October ’14

A fellow-Chelsea featured this on her blog and as someone who loves lists and goal-setting, I obviously fell in love. I really do believe that just putting something down on (digital) paper helps increase the chances of you actually doing… And this month I actually wrote it down on real paper and hung it in my closet so I can see it every day and refocus myself if I find myself going through the motions of my day without remembering what I want this month to be! I also love the idea of following the progression of these every month. So here is what I hope my October looks like:


Eating more home cooked meals and veggies.
Drinking WATERWATERWATER and only one soda a week. Diet Dr. Pepper is my favorite!
Practicing finding time to go to the gym.
Mastering applying what I learn in therapy to real life.
Learning how to budget while still having fun and paying off credit cards.
Listening to “Love On Top” and old John Mayer.
Playing more often without letting anxiety get in the way.
Reading Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling’s books. (I’m giving up on “The Interestings” for right now.)
Watching Gilmore Girls 4ever. No, seriously, I started the series for the first time maybe 2 months ago but I was using illegal streaming websites (oops) and then all of a sudden, halfway through season 2, I couldn’t find good links anymore… Just a week or so later Netflix announced it was adding it to their collection. So I have a theory that Netflix destroyed all the links I was using. But anyway – I don’t care – because now I can finally binge it. And it feels like the fall is the best time to watch Gilmore Girls anyway! It’s weird that I never watched the show when it was first on, I think I would have adored it as a teenager. Though even as a grown up – I still love it. Do you?
Walking as often as possible.
Wearing scarves, boots, and CONFIDENCE.
Cooking seasonal, healthy, hearty meals
Working on writing more and not feeling I need a “reason” to blog.
Wanting to SHOP so thrifting instead as to not undermine my budgeting.
Helping the nomads and RM’s have a kick ass tour.
Worrying about money and the safety of people I love, duh. Getting better though.

I’m seriously so so so happy it’s October and I’m 100% ignoring the fact that the Santa Ana winds have brought unbearably hot weather my way. Now excuse me while I shamelessly sip my pumpkin spice iced coffee!

September ’14

A fellow-Chelsea featured this on her blog and as someone who loves lists and goal-setting, I obviously fell in love. I really do believe that just putting something down on (digital) paper helps increase the chances of you actually doing it (especially this month, because it’s gonna be crazy and I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself). Plus I love the idea of following the progression of these every month. So here is what I hope my September looks like:

(please excuse this terrible #ootd pic but i’m excited about my first maxi skirt!) 

Eating more home cooked meals and more cheddar cheese. I’ve become kind of obsessed.
Drinking as much coffee as I want. I tried to cut it last month and failed, so now I’m focused on making sure I balance it with water!
Practicing not going out to eat during the week. Lunch is the hardest!
Mastering taking care of myself and communicating what I need to others.
Learning how to find gym time and how to motivate myself to go when I’m just so tired.
Listening to tons of 90’s R&B/hip-hop and the whole John Mayer discography. I forgot how much I love some of his old stuff.
Playing in the pool as often as possible! It’s my happy place and I want to soak it up before summer’s totally gone.
Reading well, I failed last month and I’m still reading “The Interestings.” Oops.
Watching Big Brother, without shame! And more movies alone. I LOVE IT.
Walking whenever I can. Not moving my car on the weekends is just so great.
Wearing maxi skirts! I had no idea I could pull them off, but now that I know, I feel like I need to make up for lost time.
Cooking simple, fast, yummy meals.
Working still a ton. Nomads launch Sept 25 and somehow even though this is the 6th tour I’ve managed, it’s still crazy.
Wanting the holiday’s to come and to find a cheap flight home! Homesickness in full swing.
Helping the nomads prepare for their life on the road.
Worrying about my dad going to Europe! So excited for him, but 2 weeks will be the longest we’ve ever gone without talking on the phone!!!

