Rabbit, Rabbit! March is Almost Here

Have you ever heard the phrase “rabbit rabbit?” 🐇

Being the superstitious person I am, I’ve said “rabbit rabbit” first thing in the morning on the 1st of every month for as long as I can remember. I read that the little saying would bring good luck in an American Girl magazine 20-some years ago, and ever since it’s been a tradition between my mom and me. We always text each other two rabbit emojis as a reminder- and funny enough, my friend Brenda has done the same thing for years, too!

A new month is always a great time to reset and set intentions for the next four weeks. I’m starting out the month refreshed after a great vacation, am starting a new job, and am feeling the positive spring vibes. It’s been a beautiful and sunny 60 degree week, and I couldn’t be more excited for spring.

In addition to my “rabbit rabbit” tradition, I also like to sage my apartment, reflect, and set intentions by journaling in my notebook. Putting thoughts and ideas on paper is a powerful way to manifest your goals, hold yourself accountable, and to track your progress as weeks go by.

The 1st is a special day this year, too- it’s also a full moon. More on the March full moon tomorrow- enjoy your last evening of February! Spring is just around the corner. 🤗🌸

Traveling Light- Collecting Sentiments, Not Stuff

It just occurred to me that this is one of my first “minimalist” trips.  In the past I used to always check a bag or two, pack enough shoes for three weeks, and prepare for any occasion.

Not anymore.

As I packed for a week in Colorado, I was realistic- I knew I’d be lounging around during the day, working away on my laptop, and bundling up to go out and explore.  This has been a bit of a “working vacation;” while my friend is at his office during the day, I’ve been drinking endless amounts of coffee in his luxury apartment lobby, working away, and catching up on TV shows (since, you know, I normally watch shows from my laptop).

I brought one carry-on- my packable Henri Bendel overnight bag (which comes in Bendel stripe or black), making it easy to store after getting back from a getaway.  Since Henri is my favorite for all the things, I had my plaid purse and monogram cross-body bag along for the trip.  I was glad airport security didn’t have anything to say about me having three personal items, not two- but my cross-body is small enough to get away with.

So, far, so good.  Packing was a success.

Yesterday we took a road trip to Boulder and checked out the lovely Pearl Street shopping area after exploring Flagstaff Mountain.  Shopping used to be one of my favorite activities of all time.  My friend Brett just so happens to be the best shopping partner, too.  Over the years he’s accompanied me on many excursions- from shoe shopping in San Francisco to Macy’s with my mom and me in NYC, he’s a really great sport.  Not this time, though- he didn’t have any bags to help carry and didn’t spend hours waiting for me outside a fitting room.  Since the beginning of our friendship (when my fashion blog was in full-force) my priorities have taken a major shift- what used to be one of my favorite pastimes now gives me a ping of anxiety, with a “where will I put this?” running in the back of my mind.

My colorful wardrobe of items I never wore has since been replaced by classic blacks, staple pieces, and favorites- no duplicates, no “because it was on sale” excuses, no space fillers.  Just things I actually wear and love.

Sure, I’m on a budget and don’t have space in my carry-on- I packed as much as I possibly could into that Bendel bag- but I also realized I don’t need anything new.  Just a couple of weeks ago I did a major deep-cleaning in my apartment, doing two huge loads of laundry and gutting my entire closet to re-organize.  Even though I didn’t think I had much, it was entirely overwhelming.  Step by step, I organized socks, shirts, skirts, leggings, loungewear, etc.  After all was said and done, I felt AMAZING.  I knew where everything was, ditched the things I no longer use or wear, and created a method to the madness.  “Stuff” can get overwhelming even when you’re a minimalist- there’s just less of it!

This trip has inspired me to consign and donate even more of the clothes I have.  It’s made me take a closer look at the things I really need- and things I haven’t missed in my six days in Denver.  So, what did I bring, you ask?

