Monthly Archives: June 2014

Summer Road Trip Photo Diary

June 16, 2014


There is nothing more exhilarating than hopping in the car to head off on a adventure, whether for the day, the weekend, or longer with a favorite person. Leaving with extra time for the loose plans, intentional destinations, unexpected road stops, and a car full of snacks & shoes is my favorite way to go!


This past week I set off on an epic road trip with my amazing beau, who knows everything about the outdoors, camping, and driving. It was my first time camping as an adult too – and I can’t wait to go again!


We went from home in Long Beach, CA: inland & north to Yosemite  – Lake Tahoe – Klamath Falls & Southern Oregon through the Redwoods out to the coast – then down the Northern California Coast through more Redwoods, Mendocino County, Sonoma County and into the Bay Area.


Nature was everywhere and since I am not the best with descriptive words – here is a quote that sums it up plus my favorite photos from my trip. I am already daydreaming of the next one!

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.
-John Muir, 1901

five for friday

June 13, 2014

dublin-iced-coffee-562x600Happy Friday the 13th, hopefully luck has been on your side! What are you up to this weekend? The World Cup is on, but the weather has been to nice to be stuck inside so I may have to stick to the recaps and play outside instead! Have a lovely weekend, and here are some finds from the web this week…


All signs are pointing to the fact that I am a long lost Olsen


I am an introvert thru and thru, but will have to sit this Mars trip out if NASA comes knocking on my door


Because coffee makes everything better


This branding is so beautiful – I am a sucker for anything with anchors (and it helps lil’ Rhodie is my home state)


A ‘free-form pie’ – perfect for a messy baker such as myself


Image / via /



summer reading

June 12, 2014

Summer is upon us, and although I don’t have a mandated summer reading list like I did in grade school, I have plenty of books I want to read this season. I still love to lay in the grass or on the beach in the warm sun and devour a good book – any recommendations? Here are some of my own recent favs:books

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: this is technically a young adult book, but the heavy storyline and fierce young love make it hard to put down – and it is now a movie, which I can’t wait to see (with a box of tissues in hand)


2. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd: anything that Oprah recommends I am of course going to read. This book is based in the early 1800s in the South during the time of slavery, and even though historical fiction is usually not my jam, the story is written from the perspective from a free woman and a slave woman which gives you a rich perspective of the time.


3. Me before You by Jojo Moyes: again, this is a loaded subject of a young woman caring for a quadriplegic man, but you are quickly swept up in their relationship that questions what they both expected in their life. 


4. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed: okay so I read this a little while ago now, but Cheryl Strayed’s vivid description of her trek of the Pacific Crest Trail still comes to my mind every time I go hiking. I try to picture myself embarking on a thousand mile trek as she did – and then I realize I am already tired at mile 4 – her travels are truly admirable.

5 ways to be more present

June 11, 2014


image source unknown

This phrase seems to be getting its 15 minutes of fame right now – we are bombarded with people telling us to be present, be mindful, and to live in the moment. But how does one even begin to try to embrace these phrases and the vague concept they represent? The more time I sit and think about what being present means, the more I want to know what to do to be present. Lately I have been trying to make time to reconnect when I feel like routine and schedules take over in the day to day. By reconnect, I really mean to strip it down to CONNECT, to friends & family and nature & the beauty that surrounds me. Okay, again things are getting a little vague – here is my cheat sheet of things I can physically DO for myself as a reminder to connect & be present:


DISconnect – as someone who works on a computer and owns an iphone, there is nothing that brings you back to the moment when you can’t distract yourself with instagram. Get away from all screens and it’s amazing how much space there is to think again!


Call an old friend – having a conversation with someone I don’t get to see regularly gives me an opportunity to get fresh perspective, hear what’s going on outside my own bubble, and really feel that invisible connection you hold forever with dear friends


Feel small – look up at the stars, climb a mountain, jump in the ocean (or just follow nasa on instagram, though that would go against #1); any one of these activities reminds me that I am a tiny spec on this huge planet, one that has forces beyond our control and being within nature reconnects me to that sense of being intertwined with all living things.


