9.14.2020

A New Mindset + Morning Routine

I've always wished that I was a morning person. That I would wake up happy and ready to start the day, rise early to get in my workout or have some 'me' time before everyone else is awake. In reality, I'm ready to get up and start my day around 8am after laying in bed for a bit gradually waking up. In the past few months I've been doing a lot of reading and soul searching, trying to be the best version of myself. And I have finally figured out that with some habit and mindset changes, I can become a morning person. 

It was after a FaceTime date with one of my besties, Kristin that I was really inspired and had more direction about how to focus my energy and what steps I could take.  We did a Hawaiian Mana Card reading which was so fun! It's not like a tarot card or fortune telling, it actually was so fun and helped me recognize on aspects of my life that I needed to focus on and learn to interpret my own thoughts and desires more clearly. Mana Cards each represent an element of Hawaiian Wisdom or Mythology that offer insight into a problem or guidance about a goal. Shel lived in Hawaii for a while and is starting a coaching business so I was happy to be a guinea pig with a session. It was so fun, I highly recommend it! She's in the process of moving now but I'll let you know when she starts coaching again and link to her site! 

Beyond the card reading we also talked about ways I can use a morning routine to set intention and really create a positive effect on my entire day, and therefore life. When we hung up I was so motivated and inspired! I'm sure some of that was from spending that time with a dear friend, but also I just felt like she helped me gain a little direction for how to live my best life. She gave me a little bit of homework and suggestions for things I can incorporate into my day to notice positive change. 

Kristin recommended this morning meditation video that I have gotten completely obsessed with. It also lead me to learn more about Abraham Hicks and how our mindset can have such a huge impact on our life. I now try to focus my energy on things I am grateful for, as well as visualizing my dreams as if they have already happened, feeling what that is like, and being grateful or what is to come. It sounds so crazy, but I've found the more I practice the easier it has become. 

In addition to the morning meditation while I drink coffee or slowly wake up, Kristin suggested a guided meditation on an app like Headspace or Calm. After meditating, I would play music and write in my gratitude journal, then do my affirmations and visualization practice. Part of the homework was to create a vision board. I had so much fun doing this, it brought me back to all the collages I made as an adolescent for my room with magazine cutouts. I visualized the life of my dreams (with no restrictions) and printed images that reflected that. I have it in my office and it makes me so happy to see each day. I also wrote down affirmations that again are a reflection of the life I envision. For the affirmations, I wrote them down as if they were already done. For example: I am _____. Part of the practice is that if you train your mind to feel this is already true, it allows it to happen. Another thing to note is it's best to do this full routine before ever checking your Instagram, emails, phone, etc. It helps set the tone for the day and minimize distraction. 

I wanted to share this new routine here because I think it can be so helpful, and also because while I have been able to do this here and there, I'd really like to commit to myself and make it a daily routine. I've done the morning meditation a few days a week, and having the vision board in my office helps me focus my thinking. But I would like to make this a consistent routine. I know the benefits of doing this would be huge, and of course what is a better way to keep yourself accountable than putting in out there for the world to see. 


Morning Routine

Exercise

10min Good Morning Meditation  

Guided Meditation

Gratitude Journal

Affirmations

Visualization


Kristin had given me this routine to try with exercise at the end, but I've found for me, it's best if I get the exercise done immediately before I make excuses. We'll see if I end up changing the order as it becomes more of a habit. 



My goal is to wake up and be out of bed by 6:00am to start this routine each day, I'll do another post or share on Instagram in a few weeks to let you know how it's going! I know this all seems a little woo woo but I really think there is truth to a positive mindset being the catalyst to finding joy and contentment in life. 

What is your morning routine? Have you heard of the Mindful Morning? I have heard great things about it and wonder if it's similar to this concept? 

9.11.2020

Floral Blouse + Denim


Guys, I promise this is the last post in my drafts folder from two years ago! I can vouch for this look though, I wore this countless times. It might actually be my most worn top of all time. I still love and wear it. I love when you find a piece like that, that you can wear for years and still feel good in.


Looking at these pictures makes me want to take another trip to the city. We loved going on walks around Pac Heights or Presidio Heights and just admiring the houses and taking in the city. We were lucky to live in such an amazing neighborhood (Laurel Heights). It was pretty centrally located, and easy enough to get around the city, but it was also quiet and felt safe and more like a small family neighborhood within the city. 

