30 July 2008

Be the designer of your life.

29 July 2008

{trust your instinct}


I learn something new every day. I have learned to accept the fact that things will be messier than I want them to be, that I will have computer cables in my life and that clothes on the banister are not there to spite me. And in fact, if all those things disappeared, I might be happy for a second (or maybe a week) but that that is not where the true source of my happiness comes from.

But I have learned something far more important about trusting my instinct. My whole life I have been in control of the spaces that I lived in - staying up until the wee hours of the night to unpack every box and hang every picture when I moved. There was never anyone's opinion to ask and if I had roommates, they either trusted me implicitly or I trusted them - and decisions were effortless.

But now, I live with a man - a good man, who doesn't understand the need for superfluous pillows and does have an opinion every once in while about the space that he lives in. And I want him to have an opinion - it's his space too. So when it came time to get new bath mats for the bathroom, we headed to Bed, Bath & Beyond and made a decision together.

I knew he didn't like I what I liked. And when he pulled out the blue fluffy ones, I knew I didn't like what he liked. And in my gut - I knew I wouldn't learn to love them either. But I figured, they are bath mats - I can learn to live with them. But I can't.

It's been over a year and what I realize is that it is less about the bathmats and more than I did not listen to my gut reaction. I should have listened to my instinct and continued the search - knowing and trusting that we would find something that we both liked.

So be patient and listen to your own opinion and instinct - whether it's for choosing your next job or a new set of bathmats. The right thing will appear.

28 July 2008

{emptying your mailbox - the old fashioned one}

8Ever wonder how all these magazines appear in your mailbox that you never signed up for? All it takes it ordering from one catalog once and then it all starts - one catalog after another based on your spending habits and assumed demographic.

Since I have narrowed down my favorites to a few (and I can access the latest and greatest online) I have canceled all of the catalogs that come to our house and have taken the next step to reduce the amount of unsolicited mail that arrives as well, including pre-approved credit card offers. You can of course recycle all this spam mail when it arrives, but wouldn't it be much nicer to not receive it in the first place?




It's easy and takes only a few moments at your computer. Follow the links below to remove your name from the database of "sent spam" and start de-cluttering your entry way table today.

22 July 2008

{unfinished business}

One of my favorite sayings is

The way you do anything is the way you do everything.

And I have always thought that to be very true. If I do something I do it well and to the best of my ability - whether it is writing a thesis, painting a room or washing the dishes. And then I really started to think about it and I looked around at my life and all the bits and pieces of started projects and ideas. What is actually true is that I start with passion, energy and drive and then at some point I either get distracted or bored.

So I am surrounded with unfinished things - a lingerie chest that is half covered in original paint, inspiration binders that are uninspiring and a mess, newly upholstered pillows on the couch still needing snaps. I started to realize that all of this unfinished business was adding to the mental clutter in my head and taking away vital energy needed to move forward.

So, what have I been doing. I've been completing. I made a list of ALL the unfinished things in my life, even the ones stacked away in drawers and hidden in the closets. Just making the list took the load out of my head and made space for clarity and a plan. When new projects and new "To do's" entered my mind, I could immediately assess whether to start working on them or not - and the astounding answer was no. Finish what you started. So the list for now is getting shorter and the feeling of completion is outstanding.

Changing habits takes discipline - everyday. But as I start to see the beneficial affects of these changes, I am re:energized to keep going. So, if my new motto is finish what you start, I'll just have to see what other areas in my life need some completing as well.

21 July 2008


Imagine that the key to happiness is following your own intuition instead of other people's opinions and advice

from the Happiest Book in the World by alex ostrowski

18 July 2008

{me. modern dinosaur}

It's official.

I'm a dinosaur.

I write and send thank-you notes, use a fountain pen, think my cell phone is for my convenience - not yours, can't part with my mixed tapes, prefer movies that were made before the special effects revolution, think that we should have never stopped fighting with swords, had a walkman until two years ago, love the music quality of LP's, believe that life in the time of Jane Austen is worth striving for, prefer gifts that are hand-made, can't figure out why someone sends me a text message instead of calling me, miss picking up photos from Wahlgreens, believe that Prince Charmings do exist and at 33, already find myself saying "When I was little.."

I never thought of myself this way, until my friend Kelly came over last night and after hours of delightful conversation we realized that we indeed shared this same state. She had just stumbled onto "Say Anything" on television, and of course had to watch. Her thought once it had finished: "The days of boom-boxes outside your window are just over."

