Featured, My life

Birthday Musings

August 13, 2018
Birthday Musings

What do you want for your birthday?” An age-old question that used to send me to the pages of the Toy “R” Us catalog, now sends me to my desk with feelings of overwhelm and strong desire to make sense of it all.

So I write. I write every year around my birthday for the sentiment, for the denouement that only occurs once the curation of thoughts has been fully formulated and executed through the writing process. A process where satisfaction is solely achieved through a nonlinear and imperfect series of steps; editing and removing, deleting and rewriting, scratching out words in a tattered, coffee-stained Moleskine, clicking keys in the dead of night when sleep is impervious but ideas flow rapidly. All for the moment where the words somehow create a symphony, while small, prolific in the understanding and closure it somehow provides.

I’m convinced that getting older simply means seeing the world through more definitive eyes; each passing year like peeling back the layers of an onion, more raw and potent with every discarded cortex. Amongst many things, this year I’ve been working ruthlessly to discard the deceptive idea that there is a right moment or perfect set of circumstances from which to proceed to the next endeavor. It’s an elusive and logical thought on the surface: once X is fixed or complete, I will then proceed to Y.

The only problem: humans are complex, dynamic beings with intricate thought patterns and emotions.

I’ve long and alone been trying to solve deep-rooted, multifaceted issues using a simple equation, an equation that only addresses one side of something so protean. So, I’ve surrendered to the couch three days a week, also known as psychotherapy, where I’ve actually obtained a strong sense of relief from talking about my fears and everything that has been and continues to be fucked up.

Another year, another layer peeled back.

People often compare terrifying moments and big decisions to jumping off a cliff, but what we often forget is that we’ve already jumped. Life is like free falling; eventually we’ll land. There will be no time left for debating or decisions, what-ifs or goodbyes. So I’m learning to get comfortable with that nauseating feeling of falling. We may not have control over the fall, but we do have some control over what happens midair. That fleeting, gut-wrenching feeling that presents itself as fear is actually encouraging us get out in the world and live. Shitty and slightly magical, huh?

With every layer peeled back, through all the unraveling and rawness of life, there is still an inexplicable magic. As I’ve gotten older, it’s come wrapped in an entirely different package. It’s the gratitude of catching that first glimpse of the sunrise on my morning run. It’s that connection with a stranger or a moment of kindness when it’s least expected. It’s being curled up next to my husband on a plane, sharing the pages of The New York Times. It’s rich relationships and pure love, text messages and phone calls, moments where the world feels small and intimate.

What do you want for your birthday?”

I encourage you to start thinking about it now. I encourage you to think about it when life feels dark and gritty and when the moments seem fleeting. I encourage you to think about it when you’re elated and filled with gratitude. Observe every moment. What do you want from the wildly, ephemeral life?

This year, I want my friends scattered around my dinner table more often, filled with great food and even better wine. I want to find the courage to tell the people that I love, how much I truly love them. I want to skip the small talk and start saying the things that really matter. I want to feel more propelled by inspiration and less by perfection. I want to laugh more. I want to see beauty in the days where things feel off or uncomfortable. I just want to soak this life all in. Every last little drop.

Cheers to 26.

Featured, Wellness

Everyday Zero-Waste Essentials

July 18, 2018
Everyday Zero-Waste Essentials

I recently wrote a blog post titled, “Simple Tips To Reduce Plastic Pollution,” where I shared some of the staggering data surrounding plastic consumption and waste. While it’s important to assess the facts, it’s even more important to take those facts into account and take action.

As the Zero-Waste Movement continues to grow in popularity, it’s important to remember that even the smallest, micro changes can make a tremendous impact. Any sustainable action you can implement into your routine is effectual.

So today, I’m spilling the contents of my bag to show you my everyday zero waste essentials.


BEVERAGE CONTAINERS

Packing your own beverage containers is likely the easiest first step when wanting to reduce your plastic consumption.

I keep my:

TO-GO BOX

A small to medium sized food storage container is handy for packing your lunch, gabbing to-go meals (skip the takeout container), or bringing leftovers home from a restaurant.

CUTLERY

Saying ‘NO’ to disposal silverware is easy with brands like To-Go Ware that make convenient bamboo travel utensils that come in an easy to carry pouch.

PRODUCE BAGS

One of my favorite finds this past year has to be reusable produce bags. They’re lightweight, machine-washable and eliminate the need for the plastic baggies provided by most grocers.

SHOPPING TOTE

While redundant, it’s still worth mentioning reusable shopping bags. Not only are they great for reducing plastic consumption at the grocery store, but also beneficial in any situation where you’re offered a bag.


These are just a few small tips and beneficial products that I’ve discovered over the years. If you have any questions or further recommendations, please comment below!

Everyday Zero-Waste Essentials

Wellness

10 Simple Ways To Feel Good This Weekend

June 22, 2018
10 SIMPLE WAYS TO FEEL GOOD THIS WEEKEND

Debaucherous weekends are a blast, but often leave you feeling a little lackluster both physically and mentally come Monday. Let’s switch it up this weekend with these ‘10 Simple Ways To Feel Good This Weekend.’


PLAN.

Take a moment to plan for the upcoming week by reviewing your obligatory commitments and needs. From there, you can streamline your calendar for optimal productivity.

