The Royal Wedding

There is something I have to admit - I am smitten with royal weddings. Have been since I watched Diana and Charles wed, with my grand-ma and amidst not that many good memories with her, this one stands out as extremely important and precious and close to my heart.

If I weren't drinking a margarita on the beach in Mexico today, I'd be watching it. Somewhere.

I am already looking forward to watching the "best of" when I get home.

{Design by Kate Forresterfound via Wide Open Spaces}



My mother-in-law emailed this photo to me last week. It ended up in her front yard after a storm.

I don't think I have ever seen a nest like this.



Taking a real pause

I am about to leave the house for 5 nights, to go and sit in quiet reflection.

I will miss a birthday and a trip to Tahoe and probably a handful of new words and more small moments than I care to admit.

But, I think what I am about to do is the biggest gift that I can give to all those I love the very most.


My Father's Daughter

As most of you already know, I think Gwyneth Paltrow is fantastic.

And of course, when I got my Goop email this week, I had to smile that she has put her love for cooking and her dad, onto the page in My Father's Daughter

The old me would run out and by this right away.

The new me is going to add it to my wish list, perhaps peruse it next time I am in a bookstore and truthfully accept that my cookbooks actually just sit on the shelf and collect dust.

Until, they don't, I will admire this from afar.


Just keep showing up

That is always the hardest part, right? To keep showing up. To sit down and write something when all you would rather just do is take a nap.

Whenever I mention to other moms that I write a blog, they often respond with, "How on earth do you find the time to do that?" And sometimes, I have no idea how I find the time. And mostly, I often don't because it means that there is something else that I am choosing not to do instead. But I keep showing up, as best I can.

I have mentioned before that Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love had a transformation affect on my life, so you can imagine my excitement when I found her speech on TED. {If it makes you feel any better about how I find the time to write, this post has been sitting in my drafts folder since September, just waiting for me.} Regardless, her speech is inspiring and smart. She makes a distinction between being a genius and having a genius that I found extremely helpful in deciphering what it means to have a gift for something, what that gift is and how to be the conduit for sharing it with others.

Whether you like her as a writer or not, listen to what she has to say. She may just inspire you to show up for whatever you are waiting to show up for.


Some catalog perusing

A new Garnet Hill catalog arrived in the mail yesterday and I let myself meander through the pages. I say meander because the images were of travel and summer and winding paths and crooked streets and crumbling town walls. It's no wonder my mind wandered.

These are my favorites. I added them to my wishlist on Pinterest.

Makes me want to toss out my whole closet and start over again. Piece by piece and choose only things that I love and that feel good.

You know, that is not a bad idea.


10:1:10 Plan

Have you heard of this?

My friend Anna, whose new blog Eleven Twenty Nine is already on my favorites list, mentioned this a few weeks ago.

She writes...

"In a rut? Make a list of 3 things that you aspire to do every day to keep you going. The 10:1:10 plan refers to 10 minutes of meditation, writing 1 page and reading 10 pages. I’ve implemented this in a slightly different way. I guess mine is the 1:10:1 plan: 1 hour of exercise, 10 minutes of meditation and 1 blog post. I already feel more directed, creative and accountable."

I just sat down and my list is:

I know, it is 4 not 3 but I had to start somewhere. I included gardening because I have accepted that cooking is not calming or mindful for me and I already have a good practice of writing when I need it. So, I added gardening.

In this little rented house that we're in, we are surrounded by a garden that used to be taken care of. Though I can't possibly take care of all of it, I am curious about tending to a patch of it and learning what it means to actually watch something grow. And, it means being outside and in the sun.

My plan is this:
10 minutes meditation : 1 hour exercise : 10 minutes gardening

Now, how to set it into motion.

You can read the rest of Anna's post here

Image found here


Closed on Sunday

I went for a walk this morning, all by myself and as I meandered through the still undiscovered streets of our semi-new neighborhood, I was struck with the ordinariness of Sunday morning. I saw kids playing in yards, men tinkering in garages, a yard-sale here and there. I was struck at home normal this all seemed, amidst all the striving and doing and planning that seems to occupy my mind the rest of the time.

And when I arrived at the border between residential and commercial I realized that everything was closed. Not just closed in the morning, but closed on Sunday.

Closed on Sunday.

Closed on Sunday.

I don't know why I am so struck by this - I have often recollected my summer's with my grand-ma in Germany where closed on Sunday and by 1pm on Saturday and 6pm on the weekdays was totally normal. But somehow here, where everything seems accessible all the time, I find it harder to put the doing aside and reserve time for reflection.

Being self-employed and being married to someone who is self-employed also makes the border between off-work and there is always more you could do very blurry. I think that is why it is so important to set clear distinctions and priorities. We do not go to church on Sundays though we have adapted a Sunday evening community meditation ritual that one of us usually gets to go to. I suppose that is part of creating a day of contemplation, rest and non-doing. But I wonder what else I could do to save this one day a week for activities that are only nourishing, rejuvenating and restful.

I will start with Sunday as an email, computer based project and laundry free day. Next week.

Is there anything you would like to do to start Closed on Sunday at your house?


Q1 recap

It's the end of Q1. That means something in the business world and since I am dipping my toes into that world 15 hours a week it seems only relevant that I do my own Q1 recap.

And really, I need to celebrate because I just crossed off 23, 29, 44, 60, 76 and 98! And that is without really paying attention. I am smiling from ear to ear!