Dinner for One

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I can remember a couple years ago saying to friends “I can’t wait to have a boyfriend so I have someone to make dinner for every night.” Well, little did I know that I would find the boyfriend but he would have a career that means we’re rarely at home for dinner together.

Growing up in my house, dinner was a family affair. Me and my brother would help set the table while our parents made dinner, then we would all sit down together and talk about our day. Nobody was allowed to get up until dinner was over and once cell phones were a thing, they couldn’t be used at the table either. So when I moved out of my dad’s house and went to college, I found the idea of making dinner for myself pretty depressing. And to be honest, in the last 6 years, I haven’t really found a way to hate making dinner for just myself any less so I find myself eating pasta with jar sauce, eggs, and other very easy (and equally as boring) dinners.

But in the last few months, I’ve resolved to get out of my dinner slump. I love to cook, so to not cook just because I’m making it for myself is so sad. Do you guys know the scene in Bridesmaids where Kristen Wiig makes herself just one gorgeous cupcake? Well, it inspired me! It’s time to make myself delicious, nutritious meals whether or not there’s someone to share it with.

This is just one example of how self-care manifests in my life, but I think it’s so important for us all to find the things that make us happy and do them even if they feel frivolous.

Tonight I came home, threw on an apron, turned on my favorite podcast, and got to cooking that delicious meal you see above. Oh – and you wanna know something awesome about not having anyone to share it with? There’s enough leftover for me to take to work for lunch tomorrow! Woot!

To make that bowl of deliciousness above, here’s the recipe.

  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Garlic (I love the frozen cubes from Trader Joe’s)
  • Brussels Sprouts (Also, love the frozen ones at Trader Joe’s)
  • Quinoa

Boil frozen Brussels sprouts according to package. While that’s happening, sautee three pieces of bacon cut into small pieces. Once that starts cooking, drain some of the extra fat then add in onion and garlic. At this point, the Brussels sprouts should be done. Drain those and quarter them. Add those to the bacon mixture and get the quinoa cooking according to the package. Once the quinoa is done, add it to the bacon mixture and stir all the ingredients together – making sure they’re well combined. I like to turn the temperature up at this point and let it cook all together for 10 minutes so the quinoa really absorbs the flavors of bacon, onion, garlic. Mmmmm.

This is best enjoyed by yourself, with a big glass of wine, and maybe your favorite TV show.

Bon appetit friends!

August ’14

A fellow-Chelsea featured this on her blog today and as someone who loves lists and goal-setting, I obviously fell in love. I really do believe that just putting something down on (digital) paper helps increase the chances of you actually doing it. Plus I love the idea of following the progression of these every month. So here is what I hope my August looks like:


Eating more veggies, more homemade meals, more fresh baked bread.
Drinking as little coffee as possible, but breaking the habit is rough!
Practicing writing in my blog on a regular basis.
Mastering making breakfast and lunch for the next day every night before bed.
Learning how to navigate personal stuff while still succeeding at work.
Listening “The Voyager” by Jenny Lewis, and the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Oh – and the new remix of “Flawless.”
Playing hopefully just playing more in general. But especially in Palm Springs and at our apartment-warming party!
Reading “The Interestings” and “#GirlBoss” before the month is over! I’m determined to read more.
Watching a couple of Keith’s favorite movies and Big Brother (duh).
Walking all around my new neighborhood, falling more and more in love with it.
Wearing my new glasses! That aren’t scratched! And that are just the best! Can you tell I’m SO excited?
Cooking brussel sprouts, bread, and more meat-free meals.
Working a toooon. Nomads arrive on the 13th and things get crazy but in the best way possible.
Wanting a change in season, time to pause for a month, to finally figure out what I want to do with my hair.
Helping people I love figure out how to tackle so cruddy situations they’re currently dealing with.

What about you guys? Do this on your own blogs or comment below and tell me what you’re focusing on this August!

25 before 25: Get a massage

I’m slowly but surely (emphasis on the slowly) making my way through my 25 before 25 list!

unnamed(The only picture I took.)

