FRIDAY, JULY 31ST | #004

1. “TOGETHER, YOU CAN REDEEM THE SOUL OF OUR NATION” – JOHN LEWIS

This powerful and inspiring final essay by civil rights leader John Lewis is a MUST READ. You can find it here, in The New York Times.

2. 20TH-CENTURY SLAVERY WAS HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

I came across this article in Smithsonian Magazine today and it was a reminder to me of how important it is that we know who made our clothes and where they come from. There are more and more ethical brands we can purchase from and many ways we can help make sure we aren’t contributing to the modern day slavery that occurs in the fashion industry. If you want to learn more, read the linked article and check out the documentary The True Cost. This was the movie that made me vow never to purchase from fast fashion again and be as conscious as possible about the supply chain and transparency of not just fashion companies but all companies and brands that I purchase from.

3. TWO PHOTOS FROM THE WEEK

Sitting at a park bench writing letters, enjoying the shade of the trees, and listening to the sound of birds.

Freshly groomed puppy paws <3

4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESSICA!

Three of my closest friends had birthdays this month and I wanted to take a moment to celebrate each of these special people I am incredibly grateful to have in my life! I don’t know where I would be without their support, the conversations we have had, and their friendship. I can’t thank them enough for always having my back, wanting the best for me, and for experiencing this life with me.

Jessica is one of my oldest friends–we met in the middle of 4th grade when I transferred to Carr Elementary after my family moved to Torrance. She came up to me and introduced herself. Looking back, I don’t know if I realized how lucky I was to so easily find a friend the first day at a new school and someone to eat lunch from that day on! I’m so glad our friendship has lasted throughout the years, even after she moved and neither of us could drive and social media didn’t exist–actually, I don’t even think cell phones really existed back then! Some of my most happiest memories involve doing something with her from watching Mighty Ducks 2 at sleepovers to going to our very first Color Run to Backstreet Boys concerts :) She is super caring and thoughtful and puts so much into each of her relationships–as a daughter, sister, friend, significant other, aunt, teacher, co-worker just to name a few. I really admire her for all of her wonderful qualities–as well as the fact that she manages to have an empty email inbox!! (But seriously, how!?) I can’t wait to continue our lifelong friendship and celebrate more birthdays together–hopefully in person next time!

5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BAO!

Bao is my only friend I met during college at FIDM. At a commuting school, it felt harder to make connections but luckily our paths crossed and we had a few classes together–that was all that we needed to solidify our friendship! I always have so much fun when I am with Bao–she’s super laid back, has a great sense of fashion, creative, is an amazing dancer, and great partner in crime. It’s because of her that I crowd surfed and know about post secret and jumping photos (when you jump and take a photo mid-air lol–they are my favorite). In our younger days we had plenty of dance parties and drinks together, went to tons of concerts and obsessed over Jack Johnson, had a ton of fun running around LA doing scavenger hunts, and so much more! It has been amazing watching her become a mom to her son Elijah and then to her daughter Brooklyn and raising awesome human beings! Although we live in different states and have such busy lives, I know we will always be there if the other needs them. And I hope in the future we can see each other in real life again!

6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ARCHNA!

Although I don’t work in the fashion industry anymore, one of the best things I have gotten from it is my friend Archna! We both worked at PacSun (or Pacific Sunwear for those of you who remember those stores at the malls!) and I remember loving her style and all the cool dresses that she wore to work :) Although we were in different departments, we worked together a tiny bit, and kept in touch after we both left. I joined her in creating a children’s clothing line and we experienced so many firsts together like traveling to New York for our very first trade show! I look back and am super proud of all that we did. Throughout the years we’ve also tried lots of delicious vegan restaurants together, participated in 4 years of Dressember, and probably exchanged millions of texts! She has great taste in music, has a lovely singing voice, and pulls off short pixie-style hair SO well! We are actually seeing each other tomorrow for a safe, socially distanced, and masked hike and I am really looking forward to it!

Wishing all of these beautiful ladies a year ahead filled with love, laughter, and joy.

This weekly Friday series is a simple way of documenting and sharing. To learn more about how it came to be, read the the very first post. To see all Friday posts, click here. I hope you like it! :)


FRIDAY, JULY 24TH | #003

1. COMPASSIONATE GOODBYE

“As parents of our animal babies, we are fortunate to be able to make these decisions for them…not only giving them a second chance filled with love and wonderful memories but knowing them so well that you could make his transition easier in the end.”

This is something my friend Jennifer said to me when I had to say goodbye to Bernard and it has stuck with me ever since. As gut wrenching and heart breaking as this decision is, I find some comfort and relief in knowing that they will no longer suffer–that I can help prevent them from enduring or feeling more pain.

Like most animals out there, almost all of mine have been terrified of going to the vet. The thought of having to bring them there when they are unwell and to have their last moments be in a place where they fear is something I have tried to avoid at all costs. Being able to allow them to stay in the comfort of their own home and peacefully move on has been something I am so grateful for. I know not every situation allows for this to happen but if it does, I would choose this option time and time again.