This could include:

  • Creating a meal plan and grocery list that coincides.
  • Writing a master to-do list, separating school, work and personal matters.
  • Mapping out your wardrobe for the week. Don’t forget to drop off any dry cleaning and keeping your gym essentials in mind too.
  • Making space in your schedule for things like self-care and exercise.

WORKOUT.

Who wouldn’t want a healthy release of endorphins, improved sleep quality and some hot abs + a juicy booty? Both the mental and physical benefits of exercise make this tip self-explanatory and a no-brainer.

CONNECT.

The weekend is a great time to connect with your passions outside of work or school. This is the optimal time to volunteer, try that new workout class or take those art lessons you’ve always wanted to. Do something with your community, with your hands that makes you feel good and that connects you with likeminded people.

DISSCONNECT.

While you’re busy connecting with your passions and community, don’t forget to disconnect from technology. We spend so much time burrowed in our digital worlds that we often forget the value of organic conversation, deep connection and the beauty of doing nothing at all.

COOK.

Most of us spend the weekdays rushing around from one thing to the next, making the idea of coming home to cook, well…dreadful. With time being more abundant on the weekend, why not cook a gorgeous meal for yourself or loved ones? Find a recipe on Pinterest, visit your local farmer’s market and get in the kitchen. NOTE: This is also an excellent opportunity to make extras for lunch the following week.

INDULGE MINDFULLY.

As a wellness writer, I’m often asked, “Do you drink/eat anything unhealthy/skip workouts?”

Answer: You bet!

I’ve never written from a place of authority or judgement. I am human and an imperfect one at that. Truthfully, I feel my best when I’m exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and eating healthy. I genuinely enjoy it. But, I also believe that indulging moderately is just as important as getting your greens.

I hate when people toss around the word balance like it’s easy, but it’s so important to understand what that means for you. I live a pretty healthy lifestyle most of the time, so if I feel like eating french fries and enjoying a few glasses of pinot one night, I don’t think twice.

This weekend, absolutely enjoy that pasta and wine with your girlfriends or those homemade cookies you love so much. That’s balance, babe.

SNOOZE.

The data is clear. Getting enough sleep is imperative for our health and cognitive function. Yet how many of us actually take this into account? This weekend, put an extra emphasis on getting enough ZZZ’s and streamlining your sleep hygiene routine. You can find all of my sleep tips HERE.

NATURE BREAK.

Another fantastic way to disconnect is to get out in nature. Here in Seattle, we’re close to everything from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, so great hikes and beach parks are bountiful. If I’m staying in the city, I love to ride my bike or run along the Burke-Gilman Trail. Despite your climate or geographical location, there’s something beautiful and beneficial for you to explore outside this weekend.

TIDY + BEAUTIFY

Take some time to tidy up your space. Clutter can often be distracting or anxiety-provoking without us really realizing it. I like to wash my bedding every weekend, clean my bathroom and buy fresh flowers for my kitchen. These little steps make a tremendous impact on how I feel come Monday morning. Find what makes you feel good and do it!

SEND LOVE.

Reach out to someone you love this weekend and let them know just how much they mean to you. This is something we don’t do often enough. Not only will you be making somebody else feel great, but you too will also feel good.


Comment below with your weekend routine. I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you.

Featured, Food, Wellness

5 Ways To Reduce Produce Waste At Home

May 15, 2018
5 WAYS TO REDUCE PRODUCE WASTE AT HOME

In the United States alone, it is estimated that 30-40% of food is wasted. While that fact may come as a shock, we can take responsibility and initiative in our own household by implementing the tips listed in my newest post, ‘5 Ways to Reduce Produce Waste at Home.’


PLAN AHEAD

Whether you stock up on produce weekly at the grocery store or have your fruits and vegetables delivered, it’s imperative to have a plan. If you shop yourself, create a meal plan and then a list that’s based on that plan. Those few extra minutes of planning can significantly reduce the chance of impulse purchases, which often go to waste. In addition, most produce delivery services offer some level of customization whether it’s the size of the box or its contents. Be sure you select the right size box for your household and the ratio of fruits and vegetables that’s most realistic.

PROPER FOOD STORAGE IS KEY

Correct food storage can add days, weeks or even months to your food. Keeping several different food storage options on hand and understanding how and when to use them can greatly reduce the risk of food going bad. Also, resources like the USDA’s food storage guide or apps like Foodkeeper can help minimize the need to toss produce.

LET’S GET CREATIVE

If you notice your fruits and veggies are starting to take a turn for the worse, it might be time to get creative in the kitchen! Following or creating recipes that use several different types of produce at once (think soups, smoothies, broths and stir-fry’s) are an effective and delicious way to combat food waste.

You might enjoy my:

CREATE A COMMUNITY

If you use a produce delivery service, connect with friends, family or neighbors that do the same. Try swapping or sharing items you have too much of or simply giving away the items you won’t need that week. Not only will you be combating the need to waste but also cultivating a sense of community.

EMBRACE LEFTOVERS

While tossing seemingly boring leftovers can be tempting, challenge yourself to get creative! Vegetable stir-fry can make an excellent omelet filling and last night’s protein makes a great base for tonight’s tacos. Little tweaks can make an otherwise ordinary or repetitive meal, extraordinary.

This post is in collaboration with Pacific Coast Harvest