hearts so full.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

here's the thing, san diego, i always new it was you.

at my college graduation dinner, i announced to my parents, i'm going to move to san diego.

[utter silence. blank stares].

no you're not.

i deflate. well, yes i am.

cue the common retorts that every college grad gets, what are you going to do for work? how are you going to make money?

it seemed so simple at the time. i loved so many things about san diego. i'd move there, get a job, live with my best friend, and the rest would be history.

apparently not. at least not then.

you know how people say everything happens for a reason? well, it's true. instead of being the person who moved to san diego right after college, i became the person who lived in san francisco then new york then san diego. and you know what? i wouldn't have it any other way. i think i saved the best for last.

my life is pretty simple as of late. i run. i do pilates. i soak in the pure goodness of the dearest of friends surrounding me. i embrace this lovely community. i make sure to watch the sunset and check the tide schedule to see if it will affect my daily running route. i worry about things like not burning my roasted veggies and being a good roomie to the two precious souls who have given me the most amazing place to call home.

lets just say my life is so drastically different than it has ever been and i am in absolute bliss. i'll let you in on a little secret, san diego is heaven on earth. my heart is so full, and in turn i'm becoming the person i've always wanted to be.

so that's the update around here. i've been so quiet, i know, but i hope to write more through this glorious transformation. sending you all my full hearted love.

it's the friends you can call up at 4am that matter.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

i've been meaning to post this forever, and today feels like the right day since it is exactly one month from 8.9.14... the wedding day of one of my very bests {happy anniversary!}. the one who happens to be saving my life right now in san diego, but that's a different story for a different day.

august was a month of speeches wasn't it? i realized i absolutely love writing them. not winging them, but actually writing meaningful words and sharing them with others. it's one of the most terrifying yet thrilling things i've experienced to date.

so, here goes...

hi everyone, i’m gina, and i am lucky enough to be kate’s maid of honor and to have had kate as my partner in crime for the past sixteen years. because i’ve known kate since the very formative age of twelve, i thought what better time than at her wedding to take us on a little trip down memory lane to remind us just how cool she was.

we've always called each other sisters. she's caitlin. i'm vix. we named each other after the two main characters in the book summer sisters by judy blume which was published in 1998, the year we became friends. 

we've always had our own language, kate and i.

we even created a very detailed glossary of code names in our top secret journal so when we'd pass notes back and forth to each other in high school, no one would know who we were talking about. we used nicknames like skittle, air. j, corolla, and lady bug. there was always a rhyme and a reason to how we got to a specific name, and of course no one would ever crack our secret lingo especially when all of our sentences went something like this, 'oh my gosh, vix, did you see skittle today? air j. totally likes you. i hope corolla isn’t mad at me. let’s definitely hangout with lady bug this weekend.' that was kate and i for you.

our summers were spent by our pools in matching striped j.crew swimsuits and lavender platform flip flops. sometimes we'd spend all day doing our hair and makeup and make my mom take model shots of us posing in several different abercrombie outfits in the backyard. we were our own creative directors. our friday nights were filled with aim'ing the boys we had crushes on and making up dances in the study on lowell lane to 'who let the dogs out?' there were family vacations to tahoe where we coined ourselves the 'tahoe twins' dressed in our matching denim jackets and also to hawaii where we wore the same seashell necklaces and, surprise surprise, made susan and john take pictures of us.

the list goes on, but i will spare you.

enter ryan.

though years had passed since kate and i's dance parties in the study, we have those sweet dance moves at a bar in cal poly to thank for the initial attraction between kate and ryan.

good thing we did all that practicing.

ry, when you first arrived, i was skeptical. i thought, who is this boy who's come out of nowhere and is attentive, sweet, and caring. he follows through and does what he says he's going to do, calls when he says he's going to call, and makes a huge effort driving thousands and thousands of miles to visit kate. you were too good to be true.

and what a relief, because, you know us sisters, we have very high standards for each other.

there was something about you that was different from the very beginning. you may have won her over with your sweet dance moves, but you really won her over with your good and selfless heart.

i admire you both so much. i have loved witnessing the bond you two share and being a part of your love story.

and, i just want to end with one last thing about kate. so, most recently, we've been living in different time zones. just a few weeks ago, late on a friday night I called kate and was reminded of this quote, 'it’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter.' kate has always been my 4am friend. my 2am and 3am one too. it doesn’t matter what time i call her or how much time has passed since we've last talked, she answers. she drops everything she's doing and listens. kate is one of the truest, most compassionate, brightest souls to ever walk this earth. and when she says you're her best friend, she really means it.

ryan, thank you for being everything my best friend deserves.

i love you both with all my heart!