We've already taken Graham to the city to visit last year and then just this past weekend we spent the day at Ocean Beach with Auntie. Thankfully Auntie Nina and Kenzie still live there and even have an extra bedroom for us to stay in (in our old hood no less)! We had the best time walking around and telling him about all our favorite things. I can picture this happening many times over as he gets older, I hope he grows up to love and appreciate San Francisco through our eyes. There are still so many places I want to show him, and I can't wait for a trip to the Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium and the Zoo when we're able to! I hope to take him at least once a year so he grows up familiar with the city we love so much. 

I'm so glad that I still have an office in San Francisco and once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted I'll be able to go back regularly again. (Hopefully sometime early next year our office will open back up, they confirmed it won't be before then). After we moved, I was still able to take frequent trips to the city for work, although I'm not sure if that just made me miss it more! I can tell you one thing for sure, I definitely left a piece of my heart in San Francisco. 

*photo by the talented Stephanie Court!

9.10.2020

Tuolumne Meadows Camping

For as long as I can remember, I've gone camping in Tuolumne Meadows every summer. When I was really young, I think we spent more time in Yosemite Valley, but at some point when it became more crowded, we started going up to Tuolumne instead. It's by far one of my favorite places in the world. Early in our relationship, Andrew joined me for a weekend there and thankfully he was hooked too. You can see more posts from our various trips here

It's such a beautiful place and although it's gotten more crowded over the years and hard to get a reservation, it still has a different vibe than Yosemite Valley. There aren't really any services so it attracts a more rugged crowd. People who go there are typically climbing, backpacking or hiking. Then there are the people driving through or making day trips to the lake from the Valley. 

This was Graham's second trip to Tuolumne which is so special for me (and Andrew) as well as my parents. He has even been on the summit of Lembert Dome twice now, something I've done countless times in my life. We decided we'd stick to the trails and wait until he's 4 or 5 to take him up the face. Apparently I was 4 the first time I hiked up that way. It's so fun looking back over the years of pictures on the summit, sitting on top of the erratic boulder. Someday I'm going to collect all of them and make a scrapbook with just that one pose over the years. 

This year we weren't sure if the trip was going to happen or not. We had reservations for August 8th but they decided not to open the campground due to Covid-19. Understandably so, but still so disappointing. We were able to get the day use permit to enter the park, and decided to just wing it, and do our best to get a first come first serve campsite. Thankfully my parents were able to head down a bit early (retired life), and they got a campsite just outside the park entrance at Junction Campground. We left on Saturday morning to join them and spent three days together enjoying our favorite place. 

When we arrived on the first day we didn't have our car pass to get inside the park so we played around the campsite in the afternoon before dinner. Graham loved his campsite and still talks about it and asks to go back. He even brought home a special "smooth one rock" he found there. It was a great set up near a creek, far from other campsites, and had little granite outcroppings he could climb on.

Sunday morning we woke up and started with our annual hike up Lembert Dome. I was too scared to let Graham out of the pack on the summit, so we headed back down for the tree line to our same spot from last year for a picnic. Graham did great in the pack, we sang songs and chatted the whole way. Once we were back down to the car we made our way to another favorite spot, Tenaya Lake. We have a rock that we've claimed as ours that is perfect for diving off, and having a snack or a beer after a long hike. Most times it's open, although over the years some folks have discovered it. I guess we can share sometimes. After the lake we explored the meadow for a little bit before driving back to the campground to make dinner. I love some of the photos we got in the meadow, Graham had a great time exploring in the river and on the boulders. Of course, roasted marshmallows after dinner was probably the highlight of the day for him!



On Monday we decided to hike up to Elizabeth Lake, we've done this a few times but it's the perfect distance with Graham in the pack and it's always nice to have a lake to enjoy during lunch. Graham was a bit cranky on the hike, but we sang and tried to distract him. Thankfully he was able to take a nap on the last part of the hike which made the remainder of the day go smoothly. We had a great picnic at the lake and enjoyed the sandy shelf and cool water on our feet. We could see the clouds building and wondered if the rain would come, so we decided to head back down. We saw a few deer on our way which was fun for Graham, and we stayed dry! After our hike we made our way back to Tenaya for our daily swim (I opted out this day since it was a bit cold and windy) then we drove down to Olmstead Point to take in the views and snap a family picture. 

