Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: life

Not Your Momma’s Scrapbook

So, all of a sudden, I have a small scrapbooking hobby. It seems a natural progression – journal, take photos, combine writing + pictures = scrapbooking.

But this ain’t your momma’s scrapbook.

There are no cheesy stickers of soccer balls for soccer-themed photos, no cutting photos out into odd shapes, and certainly not just a bunch of bits and pieces glued down in a book (though that can still work).

Now it’s less theme-y and yet still all about capturing our lives. It’s about preserving stories, showcasing gorgeous photos and playing with paper.

I still haven’t found my groove yet. One reason is that I’m hesitant to dive into this hobby full-force. What if it becomes a pile of unused supplies? And where the hell am I going to store the final products when H already has nightmares of my journals overtaking our living room???

My entry point was some combination of Project Life, reading Elise’s blog and listening to a scrapbooking podcast without actually scrapbooking. I’ve been doing Project Life since January and I’m about 8 weeks behind. I am OK with this. (Apparently many people start to freak out they’re “behind”. I am just impressed I still care about this project).

I’m enrolled in Ali Edwards’ Hello Story class – and while I’m loving the IDEAS, I’m still hitting resistance in actually making anything. I’m confident this will work itself out.

Asking myself these questions:

  1. why do I want to tell stories?
  2. how do I want to tell them?
  3. how do I want to share them?

That is all.

Just a quick marker for where I’m at, and a list below of the sites that I now visit since I care about this niche. Also note that I am super-duper trying to not fall into the consumer panic of new products / over-shopping / hoarding. Instead, I’m hoping I can get creative and make what I need rather than buying it.

We’ll see.

My style is potentially some combination of these:

Project Life (Becky Higgins)

Elise Blaha Cripe

Ali Edwards

Marcy Penner


Minimalist & gorgeous:

Pink Ronnie (Rhonda Mason)

Paislee Press (Liz Tamanaha)


Much brighter / busier in design but so FUN:

Amy Tangerine

Kelly Purkey

Ann-Marie Morris


Other resources:

Paperclipping Round Table podcast

Big Picture Classes

Ode To SoCal


When I first moved to LA, things were cool. Newly graduated and living 3,000 miles from my family and boyfriend, I basically was freaking out. But the city was huge and I did what I could to explore, meet people, find a job.

Once the job was secured, life calmed down a bit. Kind of. The sublet I lived in was perfect, romantic even, and I started running to fill my free time. But as is habit, I put way too much pressure on myself. I had yet to learn the SoCal way of living – which is, just live.

A job and apartment change found me working and living alone. This could’ve been the perfect time to dig down into what I really wanted to do, to lounge and relax and pursue personal goals of anything I wanted. But I was paralyzed. I didn’t allow myself to do much of anything.

Then H moved to LA, we moved in together, and things moved along. I decided to get a therapist and focus on myself. This was an immense move, one that I thank my past self for. I wouldn’t be where I am today if she hadn’t hung onto that idea with both fists.

Soon after, we moved to a different part of the city, one where it was was cooler, our apartment was nicer and I could ride a bike to the beach. I tried giving myself some space, and a break. We adopted Carter. I took up photography for the first time in years. I started this blog. Somehow, all of this personal work influenced my professional career and I was promoted into a brand-new position created for me. Then, Henry proposed and we were on to that whirlwind.

And all the while, Los Angeles in all it’s entertainment industry, hippy-beach-culture, sunny days and warm nights was growing on me.

When we were on our honeymoon, and people asked where we were from, I wanted to say Los Angeles like I’d grown up here. It felt like home. So much of the east coast work-is-your-worth-must-not-stop culture was fading into the background.

Now I know much of this has to do with me growing up, taking responsibility for my life, and the beautiful leveling out of things that happens as one nears their late twenties… but I think I would be ignoring a major factor if I didn’t point to Los Angeles as a supporting character in all of this.

And now that my sister lives here, I can see that change happening for her too. She’s brighter, happier, more active. That’s us in the photo above, on a hike, right near her apartment. She’s got the mountains, I have the ocean.

Something about this city allows us to be ourselves and enjoy life deeply. And I am so grateful for that.

This Grateful Season – The Coolest

Thankful for having such an amazing life. Whether I’m up or I’m down, I know I am blessed. Went out last night with my husband and sister for drinks. Enjoyed their company and watched them party (designated driver). Then got up early this AM for a 5k run with some awesome girls on the beach strand.

If you had told me, even three years ago, that this would be my life, I would’ve balked. I’d carried around so much pressure, baggage, crap, self-abuse and perfectionism I couldn’t see past getting up in the mornings and slogging through a day. Sure, I had people who loved me and good times and laughter, but it wasn’t like this.

And a friend said that now that I’m on the other side of it, I can see it clearer, but I realized this week it’s more than that. I’m on the other side of that journey, those lessons, but life’s path seems to be a spiral and I’m working through the same issues all of the time, just at a new level.

The past 8 weeks have been bleached out, void of color or the brilliance I’ve come to know and love. When I treat myself well, I thrive. When I beat myself up, I falter. It seems to be that simple, and yet, it’s a lesson I need to keep learning. Practicing.

We’re here to love one another and shine our goodness all around. Many thanks to those who love me and let me shine. I am so grateful for this life. It’s the coolest.


For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Butter-side Up

Today the toast landed butter-side up… on the floor.

I was making my absolute favorite meal. I’ve been making this for weeks now, having consumed a dozen-and-a-half eggs in the process. It’s two pieces of chewy bread, toasted with butter, two sunny-side up eggs (yolks runny as possible) and fresh spinach nuked with some cheese on top. We’re in need of groceries, so today didn’t include the spinach. Just eggs + toast. Oh, and tea. Lipton black with soy milk and enough sugar to make your grandmother faint.

There I was, buttering the toast, trying to ignore the oddness of my day, the stains on the counter, my dog longingly begging for either a bite or a trip to the park, and somehow the pressure on the plate shifted and the whole thing started to tip off the counter. I caught the plate against the counter’s edge, pinning one slice of toast between my hand and the plate. The other, though, hit the floor.

There are so many ways this story can go: The dog eats the toast. The dog eats the toast and then pukes it up later. The eggs burn while saving the toast. In trying to save the toast, the plate smashes into pieces. The plate smashes into pieces and my elbow also clips the mug of tea, sending that to its linoleum floor demise.

None of that happened. Today, my delicious slice of chewy toast landed butter-side up. To add to my luck, my dog comprehended “Leave it!” and didn’t make a dynamic lunge for the morsel.

But why share this with you? 

Well, I could feel a surge of frustration course through me as I realized that my perfect meal may be ruined. I was mad at myself for placing everything precariously on the counter, for not making enough space, for being distracted… for whatever… who knows? Being angry at myself for not being perfect.

It made me think, this is some type of analogy. Something went wrong, something was not perfect, my high expectations were not reached, but in the end I had a delicious meal, the toast was saved and everything was fine. This is life.

I seem to forget that life is like that – up & down, messy, not perfect – and more importantly, I beat myself up for not being able to “roll with it”. I’m too busy trying to live perfectly to avoid this discomfort. But if I expect the punches, the peaks and valleys, and I’m not so caught off guard by them, then I can adapt that much quicker. I can And I can enjoy myself in the process.

So, yes, the toast fell on the floor. I had a bit of a mess to clean up, but the toast landed butter-side up, meaning by my rules, it was still consumable and after a quick check for major issues, went right back on my plate. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan but that doesn’t mean the world is ending. I’m beginning to live with that.