Monthly Archives: August 2013


dear sweet girl

I think you know by now I much I love reading my Brave Girls Club emails every day. Was reminded how much I loved this particular email when Gracie shared it on her blog recently.

My favorite part is this: “How can we expect to move forward in joy, to grow into who we are meant to become, or to restore the parts of ourselves that feel lost if we are stuck beating ourselves up?” Now that is the weekend inspiration I need.



11 Questions Every Twentysomething Should Ask

Amazing article I discovered on RELEVANT about asking yourself the right questions. It seems like almost everyone I know is asking themselves “what am I doing with my life?” and I thought these 11 questions were a great reminder to step back, look at my own life in your 20s and evaluate if I’m living my days and months and years in the absolute best way possible. Hope you enjoy as much as I did! xo

1. Do the people I’m surrounded by bring me life?

Are your friends taking steps forward or are they still playing beer pong in the basement? Do you leave from hanging out with friends feeling anxious or alive? Are your friends anvils tied around your ankles or jetpacks helping you fly?

Your life will resemble the lives of your closest friends—does that fact excite you or freak you out?

2. Who inspires me the most?

Think about the one person you most want to emulate. Who is it? Now what is it about their story or character that draws you to them? Write down the words that come to mind. The person you want to be like the most tells you a lot about who you hope to become.

3. What are my favorite stories?

What are your top three movies? Is there a common thread that runs through each story?

If you want to see what matters most to you, look at the stories that resonate the closest. For me, the common thread in my favorite movies is the underdog who perseveres through pain, thrives from their authentic self and succeeds at something sane people would never attempt.

Your core values are lying on the surface of your favorite stories.

4. Would I want to live with me?

Before you start thinking about living with someone else, do you even want to live with yourself? Have you opened up your closet doors and faced your monsters?

Too many people go into relationships hoping that they will fix all their problems, when relationships actually have the magical ability to show you how many problems you really have. Like a third-rate magician, marriage puts big things behind a curtain, but does nothing to make them disappear.

If you don’t like living with yourself, is it fair to ask someone else to live with you?

5. Do I love from my insecurities or do I love from my strengths?

Loving from your insecurities demands from others. Loving from your strengths gives to them. Loving out of your insecurities means you don’t want to see people succeed more than yourself. Loving from your strengths means you are the first to celebrate with others when you hear of their successes. Loving from insecurities daily demands “what are you going to do for me?” Loving from strengths asks others, “what can I do for you?” Too many people love from their insecurities, and that’s not love.

6. Where am I ripe with talent and where do I quickly deflate?

We all have talent. And we all have loads of non-talent we keep trying to transform into talent. Write down a few things you’re talented at and a few things you’re not. Then focus on the things you’re good at. Stop trying to chip away at that solid cement block when you have a soft block of cheese just waiting to be devoured.

7. What are my favorite hobbies/things I do for fun, and are they something I can leverage into a career or product?

I recently heard John Saddington speak, a serial entrepreneur who’s probably best known for creating Standard Theme for WordPress, and he urged the crowd to examine our hobbies.

There is something you have spent more time doing than most people in the world. How can you leverage that experience into something that could make you money? For Saddington, he loved online computer games, so he started an online dating service for gamers. He knew the gaming world and he knew websites, so he put those two together and had an overnight success.

For me, it’s telling stories. So I started writing them down.

8. What’s the main thing holding me back?

Is it an addiction? Anxiety attacks? Depression? An obsession with pinning pictures of rock-hard abs on Pinterest while drinking? What is the main thing that is keeping you from moving forward and who can help you cut the chain?


9. What are my negotiables and non-negotiables?

What are you willing to give up and what are you going to cling tightly to? Are you willing to move anywhere, but you’ll never take a job that expects more than 40 hours a week? Is job flexibility a non-negotiable, or is it job-stability? Write a list of non-negotiables and negotiables, and then do your best to stick to that list.

10. What breaks my heart?

What injustice makes you angrier than a parrot being poked with a stick? And what’s something you can do about it right now? Knowing what breaks your heart can clarify what makes you feel whole.

