Advice To My Younger Self


When I was 20, I thought 30 was really, really old. As in, 30 may as well have been 80 to me back then. HA!!! I was so naive and immature. Of course, the older I get, the more I realize that age is just a number. If I could turn back time and be 20 again with all the knowledge and lessons I’ve acquired, that would be amazing.

But, that’s impossible, obvi. I don’t have a problem with aging. It’s taken me a long time, but I know what I want for my life. The thing is, it’s always been what I wanted, but I didn’t think it was possible or that it was okay for me to want these things. I’ve been living in a fog for so long and uncovering it has been incredibly liberating and scary.

We put so many limits on ourselves and allow other people and things to tell us how to live that it’s so easy to lose sight of what we want for ourselves. Or, to even figure out what that is. If I could give my 20 year-old self some advice, I would tell her to go after what she wants and not worry about what anyone thinks.

Here is a fun age test I found:

What do you think? Are you as old / young as the test indicates? What advice would you give to your younger self?

Random Thoughts on Fitness Motivation


My Tracey Anderson DVD’s have been collecting dust on my shelf for over a year now. Have you tried them? I want to start training again and be the best me ever, but I’m feeling just a tad bit overwhelmed (to say the least). Do I start running again? Should I include yoga every day? How can I make time to go to my FREE office gym and take some classes? WHY don’t I make time to go to my FREE gym in my building at home? How about the pool that’s open for the season? Why don’t I just walk to work and home every day? At least I have my dog to walk. Such questions to ponder on this late evening.

What gets you motivated and how do you stay that way?

A Simple Black Bathing Suit


Sarah Jessica Parker, 49, shows off her body in bathing suit as she enjoys spring break holiday in Turks and Caicos

{Sarah Jessica Parker}

I’m not comfortable wearing a bathing suit at the moment. I’ll own that because I’ve had several months years to prepare myself for swimsuit season. For whatever reason, I haven’t been motivated enough to prepare. However, my wedding anniversary is coming up and I’ve been thinking of planning a beach getaway so the hubs and I can have some time to relax and do nothing.

As much as I love to travel and seek out adventure, there are times when a much needed vacation of unwinding and relaxing are called for. This October is one of those and I have been searching for some bathing suit inspiration to help me prepare. I’d always been a bikini type on the beach, but after seeing these pics of SJP in her one piece, I may just be a convert.

It’s simple, stylish and sexy. What type of swimsuit wearer are you? Do you have a preference over one or two pieces?

Procrastination Disguised as Perfectionism


I was listening to Jess Lively’s podcast (have you heard of it — it’s pretty awesome) with Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, the other day and something Gretchen said really stuck with me. Something along the lines of using perfectionism as a way to procrastinate. I have to say, I agree.

While I can be a bit OCD at times and tend to details so things are just the way I want them to be, I realize it can be really crippling at times. Take my blog, for example. I was into the whole blogosphere when it wasn’t even considered a profession (you know, back in the day of Salon and the beginnings of Dooce).

I kept waiting for the “right” moment. And then last December, I came to the conclusion that there was no right moment. That this moment is always the right moment because this moment is what we have. So I started blogging and was pretty consistent until April when I decided to switch hosts.

It pained me to learn to navigate my way around my new hosting site (and I am a person who believes in lifelong learning and love to learn new things). But, for some reason, I came up with one excuse after another. Oh, I have to wait until I perfect photoshop. I have to wait until I can build the perfect site. I have to wait until I can share the perfect life. LOLz on all of that.

The thing is, while there is nothing wrong with wanting things to be perfect, things will never be perfect by waiting. So, as of now, I am unhappy with some things in life that i would like to work out. I decided to start back up again because I miss the blogging community and I thought maybe, while I’m learning from others, I could teach and be inspiring to others as I share in all the trials and tribulations that will certainly come from getting zone and learning the best ways (for me) to be healthier, happier and all-around bad-ass.

So, here I am again sharing and not caring if anyone reads this, but hoping that my community will come together again and we can all learn from each other. Happy FriYaY!! :)

Building Better Fitness Habits


Once upon a time, I convinced myself that I could not do spin class because I was not fit enough and had to wait until I was skinnier/stronger/healthier. Ha! One day, my sister and I were going to work out and I had my heart set on the treadmill when she spontaneously decides we are going to spin class!

“Whaaaaat???” I responded and proceeded to come up with excuses from not being ready to not being up to it. She somehow convinced me that it would be okay and so I spun for 45 minutes. And lived to tell about it. Guess what? It wasn’t as difficult as I was making it out to be. That was just all in my head. I’m not saying it was easy, but it wasn’t this overly strenuous activity that I’d convinced myself would be the end of me.

Earlier this year, I completed a 30 day hot yoga challenge. I thought for sure I was on my way to a healthier me, but then I stopped. First, I got sick (I’m convinced it was food poisoning) and then I just kept making one excuse after another until I realized it’s half-way through the year already.

Needless to say, I am so ashamed of myself for having failed again. I want to be healthier. I need to be healthier. But, there is a part of me that somehow “forgets” this. I have a little trick I’m going to employ. It’s not mind-blowing, but I’m convinced it will be a game-changer. Stay tuned :)

2 Simple Tips for Better Finances


Growing up, my family did not have a lot of money. My parents immigrated to the USA so they could provide more opportunities for me and my sisters. I am eternally grateful for that.