Seven days in Denver: Packing List

  • Hairdryer
  • Straightener
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Face lotion
  • Nail polish (Essie “Merino Cool”)
  • 2 black tanks (H&M, 2 for $10)
  • 3 black leggings
  • 3 sweatshirts (two black, one grey)
  • 1 black dress (in case it got nice- it hasn’t)
  • 1 pair of tights
  • 1 black cardigan sweater
  • 1 SF Giants t-shirt
  • 1 SF Giants hat
  • Workout clothes- yoga pants, sports bra, running shoes
  • 1 quilted black coat
  • Bras, underwear, socks
  • Suede ankle boots
  • Black ballet flats
  • Laptop

This is all I brought.

My plane wardrobe consisted of a black tank, black wrap sweater, leggings, booties (that were easy to slide on and off at security), black scarf, and my long(er) quilted black coat.  The beauty of each and every item I packed is that everything goes with everything.  That’s the key to packing- having an interchangeable capsule wardrobe.

Although my love for clothes will never die, I’ve learned to prioritize and focus on quality over quantity.  Even though I didn’t do any damage on Pearl Street, I experienced something even better- mindful moments with a good friend, enjoying the beauty of nature, and some relaxing time away from home.  I did get a sticker from Trident Books, an iconic Boulder bookstore.  Coincidentally, the sticker (which came from a machine) is of a woman meditating in the forest with a baby deer on her lap.  We had just seen deer running through the mountain, too!  I put the sticker on my laptop as a reminder of this fabulous trip, and to stay mindful in every moment.

I leave Denver tomorrow afternoon and am so grateful for this re-set.  I start a new job on Thursday and I’m thrilled about the opportunity- and to be able to recharge before I begin a new chapter.

If this trip has taught me anything, it has confirmed the importance of collecting sentiments, not stuff.  There truly is a freedom to living more with less- so get outside, take a deep breath, and remember what really matters- this moment.

Mountain Escape: Soul Recharge

Nothing makes you feel small like being at the top of a mountain.  Looking down at thousands of trees, tiny buildings, and snow capped rocks really puts life into perspective.

Today we ventured to Boulder, a city I’d never been to before.  I’ve been in Denver for five days now and have been in awe of the constant sunshine, majestic mountains, and overall chill vibe.  There’s definitely a much less chill energy on the east coast- unless you count the New England air.

We drove up Flagstaff Mountain to catch the views, stopping several times along the way.  Although it was a bitter 24 degrees, the sun made it feel much warmer- unless there was wind, of course.  Even though it’s been warmer in Boston, this week was the perfect time for me to go on a getaway, relax, and recharge my batteries.  There’s something about the fresh mountain breeze and sunny days that makes you feel brand new.

It’s important to remember that spending time in nature is a perfect way to engage in self-care.  Connecting with the earth helps to ground you, relieves anxiety, and balances your root chakra.  Having a solid foundation and a clear outlook is important for starting a new week, project, or job- I never used to realize how therapeutic being outside was, but it’s been one of the most helpful forms of “medicine” in my life this past year.

Whether you’re by a park, beach, mountain, river, or lake, spending time in nature is one of the best ways to recharge your soul and re-energize your spirit.   I love meditating outside in the sunshine, going for walks along the water, or just grabbing coffee and strolling through the park.

I hope you’ve been able to recharge this weekend- March is almost here, so make the most of this last week of February!  I’ll be enjoying the chill Colorado vibes in the meantime.

February 22, The Master Builder, and Guidance Through Angel Numbers

Ah, 2/22.  For as long as I can remember, 22 has been my favorite number.  I get excited on the “22” days every month, and never fail to see my birthday, 12:22, on the clock- or any other 22 for that matter.  Not only was I born on December 22, I was raised on West Bay Shore Drive, also known as M22 (Michigan highway 22).

22 holds a special place in my heart.  Known as the “Master Builder,” 22 is the most powerful of all numbers.  Confident and diplomatic, courageous and charismatic, 22 is also known as insightful and intelligent.

