I spent Thanksgiving with a dear friend and her family this year so I figured I needed to step up my parent-and-grandparent-appropriate dinner attire. I wanted to be comfortable but clean cut, fashionable but classic.
Ladies, for the love of all things holy and leather, have we learned the importance of "belt it!!" yet? This outfit was cute on its own, but as soon as I cinched the waist with my thin brown belt it really all came together. Both the collared shirt and sweater are from the Gap (a go-to for all things classic and staple), the jeans are Mavi and yep, those are my beloved Zodiac boots again. Even the mama bear host mentioned to her daughter, my friend, that I looked cute in my sweater :) Winner!
The next day I needed to nurse my turkey hangover a bit so decided to adventure outdoors (thus avoiding Black Friday mayhem) and get some practice using my fancy schmancy camera (the results of which you can find here). It was a crisp fall day and I wasn't 100% sure where my adventures would take me, so I needed to be super comfy and snuggled. What better way to achieve both than with a knit circle scarf from Heritage Row, doubled up for extra snuggles?
Can someone teach me how to knit one of these bad boys? I'd like one in every color! Please and thank you.
Finally, I've noticed that my wardrobe is severely lacking blouses. I guess, admittedly, I've always been a tad afraid of them because I assumed they'd be uncomfortable in comparison to the basic cottons I tend to stick to. I also hated the idea of extra trips to the dry cleaners. Woof. BUT, I LOVE this Collective Concepts blouse Jenny picked for me from her shop (machine wash cold, hang to dry!); tucked in with a go-to brown belt, good fitting jeans, a simple gold necklace (that you can barely see, but it's shaped like a feather and is oh-so pretty) and duh, my Zodiacs, it was the perfect, effortless dinner look I was going for last week.
Friends--I'm super stoked to announce that next week Heritage Row and The Grateful Life are teaming up for a contest in which the selected winner will receive some FREE Heritage Row swag!!! Tis the season of giving and we want to give to YOU. You won't wanna miss this chance. More details to come soon :)
Love and Light,
1. All of the following photos were taken within San Francisco city limits. Wow. Humbled to live, work and play here.
and 2. Friday the 25th was my one year blogiversary! I nearly forgot! What an amazing year it's been. Check out my first ever post here :)
Exploring the city the past few days, camera in tow, reminded me of how thankful I am to be in the place that I am. I want to share a piece of an email with you that I sent to a Grateful Lifer almost a year ago in response to her questions about career paths...I've edited it a bit out of respect for the public nature of this blog, but it's essentially a cut and paste job of my original sentiments. I share it here because I want to emphasize to you, my amazing readers, the importance of listening to your inner guide--no matter what anyone else may think.
"I started working for my last company a few months after graduation and was thrust into a very sexy world of consumer electronic start-ups; fancy dinners, cool perks, travel, etc etc. I moved up the ladder pretty quickly in the 3 years I was with them and when it came about time to possibly move up again I finally vocalized what I'd known pretty much from day one; I hate this job.
I am not a tech sales gal and somehow I'd ended up being one for far too long. Though I am SO grateful for the original opportunity...while I'm thankful for the experience and the lessons and the fun times...I just didn't care for so, so many other aspects. In a male dominated industry it was becoming increasingly difficult to be taken seriously as a business professional and not just a young chick with a decent ass (hey, I give credit where credit is due). I found myself being a ball of unnecessary stress all the time, practically in tears every time a new email came in. Quite simply, I had no passion for it. So I quit! I packed up the PA apartment and followed my heart back to San Francisco! I know I should've been nervous but I just wasn't. I felt liberated. I never doubted that I could make it work somehow. I was fortunate at the time to have a partner willing to make this transition with me, and while that relationship is no more, I am still eternally grateful for his support.
Then came funemployment. I worked 2 part time jobs, only about 4 days a week, for a year (at a cute little boutique in my neighborhood and at a dentists office) and took every spare day that I had to just have fun and enjoy this amazing city. I went to beaches, parks, museums, flea markets, cafes, free outdoor concerts and movies. I read, I played, I explored. It.Was.Awesome. Financially of course it was a huge difference from the prior years; I had been making a very generous salary for my age and now I was budgeting down to the hourly penny. But it was fun. And it was soothing and important and I learned so much about the value of money vs the value of my time and happiness. I knew eventually I'd find the right path if I had patience and was living in the moment.
