Category Archives: My favorites


san francisco adventures: coffee shops

Happy Monday! A few weeks ago, I shared my interactive Pinterest map with you to make it easy to discover cool places to eat and explore in San Francisco. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few of my favorites from the map categorized based on activity. Today, I’m excited to kick things off and share a list of my favorite coffee shops in SF! This is probably the hardest category to list out because there are so many good spot

Coffee Shops in San Francisco:

B. Patisserie {pictured above, in Pacific Heights on California/Divisidero}

Blue Bottle Coffee {multiple locations, but my favorite is the one attached to Heath Ceramics}

Coffee Cultures {downtown on Sansome and Bush}

Duboce Park Cafe {in Duboce Triangle}

Four Barrel {in The Mission}

Jane {in Pacific Heights on Fillmore/California}

Mission Public {in The Mission}

Nook {in Nob Hill}

Philz Coffee {multiple locations, but I usually go to the one in the Castro}

The Mill {in Nopa on Divisidero}

Trouble Coffee {in Outer Sunset – get the toast!}

You can more of my favorite places in SF here and read the original blog post here. Stay tuned next week to see a list of my favorite brunch spots!



you are significant with or without a significant other

I read this article from my favorite Shauna Niequist and immediately said YES. This was exactly what I needed to read. The article was filled with so many very important reminders that you are loved and of value, regardless of if you are single, dating or married. This is definitely something that hits home to me. While I’m dating now, I often felt “less than” compared to my friends with boyfriends. And now, I’m bombarded with wedding updates on Facebook and it often makes me question where I’m at in life. And that’s just silly. The blog post was an important reminder to accept, embrace and most of all, ENJOY the phase of life I’m in. Rather than being single and wishing to be dating/married or dating and wishing you were married, it’s important to just be present with and thankful for that stage of life.

I am valuable and significant and important and loved in the state of life I’m in. I was still valuable and significant and important and loved when I was single. I will still be valuable and loved and significant and important and loved when/if I ever get married. And so are you.

Hope you enjoy and get as much out of the article from Shauna as I did. It’s long but very, very awesome. xo!

You are significant with or without a significant other.

I say it every time because our culture is weirdly obsessed with romance and couples and being part of a matched set.
I say it every time because some of the people I love most in the world are single—either because they haven’t yet found their person, or because their marriage has ended. Honestly, I’ve reached that age when I hear more divorce announcements than wedding bells.

And sometimes I wonder if there would be fewer divorce announcements if we weren’t so hung up on marriage as a status symbol or accomplishment.

I love to tell people that it’s okay to be single because so many of my very favorite people are single. And it breaks my heart when they feel like they’re less or half or waiting around for their real lives to start. That’s garbage.

You are significant with or without a significant other. Marriage isn’t like being named prom queen. It’s a partnership, one I love being a part of. But it doesn’t make me more special. It’s not a status symbol.

For whatever set of reasons, our culture loves the Game of Life two-in-the-front-seat way of living. But that’s not the only way. And you’re not less-than for being solo in your car in this season. And I’m so sorry if sometimes you feel that. That’s awful.

Here’s the truth: some of the worst people I know are married. I don’t know how it happens. And some of the truly best people I know are single. I don’t know how that happens, either.

But what I do know is it’s not about the fundamental value of the person in question. Your value is not up for grabs, and certainly your value is not riding on a cultural obsession with romance and tulle and diamonds.

You are significant with or without a significant other.

A few thoughts for my single friends, who I just adore:

Don’t wait for marriage to start your life. Oh, man. My single friends do this so well. I love all the ways that my single friends are living well, with a great sense of adventure and purpose. They’re starting non-profits, traveling the world, creating homes with great style and creativity, contributing to their communities with so much love and honesty.

One of the very worst things about the whole wedding tradition is that we help people set up households when they get married, communicating that homes and nice things are for married people. Why should you have to be married to own a decent knife? Why do we only give married people towels and china? Shouldn’t every person, married or not, have a decent coffee pot? Isn’t that sort of a basic human right?

I remember when a single friend said, listen, I thought I’d be married by now. I thought I’d find that person and we’d buy a house together and buy furniture together. But just because that hasn’t happened, I don’t have to use an upside down milk crate for a nightstand, like I live in a dorm room, do I?

No, dear sister. Grown-ups should have good knives and nightstands and homes that have been created with love and attentiveness. You don’t have to wait for a partner to invest in your space, in yourself, in your life.

