Half Way


Half way

My half birthday just passed and although I want to say I am not the kind of person who thinks about their half birthday, it’s a week apart from my birth father’s birthday, so I am always reminded of it. Every year it serves as a little check point for me. I have the opportunity to look back at what I hoped for my year and inevitably I am reminded of how my plans often fail and yet my intentions rarely do.

I legitimately had my favorite birthday of my life this year. For my last day of being 25, I decided to go hiking alone. I didn’t know where I was going and just picked a hike at random, in a new place I’d never really explored. It was windy and pretty cold up above 10k feet and I only encountered one other person on my 3.5 hour hike. It was a dream, the whole mountain was ablaze in a gorgeous yellow gold. Can’t complain about being a fall baby. I thought a lot on my hike about what I wanted my year to be like; how I could make 26 a year worth remembering. I had no idea I would be uprooting my whole life and changing in some seriously drastic ways, but if I’ve learned anything about my 20s so far, it’s that there are surprises around every single corner.

When I got to the top of my hike, I was rewarded with the most breathtaking view I have ever seen in my state. I slipped off my shoes and walked around this gorgeous icy lake and let my toes get wet. I breathed in and out so many times, just standing and staring. I felt so alive, like I was right where I was supposed to be. Every single moment had accumulated to that point and every decision had added up to my current existence.


Now, 6 months later, everything is different. I have made some crazy drastic choices in terms of nearly everything in my life. I will, without a doubt, achieve my goal of making 26 a memorable year. With every passing day, every passing struggle, every passing success, I feel more and more like myself. I am learning so much. I have had all the work I put into myself in the past few years firmly put to the test. This is the year of learning my limits. I am actually for the first time in my life, capable of defining my boundaries.

So for the second half of my year, I want to work on redefining my friendships and my relationships. I want to make choices that I will be happy to stick to for a long time. I want to take my time, with all the things. I want to stop apologizing. I want to stop feeling guilty. I want to stick to my guns and continue living life on my own terms. I finally know what works for me and I love it.

Here’s to a wild first half of my 26th year and here’s to what will likely be an even more wild second half.


curio / wellness

Black Pepper + Lilac Sea Salt Spray


lilac sea salt spray

When you’re on a holiday
You can’t find the words to say
All the things that come to you
And I wanna feel it too

On an island in the sun
We’ll be playin’ an’ havin’ fun
And it makes me feel so fine
— Weezer

That’s right. I am currently listening to Weezer. And Island in the Sun came on and it was just perfect for sea salt spray. I can’t say that I have ever noticed my hair feeling different after a day on the beach, but I also don’t really dip my hair in the water when I go to the beach. Oceans smell funny. Maybe I should go see a different ocean than the one you find at Santa Monica pier. I have however noticed an incredible difference in texture when I use a sea salt spray. Some people are ardently against spraying salt into your hair, but I’ve been doing it for years and I haven’t had any issues. It’s the perfect way to add a little volume and texture to lazy straight hair. I like it because it makes my flat soft hair look windblown.

lilac sea salt spray

sea salt spray

– Glass Bottle
– Funnel
– Essential oils
– Coconut oil
– Sea salt

Pour 1.5 cups of warm to hot water into a bowl. Dissolve the sea salt in the water and stir slowly. Add a few drops of your favorite scented oil: I chose black pepper and lilac, which pair nicely for the spring. The black pepper tones down the sweetness of the lilac. Add in a small spoonful of coconut oil and pour into a squirt bottle. I got mine here, but here’s another store with nice bottles too. Take the full mixture and use a funnel to pour it slowly into your bottle. Shake before using.

The key to good sea salt spray is the amount of salt. You’ve got to put a bit more than you’d think in there. If you put in some various oils, you hair won’t dry out too much, but you will feel it get really piece-y when you run your fingers through it. This recipe is the minimum amount of salt. If you want the serious stuff, add another 1/2 TBSP of salt in there.

lilac sea salt spray

I swear this stuff is better than the Bumble and Bumble version, which is WAY more expensive. I do adore Bumble products, but this is one that is better made at home! Plus you can choose your scent and put it in a pretty bottle. Swoony.

What are your favorite homemade products?