1. Speak Spanish, fluently and completely
2. Write in German as well as I speak
3. Finish a Masters Degree
4. Read a whole German novel
5. Travel to Africa
6. Travel to Croatia
7. Give birth at home
8. Travel to Galapagos
9. Work for Anthropologie 
10. Do work that makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning
11. Wear my old jeans again
12. Have really toned arms
13. Ride the Siberian Express from Moscow to China
14. Live in a house with a wraparound porch
15. Live in Europe
16. Attend a live taping of the Oprah show
17. Design one picture book per country from our 10 month trip
18. Dance the Lindy Hop, well
19. Own 2 pigmy goats
20. Earn my worth
21. Return to Hoi An (Vietnam) and have a whole new wardrobe made
22. Learn to play tennis, again
23. Attend Karen Mazen Miller’s Mother’s Plunge
24. Transform my relationship with money {working on it}
25. Learn to swim freestyle, properly
26. Take a furniture re-upholstery class
27. Have my teeth whitened
28. Own my own business
29. Open an Etsy store
30. Go to NYC with my husband for a long weekend
31. Go to the Flea Market every month without limitation
32. Cook a Thanksgiving turkey
33. Start a blog
34. Walk the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu
35. Travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina
36. Bake a Red Velvet Cake
37. Travel for an extended amount of time, again, kid(s) included
38. Have a website about my work that I love
39. Work for Anthropologie
40. Be published in a magazine
41. Learn to scuba dive
42. Ask for what I need {working on it}
43. Live in New York City
44. Own a bicycle I love
45. Attend a 10 Day Silent Retreat
46. Finish the things that I start {working on this too!}
47. For 30 days in a row, sit in meditation for 30 minutes a day
48. Attend Oktoberfest 
49. Own a vintage Airstream
50. Travel across the US with my family in an RV
51. Write a book
52. Be written about in 5 blogs
53. Live in Ubud, Bali for an extended amount of time
54. See Madonna Live in concert
55. Read Anna Karenina
56. Live in Germany
57. Find a country bar and learn to line dance
58. Love my body, just the way it is
59. Travel the North and South Island of New Zealand in a camper
60. Master Quicken and file our taxes in January (in progress)
61. Rent a villa in Italy with our families, for vacation
62. Continue the work my dad did on our family genealogy
63. Have a book published
64. Travel to Cyprus, with my husband and his parents
65. Convert all of my photos to digital and organize
66. Go on a weeklong yoga retreat in Mexico, by myself
67. Return to Koh Toa, Thailand
68. Take my mom and mother-in-law to Bali
69. Do another 10 day silent retreat
70. Own a record player
71. Visit Alaska
72. Eat well {working on it}
73. Own a pair of Ray Ban Aviators
74. Camp at Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon
75. Sail in the Mediterranean, on a catamaran
76. Be on TV
77. Go to ClubMed and indulge in the all-inclusiveness of it all
78. Plant a garden and tend to it
79. Stop grinding my teeth
80. Have an amazing craft room
81. Fly first class, on purpose this time
82. Roast a chicken
83. Have a second baby
84. Wear my mom’s wedding dress
85. Make a Halloween costume, from scratch
86. Travel the ancient path of the Samurai, with my husband
87. Pay off my student loans by age 40
88. Learn and appreciate the act of financial investing
89. Host an HGTV show
90. Visit Vancouver and Tofino
91. Learn to use my sewing machine
92. Attend a writing retreat
93. Find a movement practice that I can stick with
94. Visit New Orleans
95. Sell my Puppet Theatres at Renegade in 2011
96. Learn to cook and like it {working on it}
97. Open my heart, a little bit more {working on it}
98. Go Apple, all the way
99. Bake Christmas cookies, from scratch, just once
And 100 – Be present enough to really soak in every moment of the last 99

How are your resolutions going?


A day without shoes

Of course, no shoes, for one day. No problem.

I would probably be most happy living in a place where shoes were optional or at most not needed for most of the day. But as I started to think about being in the world, in my world, and navigating life without shoes, I started to think about walking into the grocery store without shoes. And immediately my thoughts went to "what would people think".

So my initial no problem to TOM's Day without Shoes today became less affirmative, as I cautiously looked over my day and realized I could plan it to make not wearing shoes for a day even possible.
I realize though, that that is not the point.

Realizing that I am less courageous than I thought I was is humbling.

If you are courageous and willing, and you are not reading this at the end of the day or the day after, take off your shoes.

Follow the bold link at the end to support TOM's in other ways or to learn more about TOM's One Day Without Shoes


Changing plans

I had yesterday morning planned out for the last 4 weeks.

Wake up at 6:30.
Leave the house at 7:30.
Arrive at Alameda Flea Market by 8:15.
Stay there for as long as I want.

But on Saturday night, I changed my plans. I decided not to use my toddler free time to go to the flea market but to go to a yoga class instead. A yoga class that would hopefully be the "ice breaker" to a new path of taking better care of my body. And though I was a bit terrified and almost talked myself out of it, I made it through all 90 hot minutes.

And today, though I am a bit nostalgic for what I think I missed and a bit envious of the delightful finds that went home with my friend Anna, I know that I made the right and good decision. And knowing that, makes taking care of myself just a little bit easier.

And, that makes the 1st Sunday of May that much more exciting.

{Image found at Bikram Yoga Silverlake}


Walking home

And just like that, Spring appeared.

As nature would have it, there will be more rain ahead of us. Of that I am sure. But today, the sun, in all her healing power is out and people are smiling and walking their dogs and wearing sandals.

And I noticed all of this because I walked home this morning after dropping our nugget off at daycare. After being cooped up and feeling miserable with a double sided ear infection (me, not him), my body was ready for the movement and the fresh air. What I wasn't expecting was the appearance of spring around ever corner. Trees are bursting at the tips with new life, blossoms are slowly poking their heads out of the earth. And, right there, on the corner of our yard, a small batch of freesia has appeared out of nowhere.

And because I always drive, I have missed it.

So this weekend, change it up, walk home. You might see something you have been missing.