Tag Archives: lifestyle

Gratitude and Me

So I’ve been trying this whole mindfulness meditation thing lately. And its been working out pretty well. I’ve established a pretty standard morning routine, which I am totally not a morning person to be clear. But it seems that mornings have become increasingly easier. I can process my thoughts. During  one session, I could very clearly hear a voice say “You have everything that you need”. Hearing that released like, this blanket of calm. We spend so much of our lives searching for, wanting more, that we don’t really acknowledge what we have. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts and the guest said something that resonated with me.

“When you appreciate what you have, those things begin to appreciate”.  I’m not saying that appreciating the warmth of your blanket on a cold winter day will increase the amount of blankets you own. But appreciating the one you have will have a positive influence on your perception of its value. Value truly is perception based.

I take all of my most recent life experiences as lessons in gratitude. Every day that I wake up, I’m grateful. I’ve been trying to keep a running list of the things I’m most grateful for. Putting it all on paper really makes it seem like I have so much, which is exactly the point. A few of my most recent faves:

Living in the City

Most people see it as a headache with all of the noise, the traffic etc. But I like to think that during my brief time here so far, it has truly helped me to expand my horizons even more. It has helped me to move beyond a lot of the limits I had placed on myself. And honestly, there’s so much underestimated beauty here.

Morning Coffee

The best feeling is waking up, setting my intention for the day and having a nice cup of coffee while wading through my thoughts. Its always a plus when I’m able to do so while the sun rises.

Fresh Flowers

Instant mood booster.

Do you have your own special way of expressing gratitude?

Fall-ing in Love: Colors in California

This year I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend my birthday. I hopped on a flight with the intention of stuffing my face and loving on my niece and nephews. That’s always fun and usually by the third day, I’m exhausted. But it’s worth it. I also did a little research and realized we were in close proximity to the Paso Robles wine region. Now y’all know I love my wine!

We had limited time but I was successful in convincing my big sis to day trip with me for some tastings and just an all out girls trip. And we had a blast. Our first stop was LeVigne Winery in Paso Robles.

The grounds of this place were gorgeous. It’s also kid and pet friendly. My niece had her fare share of fancy fruit punch soda.

Also, she had a blast taking pictures with Aunt Trici.

But everywhere we turned, we were surrounded by bold and beautiful splashes of color. Having a glass of wine on the patio was the perfect way to end our visit to LeVigne.

For our next adventure, we trotted off to Jack Creek Farms in nearby Templeton. I wanted my niece to have some fun of her own. I had read online that they allow you to pick fruits from the orchard.

Once again, the colors y’all…

It’s like your brain goes through a range of emotions being surrounded by so much beauty. And I’m so glad I got to share this with my sister and niece. I’ve been to Napa/Sonoma a few times, but I think Paso Robles may be my new favorite.

Backyard Musings: Elements of Serenity

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You ever drive through your hometown and set out to discover the yet to be discovered? Or maybe set out to capture the beauty of the unappreciated? That’s always been a goal of mine, even from a little girl. I was always determined to find my town’s best kept secret or at least pretend that it was.

Beaumont,TX (my hometown) is full of treasures. Although buried deep or often gone unnoticed, there are many points of interest I’ve always been drawn to. I’ve been going to Collier’s Ferry Park (or as the locals call it “The River”) since I was a little girl. My uncle would pull out the boat and we would go tubing during the summer. Every trip I would feel a rush of excitement, as if I didn’t only live ten minutes away. Even as an adult, I still sort of get a little excited. Often times as I got older, I would go just to be able to think. The silence is so calming. You could literally hear a pin drop. Its been said that pure silence is the best time to hear God speak. Either way, my little moments at the River have helped me think through many life decisions.

In recent years, my hometown has been the center of much controversy and scandal. It has seen many changes, some for the good but a lot of bad. Crime rates have rapidly increased alongside a failing school district. But somehow, I can’t seem to find it in my heart to completely forget where I’ve come from. I visit often, mainly because of family. But also because there is no place else like it. And because of places like the River, in all of its simplicity, still manages to exude a whimsical blanket of serenity whenever I’m near. To me, it feels like the calmest, quietest place in the entire town. Many of my friends who left vowing never to return may think I’m stuck in a fairyland for writing this. But I understand that no place is perfect, and there will always be trouble anywhere you go. I just choose not to let the bad completely overshadow all of the good that I’ve grown to appreciate. We all have our own things we find beautiful; our own aesthetic truths. Doesn’t always require a trip to a completely foreign place to realize either.

Head on Collision with My Biggest Fear

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Fear is paralyzing. It has the power to keep you from living, if you let it. But there are times when you succumb to fear out of pure stress and anxiety. In a previous post I briefly explained my mother’s battle with breast cancer. She was a fighter. Some days I wish I had half the fight she had. Seriously, some days I feel like the biggest chicken shit, even amidst the kudos I get for traveling alone. Nah, she was a REAL fearless, fighter. In a battle I was so sure she would win. But when you’re seven or eight years old, everyone is a superhero. And of course, her bill came due.

I’ve always worried about cancer, if it was genetic and if I was destined to get it. Obviously that’s not a given that I will, but the thought is scary as shit. I’m adamant about my check ups (I’m 28 and get mammograms). I mean, that’s only natural right? And then, there’s that feeling that I can’t let fear win because my mom didn’t.

At my last checkup, I discussed my family history and my concerns with my doctor. She stressed getting tested for the BRCA genes as a risk assessment measure and to better tailor my screenings. I had done some light research on testing and I had also read about women having their breasts removed who tested positive for the gene. The fear of finding out I had the gene and the millions of thoughts of death and worry that came with it overwhelmed me. I kind of felt that maybe it was best if I never found out, for my own peace of mind. But on the day I was visiting my doctor, I decided to go through with it. Strangely enough, my test is scheduled on what would have been my mother’s 60th birthday. I didn’t realize this until a few days ago.

I’m a little nervous, but this is what she would’ve wanted. And now, it is truly what I want. I feel like I’m facing one of my biggest fears, beating it to the punch. Not so much a post about travel or art, but maybe it’ll inspire someone:)

Onward and upward, positive vibes and good wine….