11. At 29 years and 364 days, if I have accomplished just one thing, what do I want it to be?

If you only had the choice to accomplish just one thing in your twenties, what would it be? How do you take one step toward that today? Our twenties can feel like trying to walk with shoes covered in fast-dry cement, so how do we keep moving forward? Is it a phone call to ask for an informational interview? Is it asking a crush out on a date? Is it making an appointment with a counselor? What’s one small thing you can do today so that you can go even further tomorrow?


back to school: 25 reminders for college students

College: a phase of life that’s exciting, terrifying, bittersweet. A newfound sense of freedom. Four years jam-packed with love, friendship, anticipation, motivation, second {and third and fourth} chances, lots of learning. I wasn’t exactly planning on sharing this post, or writing it in the first place, but it just sort of happened. Maybe it’s because two of my sisters started college this week and maybe it’s because I’m constantly missing my college experience. The people I met, the education I received and the millions of memories I gained are all things I’m so very thankful for and wouldn’t trade for the world. Here’s just a few reminders I wanted to share, whether you’re just starting your freshmen year or you’re back for round 2, 3 or 4 on campus. Enjoy!

Always say yes. Say yes to late night food and Tuesday night drinks and extra hours in the library and impromptu morning hikes even if you’ve only had a few hours of sleep.

Take lots of photos. You’ll want to look at {most of} them a year or two or twenty after you graduate.

Just because the dining hall ice cream is there doesn’t mean you should have it twice a day.

Call your parents.

Find a favorite coffee shop {or two}. Go there regularly and always be nice to the people who work there.

Friday morning classes are a big no.

It’s obviously easy {and more often than not, acceptable} to wear sweatpants and pajamas in public. Resist the urge and put on real clothes most of the time.

Join a student organization. It’s such a great way to not only meet people with similar interests, but to build your resume for post-college and be a part of something outside of yourself.

Go on at least one epic and hilarious spring break with your favorite friends.

College is the best time to perfect the work/life balance. Don’t spend all of your time in the library, but don’t spend it all at the bar or hungover either.

Work out! One of my favorite things to do was go to the gym {free!} with my roommates and sweat it out {or spend the entire hour you’re there people watching}.

You will most likely mess up – whether it’s a failed relationship or failed test or failed expectations . Dust yourself off and keep on moving forward.

Accumulate college gear. I still to this day where my Ohio University t-shirts and sweatshirts {and love seeing other people in San Francisco rocking theirs!}

People will befriend you, accept you and love you despite what you look like, what you wear, who you dated in high school and how much money your parents have. In high school, things like this were important in the social scene. In college, no one cares.

Some of your best memories will be the 2am nights in the library. I promise.

The campus is smaller than you think and somehow, everyone ends up knowing each other. I’ll leave it at that and let you use your best discretion.

Don’t freak out about not having a lot of money. Seriously, no one in college does. You aren’t supposed to. Don’t stress about it and don’t overanalyze your ever-shrinking bank account. More importantly, embrace $2 drinks at happy hour because that won’t last forever!

Appreciate and soak up the fact that all of our best friends are in one place. This most likely won’t happen at any other point in life so make the most of it.

Every day is day one. You can always start over {whether this means changing your major, living situation, dating situation or friend group}.

Ask questions – lots of them. Ask your classmates what they’re studying, ask your roommates about their siblings, ask your professors any question if you ever feel lost or confused in class.

Take a hilariously unnecessary class. Mine involved a semi-crazy art professor and our final exam involved drawing on a paper plate.

Be open to whatever comes next. Rather than fear the future, live your four years in college with curiosity, hope and anticipation for the next year or phase of life.

Invest in your future. Pursue opportunities, like internships and on-campus jobs, that will help you in the long run.

Go to themed parties {or at least have one ridiculous Halloween}. You don’t get invited to quite as many after college unfortunately!

Make memories. I know, I know, you’re in college to get a good education and prep for the future. But I promise you this: absolutely nothing will be quite like these magical, lovely years of college so do the absolute best you can to soak them up the best way you can.

