. And if no, well, fuck ’em.

Ok, I’m not always the best at that last one but I think the 30’s are all about learning how to let the unimportant stuff slide.

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

You know what, I’m not even going to think about where I might be at 40. As previously revealed I have a bit of, um, a habit (slash problem) of worrying how things will turn out and then freaking out when they don’t go according to my plan. In the past I always knew the broad strokes, at least, of how I wanted my life to look: first college than a year abroad then NYC. Through work or luck or who knows what it has, so far, more or less fallen into place. And I am full of gratitude for all of the good and bad and medium things that have brought me to where I am today.

But I find myself for the first time unsure of exactly what I want my future to look like. I know I hope to have children and take exciting trips and continue to challenge myself creatively, physically and intellectually and still be head over heels for my fella 10, 20, a million years into the future. But there are so many questions without easy answers and factors out of my control. When do we have children? How many? What if I can’t get pregnant or end up with quintuplets? Will I stay in publishing or look to start a new career? Will we live in the city or move to (shudder) the suburbs? How will we afford all the things we hope to see and do and experience?

And on and on.

I’m making a conscious effort to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N and stop trying to plan the future. I want to really be present in the now and take and embrace every new challenge and opportunity as they arise. I’m learning — yes, at an oh so glacial pace, but I AM learning — to live with uncertainty.

So I’ll just say that wherever I land at 40, whatever it looks like, I just hope I’m happy and healthy and at peace with all I’ve done and all that’s yet to come.

Also I would not be mad if this place of zenlike self-realization happened to come with an in-unit washer and dryer. I feel like that’s not too much to ask?

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

“Shake it off.” – Taylor Swift

(I wish that was a joke, ha!)

connect with Liz

 blog / instagram @lizho914 / Facebook 

happy list

13 Jul

happy post

(image found via pinterest)

things that made me happy this weekend…

The Girl On The Train. I literally did not put it down all weekend. I even woke up at 3am on Sunday morning and found myself strapping on a camping headlamp to continue reading it quietly in the dark as Brian slept next to me. To say I was obsessed is an understatement.

Dinner at Lukshon with my in-laws to celebrate my birthday. Hands down the best meal I have had in ages. Every dish was filled with such an intoxicating mix of flavors. I’m still dreaming about the lobster roll “banh mi”

That Frank didn’t drown in a koi pond this weekend. We were visiting our old neighbor at his new pad and enjoying some time in his garden when I heard a loud splash. It sounded like a bowling ball had rolled into the water. I immediately knew it was Frankie. I ran over to the pond just in time to see Frank pop up from under the water with his eyes as big as saucers. Poor little guy looked terrified. Luckily Brian was nearby and quickly yanked him out. PHEW. I’m not sure Frank will ever explore bodies of water again.

Masters Of Sex. Such a smart & sexy show.

A Sunday night pasta dinner made with love by my husband. He was so excited to use the cherry tomatoes from his garden in a recipe.

A cheerful bouquet of orange tulips my girlfriend Taline sent me for my birthday.

Long summer days & sunsets at 8pm

The project 30 Q&A that I will be posting tomorrow. It’s such a great read

Allowing myself to take it slow

This incredibly inspiring TED talk by our friend Adi Jaffe. It’s a very interesting fifteen minutes if you have the time! FUCK SHAME!

 

currently: on the ground next to my bed

8 Jul

books

In a perfect world this post would have been entitled “currently: on my nightstand” but I don’t have a nightstand. I must change this nightstand situation soon because the pile of books next to my side of the bed is getting out of hand. I trip over them constantly. Although, they do come in handy when I am in need a surface to balance my water and chapstick on. Anyways, my bedroom layout/makeover is for another post…a home decor post. This post is about books! Are you guys reading anything good?? I have a handful of books going right now. It depends on my mood which one I pick up on a given day. Does anybody else read 5 books at a time? Or do I just have commitment issues?

Currently on the floor…next to my bed…

“The Brain That Changed Itself” by Norman Doidge

I’ve been interested in the powers of the human brain recently, so I found this book about neuroplasticity fascinating. Until recently the brain was thought to be hardwired and unchangeable- much like a machine. But new research shows that the brain is a plastic, living organ that can change its structure and function…and not only in infancy like originally thought but well into old age. I’m not usually one to read books that you can find in the science section at the bookstore but this one reads different from a wordy textbook. It is filled with personal stories of triumph- ranging from stroke patients to amputees…to my personal favorite…a woman who recovers from the damage to her inner ear’s vestibular system.

