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Seven Things

seven things

Founder and editor of the fascinating site Brain Pickings, Maria Popova, recently shared seven things she’s learned in seven years of reading and writing for the website. I thought they were really poignant and that you might find some meaning in them, as well. Maria partnered with the art subscription service Holstee to design this poster elaborating on each point. Wouldn’t it be a nice reminder to have in your office or somewhere you see daily?

  1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
  2. Do nothing out of guilt, or for prestige, status, money or approval alone.
  3. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words.
  4. Build pockets of stillness into your life.
  5. When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
  6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
  7. Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.

You may read the full descriptions of each note here, or order the poster here.

{Image via Holstee}

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On Aging

on aging

I read a beautiful article over the weekend about a middle-aged woman’s perception of her aging body. The impetus for the article, which sadly was a man who rejected the author because he preferred the bodies of younger women, ended up producing a piece which is how I would hope women come to look at their wrinkles and marks of a life lived. An excerpt, by Robin Korth:

Naked, I stood at the closet doors with the lights on and made myself ready. I took a deep breath and positioned the mirrors so I could see all of me. I consciously worked to remove my self-believed inner image. I opened my eyes and looked very carefully at my body. And my heart lurched at the truth: I am not a young woman anymore. I am a woman well-lived. My body tells of all the years she has carried my spirit through life.

As I looked in the mirror — clear-eyed and brave — I claimed every inch of my body with love, honor and deep care. This body is me. She has held my soul and carried my heart for all of my days. Each wrinkle and imperfection is a badge of my living and of my giving of life. With tears in my eyes, I hugged myself close. I said thank you to God for the gift of my body and my life. And I said thank you to a sad man named Dave for reminding me of how precious it all is.

You may read the full article here, if you’d like.

P.S. More great pieces on body image: an interview, campaign, and commercial.

{Photo via I Am That Girl via Milenuts}

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Style Picks

nordstrom anniversary sale 2014

Us Seattle girls looove our hometown-founded Nordstrom stores. Up until August 4, Nordstrom is running its anniversary sale, which means deals on nearly everything in the store. Here are a few of my favorite sale items:

1. Sexy boots to wear on a night out.
2. The perfect two-toned crossbody bag to match with everything.
3. A sassy animal print iPhone case.
4. The prettiest initial necklace to layer or wear alone.
5. Cute shades.
6. bareMinerals makeup. Their blush is the only one I use.
7. A sophisticated gold watch.
8. A floral dress that could transition perfectly into fall with boots + a sweater.

See, Monday isn’t so bad after all. (: Happy shopping…

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Heart Swells

heart-swell-1

This was a relentlessly busy week, but busy full of good things. The right things, I think. I celebrated my mom’s birthday, spent time outside of the office catching up with my colleagues, accomplish a lot inside the office, and got long, restful nights of sleep. I even went to bed at 8 p.m. (!) twice… which is either a sign my body really needed rest, or I’m on the fast track to 85. Either way, the moments that made my heart swell with fullness this week:

- Coffee and sister time at Green Lake Park
- Birthday dinner with my momma and dad
- Happy hour x2 with coworkers
- Two long overdue phone calls with my cross-country girlfriends
- Waking up early Wednesday for my beloved long-lost circuit
- An unexpected email that just goes to show it’s ok to trust life a little bit
- Being able to sign up for a conference where I can learn a whooole lot
- A coffee date with one of the most brilliant, kindest women I know
- Remembering this. Maybe one of the best things I re-remind myself of often.

I’d love to hear — what’s one thing that made your heart swell this week?

{Photo via MugenStyle}

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Summer Hairstyles

Guys. It’s almost Friday. Let’s let our hair down and talk about something girly for a moment, shall we? Like… hair? Seattle had its 12th straight day above 80 degrees today — and while I will never, ever complain about a Northwest heatwave, I have been trying to find creative ways to pull my hair back to keep cool as the weather warms up. Don’t you love these romantic half-up hair styles? I like how they’re just enough to keep the bangs out of one’s eyes, without feeling too done up. Keep it comin, heat wave. You’re alright by me. (:

half up hair styles 1 Read more…

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1 Second Everday

1 second everyday

Have you heard of the 1 Second Everyday app? Creator Cesar Kuriyama has been recording one unique second of his life everyday for three years. He hopes that by the time he’s 80, he’ll have hours of footage painting an image of his life. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful montage to look back on, for both yourself and even for your family?