Lingerie Lust




Flowers via: Deviant Art

It’s definitely spring in Louisville. The magnolia tree (!!!) bloomed in my backyard and everything smells floral and perfect. Le sigh. Denver spring definitely cannot compare to spring in the south. Denver spring is cold and comes sometime mid April. So far spring here is warm, occasionally rainy (warm rain!) and sweet. Everything is sweet. I love it. Have I also mentioned to you guys that I love lingerie? I do. I love it. I love wearing it around the house, I love it even when I am alone.

There are not many privileges to being a woman. Lower pay, lesser muscles structure, shooting giant things out of your lady bits, etc. But lingerie. Yes that is a privilege for women. Perhaps some women do not see it that way, but I find lingerie to be ridiculously fun and men, well men just get to wear boxer briefs. I combined together all of my favorite lingerie brands and here is the brief rundown:

Top left (to right, to bottom, duh):
SJ Lingerie | Anais Set: Okay so most of these brands are Australian. What can I say, the Australians know a few things: drinking, spray tans, weight lifting and… lingerie. I was seriously eyeing this set as a Valentine’s Day present for the boyfriend, but he insisted upon something black so I had to pass, but my eye has not roamed far. It’s romantic and sexy at the same time.
Instagram: @sjlingerie

Lonely | Winona Set: Lonely is perhaps my favorite lingerie brand ever. A New Zealand brand, their lingerie is of the highest quality. I bought this exact set for Valentine’s (in black, per his request) and am just swooning over this softer pink color. I have an intensely curvy bottom half and this set lingerie set looks so. good.
Instagram: @lonelylingerie

For Love & Lemons | Darla Set: This brand is the darling of the lingerie world right now for a reason. These guys just get it right every time. They combine risqué with sweet, sexy with sensuous and know what women are looking for. This particular set is the epitome of spring to me. Would love to roam around the house in this all weekend.
Instagram: @forloveandlemons

Solstice Intimates | V Strap Set: An American brand, handmade in Arizona, Solstice Intimates is truly one of a kind. I’ve not seen lingerie like theirs before. With southwestern roots, but a decidedly vintage flare this lingerie is cute and edgy at the same time. I would love to have something of theirs someday!
Instagram: @solsticeintimates

Hopeless Lingerie | Alexis Bodysuit: Another Aussie brand I’ve been oogling. They really know what’s up down under. HAHA get it? Who else do you know that can make an Australian panty pun? No one I bet. No one. I’ve been looking at this suit with both lust and apprehension for sometime. I simply cannot imagine my body fitting nicely into a one piece, but I kinda sorta wanna try it anyway.
Instagram: @hopelesslingerie

Do you guys have any favorite brands I’ve missed here? I also love Naja and Gooseberry, but I’d love to find some more obscure brands!



Long Distance Relationship


long distance relationship


Image via: Nicole Franzen

Long distance relationships suck.

There, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way I can try and be real about my own long distance relationship, without being too negative (keyword: try). I’d love to sit here and give you a pretty list and some regurgitated tips on surviving a long distance relationship, but the truth is, I don’t know how. What I’m going to do is give you guys some background on my relationship and how we came to be 1200 miles apart and then hopefully someday when I’ve got things more figured out, maybe I can give you a list. Heh.

Let’s go way back, like… 5+ years back. My current boyfriend and I met a long time ago (like pre-2 ex’s ago) on Twitter. He followed me, I had some Google+ invites, he asked for one. It started with breakfast, ended in a short yet passionate couple months. I wasn’t ready, he was kind of invested in someone else. I turned him down, he thought of me as the one who got away. I tried not to think of him. Fast forward two long-term relationships later, a 9 month bout of singledom and one really weird instagram post later, we’re talking again. One afternoon, some girl tagged her friend in a picture of him from 5 years ago in my feed and said “your future husband”. Weird, thinks me. I text him. He asks me right off the bat if I am single. I am, he’s not. We exchange texts every couple of weeks all summer and I tell him we can be friends, he’s clear that’s not possible. At least we’re honest, right? I stay single for the summer. I apply to exactly one out-of-state job in September. I don’t hear back.