Sometimes 22’s can be scared of their own talents and gifts, but listening to love and continuing to spread their art is important for them to truly feel happy and fulfilled.  I know that can be the case for me- I’ve held back from sharing my work with others in fear of rejection, but I’ve learned to focus on the positive, learn from the critiques, and know I’m serving a purpose by sharing my stories.  It makes me so, so happy when I get messages from women telling me they relate to what I have written.  If I can make just one person feel like they’re not alone, I have done what I came to do.  We all need to feel connected- and 22 is also a very powerful number of connection.

You can hone in on the ambitious 22 energy and learn more here.

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Angel number 222 signifies balance and harmony, encouraging you to follow your heart.  It’s also a nudge from the angels that you’re on the right track to discovering your purpose and following your passions.  If you’re feeling down or doubting your dreams, know that 222 is reminding you to keep the faith- the Universe will deliver when it is time.

Maintaining a positive attitude and acknowledging everything you’re grateful for is essential to manifesting more blessings and synchronicities in your life- for me, when my vibration is high and I’m feeling energized, my life begins to flow and following my path is effortless.  22, or 222, is powerful for manifesting your desires and dreams, so make the most out of this special day.  If you’re in need of raising your vibration, check out a post I did about ways to uplift yourself when your vibes are a little low.

Writing out a gratitude list each morning, choosing a few favorite mantras to lift your spirits, and journaling are amazing ways to help put your life in perspective, set intentions, and manifest a life you’ll love.  You hold more power than you know, so focus on what you want- not the things you don’t.  It works.

PS- hello from Denver!  Anyone who asks if I’m here to ski definitely doesn’t know I’m one of the least athletic people on Earth.  However, there’s a heated pool, hot tub, and endless coffee (which is a little more my speed).  Let me know if there’s anywhere I MUST check out while I’m here!

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens: Embracing Endless Opportunity (Even When You’re In Limbo)

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It’s funny how having faith in the unknown can be one of the most comforting feelings.  Even though it’s hard to be in “limbo,” having endless possibilities is both exciting and encouraging.

“The benefit of having little clue as to what is happening in one’s life is the possibility that something amazing is right around the corner.”

My friend Ashley tweeted this quote a few years ago, which has become my go-to any time I feel discouraged.  In the five years I’ve known Ashley, we’ve both moved states multiple times, switched cities, changed boyfriends, left jobs, started websites, and one of us was even on a TLC dating show.

Needless to say, both of us have had little clue as to what was going on in our lives.

I’ve written for Ashley’s website Kinda Kind for two years now, and I’m ever-so-grateful to her for providing a platform for me to segway into writing about mindfulness and self improvement.  Two months before my first Kinda Kind post I accidentally deleted my fashion blog; even though I have no idea how it happened (not to mention my initial mini meltdown), it was a breath of fresh air.  I was ready to get rid of my fashionista identity and wanted to start a writing career with substance.

It was also around that time in 2016 when I started to purge my possessions, focus on quality over quantity, and made meditation and mindfulness a top priority in my life.  2016 was an extremely rough year, but thanks to the struggles, I gained a whole new strength.  I had no idea that my challenges would result in a life of mindfulness and minimalism, but I’m sure glad it did.

Back in 2016, Ashley left San Francisco to move back to Chicago, and I left New York City- the place I thought was my heart- that July.  The year ended on a positive note with my move to Boston and a newfound optimism, faith, and zest for life.  I just knew there was something wonderful out there for me- and even though I didn’t know what it was, I was confident I would find it.

I’ve had a lot of changes since moving to Boston.  Over holiday break I started to re-think teaching, concerned about going a week without pay.  Although I adored it (with the exception of the biting and hitting), it was barely enough to cover my rent.  It’s a hard pill to swallow when you made 4X the money a decade ago, straight out of college.  I considered a part time job, but I knew it would be too stressful for me to manage it all.  So, with no idea what I would do, I continued to write, put in the legwork, and reach out to my connections.