...until next speech!

more on my new life soon. xo.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

meet margo and chris {oh, you've met margo before}. a couple of weeks ago they tied the knot and threw the best celebration ever in the wine country with over a hundred of their best friends {it also happened to fall on the day after i arrived home from new york, so i secretly pretended it was my very own welcome home party}.

my favorite part about weddings is that they are a true symbol of the life that the couple has created for themselves. there's nothing like having everyone you love in one place at one time showering you with all of their love and adoration and speaking the most genuine words.

i asked my margo if i could say a little something at her rehearsal dinner and, well, this is what came out...

hi everyone, i’m gina and i am lucky enough to be one of margo's 'maids and part of chris and margo's lives for the past 10 years… which, wow, makes me feel like we’re getting really old!
i became friends with margo and chris in college in santa barbara, but it was san francisco where they truly became my family.
margo and chris have this special gift where they are the core of so many great groups of true friends. it’s almost like if you know margo and chris you’re in this exclusive club of genuinely awesome people. they have this unique ability to bring good people together and make you feel like you’re apart of something really special.
i’d like to think that when we all lived in san francisco together we were like the modern day version of friends {we even had a joey!}. we’d spend lazy days on the floral couch watching tv and doing really cool things like filling up the ‘642 things to draw’ book. we’d cook sunday night dinners, make fro yo runs, and fill our weekends adventuring around the bay area generally just enjoying each other’s company and depending on one another like friends do. it was the most natural, easy, and comforting thing in the world.
and that is margo and chris for you. they remind you that the most important thing we have in life is each other.
i am so grateful to know you. when i think of what love should be like i think of you two. thank you for being such a beautiful example of what it means to marry your best friend, to grow together in love, and to create a rich, happy, fulfilling life.
i wish for all of us to have it as good as you two do.
so, with that, cheers to margo and chris! i love you guys with all my heart.

the weekend was practically perfect in every way filled to the brim with happiness and just the best friends anyone could have. i feel so lucky to be a part of such an amazing crew.

you can have manhattan.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

when i decided to move back to california i had to break my lease and take all of these very official steps to do so, one of which was mailing a certified letter of resignation signed and notarized to my management company.


this was a new one for me {one of the many things i have new york to thank}.

it means to certify a document and prove that it's really coming from you. one must visit a public notary to do so. to become one of these said notaries you have to take an oath {an oath!} and a written exam and bam! the secretary of state says you're in. you even get a very official and fancy embosser to stamp your highly certified documents with. i digress. this is not the point of the story.

so i find a public notary at a ups store just around the corner from my office. i have my letter printed, my certified check in hand {for so much money i can barely stomach it}, and i can't bring myself to go inside. is this it? am i really doing this? am i sure? do i push through another seven months? it's a disgustingly hot and humid day in june which isn't helping me think with a clear head.

now, i'm a believer in signs from the universe. a big believer. but they only come every so often and definitely not when you're looking for them.

earlier that day i was texting one of my dear little chickadees during her move back to the west coast. naturally, with any big life transition comes doubt and fear, so i texted her the lyrics to my favorite song of the moment by one of my all-time favorite artists as a little reminder to trust herself.

sara barielles, 'manhattan' goes something like this:

'you can have manhattan
i'll settle for the beach
sunsets facing westward
sand beneath my feet'

so here i am on lafayette street fretting and trying to just breathe through the anxiety and the humidity, and, you guys!, out walks sara barielles.

i can't help but feel like we're some kind of kindred spirits. she's from northern california. i'm from northern california. she moved to new york in the winter of 2013. i moved to new york in the winter of 2013.

she said: 'i always swore i would never live in new york. i always felt so overwhelmed here. it's ironic, the thing you think you don't need is the thing you actually need most.'

that's what i think too.

so that was all it took, really. to be reminded that i wanted it. that my grand plans for my next city are real and valid and deserved. it was a sign from the universe that i was doing the right thing.

into the ups store i went.

and i didn't look back.

sara barielles quote found in a billboard article and here's a great interview with her too. 
p.s. remember that one time we met?