I refuse to see him for months, not that he’s exactly asking, but I keep him distant. He’s trouble for a woman who is trying to live like a monk for a year. He texts me through the end of his short summer relationship. I remain distant and try to act like a friend. Sometime in the beginning of October, he tells me he is ready to be “just friends.” We agree to hang out as friends and I kiss him 2 hours and 3 beers into our friendly hang out. We’ve never been just friends and neither of us really wants that anyway. We start dating, but I am just not ready for the intensity. I ask him if he is okay with it being really casual, as in, I also want to see other people. He’s in love with me from day one. He tells me so. He’s not thrilled about other people, but he obliges. I impress upon him how badly I don’t want to rush. I date him, I date someone else. I’m pretty torn on the whole thing and keeping my heart distant from both guys.

November. Eventually Michael wins my heart over. We start dating exclusively. I start falling in love, but I have so many walls built up from my last relationship and am comfortable in my singlehood. The out-of-state job calls. I travel to Kentucky, I interview, I get an offer. It’s December 1. I am scared to move, not altogether sure I even want to anymore. I applied for the job in a moment of time where I was lonely and thought maybe I ought to try something new. I desperately want out of my current job though… and well, who turns down a job for a 2 month relationship? Not this girl. I take the job. December is crazy. Knowing I am leaving, I let myself lower all my defenses and fall for Michael hard. Really hard.

January. We drive across the country together. He helps me settle into my new home, like the sweet and patient person he is. He goes home. I lose it. We’ve spent every day for over a month together and now I am alone. We’re officially in a long distance relationship. He books tickets to see me every three weeks. January is hard. February is terrible. I cry on the phone. I cry by myself. I love my job and my city and my new life, but seriously, fuck long distance. We see each other a couple days out of the month.

Now. Here we are. We’ve stepped up seeing each other to every other weekend. At least through the rest of March and all of April. It’s a bitch. It’s emotional. My friends all tell me it’s good and it can’t be that bad, but then again, none of them have ever been in a long distance relationship. Certainly not a serious one. I guess I am writing this so you guys know the reality of my life. I’ve been trying to be more real and keep things from seeming like kittens and rainbows all the time. I don’t know what the future holds or how we’ll get through this time of yearning, but we adore each other and that means a lot to me. Stay tuned.


recipe book

Mango Peach Smoothie Bowl


mango peach smoothie bowl

New year, new diet, new me. It’s funny, because my diet was my biggest struggle for me when I lived at home in Colorado. I wanted to eat bad, eat a lot, drink all the beer. I had a really hard time sticking to meal prep and leftovers were my nemesis. I mean, the struggle was really real guys. In fact, I was working out like a maniac at this time last year and I just couldn’t get my weight to drop. I was the fittest I’ve ever been but I looked the exact same. Okay I had a little more muscle, but not much. And the problem areas where I carry weight (lower tummy, hips, thighs, calves) just didn’t shrink. I strongly suspected it was my diet, but I was in a relationship where my partner wasn’t exactly on board with my new fitness oriented lifestyle (he was supportive, but beer in the fridge was constant) and I just felt so chaotic in all places of my life.

Fast forward exactly one year later and I have gone up and down in weight, as much as a 15lb difference in one year, but I am down to my lowest weight since HIGHSCHOOL! May of last year, I was my heaviest. I was uncomfortable and pudgy and sad. Not that skinny a happy person makes, but when your jeans don’t zip it can really get you down. This year I moved across the country and despite it being a rather rough move, one majorly positive thing I have done is revamp my routines and my lifestyle, including the way I eat. I very very rarely (1-2 meals a week) eat out and I don’t drink much at all and never on week nights. I have created a simple rotating breakfast schedule where each week I eat 1/3 things. Dinner and lunch rely completely on Sunday and Monday night meal prep, which lasts me through Friday. On Friday night, I treat myself to dinner and drinks out (usually alone, but hey) and Saturday I am back at it with groceries and simple clean meals. I’ll be posting more recipe ideas soon, but here’s my breakfast this week!

mango smoothie bowl

I usually prep my breakfast at night, by slicing the strawberries and putting the optional components into a baggy, because I eat my breakfast at work. I blend everything in the morning, put it into a large mason jar and then when I get to work I arrange it in the bowl. I will say, for some reason, eating a smoothie bowl feels so much more filling than simply drinking a smoothie. Maybe it’s the spoon to mouth movement. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!




– 1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
– 1 Handful Frozen Peaches
– 1 Handful Frozen Mangos
– 1 Medium Orange; Peeled
– 1 Medium Banana; Peeled
– 3 Strawberries; Sliced

– Vanilla Protein Powder
– Dried Coconut
– Hem Hearts

Combine almond milk, peaches, mangos, orange and banana in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and lay sliced strawberries & your choice of optional ingredients on top.