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I’m proud of myself for how I handled my “limbo” phase.  Sure, I went hermit for a while and was a bit depressed, but I pulled myself out of it and re-gained my energy.

Once my energy was back it was time to start pounding the pavement.  Last Monday I spotted a post on Facebook from one of my San Francisco friends, looking for someone to hire for a part-time role.  It seemed perfect- an Austin-based fashion brand had a huge need for someone to help with messaging and customer communication.   By Thursday, I had a company email address and got started on my first projects.

It gets better.  The following day I met with a criminal defense law firm about a marketing and assistant role.  Some of you may know this, but most of you probably don’t- prior to marketing, I worked at a San Francisco law firm and studied for the LSAT.  On a warm spring day back in 2009 I walked over to the University of San Francisco to take the test- with absolutely no desire to actually go to law school.  I’m not sure what happened in those six months, but I was certain law school wasn’t in the cards.

Although I decided I didn’t want to be an attorney, I’ve always loved law firms.  I don’t know why- I think it partially has to do with the fact my father was a lawyer (I used to “help out” when I was a little tike), but also due the interesting nature of the cases.

Fast-forward to a week later, I officially have two jobs doing things I love, I’ll be working with great people, and will still have the time to write.  I couldn’t have planned this out more perfectly on my own, which just goes to show that worrying is a waste of time and energy.

It’s amazing what the Universe delivers when you have faith.  Ashley and I chatted about this the other day- now living in Los Angeles, she’s also looking for that “next step.”  As she grows her brand I offered to help in whatever way I can.  That said, I’m excited to share that I’ll be a regular contributor to Kinda Kind, focusing on self-improvement and relationships!  I’ll be sure to share the launch of the new website sections when they’re live.

I’m grateful to have someone in my life like Ashley.  She totally gets it when I share my life challenges- no judgement, no eye-rolls.  Both Capricorns yet free spirits, we have a million ideas in our heads, but sometimes it’s difficult to prioritize.  This is exactly why you just need to go with the flow of the Universe- one door may close, but there’s a shiny door waiting for you just down the road.  Trust me.

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Travel Zen

…is an oxy moron, because I have no chill when it comes to travel.  I don’t know what travel zen is, but if someone can help me figure it out, I’d love to know.

I am still catching my breath after my connection between Boston and Denver. Naturally, I had to land at JFK of all places- a city where my aggression comes out in full force.  I had a 15 minute layover in New York thanks to a fog delay, so I ran as fast as I could to the shuttle to get from Terminal A to C.

It was a headache.

I messaged my friend Brett to let him know it was possible I would have to take a later flight.  Thankfully, I got a hold of him to let him know I made it with just a minute to spare.  He’s leaving work early to come get me, so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t messing up his schedule, either.

✈️

I don’t know how people do it.  I have two friends who work for Accenture as consultants, and they travel every single week.  I WOULD PULL MY HAIR OUT.  Although I tried to take deep breaths and remember “everything happens for a reason,” I still have no zen when it comes to logistics.

Journaling, music, and holding my Fluorite stone seemed to help calm me down once I got settled on flight #2.  Now that I’m en route, I feel much better, though I doubt the people I pushed past in the airport would believe me.

On another note, I’m stoked to spend a few days out west- we’re hiking in Boulder this weekend, exploring downtown Denver, relaxing, and of course dining out!  It will be a great getaway.

What are some of the ways you chill yourself out while traveling?  Trust me, I need some tips other than Xanax.

One Step at a Time

Setting goals for ourselves is an important part of life.  There are so many things we dream of- from an early age our parents encourage us to study hard, succeed in a sport or hobby, and get into a good college.  None of those things happen magically, though; we must take steps.

Over the years I have gotten discouraged when I didn’t meet my goals fast enough or see results immediately.  I’ve compared myself to others around me, only to question how well I was doing: but comparison is the thief of joy.  We each have our own path, and everything happens for a reason.  Life will never pan out the way we think it will- the Universe likes to surprise us (and that’s the fun part!).