Monday, July 14, 2014

more than anything i feel grateful. and i know what you're going to say... gina, isn't that word of yours a little overdone?

but the thing is, it's true. i made a choice to approach every life experience this way, so even when the going gets tough i'm still able to put things into perspective and fill up with nothing but gratitude.

i decided to leave new york.

it just happened. all at once. and when i decide something, well, there's no going back. what's done is done.

i blame austin. but i think austin saved me, really. it was early may and i hadn't left new york for almost four months after a looooong winter, a failed attempt at love, and an insane work schedule. i kind of forgot what life was like outside of this place, but austin reminded me. it refreshed my memory of big open blue skies and serenity and life's simple pleasures like waking up to birds chirping, babies, big houses, crafting, driving in cars, and lazy afternoons. things that i forgot existed. a lingering anxiety melted away from my being and my heart was filled with nothing but hope. and optimism. the feeling that life could actually be what i wanted it to be. funny how that works, don't you think? you have to physically and emotionally not have what you want, to realize what you do want.

the thing is, i never belonged here. but who belongs in new york, really? that's not meant to be negative {a phrase i keep repeating} or harsh, it was just always an undefined adventure. a challenge. a dream. a wish.

so i did it. and it was everything i hoped for somehow. but also not enough.

p.s. for more austin adventures take a trip down memory lane.

it's your bucket, i'm just livin' in it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

right before i moved from san francisco i started crossing things off a bucket list {remember, here and here}, and i've been living my life that way ever since. i think it's a good approach to take so as not to get stuck, and instead live life fervently, where weekends start with a sense of adventure and end with a feeling of accomplishment. so, let's get to it, shall we? oh, one warning, this post really should be like, 11 separate ones...oops. ready, go!

1. visit the bill cunningham 'facades' exhibit.
a long time ago when it was still winter, i went uptown to see the bill cunningham exhibit at the new york historical society. it was a sunday, frigid cold out, and the perfect day for a solo new york adventure. i'm sure by now you know my love for bill, and might remember the time i was completely star struck when i saw him in action. 'facades' was a fascinating exhibit documenting bill's photos of his friend, editta sherman, dressed in vintage clothing at prominent spots in new york city. i liked it so much i walked through three times. his photos deserved it.

2. see the little prince exhibit.
i dragged my bests audrey and andrea to see this at the morgan library and museum on a chilly spring saturday afternoon. it tells the story of how antoine de saint-exupéry wrote many iterations of the little prince in new york city, and it even holds the original pages of his writing and drawings.

3. channel 'gossip girl' and have a drink at the campbell apartment.
the campbell apartment was once the private office and saloon of john w. campbell in the 1920's and tucked away in a corner of grand central terminal. it's got great music, even better lighting, and one of the best manhattans in town. couldn't help but think, 'xoxo gossip girl' the whole time.

4. saturday morning run around the central park reservoir.
just cause, you know, it's sort of picturesque. and it seems like it's what true new yorkers do. 

5. plant a garden in new york city.
because that seems normal, right? i always say that the next place i live i'm going to have a little back patio and be able to plant flowers and drink tea basking in the sunlight on saturday mornings. well, the first friend i met who had a square foot of dirt in her 'backyard,' i convinced to let me plant a garden. she is a gem and i can't thank her enough. 

6. drink rosé in sheep's meadow {again}.
i've learned that nothing says summer in new york like an afternoon spent in sheep's meadow. so, what did we do on the first day of summer? you're looking at it.

7. visit dumbo.
if you wanted to know, dumbo stands for 'down under the manhattan bridge overpass' and ever since i saw this picture on instagram's instagram account, i've been wanting to reenact it. mission accomplished. i love how you can spy the empire state building through the base of the bridge.

8. go to gma.
i'll say it once and i'll say it again, i am a self-proclaimed gma addict. i've started nearly every morning with robin, george, lara, amy & co for the past five years, and watching them each day at the gym has provided me with such comfort while living in new york {,similar to how sarah & vinnie do, too}. there is something incredibly fascinating to me about producing the news and i left feeling nostalgic for my news anchor besties.

9. finally get to abc kitchen.
to get into abc kitchen you have to call exactly one month ahead of time from your preferred date at promptly 9 a.m. to reserve a table at a decent time. when asked, people frequently say this is their favorite restaurant in new york city. the ricotta toast with strawberry jam is everything. and, how lucky i was to have my mama and my second mama in town.