My Year in Books (so far)


2016 Book List


The Circle by Dave Eggers || Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami || Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho || Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

One of my unspoken goals of this year was to read more. I think I might have read like 5 books last year, which is extremely depressing to me. I’ve always been a reader, growing up I was known for how much I read. My goal number of books this year is 14 and for being in the month of March, I think I am right on track to hit or pass that goal! If you’d like to follow along in real time, follow me on Instagram and check out the hashtag #softspiritreads, where I post photos and short reviews of the books I am going through.

I know it can be difficult to find time for books, but I’ve been lucky (in a sense) to be completely alone in a new state and my vivid lack of friends has left me with plenty of time on my hands to check out new books. I really want to start a book exchange eventually, because I am buying all these books and don’t necessarily want to keep them!

Out of the books above, Kafka on the Shore was the most mentally engaging to me. It was my first full-length Murakami book and I enjoyed the challenge of reading it. I put it down so many times though, it wasn’t exactly a page-turner for me, but I did love it. Oryx and Crake was another great one. That was the second Atwood I have read and while it too wasn’t a page turner for me, I liked it. I enjoy reading the books that paved the way for YA novels such as Hunger Games. Oh, and I’ve been meaning to read Oryx and Crake for um… years. Me Before You was a very quick read for me (I might’ve stayed up really late one night tearing through it) and while it’s technically a romance of sorts, it’s also a great commentary on disability. It was simple and engaging and I loved it.

Have any recommendations for me? I was thinking of trying out a Steven King, since I’ve never really gotten into him before. Or maybe I’ll tackle Goldfinch and work my way through relevant Oprah booklist titles. I have to note, that for me to not be reading a science fiction, fantasy or YA dystopian novel is insane. That’s all I read and I have not read one yet this year!



1st Month


1st Month

I have been a Kentucky resident for a little more than 6 weeks now and I have been doing some major reflecting lately. I figured I could share a few of my thoughts with my friends and family here about my move and what it’s like where I am.

I posted a bit ago about moving and more specifically why I decided to leave my home and move someplace fairly foreign to me. It all boils down to needing change. I needed to move forward in my career, leave my apartment that I shared with an ex-boyfriend, free up my schedule that was strongly dictated by social affairs and just, you know, find someplace new to explore.

Well I did that. I packed up my life and drove to Louisville, Kentucky, where I had a new job and apartment waiting for me. It was such a quick whirlwind of a move that it felt much less than intentional, it felt like survival mode kicked in and I just did what I had to do to get here. Then I arrived and it felt like protection mode. I holed up (seriously, I have barely left my house in 6 weeks), I nested, I cried, I spent a lot of time alone and I guarded myself.

A few months before I moved I got into a new relationship. When I accepted my job and the move, I considered my new relationship and then I considered how disappointed in myself I would be if I turned down this epic life change for what had been a 2 month relationship. I knew if I wanted this new relationship to work (especially after the last relationship I was in), it would require the best me and the best me was not the one in that job, in that home, in that mind-state, in that city. I didn’t know where the best me could be found, but I knew it wasn’t there anymore. Now 4 months into this relationship, I can safely say that long-distance sucks ass. I mean I knew this; I anticipated this, but now there is literally no doubt in my mind. I have fallen in love with someone 1100 miles away from me and it’s making it hard for me to fall in love with where I geographically am now.

So. My first 6 weeks have been rough. They’ve been lonely. They’ve been dark and cold, which is hard coming from sunny/beautiful/warm Denver. Moving to a smaller town has been a challenge in a lot of ways. Spending my nights inside missing the person I love has been less than awesome. I miss my friends, I miss my family, I miss my favorite Asian grocery store, the mountains, the breweries, that restaurant down the street, the 15 minute drive to my boyfriend’s house, weekends hiking, sunshine, not listening to Siri’s voice every time I want to go to the grocery store. I miss a lot. But here’s the thing, I’m not leaving. I’m not going home anytime soon and I know the crossroads where I have to make the decision to look forward is on the near horizon.

Not to mention, I’m always kinda sad at this time of year. Crikey.