At the same time, being single is an opportunity, even if it’s not one you choose. Spend it. Singleness gives you a little more flexibility (unless you’re single parenting, which is a whole different deal, and which means I think you’re absolutely amazing.).

You might not want to be single right now. I get it. But it affords you some freedoms, and you should take them, every single one of them. I’m so proud of my single friends who are traveling like mad and living in interesting places and training for super-time-consuming races and getting fascinating graduate degrees.

Not every season affords this flexibility, and if you have it, grab it. Take it. Use it up. Please don’t wish away this season just because it doesn’t look the way you thought it would. What does singleness afford you? Time to write that book? Space to learn that skill? Flexibility to spend the summer in that dreamy place? Even if it’s not what you wanted, or not what you planned, how can you spend the opportunity you’ve been given in this season?

And while there are moments when you don’t want to be single, please do know that there are those moments when married people don’t want to be married. There are those moments when parents don’t want to be parents. It’s how life is, for all of us.

A thought for my married friends:

Don’t miss out on friendships with amazing people because they’re single and their rhythm of life is different than yours. My single friends add so much to my life. My life would be so much less rich and fun and challenging if I was only around married people. Lame.

And don’t assume that because someone’s single, they don’t want to hang out with married people, or people with kids. Our Cooking Club is a mix of married and single. Our small group is a mix of married and single. Some of the sweetest connections my kids have aren’t with my mom friends but with our single friends, and some of the most necessary and loving conversations I’ve had in recent months have been with single friends.

We all lose when we spend too much time with people right in the very same demographic. Life gets too small.

Dear, dear single friends: if I could reach through the screen, I’d put my hands on your shoulders, and I’d remind you as often as you need to hear it: you are significant with or without a significant other.

Being in a dating relationship or a marriage relationship doesn’t validate you or make you more.

You are extraordinary, enough, more than enough.

Don’t let a multi-billion dollar wedding industry tell you who you are. What do they know about your particular awesomeness?

You are significant, with or without a significant other.

{Image via here}

2013, you're one of my favorites yet.

2013 has been one of my favorite years of my life. It’s been a year marked by friendship, adventures, celebration and joy. I feel very fortunate for the opportunities {both personal and for work} to travel and explore. This year also was a year spent surrounded by both new and old inspiring, challenging and loving people who have made my life so much better. Here’s a few of my favorite Polish My Crown posts from 2013 and two quick videos sharing a few of my favorite little moments.

Looking forward to what’s to come! Happy New Year!
(also love reading my December 31, 2012 post and December 31, 2011 post!)

Advice and Inspiration:
Defining Success
Why the Fairytale Mindset Needs to End
How to Make the Most of Your Weekend
Inspiring Women Series {parts 1-8}
Adventures and Spontaneity
How to do Adulthood Well
20 Things Every Twentysomething Should Know How to Do
*last two originally posted on RELEVANT Magazine

Marrakech is My Happy Place {Part 1 and Part 2}
Barcelona {snapshots, favorite morning moments,
San Francisco hikes {above the clouds, the perfect sunrise hike, rope swing!, Corona Heights}
Big Sur {here, here and here}
Seattle Snapshots

Thursday Thankful Lists:
Simple Moments
All of the Time Thankfulness
Thursday Thankful List #69
Thursday Thankful List #76
10 Things I’m Thankful for Right Now
Choosing Joy

My Life:
Two Years Ago Today
A Letter for Kristen
A Mother’s Day Thank You
Share Your Life

PS: Happiest 21st birthday to my beautiful sister Katie!


25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Person Should Actually Make For 2014

I saw this article floating around my Facebook feed about resolutions everyone should make and wanted to re-share before January 1st here on Polish My Crown. Something I started doing in fall of 2012 was writing down monthly resolutions for myself. They are always posted in my journal and somewhere in my room so I can read them daily, but often, I share them here on my blog. Challenging myself to do new things, to cut bad habits and to make different choices is something that’s very important to me, as it’s allowed me to grow, learn and embrace new people and experiences. It also helps me slow down, focus on and appreciate what really matters in life {hint: it’s not how much money is in my bank account, how many Twitter and Instagram followers I have or how many times I work out}.

The full list is below with a few of my favorites in bold. Happy Monday!