Our last morning in camp Papa was getting ready to head out for a day of climbing so he and Graham played a bit in camp before he left. Graham was sporting his Papa shirt that his cousin gave to him. Since we planned to leave that afternoon, we packed up around camp and Mimi played with Graham and did the breakfast dishes. Once we were all packed up, we headed into the park to hike up river. This has always been my favorite activity. I don't know what it is about this spot, but it's one of my most favorite places in the world. My Mom's too. I think I actually took my first steps there as a baby, so a special place for our family for sure. I think when I was little, when my Dad was out climbing, my mom would take me and my sister up here because it's a short hike with a lot of space to play and splash in the water. We had a quick picnic on a sandy little section we found along the river, but we started feeling a few raindrops so we packed up and headed out to beat the rain. We even caught a flash of lighting and some thunder in the distance, but managed to stay dry. One last trip to Tenaya Lake for a swim before heading home. This time our rock was taken, so we found a spot close by and took a swim. It was perfect and I actually didn't want to get out! Graham didn't want to swim, he was too busy snacking on M&Ms with Mimi, but Mom and Dad enjoyed the lake. 

        

It was such a great trip. Different than usual, we missed our soft serve at the Tuolumne Meadows Grill after a long hike, and it was so quiet and a little strange seeing the campgrounds empty and so many less people out and about. But it was also nice, and I'm grateful we were still able to go. I hope that next year feels a bit more like we're used to, and we can stay in the campground. Maybe even at A72, our coveted favorite spot near the river! And best of all if my sister and her family can join us! I know the cousins would have so much fun together!

I have so many great photos from the weekend but I'm having trouble with the quality from those I took on my iphone when I upload them to the blog, hopefully I can fix it and add more soon.

Do you have any special places like this from your childhood you've continued to visit as an adult? 

9.07.2020

My Favorite Oils Outside The Premium Starter Kit

I remember when I first got my Premium Starter Kit I was a bit overwhelmed. I didn't start using my oils for a week or so because I wasn't sure where to start. But that's what I'm here for! My team has so many awesome resources and I am happy to share fun diffuser blends and ways to use your oils straight out of the box. 

If you're anything like me, you'll find you get addicted to using oils as soon as you start and will want to jump in with Essential Rewards to get the most bang for your buck! (Think, monthly freebies and rewards points to cash in on free products! It's the best). Back when I started I would take notes from other people on Instagram and in our Facebook groups to see which oils were their favorites that I also wanted to add to my collection. I also started saving diffuser blends I wanted to try, and making a note of what oils I would need to create them. 

I thought it would be helpful to share my list with you of all my favorite oils outside of the kit. That way you have it saved and easy to access when you're putting together your order each month. I shared this with my members and they've just been getting a few each month to build their collection. I hope it's helpful for you, too! 

I tried to put these somewhat in order of favorites to be helpful, but they're all truly favorites I continue to use almost daily and restock as soon as I'm running low. 

Favorite Oils:

  • Grapefruit
  • Northern Lights Black Spruce and/or Idaho Blue Spruce (slightly different but interchangeable)
  • Bergamont - citrusy and yummy
  • Cedarwood - sleep support and smells good
  • Jade Lemon
  • Orange
  • Eucalyptus Radiata
  • Geranium - floral, but great in blends with citrus
  • Tangerine
  • Christmas Spirit
  • Joy - this is a Young Living blend, it's floral and I love it with citrus. I use this almost daily.
  • White Angelica - an emotional and sleep support oil and just smells amazing, I diffuse it at night.
  • Vetiver - smokey and woodsy scent
  • Spearmint - peppermint is a bit much for me, this is just more subtle in blends
  • If you have kids, the KidScents oils are amazing

Most used Blends:
  • Anthro Blend - 4 Idaho Blue Spruce OR Northern Lights Black Spruce, 5 Grapefruit, 3 Lime, 1-2 Geranium, 3 Bergamont 
  • Evening Blend - Valor, Frankincense, Lavender, Stress Away 
  • Relaxing - Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile and Lavender
  • Seasonal support - Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon
  • Happy - Lemon & Valor 
  • Stress Away, Joy, Orange, Valor (this has been a go to lately)
  • Valor, Lime, Joy
  • Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot 
  • Tangerine, Lime, Valor, Grapefruit
  • Eucalyptus and Lemon 
  • Orange, Peace & Calming, Lavender
  • Peace & Calming with Lavender
  • Citrus Fresh & Lemon
  • Lavender & Frankincense 
  • Thieves & Lemon 
  • Lemon & Peppermint 
  • Raven & Thieves 
  • Stress Away & Citrus Fresh
Non oil favorites:
  • Whitening Toothpaste
  • Foaming hand soap (I like both thieves and lemon, haven't tried lavender)
  • Thieves Cleaner (a must!)
  • Fruit & Veggie Soak
  • CBD Calm roller - Andrew and I both use this every night before bed
  • If you have kids, the KidScents shampoo and body wash

I hope you find this to be a helpful resource when you're getting started. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. On my oils instagram account you'll find a lot of diffuser blends and ideas for all your Young Living goodies. 