And THEN came Weebly. I have a mutual friend with the 3 founders of my small company and have hung out with them a few times in the past. During a random hang out it was mentioned that they may be in a position to be hiring soon and I just knew...instantly...that this was the next step for me. So I patiently waited a few more months, sending good thoughts and visualizing the potential of this job every day, and voila...I got hired! As hokie as it sounds, I truly believe I manifested this opportunity by remaining calm and believing in myself.
Here's the thing; you're obviously a smart, educated young woman and if you're anything like you were in high school, then you have a zest for life that is such an asset to any company. People will see this. We are fortunate to be of a generation of women with so much potential and opportunity...I'd hate to see any of us settling for something that is less than what our hearts truly desire. I'm sure other folks will tell you not to quit in "such a bad economy" (I know people were shocked when I left my last job), but I say f*ck it. Money will always been an issue if you let it be. If you're not happy, then you do what you need to do to change that.
Whatever it is that makes your pulse race, go for it."
So before you go ahead and check out some of my photos below (and really, thank you so much for taking a look at them) I guess I feel it's worth mentioning that I'm here...in this beautiful, magic, alive city...because I made it happen. I believed in myself and that little voice in my heart (not the one in my head...she's crazy. kidding!) when it told me I would be safe and well in this decision. Even when everyone else thought I was nuts; when they doubted, questioned, worried. Even when the hows, whys, whens were a conjumbled mess of unknowns, I grasped tightly to my "what." and pumped it full of love and light.
It takes hard work and it takes patience.
It takes courage.
And maybe it even takes a little bit of crazy.
But mostly, it just takes faith.
A little nautical visitor popped up to say hi :)
I'm not from here, but I sure got here as soon as I could.
Where is your heart pulling you? Be gentle with yourself. Be encouraging and loving of your dreams.
Keep the faith. The Universe is on your side.
Thank you for an amazing year of sharing and growing and loving with me here, on The Grateful Life. I am stoked for many great years to come!
My love of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay, as seen through a lens....
And with a bit of editing, the above photo looks like a painting of the bridge...
I'm off to take more photos! Wish me luck, this is fun :)
...that today is preeettttttty much my favorite holiday. As my friend Brooke just said on my Facebook wall: "An abundance of food, booze, giving, and gratitude? Dear Trish, I believe this holiday was specifically made for you."
Just two quick things and then I'll let you all get back to your family, friends, food and festivities:
1. Here are 8 minutes and 56 seconds of giggles I never get sick of (and jeez louise Brad Pitt really is a hunk of man slice I'd like to butter up and....ahem, sorry, lost myself for a moment there):
2. Truly, with every cell of my being, I am grateful. I pray you all are feeling the gratitude vibes today and always--keep them in your hearts and spread them around as often as you can, even in small ways. Today Drea and I bought a sandwich for a homeless man on our block and his response of "Thank you, thank you, God always sends me people with angel hearts right on time...bless you!" was the best reminder of what this holiday represents. We're all connected my little loves; give out love and let it come in....I promise, you will reap the benefits of a full heart and fortunate life for years to come.
My cup runneth over,
Sometimes, there are just no words. With a heavy heart I sit here wondering how to express the deeply personal and heartbreaking loss in my family yesterday. When you lose one of your own, particularly at a young (so, so very young) age, there are so many questions and levels of hurt. You attempt to speak a message of comfort to others also experiencing this hurt and your words seem to evade you, leaving you fumbling around to salvage a broken sentence or two. You stare at the blinking cursor on your screen; waiting for some semblance of raw truth to pour from you. It doesn't want to come. Grief is a funny thing that way; it fills you up so heavily at times that it almost leaves you drowning in the sentiments you can't seem to vocalize. When you have so much to say, sometimes there are just no words.
For now, as I make sense of our loss, I wish to make a request of you-- my wonderful and truly lovely readers.
I beg you;
Tell the ones you love that you love them. Tell them often. Speak on your urges of love; act on them. Be truthful. Never, ever shy away from expressing love.
Reach out and touch someone. Allow yourself to be open to touch from others. Our spirits inhabit these physical bodies for a reason; touch is a beautiful gift that connects us while we are here on earth.