1.Stop posting negative sh*t about celebrities on social media. Miley Cyrus does not care what you think about her haircut, Justin Bieber does not care what you think of his tattoos and Gwyneth Paltrow couldn’t care less regarding what you think about her diet.

2. Stop resenting yourself for drunk texting your ex.  Sure, its a little embarrassing, but at least you’re addressing your feelings. Not that you should aim to drink an entire bottle of rum then see what happens, but… roll with the punches.

3. Leave the country. If you don’t have money, look into doing charity work abroad. Some programs will sponsor you.

4. If you hate your job, quit your job. Repeat after me: THE MONEY IS NOT WORTH IT. Food and shelter are clutch though, so make sure you have another job lined up.

5. Stop beating yourself up for skipping the gym on days you truly didn’t have time. But also, stop skipping the gym on days you had plenty of time to go.

6. Make up — not to be confused with make out — with an ex.

7. Rid yourself of enemies. Apologize for what you did wrong and forgive those who have wronged you.

8. Rid yourself of “frenemies.” Don’t spend 2014 surrounded by people you secretly despise.

9. If you think somebody is cute, say “hi” and introduce yourself. Every relationship you have ever had started with a greeting.

10. Leave your phone number for someone. Worst-case scenario: you won’t get a call and maybe you’ll feel a tiny bit embarrassed. Regardless of the outcome, you put yourself out there and probably made the other person’s day.

11. Stop caring about how many people “like” your Instagram photos. If you like the photo enough to post it, what else matters? Social media anxiety is a waste of time.

12. Cross something off your bucket list. Sky dive, bungee jump, scuba dive, etc. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t accomplish something, and check out.

13. Stop hating yourself for eating dessert. A piece of birthday cake is a right, not a privilege.

14. Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be something you use daily, but documenting your experiences is incredibly important. You’ll appreciate it later.

15. Strengthen relationships with family members. Blood is thicker than water.

16. Help strangers. “Pay it forward,” do good things for the world — and don’t post a Facebook status about it.

17. Conquer a fear. Personally, I fear Bikram yoga.

18. Turn off your smartphone at dinner.

19. Don’t check your Twitter feed when you’re with friends.

20. Try a fashion trend you never thought you could pull off. And, do it with confidence. Floppy hats, snap backs, Harem pants; you can do it!

21. Double-text without fear. THOU SHALL NOT BE IGNORED!

22. Shop locally, eat locally and recognize where your money is going. Consumers control the economy, so visit the mom-and-pop coffee shop down the street instead of Starbucks. Shop at boutiques rather than chains (they aren’t all expensive — trust me). Try instead of retail conglomerates.

23. Cry. When you’re happy and when you’re sad; embrace your emotions as they come.

24. Stop being so shallow. Next time you find yourself judging someone based on his or her appearance, imagine the person standing in front of you saying, “I’m beautiful.” You’ll start to believe it.

25. If you want someone to commit to you, vocalize it. Don’t settle for being someone’s “f*ck buddy” if that isn’t what you want. “Together” is the waiting period between “talking” and “dating”; purgatory shouldn’t last forever.

via EliteDaily


18 things to make time for again

Thought Catalog for the win again. Someone recently sent me this article sharing 18 things everyone should make time for again and I wanted to share with you. Enjoy! xo

1. Writing things by hand. Letters to friends, lists for the store, goals for the week, notes for lovers, thank you cards and memos to coworkers. Digital communication is easy and convenient but ask anybody: there’s a huge difference between texting someone to say that you love them and hope they have a great day and writing it on a note and leaving it next to their bed.

2. Savoring time to do nothing. Taking a cue from pre-industrialized society and cultures that enjoy siestas and long, drawn-out, sit-down teas that serve no other purpose than to spend time enjoying the time you have.

3. Thinking before responding. We’ve become too conditioned to require things immediately. Someone asks a question, and we have to respond that second. Such was not the case before instant messaging and comment threads. A sign of true intelligence and confidence, I think, is someone who takes time to consider the question at hand in a little more depth, and then offers a response.

4. Cooking a nice meal just for the sake of doing so. It really trains you to defy your need for instant gratification and of course puts you in touch with something that’s very human and can be lovely if done right.

5. Getting really dressed up for no other reason than just wanting to.

6. Books. Actual hard copy books that you can scribble notes in and mark off sections of and smell ink through and hear the sound of turning pages and bending spines while you read.