But I can't accept that. Maybe the boom-boxes just look a little different.

Being on a path of self-acceptance, I figure I need to accept the dinosaur part of myself and even see it as a delightful way of living a simple and happy life. And, I love my itunes, have figured out this blog thing, love our projector and watching movies on our living room wall, applaud cities with highly evolved public transporation systems, am teaching myself Illustrator, have even played around with HTML and love how the Internet has given people community and a voice, even if it's a virtual one.

So, I'm a modern dinosaur - a description that Kelly and I can both live with.

17 July 2008

{maintain well-being}

If an artist date is time to nurture my inner creative self, then a wellness date is just time to nurture myself, period.

Self-care shouldn't be a tricky or foreign concept, but it may just be the most diffilut thing for some of us to do. We don't take care of ourselves. I am fascinated with the why and will probably spend lots of time and entries getting to the essence of the answer but until then, I am going to commit to a weekly wellness date - time, alone, to nurture myself.

This week I visited Safronya, an Ayurvedic retreat center, in San Rafael. Once a month, they host a sangha - the Sanskrit word for a gathering or community with a common goal, vision or purpose - open to the public to share and discuss the practices and philosphy of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda, the living and healing science of India, is a true lifestyle approach to well-being. Nourishment and therapies include guidance with food, stress reduction techniques, mindfulness practices and movement - though it can not be reduced to these "To do" things. It is truly holistic in nature and I have found it to be the most beneficial approach to my own health. It requires your own participation in your life and health and that you take care of yourself.

Safronya offers services for body, mind and spirit that go beyond spa treatments. Last night's sangha was a beautiful gathering of women, who each gave themselves this time to connect, listen and learn.

I left feeling excited, happy, empowered and eagerly awaiting the gathering in August.

For more information about Ayurveda and Safronya, please visit their website.

16 July 2008

{beach hat}

At a wedding in Charleston {South Carolina} in May 2006, I found Skirt - a newspaper for and about women. I brought it home and tore this image out for my inspiration board. The work of Penelope Dullaghan is now some of my favorite.

The quote at the bottom reads...

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. - Buddha

15 July 2008

{my creative self}

On my journey of self-discovery, Julia Cameron's The Artists Way proved inspiring and habit changing - the key to any type of transformation. In it, she encourages readers to take time for themselves, specifically time to nurture your creative-self. This time she calls Artist Dates.

What is an Artist Date?
A weekly commitment of time, for you alone, to explore and indulge your inner creative self.

The key to artists dates is that you are alone and that you stick to them, as diligently as you stick to your other commitments. And your inner artist doesn't have to be a painter - cooking, nature, house decorating, dancing, music, scrap booking, reading, knitting - these are all creative outlets.

For me, it is a time to be unavailable to everyone else - there are no bills to pay and nothing to do but explore something that delights me. It may sound indulgent, but for me, they have become as necessary to my health and well-being as eating well. I have committed to a weekly artist date and will share with you my adventures + insights, in the hopes of inspiring your own inner artist.

14 July 2008

{the Renegade craft fair}

In the end, the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself.
you can't go back now
- the weepies
Today is just a regular Monday. And here in San Francisco, it's actually a cloudy and gray Monday. But today is special - this is my first posting and my first little step.

Gratitude crept into my meditation this morning - gratitude for the wonderful weekend I had. A boisterous dinner with some of my favorite people, a sunday spent on DIY projects at home with my husband and a visit on saturday to SF's first Renegade craft fair.

Full of inspiration + creativity, I left feeling hopeful and happy. With my new found path of simplicity and mindful consumerism , I actually left without buying anything but I made sure to take the information for my favorite things.

The stand out :

Tea lights from domestic construction

Other things worth loving :

pottery by sara paloma : soap dish + vases from mediums to masses : polaroids + art from elizabeth soule : art, posters + calendars from nikki mcclure : covers for moleskin journals from chikabird + randl : vintage book journals from jacob deatherage : letterpress element art by lizzardpress : baby onesies + kid clothes by lali : belt buckle from reclaimed metal by buncombe buckles : recylced sterling bird on a wire necklaces by figs&ginger : collage : art by michelle caplan : ceramic pendants + pieces from olaria studio

I know that buying at the fair would have been the local thing to do. Most of the artists I mentioned are in the Bay Area and sell their wares locally - others are available through Etsy.