Month: March 2014

It really comes down to clichés

I remember visiting a friend in Hawaii last winter and staying with a wonderful couple. We were at a party and I had just ended a very serious relationship a few weeks before. I remember asking her how her and her husband met. I remember how desperate I was for any advice and for any glimmer of hope that I could find what I wanted- or how to know when I did find it. I was definitely buzzed and could feel myself getting into single-and-crazy-and-might-start-crying territory. But that feeling was so real. I wanted to know how to tell when it was the real deal. Every time I broke up with someone it felt like such a let down, and like I couldn’t trust myself. Each time I thought they were The One, and when I was wrong, I punished myself for not knowing myself better.

At this point I knew what I wanted. I just didn’t know if it was even possible to find. Was it realistic to find a relationship with a feminist who makes me laugh? Seems simple enough. But at the time it seemed impossible. I had had enough experiences to know that if I waited I would get it, but it was so hard at the time to wait. I felt like I was so ready to find a partner and I was frustrated that after so much trial and error and soul searching I still hadn’t found them.

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I was comfortable being single. I was a lot happier in a relationship, but I could be confident and have fun dating and know that eventually I’d find another great guy. Every time I broke up with someone I thought “This is the last time I could be single. Forever. I need to take advantage of it.” And usually I did. I moved to Santa Barbara to start the life I wanted, and immediately met Anthony. This was only a few months after I broke off my last relationship and had some emotional weeks in Hawaii. I was embracing being single and dating in this new wonderful city I was in and I almost blew it. I couldn’t even deal with the fact that I had found what I was looking for so quickly.

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But once I figured it out, there was no going back. And that’s typical for me in a relationship. I jump in and get serious quickly without blinking an eye. What was different this time is that there was no fear. I always told friends that being with Anthony is like being at the best pool party of your life: the perfect cold beer in your hand, floating in water of the perfect temperature, with all of your best friends, and then THE PERFECT song comes on.

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With my previous relationships, there was always this terrifying moment, where I felt out of control and doubted what was happening even though I knew there was no going back. Or it was forced- like most of the relationship was about getting the Dream Life that my sister and best friend had. Married, in a beautiful house with beautiful wedding pictures on the wall. A Pinterest Life, if you will. It wasn’t really about them so much as the story. With Anthony, I had truly found someone who I thought was the. coolest. person. In the world.

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And the biggest thing I noticed right off the bat: he made me LAUGH.

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I had never had this in a relationship. I felt like I was always the one cracking jokes. I laughed in my previous relationships, but no one made ME laugh. I swear, this past year, I have laughed more than I have, ever. Our sense of humor has matched perfectly since our first date.

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We truly are best friends. And I had heard this so much while I was dating or single and I never really got it. I would be in a relationship and someone would say, “I am lucky enough to be dating my best friend” and I’d be like, cool, ya, you like being with them. Duh.

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But seriously. You don’t get it until you have it, I guess. We never get sick of each other. We need our alone time, definitely, and take that when we need it. And yes, we have only been together for a year, so maybe that will change. But so far we have spent almost every night together and there was never any weirdness about feeling like we needed our own independence or something. We knew we were our own people and could survive without each other. That was just besides the point. The point was: When are we gonna drink more beer together?

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It’s just- easy. Another thing everyone says. “You’ll know when it’s right because everything is just easy.” Well, I thought things were easy with my exes until they…weren’t easy anymore. And I never knew what easy was, really, until Anthony.

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He is on my side. He takes me seriously. He listens to what I have to say and actually takes it to heart. He doesn’t make me feel dumb, but makes me feel like we’re on the same page and figuring out life together. He is truly my partner. We are in this together. And that didn’t take long to establish- it just happened. Because we both wanted it and were in it 100%.

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He tells me I’m pretty every day. Sometimes he hurts my feelings and I tell him and we talk about it until we both feel normal again. He tells me how into me he is all the time. Sometimes I hurt his feelings and he tells me and I apologize. Sometimes we don’t make out very much for a week or so, but I still feel super connected to him somehow and we talk about it and make sure we are both just tired lately and no one is feeling neglected. He tells me I’m smart and that I’ve changed his mind about so many things. That one always blows me away.

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I love hearing about other people’s relationships. I have always been fascinated by romantic relationships since I was little. I started dating when I was 17 and had mostly serious, long term relationships since then, with some long periods of fun singledom. Either way, I always wanted to learn from other people and talk about what worked and didn’t work in relationships so I could one day have everything I wanted and needed out of my partner. It has always been so important to me, and I feel like finally all of my ups and downs have taken me here. I may be unemployed, with no idea what I’m going to do or how I will make money, but I feel like I’ve figured out the big thing in life. I’ve found someone who I trust, who I learn from, who I can completely be myself with, and who makes me laugh. I am proud to be with him. And I feel lucky that I’m the one he spends the most time with!