My goal for the next 6 weeks is to find a way to explore more. To get out of my house every so often and do the things I was hoping to do in a new city. Fulfill the visions of this place that I had before I moved. My goal is to get back to my old ways, discover some new ways and possibly enjoy my life a bit more than I have been. I want to set some intentions about my time here in Kentucky and see them through.

Any tips on surviving in a new city? Or long distance relationship? Or winter in general?



Neutral Sneakers


neutral sneakers women's

New Balance 620 || Nike Cortez Quickstrike || Reebok Classic Leather || Adidas Stan Smith || Adidas Stella McCartney || Nike Roshe Cortez

I’m just going to call it. I think neutral sneakers are going to become a bigger thing in street fashion in the next few years; particularly nude sneakers. A wave of women wearing black athletic kicks has amped up over the past 2-3 years and while I don’t see the go-to little-black-sneaker trend ending soon, I predict women stepping it up in the warmer months with some more options in their closet.

Or maybe it’s just me.

Regardless, I scoured the web for the perfect pair to buy and I’ve limited it down to my top 6. It’s such a hard decision. The New Balance 620 are made exclusively for J.Crew stores. I’ve gotta say, I love when good shoe brands make exclusives with fashion brands that know what’s up. The gold leaf detail is spot on for spring. I could imagine myself wearing these with a long black cotton maxi. While the Nike Cortez Quickstrike’s are the epitome of minimalist street style. Paired with some rolled black skinnies and a loose heathered tee, magnifico. The Reebok Classic Leather is a great slim style (where as the Nike’s and Adidas can get a little bulky) that’s perfect for everyday wear. They’ve got some texture, so they aren’t so minimal as to go unnoticed but there’s no gold in-your-face bling. Put these guys on with a giant sunhat and a skirt or jeans and you’re good to go. The full nude color is an instant classic too. The Adidas Stan Smith line is a little hit or miss for me. I loved the men’s grey primeknit they had out last year, but the plain white ones just don’t do it for me. The new deconstructed set is gorgeous though. Minimal, clean, and perfectly neutral – if you’ve been wanting a pair of versatile neutral sneakers I’d say this is the way to go. Another Adidas collab, the Stella McCartney’s boast a hefty price tag, but if you go check out the zoom photos, these babies are gorgeous. The primeknit pattern on the side with a soft seafoam green is just enough to keep these in the neutral/fashion territory, while looking like you’ve dawned some activewear. Last but not least, the Nike Roshe Cortez are a beautiful classic. They’re a little on the bulky end, but would look so sassy with some black jeans.

I think my neutral sneakers favorites are the top four that I posted. I don’t doubt that I’ll snag the J.Crew/New Balance collab in the near future and possibly the Stan Smith’s too. Which ones are your favorite? I’ve been looking at spring shoe options a lot (I um, purged almost all of my shoes in my move) and I’ve noticed a lot of ’90s styles are being stocked in big stores again this year. I wasn’t sure if they’d make it past last summer’s ’90s revival, but it seems like we’re going strong for a while. Hello platforms!



26 Things


I’ve been looking at my own blog every day lately, as if staring at it could help me rise from the funk I’ve been in. Blog funk, spirit funk, life funk. Moving across the country has actually been much harder than I thought it was going to be, in completely different ways than I originally anticipated. I’ll touch on that sometime soon though. Today I thought I’d acknowledge my age, my birthday that was um, 4 months ago, and just jot down some varied snippets about myself and perhaps a few life lessons in there too.

1. I grew up in and around Denver, Colorado. Until last month, I had never lived anywhere else. Then I apparently lost my mind in December and moved my life across the country to the wonderful Louisville, Kentucky.

2. I’ve never had a real nickname that stuck. Even despite feeling like I am definitely NOT a Rachel, apparently I am a Rachel. I always wished my mom named me River or something.

3. I’m obsessive about lists. I have actual hundreds of lists all over my life: my phone, my email (in the form of draft emails), notebooks, wunderlist, basecamp, etc. I get so overwhelmed if I can’t write down lists. Some list examples of late: “Vinyl Records I Want,” “Words To Remember in 2016,” “Shit Thad Says,” “TV Shows People Have Told Me To Watch,” — As you can see, I’m a freak.

4. I have the worst singing voice of anyone you’ve ever met, but I’m not tone deaf. I’m just truly awful at singing and thusly, I don’t sing around other people. Unless I am drunk. Then I sing around other people quite loudly.