Now it’s your turn – what reminders would you give to those in college? More college blog posts here, here, here, here, and here.


favorites from the chalkboard

I recently discovered that Pressed Juicery has an AMAZING healthy living site called The Chalkboard. The site shares healthy recipes, fashion and fitness ideas and of course – lots and lots of juice and smoothie recipes! Totally up my alley.

You can read about the nutritional benefits from juicing here. Here’s a few of my favorite articles and recipes from The Chalkboard. It’s definitely one of those sites I’ll be coming back to for healthy inspiration and ideas!

RECIPE: Sweet Immunity Everyday Detox Smoothie

2 cups frozen strawberries
1 large red bell pepper, juiced
1 large apple, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
Pinch of cayenne
*Blend all ingredients until smooth

ARTICLE: Breaking Out of a Creative Rut

What I wish someone had told me early on in my budding adult life is that it is okay to let your creative work of choice go when you’re disappointed, stuck or starting to find other things alluring. Whether you write, paint, sing, or sell – all work is creative work in my book – it is okay to let go. And this is the big part: Letting it go does not mean you are quitting.

JUICE SURVEY: How We Drink Our Greens {click to enlarge!}


RECIPE: The Green Kitchen’s Açaí Bowl

4 packs frozen Açaí berry puree – we love unsweetened from Sambazon (each pack is 3.5 oz)
2 cups plant milk of choice or coconut water
2 bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 tbsp hemp protein powder

1 cup granola
2 handfuls fresh berries
4 tbsp hemp seeds

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until thick and creamy. Add more milk if you prefer.
Pour the blend into two bowls, top with granola, berries and hemp seeds and serve immediately!

DIY PROJECT: Color Block Coasters

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Wooden coasters (you can get these from your local craft store)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paint tray
  • Masking tape
  • Gold spray
  • Clear glaze spray

ARTICLE: Holiday {or Anytime} Travel Workout

22 jam-packed minutes of jumping jacks, luggage rows, tricep drips, jump squats, mountain climbers, crunches and more…awesome ideas!

Lovely Links

All of this Internet goodness would take too long to share individually on social media sooooo if you’re looking for a good way to spend your Sunday afternoon, here’s a few reading recommendations.

The five minute favor – fascinating look at paying it forward

Email rules and etiquette. Seriously everyone needs to read this one…

A beautiful food blog

J.Crew’s September style guide exclusively on Pinterest

If FOMO had a motto, it might be: Somewhere, someone cooler than you is doing something you ought to be, too.”

I want to make 3948375 more of these Instagram videos

Successful people start before they are ready.

What being a recent Ohio University graduate feels like. Amazing.

Love Gracie’s discussion about what a healthy living blog is. Your thoughts?

But of course…try to get some real book reading in too! I’m currently reading The In Between by Jeff Goins and just finished The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. Highly recommend both. xoxo


25 Things I Want Myself To Know at 25

I’ve reread this blog post three times today. Seriously! One of my friends posted the article and I immediately knew I had to share on Polish My Crown. The author, Mary, shares a list of what she wants to learn, do, experience and remember during her 25th year of life. Maybe it’s because I’m quickly approaching 25 {January!} or because I’m a sucker for a good list {proof here and here}, but the list reminded me how important it is to take a step back from my busy and chaotic life to remind myself what my real purpose here and what I can and should be learning in this phase of life. Enjoy!

What is one thing you want to know in your mid-twenties?