Reality becomes new in every moment. Recognize this. Cherish this.
Be playful. Life is not meant to be lived focusing solely on the serious.
The small stuff? The stressors? They don't matter. The things we fuss over, get angry or upset or annoyed with in our daily lives so often hold unnecessary power over us and our levels of happiness. They just...don't matter. Deep breath, move forward. They don't matter, OK?
Never, ever stop living each day to the fullest.
See through eyes of love.
Give love. Be love.
Accept, embrace and celebrate love.
Wake up each morning and give thanks for another day. For the miracle of living, breathing, existing. You get another day to love the ones you love. And if you're lucky enough to love someone who loves you, too? Wow. That is truly the magic of life.
Close your eyes each evening and give thanks for the gift of that day. Don't go to sleep angry. Find one thing, even if it seems small and insignificant, to be grateful for. You will be a better person for it.
Choose happiness. Yes--it is a *choice* in many, many ways.
Value your health. Please, please, please value your health. Eat right, exercise, be kind to your body--it is always working overtime to be a vessel for experiencing joy. Be grateful for this. It is often only in sickness that we see the power of a healthy state of being. Don't wait for that time. See the power *now*.
And to my kind, sweet, special soul no longer here with us I just want to say:
In my version of Heaven you are free. Your body is strong, full. It no longer prevents you from racing, dancing, or playing the way your spirit was meant to. For this, I am happy for you.
I love you. I miss you. One day, I'll see you again.
Until then, I am grateful to have known you and shared our family together.
ps- I will never eat beef jerky without thinking of you and I, snacking side by side on the sand, living the good life as kids at the Jersey Shore...and for the record, I can still spit like a guy--just as you taught me :)
At lunch on Friday my sweet coworker Justin, who happens to be one of my favorite people in San Francisco, cracked open his fortune cookie and said "Oh, Trish, you were supposed to open this one...." and handed it to me across the table.
(was he trying to make me cry in public?)
Wow. So humbled.
Share your happiness. Apparently, people really do take notice.
Love and Light,
I have combination everything; hair, skin, taste, personality. Maybe it's the Gemini in me. My twin sign can't ever seem to make up its mind?
That being said, my hair is not so much fun to style every day. If I don't wash it daily my roots get pretty oily...but washing it daily also drys out the tips very badly. It's a bit of a conundrum. A pickle. A kerfuffle.
Thankfully, I have found a miracle worker in Suave Dry Shampoo (only 3 monies at Walgreens!):
This. Spray. Is. Awesome. It's mild smelling, very affordable and does exactly what I need it to do--keep my unwashed hair from getting too oily while preserving any styling I've done and adding a little boost to the roots.
Using my new addiction + a Chi flat iron (yep, flat iron, not curling iron) I whipped up this simple look Friday morning:
For the record, I have zero patience for my hair. The fact that this took only about 15-20 minutes to do (and I believe I'll get faster at it with a little practice) is the only reason why I didn't Britney Spears shave it all off in frustration. Because I've been there. Trust me. Put the razor down, Trish. I absolutely hate spending too much time on my hair yet also always crave more creativity in my look. Suffice to say, Suave Dry Shampoo has just upped the ante on my morning hair styling routine. Get excited :)
You know a restaurant must really be stellar if I've blogged about it more than once.
Ladies and Gents, behold, brunch at Plow:
Butternut squash soup = fall favorite. If ANYONE has a great recipe for this style of soup, I beg you to share it. I've tried making this several times and I just never seem to get the restaurant quality I crave so much. I like this soup when it is very creamy (vs. more brothy) and basic.
Pumpkin pancakes. So flavorful I didn't need a drop of syrup!
Lemon ricotta pancakes. Can you see the white flecks of ricotta?! Creamy deliciousness. This is a surprisingly awesome combination of flavors (at least in my opinion).
I was a crafty little cook last night and decided to put a fun twist on a classic tuna melt (which, I am an ace at making). First, I don't use mayo. Just olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and parsley. It's super flavorful and a heck of a lot healthier.
Then I wrapped up the tuna in crescent rolls with some cheddar cheese!
YUM! So easy, so good. My wheels are turning, friends---can you imagine what else you can put inside a crescent roll to give an old favorite a new twist?!? Just wait til you see what I've already come up with...