10. get a mister softee...with rainbow sprinkles!
who doesn't love a classic vanilla cone!? it seems mister softee trucks are parked on every corner of manhattan in the summer and i've refrained until... now! it's like eating vanilla flavored air. it's heaven, really.

11. try the bloody mary's at the st. regis.
a while back, a google search entitled ‘best bloody mary in manhattan’ revealed to me that the st. regis was near the top of the list. at $25 a pop, make sure you drink it slowly {we may or may not have had two}. they are perfectly spicy and delicious. 

...so that's a wrap {for now}! i am so grateful to be able to partake in these adventures. they certainly do make this new york life sweet. there are still a few things to cross off the 'ol list. i'll keep you posted, of course. love love. 

to essie, with love.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

i've had several pinch me moments upon moving to new york, and meeting essie and her husband most certainly has been one of them. they are the sweetest duo in new york city and they have so kindly taken me under their wing as an adopted daughter from the west coast. a queens girl herself, essie is the heart and soul of this city and i admire her quick wit, sense of humor, and genuine sweetness. she is the living, breathing example of how following what you're passionate about can lead to sheer success. as she says, life is too short not to follow your passions. 

essie is an aol expert, a project i run at aol, in which we partner with fantastic influential individuals on creating engaging and premium video content for aol users. i've been so fortunate to meet the most interesting people along the way, essie included.

in one of essie's videos, she describes how to pick the perfect red. it all comes down to your skin tone - simple tips from the wisest beauty expert on the block. and don't forget, you're never fully dressed without a manicured nail.

i am so grateful for these two wonderful people and i'm thankful that new york has connected me with such lovely human beings. i will cherish my moments with them throughout my entire life.

*for more articles on the essie + aol collaboration see The Frisky, Elle, and Entrepreneur

on loving and leaving.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

the night i arrived in new york city my driver thought i was a movie star.

gina martini he read aloud as i climbed into the back of the big, black suv. he paused, glaring down at his paperwork as if it would reveal any hint of who this wide-eyed girl with six oversized pieces of luggage really was, because she most certainly was no one he recognized as famous. assumed it was a stage name, he mumbled from the front seat.

i soon found out that this nice man happened to be the same driver that was in the movie devil wears prada {mere minutes after landing and the adventure had already begun}. it was royremember him? it took me a second, too. he has a small cameo with anne hathaway... roy, i'm sorry, can you go any faster? flashes to him. i'm sure nate will understand. i didn't even learn his real name that night, so roy it will always be. now who's the celebrity? i thought to myself

well, roy and i became fast friends. he loved to talk. mostly about food. he talked and talked about all of his favorite restaurants in new york city. and i have to say, the notes i jotted down that first night still come in handy today. he indulged me in my questions about hidden gems and where to go on weekend trips outside of the city because, well, i guess i was subconsciously trying to leave this place before i even got here. and, i was so eager to take advantage of living on the east coast and travel to all the places east coasters go.

you know how certain songs evoke emotions when they're played during key moments in your life? like how i can't hear a dashboard confessional song without thinking of my first love or how rascal flatts puts me right back in my hometown with the windows down driving home from high school or how a certain lil jon song transports me to a party in the basement of a frat house. key moments in life, really.

well, the next day it felt right to start playing alicia keys girl on fire on repeat. i even set it as my alarm clock. so every frigid february morning i'd wake up in my very stark corporate apartment on thirty second and sixth avenue, where roy dropped me off and helped me to unload my larger than life suitcases, and heard 'she's just a girl and she's on fire.' i would then play it three or four more times on the way to work depending on how long i had to wait for the n or r train from herald square. so that's the song. the one that will forever make me think of moving to new york.

all of this is pretty pointless information for you, isn't it? the stories don't even really go together in one post, they are just two small details i've been wanting to tell you for a while. and also, they are things i might someday write in my very own goodbye to all that. a dear and incredibly wise-for-her-age-friend {and also fellow blogger!} got me hooked on this book, a compilation of essays from writers who have lived in new york city.

i've learned people come to new york for the same reasons - opportunity, experience, and freedom to name a few - they just articulate it in their own way, but there is a universal theme that pulls us here. at the same time, people also leave this place for the same few reasons, but mostly, in my opinion, because they are tired. tired of it all. in the book, my favorite cheryl strayed says it perfectly in her final essay...
in the end, i had to realize it was never meant to be. it wasn't new york. it was me. i'd entered the city the way one enters any grand love affair: with no exit plan. i went willing to live there forever, to become one of the women clad in slim pants and killer shoes and interesting coats. i was ready for the city to sweep me into its arms, but instead it held me at a cool distance. and so i left new york the way one leaves a love affair too: because as much as i loved it, i wasn't truly in love. i had no compelling reason to stay. 
so it's all happening, my friends. the whole love but not in love part... the ready to leave thing. i get it. i get the cycle of this place. but more than anything i'm just grateful for the ride.