  1. Most of the time, you don’t know anything about anything. That was true when you were 15 and that will be true when you are 65. You do, however, know how to be a good person and you know how to follow your heart. Keep doing that and you’ll be just fine.
  2. Don’t go on Facebook so much. Seriously, it’s a waste of time.
  3. You’re 25. You’re not in college anymore. You know how to cook a healthy meal. STOP EATING TOP RAMEN, your body doesn’t like it.
  4. Also, it’s time to start drinking a little more responsibly. You started too young and you’ve been in this game for over a decade. However, unlike when you were 15 no one is going to think you are any cooler for taking that extra tequila shot. Slow down on the booze.
  5. Remember to always love your big strong legs, your bubble butt, the plumpness of your head, the way your eyes squint when you smile, and the petiteness of your lips. They are precious family heirlooms that have been handed down to you from generations of brilliantly beautiful people.
  6. Be grateful for that moment when you decided to stop being such a sarcastic asshole and let your guard down long enough to fall in love and let someone fall in love with you. Even if it ends in heartbreak, it is still one of the greatest adventures you have been on.
  7. Speaking of adventure, keep doing it. Travel the world as often as money and time will allow because you know how invaluable those experiences are but don’t forget about the smaller adventures. Those weekend getaways with your best friends, the 3 days spent caravanning around the state to help your brother and sister-in-law move into a new house, or the afternoons spent in a retirement community with your parents. Those experiences are just as invaluable and they fill your soul.
  8. Always make time for your parents. They might live for another 67 years…but they probably won’t. Enjoy the time you spend with them. Don’t try to rush off the phone when they are telling you about their week. Enjoy getting to know them as their adult child and realize that they still have a lot to teach you.
  9. In fact, make time for everyone in your life. You have a lot of people in your life who you love and who love you, be grateful. Don’t ever become one of those people who just gets too “busy.” Make time for the walk in the park, the cup of coffee, the glass of wine, the phone conversation. Make time.
  10. Posture. Work on that. That curve in your back is going to be a lot more painful when you’re 70.
  11. You’re kind of turning into a grouch. Stop that. Immediately. Yes, life has thrown you some pretty awful curve balls over the years. That will continue to happen until you die, it’s part of life. Let it make you grateful for all that you have. Let it make you stronger for having made it through. Let it make you compassionate for the 7 billion other people in the world who are dealing with their own struggles. Don’t let it make you bitter, don’t let it make you cynical, and DO NOT, whatever you do, let it take away your sunshine.
  12. Stop comparing yourself to your peers. You do you. You’re good at that.
  13. Stop worrying so much about what your job is going to be. It’s boring. Yes, you need to make money. But more importantly, you need to make a life for yourself. You need to make community. You need to make yourself and others happy. You need to make the world a better place. There are a lot of other things you need to make, don’t get so caught up in finding a job that you forget to make them.
  14. Keep writing. Know that some of the things you write will be really bad. Write anyway. Write because it makes you happy. Write because it’s important to have hobbies. Write because sometimes, on very rare occasions, the things you write will be more powerful than you would have ever thought possible.
  15. Keep going after the life that you want live. I am going to be really pissed if 65 year old Mary is sitting alone in a house in the suburbs with 10 cats. Unless of course somewhere along the way that is what I decided I want, in which case it’s totally fine.
  16. It is good to have a plan but remember that it is OK to wander off the path a little and get lost. You have an amazing support system that will be there with you through it all.
  17. Please don’t sell out. You’re better than that.
  18. Be thankful that you are the youngest in your family and you have been able to learn from the mistakes of your siblings. But also be thankful that you are able to learn from their success and the wonderful people they have become.
  19. Be fearless and be brave. You are no longer the two year old little girl who was scared to go in the sand and walk down stairs. You are the young woman who has traveled the world, worked for causes you believed in and taken on a multinational financial institution. You are brave and you are fearless. Don’t forget it.
  20. Even though you really want a dog, wait. You can barely take care of a fish.
  21. Same goes for kids. Just wait. I’m sure you’ll make a great mom one day but that day doesn’t have to be anytime soon.
  22. Read more books. Blogs are great. Online media is great. But don’t forget to close your computer every once and awhile and pick up a real book or a newspaper.
  23. Believe in something bigger than you. Something that you will never understand. Whether it’s God or the Universe just believe in something because when everything else fails, which is bound to happen, all you’ll have left is your faith that things will get better.
  24. Always spend time in nature. Work in the garden and get dirt in your nails. Look up at the redwoods and know that you will never see the top. Stand at the edge of the ocean and wonder what’s beyond the horizon. Take it all in.
  25. Lastly, I think you’re wonderful. You forget this sometimes so I just wanted to remind you.

Don’t forget to check out Mary’s blog – it’s full of other awesome posts just like this one!


style icon

taylor tomasi hill, the queen of style and accessorizing. whenever i’m in an outfit rut, getting some inspiration a la taylor is just the right solution. all images found here