Wednesday, July 30, 2014

All Things Loved/ Vol.2

Well so things around here have been a little bit heavy. And I don't know about you but I can only do heavy for so long and then it gets old and things need to get silly again. So what is better to lighten the mood then youtube videos. Now one of the downsides to the good old world wide web is there a lot of poo out there (that's right I said it). But one of the upsides of it is that there is a lot of amazing, wonderful, some might say life changing (I sure would) sort of things that can just turn your entire day around. And no I am not talking about videos about cats, while those are great and all there are so many other things out there. The internet as served as this mystical free publishing service with endless possibilities for sharing a little creativity and beauty with the world, much of which can be found on vimeo rather than youtube (what can I say I am biased). Also some of these are adds, I love good advertising, mostly cause there is a lot of really bad advertising out there.

So here we go..... (a little warning: not all of these are cheery some of them are real deep)

Four Times the Detail. This add by Sony is just awesome. Visually amazing. And it was filmed in Costa Rica.

The Sounds of AHH. Although I have been working on my Coca-Cola addiction I will always love that bubbly drink. This is just another example of amazing advertising. Something so simple and yet so beautiful. There are lots of not so great things about big companies but I do love the fact that they are funding a very unique form of art.

The Umbrella Man.  This is a wonderful example of the art of storytelling. And a reminder that there are always an infinite possibility of reasons behind something and often many that are beyond your wildest wonders.

What Makes Your Heart Beat? This little gem was created for Darling Magazine. Take a moment and breathe it in. You'll be happy you did.

The Gap. This video was created to accompany an interview with Ira Glass where he discusses the creative gap. That is the gap between having good taste and creating good things. It is just a little reminder that creating can be challenging, but just because it is hard doesn't mean that you should give up.

This is Water. This is a video that accompanies a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace. When it comes down to it, it is an excellent reminder that life is all about choices, not necessarily big monumental ones but the day to day ones where we choose how to see the world, where we make a conscious choice to show ourselves and the people around us a little grace because life is hard, for everyone.

LEGO: Everything is NOT Awesome. Now you may not be a fan of Greenpeace's tactics. I most definitely am. Their creativity never ceases to amaze me. This little video definitely pulls at your heart strings.

Borrowed Light. A graduate student created this video for her final project. It is spectacular. You can read all about it here.

Exploring the Parallels. A little video series with Red Bull athletes demonstrating the often times missed parallels between dance and every other sport. 

The Fresh Exchange went on a sailing trip. You can watch a little video about it. And then we should all probably take a break and go sailing. Find yourself a boat, find yourself a friend with a boat, just get to the water.

And those are just a few of my favorites. Wait you didn't include any music videos or TED talks!!!!  Well that is right. Because there will be entire other posts on those two!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

living with RLS...

(those are my toesies in the oh so clear water of the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama)

It came to me like an epiphany in the night. I was unable to sleep and wondering why I felt this burning need to pick up and move. And then just like that I realized I have RLS and no I am not talking about the more commonly discussed restless leg syndrome, I am talking about Restless Life Syndrome (don't bother looking this up in a medical journal, it is a thing...I am absolutely certain of it).

This time right here and right now in DC is the longest amount of time that I have lived in the same room since my freshman year of college. When you do the math what that means is that four the last five years I have been moving every 4-5 months. And sometimes moving meant from one dorm hall to the next or back to my parents home for the summer but other times it has meant getting on a plane and flying across the Atlantic where I would sleep in a different city every week or two or it has meant flying south of the border into Central America and trying to build somewhat of a life in a place so very different from anything I have ever known. 

What I am saying is that sometimes staying put is hard. Sometimes it is just easier to keep moving. It is kind of like the Sea Gypsies of Myanmar. They spend so much time living in the water that they get land sickness. Returning to land makes them physically ill. I think I have gotten so used to the feeling of being in constant motion, of packing up my life in a car or a few suitcases and just pushing forward on to what is next, that I have forgotten what it is like to just be. In the last two years alone I was on a plane every four months, flying either across the country or down to Central America. 

For once I have a choice of wether to stay put and to see what happens or I can choose to fly back west. And I miss everything about my home state, as I clearly mentioned here.  It would be so easy to go back home, it would feel so natural to keep on moving. But then the what ifs pop into my head. What if I haven't really given this city a chance. What if in all the stress and busyness I haven't really seen it. What if the friends I have made here are a sign of the long term community I could build here. 

What I have quickly come to realize is that growing older doesn't make anything easier, in fact it makes things so much more complicated. As a child I thought that adults had all the answers. I mean as a kid who grew up before the prevalence of google, my parents and our giant set of the Encyclopedia Britanica held all the secrets to the world. So as a young adult you hope that there is going to be that magical moment of enlightenment, that one that tells you which road to choose. Where all the secrets to the world just come flooding in to your head. And you just know. But there isn't. That moment is a fantasy and what you get is more life experiences that only give you more options. What you get is more knowledge that only muddles and confuses you ever so more. What you get is the reality of the profound impact that these decisions can have on the rest of your life. And let me tell you friends that is real scary.

Now I know that a decision is just a decision and that at this point in my life I have options and am lucky enough to have a support system of friends and family. And on the day to day its pretty easy to remember that and to see the little things and realize that the big picture doesn't have to be so scary. But have you actually looked at the big picture, cause I have and it is terrifying. There is no guide book to growing up....There really should be one. You spend all this time in school learning how to read a map and then nobody ever bothers giving you one. What's up with that????

So here's to finding my way. . . 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Farewell Ms. Boat

Back in December I had to say goodbye to my dear friend Ms. Boat. 
This little Toyota Sienna Minivan had been my dear friend for a number of years. 
But my parents decided it was time to let her go. 
Mainly cause her "organs" were starting to fail.
I like to think she is with a good family now and that she didn't get sold for parts. 

I distinctly remember the day we got this car. 
I was 7 (well that might be a lie...I use the word distinctly very loosely).
Well any who my parents had been gone all day
 (might have been only an hour or two...details..)
But it was dark outside. That I know for sure. 
Us three kids were waiting by the windows in the living room for them to get home. 
This new car was a big deal. 
See there are five us and we use to regularly drive the eight hours to my grandparents in Northern CA
and this car was going to change everything. 
There would be air conditioning...and so much space!!!!!!!!!! 
When my parents finally arrived to the house us kids ran out in our pajamas and all and we all hopped right in and went for a little ride around the block. It was pretty exciting!!!! 

I learned to drive in Ms. Boat. 
She was my high school car and served as the basketball team bus. 
Ms. Boat and I then went to college together. 
Now a minivan in high school is pretty embarrassing but when you get to college it is an asset. 
Because you can fit a lot of drunk people in one. A LOT! 
But it is also great for trips to the beach and for helping friends move. 
For trips to Target, drive in movies, trips to camp and nighttime outings to the local fro yo shop. 
This dear minivan was good to me. 

Now I do hold is slightly responsible for my lack of dates in high school. 
Cause as my track coach so nicely put it, guys don't check out minivan drivers. 
Understandable...since you know they are typically moms.
But that is okay cause I personally think you have to be one cool cat to pull off the minivan look. 

And now I have a miniature wind up blue Prius. 
It came with a bow and all. 
It does't hold much because it is a toy and all. 
But it consistently travels a good three feet at a time and could probably entertain a small child for a few minutes. These are the things that matter!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All Things Loved/ Vol. 1

Since the title of this blog is All Things Loved. I figured it was about time to start sharing some of the things that I love with you. So each week (fingers crossed) I am going to share a list (I mean who doesn't love a good list) of some of the things I am loving right now. The plan is that these lists will be themed, but eventually I will probably run out of clever (or not so clever) themes and then you will just get a mix up of random things (but that's fun too, right?).

Whew, glad you all agree!

Now you might be asking yourself what is she going to start with first....there are so many options...well I am going to be super adventurous and start with blogs. yay! Super exciting! But the thing is I love blogs (hence why this little guy came to be). I regularly bring them up in conversation with that came out sounding way weirder than I expected. In fact I remember one instance where I insisted on showing my mom baby photos from one of my favorite blogs and she just needed to clarify the fact that I was making her look at a baby whose parents I did not actually know but rather sort of "followed" online...Have you ever really thought about how creepy blogs are...I mean you are kind of asking to be stalked....but in a good way that can be inspirational and can build community with awesome people all around the world.... there are so many great projects and recipes and products and super cute instagram feeds that come out of blogs.

My blog obsession developed after I returned home from study abroad and was in desperate need of some serious inspiration and an opportunity to see beauty and happiness in the world.... Reverse culture shock is real guys. And after traveling Europe for months Southern California suburbia can be real ugly and sad looking.

So here we go...

1. Elsie and Emma over at A Beautiful Mess are absolutely amazing. They do everything...but seriously everything! They even have an app (two as of this week!). ABM is a great place check for really neat DIY projects and fun recipes. If you are like me and don't have a home it can also make you have some serious home envy. This blog alone has provided tons of entertaining conversation for Erin and I....We have some very strong opinions about some of their projects but mostly we are just super inspired by what they do.

2. Kendi Everyday is really a style blog but I read it mostly for Kendi's comments at the bottom of each post. She is pretty funny and has no problem admitting to everyone that even though she posted a really fancy outfit over the weekend, she actually spent the weekend in the her sweats. A girl after my own heart. Kendi and I are kindred spirits.

3. Naomi from Love Taza makes living in the BIG City with two little ones look super easy and enjoyable. She and her entire family have really great style. When I started reading Love Taza it was just her and her husband and now she has a daughter and a son and baby number three is on the way.

4. Sydney from The Daybook has the most precious baby boy ever. Similarly to Love Taza, when I started reading The Daybook there were no kiddos to be seen and it was more of a style blog of sorts. And now it has sort of evolved into the adventure of mama and son, which is nice too.

5. Megan and Mike are a married couple who run a design firm and the blog The Fresh Exchange. When you need to see beautiful photographs go here. They split there time between Traverse City, MI and Raleigh, NC. Pretty much The Fresh Exchange makes me want to jump on a boat with some friends and have a picnic at sea. Enough said.

6. Joy the Baker is awesome. And pretty much Joy and I are meant to be best friends. She just doesn't know it cause you know we actually don't know each other at all. She bakes amazing things. For real friends I made these Peach Cobbler Scones once and they were melt in your mouth phenomenal. I am so not ashamed of the fact that I ate two of them hot out of the oven. She also has this really awesome  podcast with Tracy from Shutterbean (see below) where they talk about all sorts of practical things such as baking, blogging and what to wear to your next work pool party.

7. Sometimes you just need to see pretty things. Cupcakes and Cashmere is an excellent place to just look and beautiful clothes and other nice things. Emily lives in LA and has excellent style and she wears a lot of white so either she eats way less red sauce then me or she just is a way classier lady than I am (my money is on the latter).

8. Just in case you needed any inspiration to redo your entire home and buy lots of really unique artisan pieces of home furnishings and decor Design Sponge is the place to go. The Before + After section is my favorite. Let me just say if you are already addicted to HGTV well then you will absolutely love Design Sponge. No commercials and no children's rooms that are hideously themed.

9. Tracy from Shutterbean is the other half of the Joy the Baker podcast and really I just love her blog design (cause it looks like a chalkboard and has excellent lettering) and her recipe for Strawberry Infused Vodka because it makes an excellent house warming gift. Also her instagram account is amazing and she does food prep every week, which I admire. I aspire to be like her and plan my meals in advance.

10. Bridge & Burn isn't actually really a blog (in that it isn't like the ones listed above, no words just pictures), more so it is a tumblr page associated with the clothing brand Bridge & Burn. But they post some lovely images that make me want to grab my handy canoe (that I don't actually have) and just head right on over to the Pacific Northwest where I am likely to meet some very attractive young men with beards and flannel button downs all while wearing hunters, a lovely coat and a top knot.

Well there you go my friends. Now I would like to mention because I do think the whole blog thing is kind of weird I am one of those blog followers who does not feel compelled to comment on any of these blogs or their corresponding instagram accounts. So I really really don't know any of these people. I am not even friends with them on Facebook. (Which actually kind of makes the whole thing even stranger, right????).

Anywho Happy Stalking Reading!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

California Dreamin'

I am a West Coast girl at heart. Naturally I did not realize this until I moved East. Shortly after I arrived on the East Coast I felt the deep pull of the Pacific pulling me back.  Now don't get me wrong the East Coast is lovely. There are green trees for miles, summer storms, snowy days, and all the bounties that the Nation's capital has to offer. I have greatly enjoyed my time here (even though really I have only spent a total of ten months here), but I am ready to head back West. 

More than anything I miss the Pacific. And the beaches that run up the coast. What is funny is this is that I didn't grow up as a beach kid. I can count my own memories of going to the beach as a child on one hand and I remember year long gaps where my little toes never stepped in those chilled waters. But it is what I hold dearest about my home state. It is the ocean I feel calling me home. 

I started driving out to the ocean more and more in college. When the beaches of Malibu were just a short drive from the suburban neighborhood of my university. But I truly fell in love completing a class assignment for my Environmental Literature course. We had to spend two hours in nature with out our phones and write in the moment about our experiences. I managed to find a small hidden beach along PCH to head to. The type of beach with a winding staircase down a cliff. Once you hit the sand all evidence of the bustling highway and outside world vanishes. So naturally I piled all of my roommates into my wonderful old minivan and took them with me. Little did I know that I would return to that beach many more times. Somedays just for a quick escape with some class reading. All you really need is just an hour or two of those crashing waves to feel like the world has been right again. 

In our last week of undergrad Erin and I headed to the beach together one last time. We had gone to a Christmas theme event and were quickly disenchanted with it. So we did the only thing that seemed right put on our rain boats and headed to the coast. To the sound of those waves and by the light of a nearly full moon we took in the end of an era and contemplated what was coming next. The ocean isn't a place of beginning and ends but rather one of constant coming and goings, one never knows what will be brought in with the next storm or washed out with the night's tide. 

More than anything I miss the possibility of going there. I miss knowing that at any point I could hop in the car and drive to the closest beach in under half an hour and leave all my worries behind and just be at peace with that great big ocean. 

The next time you take a trip to the coast just stop and think of its vastness. The fact that that water has touched all the continents. That beyond that horizon is another culture, one full of people who are looking back at you but are unable to see you. Not to mention what is below the surface, the ocean plays home to so many creatures and crawlers and mainly swimmers. There is just so much wonder to be held in it all. Add in the quaintness and magic of beach town USA and well that is my kind of heaven. 

I long for lazy days spent eating cinnamon roll french toast at Ruby's on the bear, dipping my toes in icy cold water of the pacific, and watching the sun say its final goodbye for the evening. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

no longer a student

For the last 20 years of my life I have been a student.
And now I am not. 
And it is weird. 

This little guy down below changed everything. 

(and no I have absolutely no idea why they mailed us a second miniature copy of our diplomas, but I do fully plan on caring him with me and whipping him out at cocktail parties just to show people how well educated and awesome I am. This is probably necessary as I have a tendency to bring up things like the Kardashians, the next transformers movie and why Disneyland is the best in casual conversation, most likely creating a number of those skeptic of my academic knowledge.)

Wait what was I talking about...oh right....things they are a changing. 

For 20 years I have been told almost every single day when to wake up and where to go. 
Because I had a specific purpose. 
To learn. 
My main job was to go to school and soak up as much knowledge as possible while following the mostly simple rules set before me. 
Which being that natural rule follower that I am, this was easy. 
I am an excellent student.

I was told what to learn and what to read.
Why it was important for me to calculate the angle of a triangle and have read Shakespeare. 
As I grew older there was some more flexibly in this, the good old suggested reading lists that never got touched because the required reading was plenty, thank you very much. 
In college I could choose not to go to class (although I rarely chose not to), I could pick which classes I want to take. But there was still some sort of overarching academic body guiding me. 

When I returned from a trip abroad and was asked by the customs form what my occupation was, 
well that was easy. 
I was a student. 
I had always been a student. 

But all of that changed two months ago when I graduated from grad school. 
And while I recognize that at this point in my life to be or not to be a student is entirely in my control. 
I could always go and get a PhD. 
A suggestion to which I say, no thank you!

But after 20 years of living within a very structured system designed by people who I always assumed were older and wiser and eventually would tell me the secret to growing up, life seems quite dull and strange. 
In fact it seems somewhat empty. 

Now part of this is do to the fact that I have yet to find a job which means
 I have large quantities of unstructured time. 
Something that I have never been good with. 

What I guess I am trying to say is life is weird. 
For almost my entire life I have been one thing a student...
and now I am not. 
That era is more or less over. 

And while yes I can be a lifelong learner (which I full intend on). 
My "occupation" status of student, as the French would say it, c'est fin. 

So here is to the next era. 
I have absolutely no idea what it will bring.
But I welcome it eagerly. 
Being a student has brought me great adventure and joy. 
And I hope what follows next does the same (minus the all night paper writing sessions).