9.04.2020

Free People Floral Tunic Blouse



Another one I found in the drafts folder from before my blogging hiatus! Unlike the last outfit I shared from the archives, this one I would actually still wear today. Or at least a version of it. I got quite a bit of wear out of this floral blouse, I even wore it for Graham's newborn photos since it's very postpartum friendly.

I think I'll always be a fan of this bohemian kind of style, fun and easy to wear!


Before Covid-19 when I had started posting regularly again, I planned to do a #LiftedHerLook challenge. But being in quarantine doesn't really promote getting ready everyday. To be honest, whatever remained of my personal style has pretty much been thrown out the window at this point. I'm thinking once it cools down a bit this fall I'll give the challenge another go. It would be fun for October, my favorite month and season to dress for. Plus, I could really use some motivation to get myself ready each day beyond workout clothes. Since I'm working from home, and rarely go anywhere besides picking up groceries, I have found myself in a total style slump. 

If the challenge goes well in October, perhaps I'll keep the style content coming. Most likely with more of a focus on practical looks for motherhood, because chasing around toddlers is no joke! And if I recall, these bell sleeves are very impractical!

*photo by the talented Stephanie Court!

9.02.2020

Camping at Crystal Springs

Typically we love to go camping at least a few times during the spring and summer. This has definitely slowed down since Graham was born, but it's still something we love to do and share with Graham. We hope he grows to love camping and being outdoors as much as we do! With Covid-19 planning any sort of camping trip seemed impossible. But as things started opening up we were eager to escape these four walls and spend some time in the mountains. 

Since we hadn't planned ahead and weren't able to make reservations anywhere, we decided to risk it and try to get a first come first serve campsite near Lake Tahoe. We convinced Erica and Corrie (Auntie Bea & Coco) to come with us since we're kind of in a quarantine bubble together. Corrie and Andrew had gotten a site at Woods Lake last year over Labor Day weekend, so we thought we had pretty good chances of getting a site. But we were mistaken. Andrew and I left late morning in hopes that Graham would take his nap on the drive up. But when we arrived there were no sites left, it looked as though a few people were just setting up so I was kicking myself for not leaving earlier and just winging it with Graham's nap.

Since there was no cell service we weren't sure what to do. Graham was still sleeping in the car so we continued driving down the highway and were able to find a spot at Crystal Springs. It wasn't too far away, so we thought we'd still be able to keep our plans for Saturday hiking and then hanging out at Woods Lake. The campsite wasn't great since it was right off the main highway, but it was nice enough and flat for G to run around and play. Plus it had a spot for our hammock and we found a creek nearby for G to explore as well. 

After we got settled, we found a little lodge nearby with wifi that we were able to get on and text Corrie & Erica so they knew where to find us and everything worked out. 

On Saturday after breakfast we headed out towards Woods Lake where we parked and started our hike up to Winnemucca Lake near the base of Round Top. It was a good hike with pretty wild flowers but definitely a climb! G did great hiking in his pack and Andrew definitely got a workout in. At the lake we relaxed for a while and ate lunch. And of course the boys took a swim! Then we hiked back down towards Woods Lake where we used the SUP and kayak for a bit before heading back towards camp to make dinner.

The hike was really nice and although there were other people it felt totally safe and we just stepped off the trail to let them pass. We had our own little spot at the lake for lunch that was perfect. Down at Woods Lake it was more crowded and hard to find a spot, but once we got settled we were mostly out on the water taking turns in the kayak or SUP anyway. It was a great way to end the day. 

Sunday morning after breakfast and packing up we went to Red Lake on the way home. Graham was a bit overtired and grumpy so we ended up calling it after an hour or so. But Coco got in some fishing and we were able to relax by the water for a while before heading back to the heat and quarantine life. The highlight was having a bald eagle circle right above us two times then heading back into the trees behind us. Then we saw an osprey fish 3 different times right in front of us. I'm turning into my Mom getting excited by bird sightings, but isn't that the way it works? I'm happy if I'm becoming like her :)

It was a great weekend with friends and so good for the soul getting away from home and having some time in the mountains and nature. And it was good practice for our Tuolumne Meadows camping trip the following weekend! 

People warned us that we would be able to camp for a few years after having Graham, and while it is a lot of work and requires way too much stuff, it's so fun and 100% worth the effort. We look forward to many more adventures camping as a family and with friends too! 

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