On another foodie note, after bananas bogarted my pumpkin muffins a few weeks ago I decided to make straight pumpkin bread. To add more flavor I drizzled on some nutella....
...and swirled it in!
Pumpkin nutella bread. Boom. Awesome.
Happy Friday :)
I saw this outfit on Pinterest (my newest addiction, source of inspiration and constant reminder of needing to step up my life game in the areas of cooking, crafting, decorating, being cool/wise/funny) and completely fell in love with it.
I decided to challenge myself, using all of my own articles of clothing (no buying new pieces!) and 2 years of fashion advice from Ms. Jenny France, to recreate it. Here was my thought process;
1. It's way too cold out for shorts. I'll have to substitute with a good jean.
2. I don't have a blouse anywhere near as delicately lovely as the one she is wearing. What do I own that is simple and white but can be spruced up with a scarf or necklace for the same pop-of-detail effect?
3. I can't see her shoes. WHAT SHOE IS SHE WEARING!? I NEED TO KNOW! OK don't panic. Work with what you have.
Here's what I came up with:
Pretty cute, right? I like to think of this as the SF Fall version of the Pinterest ensemble :)
- The sweater is from The Limited...and is a year old! If you still wear something after one year, you should keep it. If you haven't worn it in a year...get the heck rid of it.
- The belt is from a dress I purchased at Heritage Row. (Are we all hearing Jenny's voice tell us to "belt it!"?)
- The jeans are Vintage Revolution--if you've never heard of them, I beg you to try them out. I've loved every fit so far from skinny to boot cut to flare. They make my thighs look super duper.
- The scarf is my favorite and was a gift from my mom a few years ago. I figured this made a good accessory to my plain white t-shirt underneath.
- And the boots....ahhhh, these boots....are Zodiac and are worn by yours truly at least 2/7 days a week. They are so comfy and gorgeous. Even the Weebly boys compliment them!
Basically, recreating this look (with my own twists!) cost me zero monies.
I love my outfit so much today I feel like I may just need to take myself out on a date ;)
My generation is filled with folks searching for work--both in the sense that this has proven to be a tough economic time and there simply aren't as many available, and also in that we were raised with "you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up!" sentiments from parents and teachers alike. This is great encouragement, of course...except many of us now sit and say "OK! But..I..umm...what *do* I wanna be? Where do I start? Am I sure about this? Can I handle it? What if I fail?". We have more options, choices, resources at our disposal than ever before and yet often we ignore all this and choose to stay stuck in our own self doubt, instead. Silly fear. He paralyzes us.
This is a sound piece of advice for me; "Ask what makes you come alive and go do that." I've always believed our longings to be our callings. When we honor these longings--when we work on them, trust in them and never lose sight of our capabilities in them--I think we are born into the perfect careers for ourselves. Opportunities will come up. Leads will appear. Ideas are born. Goals will be met. You will suddenly find yourself in a harmonious flow and work becomes one of the most joyous facets of your life.
What makes you come alive? What, as I often like to say, makes your pulse race?
Go for it. The world will be a better place because of it.
It's normal for people to bake cupcakes in celebration of themselves, right? No? Not so much? Awkward turtle?
Gratitude Journal, November 15th, 2011:
1. My job.
2. My coworkers.
3. My job.
4. My coworkers.
5. My job, my job, my job.
Today marks my official one year anniversary as an employee at Weebly, Inc.
Happy anniversary, Self and Job!!!! (hence the celebratory cupcakes with orange Weebly "W"s on them).
I cannot physically send enough gratitude out for where I work and the people I work with. I have to pinch myself, weekly, at how freaking lucky I am to be a Weebly. The support they have shown to me over the past few weeks especially--while I attempt to handle a personal matter 3,000 miles away from the source--has left me feeling so incredibly loved and appreciated and...well...understood.
This is a rare mix of people.
I'm genuinely so un-phased by the fact that I work with 13 boys that when people react with shock or questions of "really!? oh my gosh do you hate that?!" I am so confused.
Hate it? Hell no! I freaking love it! I love the complete and utter lack of drama. I love the playfulness these young men embody while balancing a quirky yet disciplined work ethic, drive and motivation. I love making them feel awkward when I announce in the middle of lunch "I just really love us."...which is most often met with uncomfortable nods and smiles. I love our adventures together. I love that I can burp louder (and better) than any of them. I love that they treat me as an equal. I love that they cultivate creativity in awesome ways. I even love the battle of the bathrooms where I'm currently fighting for 1/3 restrooms in the office to be a Womens only potty. I am losing. Badly. (But I am still fighting!)