5. I’m in a long distance relationship. It’s pretty fucking hard, but my boyfriend is the bee’s knees. So it’s worth it. We met 4.5 years ago and tried out dating and it didn’t work and now we’re doing it again and it’s working magically this time around. As he says, “perfect timing”.

6. Sometimes, I don’t want to listen to music. But for like months. I will barely listen to a sound in months and months. It’s happened to me a few times in my life and I can’t really explain it.

7. On that note (har har), I love absolute quiet more than anyone I know. I don’t really ever find silence awkward. I like being around other people and being silent. I feel like I can feel their energy more when they aren’t talking. Yeah, that’s a thing.

8. I am incredibly in-tune with people that I am close to. I can sense when they are upset or happy or lying or scared or whatever very quickly. Almost every boyfriend I have ever had asks me if I am a mind reader.

LIFE LESSON: Feel whatever your feeling. We’ve all grown up in a society that is constantly trying to “fix” us. Think back on how many times you’ve seen something on the internet or your peers have said something about making yourself happier, prettier, smarter, less this, more that. It’s exhausting as hell. I think we often reject anything we see as “negative,” when in reality, negative things are just simply one side of the scale, positive being the other. I don’t think negative experiences or emotions are bad. They just are. Embrace them as you embrace the positive. Feel the feels, ride the wave and don’t convince yourself that being happy is a goal. It’s a state of being, it will come and go and there is nothing more natural than that.

9. I grew up in a truly chaotic home. I don’t talk about it much and definitely not online. I spent some serious years in therapy trying to cope with it all and am the first person who will tell you that I think everyone can benefit from therapy.

10. I have had body image issues since I was about 11 years old. I remember being in 5th grade wondering what was wrong with me. I didn’t wear a bathing suit until this past year and I hated it. But I am trying to work on 1. Self acceptance, self love and forgiveness for myself. and 2. Adopting a healthy lifestyle instead of my usual strong 3 month regimen and 9 months of self loathing I do every year.

11. I’m constantly battling my packrat tendencies with my desire to live with less.

12. I love astrology. I often study it, seek it and contemplate it. I do not believe every component of it, but I have made it my own and use it in various personal ways.

LIFE LESSON: Set goals, check in with them often. It’s a good way to make sure you don’t have that “life is passing by so quickly feeling.” Per my beliefs, we only get to live once. Do not get so bogged down in the bullshit that you don’t work toward achieving your dreams every single day. This is your damn life. Live it up.

13. I do not like winter. Every January-March I get sort of depressed. I wish it could be spring, summer, fall, winter on Christmas Day only, then repeat.

14. I, like most people, am full of odd contradictions. For instance, I can be incredibly forward thinking and yet completely traditional at the same time. My values and morals are a mix between progressive and conservative.

15. I love crab cheese wontons. I would eat them every day if they didn’t make me chubby.

16. I am obsessed with travel, but I am currently undergoing a process of paying off debt, so I am not traveling lately. It’s really hard for me, but I’m remembering that sometimes you have to buckle down and do things that aren’t fun right now to have more fun later.

17. If you tell me I can’t do something, you better be prepared for me to do it better than you ever imagined. I do not like being repressed and when I set my mind to something I am ridiculous. You can see this in my career path. I have jumped up the career ladder quite quickly, in part because of the people who have told me I couldn’t do it. That I must obey the process and order of things. Screw that, I say.

18. My favorite color is like this mustard, muted yellow.

19. I don’t rant often, but when I do, be scared. I am a logic based creature and can win nearly every argument that comes my way and my rants are deeply seeded and intense. I apologize in advance.

20. I uh, sort of tricked my way out of having to take math classes. In high school, in my last week of 12th grade my math teacher told me I would not be graduating because I was DEEPLY failing my statistics class (was like speaking arabic to me and I decided I’d rather smoke cigarettes in the parking lot and read my books then go to that class). Lucky for me, my mother paid money for that class to count as a college course and I pleaded with my math teacher to pass me, so I would never have to take math in college. Well he taught me how to balance a check book, calculate a percentage and understand some basic fractions that week and passed me. So when I got to college, I already had my math credits. WOOP!

LIFE LESSON: You don’t always have to be right. This was hard for me to learn and cost me some friendships and I had to hurt some people I really loved to learn this. Sometimes, you can just let other people be right or have their say, even when you disagree. You know why? Because being right doesn’t honestly matter that much, I’d rather hear people, let them feel strong and whole and happy, than spend all day berating everyone and causing conflict.

