Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Category: Reading

Library Haul – February 2015

The other day, I was feeling pretty crappy, but after a hot shower & a mug of hot chocolate spiked with coffee, my energy was on the mend. I ventured out to run a bunch of errands (including buying my bridesmaid dress for L&T’s wedding – woo!), and found myself at the public library.

I fucking love the library.

The quiet, the stacks of books, the gathering of people all minding their own business. It’s an introvert’s dream. Any time I feel out of sorts, a trip to the library always helps. Not to mention it feeds a need to have new items – but the great thing about library books is, if I don’t like them, they’re due to be returned in 4 weeks or less. #winwin

Recently, all things reading have taken up residence in the forefront of my mind. I have a stack of fiction books waiting for my attention (explains why most of the titles above are non-fiction). I discovered BookRiot and Reading Lives podcasts. I even had a reading date with Billye where we both sat together on her front porch, reading our own books, separately, together. It was great.

Hoping to share more of my reading life here, since I think a lot of you are readers yourselves. So we’ll start with my library haul updates and I’ll share what I’ve been reading soon. And I would love for you to share anything you’d like about your reading life in the comments.

You can check out my (outdated) history of reading here. I find it hard to be recommended books, but Lindsey has yet to steer me wrong. Happy reading.

Advertisements

Piqued

Had a super productive week both at work and home because I am traveling a bunch in the next 2 weeks. By the time you read this, I’ll be in Denver visiting my friend Chelsea, where apparently it’s going to be a low of 14*. I’ve packed 3 sweaters and my puffy down “sleeping-bag” coat to keep me warm while we bike, eat, drink tea, and spend mucho quality time together.

Ah, the dark, dark nostalgia. Hey Arnold! characters all grown up.

This tweet.

And also my Twitter conversation with Yvette Nicole Brown where we chatted about the Serial podcast. She is my favorite guest on the Talking Dead (she has pages of notes about each episode).

OMG the Serial podcast. Hoping to write a longer post on this eventually, but I am loving the narrative form, the voices, the music. I don’t care so much about the who-done-it as much as the storytelling process in the series. The Slate Serial Spoiler Special is the podcast-about-the-podcast and a critical discussion about both the unfolding of the reporting and the way it’s being reported. So meta.

New moon in Sagittarius today – the questing sign.

I share Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook statuses (stati?) a few times a week. I love her updates, her words, her take on life.

We saw Interstellar last weekend (I liked it, was glad we saw it in the theater too) so of course I am drawn to stories about people’s experiences in space – An Astronaut Reveals What Life In Space Is Really Like.

On the last two nights of my final flight, I slept on the flight deck, my sleeping bag strapped beneath the overhead windows. The position of the shuttle put Earth in those windows, so when I woke up the whole world was out there in front of me—in that moment, just for me alone.

And cuz I’m not one to miss a list: The Top 10 Mistakes in Behaviour Change (and How to Avoid Them). My favorite is mistake #4 “Trying to Stop Old Behaviors Instead of Creating New Ones”. This def works for me. I like how he included further reading links.

And on that note – Can Absence Make The Mind Grow Fonder. I’ve found when I stop consuming something (purchasing clothes, drinking alcohol, eating Oreos, posting on Twitter etc) I don’t miss it. Yes, there’s the initial moment of going for the thing and realizing it’s not there (or I made a choice to avoid it) but then after even a few short days, it’s like, whatever. I do agree on the substitution part, which supports what I liked about mistake #4 in the above paragraph.

Have a great weekend xo

Piqued

From last weekend’s cuddle-sesh

It was a short, 3-day work week and I loved every minute of it. One of the rewards of travel is that my normally aloof mutt becomes very interested in snuggling (see above).

Now on to the links:

Happy Writer Mama wrote up An Introvert’s Guide To Retreats (With People) but I’d say it’s a great list to keep handy for any situation where you have to meet a lot of new people, especially people you want to be hanging out with.

Guuyyyyyssss, I love post-apocalyptic stories + Walking Dead zombies and Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, so it’s only natural that I share her short how to survive a zombie apocalypse appearance on BuzzFeed.

Tom Hanks is obsessed with typewriters. The cooler thing? I’ve gotten to see some of them because of my cool music industry-related job. Now if only he’d been working the day I was at his office… This NPR Book News link also covers Ann Patchett’s comma correction and Lena Dunham’s rage spiral. Obvi.