Most recently I got a massage! My darling friend Susie (thank you!!) bought me this for my birthday before even knowing it was on my list. Talk about being on the same wave length. And though my birthday was almost 4 months ago, I just got around to using it.

Here’s the thing about me: I can never wait to open a gift. If someone sends me something in the mail and asks me to wait ’til Christmas Day or my birthday or whenever to open it – you can guarantee I will not wait. I might tell them I waited, but the truth is the second my hands touched it, it was opened. BUT when it comes to gift cards of any kind, I tend to hold on to them forever. So with the massage, I could totally have enjoyed it back in March but I wanted to wait til I really needed it and I AM SO GLAD I DID.

I scheduled my massage for the morning of July 3rd, which was just a couple days after moving everything into our new studio on the 3rd floor with no elevator (hello, jello legs) and also the first day of my four-day weekend! Can you say perfect timing?

The only other massage I had ever had before this one was the day after I finished my last final exam of my college career and while that one was nice, this one blew it out of the water. Everyone at Vida Organic Wellness Spa was so friendly and soft spoken. I seriously think that must be a pre-requisite to getting a job at a spa, which means I can guarantee I will never work at one!

Once I got in the room, my masseuse asked for problem areas and what I was there for. I told her I didn’t really have any problems but I just wanted to overall relieve tension and relax.

…You guys. This massage seriously changed my life. I’ve felt so different since it. I know that sounds crazy, but I really focused on my thoughts while she massaged me and especially focused on letting go of some of the emotional weight I’ve been holding on to. And by the time she was done I felt totally refreshed. Obviously I can’t add massages into my regular expenses because #nonprofitlife but I definitely want to try and get one every few months.

Seriously – I feel more relaxed even just writing about it. 

There’s a Place On Cherry Avenue…


Oh, relatively spacious apartment with grungy carpet and crazy neighbors – you were a home unlike any other. You were the first place in California where I was allowed to fully unpack and where I actually had to pay rent. You gave me the chance to live with my handsome boyfriend, something I had never done before. You proved to me that I loved living in Long Beach and couldn’t imagine ever leaving SoCal.

We had some really good times together. One of my favorites will always be the house warming/New Years Eve party we had to ring in 2013, just days after we moved in. The most hodgepodge group of people came to celebrate, we used a cooler in place of a fridge, and the night ended with the whole world spinning. We kissed and fell asleep, ready for the new year in our new home.

One of the roughest times we faced was what I like to call: The Great Bed Bug Debacle. Ugh – I don’t think I will ever forgive you for that. My legs are still scarred. Oh and the fact that the bush outside our window was home to so many birds, I felt like I was falling asleep in a Rainforest Cafe. (Seriously – what are birds doing at 11pm?!)

I will miss Girls marathons and mug cookies, waffle mornings and Nintendo 64. I will miss stumbling to DJ Old Boy and Hole Mole being just around the corner, having two closets and the three of us just hanging out. I wont miss bird lady or the freaking gates that everyone slammed too loudly, the hours spent looking for parking or the walls that stained so easily. I wont miss the crappy landlord or useless dryer, the moving out process or falling asleep to the sound of helicopters.

Honestly, I don’t remember the majority of days but when I look back on this time I will remember it as 18 months of finding myself, falling in love, and making friendships so much stronger.

 I will always think of Cherry Avenue fondly. You were good to me, and good to us. I hope whoever calls you home next does me proud.

Here’s to my new home – Gotham Lofts, you have some big shoes to fill.

State of Me



pic for blog

(Clockwise: I made good use of the open bar at my dad’s wedding//Love South Florida beaches & my brother//Saying goodbye to three incredible world-changers//Celebrating with the LiNK fam as one of our own married her perfect match.)

Whoa guys. It’s been a long time since I’ve written. And while I’d usually apologize, I don’t feel the need to this time. It’s been a super crazy couple months, or if I’m being honest – just a really crazy year so far. But, in just a few days we hit the 1/2 way point and I’m confident the second half of 2014 is going to be so much better.