*more thoughts coming your way soon. xx

through the airwaves.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

i talked to my best for nearly an hour today. it was one of those conversations about everything, but also nothing really {the best kind} like babies, probiotics, jessica biel, chlorophyll, and...

ray lamontagne.

his new song, airwaves. have you heard it? just as she suspected, i. can't. stop. listening.

i'm maybe on play number fifteen in a matter of hours. don't you love when that happens? the song infatuation phenomenon. it doesn't happen to me much anymore, so i'm going to ride this one out, really milk it for all that it's worth.

and stace, i miss you so much. our chats {although slightly less frequent than the old days} nourish my soul. they make me feel happy and human and connected and like there's nothing better in this great big world than true friendship. i will never ever take them for granted. love you. sending you good energy through the airwaves, sister. xoxo.

oh new york, you're such a tease.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

today was a rare day in new york city. it broke sixty degrees. yes, you heard me. sixty! and it's march eleventh. blue skies, warm air, and no down coat necessary. a little slice of heaven if you ask me.

but, don't be fooled, my friends, it's back to the usual freezing antics tomorrow. oh, new york, you're such a tease. but thank you, nonetheless.

so today, on this rare occurrence of the parting of the clouds, i did something i never do and left the office for lunch. bold, i know. i sat, took in the moment, and didn't check my email for a whole thirty minutes. i know what you're thinking, so rebellious! but it felt like i was downright breaking the rules. oh, new york, you have such a way of luring us into your demanding work ethic and your addictive ways.

the old version of me came to visit today. the one who takes a breather and notices the late afternoon light and listens to the songs playing on the radio {'oops i did it again,' thanks britney, and 'don't stop til you get enough,' thanks mj}. the one who watches the group of people walk by the window to pause for a selfie, observes the girl in the corner sipping her coffee looking as if she is waiting on a friend, and feels inspired to write. simple things, really. but the things that remind us that we are human and there is more to life than just a job.

i was recently in la - venice actually - and it was an early sunday morning. i was hopping out of the car with one of my bests heading into a yoga class, and it occurred to me that i missed this version of myself. the same one that came to say hi today. the one who carries little to no stress, soaks up the moment, and really lives life.

i think this is my biggest takeaway from my one year, one month, and ten days in new york city. i love it and would not trade one second of it for the world, but it promotes a different way of being. one that causes you to put your head down, to work hard, and to not ask questions because everyone else is working even harder. all of a sudden, certain parts of yourself get a little bit buried under the pile of chaos and no matter how hard you try to hang on to your old way of being, it's difficult to maintain in it's full capacity. so instead, you find yourself getting glimpses of the old version of you on an uncharacteristically warm tuesday afternoon in march at a cafe in soho.

oh, new york, you're such a tease. but thank you, nonetheless.

*photo from december via my iphone - the bryant part merry-go-round, an nyc bucket list item.

**just a disclaimer that this post is in no way meant to sound negative {because i am immensely happy and have so much to be grateful for}, but i did want to capture some of the raw parts of this experience and hope that someone finds comfort in relating to it. 

instruments of peace.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

between you and me {sorry mom!} i haven't been to church since last easter. in the past i talked a lot about yoga serving as my religion, but we all know how less frequent the chanting sessions have been these days. so, it feels like i need a little bit of inspiration, a reminder that it's bigger than you to bring me back to a place of peace.

last weekend during a jog on a perfectly sunny santa barbara morning {just a quick california trip!} i stumbled upon this gem on the side of a stone wall that lined a monastery. i stood there reading it over and over.

i prayed for us all to be instruments of peace.

and so, i hope this is one you'll file away. bookmark it and read it in moments of any everyday frustration, in 'hatred, injury, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness.' and let it allow you to channel 'love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and joy.' because those are the things that make this life worth living.

i am so grateful i took that running route by chance, and for that moment standing in the sunshine on the corner just before turning toward the mission to take in the view.

namaste, my friends! peace peace.

stoop sessions.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

read this post as if we're sitting on a stoop. life chats feel like they should happen there, right?