There are many at home euthanasia services in the Los Angeles and Orange County area. I wanted to share the ones I have used. In such difficult times, these places have been so considerate and compassionate. I have called each place in tears, sobbing, and have all been so patient and kind, making the situation the best it could possibly be in these circumstances.

If this is something you have been considering, you can find more information on their website or give them a call, especially to confirm whether they service your area. Please feel free to email me if you would like to hear more about my personal experiences as well (I have been able to do this for 3 of my pets).

The cost includes the euthanasia and whatever aftercare you decide (cremation, urn type, etc.) I have always chosen cremation and have had the ashes returned in a wooden box along with a ceramic paw print. The pricing has been around $800 for me but may vary so I suggest getting a quote directly from them.

Home Pet Euthanasia of Southern CA
I believe Dr. Julie was the one who helped me say goodbye to Jefrey last year. She was incredibly compassionate and kind and explained every part of the process. I would highly recommend them, especially if this is your first time–their website also has a lot of very helpful articles. I was in Irvine at the time but they also service Cerritos and surrounding areas. I hope I don’t have to call on them soon but I am planning on using them if I need to in the future.

Hearts and Halos
Dr. Peter from Hearts and Halos helped me say goodbye to Makani. I am thankful that even during the pandemic, their services are still available. He was very kind and we both had masks on and practiced social distancing as best as possible. The situation with Makani was unexpected and I was able to call when they first opened and arrange for an appointment the same morning which is what I had wanted as I was very nervous she would get worse and feel worse. When I called they mentioned that due to covid the procedure would be quicker than usual and I made sure to say my goodbyes beforehand. I am currently in Cerritos and they have a map on their site of the areas they serve.

Very Important Pet Mortuary
This was the very first time I used this type of service and it was to say goodbye to Lucciano. From the initial phone call and throughout the entire process, they made it as smooth as it could possibly be. I can’t express how thankful I am for their kindness and compassion–this was a really tough and painful time for me. Lucci’s vet actually performed the at home euthanasia so I coordinated with VIP Mortuary for aftercare. VIP arrived on time but my vet ended up being an hour late–VIP stayed that entire time and was so nice about it. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that. If you need both a vet to perform the euthanasia, that is something they can coordinate as well. I highly recommend them. I was living in Torrance at the time, they are located in Venice and serve surrounding areas.

Please note that everyone’s experiences with this is different but speaking just of my own, each time has been very peaceful and done with so much care and respect.

2. FOLKLORE | TAYLOR SWIFT

I have always found music to be healing and cathartic. I had no idea that Folklore came out today! I usually play relaxing cat music for Samone in the mornings and that’s when I saw the cardigan music video–then I saw a bunch more songs and found out Taylor released an album!

I have already listened to the entire album once and it is making me feel so many feelings and has brought tears to my eyes a few times.

I do love cardigan and the music video, linked above.

seven and ephiphany really touched me–both musically and lyrically as well as the topic of each song–being a child and seeing a friend have an unhappy home life, how covid is affecting those who have it and those caring for them.

My favorite line is from invisible string: and isn’t it just so pretty to think / all along there was some / invisible string / tying you to me

I can’t wait to listen to this entire album again.

3. LOOK UP AT THE CLOUDS

It’s become an almost daily habit of mine to look up and capture a few moments of the clouds in the sky above me. There is a kind of hope and comfort that I get from looking up. How it is constant yet ever-changing. Nature has shown me that even if the world is in turmoil, you can count on the sun rising and setting, that the sky will be above you tomorrow, that flowers will bloom, and insects and animals will go about their daily routines, chores, and life.

Friday 7-16-2020 Photos

This weekly Friday series is a simple way of documenting and sharing. To learn more about how it came to be, read the the very first post. To see all Friday posts, click here. I hope you like it! :)


FRIDAY, JULY 17TH | #002

1. SOME SOUND ADVICE

It’s been a stressful few months and tough couple of weeks–my cat Samone has been having health issues and we’ve been trying to figure out what’s wrong and how to help her. She’s gone through a bunch of tests and realistically, it doesn’t seem like I have much more time with her. 😭 💔 A few more months at the least and 3+ months if I am lucky. I think I am currently in denial, hoping for the best, and deep down inside preparing for the worst. I was telling my friend Claire about the situation and she shared some wise words with me:

Try to remember that our pets don’t know what the future holds and therefore aren’t worrying about it. They always simply adapt to whatever they’re going through that day.

I’ve never thought about it that way and this perspective made me feel better. It’s just one of the many lessons we can learn from animals–they truly know how to live in the moment.

I wanted to share these words with you in case you are going through something similar or know somebody who is. Maybe these words can help bring some comfort your way.

My goal in life right now is to give Samone as many moments as I can filled with yummy food and treats, cuddles, chin scratches, naps in the sun, and love.

Here’s sweet Samone’s first day home <3 and one of my favorite photos of her below.