“Bird By Bird: some instructions on writing and life” by Anne Lamott

Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’

One of my favorite excerpts from the book. The way her brother felt about his report on birds is how I feel about life some days. Not the fabulous parts but the parts that feel hard. I doubt I am alone here. Sometimes certain tasks, projects, lessons and days for that matter seem completely overwhelming and all you can do is take it bird by bird. As you can probably tell from the title of the book it’s not only a book about how to navigate life but also how to navigate being a writer. Anne Lamott is such a soulful and funny writer. I have a major crush on her.

“The Girl On The Train” by Paula Hawkins

I know. I know. I’m so late to girl on the train party. It seems like everybody and their mother has read this book- and loved it for that matter.. I think it’s taken me so long to read it because I was waiting to borrow it from a friend but no one seems to have paper books anymore. Instead everyone has an electronic device. Clearly, I am late to the electronic device party as well. I just hate the idea of saying goodbye to books. Anyway, I’ve seem to have diverged. Back to the girl on the train. I’ve barely just begun it but I have a feeling I’m going to devour it quickly.

“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

I have read this book a million times and it never disappoints. It’s always next to my bed and I pick it up from time to time when I am in need of some wisdom. The author Don Miguel Ruiz shares four principles (1- Be impeccable with your word 2- Don’t take anything personally 3- Don’t make assumptions 4. Always do your best ) to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. Has anyone not read this book? You must run out and buy it immediately if you have not. It’s so so so good.

“Euphoria” by Lily King 

My mom passed along this book to me after reading it and loving it. I have yet to begin it but it’s up next after The Girl On The Train. Here’s the synopsis…Euphoria is Lily King’s nationally bestselling breakout novel of three young, gifted anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is “dazzling … suspenseful … brilliant…an exhilarating novel.”—Boston Globe. Sounds like an interesting read, right? Has anybody read it?

“Taking The Leap” by Pema Chodron 

And lastly, Taking The Leap….yet another book that has a permanent place next to my bed (as you can probably tell by its ripped cover). The always inspiring Pema Chodron draws on the Buddhist concept of shenpa to help one understand how certain habits of the mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. But once recognize these patterns, they instantly begin to lose their hold on us and we can begin to change our lives for the better. I pick it up often when I am in need of her reboot.

….so what are you guys reading???

“I never feel lonely if I’ve got a book – they’re like old friends. Even if you’re not reading them over and over again, you know they are there. And they’re part of your history. They sort of tell a story about your journey through life.” – Emilia Fox

 

 

word love

7 Jul

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project 30 – liz

18 Jun

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Liz, 40 / be love live

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

Well, let me start off by admitting that I am actually 40, so I’ve made it through my 20s and my 30s. And I am all the better for the amazing, beautiful journey that it has been! I’m going to try to do a little time traveling back to my 30 something year old brain, but just know that everything that I share from here on out is from a 40-year-old perspective. And, this 40-year-old perspective is oh so different from my 30-year-old perspective!

So many people are frightened of hitting the big 3-0. I was not one of them. However, I was freaked out, having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I’d soon be leaving my 20s, unable to grasp the idea that I was going to be 30. A real adult, or so I thought. Still, I looked forward to turning 30. I was hoping that it would be “my decade”. And you know what? It totally was! (So far, at least!) In my 30s, I came into myself. I found the courage + strength to live life on my terms. I accepted and loved myself in ways that my 20 something self only dreamed of. I took the time to discover my own path, leaving the pressures and expectations of society behind.

I quit my stable job. Got divorced. Moved to Europe. And embarked on an incredibly freeing journey of learning to live an authentic life.

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

Oh, how i wish I had taken my soul more seriously. I wish that I had listened to my intuition more and let the voices of others fall by the wayside. I have always been drawn to a life propelled and inspired by the inner world of our spirit. In my 20s, my heart and soul were all but screaming at me to just be true to myself, but I kept telling myself that my mystic, hermit ways made me a boring person. But, what I really wanted to do was simply enjoy the magic of being married to my husband, roaming the world together, living simply, having adventures, inspiring others through my words and pictures (not my husband’s dreams, mind you). I didn’t want a typical life – I craved something different. I craved the freedom of a gypsy soul.

But, I just couldn’t live like that. I was nowhere near secure enough to understand the seriousness of living life from your soul. I heard and felt the rumblings from within, but I just couldn’t set myself free quite yet.

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

I wish that I had taken my expectations less seriously. I wanted to make everyone around me happy. I truly believed back then that, if everyone in my life was happy and content, then I would be. And, in some ways I was. Ignorance was bliss.

