Holy moly, what a whirlwind month it has been!
Here's what you missed in my absence from TGL:
* Trish and B said goodbye to San Francisco. I have an unfinished essay about this pending -- I promise to share it, soon! It's all the feels.
* Trish and B moved into their (sweet!) new apartment in Columbus, for B's fantastic dietetics internship at OSU. (Come visit?)
* Trish and B soaked up some real summer with family in New Jersey. Loved every moment of this; the heat, the walks, the friends, the summer nights that can't be beat.
* Trish and B traveled to Ecuador and THE GALAPAGOS on a small ship cruise (~ 40 guests) and had an absolute magical, incredible, heart- filling time surrounded by the sea, the sun, animals, and happy faces.
This trip has been on my "maybe someday..." bucket list for years, and I am still pinching myself that it happened FOR REALS.
I had almost 500 photos on my schmancy camera alone (not counting the other hundreds on our iPhones) upon returning home, so it took a bit of time to weed through. I wanted to share a handful of favorites here, per tradition of my travels. I genuinely hope the images inspire you to love on nature just a little extra today.
What left me most in awe (other than being in close proximity to a variety of beautiful animal species) were the intense conservation efforts the islands put forth. By limiting the amount of tourists each year, as well as the kinds of ships permitted (with guidelines on how they must function), hiring locals, and dedicating numerous hours to studying habitats, they are ensuring that these precious lands can be enjoyed for generations to come. There is so much evidence on these islands of how climate change is not only real, but dangerous to the future of the species who call it home. It absolutely boggles my mind how people deny this truth, as well as the value in these kinds of conservation efforts. Human beings can be so awesome, and also stink to high heaven. We ruin everything!
But I digress.
The naturalist guides on board our ship were so full of interesting knowledge. As I told Dennis, the lead guide, "I have never cared about birds in my life, until I met you! Your enthusiasm has convinced me that birds are cool, Dennis. That is impressive."
Apparently, the process of becoming a naturalist there is no freaking joke, either. After several months of study, you take an exam, on which you must score a 100% ....100%!!!....to pass. No exceptions. And, you can only take the exam once. ONCE! After that, your naturalist dreams are essentially brought to fruition or crushed forever. I do not think I could take that kinda pressure!
I hope you enjoy this (very out of order) collection of photos. Below you'll find sea lions + fur seals, blue footed AND red footed boobies (insert obvious yet necessary joke), penguins, tortoises, dolphins, pilot whales, iguanas, marine iguanas, and sea turtles. The sea turtle pics are just from a screenshot taken of a GoPro video, but please believe me when I tell you we were surrounded by them one afternoon during a snorkeling adventure. It was magic. I am especially pumped about the one with me floating above in my full wetsuit gear :)
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a note or comment below!
I love this earth so much.
Do Good, Be Well,
For 7 years you have held space for me to come as I am, with an open invitation to sit on your couch in the historic Flood Building, and unpack my thoughts and feelings in safety. You have been a refuge for my experiences; bad dates, and real love. Friendships made, friendships lost. Jobs earned, and jobs lost. You listened with patience to story after story of disappointment, victory, and everything in between. Today was our last in-person session for the foreseeable future, and it didn’t seem right to leave San Francisco without a proper note of gratitude.
Thank you for everything.
You taught me what it means to trust the process; to hold my precious life with care and compassion, and to allow my strengths and experiences to guide me when it was time to course correct. You helped me see where forgiveness held power, and how a healthy boundary can set in motion a new, more satisfying dynamic in any relationship.
You remember so much about my life! Details that most would have long ago forgotten (even me, on occasion!). Everything from which friends to recommend as a salve for any scenario, to the accountability of my own words. Oh, I guess I did say that. Thank you for understanding and enjoying my sense of humor -- laughter is how I connect with people, and your generous laugh was always appreciated.
I don’t know what walls or boundaries therapists and clients are technically supposed to have with one another...each on their respective couches, one with a notepad, the other mindlessly playing with the zen garden while she rambles, kinda thing...but I am glad you snuck through, and over them. I loved hearing your personal stories from the adventures of your life. Please know they were always shared in absolute, appropriate service of me, and helped me to feel less alone. More than once you became openly teary-eyed on my behalf, in both shared joy as well as sorrow. The vulnerability of this did not go unnoticed.