I’m going to try the app myself for the next 30 days. If you’d like to do the same, you can find the app here. Or view a video depicting the project below: [click to continue…]

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Happy Birthday Mom

happy birthday mom 2

Today is my mom’s birthday. Of all the things that I feel are really right in my life, great friends and my family are at the top of my list.

My mom has been one of my best friends for as long as I can remember, way back to when I was wearing glasses that looked like this – or when I was so little that I would wake up at the hint of dawn, tuck a pillow under my arms, and march into my parents’ bedroom, alerting my dad it was time for him to go to work and for me to snuggle next to my mom for the last few sleepy hours of the morning.

So much of what I know about supreme, selfless, above-and-beyond caring comes from my mom. Instead of putting my sister and I in front of a television when we were younger, she would play with us for hours – whatever cockeyed imaginative part we’d have for her. Instead of just packing our school lunches, she would literally squeeze the air of the bag of sliced apples so they wouldn’t turn brown by lunchtime. She sewed costumes for our school plays, spent hours watching our self-choreographed Spice Girls dances, and was home every afternoon for us to visit with her in the kitchen; I can still picture her delightedly waving to my sister and I through the kitchen window when she saw us round the corner from the school bus. Even these days, she insists on sharing a pot of tea when we come over, can’t help but send me home with food, brings me fresh flower bouquets from her yard, and is available at a moment’s notice for anything — even a trip to the ocean, like this past weekend. She is selfless. She is loving. And not just in a complete way, but in a way that is so beyond what anyone ever asked her to be. Read more…

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New York Doesn’t Love You

new york doesn't love you

I recently read this essay by John DeVore, and it had me laughing out loud. I am happily living in Seattle these days, but after having lived in New York City, anything about the plight of a New Yorker still sparks my interest and strikes a chord. Living in NYC always feels a little bit like Mindy Kaling described it in her book’s chapter, “I Love New York and It Likes Me Okay.” A few excerpts from DeVore’s essay:

Jay Z and Beyonce are doing okay.

I thought about writing one of those “Why I Left New York” essays on the off chance that New York would notice. I knew better.

Why did I leave New York?

For a job. I took a job. A good job.

Also, let’s be honest, because I am a wimp.

L.A. smells like flowers all the fucking time and I think that smell is pumped in from kind of secret reservoir of perfume. But I didn’t leave New York because I fell out of love with the city.

If New York had voice mail I would leave it insane messages day and night. I would tell it how much I love and miss it. The energy. The culture. The Jamaican meat pies.

There would be sobbing.

I would text it “hi” and “sup” and “r u ok” constantly.

I love New York. My love is strong. My love is psycho.

If I ever move back, if I’m even allowed to return, New York will briefly study my face and mutter “Who the fuck are you?”

If not, I will always look back on getting my ass kicked fondly because that pain is proof that I had a relationship with New York’s steel-toed boot.

You may read the full essay here, if you’d like.

{Photo via Pokec0re}

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Friday Find

friday find 15

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

- Sometimes by Sheenagh Pugh

. . .

The heart-swelling moments of this week: [click to continue…]

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Sprint Triathlon Training: Week 11

sprint triathlon training week 11-3

Happy final week of triathlon training! My triathlon is this. Saturday. EEP! On this final week of training, I want to share an outlook that I hope is helpful in the final days leading up to the race, and in other aspects of your life.

Anxiety is just excitement viewed differently.

Anxiety produces a racing heart, sweaty palms, wide eyes, nervous jitters, and a realization that life is REAL and at this moment, we are IN IT. So does excitement. The perspective is just completely different. Anxiety has negative connotations, but if excitement produces the exact same bodily sensations but with a positive mental state, why not frame our situation with that instead?

I once read that when we’re nervous, instead of giving into negative, anxious emotions, we should imagine ourselves right before a rollercoaster drops, throwing our hands in the air, and screaming ‘Wheeeeee!’ at the top of our lungs. Still scared out of our minds, right? But having a blast at the exact same time.

That perspective is how I am going into the triathlon this weekend. I’ve never done one before, so my mind is a flurry with transitions, and swimming in lake water, and riding a bicycle, and pace, and distance, and watery goggles, all the things that are new and foreign to me. But there came a point this week where I realized that I could either start packing a paper bag around as I drove myself into a state of hyperventilation with such concerns, or I could view those antsy thoughts as my body buzzing with excitement. I’m so excited, for better or worse, to finally have this experience.

Wheeeeee! Read more…

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