i haven't felt like writing much lately. gah! {i am so embarrassed to admit it}.

my one year anniversary of living in this great big city happened this week. february second to be exact. one year! i'm not going to get all cliché on you guys and say that it flew by {even though they always do, don't they?}.

with this milestone comes a few choices to be made, like do i sign another one year lease? i don't want my path to be dictated by my lease, but it is a realistic factor. over the past year, there were times when i thought i couldn't stay any longer. but there were also times i was so in love with this place i never wanted to leave. and so, although i don't listen to the clash, the should i stay or should i go? lyric is on repeat in my head.

i'm not ready to leave. not yet. but i'm also not ready to commit to staying a whole year. i know i know what you're thinking, wasn't your twenty fourteen mantra 'settle in?' it sure was.

writing this, i think i need to follow the pursuit of this blog, to embrace it happening. i've got one year under my belt. i'm tougher, really. i've found a beautiful group of people. yes, things could be better. but they always can be. and right now, there's nowhere else i feel like i should be. yes, i get entranced by the west coast sunshine {thank you for those #nofilter's, instagram friends}. yes i get envious of backyards and spacious homes and no lines at trader joes. but maybe it's not time for that yet. i want it, but it also doesn't feel like it's naturally happening just yet. so until it feels natural, this is where i'll be.

in the spirit of making decisions, i was inspired by a dear friend to make a priority list. it goes something like this, written in an unfiltered way, and a very specific order.

one. get more sleep.
two. find time everyday to move, exercise, and get endorphins to feel good about myself.
three. ingest healthy food to sustain me.
four. be more open to meeting a guy by not being afraid to make connections no matter where i am.
five. be a good human - friend, sister, daughter, mentor - send cards, listen, be thoughtful.
six. take a little more time for myself - turn off the email, and make a conscious effort to separate work from life {this means take a true vacation soon!}.
seven. continue to excel at my job and be a sponge - learn all that i can and contribute to the greater good of aol.
eight. in the way back of my head, start slowly but surely crafting the next endeavor in my life while still honoring the phase that i'm in now.

...you know what they say, put it out there in the universe. no shame! ask and you shall receive. this next year is going to be about finding balance in this place. and being open to it all. no looking forward. no looking back. just being present.

i hope this inspires you to do the same. see you on the stoop soon for more life chats, my friends!

*photos via my iphone - taken in gramercy park, nyc.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

read more should have been one of my new years resolutions because i'm really taking that goal by the reigns. currently reading {instead of writing, clearly} the goldfinch by donna tart. i'm sure you've heard the buzz by now. the best part is that it's set in new york so i can actually envision the places the author is describing. i'm only on page one eleven and it's absolutely riveting. i love that word, don't you? i mean, how often are you riveted these days? i'm going to use it every chance i get when asked about this book.

seven hundred and seventy one thin pages long with tiny font means i'll be at this one for a while. join me, won't you? we can discuss! happy reading. and for the record, i miss you.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

these past few weeks i've had a really hard time sleeping, and, coming from an... i'd say, better than average sleeper, it's becoming quite annoying. it seems like as soon as my head hits the pillow my mind starts racing and floods with all things {mostly} work related. is it just me? or is anyone else out there having this issue too?

i rehash the day in my head, overanalyze the conversations, criticize myself for making mistakes, and anticipate the future. i also think about what a bad friend i am for not responding to an email, not checking in with that special person, regretting my purchase of a one-month stint at online dating {talk about your mind being your own worst enemy, well these are the hours that enemy comes out to play}. i'm filled with worry and fret and it all happens during the hours i so desperately need to be recharging and rebooting with some perfectly blissful sleep.

and since, historically, i've been such a good sleeper, i can only attribute this to stress and anxiety.

i remember when i was little, my dad had major sleep problems. it was when he ran his own business over a span of fifteen years. i recently asked him about this phase of his life and i finally put two and two together. running your own company is hard work, and maybe work-stress-induced loss of sleep runs in the family.

anyhow, i long for the days of head hit the pillow and that's a wrap. i hope they come back soon because, well, we're not saving lives over here. i think this is just a phase and it will all calm down and go back to normal soon otherwise i just might be choosing that easy living life path a lot sooner than i thought. but, i'm not ready for that yet, so until then i'm praying. and counting sheep. and focusing on bed time routines. and instilling a no technology after ten pm policy. and feeling grateful for this cozy bed. breathe in. breathe out. goodnight, my stars.