As I have gotten older I have started to enjoy the journey and stop focusing on the finish line- after all, isn’t life about the little moments?

I’m currently working on a book and hope to become a full-time writer by the end of the year.  Writing has been a shining light in my life, and connecting with others gives me great joy and a sense of purpose.  Last summer I started reaching out to publishing agents, editors, and other bloggers to connect with to share my work.  I made a few connections, but it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  That’s because it wasn’t time yet.

I have to remember to have faith and continue to take one step at a time.  I know the Universe and God have a plan for me- but they’re not ready to uncover it.  I still have pages to write and a journey to walk.

By writing a little each day, sending my work out to other websites, and engaging in personal development, I’m setting myself up for each next step.  It’s important to remember to celebrate each and every victory- no matter how big or small!  For example, it was exciting to hear from Thought Catalog last January after I wrote a post on minimalism– they emailed me out of nowhere and asked to use my work!  I’ve been writing for them ever since, and have recently starting contributing to Elephant Journal, too.

It’s easy to get impatient.  I’ve given up, backtracked, or gotten depressed when things didn’t go exactly as planned.  I’ve changed courses only to find myself going right back to what my heart was originally telling me.  Your heart will always guide you in the right direction.

Your goals, hopes, and dreams will happen when they’re supposed to happen; so don’t get discouraged.  Each day counts.  Make a list, chip away a little bit, and try your best.  Even when you’re feeling down (like I was), your faith will make you stronger- set your intention, believe, and keep going.

Even when the steps seem difficult to take, remember: they count.  Each and every step adds up to something bigger.

Keep climbing and believing in yourself; the world will believe in you too.

ASMR- Sleep Soundly

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all sleep like a cat?

If you’re like me, you’re prone to insomnia.  With an overactive mind and creative brain, sometimes going to sleep (and staying asleep!) seems impossible.

You toss, you turn, and you feel extremely aggravated.  That was me last night.

Although I’m excluding prescription pharmaceuticals from this (which I don’t take), I’ve tried everything, from Melatonin, Advil PM, guided meditations, solo meditation, tea, and music.  Last night, even though I was extremely sleepy, I attempted a guided meditation- and it only made me irritated.  The guide had me count from 100, telling me to think “I’m so rested” in between each number.  I started to count, but he kept interrupting me!  How am I supposed to count when you keep giving me more prompts?  Just let me count!

Now, I’m not knocking guided meditations for sleep (because it can work for me at times), but I found a much better way to set my mind at ease and calm my body down:

ASMR.

If you haven’t heard of it, ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian responseDo you know that fuzzy feeling in your brain when someone talks softly, writes on a whiteboard, or makes tapping noises?  That’s what ASMR is!  I vividly remember an 8th grade teacher who used to set me into a trance when she would talk to the class.  I also have always loved watching people draw.  Watching Bob Ross paint and listening to him talk is another great example of ASMR (isn’t he the best?).

There’s a variety of ASMR videos available, from soft speaking to scratching.  I’m a big fan of tapping, scratching, and soft noises opposed to voices, which only distract me.

My favorite ASMR YouTubers are ASMRSurge, Caroline ASMR, and ASMR Massage Psychetruth.   The only thing that could calm me down last night was watching ASMRSurge’s “Zen Garden” video (shown above).  My eyes began to get heavy, so I ended up closing them and simply listened to the sounds.  Watching the sand movement, listening to the sounds, and watching the placement of crystals was simply divine!

It may take a little trial and error to find your “trigger,” but there’s definitely an ASMR YouTuber or sound for everyone.  Whether you like listening to someone’s voice or enjoy the crinkling of a plastic bag (I love those), ASMR is certain to give your brain tingles, calm you down, and help you rest.

So, get your ASMR on and have a zen-full night sleep. 🙂  Let me know how it goes!