Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: hipstamatic

5 of 52: Year of Ocean

Friday took me down to Santa Monica for a meeting, and I walked the beach for a quick moment afterwards. We’re having a hell of a winter drought, which is awesome for our days of sun, but terrible for the environment. And I miss the cold, crispness of February in Los Angeles, but I know this is better than the snow being dumped on the East Coast.

Decided to shoot my photos with the Hipstamatic app – I was going for that sunburst of heat and SoCal living, but instead I think I captured it all too blown out. Which is appropriate, since that’s how I’ve felt the past few weeks.

It’s my 30th birthday this week and I’m wavering between catching up / recovery from so much work while still being proud and reflective about how far I’ve come. I find it difficult, often, to experience, capture, reflect and understand my life as it goes by. It all seems so much to take in, so much to process and feel and comprehend. I am caught up in the details and then sometimes manically speak about life epiphanies and it all just makes me want to blog more. To process and reflect in this little corner of the internets, to keep throwing down place markers and sign posts – this is new or I’ve been here before, no? – a map of some sort. 

Anyways, that’s where I’m at. I missed a calendar week for this little project, but I  am not letting that deter me. This venture to the ocean on Friday proved my point. I sat on my shoes in the sand, in a dress, set the timer on my iPhone, and just stared at the ocean.

I needed that, and I think I’m going to continue needing it this whole year. xo

**See all of my Year of Ocean

Cuteness x10

I can not even explain his cuteness.

What Sundays Are For (Week 1)

Thinking of starting a weekly post: “Sundays are for…”

Walk to a my favorite coffee shop with my husband (still can’t get over that)

Blackberry & thyme muffin for me

Almond croissant for him

Lattes like these are why I love this place

And this guy, joining us

Looking for more? #sundaysarefor (instagram – Leonie Wise may have started this. Also @postcardsfrom )  | #sundaysarefor (twitter)

And then there’s also this for Ms Wise – Weekends Collected

How was your weekend?



I meet tons of people through my job. In the past 12 months alone, I met with 240+ different people. Many of them come and go, a few stick. Of course I have my close group of friends, but there are one-off meetings, mainly with girls, that develop into something more like a friendship and less like a social connection.

Kjersti is one of those gals.

We met a year ago when she came to my office, a newbie to Los Angeles. I was charmed by her genuine niceness and I felt something of a kindred spirit with her. It was as if I played older sister and yet, she was the wiser. We’ve crossed paths a bunch the past year, but not enough, and sadly today was our last in-person lunch for a while.

She is relocating back to Norway, to pursue her jazz music career, and leaves behind an adoring circle of people here in LA. While we never hung out enough for me to miss her on a daily basis, I’m sad we didn’t grow our friendship more, as I feel we’re connected in some mystical way. Could just be her Aquarian nature meshing with my Venus in Aquarius, but still.

Fingers crossed that one day she visits again, and that I can host her in my LA home. Or that H and I will make a trip to Norway and see her in her natural habitat.

As she emailed me yesterday — I will miss having her in my “geographical nearness” too.


Tea for Two Tuesday

Today was another shining example of the philosophy I’m testing out. In layman’s terms, it’s go with the flow. (More on this later)

The sun was too bright through the slider this morning, the Capricorn moon dragging me down. Yesterday’s full moon still pulled at me with its energies and I felt my energy slump. It was all I could do to get out of bed.

To counter, I made myself go for a run with the dog. The exercise sucked, but the wind was strong and sweet. It reminded me of spring in Boston. I wasn’t a runner when I lived there.

While running, I spoke to myself. It’s OK. We have this under control. Just do one thing at a time. I may have even asked God for some help. Good thing I did, because the rest of my day fell right into place.