You have held me - not only in the energetic sense, but physically held me, Tara. Last year when I came to your office for an “emergency” session, after the cracks in my life fully expanded with a shattering boom, exposing a lot of hidden pain, you held me on your couch while I sobbed. While I buried my face in my hands, shaking, you wrapped your arms around me and just held me. Thank you for having the courage and the instinct to do that.
Thank you for encouraging me on my own path of life coaching; for being a mentor, a cheerleader, a sounding board for ideas, hopes, fears, successes and struggles. When you told me you loved me as a client, but would hire me on your coaching team in a second if we didn’t already have our existing relationship I felt a sense of absolute pride. You believed this work was the calling of my soul, and it helped me to feel it breathing there, too.
Thank you for everything, Tara.
I am a better human because of our work together. Braver, kinder, unashamed.
I hope to make you proud.
With Love + Gratitude,
It's time for my most favorite fruit to have it's official moment in the sun! I LOVE strawberries, y'all. These tasty beauties are high in antioxidants, and contain the superfood goodness of fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate and an extra dose of vitamin C.
One of my most favorite fun fruit facts (the lamest sentence ever?) is that strawberries have less sugar, less calories, less carbs and HIGHER vitamin C levels than the same serving size of bananas. As a person who despises bananas, this makes me feel oddly smug.
Take that, bogarting bananas.
Here's a delicious strawberry-balsamic dressing you should definitely try during the height of s-berry season:
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of EVOO
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh thyme or basil leaves
Salt + fresh pepper to taste
Blend all of the ingredients, minus S+P, in a high speed blender until smooth. Give it a taste, then add S+P to your taste.
It is quite possible that this brekkie idea is/was only appealing to me, but hopefully you'll still give the main ingredient (pea burgers!) a try.
B tells me that my general rule of breakfast is this: If it will taste good with a fried egg on top, it's breakfast.
He is not incorrect.
The other week I woke up more hungry than usual, and was quite pleased with what I managed to create from random kitchen bits + pieces; A leftover pea burger on top of a hummus smeared rice cake, with a fried egg to affirm its breakfast status.
Here's the scoop on the burgers:
Blanch fresh peas in a medium pot of salted boiling water until bright green and just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to an ice-water bath and let cool completely. Drain. (If using frozen peas, skip this step.)
In a food processor, pulse peas and chickpeas until coarsely chopped. Stir in onion, parsley, egg, bread crumbs, yogurt. Season with salt + pepper. Form into 4 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Cook burgers until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes a side.
Top with anything you like! Avocado, cucumber slices, greens, etc.
First off, you are welcome for this incredible image of B (because no one is looking at me, let's be real).
I love him so much. (The tubbie towel was a nice touch, I think).
Recently we've partnered together as Arbonne consultants, and have been having a blast while building a really wonderful team and business. They just released a brand new line of spa products, under the title Rescue + Renew. Naturally, we had to give some a whirl before recommending to friends and clients!
The timing of these goodies is pretty perfect, as Mother's Day will be here in the blink of an eye. I love the idea of sharing botanically based products with my favorite ladies, especially anything that mimics a spa experience in your own home.
If you are still in need of a gift idea, drop us line!
Happy Spa-ing :)
T + B
PS -- DO NOT PAY FULL PRICE. We can help you with that. xo.
These cauliflower taco shells are so easy to make, and a healthier option to classic store bought varieties. Personally, I don't care for cauliflower much. I tell Brandon that it smells too much like someone has passed gas for me to get interested in tasting it, but these are for sure the exception to my rule!
THESE SALMON BURGERS ARE SO GOOD!
High five, self!
Big hug, Trish the dish.
Victory lap around our studio apartment!....OK I'm back, it's a small space.
These really are tasty, though, and are dietician approved (thanks, Brandon!)...so essentially it is Doctor's orders.