20 Animals with Majestic Hair. My sister texted me this link and I actually laughed out loud, multiple times. I feel like at least half of these animals’ internal dialogue is just “FML”.

For a happy Justine, sleep is the 2nd priority, coming in right below food, so it’s no surprise to me that sleep-deprived bees are not able to give their little waggle directions as accurately as their well-rested counterparts. (I wish this article was longer. I love bees.)

My friend T sent me this link about how introverts interact differently with the world, including an ah-ha moment for WHY I SIT NEAR EXITS. “When surrounded by people, they (introverts) locate themselves close to an exit…Whether it be by an exit, at the back of a concert hall, or an aisle row on an airplane, they avoid being surrounded by people on all sides”.

New motto for life: avoid people on all sides.

And random share here, but @danlongo ‘s tweets are hilarious. We’re like, almost real internet friends b/c he’s friends with my actual internet friend Ciara.

And that’s that. Happy weekending xo

Piqued

 

It was a quiet week – always grateful for that. I slept really well despite intense dreams, the cooler temps and darker mornings made for sleeping in some. We ate dinners at home, made it to the climbing gym and I got a haircut.

I feel like I did a really good job resting up before an overnight camping trip this weekend, 2nd Jimmy Eat World show in a month on Sunday plus traveling for work this coming week. I’m learning that I don’t just need recovery time after highly intense situations but I can build in “topping off” time to make sure my reserves are at their fullest before going into intense or tiring situations.

And now, a few links…

Kyla Roma is just a gem on her site. This post How I Live (Mostly Happily!) with Depression & Generalized Anxiety Disorder is not only an eye-opener about her experience, but also has a ton of links to resources and apps (!!). She writes “I had no idea how much of what I experienced daily wasn’t normal (and was optional!)” She makes the point that we only know the world as we know it, and if we’ve always felt a certain way, how can we know that that way is normal? More importantly, depression can make you forget you ever felt otherwise and obliterate you in its passing. It’s a good read.

“The process of making these books is good for you to help you process each season, appreciate it, and remember the details while also creating something to look back on in the future.” You may not know how much I love the idea of scrapbooking, but this list 10 Reasons To Give Scrapbooking A Chance hits on all the points of why I do. I just want to do it more and more. Journaling, blogging, photographing and scrapbooking. Tell all the stories!

I am continuing to learn more and more about introversion and being highly sensitive. I am not sure this applies to me for business meetings When Introverts Should Avoid Coffee, but in general, I am very sensitive to caffeine. Last weekend I had a mocha and was so wired I couldn’t think straight. Overall, I’ve switched back to tea, sip one latte a week (more for the comfort than caffeine) and avoid straight coffee entirely. Decaf doesn’t seem to matter, but the quality of the coffee does.

I linked to Elise’s blog before. Most recently she blogged her business story (you can read the entire thing here). In the last post, she spoke about her newest product idea, the BIG IDEA, the Get To Work Book. Crazy thing is, it isn’t even in production yet, and she won’t launch till July 2015. Being a paper / planner / Type-A / listmaker I am excited for the product, but more so, I am sooooo pumped she is sharing the process and behind-the-scenes of launching this product. #celebrationemoji

Years ago I wrote about stillness, and how I realized that it was never going to arrive, but instead be something I needed to actively seek amidst the activity of my full life. I think all the time – daily, at least – of TS’s Eliot’s lines from Four Quartets, We must be still and still moving. Being still in the middle of the busy-ness, that’s the goal, at least for me.  Finding ways to breathe and to be here, mostly because without doing that I miss my life.  And as I remind myself, over and over again, I chose this, this manifold set of responsibilities and identities which unfurl, shimmering, piling upon each other, beautiful and daunting at the same time.

The Slipstream of Life. Lindsey continues to break my heart and take my breath away.

Don’t forget to set your clock to “fall back” at 2am Sunday! Bye daylight savings time.

For the Halloween spirit, every year, Cathy Zielske wears a bee costume, and recently posts a video of her dancing as said bee. While the video is funny, the fact that she wears the same costume every year for 24 years is what tickles me. Check out the 2014 Bee Dance.

Lastly, h/t to my friend (and former boss) Emily for this delicious video of Patrick Fugit singing, rock star hair and all. #scorpio #obsessed

Day Alone In Pasadena

Monday I had the day off and decided to go to Pasadena alone.

I’m not sure why I wanted to visit Old Pasadena, but the idea popped into my head and off I went. Well, first I had to pick up and return tables from a work event. And I had to drive kind of far in mid-day traffic.

