Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

At the Paris

Wishing you and yours a very wonderful Christmas and a most happy New Year's Eve! The blog is going silent for the week while I soak up the holidays with my family and prepare some BIG new surprises for you to be unveiled with the new year. See you in 2012! ♥

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's the Simple Moments

A Deliciously Simple Lunch

I've been thinking a lot about the simple moments lately. With the holiday season in particular it becomes so easy, too easy, to get caught up in the bustle. To forget to slow down and simply breathe for a few minutes. That just means that it's all the more important to create special moments for yourself though. To turn ordinary moments into something magical.

Today presented me with one of those opportunities. I was about to have a working lunch when I stopped myself. Taking half an hour to unplug and tune out was not going to bring the world crashing down around my ears. Photos will get edited. Lists will get written. Social media will be waiting. But taking that half hour? Priceless. Instead of halfheartedly munching on a stale PB&J (oh the joys of week+ old bread...), I used some leftover rosemary ham and my favorite truffle mustard to make a panini. I even took the time to make an affogato al caffè for dessert after being inspired by this post earlier this morning. I closed the computer, turned the volume off on my phone, and turned off the television. Pure bliss. I'm recharged, refocused, and ready to go.

Have you made a special moment just for yourself today? If not, please do! Those moments can make all the difference in a hectic day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Memories

It's a Disney Christmas

Sitting in my living room and looking at the Christmas tree I am transported back to this time last year and the spontaneous road trip my friend Emily and I took to Disneyland. Despite being from Southern California, I had never been to Disneyland during the holiday season. It was pure magic. Looking back through the photos I am transported back to the sights and sounds. It was unusually hot for the month of December and we roasted in our winter sweaters. I remember ice cream excursions, clam chowder in New Orleans Square, and shopping. I remember the childhood wonder of seeing the decorations and walking down Main Street for the first time in so many years. I remember mini-parades, carolers, and the absolute magic of the castle lighting at night. I remember waiting for hours to get a good spot for the fireworks and "snow storm,"laughing and dancing once it finally got underway. These are memories I will treasure forever.

With this holiday season underway I'm thinking about the amazing memories to be made this year. As amazing as the Happiest Place on Earth is, you don't need grand gestures and big occassions to make wonderful memories. I think of hot cocoa shared with loved ones. Secret Santas. Christmas decorating parties. Blasting Christmas music in the car. Crafting and cooking. Writing cards and reminicing on the year gone by. Christmas Eve candlelight service. All of those special, little moments that make up our daily lives. As I leave you with this quote from Mike Mason and some more photos today I want to hear from you. What memories are you making this Christmas?

"It's moments that count, more than the grand scheme. Live great moments and the rest will sort itself out." - Mike Mason

Christmas on Main Street

New Orleans Square

Frog Princess

Main Street, at Night

It's a Small World

Magical Castle

Friday, November 25, 2011


Autumn Walk

So, this week didn’t exactly go as planned. I never did get around to finishing the thankfulness challenge, but I don’t regret it. I was instead spending time with some of my favorite people. Cherishing laugher and good conversations and getting things done. I’m learning to embrace spontaneity and to be okay with things when plans change. To be okay with change in general. I’m learning just how much of a blessing it can be.

And that’s where I am today. I’m sitting here, gearing up to go to work in a few hours, filled with joy and thankfulness. Thankful for the people in my life, family and friends. Thankful for God’s plan, perfect where mine falls short. Thankful for changes and new opportunities and friendships that keep growing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratefulness; Day One

Starbucks Time

Not surprisingly, Thanksgiving is this Thursday. I’ve been focusing a lot lately on just how much I have to be thankful for. Honestly, I have no words for how blessed I am. I was at a loss at how to even start articulating how I feel. I want to shout it from the rooftops, but I get so caught up in finding the right tone. Am I being trite or cliché? Does that come across the way I want it to? On, and on. Lately, though, I’ve been hit with so many messages about the importance of sharing your journey, where you’re coming from. Not least of which was during Sunday’s sermon. Growing up in the church I’ve heard thankfulness preached all of my life. Different ways to express it. How-to lists from the complex to the simple. This time though, it hit home in a new way. Why am I not singing from the rooftops? Why do I let myself get so caught up in the method that I just throw it in the towel all together? Ridiculous.

What this means is that I have some changes coming, both big and subtle. What this means for now is that I’ll be taking a feather from the cap of Oh, Hello Friend and her week long thankfulness challenge. Each day this week I’ll be posting a list of 10 things that I’m thankful for. Some will be serious, some will seem silly, but they’re all heartfelt expressions of my gratitude. I’ll also be sharing snapshots of what my daily life looks like. Those trips to Starbucks and strolls to work. The little things that make up my life. And I invite you along. What are you thankful for? I’d love to see your lists in the comments or on your blog.

I am thankful for…

● Grace. Without this, nothing else would matter.
● Friends. I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing support system. To have people that love me even when I’m at my worst still boggles my mind.
● Family. Ditto with my family. Particularly my mom. Her strength to never give up no matter what the situation and her amazing, unconditional love amaze me daily.
● Opportunities. These past two months have shown me more and more how blessed I am to have the opportunities I’ve been given.
● Laughter.
● Trials. The times that test my limits and grow my perseverance. Knowing that I have God’s strength to rely on along the way, because without it I would crumble.
● Hot coffee on chilly days. And the time to sit, think, and read that goes along with it.
● Connections. I am so thankful for the amazing connections I’ve made through the internet. To be able to meet and get to know people from around the world.
● Good books.
● The holiday season. I love seeing people come together. I love the music. I love the food. I love all of the extra opportunities to get together and celebrate.

Leaves are Falling