21. My hair is naturally red. Sometimes it’s light (summer) sometimes it’s dark (yah, winter) and people usually ask me what color I dye my hair. I don’t dye it. I get some beachy blond ombre but the reddish color is all my own.

22. I have 11 tattoos. Of those, if I could remove any of them I would remove 6 of them. Woops. Lol.

23. I am seriously seriously introverted. I didn’t know that until 2 years ago and I used to feel so guilty and think there was something wrong with me because I needed to spend so much more time alone than most of my friends did. My therapist laughed at me when I described how I thought I might be messed up because everyone liked to go out and it exhausted me and I wanted to be home alone 5 nights out of the week.

24. I’m (actually) addicted to Burt’s Bees Chapstick. If I don’t have it, my lips dry up within an hour or two and I cannot think of anything else.

25. I love romantic comedies the most. I want to be a cool indie-film kind of person but truthfully, I will watch She’s All That or You’ve Got Mail any day of the week.

26. I don’t like Lady Gaga, or Taylor Swift, or Rihanna, or Kanye West. I’m sorry. No I’m not.


Christmas Spirit


holiday cheer

Photo by @allieseidel on instagram.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves during the holidays. Everything has to be just so and all of our hurts are magnified at this time of year. I always find myself mourning people I miss, or getting stressed about money and scheduling – even when I try to just enjoy the spirit of it all, it’s so hard. Every year that passes though, I get a little better at just letting go and allowing my heart to just be warm with the joy of the season. This year has been a rough one for me to get into the spirit. Leaving my home and moving across country the day after Christmas has me feeling a little stressed to say the least. I’ve been sleeping on my couch by my Christmas tree because I am fairly sure that Christmas trees have mystical vibes that make everything okay and who couldn’t use a little more of that when they wake up?

Here are my tips for turning up the cheer during the holidays, should you find yourself feeling a little blue.

1. Setup the tree
I’m serious. I was telling my friends I set my tree up, despite moving and they were so confused. It’s the best way to get in the spirit. Listen to a record, string the lights around the tree and spend the evening sitting by its glow.

2. Turn up the tunes
My favorite holiday albums are here, here and here. I have the first one on vinyl and it’s spinning non-stop in my home.

3. Have a drink
Personally a huge fan of Cranberry Apple Sangria, Smoky Scotch and Cider and Cherry Sake Cocktails. Or you could just nab a bottle of peppermint schnapps and pour a bit in your cocoa. Heh.

4. Don’t skip the decor
I’m a personal fan of setting up your home for the types of moods you want to cultivate. I grabbed some pine scented incense and bought a bunch of white candles from the thrift store this week. It’s subtle but just the right ambiance for cozy feels. If you’re in need of some serious forest smells, I also grabbed this candle and it’s perfect for the season.

5. Bake something
Baking cures all the blues, always. For me it does anyway. My favorite holiday treat (that everyone else loves too) is marshmallow fudge. Simple and nummy.

6. Find yourself an ugly sweater
And wear it. Who gives a fuck anyway.

7. Holiday Markets
In Denver we have the Holiday Flea, the Georgetown Market (I swear it’s where Christmas was invented) and the Krampus Market, but most cities have shops and markets.

8. Watch the holiday episodes on TV
Personal favs of mine: Friends & The New Girl.

9. Have one of those frou frou lattes
Treat yoself, have a gingerbread whatever or eggnog yummy-yum from Starbucks.

10. Go to at least one holiday party
Okay this one can be really hard if you’re down in bummertown, but sometimes it really does help to get out and be around people.

11. Capture some holiday-themed instagrams
Maybe going on photo walks only makes me happy, but if you haven’t tried it, you should. Walk through your neighborhood and find a pretty wreath to take a photo of.

12. Do a craft
Like make some mini Christmas trees, or a pretty minimal wreath, or orange cinnamon garland.

13. Roam the Target christmas aisles
This is exactly how I got myself started on the Christmas cheer this year. Just go look at all the pretty things.

14. Go for a drive at night and scout out local christmas lights
My family always did this when I was growing up. We’d drink hot cocoa and go look at all the lights together. Swoony.

15. Go to the ballet
Nutcracker. ’nuff said.