But once I found parking, I was off.

To lots of walking around.

I started near a park and wove my way up past Castle Green and then on to the main drag of shops. I’m always surprised how much of a place is generic – the same stores as anywhere else in the country.

It was hot out, the sun beating down on me as I walked with a fabric backpack on. I stopped at The Juice Farm. Sipped on this deliciousness while I walked around The Paper Source store and past a bunch of other places.

I love the old buildings – the brick and fired stone.

My original plan was to go to Intelligentsia (how cooooool does this place look??) and write and read in the cool darkness of a hipster coffee shop while sipping a fancy latte.

But the public restroom gods conspired against me. Or, I guess, the lack of public restroom gods… because it was hot out I drank a lot of water, then I had that smoothie, and then I needed to pee. Really badly, but there didn’t seem to be a public restroom anywhere. I even walked all the way down back down to the park to try some port-a-potties I saw and they were locked. LOCKED. Port-a-potties with big locks on them. WTF.

I wanted to spend my lunch money somewhere I’ve never been, but the need for a bathroom became the priority. When I did a loop through the coffee shop I didn’t see a restroom at all. I wasn’t that hungry yet so I felt frustrated – here I was trekking all over, trying to figure out where to eat lunch just to use a restroom.

Did I mention it was very, very hot?

With time running out, I stepped into Crepes de Paris, saw they had a restroom, and ordered food immediately. It was pretty much empty, so I had my pick of tables. Ate my egg and cheese crepe with a latte that was unbelievably strong and not worth drinking. I read a book and sat in the quiet.

It was magnificent.

I don’t know why people feel uncomfortable eating alone in restaurants. I find it relaxing and super enjoyable. I read more of The Highly Sensitive Person, stared into space, jotted some notes in my journal and enjoyed the a/c when the main door to the patio wasn’t open.

It started to get late and I was worried about traffic (was about 25m away from home, but in LA that could mean a 2hr drive). And I had one more stop to make…

Vroman’s Bookstore.

Come on, you didn’t think my day alone would include walking, eating alone, coffee, reading and writing and not include a stop in a bookstore??

I kind of wish I’d gone here first – I could’ve just eaten in their bakery and I found a little mall on my walk over that had public restrooms. At least now I know for the next time I visit where everything is.

The store was large and pretty noisy. People talking, telephones ringing and kids roaming around. I felt jittery and uncomfortable from the latte and the heat. I was pretty tired by this point and had a mile walk back to my car.

But I tried to enjoy wandering the stacks, reading the little tags that employees had written recommendations on, and basically satiating myself with books. I was overwhelmed and inspired – I wanted to go home and read and write forever. There were so many books, how could I even get to a small portion of them in my lifetime? I thought about taking notes on the ones that jumped out at me, creating a To Read Later list. I wanted to buy a few but also wanted to save money. It made me miss tangible, paper books in a really deep way.

On the walk back to the car, I enjoyed the late afternoon light, even though it was still hot out. I figured out where my car was and cranked the a/c while I drove home. I didn’t hit any traffic and the rest of the evening was relaxing.

After the chaos last week, I’m really glad I had a chance to travel alone for a day, even though I didn’t leave LA.

When I first read Mae Cheverette’s blog, and how she travels alone, I was so intrigued, her posts pulled at my heartstrings. Then there’s The Noisy Plume’s travels and my own day trip around SF 2 years ago now that I remember so fondly, and the deep pull Alaska had on me.

There is something about being in a new place, walking a lot, observing and experiencing without really having to talk to anyone, that opens my heart up. It feels so luxurious, so new, so silly that it can have that affect on me, but it does. It also feels selfish, but in a really indulgent, put-myself-first way. It’s exactly what Julia Cameron calls an artist date – “assigned play”.

I needed this break from routine, from my neighborhood and from the emotional turmoil I felt all last week. I’m so glad I went. xo

October’s Mercury Retrograde

You all  know I’ve been feeling the retrograde (and the eclipse last week). I thought I would put together a few links in case you wanted to dive a bit deeper into this month’s pause/reflect period. It’s a lot of information to take in so read what you can, take what resonates and leave the rest. xo

Notes of Updating October by astrobarry. (Note: I also love his weekly horoscopes).

October is a month for updating ourselves to the revamped reality which recently downloaded into our matrix….

