Things I Like – Spring 2015 Edition

Just a few things that have made me smile lately…

Chemex

Oh goodness. Where do I begin? I have always had a great appreciation for coffee. However, in these last few months, that appreciation has blossomed into a full-blown love affair. I have nothing against your regular drip machines, your french presses (I still use one!), your nespresso machines or keurigs. But please. We’re talking about next-level coffee here. Pourover coffee (pourover is the method) results in coffee that is full-bodied, smooth, and free of bitterness. Plus, it’s a beautiful piece of equipment.

Mossimo Supply Co. Layla Sneaker

Casual and easy. That sums up my style right now. In the last few weeks ago I’ve taken it upon myself to clean out my closet and adopt a “Capsule Wardrobe.” For me, that means a few skinny/slim bottoms, v-neck t-shirts, popovers and various flats that all mix-and-match with ease.

So enter these sneakers. I love them for two reasons – first, they have a nautical feel to them which is perfect for where I live. Second, they are a steal! I bought them last week for $14. Since they are white, I know they will probably only last a season or two before they need to be retired to “yard” shoes. At that price, I’m okay with that. (I did spray a few coats of ScotchGuard on them in an attempt to extend their life.) Thus far I’ve worn them with rolled boyfriend-style jeans, skinny chinos, and some navy shorts. I plan on wearing these all summer when flip-flops won’t do and I don’t want to wear ballet flats.

Succulents!

To be honest, these are a perennial favorite. I love how versatile they are, and how easy they are to care for. And since my free-time is very limited these days, low-maintenance is key. California is also experiencing a severe water shortage, so these drought-friendly plants are great right now.

I have them placed inside my house as centerpieces on my tables, and all over my patio. I love them!

Duolingo

I LOVE this app! I studied Italian in college, spent time in Italy a few times, and have made a concerted effort to speak the language. However, in the last few years that has fallen to the wayside. This app is great because it allows me to practice daily with short, to-the-point exercises. The app itself has many languages available and comprises exercises thatspan from translating to speaking the phrases yourself. It will also send you a daily reminder to complete your exercises.

After only a few days, my Italian is noticeably better!

Here’s a screenshot:

There you have it!

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30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 14

Well here we are on hump day, which I think is appropriate because…

Today I am grateful for:

  • Camel pose aka ustrasana. (Get it? Hump day? Camel Pose? hehe) This is one of my favorite poses for several reasons: I have a very tight back and this really helps to alleviate the back pain I occasionally experience; it’s good for your thyroid and I have a hypo-active thyroid; and it’s empowering! I feel strong and open in this pose. It really is one of my favorites.
  • Off Days. This sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes having a day that isn’t going your way is just what you need to put what you really have into perspective. It’s the perfect opportunity to practice gratitude or to practice your coping mechanisms. My main coping mechanism? Yoga!
  • Classic books. I’m currently re-reading Mansfield Park (I’m a girl, Jane Austen is in my blood). Next on my list is ‘100 Years of Solitude’ and ‘East of Eden.’ It’s replaced my nightly television watching and I think it’s definitely helping me fall to sleep better. Not to say that the books are putting me to sleep, but they are an excellent way to settle your mind before bed.

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 13

Today has been a fantastic day! I say this a lot, but October in San Diego is absolutely unbelievable. The sun is out, the sky is clear, and I’m a happy gal!

Today I am ever so grateful for:

  • DIY manicures. Such an inexpensive, easy pick-me-up. It’s a little vain, I know, but I like to look down and see pretty nails staring right back at me. And you know what? We all deserve little indulgences from time to time.
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Nailpolish: Chinchilly be Essie

  • Live music! Tonight I am going to go see my boyfriend’s band (Castoff) in some dive-y, grimy bar on El Cajon Blvd. and I can’t wait! I love watching people do what they love. And it doesn’t hurt when they’re actually good at it either. Also, I’m sure I’ll get a beer out of it! Cheers! And break a leg Castoff!
  • Scary movies. Last night my roommate loaded up the living room with snacks, champagne, the pups and put on some scary movies. It was such a blast! Even if I did end up falling asleep somewhere around movie #2…. We might not have the super-chilly weather, but we can certainly pretend.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend.