So, life in my 20s was a crazy balancing act. I felt the call to live life authentically, to be free to be me; and yet, I didn’t heed the call. Instead I felt self-induced pressure to be more “normal”. I went through roller-coaster periods of feeling blissfully happy with my marriage, my stable job, and my small town life. I even dreamed of starting a family. And then, after some time, the urge to wander + roam the world, the urge to pack it all up and become a desert hermit in order to give my soul the attention that it needed, took over. I teetered back and forth between these two extremes all throughout my 20s, certain that I had to choose one over the other.

Until I hit my 30s. And then, I began to truly listen. And I found, with lots of help from friends, mentors, counselors, and graduate professors, the courage to act. I didn’t have to choose between married life and a monastic, pilgrim’s life. I just had to choose my life.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I am going to answer this question stream-of-consciously because I cannot remember a specific memory. Or, rather, I can remember so many different moments.

All of the memories that are coming to mind have a few something in common: they involve travel. Like the time my ex-husband and I drove across the country in our silver Toyota Four Runner, sleeping in the back, exploring the vast, beautiful country from coast to coast. Standing in the Painted Desert, feeling connected to the entire Universe. Dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean. Waking up on the Oregon coastline. Camping under the mountains in Glacier National Park. Photographing a buffalo in Yellowstone. Driving on two lane roads through barren, sky-filled South Dakota.

I am certain that this trip symbolized the freedom that I was so desperately seeking (not freedom from my life, but freedom from within).

Amazingly, I had the opportunity to make the coast to coast trip again about 5 years ago, when I was 35. This time, on my honeymoon with my Swedish wife. Wink.Wink.

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

In my early 20s, I thought that I would move to Europe and have a job that involved helping others. I desperately wanted to make a difference in the world – I knew that I was here to do that. And, I even more desperately wanted to live in Europe, perhaps even working as a retreat leader for people, while writing books and teaching classes. I could visit bakeries, walk everywhere, and travel the world. I ‘d live with the guy I’d met in Denmark as a young 21-year-old, and I was determined to find anything that would help me get to Denmark to live with him and share the European life that I had been dreaming of. I just knew that, even if it didn’t work out with him (and it didn’t), that I’d still find myself living somewhere different, working as a counselor/teacher/writer. Those were my dreams.

When that relationship ended, I saw my chance to move to Denmark fade away. But, I still felt passionate about travel and other cultures and making a difference. So, I thought I’d be a missionary. But, many people in my life didn’t think that was a safe/smart/good idea, so I decided to set all of those dreams aside and settle down – not at all what I dreamed that I would be doing at 30. But, exactly how I found myself living when I turned 30. Married. Stable job. Happy. Yet restless.

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

As I indicated in the previous question, my life was not the dreamy, romantic adventure I had hoped for. It was a good life, though. And, one that I now understand was necessary in order to do some more soul-searching.

At 30, I had been married for seven years to a good man. We lived in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, in a beautiful cottage about 5 minutes from the church where I worked as a minister and counselor. I had followed through on my dream to work in a helping profession, and it was a job that allowed me to travel and explore, taking young people and other adults with me. It was beautiful, wonderful work – guiding and mentoring others on their own journey through life. Writing and teaching and sharing very special moments with others. I was honored to have this job that I loved.

Still, I wanted more. I yearned for more. I wanted to go to graduate school. And, perhaps, I wanted a family. And I still wanted to move to some place different to experience another way of life. But, I had no idea how to do any of those things. At 30 I was still dreaming, but not quite ready to let myself fulfill my own dreams.

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

Hell yes. Everything about my 20s felt panicky. Like I had to have “it” all figured out. Like there was some race I was running. Against who, I have no idea. I worked hard to make things happen, things that never did happen either because I got scared of following my heart when others didn’t agree or the stars just weren’t lined up right. But, I absolutely thought that things should be done when I thought they should be done. The 20s was a scary decade. A miscarriage, an unfaithful husband, and the inability to claim the life that I dreamed of made my dreams all feel impossible. So, perhaps the only thing I learned that I could control was deciding to help others – to put everyone else before me. I wanted to control. I was terrified of the unknown.

But, oh how I have learned to live differently in my 30s. I learned to love the unknown.

Life is a process that we create. We are active, and yet we just let it unfold. Most importantly, we must stay true to ourselves. Because, when we tap into our souls and live from them, then the life that unfolds before us may not look at all like what we planned, but is pretty much always way more beautiful + amazing than we ever could have imagined.