7. Making phone calls to relatives for no other reason than to just say hi, and to ask how they’re doing.

8. Disconnecting from technology frequently enough that we won’t be anxious and feeling like we’re missing something when we try to do so for an extended period of time.

9. Celebrating things with long, multiple course dinners that we hold for people as opposed to just drinking ourselves into an oblivion and being belligerent (that has it’s time and place, of course, but having thoughtful, celebratory dinners is a dying art).

10. Cleaning because it’s satisfying and doing things like painting walls or getting fresh flowers just because it’s therapeutic.

11. Spending time with kids, and doing kid things with them. They just know what’s up.

12. Answering things in a timely fashion, not putting off invitations and requests just because we can.

13. Making sure relationships are actually based on time spent with one another. People seem to be sustaining them through only digital means with increasing frequency and I can understand how that’s important if it’s temporarily long distance but in general, physically being with people is the only thing that will give you that sense of human connectedness.

14. Just sitting and listening to music. We’ve made music background noise in our everyday lives, but now and again we should just sit and enjoy it like people used to.

15. Traveling by train, or if that’s not possible, at least exploring places that you pass everyday. Especially if you live in a big city, there are always little hidden gems around that you won’t believe you lived without seeing while they were a block away from you all along.

16. Putting personal health and well-being first, as it often falls to the wayside in importance. This means, aside from the obvious, taking those personal days and using them to just relax. We’ve made such a quirky commodity out of enjoying napping and relaxing, as though doing so makes us boring and old. It doesn’t, it’s healthy.

17. Planning something, especially with someone else, as simple as dinner or as grandiose as a long vacation next year. You always need something to look forward to.

18. Stopping to talk to people throughout the day. Connecting with them genuinely, as such interaction is really important but is becoming increasingly less common. Turning our phones off when out to dinner (who even turns them off anymore?) and learning to not spend all of our time documenting whatever we’re doing for social media. It often takes away from the experience itself.


advice for millennials

Happy Tuesday! This week has been off to an interesting start and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed already. I’m reminding myself to take lots of deep breaths, step away from my computer and remember what really matters and what I’m thankful for. I wanted to share yet another awesome RELEVANT Magazine article that shares 11 pieces of advice for millennials – but I think the advice applies to just about everyone. Hope you have a lovely day! xo

No one ever “arrives,” so enjoy where you are right now

Don’t let ambition and contentment become mutually exclusive qualities. Sure, you may want to end up in a better job, a different city or a new relationship, but if you’re always looking forward to the next thing, you’ll never enjoy where you are right now.

No matter how successful you become, there will always be more goals you’ll want to accomplish. There’s nothing wrong with looking ahead to what’s next in your life, but don’t let plans about the future prevent you from living in the moment.

The Internet never forgets

Too many people have learned this lesson the hard way. Before you tweet that seemingly funny (but possibly inappropriate) joke, post pictures from a party you’d rather forget or engage in a political discussion that gets a little too heated, remember that even if you later try to remove what you’ve posted that can be nearly impossible in the Internet age. Think before you post—it could save you some serious stress down the road.

It’s never too late

“I feel like it’s just too late to launch my own business, go back to school, start a family, travel the world …” Fill in the blank. Julia Child didn’t attend cooking school until she was 36. Harrison Ford’s breakout role (Han Solo inStar Wars), didn’t happen until he was 35. Colonel Sanders launched the KFC franchise at age 65. Whether it’s a dream job, the degree you always wanted or an unmet life goal, it’s never too late to try and do the thing you’ve always wanted.

Always be able to (respectably) answer the question, “What book are you reading right now?”

This doesn’t mean you can’t spend time reading the latest paperback thriller, graphic novel or Onion collection. But, it’s always good to also be able to answer with something dignified that can also lead to engaging conversation. Need help finding your next thought-provoking Kindle purchase? Goodreads has lots of recommendations from a variety of topics and custom lists. And of course, you can always check out our weekly recommendations.

Regret is pointless

Just because it may sound cliché doesn’t mean it isn’t true: No one’s perfect. Too often we forget that there’s a difference between repentance and regret, and we don’t let ourselves move past mistakes. The only thing regret does is prevent you from moving forward. The difference between people who are successful and people who aren’t isn’t who made the least amount of mistakes—it’s who was able to learn from them and move on.