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What I’m trying to get at is: I hope somebody is interested in reading this. I was fascinated to hear what my friend in Hawaii felt like when she met her husband. But I would never trade that time of feeling lost, lonely and confused for anything. Everything led me here. Which is another thing EVERYONE says. Sigh. It really does come down to clichés.

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** Special thanks to my wonderful sister Mary for giving us a free photo shoot! She had a vision and we were lucky enough to be a part of it. Check out Two Happy Lambs Photography!

{How To:} All-Natural Manicure

20140318-200251.jpg There is something so fun and special about getting your nails done. Even if you do it for yourself at home, it’s such a nice way to treat yourself. As I talked about here and here, using all-natural products is a non-negotiable for me. For about a year after I switched to clean alternatives I never did my nails because I felt like it was impossible to give myself a manicure without conventional products, but alas, it’s not true! Lucky for you, i’ll tell you how I do it so you can have pretty paws in no time :)

20140318-193423.jpg Step 1: Gather your materials and lay out a towel so you don’t get nail polish all over your pretty tablecloth (seems simple but I always forget to do this and then spill nail polish everywhere!). I really like Burt’s Bees products for doing my nails; they’re really rich and luxurious and they smell delicious! Pictured: Burt’s Bees Shea Butter Hand Cream, Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme, and Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. You don’t need all of these, even just one would work! I got the whole set for Christmas. You will also need:

*Bowl of warm water

*Nail file

*Nail clippers

*Washcloth

*Which hazel

*Sweet Almond oil, Jojoba oil, or any moisturizing oil of your choice. Olive oil works great, too!

*Cotton balls or paper towel

* 2 Tbs Sugar

*All-natural nail polish of your choice (examples listed below)

Step 2: Clip nails. I usually like to trim my nails fairly short, but the length is up to you!

Step 3: File nails. While you’re filing, stroke in all one direction to prevent catching.

20140318-193430.jpg Step 4: Pour about 10 drops of oil into the warm water, and soak your hands for about 5 minutes. Relax!

Step 5: Exfoliate. Put sugar in palms and add a couple more drops of oil, then gently scrub mixture over your hands. This makes your hands sooo soft! Afterwards, wash your hands with an all-natural, gentle soap like Dr. Bronner’s.

20140318-193417.jpg Step 6: Moisturize. Don’t forget to rub the cream into your cuticles, and gently push them back. 20140318-195126.jpg Step 7: Spray witch hazel on your nails and wipe off with a clean cotton ball or paper towel. Make sure to get all hand cream off your nails so the nail polish sticks.

20140318-193410.jpg Step 8: Paint! Choose your favorite all-natural nail polish and have fun! I love RGB, but there are other great alternatives out there! I’ve been wanting to try these fun colors! I usually do 2 coats, and wait about 3-5 minutes between the first and second. Make sure you leave time for the polish to dry! Kick your feet up and relax, that’s the whole point of this :) 20140318-194144.jpg And there you go! A clean, all-natural manicure that looks just as pretty as the conventional version! I love finding clean alternatives for my favorite beauty routines. Do you do manicures at home? Would you be open to cleaning up your routine?

People mistake me for air

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This is my journal from 7th to 9th grade. After this one I got one of these big canvas covered sketchbooks each year and filled it up with angst. I grew up in the mountains of Santa Cruz in a tiny town called Felton- a mix of hippies and mountain folks with one high school and plenty of witch supply, rock (yes, rock), and health food stores. I thought I would share another glimpse into my 14 year old psyche, simply because it’s hilarious and these books can’t go to waste. Check out the song I wrote in the same journal here.

Today we will go back to 2002. I have changed some names to save myself from further embarrassment. Sorry Mary-Lynn and Kim, you guys will be publicly associated with me. These two wonderful girls were my crew at the time and are still my best friends.

A few notes to prepare you for this…. Please, forgive me for being ignorant and mean at 14. It’s really embarrassing how unkind I could be, but it was worth it to share the real deal with you all. And also I had this thing where I talked to the reader of my journal sometimes, which doesn’t make any sense since these were my deepest darkest thoughts. So in the beginning paragraph I’m talking to you, the reader. For some reason. Anyway, here goes.

February 16, 2002 ~ 10:50 pm ~ Sunday

No, I really know what you’re thinking. Here’s you: “Oh, boo-hoo, I bet you had a horrible Valentine’s Day, huh? Don’t worry, I’ll make everyone cry for you!” And yes, I know I feel sorry for myself, but isn’t that what journals are for? So if ya don’t like it, stop reading! But, if you would like 2 know, I had a great Valentine’s Day! No, no one asked me out, I’m no ML (but no one asked her out, either!). But I just was having fun without a boy. So good 4 me!