*photo via

on soulmates.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

there's quite a bit of controversy around the word soulmate, and after lots of pondering, i think i can loosely {and slightly interchangeably, of course} categorize them into three groups, all with the common theme that a soulmate understands you on a soul level like nobody else does. there's the...

romantic soulmate: the life partner
kindred spirit soulmate: the soul sister/brother
best friend soulmate: the guardian angel

when it comes to romantic soulmates, i don't know if i believe in the cliché that there is really only one person in this universe made for us. i think with over seven billion people on the planet, the chances are that we are bound to have a couple of them.

but then i started reading the soulmate secret by arielle ford and the way in which she defines a soulmate got me right at my core. i realized that it doesn't matter if there is only one person for us, or multiple, it just matters that you find it. out came the mechanical pencil to underline the words and make notes in the margins. now this, i thought to myself, is something that's going to be read at my someday wedding.

if i close my eyes, i can see it now... a day in late summer. the sky is blue. the air is fresh, with a light breeze. the sun glistens its late afternoon rays. there's beautiful, tall trees and green grass, and lots of people staring. but, i'm gazing into my soulmate's eyes, and i hear these words...
in the movie shall we dance? starring richard gere and susan sarandon, there is a terrific scene where sarandon's character is describing why she loves being married to her soulmate. she says, "we need a witness to our lives. there are a billion people on the planet... i mean, what does one life really mean? but in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything - the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things - all of it, all the time, every day. you're saying, 'your life will not go unnoticed because i will notice it. your life will not go unwitnessed because i will be your witness.'"
it got me thinking about the cycle of life and funnily enough, my parents. they are still my witnesses, but someday i'm going to need to find one of my very own. because they can only fulfill this role for so long until i will need to experience a soulmate in my own way, and like my parents are doing for me, do the same for my children until they find theirs.

so, anyways, you guys. big epiphanies around these parts! thank you for listening. here's to finding our witnesses.

p.s. it's weddings galore in twenty fourteen. i have so many kindred spirit / best friend soulmates who've met their romantic soulmates, and i'm just so so beyond lucky to be a part of their special days.

*photo via cupcakes and cashmere {my absolute dream of a venue}. someday!

settle in.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

mid run uphill last week, i thought of my twenty fourteen word. two words, actually. they are settle in. last year my word was manifest, and well, this year is all about actually residing in this life that i've created. to settle in it.

i'm not going to lie to you, new york has been a bit of a love-hate. there were moments when i thought i couldn't possibly last a whole year. on the toughest of days when i felt worked to the bone, i found myself fantasizing about driving across country, starting my own business, and living by the beach. all of which might happen someday, just not yet.

i am whole-heartedly determined to be happy with exactly where i am. and i mean that with every single cell of my being. i'm making this the mission of my life - to honor it, exactly as it is. i think it is absolutely okay to want new and different things. to evolve to the next phase of life. to remain curious. to figure out what isn't working, and change it. to learn what makes you happiest and go for it. to move toward accomplishing what you want. but, once you actually get what you want, remember to relish in it. to treat it with care. to hug and squeeze it everyday. because it's only a matter of time until it's gone.

that's what moving to new york in twenty thirteen taught me. it hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it. and it's time to settle in and stay for a while because this life is all just temporary.

in the spirit of resolutions, i wrote up a few simple things that i want to keep in mind this year. here goes...
do more pilates. lift more weights. reach my goal weight {that i've been so close to for so long now}. fall in love. go on more dates. make a smoothie a day. work a little less, play a little more. oh, and stress less, it's only work. send a few more cards. work on the blog. take time to read blogs. treat my parents with care. call my sister. do feet-up-the-wall pose for two minutes a day {reverse that gravity!}. take a writing class. do more jazz. learn photoshop {once and for all}. dabble in calligraphy. make sleep a priority. go on an exotic vacation. be friendly. make connections with strangers.

...and of course, settle in. get cozy. stay a while. for how much longer, who knows? i do know i will be grateful for and embrace where i am now. the future will unfold exactly as it should.

though posts were a bit few and far between in twenty thirteen, i want to thank you for still stopping by. your loyalty means the world to me. this year i wish for you to relish in the present moment. to gather all the pieces of your life that make it unique and hold them close to your heart. love those pieces. they make you the beautiful person that you are.

*photos found here, here {harry winston}, and here {love you, glitter guide}. 
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