My aunt was recently visiting and, having lived outside of this country herself, she was surprised that my sisters and I worked while we went to school. I explained to her that is how things are here. My sisters and I have had jobs since we were very young to pay for our own things since the money my parents made had to go to monthly bills, the mortgage, groceries and, you know, real life stuff.

While working so young and seeing my parents work so hard provided a sound work ethic, I can’t exactly say that it provided the type of money education I believe everyone needs. When I was in college, I worked at a bank and one of my customers owned his own business and used to make regular (large) deposits on a weekly basis. He said to me once, “Work hard for your money when you’re young so your money can work hard for you when you’re old.” That has always stuck with me. I’m still learning myself, but here are 2 simple tips that will carry you far. What are your thoughts on money?

1. Figure out your magic number – This may seem arbitrary or confusing, but try to figure out what you think you will need for your lifetime. There are tons of calculators online to figure out your budget, retirement, college savings for kids, etc. Dream big, but keep it real. When you know your magic number, aim for the target and adjust your spending/lifestyle accordingly.

2. Live poor now, so you can live rich later – I admit, I am a spender and love to spend money. And, it seems, whenever there is a raise or bonus involved, I’ve treated them as extra money to spend instead of save. However, now I try to control that. You can still live in your dream neighborhood, just get a smaller space. Buy a nice used car. Go thrifting for fabulous clothes and furnishings. Plan things in advance (though last-minute things can sometimes save you). There are tons of resources online for saving / budgeting.

I’ll be performing some financial experiments on the blog in the next few weeks. Feel free to follow along or join me :)

Wallpaper Inspiration


Over the years, I’ve really come to appreciate the beauty of decorating with wallpaper. I’m sure it has to do in large part with better designs that have come about. I’ve especially taken a liking to big, bold patterns or sweet, whimsical creations. Although, I’d probably use it in smaller areas, such as a tiny powder room or only one wall in a large room. Ceilings are also a great area in which to make a big impact with wallpaper, but still having more discretion (I mean, how often do we look up at ceilings?).

How do you feel about wallpaper? Have you decorated with it?

{all white bookshelves wallpaper – houzz}

{colorful bookshelves wallpaper – houzz}

{colorful bookshelves wallpaper bath 2 – houzz}

{dog wallpaper – houzz}

{birds wallpaper – houzz}

{zebras wllpaper – houzz}

Tuesday Trends: Indoor Swings

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Over the last few years, indoors swings have been commonplace when it comes to home decorating. I haven’t really given them much thought except for the occasional “Well, that looks pretty.” However, I took my nieces to the playground recently and proceeded to persuade them to get on the swings (they were much more interested in the slides and monkey bars) so we could swing side-by-side.

It felt so refreshing going back and forth and side to side. Of course, it brought back childhood memories, but more than that, it also had a very calming effect. I was up in the air and felt so happy. I’d decided then that when I have my “forever” home, I would definitely install one inside. Do you have an indoor swing? If not, would you consider putting one in your home?

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5 Simple Summer Treats to Cool Off

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As much as I prefer hot weather to cold, it’s nice to have a treat to cool off. Of course, there is never a shortage of cool treats. There is definitely ice cream and frozen yogurt galore, but I went in search of some simple summer treats that are easy on the labor as well as the waistline. I look forward to making these 5 simple summer treats this season and perhaps, year-round as well. What are your favorite simple summer treats?

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These fruit infused waters look delicious and refreshingly cool.

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Watermelon granitas are tasty and light.

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This 4 ingredient all fruit popsicles recipe looks tasty and super easy to make.

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You can take your fruit infused water to another level by freezing it and making mini frozen fruit cubes, or add them to water for an even more flavorful punch.

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These frozen grape kabobs are delicious and super simple.

Summer To Do List

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Maybe it’s the tropical island native girl in me, but I love warm weather! I relish in the sun. Though this summer has not been so kind (we’ve had quite the rainy season in June – sorry, California), I’m hopeful that the last few days of sunshine we’ve been having is here to stay (even if it’s just for the season). While I will be quite busy this summer with work and personal passion projects, I have a few things I’d like to accomplish before Labor Day and the unofficial start to the fall season begins. Here is my summer wishlist. What’s on yours?

1. Take my dog to the dog beach. My labrador fur baby loves the water and is an excellent swimmer so I’m sure he will love it!

2. Spend some time at the beach (we live within walking distance to the lakefront) reading and soaking up the sun (with sunscreen, of course!). On my summer reading list is this book and this one (which I’m re-reading because it’s a must).

3. Enjoy alfresco dining on my balcony (Ah! City life!) and on our beautiful community deck.

4. Finish some small DIY home projects.

5. Spend a day at Navy Pier just chilling out and watching the fireworks.

6. Spend a weekend at a lake cottage relaxing and hanging out with my family. Also flexing my board game muscles with this and this.

7. Take a weekend trip to Vegas.

8. Begin my meditation practice (again).

9. Practice daily yoga (again).

10. Try one new thing a week (for the next 9 weeks left of summer).