Namaste!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 12

Day 12?!?! Wow, I have really been dropping the ball! The good thing, is that even though I haven’t been diligent about recording my gratitude journal online, I have been starting my day doing so (with a cup of coffee, of course) and it’s had such a powerful impact on my day and my life. If you haven’t started doing so, I would greatly encourage you to do it. Of course, it doesn’t need to recorded online, or even shared with anyone. Just take a few short minutes every morning (or evening, or whenever it is convenient for you) and set you mind into one of gratitude.

With that said, today I am grateful for:

  • Being myself! Gone is the blonde SoCal wannabe hair and back is my dark, twisty self. Hehe. Kidding. But it’s a nice change to be back to brunette. Less upkeep as well! And that is always a good thing!
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Embracing my Italiana roots. Blonde no more!

  • Practicing yoga outside. I’ve been fortunate to find a studio that has an outside patio. It’s beautifully set up with bamboo floors and walls, banana trees, twinkle lights, and steps away from the pacific ocean. They also play live music, which is such a great experience when getting down with your yogi self. But lately, as I’ve been trying to cut costs (darn you yoga and your expensive classes!) I’ve been bringing my practice to my own outside patio. With the help of a few great iphone apps, I’ve been having a great time. I encourage all my fellow yogis to get away from the mirrors of a studio and practice outside. Trust your body. I think once we all take our focus away from the mirror we can really start to experiment and have some fun with our practice.
  • Fall weather. I know that’s such a funny concept in San Diego. But the last few days have had a definite chill in the air. I felt not even a little silly breaking out the tights with my favorite LBD the other day.

Anyone know of any outside yoga classes in San Diego? I’m thinking a beach class would be AMAZING!

Namaste!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 11

Alright, I have been horrible about posting daily, so this 30 Days of gratitude might stretch out for a bit. But maybe that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Practicing gratitude is something I aim to do daily; not just for the month of September.

So today, I am grateful for:

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  • My boyfriend! He has the best sense of humor, is incredibly sweet, and is an excellent partner to compete against while watching Jeopardy. He’s cute too 🙂 But honestly, he has proven to be an excellent partner in every way. I respect his intelligence, the pride he takes in his work, and his unwavering support. He’s one in a million.
  • Fall! Fall or Autumn – whatever you wish to call it, it’s my FAVORITE season of the year. Here in San Diego, I wouldn’t say we get the changing of leaves other cities get, but there is definitely a change in the air. Even if it’s in my head. I am looking forward to the day I can comfortably break out my boots!
  • Hurdlers pose. My roommate and I have been diligently working on this particular pose for the last several months. And I think this speaks to our relationship perfectly, but we both favor opposite sides. I’m better on my left (I am a lefty, afterall) and she absolutely nails it on the right. So I’ve been working on my right side, and I’m starting to feel some real progress. My next goal is to transition from Hurdlers into side crow. Eeeek! Regardless, these balancing poses are turning into such great confidence boosters. They aren’t bad for my arms either!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 10

Ahoy! Did you know that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Thanks to Facebook, I do! Personally, I prefer National Tequila Day. But that’s just me 😉

Today I am grateful for:

  • My dad. He calls me just about every.single.day. And I love it. As the father to two pre-teen girls (sorry bro, but you’re not involved in this story), I can’t even begin to count the times he had to listen to the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing and Grease. It was a lot. And he always maintained a smile. Today, I’m lucky enough that his love of sailing brings him to San Diego several times a year, so I definitely get to hang out with my dad a lot. And that’s definitely something to be grateful for.
  • Cheese! I know….the other day it was pepperoncini and today it’s cheese. Can you tell that I think with my tummy? Right now I’m snacking on some smoked gouda, manchego, and feta. Mmmmmm. It’s a well-known fact among my friends that if you should ever just happen upon my house, I will have at least 4 cheeses in my fridge just waiting to be snacked on.

A typical night of snacking

  • Facebook. I know, it’s annoying and people over-share and post ridiculous things; but I am grateful for it nonetheless. Because of it, I get to see pictures of my friends, their babies, their pets, and the yummy food they eat (hehe). It’s an easy way to catch up with a wide net of people at the click of a button. If you ever wonder if anyone is looking at the 107th picture you posted of your baby eating his first bowl of blueberries, know that I am!

So there you go. Hope everyone is having a great Thursday. Also, would love to hear what you all are grateful for. Let’s make gratitude contagious!

Namaste!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 9

Hello! Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far. Personally, I feel like this week is flying by, and I’m making a concerted effort to enjoy these last days of summer while we have them. (Thank goodness I live in San Diego where he sun is always shining!).