I say this often to my friends here at Weebly but I am most deeply grateful to this career for helping me stand on my own after several years of feeling like I was continuously knocked down. I am grateful for the chance they took on me. I am grateful for the love (yes, the love, as it comes in many shapes and sizes) they extend to their team daily. I promise to always pay this type of kindness forward.
So, to my dear, sweet, kind, funny, silly, loyal, creative, immensely hard working and brilliant Weeblies I just have to say thank you. This has been one of the best and most fulfilling years of my life.
You helped me find my wings again.
Cheers to many anniversaries to come!
Want a little peek into my SF digs?
Phase one in rearranging/redecorating my apartment is complete. Yesterday I moved my bed to try and maximize space in my tiny apartment and I'm quite pleased with the results so far. I realize the bed is now in front of a door...which is normally a big feng shui no-no...but that door is just an excess entryway to my big ol' walk-in closet. Yep, I have 2 doors to my closet (how Carrie Bradshaw of me). I figure blocking one to make room for more livable, breathable space is totally feng shui approved (don't quote me on that, I have no idea what I'm talking about).
Phase two plans are under way, including a cool piece of photographic art that will hang on the door and make it look like a window to the outside. Pretty pumped about that! More pics to come :)
BTW, I love this bed. Just looking at it now makes me want to crawl right in and cozy up with my Kindle. I'm thinking I may swap out my current duvet cover for a solid white one--I really like when things just look crisp and clean--but for now the neutrals with pops of color suit me just fine. I think it's so important to take the time to make a space for yourself that feels super welcoming and comfortable; a space that beckons you to come home and regroup. I've been quite the little Danny Tanner neat freak lately and I'm hoping that energy actually sticks around. A clutter free, clean home is great for a clutter free, clear mind. It also sends out a strong energy for welcoming new friends; when you're happy with where you live, others will be happy to be in that space as well. I can't wait to see who my evolving apartment brings into my life :)
My beautiful cousin Courtney shared this video via her own blog and it's so lovely from start to finish that I had to watch it 2 times in a row. From Louie's stunning video images to his poignant and simple message, to the child (who reminds me physically of my sister as a kid, which of course just about bursts my heart) and her wise-beyond-her-years mindset on imagination (praise God, there are children who still yearn to play and explore) to the elderly man and his sentiments on gratitude--sentiments I could only dream of so eloquently expressing someday--this TED talk is perfection. Absolute perfection. It would be a sin not to share it with you all here:
"I didn't have much money, but I had time and a sense of wonder."
"Beauty and seduction [are] nature's tool for survival because we protect what we fall in love with. It opens our hearts and makes us realize we are a part of nature and we are not separate from it."
"And when you explore, you get more imagination than you already had and when you get more imagination it makes you want to go deeper in so you can get more and see beautifuller things..."
"It's not just another day...it's the one day that is given to you, today...and the only appropriate response is gratefulness."
"In this present moment, on this day, all the people you meet--all that life from generations and from so many places all over the world--flows together and meets you here, like a life giving water if you only open your heart and drink."
Can you imagine what would happen if we collectively decided to wake up each day with the attitude of gratitude? If we opened our hearts to the blessings all around and shared blessings with others in the numerous ways we can just by being present, aware, open? In the past few weeks I've given myself the assignment of "being here". When I engage with others--ordering coffee, sitting with friends, answering questions from customers at work--I have pushed myself to be as present as possible. To make eye contact, to listen without rushing to respond, to be patient and kind even in frustrating situations. I've taken notice of people's voices, their body language; I've brought awareness to moments where I would normally act out of fear or from ego and instead consciously chose to move forward only with love. The shift I've felt has been incredible. Has it been a piece of cake? No. Human beings will test me until the day I leave the planet. But this is my day, my gift. Our connectedness, nature included, begs us to recognize this; to be one with it.
Joyful in it.
Trusting of it.
Grateful for it.
Who am I to stop this flow?
"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will really be a good day."
Inspired, grateful, here, now.
Love and Light,