Yes, our days are numbered. And we are not guaranteed tomorrow. So, the best thing to do is to just be. To simply be present. Right here. Right now. To give it time. To stay true + open + aware. We are creating our own lives with every single moment. And, everything falls into place in its own time. We can’t understand or predict it, but we can trust and breathe and soak up the life that we live. And, in time, it all makes sense.

My 40-year-old self, tells my 20 something self to relax a bit. And my 40-year-old self tells my 30 something self to keep on discovering and listening and being.

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

For me, the greatest gift of being in my 30s was claiming my life as my own. I learned to listen to my soul and to say “F*ck it!” to the expectations to be anything but who I truly am. And by learning to put being before doing, I found a deep level of inner peace that I had been searching for. From that peace, I took risks. I found courage. I changed my life.

I went to graduate school. I traveled to Europe again. I divorced my ex-husband. I quit my job. I sold my things. I took off to live in Denmark. I fell in love – with a woman. I re-married. I moved to Sweden. I left the church. I began writing. I found myself.

The greatest gift that I received in my 30s was freedom. The freedom to simply be me.

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

As you know by now, I have already crossed over this horizon; but I am a mere 40 something baby, since I just turned 40 a few months ago. I can say that, as a woman in my 30s, I did not have anything specific that I was aiming for by the time I turned 40. I was still coming into my own all the way up until then (and still am now). And I don’t make those kinds of plans anymore. I am much slower and much more in the present moment these days.

Not that I don’t have dreams and goals. Oh yes, I do. And they are out there on my 50 year old horizon. They inspire me and help to keep me aligned to my true self.

In my 40s, I hope to continue to evolve and transform. I hope to find even more peace. And I hope to begin to make a shift from learning (which I did in my thirties) to teaching and guiding. I want to continue to travel and write and photograph. I am currently writing my first book – a memoir that tells my story from my divorce to my 40th year. But my biggest, most practical goal hanging out there in the future is to shift all of this into a business. I’m not a business person at all, but I have to trust that things will unfold as time passes.

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

My blog is titled “be|love|live” because these are the ways that I discovered how to live an authentic life in my 30s, how to be true to who I am and to make a difference in the world. So, I’ll leave you with my three of my favorite quotes:

BE: “At the center of your being, you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tau

LOVE: “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” – Frederick Buechner

LIVE: “Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital; your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer. There is a track just waiting for each of us and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else.” – Joseph Campbell

My 40-year-old self has learned a lot. And has a lot still to learn. Though I have advice for my 20 something + 30 something selves, I am thankful for how they have led me to exactly where I am right now. Do I wish I had known more back then? Maybe. But, maybe not. Because it’s all part of the beautiful journey of life.

And somewhere along the way I finally listened to my soul. I took one risk after another, afraid of losing it all at one time. But, I listened. And my soul sang for me. And here I am. Just me. There’s no use trying to be anything else. We all have been created to be exactly who we are, the challenge is to find the courage + the strength + the craziness to listen to that inner voice, telling us to just be…. well, us.

connect with the lovely Liz / blog / instagram: @belovelivephotography / facebook: Be Love Live

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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

word love

4 Mar

 

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Moroccan short ribs

3 Mar

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Recently, I have been obsessed with our slow cooker (I’m trying to remember who bought it for us as a wedding gift so I can send them an extra thank you card). Seriously, we are currently like, best friends. It just makes cooking so easy! Not to mention I look like a master chef when dinner is served- it’s pretty much idiot proof. You just put a bunch of ingredients in it and viola 7-8 hours later you have a tasty dinner. Although, I did make some hybrid Filipino chicken dish this past Sunday that was pretty horrible…I blame that solely on the recipe though. Moving forward I will be avoiding recipes that combine apple cider vinegar and soy sauce. Anyway, back to my recent favorite slow cooker recipe…Moroccan short ribs….it was AH-MAZING and so easy. As you can see from the photos below…even Frank wanted in on it. I guess it was rather mean of us to eat dinner on our coffee table that night.

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ingredients:

3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 cup of dried apricots, halved

1/2 cup of pitted olives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

kosher salt & black pepper

1 cup of couscous

fresh cilantro, for serving

directions:

-combine the short ribs, tomatoes (and their juices), garlic, apricots, olives, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of each salt & pepper in 4-6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours. Skim off and discard most of the fat

– ten minutes before serving, cook the couscous

– serve the short ribs over the couscous, topped with cilantro