Breath – it could be meditation or just some deep breaths, but this instantly puts my thoughts on hold and my mind on the awareness of the breath moving in and out. Life doesn’t get much simpler than that.


Dance – as if no one is watching – beacuse who cares? I love coming back into my body, feeling ridiculous and shaking off any tension that I may have. Bonus, it counts as a workout too!




more than words

June 9, 2014

I stumbled across this infographic of 11 Untranslatable Words from Other Cultures, which have no direct translation into English. Words can be used so much that they are often forgotten that they are merely the symbols of ideas. As someone who speaks only English – high school French excluded :), the explanation of these words and the feeling they evoke for me really made me wonder not only about the vastness of language, but the ideas that exist in the world that I may never never know.

My favorite from this list is Waldeinsamkeit, a German word that means the feeling of being alone in the woods – it’s definition is purely subjective – the woods could be a be magical place or a place of worry if alone there. Which is your favorite? 


Five for Friday

June 6, 2014

Blackberry-Jam-Custard-Donuts-4It’s finally Friday and happens to be National Donut Day – you don’t have to tell me twice to go eat donuts! If I had the time, I would totally make these to celebrate. Have an amazing weekend, and here are some finds from the web this week…


Trying to finally do a handstand thanks to Tara


LIFE magazine + acrobats + Paris in 1947 = amazing photos


In love with these dreamy travel & food pics taken in Portugal


Making this light & easy summer dish; perfect to throw together on a hot day


More inspiration to get in out in nature this weekend


Image / via /

sleeping beauty

June 5, 2014

hanging_bed_4The week after a long weekend always feels long, and after a couple nights of bad sleep thrown in, I am ready for it to be the weekend. Last night was especially restless and I woke up desperately wanting to redo my bedroom, because new sheets & pillows = dreamy sleep. I hopped on pinterest to get some ideas for refreshing my bedroom – and well, I went down the rabbit hole and now think I need a hanging bed. Would you ever consider one?

hanging_bed_5 hanging_bed_3 hanging_bed_2 hanging_bed_1


images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5


reframing your thoughts

June 4, 2014

Sometimes I get stuck in a rut where all the daily annoyances along with my own frustrations seem to just keep piling up. These are the times when other people’s driving skills, neverending laundry, and the general lack of time in the day to get everything done really get to me. It’s at these times I just need to step back, take a deep breath, and see the bigger picture: I am healthy, loved, have the essentials of home, food, and shelter, and the bonus of nature around me.

Reframing my thoughts helps me take on a refreshed attitude. To do so, I often go back to the basic ‘Four Agreements’ that Don Miguel Ruiz wrote about in his book of the same title. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom he breaks down a simple guide that helps open oneself up to peace, happiness, and love. (The Toltec were Mesoamerican peoples who preceded the Aztecs and were known as “women and men of knowledge”)

The Four Agreements:

four_agreements_11 – Be Impeccable With Your Word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

All the agreements seem simple but are harder to practice than you think. This first one I try to remind myself of often; I strive to speak both externally and within my inner monologue only positively about myself. This is something I work hard on, daily, to quiet my inner critic.

four_agreements_22 – Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

This agreement sounds bleak, but helps to adjust the way you perceive other people’s actions or reactions. In practicing to do so, their actions cause less of an emotional response from me.

four_agreements_33 – Don’t Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

This agreement is the one I try to say out loud to myself instead of laying on my horn. It’s so basic, you don’t know what the person who cut you off in the parking is going through in life. Even if they are in the wrong, in the words of Elsa, let it go.

four_agreements_44 – Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

This one you control through your actions. Be your best self at this moment. Reminding myself that my best will change from moment to moment also helps ease unnecessary stress and worry caused by unrealistic goals of perfection.

Quotes from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz