Back to the Islands.

7 years ago.
That's the last time I wiggled my toes in the warm sands of the beach, breathed in the floral air, ran around looking for sleeping grass, stared at the Ko'olau mountain rage for hours marveling at its beauty and power, and listened to the sweet coos of doves that don't sound like any other in the states.

Tonight I'm hopping on a plane with my darling fiance and we're going to Hawaii for a much-needed 11 days of paradise. I can't wait to show him my roots, even though I'm the only one of the family born in Washington, it was my home for a month out of every summer as a little girl. I can't wait for him to see the memorials of my Grandparents because he's never met them before. I can't wait for the sunsets, the beach, family time, love, and adventure. I'm so excited it doesn't even seem real. Daniel is bringing our new GoPro camera and it is the coolest little thing. Be sure to expect a vacation post with lots of photos and videos when we get back.

Until then, adieu!


Fitness and I.

A killer workout the other night called for an obnoxious gymrat selfie because of course it did. And that got me thinking, I used to be pretty big. No, you don't understand, like I can't even look at old photos, forever fat-girl mindset, big. Like, I dealt with a lot of shit in high school from being overweight, big. Like, Dad I love you but can you NOT tag me in that photo on Facebook because I'll just remove it, big. Like, my personality was largely shaped by my size so I was incredibly jaded and insecure, big. That last part probably upsets me the most. I lost a great deal of weight over the course of a couple years by consciously changing my lifestyle. Fast food, pop, candy, processed foods, simple carbs, all went out the door for a long long time. I'll indulge sometimes and have dark chocolate, froyo, an awesome carb-loaded pasta dish on a fancy night out these days, but I've been fast food/pop/junk free for over 2 years. That's one thing I'm rigid about; I refuse to put harmful stuff in my body. I love eating clean and experimenting with good nutrition and it's kind of a hobby now. The more superfoods, dark leafy greens, nut butters, the better!

Like many girls, I've been through gym addictions and eating anxieties but I pulled the harnesses on those REAL quick. That kind of thing isn't for my personality. As much as I love a workout so good I'm crawling out of the gym bathed in sweat, I am much happier if I'm also able to think of other things other than food and fitness. I kind of want to truly experience this short time we all have being alive and fully understand how it's all about balance. I'm pretty much there with all of that, balancing personal life and fitness life. It took some time, but I'm getting there.

I think there's not much before and after going on right now and I sometimes struggle with that. I've exhausted the transformation mindset because I've been in the healthy living game for a few years now. It's important I understand some days I'll feel leaner than others, that the body fluctuates and does much better ebbing and flowing instead of being forcibly stuck in the binds of self-scrutiny. That it's just as important to allow myself to indulge sometimes as it is for my diet to be whole and nutritious. To use exercise to care for the body and the mind and not for vanity alone. These are things I have been working on and by all means it is not easy, but it's important and that's why I do it. I want to teach my future daughter to embrace her body as a home to her beautiful soul and to see it with as much kindness, patience, and respect as she can.


Fear // Love Yourself Tuesday

The photo on the left was taken about two years ago. I remember how absolutely thrilling it was up there with so much beauty in front of me. It felt freeing, and I could physically feel my stress flowing out of my pores and into the clouds. The one on the right was taken this past weekend on the same lovely hike with Daniel in the same spot, on the same boulder at the top. I couldn't even will my feet as close as I was last time, my body was just not having it. It was NOPE city and I was mayor. But the difference is in the girl. I was confused because I didn't know why I was so afraid of just walking around up there and I started to get frustrated. I mean, I was fine last time. But then I stopped and realized it felt good to be afraid of something so typical. I actually laughed at myself. I got used to the altitude and loosened up a bit, but for one blessed moment, I was thoroughly present and reminded that I am indeed human.

Two years ago, being easily overwhelmed by small things everywhere, feeling suffocated and closed-in when too many things happened at once. Pretty much non-stop worry about the future. Then now, being able to breathe again and actually get a chance to be afraid of normal things. Life is funny sometimes.


Basic Skin Care Routine!

Confession, I am so ocd about my skin. I probably should have been an esthetician or dermatologist with the amount I value some good epidermis. It's taken years to find a routine that works for me and I'm not fussing over new products anymore and I'm actually purchasing the same things when I run out. My skin type is pretty basic, so I try and stick to an equally basic skin care regimen. I have subtly dry cheeks, a potentially oily t-zone and very minimal breakouts. I should mention that my face can be sensitive but I've found if I stick to a simple skin care routine, my skin behaves wonderfully. Any weird change, added product, or bout of bad eating can irritate it pretty quickly. Sticking to a healthy and nutritious diet with lots of water is also so incredibly essential for healthy skin. I've been concentrating on eating clean for over 2 years and my skin thanks me. I also make sure I use products as natural as possible, with the absolute least amount of fragrance. Unscented is everything. By no means is this the answer to everyone's skin issues, but I truly believe the less you use, the more you leave your skin be, the healthier you eat, the better.

These are the products I've been really loving and honestly, my skin has never been healthier.

Origins Checks and Balances
I actually came across this when I used some of my sister's face wash since I had forgotten my own. I can't get enough of how simple it is, froths up, easily rinses clean, and my skin isn't tight or red afterwards like some other harsh cleansers do to it.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner
Just an all-around awesome toner to refresh skin after a shower. It's supposed to be unscented, but there's this super clean, almost sweet smell to it I can't get enough of. I don't even know if it's possible for a toner to lift your mood and make you want to stick your head out the window and start singing to the birds while other forest animals peek out from the abyss, but this is good shit.

Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer/Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer
I use these as a duo to keep my skin nourished and soft! Probably one of the most important steps to healthy skin. I use the protecting moisturizer in the morning because it's light and has a bit of SPF to help protect against UV rays. I use the rich moisturizer as part of my bedtime routine so it can work through the night. I am extremely happy with both so far.

Simple Cleansing Face Wipes
I use these to take off my makeup and any time I need to freshen up. I swear I have like 3 packs so I can keep one in my gym back, one in my purse, and one to leave at home. You'll never find me without them.

And I know it's early, but I'm kind of interested in looking for a nourishing eye cream. Something I can use to get an early start on wrinkles and all that cute stuff. If you have any suggestions, please share!
Here's my naked face for you!


How To Be Okay // Love Yourself Tuesday

I love that it's becoming easier for me to just be alright. To just be okay. I'm not perfect, I'm not in an eternal state of happiness, nor do I want to be, nor am I seeking that. Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful to feel happiness, but people often forget there's other feelings that come and go. Good emotions don't stick around forever. Trust me, when I found out life doesn't roll that way, not even close, I freaked out. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to be alright at times instead of searching for ways to feel, figuring out answers to every question, always seeking that high of happiness, perfection, utopia. How difficult it is to leave things be. I struggled. I'm still working on it, but these are all practices I've applied day to day for my growth from an anxious girl, to a resilient woman.

1. Celebrate little things. Like tiny little joys. You got out of bed this morning, you had a salad today, you indulged in that chocolate truffle, your show just happens to be on as you sit down to unwind, the blanket is keeping you at just the right temperature, you hit an even number at the gas pump, your makeup looks lovely today. Your bare face looks lovely today. Life is all about these little in-betweens that deserve attention too. If you keep chasing the for the infinite level of satisfaction, what happens when you get there? Then what?

2. Woosah time! Really find moments to be content with yourself. Don't try and conjure up some intense happy emotion here; just be. Look at each part of your body you'd otherwise judge and be okay with them. Be okay with yourself in that moment and be okay if you decide you need improvement, that it'll come in time as long as you do it with love. Be gentle with yourself.

3. Meditate! Tune in with yourself and what's around you. Focus on your breathing or on noises or scents. Live here, right now. Right now. It is extremely difficult to be in the moment. If it was an easy thing, no one would ever struggle. Living in the past is a waste of time and living in the future is not reality so why ruin what is with what was or what could be? Good things, bad things, alright things, they all ebb and flow. Seeing this with nonjudgmental eyes is an important start. You'll be alright.

4. Start a fun and completely mindless project. Mess up and embrace it as art. Don't start over. Don't rush to get it all done. Give your brain a rest and completely allow yourself to let go into what you're doing in that moment. Play some lovely chill tunes like Bon Iver or The xx. Your thoughts are a washing machine all day long and your mind needs to come off spin cycle eventually.

5. Be accepting and compassionate with yourself. Life can be pretty miserable if you're constantly scrutinizing on your body, your being, and your soul. If you don't shed warm light on your imperfections, if your inward thoughts are cruel, how will you ever have the capability to be accepting of others in your world? You're the only thing that sticks around from the beginning to end. Your life is adorned with really really good things, and it's important to embrace those, but when it comes down to it, you have you. And that's not meant to be something scary, it should be something beautiful.

6. Finally, the one mindset that has been life changing for me. Everything got better when I figured this out and I wish everyone could spend some time on this. Stop trying. Stop trying to be positive. Stop trying to be happy. Stop trying to be anything you think you should be. The problem is in the trying, because when you're trying too much, you lose yourself and miss out on what you already are. And you may find that it isn't so bad to be you after all. When you stop trying to feel, to be, to have, to know all of these things, they will all come to you. I promise.



One of my favorite times together is right before we go to bed and suddenly we’re wide awake and cracking up and talking to each other into the nighttime surrounding us. It reminds me we’re still playful and so much best friends just as much as sweethearts. I can't help but always think there’s something special about him. I've always thought so. I’m aware that’s almost like the most cliché thing you can say about your man, but I really really know so. He’s just a uniquely wonderful person, I have never met someone as caring, understanding, and as selfless as he is. I feel so safe in knowing he'll have those same qualities in a husband and father.