Okay, time 4 more whining:

So I don’t know if guys consider me or if they laugh @ the thought of even considering me. But I want a boyfriend. I don’t know if it’s flirting that’s the key (which I don’t know how to do), or if I just don’t talk to any guys or something, or who knows. But I’ve thought of changing my image, my clothes, my friends, but never would consider acting on any of those things, or changing myself to fit a boy’s fantasy. Okay, I don’t think I want to be a boy’s “fantasy”, that’s a little bit 2 far, scratch it. But I want a boy to like me. So what do I do? Just be myself and screw any boy who doesn’t want me. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to talk to boys I consider, and be more outgoing with them, but it does mean that I will stay how I am!!! Praise the Lord!!! Hee hee.

Oh yeah, @ the last dance that was recently held I wore my new Moulin Rouge shirt and I wore my hair really cool (everyone liked it). Example:

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It was cool, despite the example. It was really fun, except Bernard asked me to dance! Ugh. He’s a frog!!! I know, I know. “Well, it’s what you asked 4, someone 2 like ya!?” SHUT UP!!! Uno what I meant. And I’m not trying to be mean or a dumb teenager, but Puh-huh! Geez. No. I didn’t give him ANY signals or anything. Poopiss. But what’s in the past is in the past. I still want a boy.

Hey, uno how I say that Ethel and peeps hate me? Well, I think they really do. I was hanging out with ML and Kim @ lunch, and we were laughin, and all of a sudden I look over and see Ethel and Francis STARING @ me. Like full-on glaring! So I look back @ them, and kinda laugh, and they act like they don’t notice! Okay. So I even wave @ them and they just keep on glaring until Ethel snaps out of it and yells, “Ew, you’re so gross!” @ Francis, and they laugh and walk away. Interesting. Interesting experiences of mine. And yet, she still borrows markers from me. Hmmm. Why would they have any reason to hate me? I never talk to them or bother them. Bitches. Someday I’ll just flat out ask em, “Why don’t you like me, again?” See what they look like, then.

Why do I feel so out of place? I feel so different from everyone, yet so the same that no one notices me. How come one minute I feel like people mistake me for air, the next, everyone hates me? Kim feels sorry for herself, puh-huh. ML feels sorry 4 herself!! Geez! But everyone feels sorry for themselves. They don’t consider people’s lives worse than theirs. Like me. Not that I’m the worse life, I’m the one who feels sorry for herself all the time. But that’s what this paper is for. I don’t go around saying to homeless people, “Whywhywhy why why why don’t I have a boyfriend!!!!!!!?” I let it out with this stupid pen.

I saw Crossroads and I gave it a B-. On the other hand, A Walk 2 Remember was given an A-, and the minus is just 4 the “deer in the headlights look” that Mandy Moore gave the audience every ten seconds. Good Night.

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Okay, so I hope you had the same hilarious inner dialogue that I had as I read that. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who felt super paranoid at that age. Or I hope I wasn’t. How did I live each day being like, “Those girls are looking in my direction. THOSE BITCHES HATE ME AND NO MORE MARKERS FOR YOU”? I mostly just feel sorry for myself (haha still) at that age. I remember being acutely aware of not being able to control how crazy I was. And I remember being desperate to not be so lame and dramatic but I didn’t know how to stop. I really hated high school. It was so hard trying to be a normal, emotionally stable human being when nothing seemed like it was in your control. It helps having these journals to remind myself how hard kids have it. Hopefully it will make me more sympathetic when my niece and nephew get there. Plus it’s fun to read my most personal and secret thoughts when I was that age and compare myself to who I am now.

A final note: THANK GOD I didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, ANY of it. You know it would just be an emo fiasco all over the internet that would never go away.

If you have journals, PLEASE share an awesome quote or two in the comments. This stuff is just gold, it’s my absolute favorite. Also, did you like high school? Do you feel like the person you are now was in there somewhere inside that crazy teenager?

Honey-lime Glazed Salmon with Summer Salad

DSC01944 Hey guys! I hope you had a good weekend! I definitely did, and we were able to get out and take advantage of our beautiful city. We have spurts of beautiful sunny weather in San Diego during random times of the year that make it feel like it’s the middle of summer. Every time this happens I start craving fresh, light meals like fish and crisp salads topped with sweet fruit. This honey-lime salmon and summer salad satisfied that craving perfectly, and it was insanely easy to make! Next time the weather heats up a little bit, I highly recommend you make this meal and pair it with chilled white wine- it’s one of our absolute favorite meals. DSC01942 20140317-083612.jpg

For the salmon:

4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each, skin of

4 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan.
Heat oven to 400°. Place salmon, skin-side down, in the prepared baking pan. combine the honey, lime juice, and orange juice, stirring until well blended. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper then spoon the honey and juice mixture over the fillets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Serves 4. DSC01925

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20140317-083747.jpg In the salad:

Red leaf lettuce, blackberries, strawberries, avocado, red onion, goat cheese, walnuts (chopped)

For the dressing:

I used Brianna’s Homestyle Blush Wine Vinaigrette, which is one of our all time favorites. However, you could also make your own vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, strawberry jam, onion powder and s&p…that’s what I use when I’m in a pinch!

Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions!

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces- just good food from fresh ingredients” -Julia Child

 

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