Life Lately – Happy New Year!

Happy Year!

I hope you had an incredible holiday season and your New Year is off to a great start!

I’ve been away from this space for far too long and I have missed it. My hiatus was a little longer than I had anticipated. My dad passed away on October 29th and I needed the time to grieve.

He was a very private man, so I don’t want to use this space to eulogize him. However, what I will share is he was the best dad ever and a very kind man. I don’t think he had a mean bone in his body. He lived a good full life, one that he was happy with and in the end, that’s all that really matters.

On the morning of 31st of December, what would have been my Dad’s 85th birthday, we got up early to watch the sunrise and scatter his ashes. It was a beautiful morning. My dad would have loved it. And I believe he did. I saw a yellow butterfly an hour after we released his spirit. It was a peaceful morning that brought some much needed closure.

So, as cliché as this sounds, the end of 2019 was truly the end of a chapter of my life. But thankfully in every end, there is also a beginning.

The year 2020 is all about RENWAL and NEW BEGINNINGS for me.

As for this space, I hope to use it as it was intended. As a creative outlet as I discover my second act.

May 2020 be full of bright new beginnings for us all!


Links From Around The Web

Happy Friday!

This time last year we did a little road trip to Oak Glen, CA to go apple picking. Apple picking is an East Coast tradition that’s as American as apple pie and I wanted Jackson to experience it at least once.

Oak Glen, CA is about 90 miles (about 1 hour and 30 minute drive) east of Newport Beach, CA. It’s a bit of a hike but well worth it. 

The farms are all beautifully decorated. The leaves on the trees are turning colors and there are apples to pick!  

Actually, there is more to do than just apple picking. You can press your own cider, enjoy hayrides, run through corn mazes and/or sunflower fields, kids’ crafts, animals to be seen, country music to be heard, shops to be explored and more. 

Apple Of My Eye!

Our kiddo loved picking apples and exploring the local area (which means something). It was the perfect way to kick off the fall season.

Should you feel up for an adventure this weekend, here are a few things I learned from last year’s day trip to Oak Glen:

  • There is more than one farm – Riley’s Apple Farm, Los Rios Rancho, Willowbrook Apple Farm, Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard to name a few – and each farm offers different activities so do your research in advance. 
  • It’s extremely busy making it difficult to find parking.
  • There are a few restaurants in town but I would recommend packing a picnic lunch to save money and avoid the long lines. You can always buy some treats at the orchard’s merchant shops to add to your picnic and sample the local fare.
  • Because the town is mile high in elevation, you will find it about 10-15 degrees cooler than its surrounding So Cal valleys, so bring a sweater.

Wow, I got a little off topic on that trip down memory lane!

Any ways, here are some links from about the web that caught my attention this week.

  • How much is that piece of paper worth?
  • Female entrepreneurs reshaping how we connect and do business.
  • With our oldest heading off to university next fall, this one hits close to home for a few reasons.
  • Instagram is rolling out a new anti-bullying feature call “Restrict“.
  • It’s OBVIOUS why you don’t need a PhD to enjoy wine.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beautiful + Functional Townhome

When I came across this elegant townhouse designed by Charmean Neithart it felt very much like a house I could call home. I know, I’ve already declared my design style as modern and this home falls into the transitional category. But more than any particular style, I’m drawn to good design. Spaces that are filled with light and have a natural flow between inside and outside. Spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional. And this home – 1,603 square foot; 2 bedroom, 2½ bathroom – MIDDLE UNIT townhome located in Pasadena, CA does exactly that.

The home was completely remodeled. The renovation took 14 months to complete. The result, a floor plan that allows each room to flow naturally from one to the next as well as showcase all of the homeowners’ art and antique furnishings.

A small but functional pantry and the butcher block table with storage puts all their kitchen supplies within easy reach.

I’m dying over this built-in seating area! It looks like the perfect spot to eat breakfast or lounge with a cup of coffee. The pedestal table and the persimmon-colored cushions tie the space to the living room.

Color through artwork, pattern with the pillow and the rug combined with various neutral colors gives the space a sophisticated look.

The double French doors in the dining/living room allows light to pour in and extends the living space to an outside private landscaped yard that is just as inviting, comfortable and stylish as the interior.

The timeless and transitional style found in this home makes for a warm, welcoming space that feels thoroughly fresh. Moreover, this house is a great example of how the right design ideas can make a relatively smaller home beautiful, functional and spacious.

Can you picture yourself living in this space?

Images by Erika Bierman

Soups On

Happy Monday! 

What a nice relaxing weekend! We played tennis, we went to a bookfair and ended it by celebrating a 7th Birthday with one of Jackson’s friends!

We also ate all of our meals, with the exception of the birthday dinner, at home.  Generally speaking, we eat at home for most of our meals. 

We try to make healthy (90% of the time), home-cooked meals that we all enjoy. 

Actually, I think we do a pretty good job of it. While each boy has their likes and dis-likes everyone eats what’s put in front of them. Of course, we do have to occasionally remind them that this isn’t a restaurant. 

Any ways, I’ve been searching for a new diet. Which is odd because I’m not a dieter. 

You can see from this post that I did Weight Watchers two years ago – for about 2 months – to help me beat middle-age spread. In addition, after my son was born, I did the Whole 30 in an attempt to reset my metabolism. For the record, I didn’t lose any weight nor did I ‘reboot my metabolism

The point I’m trying to make is, I’m not a dieter. 

My goal isn’t to lose any weight …said no one ever! ha ha, just kidding. Seriously, I don’t want to lose any weight. In terms of fitness goals, I’d like to tighten up my stomach and derrier. 

I know clean eating won’t do it alone. But it will keep it from counteracting all the hard work I do in the gym.

Given we eat healthy already and I can’t find a diet I want to follow, I think I’m just going to work on making better decisions.  Which includes steering clear of sugar (no more ice cream!), avoiding packaged snack foods, reducing alcohol consumption and carbs.

Sounds pretty simple, right? We’ll I guess I’ll find out!

To ensure I’m moving in the right direction and despite the warm weather, I’m going to eat this simple hearty and healthy Roasted Butternut Squash soup (pictured above) to help nourish my body and turn it into a fat burning machine.