Put another way, this Mercury retrograde is a chance for more discussing and processing of the past couple months’ developments… with both a modest bit of distance from the most intense in-the-moment feelings and a thoughtful reconsideration of how these developments can be best integrated into whatever personal aims we tinkered and toiled to achieve earlier in ’14. With a dignified Venus in her home sign of Libra through Oct 23, we might finally get some peace, whether in an unsettled relationship or within our conflicted selves, as a result of this retrograde reprise.

Darkstar Astrology shares these thoughts in Becoming Brilliant:

Mercury generally zips between two worlds, or rather, the two hemispheres of our brain. So during the retrograde period it feels like Mercury has gone down into the Underworld. In this realm closer to spirit we become more right-brain orientated. It is dark, so other senses are heightened. We will feel extra sensitive here, psychic even. Everything will seem hyper-real… you will notice things you had overlooked before. This will prompt you to re-evaluate, renovate, re-form, and re-invent. It’s true you might have to redo things, because Mercury will hit the same degree three times, but what this transit won’t let you do is to go into autopilot.

Cafe Astrology is always a good resource. Capturing the overall timeline below – click through to the link to read more specific timing information.

With Mercury retrograde in Scorpio and Libra: This is an excellent period for getting in touch with our instincts, motivations, and “dark” side, particularly from October 4-10. Our society generally doesn’t value emotional communication as much as more rational approaches, but now is the time to explore our more intimate and emotional natures and how these affect our decision making processes. Increased sensitivity, or emotional “radar”, is likely. We should watch that we don’t get into a paranoid frame of mind, or read too much negativity into what others say. Retrograde Mercury periods tend to send us to the past for more or previously hidden information, and while in Scorpio, this is especially the case. Retrograde Mercury in Libra, from October 10-25, is especially slow to reach a decision – possibly painfully slow, as our minds bounce back and forth between the alternatives, finding merits for any and all of them. This period may affect our close partnerships the most. We might rethink old positions and relationships, and there can be a tendency for our observations to be especially idealized. Retrograde Mercury aligns with the Sun on the 16th in the sign of Libra, bringing illumination to our thoughts. It’s a favorable time for processing recent events and ideas, and for beginning to look at problems or issues from a new perspective and with a new understanding. Significant new ideas can be birthed at this time.

How to have a happy Mercury retrograde by the Tarot Lady: “…you want to think about adding “RE” to every action: rethink, redo, renovate, replenish, reflect, relax, recycle, repeat, etc.  This little tip alone sums up the entire mindset behind proactive astrology.”

A long read The Way of Peace by Celestial Space Astrology blog.

And maybe Sorry, You Can’t Blame Everything On Mercury In Retrograde: “…ready yourself for a loving takedown: planets do not make us do anything…In our helter-skelter lives, a better reframe of the Mercury retrograde phenomenon is to feel grateful for this period as one in which we can slow down, become more present, and pay attention to where we can improve in life and business.”

Stay open, stay safe and let me know how you’re doing during this time. Hope this helps. xo

#30daysofdresses – day 10

In where I lose my shit…

I look pretty put together in this pic, but this is the day I hit a wall.

Yesterday I mentioned feeling like crap and turning to the women who I admire for support.

After I took this photo, I drove across town for a meeting. The kind of meeting where you wonder why it was planned b/c the people in attendance don’t seem to care much. Or forgot you were coming. Or have to leave early.

It’s hot, and you’re sweating through your dress. Again. And you’re wondering when you get to go back home, but the drive home is a whole other story, because now it’s sweltering in your car, and there’s traffic and you’re gonna sit in some pretty blazing sun traveling west.

I planned to take myself out for lunch after the meeting. Take advantage of the void moon. Try to fill the well.

Found parking, ordered food, took a table. And found I’d made the mistake I often do in public places – I sat near the LOUD TALKER.

Now you could argue that everyone has the right to speak to their table-mate in public places. That I am just being sensitive and overreacting.

And you would be right.

Because I sat there – still completely overheated from the weather and the car ride, a headache pressing on my temples (didn’t realize it then, but I hadn’t had any caffeine the whole day), and now extra on fire from the chili I ordered – steaming with anxiety, trying to read a book…

The woman next to me blab on and on about how she “cried for two weeks when they had to turn down a house in Malibu”. #killme. I texted Stephanie to try and make a joke out of it: accidentally sat next to the quintessential 40 year old Santa Monica mom who won’t shut up about primrose water and full moon yoga.

I moved tables. And then I gave up and left.

Before I even got to my car, the hot tears began streaming down my face behind my sunglasses.

I cried the whole 1/2 mile home, in the garage in my car after I turned it off, in the house on the couch with the dog, and then finally upstairs in my bed. I cried like a torrential rain, a tidal wave. I cried the way toddlers cry when you get the trifecta of a meltdown – hungry, hot and tired.

And I felt sorry for myself. My head was killing me, the day felt like a waste, the $11 I spent on lunch sure was, and why couldn’t I stop crying? Why do I always feel like such shit some days?

I was mad myself. Mad for being sensitive, for not being able to adapt, for exhaustion and emotions and feeling so raw and overwhelmed by the simplest things.

And then I remembered. Highly sensitive person.

Heidi and I chatted about being an HSP – did I identify as one? I had said no, that the term felt weak and a bit much, and I wasn’t that sensitive actually. I was resourceful, practical, tough. None of this needing special treatment BS.

But again, I turned to books and downloaded The Highly Sensitive Person and felt myself come home a little:

The biggest cost to us of being highly sensitive, however, is that our nervous system can become overloadedWe simply reach that point sooner than others.

“HSPs simply process everything more, relating and comparing what they notice to their past experience with other similar things. They do it whether they are aware of it or not.

If you are going to notice every little thing in a situation, and if the situation is complicated (many things to remember), intense (noisy, cluttered, etc.), or goes on too long (a two-hour commute), it seems obvious that you will also tend to wear out sooner from having to process so much.”

Page after page, I could feel the grip I had on myself loosen. Here was someone telling me, assuring me that what I was feeling had a cause, that it was manageable, and the best piece: “To sum it up again, you pick up on the subtleties that others miss and so naturally you also arrive quickly at the level of arousal past which you are no longer comfortable. That first fact about you could not be true without the second being true as well. It’s a package deal, and a very good package”

I can look back over the past few weeks and note many causes – mercury retrograde, the lead up to the full moon, the eclipse that evening, work, events, hormones. And I can list all the reasons why I maybe started to feel better – the release of emotions from crying, the rest I kept taking finally being enough, talking to my therapist, my friends, H…

But whatever the cause of the down cycle and whatever the cause of the upswing… that evening, I finally started feeling normal again.

And thank goodness for that.

Dress is Forever 21. Shoes are Mudd, and no surprise here, think I bought them Kohl’s.

Note: I wrote this on Thursday about my experience on Wednesday. Currently, I am feeling better and I hope you’re having a good weekend. xo

#30daysofdresses – day 9

The little yellow belt is back…so are the boots. Clearly the best $17 I’ve ever spent at Kohl’s.

This dress is my straight forward style – comfy, navy, and an interesting neck and hemline.

That’s it really.

If you’ve been following along, I haven’t been doing so well. As I write this, I’m feeling better, but the start of the week was rough.

But how to explain it to you?

I wake up rested, even happy, to be laying in bed in the dark – the cool desert air coming in, the cloud cover of the westside hiding the sun, and then some thought hits me, and anxiety. Can’t even tell you what the thought is.

Or I feel fine, and decide to vacuum (Carter’s fleas may be the death of me). And as I’m vacuuming, the drone of the motor, the rhythmic back-and-forth, the dog circling me unsure, I start to feel pissed that the carpet sweeper is broken, that I have to vacuum before work, and my mind races through all of these injustices and bam, I’m crying instead of cleaning.

If I could explain it, maybe I could fix it.

But I’m also learning that there’s nothing to fix because I’m not broken.

It just is.

If this dress is straight-forward me, then turning to books is my typical approach to feeling insane. The day I wore this dress I started reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. My friend Steve calls her one of my saints. That evening I watched part one of Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Another of my saints. I watched videos of Pema Chodron on Youtube. These women hold up a light when I’m in this deep darkness. Anything to know that I’m not alone.

And I gathered three things:

1. “Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a questions of engagement.” ~Brene Brown

2. Elizabeth Gilbert saying that we have three different voices in our head. The child, throwing a tantrum because they’re exhausted. The older sister, who we think is the voice of our highest self, saying things like “why do you keep doing this to yourself?!” but, Gilbert said, if there’s any of this ::wagging her finger::, that is not your highest self. There is no judgement from your higher self. And the actual higher self she seeks to listen to, which is full of love, grace and support. The voice that says “I love you” and that’s it.

3. Pema Chodron saying that even she experiences times of meditation where she feels like her mind is crazy and the thoughts do not stop. But even if the experience of meditation that day isn’t great, it’s the post-meditation feeling that matters. That her meditation practice “opens more room in (her) mind”.

I wish I had better answers for myself so I could pass them on to you, but all I can do is read, jot down my notes, let the crying come when it does, and be gentle with myself.

 

Sad To Be Home, For Once

Usually my “back home” posts are ones I look forward to – full of relief and routine. My last post was written ~12 days ago, and if you’ve been following along, you know ALASKA happened.

And Alaska is something that resonated in me so deeply, I am not sure how to tell you about it yet – though I did keep a travel journal which is half-way done, so I do have some notes on it all…

But that’s not what I want to write about this morning.

Like every August, our trip ended with us coming home to a dog full of fleas. Flea season gets us every time, usually August/September, when the weather heats up and Carter Cash spends a lot of time outside. Luckily, we have our new vinyl floors downstairs and my sister cleaned our apartment while we traveled, so I wasn’t freaking the shit out after noticing fleas all over Carter’s butt right after the taxi cab dropped us off.

In less than 20min of being home, Carter and I went into the tub for a full-on-offensive-attack bath.

Then we biked him to the grocery store to restock our fridge. Henry suggested I make chili for dinner, so as he unpacked the groceries, I chopped veggies and browned turkey meat. We ate on the couch while watching a National Geographic show about Alaska (I know, I’m obsessed).

Later on we unpacked suitcases, vacuumed the dog’s crate, washed dishes and took hot showers. We were asleep by 10pm.

I woke up this morning at 7am, with the blazing SoCal sun beating through the sliding door.

Our dirty vacation clothes were packed already sorted into whites / darks / colors (because we’re crazy like that) so I was able to run a few loads of laundry this morning as I cooked breakfast. I did a hiit workout and ran the dog 2m. I drank water, hung up jackets, put away travel sized toiletries, and folded laundry. I tried to not feel overwhelmed by the piles of stuff left from the frenzied day before we left or panic about having to go back to work tomorrow.

I’m reading Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr and sinking into his descriptions of being a new father in a new city – his detailed descriptions of Rome echoing the fleeting grasp I have on Alaska. “As it always is with leaving home, it is the details that displace us. The windows have no screens. Sires, passing in the street, are a note lower. So is the dial tone on our red plastic telephone…”

Usually the details of home settle me back in – my travel is work or family related – and I crave my own boundaries and comforts. But this time I am sad. Our trip was packed, full of amazing happenings and really great family time, but it went so fast – I can’t believe it’s already over.

H went to play roller-hockey and when he returns, he’ll be transferring and backing-up the almost 1000 photos and videos we shot during the 11 days away. I hope spending some time with those captures helps this feeling of loss, and that writing about it in my travel journal and here for you keeps the deep satisfaction of my experience right where I can hold it.

Piqued

Technically, I should be traveling in Alaska while you read this, but I’ve pre-posted these links b/c I’m working to take my blog more seriously, and my serious I mean consistency is key. If I haven’t posted at all this week (due to wifi or just because, ALASKA) then I’m sure I’ve shared photos over here on Instagram.

This week’s dog picture was taken by me of (Prince) Potter, owned by friend & photographer Billye Donya – you can check out more of Potter on her Instagram (she’s also the one who snapped our engagement photos back in the day).

Loving my coaching sessions with Heidi Taylor – her post about investing in yourself is full of nuggets of advice.

Been thinking a lot about taking action for my own projects and feeling the motivation to actually put butt-in-chair. Elise hits on a good point in her post about consuming vs creating:

If you’re struggling to get your own shop going or your own blog running or your own business idea off the ground, reading about other people stories is only inspiring to a point. Eventually you have to turn it off and sit at a desk and hammer it out. You have to embrace that not as enjoyable part because that’s the part when it’s actually happening.

I thought this post by Paul Jarvis contained a multitude of practical go-out-and-do advice for experienced freelancers.

Tara Gentile’s Quiet Power series on Facebook is pretty cool. Strategy #1 and #2.

And on the quiet power note – and because I am a deep reader – I tend to agree with much of this: Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With (even though H isn’t a reader at all).

I know it’s an ad for Under Armour, but Misty Copeland? Holy crap. This is gorgeous and inspiring and kicks ass. Also, two weeks ago I tried on 10 pairs of leggings at the sports store and the only pair that fit me right was Under Armour, so win-win.