1 salmon fillet (12 ounces), skin and pin bones removed
2 tsp olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion (we like the bite of red, but totally OK to use white)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (or mayo if you are feeling a tad naughty)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp minced fresh thyme (or dried, because who the hell keeps fresh herbs in their house)
2 tsp snipped fresh chives (yep, dried works, too)
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup of gluten free bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 250F. Place salmon in shallow baking dish, rubbed up on with olive, pepper (and salt, but don't tell B I said that). Bake until fish flakes slightly when pierced with a knife, about 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute (or don't, seriously, I sometimes pass on this step because I like a bit of crunch in my veggies and I'm so lazy) the onion, and peppers until just a bit soft. Add ground pepper.
Mix together greek yogurt (or mayo), lemon juice, cayenne, thyme, chives, parsley. Flake the salmon into the bowl with a fork, being careful not to smoosh it. Use a spatula to then mix in the veggies (sauteed or raw, your choice), then the egg, and breadcrumbs.
Form into patties, about 6, and fry/brown in olive oil on a medium heat pan. Typically takes 3-4 minutes per side for me.
Top with anything you like!! Guacamole, coleslaw, aioli, etc.
Let me know how yours turn out!
Another successful road trip in the books! Thank you for having us, Sedona + Phoenix. We so appreciate your sunshine, stunning views, and oodles of good vibes.
I have always loved B's sense of loyalty to his longtime friends, and extra appreciate when those friends extend the same loyalty and commitment towards him, and us. It's 10x's better when those friends have wives so easy to love and adore -- so incredibly easy to be around, whose company I thoroughly enjoy. Icing on the cake? When they also have precious toddlers who make you giggle while they tickle your love's beard and he growls like a bear! Heart melting (ovaries stirring?), I know ;)
Spontaneity, travel, adventure. These are core values in my relationship. We drove 12 hours straight to get home on Friday evening, and I cannot lie -- it was not a miserable experience. Music, snacks, chatting about the next trip...about our future, our life, and yep...even our feelings on various topics (though just briefly, as I can't squeeze too much emo out of B at once or he'll shrivel up). Some of the hardest laughing I have done is in the car with B on a long drive. I used to *hate* being "stuck" in a vehicle. But now? It ain't half bad.
"You’re just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway. You’ve got to get down to your own God, in your own temple. It’s all down to you, mate."
Nom nom nom. I love this snack so hard! Easy peasy to make, lots of fiber, super filling.
Drain a can of chick peas, then blot with a towel to dry.
Toss in olive oil, and whatever spices you happen to be feeling that day. For me, it's usually garlic powder + rosemary.
Pop in the oven, spread out on a baking sheet at 450, for 30-40 minutes or until crispy.
Coaching is the softness of real acceptance; proof that coming home to one’s self can equal pure, satisfying comfort.
Coaching is room to breathe, infinite space, and immense possibility. Being wild with your words. Freedom, like folk rebellion. The heart skipping view from both the base, and the top, of a powerful waterfall. It is the first, exhilarating plunge into cool water on a hot day. Baptismal. Blessing. Forgiving. Inviting. It’s the magic and mystery of trusting the process; the adventure and awe possible within our time here, in this life. It is calming, yet igniting. Getting back to the core; the Truth. Perhaps finding it for the very first time.
Coaching offers a library of endless resources, food for thought, paths to connection. (Connection, never correction). It is a carefully curated tool box of meaningful treasures. Coaching is that resonant feeling of brainstorming on a topic that makes your heart race and your imagination let loose; that takes a yes to a hell yes. It is ideas with a pulse.
It’s like cooking your favorite, nourishing meal in a big, open, sun lit kitchen; side by side with a close friend, listening to soulful music and sipping delicious coffee or teas as conversation flows easily between you. As a home, coaching looks like exposed brick and repurposed wood; touches of beauty in the forms of art, thriving plants, or photographs. It is inviting spaces, nooks and crannies to create, or to rest within. Coaching is like a snail mail delivery of unexpected, handwritten letters containing encouragement, hope, love you hadn't known you fully needed. Notes from various, surprising sources, including yourself. Most importantly, from yourself.
Coaching is understanding, then committing, to doing this thing, or that, simply because it is what your soul requires of you -- and that this is the requirement most vulnerable, most valuable, to our efforts. Coaching is transformational because you are worthy of being transformed. It is powerful because we are.