  • Moved tea date to later in the afternoon to create more time for work
  • Work on work, feel unsure
  • Have call with boss / coworker. Reevaluate work and continue on
  • Have dinner plans magically cancel. Relief about gaining more time at home
  • Say aloud, “I’m being a perfectionist and they don’t care this much at all”. Keep moving along with what I need to do, and don’t get bogged down by sinking feeling of despair.
  • Get to tea break and enjoy being outside, the sun, the tea and KT, who is probably moving out of LA soon, but it’s good to see her when I can.
  • Leave tea date with what I think is plenty of time to make my haircut appt
  • Traffic is slow, so I return phone calls
  • One work friend suggests I call the salon and explain I’ll be late
  • After 40min in the car and still not out of West LA, I call
  • They promptly reschedule me just as I turn around and pass the on-ramp to get back on the freeway
  • I return home energized
  • I use said energy to work on more work, return work phone calls and draft my wedding ceremony
  • H cooks dinner, freeing up more of my time
  • We eat dinner and watch TV. He heads to the store for work, I blog.

Maybe it doesn’t translate as well, but really, all of these twists and turns in my day made everything fall right into place perfectly. It was effortless. I mean, I’m tired and look forward to bed, but I trusted each alteration to my day’s plan and it kept getting better and better.

And the real bonus is, I feel awesome despite the tiredness and constant changes. Days like the above would’ve left me in hysterics even 9 months ago. Now, days like this make me proud. I adapt, I ask for help and I trust.

From Our Little Walk To Breakfast

Isn’t he just the sweetest? What did I ever do without him?


This is what a day off looks like… and since I never take them just for me, I made sure anything I did was purely for me. A-maz-ing.

Sleeping in till 7am. Waking up without an alarm.

Writing morning pages with the doggie sleepily looking on. 3 pages of long-hand, snapping a few pictures in the quiet. Exhibit A:

Feeding and watering both myself and the pup. Then out for a 3 mile run with lots of stops for him to sniff and pee and me to catch my breath. Listened to “Fresh Air” interview with Louis C.K. It did not disappoint.

Then on to a real breakfast, now that we have a kitchen full of groceries. Not since Thanksgiving has the fridge been this full. Fruit, eggs, spinach and a few corn tortillas. And lots and lots of reading.

I spent most of the morning reading – blogs, Harry Potter 4 (which I finished!), and few other books on the e-reader. I spent it cuddled up in an arm chair with this guy:

I didn’t check email, Twitter or Facebook. No TV or phone calls. Hell, I didn’t even leave the house. I showered around 1pm with the intention of taking myself out for writing and coffee, but just didn’t want to go. Lunch was eaten in too:

It involved a whole avocado, an entire tomato and more tea. Literally, wholes foods.

I perused Liz Lamoreux’s blog, especially her journalling videos, Chookooloonks’ blog, and got lost in the depths of Nothing But Bonfires‘ site before fiance was home and I was cooking dinner. Then it was crafty time, which is so-not-me normally but what can I say? I’m pretty inspired by Elise Joy’s blog lately, and I figured, I feel better when I make things, so why deprive myself of this tiny pleasure?

They’re going to be valentines. I’ve sent Christmas cards for the past 5+ years, but this past year it became something that needed to fall off the list to make room for things like work events, wedding planning and, um, sleep… so when I saw this adorable pack at Paper Source, I just had to have ’em.

Not sure how many hours it’s supposed to take, but I hope to get them out in the next few days. Luckily, this week is wide open in the evenings, so I’ll be making my way through the project. It’s important to note that this type of thing can so quickly become a “to do” that I’m working to keep it a “project” and not a “have to”. Something fun and relaxing, not torture. Something that will make other people happy, but is filling my well at the same time.

I don’t know why I didn’t just take a day off last week, when I needed it. Wasn’t acknowledging it somehow. That old “knuckle down” habit. So glad I did. I can feel another day would just be amazing, but tomorrow I’ll be able to return to work with energy, knowing that I took care of myself today.

This Grateful Season – Quiet Breakfast

This morning, after I took my doggie for a bike ride, I had enough time to cook up a hot breakfast and write for a bit. And hell yeah it was bliss.