Today I am grateful for:

  • The return of fall TV! I know I just said I’m treasuring these last days of summer, but I am all to happy to see my DVR filling back up with The New Girl, The Mindy Project and the League. (Bottle of red wine optional….but highly encouraged).
  • 8 years in San Diego. Today I realized that I have now lived in San Diego for 8 years! 8 years ago I packed my Civic with all the clothes and dishes I could squeeze in and drove from Arizona to go to Law School here. I didn’t know anyone, and had no furniture. Thank goodness for Ikea and school to keep me busy (and allow me to make new, amazing friends!). Now,  all these years later, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
  • Pepperoncini. Yep. Today I am grateful for pepperoncini. I’m currently snacking on a plate filled with almonds, cheese, olives and pepperoncini. I’ve got to tell you, those bright green, spicy little peppers are clutch! I go through a few jars a month. No joke.

Phew! Halfway through the week, hope the next few days continue to fly by as quickly.

Namaste!

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 8

Well, here we are, already at Tuesday! I guess I enjoyed the weekend so much I kept rolling with it until today…

Today I am grateful for:

  • Giving myself a break. I find that so often I am my own worst enemy. It’s okay to let yourself go every once and a while and just enjoy things. As you can see, I’ve taken a few days off in my own journal. But that’s okay. I had a wonderful weekend. A really wonderful weekend, and the time away from my phone and computer was time well spent.
  • My patio. It’s basically our second living room. It’s quite large, tiled, fenced in and beautiful. I love the herbs and flowers that are growing back there, the full-size dining table (which accommodates ladies night perfectly), and the twinkle lights hanging above and directly on the fence. It’s such a peaceful, happy space.

Patio at night.

  • Sunday Fundays! My Sunday was spent with my boyfriend, his brother and a handful of his friends on a yacht. I don’t think I need to elaborate, but I will. The boys loaded up their surfboards and we made our way out into the open seas, and then back around to Point Loma behind the break so the boys could jump right in and catch some waves. It was AMAZING. Again, I am SO SO appreciative of the proximity of the ocean to my everyday activities.

Namaste!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 7

I’m not one to be superstitious, but today IS Friday the 13th. So let’s just say, I will be doing my best to not break any mirrors today. Which, if you know me and my epic clumsiness, is a feat in of itself.

Today, this Friday the 13th, I’m grateful for:

  • My boyfriend’s mother. She is in town for the next few days, and she is wonderful. We spent the afternoon walking through Little Italy, browsing through the design/antique shops and noshing on pizza, and of course, shopping. She also supports my habit of hoarding kitchenware.
  • Never giving up. A lot can be said for today (the 13th), and our superstitions around luck. But I happen to embrace luck. A lot of what gets thrown our way, good or bad, is by chance. I also believe, that if you put good out into the universe you’ll get in return. But that’s the big picture view. Day-to-day living can be hard, but I never give up. I’ve had a lot thrown at me over the years, and I’m still here. Standing strong. I will never give up.
  • Fridays! Getting through the 9-5 can sometimes be difficult. But man, once I hear that word – Friday, I know I can power through the day no matter what. I’m sure it started in elementary school, but the elation that comes with the approaching freedom never wears off. TGIF!

Hope you all have a FANTASTIC friday….and just to be safe, stay clear of ladders, black cats and mirrors!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 6

Coming in under the wire today!

Today I am grateful for:

• My roommate. She is not only my favorite partner in crime, but a thoughtful, kind, and generous person. I’m so lucky to live with a truly great friend. Bonus point: she helped me make my first cake from scratch this year. It was a lemon cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and it was utterly delightful! Tart and sweet, just how I like it!

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• Living a peaceful, safe life. I remember very vividly the events of 9/11/01. I don’t think any of us will soon forget. As the proud sister of a Marine I thank God daily for the freedom we are all allowed in the United States because of their, and all of our armed forces, endless bravery.

• Redbox. Tonight the boyfriend and I rented ‘Mud’ starring Matthew McConaughey. My boyfriend describes it as a sort of modern day ‘Huckleberry Finn’ and I don’t think he’s too far off. I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely a far cry from McConaughey’s usual RomComs. And for just over a dollar, the rental is well worth it.

Phew! Halfway through the week. Hope you all are making it through with minimal discomfort – the weekend is drawing ever closer!

Namaste!

(P.S. I wrote this from my phone so I apologize for the poor formatting/grammar!)