Turn off your phone

According to new research, modern smartphone users check their devicesup to 150 times a day on average. Clearly, we have a problem. In his now famous rant against smartphones on a recent episode of Conan, Louis C.K. says it best: “You need to build the ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away—is the ability to just sit there … That’s being a person, right?” Don’t lose the ability to observe stillness. Sometimes being alone is uncomfortable—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Be really careful with credit cards

Some experts say you shouldn’t use them at all. Others suggest that if you do, you need to exercise extreme caution. Credit cards can have their benefits—they help build credit, offer monetary rewards and give users some financial flexibility. But if used irresponsibly, they lead to a cycle of debt and bad credit that can haunt users for years. If you do decide to use credit cards, do so with extreme care. Don’t spend extravagantly. Always pay your bill on time. And make sure you know the dangers of getting into debt.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Values like pride and self-reliance have been ingrained in hardworking young adults for generations, but they can be a double-edged sword. It’s noble to try to overcome problems on your own, but at some point, we all need help from someone wiser than ourselves. If you’re fighting an addiction, going through a difficult time professionally, having relationship issues or just need to talk to someone, don’t be afraid to find a family member, pastor, mentor or counselor and ask for help. Too often, we think of asking for help as a weakness, when, it reality, it’s the ultimate sign of strength.

Be present

We’re all busy, so it’s easy to be distracted by other commitments, that email that just came into your phone or thinking about that next meeting. But no matter how much you have going on in your life, one of the keys to being successful and happy in everything that you do is to actually take the time to enjoy what you’re doing. Stay focus on the conversation you’re having. Work hard while you’re at work. And have fun when you’re out with your friends or family. Take some advice from someone really smart, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

Do not let the sun go down on your anger

Another piece of timeless wisdom from someone extremely wise, it’s especially applicable in the digital age where it’s easy to reach out and make amends with anyone. Anger and unforgiveness are no-win emotions. Take the advice of Scripture, and don’t live with hostility toward others—at the end of the day, you are the one who really suffers. (This is especially true if you are engaged in a fiery online debate—trust us, there’s just no winningsome arguments.

Pray more

Maybe you pray throughout the day. Maybe you hardly ever pray. But no matter how frequently you do pray, you can still never pray too much. Praying throughout the day isn’t just a good a way to remind yourself of God’s purpose in your day-to-day life; it’s also a way to seek divine guidance in even the smallest situations.


Defining Success

A little over a year ago, I asked some people I look up to and am inspired by to share their definition of success {here and here}. As a follow-up, I shared what success means to me and how I define it personally in my own life. In the post, I shared how my definition of success changed during that specific season of life and how I needed to remember that what success looks t0 me often looks very different to other people. And that is perfectly okay. In the post, I wrote:

Previously, I never really took much time to think about success – but viewed it in terms of accomplishments: getting XYZ job, doing XYZ, accomplishing XYZ. The weird part was this – during college, I thought that graduating college with a degree I wanted was successful, I thought getting a job was successful, I thought dating someone “just perfect” was successful. While these three things are certainly not bad, I’ve learned they don’t equate to success in my book anymore. My views have completely shifted and I no longer think landing a dream job or having the perfect relationship equates to success. I’ve come to a point where I’ve seen people who ‘have everything’ and are ‘successful’ by the world’s standards; and then realize some of them are completely miserable. I’m done defining success based on items/experiences I check off a to-do list and instead view success based on who I am and who I strive to be day-to-day.


About two weeks ago, I decided that I needed to remind myself how I define my own personal success and that it would be easiest to write it down and put in a place I would see everyday. I wrote my list down and hung it up right by my door – I literally can’t avoid reading it! What I love about this is that since writing the original post, my definition HASN’T changed. These are still the tried-and-true ways I look at being successful in my own life. The definition is six-fold and could also be viewed as life goals for myself. Here they are:

1. To help other people discover and maximize their potential
2. To radiate unconditional love – to everyone, every day
3. To live out God-given joy
4. To live with authentic integrity
5. To be surrounded {mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually} by people who encourage and challenge me
6. To be the best person I can be right where I’m at now

Sharing {or maybe it’s re-sharing} my definition of success on my blog was sparked after reading this awesome RELEVANT article. I love how the author defines success as: “living a life that is professionally-exciting, relationally-connected and spiritually-inspired.” The author challenged me to re-think my definition of success and maybe more importantly, to look at what I would be willing to give up to attain this success. Super interesting and definitely worth reading.

Now I want to hear from you – how do you define success in your life? I’d love to hear! xo