2. A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN BY ROSEANNE A. BROWN

My copy of this book finally came in the mail! I have been patiently waiting it’s arrival so that I can dive into this magical story inspired by fantasy and folklore. Learn more about author, her work, and this book, over on her site: roseanneabrown.com. Did I mention that the book cover is absolutely GORGEOUS?! Pic below!

I am already captivated by the very first line, “Abraa! Abraa! Come and gather–a story is about to begin!”

3. IT’S A WRAP!

I can’t believe it but The 100 Day Project is donezo and my 100 Days of Alphabet Connections is complete! You can find my very last connection here and I also shared 7 tips for a successful 100 day project. Did you participate this year? How were these past 100 days for you? I’d love to hear about your experience with it!

4. A BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE

Read this beautiful post by Dr. Elvis Francois. We tend to share the wins and the successes but there is something beautiful in the struggle that got us to where we are today. Let’s share more of those stories. Photo below is one of the images from Dr. Elvis Francois’ Instagram post.

5. LOOK UP AT THE CLOUDS

There is something comforting to me about looking up at the sky and at the clouds above us. I can never capture how beautiful they are in photos but I still can’t help myself from snapping some pics.

This weekly Friday series is a simple way of documenting and sharing. To learn more about how it came to be, read the the very first post. To see all Friday posts, click here. I hope you like it! :)


FRIDAY, JULY 10TH | #001

I’ve been wanting to do some type of end-of-the-week post on this blog for awhile now–a simple way to document and share–but I wasn’t sure what it would look like/how I wanted to do it. I was brainstorming ideas and became inspired by a few things:

  • Rachel of Elephantine– I love the simplicity of her posts and the way she structures them–one year she did 1 post every week and she also has a series called “Two For Today” which is just 2 photographs from the day. It doesn’t look like she has been blogging lately but I hope she starts back up!
  • Joy the Baker– I like how she numbers her “Let It Be Sunday” posts (last Sunday was 279!) and I am going to do the same! I think it’s a cool way to see how far you’ve come and how small, committed actions add up!
  • IG stories– I do love how stories was an easy way to share random imperfect tidbits or pop in to say hello. Before my social media break I had been consistently posting a video every Friday and I wanted to find a way to carry that over to this blog.

I think my big take away from all three points above is consistency–something I am slowly trying to get better at! So my plan is to post every Friday with a goal of reaching #025 which will take us to the last Friday of 2020 which is SO crazy to think about even though 2020 already feels like 10 years crammed into one!

Today’s post is a bit longer with the intro above, but every Friday I’m hoping to create a short post with a list of 5 things that happened/I learned/ate/saw/read/etc. during the week followed by photos. So here is this week’s five–I hope you like it! :)

1. GOOD POPS

To me, there is nothing that says summer quite like a delicious refreshing popsicle! I happened to see these yesterday, saw they were vegan, and decided to give them a try. I got the orange creamsicle flavor which wasn’t too sweet (which I like) and I didn’t even realize they were fair trade and give back—more reason to eat as many as I want! Learn more, find a retailer, or order online: goodpops.com/doinggood PS: Are you team popsicle or team ice cream?

2. DOWN TO EARTH WITH ZAC EFRON

Did I stay up to watch an episode of this? I sure did! Was it worth the late night? It sure was! lol You might think I loved this because I think Zac is so charismatic and handsome but besides that, I am super interested in what this show is about! The premise is Zac and Darin Olien travel around the world and learn about sustainability.

The first episode takes place in Iceland and wow, the images are just GORGEOUS. I don’t want to say too much but here’s a few things they did on this episode: they went to a geothermal plant, made chocolate, ate dung smoked food, and referenced both LOTR and Willy Wonka (2 of my favorite movies!)

I was also excited that Darin is vegan (minus the start of the show) and I hope they touch on this topic more when they talk about food sustainability. I could write way more about this but I wanted to leave you with one fact that really blew my mind and then I will head to bed:

in 2017 the US used 63% electricity from fossil fuels, Iceland used 0% (and it wasn’t always like this–in the 70s Iceland was dependent on imported coal and oil)!

3. TWO LESSONS FROM KEVIN OF THE BACKSTREET BOYS

1- I love this quote that he posted and keep going back to it: “Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge…is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.” – Bill Bullard

2- There was a moment during the last BSB concert I went to where Kevin said he just wanted to take everything in and he paused to stand silently on the stage at The Staples Center for a minute or two, so present and appreciative. How often do we do that? Not often in enough.

4. VALENTINE

She is especially suspicious anytime I go near/into/use the downstairs bathroom. Maybe it’s because I don’t go there often or sometimes I’ll use that mirror right before heading out. She was fast asleep and the minute I walked over there, her eyes popped open–this pic cracks me up!

5. BLUE SKIES

I am always amazed by the beautiful colors we find in nature–no filter needed. This was taken on Tuesday morning on my AM walk with Val.

Friday 7-10-2020 Photos