Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Love Day, friends. 

Celebrate and spread the love today; our lives and our world are better for it. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Groundhog Day and Days Worth Repeating

In the 1993 film Groundhog Day, Bill Murray's character, Phil Connors, finds himself in an endless time loop, repeating the same day over and over until he re-prioritizes his life and makes things right. 

All of us have days we wish we could do over again, and days we wish had never happened, but then there are days that are worth doing over and over because of the joy they brought and the smiles they bring today. 

In no particular order, here are some of the days I wish I could do over for the feelings they bring to mind. 

  • My first day in London, emerging from the tube station in Trafalgar Square with a big sigh in wonder on my first solo travel experience. 
  • The day I went kayaking and a manatee swam under my kayak.
  • Our wedding day...all of it. 

  • The day I finished my first 5K at 295 pounds and the day I finished my first 5 mile race at 165 pounds. 
  • Our first day in Paris, looking out the window of our hotel room and seeing the Eiffel Tower...cliche, I know, but so, so fun. 
  • The night I danced salsa, merengue, and bachata all night and knew what I was doing. 
  • Just because days with my niece. 
  • Sunday coffee dates with the Señor. 
  • Drive to no where like this. 

Those are some of the days I would love to relive. What are some favorite days?


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ahora 20: Currently

Happy New Year!
As someone who has a genuine dislike ambiguity about the winter holidays, I am grateful to wake up on January 1st with all of that behind me and nothing but a fresh, clean year filled with opportunity. 

Here's what's happening ahora...now, in my world. 


The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan. 
I loved reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, so I thought this could be a great way to frame my year in gratitude. Kaplan organizes the year into seasons with themes like marriage and family, health, or money and finance. She is a proponent of the gratitude journal, and admittedly, I am enjoying the process of reflecting on my day by writing in my own gratitude journal. It's a quick and easy read and one of the most powerful takeaways is the power of perspective.

A lot of soups and stews. We're even having one today, especially good after last night's snow. Tis the season. What's your favorite broth based soup or stew? 

Ali's recipe from Gimme Some Oven for a 20-minute Moroccan Chickpea Soup may make it into our winter rotation. Doesn't this look good?

More water and tea. I'm making an honest effort to drink less coffee and more water and tea, and ultimately, tea with no sweetener. Here are a few of my favorites.

My vision and intent for 2017. I did a vision board at the end of 2016, and it has already started working. Crazy! Ask and you shall receive. Want to make your own? Start here

Like most in my social media circle, I am watching and loving This is Us. It's well written, relatable, and heartfelt. The musical score is pretty good too. 

Listening to...
My standard Pandora channels: Jack Johnson, Spanish Guitar, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jimmy Buffett, and French Cafe Radio. And my podcasts:  Side Hustle School and Happier with Gretchen Rubin. 

Any recommendations?

A light box. This one has low/medium/high settings and you can set it for 15, 30, and 45 minutes. Who knows whether it works, but for me, like others do with the salt lamp, it's worth trying. And speaking of salt lamps, any recommendations on size? Does it work for you?

So that's about it. It's winter, but it is pretty. 

What's happening ahora, now, in your world? 

Are you a Word of the Year person? Please share your 2017 word and inspire me. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Everything!

We made it! 

Some of us are neck-deep in gift-wrapping, baking, and planning last minute runs to the supermarket and mall.

Others are done with holiday preparations and are eagerly anticipating and celebrating the arrival of faraway family and friends who have returned for the festivities.

And others are wishing the next few days away.

People arrive here from many different paths; some are marked by joy and Norman Rockwellian images of love and belonging, and others are haunted by the ghosts of holidays past, scarred by pain and trauma.
Regardless of how you spend your holidays, enjoy them on your terms. 

Peace, strength, and love to those who struggle with this time of the year. 

Joy and merriment to us all. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

On this Winter Solstice

Wishing you peace, love, and joy this holiday season...today and always. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Five Years Ago in Paris..I said YES!

This time of the year provides the Señor and me with plenty of time to reflect on the wonderful life we have and the amazing places we have been and seen together. 

One of the places that will always be extraordinarily special to us is Paris. 

It was five years ago today that my sweet husband asked me to be his wife, and so today, I remember Paris, the City of Lights and our forever City of Love. 

Before they cut the locks off the Le Pont des Arts bridge, we had our own lock. 

Amor para siempre...Love for always

It was a perfect moment. 

But he didn't ask me. 

As we explored what is thought by many to be the most romantic city in the world, I thought about the journey our own relationship had taken over the last four and a half years and wondered where it would take us next.

And then, on our last morning in Paris, as we looked for a place for coffee on our way to the airport, we found a little cafe in a little street market lined with cobblestones and tasty treats.

Over cafe au laits and croissants, he asked me to be his wife, in his own sweet, quirky way. 

And like every romantic cliche, I said YES! 

And with all my heart, I still say YES, each and every day.

Amor para siempre, indeed. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am grateful for...

Things I'm grateful for this year

  • my husband and our marriage
  • family, rooted in love
  • our sweet Gracie-girl
  • fabulous friends and partners-in-crime
  • a healthy body and mind
  • big dreams in motion
  • a job that I love; one that is aligned with our goals
  • road trips and coffee dates
  • my passport stamps and a welcoming world that is ready to explore
  • peace that comes with time and healing
  • access to information and the freedom and make choices
  • this space online, the visitors who have stopped by, and the friends I have made because of it
  • the kindness of strangers
  • people who are willing to fight for human rights
  • clean water, healthy food choices, and access to health care
  • the women who fought for my right to vote
  • our U.S. National Parks

    And mostly...
    • having what we need and most of what we want and loved ones with whom we can share our lives.

    What are you thankful for this year?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving, friends. 
    Blessed to have what we need. 
    Grateful to have most of what we want. 

    Wishing you a bounty of blessings, today and always. 

    Tuesday, November 22, 2016

    Reverse Advent Calendar: 10 Ideas

    For many, Advent is a time of preparation. It's a time marked by an awareness of one's blessings and an empathy for those less fortunate. 

    As Advent calendars build excitement of what's to come, a reverse Advent calendar can bring similar excitement in knowing you made a difference in the lives of others. 

    Here are some ideas for your own reverse Advent calendar. 

    • one food item or more per day or one food category per week to donate
    • one dollar or more per day
    • one closet item purge per day for donation or one clothing donation per week, like socks or outerwear.  
    • one hour of service per week
    • one toy per week
    • one book per week to a school, cancer treatment center, nursing home, local library
    • one care bag to local homeless outreach (socks, personal care items, toys, towels)
    • one bag of pet food per week to a local shelter
    • one pay-it-forward per week; for example, someone's coffee in the drive-through
    • Determine a pre-set amount and pay toward or pay-off someone's holiday layaway.

    Have you ever done a reverse Advent calendar or holiday service project? What was your experience?

    Sunday, November 20, 2016