As wedding planning has begun, I realize we’ll be wrapped up every tiny little detail of what we have to arrange and it’s very likely we’ll down a few glasses of wine at the endless list of things to remember. He actually pulled me aside today and gave me a huge long hug after we began to look through the huge wedding planner I bought. It was really up there in the list of hugs we've shared and it's been a ton in 6 and a half years trust me. He said we've been so busy lately and will only get busier in the months to come but it's always important to stop and just love on each other. To not get so caught up in everything that affection is sacrificed to keep up with deadlines and details. I was completely caught off guard and fell in love with him all over again in that moment. I love his mind, how he always puts us before anything else. All that matters is that he'll be waiting for me at the end of the aisle to begin the journey we started so many years ago. And after all he’s been through, my priority is to create the loving, caring, home and family with him he’s always deserved.

An all over the place post today, but goodness I love him so. I don't want to kiss the bridge of anyone else's nose or eat frozen kitkats with anyone else or have anyone else call me his honeybird or dove. I don't want to go out dancing with anyone else or catch anyone else's stray eyelashes or warm my hands under anyone else's' armpits. 

Things just make sense with you. Life just makes more sense with you. I want to say I'm lucky I found you, but we really kind of found each other.


Love Yourself Tuesday.

I got it from my mama.
I have decided every Tuesday around here will be a day to love yourself. Who likes Tuesdays? I don’t, you don’t. Because let's be real, Tuesday is a drag. No one likes it, it’s kind of a jerk, and everyone’s just face palming all day because it isn’t hump day, it isn’t Friday eve, it isn’t even Friday at all, and y’all were already prepared for Monday being gross because it’s Monday. So why not give yourself a little reminder that you’re awesome too? Right there in that awkward pre-middle of the week period when you’re just blah? Love Yourself Tuesdays or LYTs are gonna be a thing here. I need to remember to be kind to myself, and you need to remember to be kind to yourself. It can be anything; a freckle, characteristic, scar, a photo, an outfit, something you did, something you didn’t, just pick one thing you dig about yourself in that very moment. Talk yourself up, love yourself down. Share it with me here in the comments and I'll write back. Tell a stranger, yell at the sky, sing it in the car. Love. Your. Self. Here's mine.
My awkward stage was bad. I mean it was awful, like my eyebrows had their own personalities awful. It stuck around for a long long time and I didn't really start feeling comfortable in my own skin until after high school. Teenagers can be little shits, girls specifically, so that didn't help either. I was deeply self-conscious and I struggled because of it. Today I can wake up, look in the mirror, and see beauty in my imperfections. I can see my tiny bird lips (bottom larger than the top), an a-symmetrical hairline I used to hide behind a massive side-swept fringe that was almost as dramatic as my teenage angst. I see contentment, wisdom, worry lines and sass.
I can also see my mother. One of the coolest things is seeing photos of her back in the day and realizing our resemblance, especially at this time in my life. We definitely were twinning in our early twenties without even meeting each other. We often wore our hair up the same way, posed alike without meaning to, and we both have that deep-in-thought, off into the distance gaze every now and again. I get real excited when people tell me I look like her. I'm honored I do, she's stunning. And guess what? We rock the same hairline. And that is what I love about myself today. 


It's a good day to have a good day.

I can't get enough of the pleasant weather that hits Seattle every now and again. This transition from shit weather to even alright weather is getting to be such a drag so days like today are extra special. My hair isn't tucked under a hood or looking like wet chow chow and I can even wear my Toms! I love wandering downtown on my lunch to window shop (and actually real-life shop too). I have my favorite spots like Nordies, Sephora, Barnes and Noble, UO, and Anthro-I'd like to purchase the entire store actually can I just move in-pologie. I'm finding that taking some woosah time for myself throughout the day is a must. My focus these days is to really live in the now, in the in-betweens of life and to really be okay with what's happening this very moment. A separate post is in the works about all that stuff. I'll make it public once I figure out exactly how I want it said, because it's important to me. Happy Friday, you cuties.



Confession. I am a huge baby when I'm sick. I was the kid who would stare down meds on the counter because I had some sort of pill taking anxiety and cry and throw an epic tantrum which would usually induce projectile vomit everywhere and it would be just awful. Even though I'm basically a grown adult now and it's not that dramatic anymore, I'm still a pathetic sickling. Stubborn, don't wanna move, won't eat but instead will whine forever, sadgirl status. This time it's a gnarly sinus infection which was the cause of my two week tonsillitis and the doc wanted me to wait it out before giving me meds. Now it's in my lungs and my ears and head hurt but I've got my meds! Check out my perfect Aladdin pillowcase; Raja on one side, Jasmine on the other. Most favorite. I'll just be right here, listening to the most beautiful cover of Edelweiss (with one semi-functioning ear) and will possibly think about watching Matilda later because everyone knows that's the best feel better flick. Possibly.



If there's one thing we take very seriously around here it's breakfast. Not sure how I got so lucky to find my match who loves it as much as I do! It's a really big deal and we are proud breakfast snobs. We make it extra special sometimes by waking up and going out like we did this morning. Our absolute favorite spot is the Wild Wheat Bakery right down the hill from home. Everything's from scratch: homemade breads, pastries, buckwheat pancakes, quiche, french toast, omelets, awesome coffee, and it's just adorable. Can I just substitute all the meals for breakfast and never eat anything else ever again? Because I would be okay with that.