It is forever, because Coaching is a natural translator of intention to reality, of vision to fulfillment.
And it is learning how to choose this fulfilling reality again and again, as though there weren't really any other option.
So, dear one, how do you want to show up in the world?
The inspiration behind this mini essay came from a homework assignment, given to me by a friend and exceptionally wise business coach, in which I was to outline and answer the very common question (in our line of work) of "What is Coaching?" (or more accurately, "So what the hell is coaching, anyway?")
I began by referring to this page on my business site, but soon realized there was something missing from the break down I provided....namely, my particular style of writing that encompasses my particular style of coaching. The two, in all honesty, go hand in hand.
The version on my business page felt a bit like a socially acceptable, watered down version of what I really wanted to say. While it is often important to get straight to the point when advertising a service, coaching is so deeply personal that it seemed like a betrayal to not speak more vulnerably from my heart.
I love assignments like this. What started out as a reminder to update my website (right, yes, I still need to get on that) became a meaningful exercise in allowing myself to be wholly seen; to call in the clients I can be of the most service to, by being myself.
How might I be of service to you?
Do Good, Be Well.
In Gratitude, always,
ps -- I chose the throw back image above because it contains said exceptionally wise business coach's beloved old man pup, little Leo :) And, it's me doing what I love to do most...connecting, chatting, listening, loving, offering, cuddling. (Don't worry, my coaching is done over the phone so you are safe from the cuddling piece).
"What if our job was to leave evidence that we loved and inspired others?"
It hardly ever gets better than a fresh batch of guacamole, amirite?
This is my go-to favorite recipe, with a little added oomph courtesy of Arbonne's Greens Balance. I am not always the best at getting my full servings of fruits and veggies each day (week...month....yikes). Especially fruits, which I have a tendency to be quite picky about. The Greens Balance mix has been the perfect new companion to help me bridge that deficit: a delightfully full mix I can scoop into my smoothies, sauces, soups, dressings, etc. I highly recommend it!
Give this a whirl, and let me know what you think:
3 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion
1 jalapeno (remove seeds unless you've got a super spice-loving palette)
Juice from one sweet lime
1 diced tomato
6 garlic cloves
Leaves of one cilantro bunch
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Greens Balance
We are in some serious need of love -- a revolution of insisting on it's existence in our spirits, and the choices we make.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I'd have a fun little giveaway to help spread some good ol' fashioned heart.
Behold, pictured above, the Love is Love mug from Pottery Barn, William Sonoma, West Elm, and The Human Rights Campaign!
50% of the purchase price is donated to The Human Rights Campaign, America's largest civil rights organization working to end discrimination against LGBTQ people – and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Naturally, I had to buy 3. One for me, one for a Valentine, and one for...... maybe you?!
And luckily, I did it on the day they were announced because they are already sold out at Pottery Barn and online at HRC! As of this post you can still get a set online at William Sonoma (though they are not sold individually there), but I'd imagine they are going fast, too!
So, with this little giveaway, one lucky guy or gal will win....
Here's how to enter via this blog post:
1. "Like" the post via the social link below.
2. Add a comment about who/what/why you love.
Via my private FB page (though the post is public):
1. "Like" the post
2. Tag a person or people you simply love, love, love.
Via Instagram (my public page @thegratefullifesf ):
1. Heart the post, and follow my account.
2. Tag a person or people you absolutely just love, love, love!
Both you and the person/people you tag will be entered to win! All 3 ways to win have equal value (ie you only have to do one of them), so no worries if you can only access some. Please feel free to tag as many folks as you'd like, although only a single entry for yourself will be counted.
UPDATE: Contest has ended, with lucky winner @cprosp242 via Instagram!! Thank you all for participating!
Contest ends with winner announced on Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2017. My trusty partner, B, will help me pull a random name from the group -- probably via video, since he's just so cute to look at :)
Entries from ANYWHERE around the globe are valid....because....humanity, ya know?
Please no spam. (Yuck. Nobody needs that).
Please let me know if you have any questions! Sending you all much love.
Do Good, Be Well,