Believing that my time is my own to spend how I like is difficult for me. My brain is always a whir of “shoulds” and “have tos”. It’s a constant learning process and it’s unnerving when I acknowledge it – I’m an adult and yet, I don’t feel in charge of my time and energy. It’s as if I’m waiting for someone else to tell me or approve of what I’m doing in each moment. Makes the whole “presence” thing tough.

Being able to sit at my kitchen table this morning, eating yummy food, sipping hot tea, and typing away made me in love with my life. Of course! I was living my life this morning, fully in it and enjoying the moments. You’d think I am always able to sit here and write, or go for a bike ride, or take a nap (which I did for 2hrs after work today) but there is a through-line of unsettledness running underneath it. That I’m doing something wrong. That I’m not being productive enough. That it’s unfair to others if I’m not using my time for them. That I’ll be found out.

It’s silly. It’s my own little busyness gremlin and it’s not going away anytime soon. What does seem to help, though, is recognizing, acknowledging and practicing new habits, like making myself breakfast and writing a bit before work.


**For the month of November, I’m posting something each day that I’m grateful for. It may be as long as an intricate post, as short as a quote, as simple as a link or as wordless as a photograph. A friend



This Grateful Season – Nature



**For the month of November, I’m posting something each day that I’m grateful for. It may be as long as an intricate post, as short as a quote, as simple as a link or as wordless as a photograph. A friend has come on board. Join us?

August Is Over (Back To School)

August is over, and I’m not really sure where it went. It was luxurious to be home, watering plants, sleeping in my own bed, walking the dog. For work, I had more meetings this month than I did in an entire semester previously. I’m 2 weeks behind my admin work, but I’m getting there.

The man went back to school this week, the alarm buzzing at the ungodly hour of 5:30AM. The best I’ve hit is 6:15. He’s tired, works all day, and sits head bent over more work at home. This is our 3rd transition, and I think we have the hang of it now. I’m able to empathize with his exhaustion and give him space to get his routine going again.

Meanwhile, my new schedule still feels like calamity. The days at the office fly by, my energy wearing off quickly, and there doesn’t seem to be enough time for all the meetings, emails and spreadsheets. Nothing is in dire shape, but I can feel that mantra of “Tomorrow I’ll catch up” running rapid through my brain. Cuz, guess what? Tomorrow is already full of meetings and then it’s Friday, which is a good catch-up day, but then we have a 3-day weekend and I have yet to edit the newsletter due on Tuesday in Dreamweaver. I have yet to learn Dreamwaver… or even open the program for that matter.

So, yeah…

But what I really want to talk about is pancakes, because who doesn’t want to talk, eat, dream about homemade pancakes?

A few weeks ago we wanted pancakes and didn’t have any mix left. We had the brilliant idea to cook some from scratch. And what do you know, they were freakin’ delicious! So delicious that we wanted them again the next day, and then a few days later, and we ended up making about 5 batches of pancakes in 2 weeks.

And isn’t that a testament to how far I’ve come? To accept life as it’s happening. Because if you don’t recognize the slowness and nurturing that goes into a batch of pancakes, then you are missing those much larger moments in your life. If the first one burns, you think your whole day is ruined. If there’s syrup all over the table, you think “What’s the use?”.

But here, really, is the small string of pearls that loops us through our days. Nothing is ruined. Everything is “of use”. It’s all worth it. The lumps, the burned edges, the stickiness and that endless pile of dishes. Especially that pile of dishes. Because that is what makes up our moments, our days, our lives.

To sit on a warm beach, to ride a bike at dawn through cool streets, to feel your lovers’ feet run against your own, to read a book late at night, to blast the radio in the car, the feeling after you get a haircut, taking a hot shower, or a cold one, cuddling your pet, kissing…

August is over, and we’re back to school. Each day I’m learning more about my life and my capacity to deeply appreciate all I have.

(p.s. if you want to read more about how your life really is about the dishes, the laundry and walking the dog, read Cheerio Road)