Let me update you on some stuff that has happened and is happening right now, as well as some exciting plans I have for the future.

First off, just a little less than 2 months ago one of my biggest nightmares became a reality. One of our nomad teams was in a fatal car accident in Texas. To say it felt like the world completely stopped when I got that phone call would be an understatement. It’s been a really hard couple months, trying to find a way to get back to work as usual as well as mourning the loss of these incredible people. Immediately after the accident, all the nomads came back to HQ and we spent an entire week celebrating, mourning, honoring, crying, laughing, and mostly just leaning on each other. Things are a little easier now (read: I’m not crying in my office as often as I once was) but it’s still incredibly difficult and I don’t know exactly how I’m going to move forward. But I’m going to figure it out, huh? Thank goodness for the amazing people I’m surrounded by. I honestly can’t even imagine what their families are going through because the pain we feel must only be a fraction of what they’re dealing with every single day.

A side effect of the accident for me personally has been some serious anxiety… I think I’ve always struggled with anxiety, but this situation has really brought it out in a way I never expected. I don’t know why exactly I finally found the motivation to start therapy earlier this year, though instead of question it I am just so so grateful because I didn’t even realize how much I would be needing it. Somehow I’ve never felt more crazy or more normal in my life? I could go on forever about this but I’m gonna keep it short. Trust me. You don’t want to hear about the nights I stay up in bed, panicking about everything. Though, prepare to hear about this journey over the next few months (or years). Talking about it is helpful for me. Oof. Moving on.

Some happy stuff has also been going in the land of Chelsea.

I got to go home for 10 days! Ahhhh. The timing on the trip could not have been better, because after suffering a tragic loss, there is literally nothing quite as good as being able to hug your dad and brother and best friends. Though, the trip was not without stressors of it’s own. While my trip was a vacation, I was also there for my dad’s wedding! Luckily everything went off without a hitch – and even though I was worried that it was going to be totally awkward – it actually ended up being so much fun. My dad looked so happy and his bride was glowing and there was an open bar. What else could you ask for? It was one of my most favorite trips home and not just because I discovered that a whiskey sour topped with a shot of peach schnapps is the best drink in the world but because I got to see Jackie & Steve (my Indiana family) and because Keith FINALLY got to meet all of my best friends. Oh, and of course I ate lots of good Cuban food.

Probably the happiest thing happening right now is that Keith and I are moving! We’ve had a great 18 months living with a roommate, and while our current apartment does hold a lot of sentimental value to us, we are so excited to move into our new studio and start a home together. It’s going to be a serious decrease in size but I can’t wait to figure out cool ways to make it feel like cozy and not cluttered. Ah! We sign our lease tomorrow and will be fully moved in by Monday night (at the latest). I plan on documenting the whole process and the first few months of settling in and making it cute on a budget. But just to give you a quick rundown of the new place: It’s in downtown Long Beach, it was built in 1928, we’re on the 3rd floor, there are wood floors, aaaand it’s way under our goal price. I can’t wait to get to know a whole new neighborhood, binge shop at Goodwill & Ikea, and be able to walk around pants-less whenever I want!

Wow. That was a lot of words. Is anyone still with me? I promise to stray away from word-vomit posts like this all the time but every now and then they’re needed. So I hope you don’t hate me too much. I just felt the need to update this world on what’s been going on so I can move into the next month with a fresh start and really get back into this whole blogging thing. I’ve missed it bunches.

Anyway, enough about me – how are you all? Comment below and tell me what has been happening in your worlds!

PS: I almost forgot tell you about my plans for the future! I’m currently in the process of launching two new features: “Long Beach Loves Breakfast” and “Bad Bangs.” Stay tuned! I’m SO excited about both.

(This post is inspired by Dani’s recent prompt over at Sometimes Sweet.