Motivational Monday…Love YOU

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Making More Memories in Michigan

It takes a long time to grow an old friend…John Leonard
There are five of us that have been friends since high school…3 of us since 1st grade! That’s a LOOOONG time! We reconnected at our 30th high school reunion and have been getting together almost yearly ever since. Four of us live in California and one, Nicole, lives just outside of Chicago. Most of our get-togethers take place in California, when Nicole is visiting her mom or other family member. For years she’s been telling us about her “cottage” in Michigan and that we should travel to her some time. We did just that a couple of weekends ago.
I lived in Illinois for five years back in the 80’s, where my children were born, but never really spent much time on the shores of Lake Michigan…now I wish I had!!
People actually asked us if we were nuns!
We coordinated our arrival times at Midway airport from various parts of California so we could hop in Nick’s car and be on our way for the short 2.5 hour drive from the airport . There wasn’t a moment of silence as we caught up on each other’s , lives, families and just about everything.
The first sunset as we drove to the cottage was spectacular….
Her “cottage” is a 4 bedroom home on Lake Michigan with a beautiful fireplace, a cozy living area & kitchen, and a large deck. So warm and inviting….and much more than a cottage. It was the perfect setting for our reunion weekend. We stayed up until after 1:00 that first night talking & laughing, as only long-time friends can do…and, hey, it was only 10:00 our time so we had plenty of energy.

Nicky had three full days of activities planned for us and it was so much fun!

Day one was the adorable town of South Haven, right on the water with the bonus of a beautiful lighthouse…

….with lunch at the local Captain Lou’s on the water

Day two we went apple picking at Crane Orchards, over 175 acres,…such a Fall activity, even if it was a little warm. I really loved the home town feeling of walking the orchard with friends…and so many other families enjoying a Fall day. There’s also a huge corn maze that we didn’t have time to explore, but just another fun thing to add to your itinerary should you find yourself in Michigan in the Fall. It felt very Americana! We made our way back to her home and took a leisurely stroll on the lake-beach (that’s what we called it all weekend because there were waves, sandy beaches and it looked like the ocean…. but it was Lake Michigan after all) looking for sea glass and driftwood. We finished the day with an amazing dinner from our daily bounty….fresh picked apple with goat cheese salad, grilled salmon, fresh corn from the stand and fresh apple pie…. (eating is an important part of any trip!)…..followed by another late night of laughing and reminiscing!

Day three was a visit to the adorable town of Saugatuck, voted one of 25 best shorelines by Condé Nast Traveler. The leaves were changing, there are numerous little shops and art galleries to meander through, and it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Dining on the water at Mermaid Cafe

…I brought a little end-of-the-trip “restore and renew facial & neck masks” that I would recommend for any girl weekend! We had so many laughs that I’m pretty sure “adult diapers” would have come in handy! We could not stop laughing and had lots of fun taking pictures….and our skin felt pretty nice when we boarded our planes for the return home on Tuesday…BONUS!

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them”….Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cultivate those childhood friendships. You’ll love the shared memories & laughs….and cherish the time you spend together as you grow older.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Motivational Monday…Friends

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them….Ralph Waldo Emerson

They talked in the shorthand of old friends
and shared memories.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Spontanaity…a trip to Pacific Grove…& a new wedding venue!

About a month ago, my sister, my cousin, a friend and I got an invitation to a mutual friend’s 60th birthday up in the Monterey/Carmel area. These are the friend’s we stay with yearly for the Big Sur Marathon weekend and we all wanted to go, but some had obligations on Friday night and/or Sunday night and just didn’t know how we’d swing it, so initially thought, sadly, that we’d all RSVP “no”. Then we just texted each other back & forth about heading up early Saturday and coming back early Sunday and decided to go for it! It’s only about a 5 to 5-1/2 hour drive and we all wanted to be there to celebrate this fabulous friend! I found an Airbnb that we could reserve for one night in Pacific Grove…..bonus, because it’s usually a 2 to 3 night minimum at most places.

I headed up to my sister’s after work on Friday for the added reward of dinner at Katsu-ya in Studio City, probably my favorite place for sushi. I was a little early, so I also stopped in to check out a brand new pizza place called LBK, an offshoot of Luzzo’s in Brooklyn, NY, right near Austin & Kate….small world! I chatted with the owner for quite awhile and found out all about his connection to the NY restaurant and that they were still, kind of, in the soft opening phase. They had opened a week before and sold out their first Friday night, and then couldn’t open again until Monday because their proprietary dough takes three days to “cure” or “rise”! I bought a couple of slices to take to my sister’s house as an appetizer and they declared that it’ll be their go-to pizza place…and it’s literally right down the street from her home in Studio City. If you’re up in the valley you must try these two restaurants! You won’t be disappointed.

We got up bright & early Saturday morning, leaving at 7am….and we were sitting, enjoying lunch in Pacific Grove at 12:30. The weather was perfect, with a light breeze and the familiar sound of the seagulls welcoming us to the area.

Did a little shopping, checked into our adorable Airbnb and then spent the afternoon relaxing, napping, reading, or going for a walk.

The birthday party was so much fun and held at an amazing new venue in Monterey called The Barns at Cooper Molera…adjacent to the historic Cooper-Molera Adobe. It’s everything you envision for a barn dance, a wedding or any special event….twinkle lights, majestic barn, high ceilings and great indoor & outdoor space. If you’re on the lookout for a wedding venue, this is it! The food was amazing and it was fun to reconnect with old friends & meet some new ones (met someone who grew up near where I live in OC and her mom lives down near the beach…small world!) They are also opening a new restaurant, Cello, and coffee shop/bakery, Alta Bakery & Cafe, next to the adobe/barns later this year or early 2019. That’s where we’ll be going when we’re back up there in April for marathon weekend.

….with our Sneaky Pete bison friend

Sunday morning plans included a walk (run for the others) along the water from Lover’s Point towards the lighthouse, followed by breakfast at The Red House Cafe, an adorable converted cottage with an abundance of ambience and coziness.

how cute is this little restaurant!!

I never get tired of that walk along the craggy, gorgeous coastline on Monterey Bay with fabulous homes on one side and majestic cypress trees sitting on the water’s edge. It really takes your breath away! The homes in Pacific Grove are from a fairy tale, each one cuter than the next, and so many of them have little placards on them with a name and date…what I assume is the original owner and date built, because they’re pretty old.

Take a stroll with me through Pacific Grove….

perfect snack for a road trip…or a stroll along the water

….and here’s a very blurry picture of us with the birthday girl (can’t be picky when you’re asking others to take a group shot of all of you??!!)

Another weekend, another fun trip! Be spontaneous….and make that trip for an important milestone for a won’t regret it and you’ll have memories that last long after the trip is over!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…LIVE!

Don’t live for the weekend, find joy in what you do every day…tomorrow is not promised!

(thanks to Taylor for this one!…
although I do tend to pack alot into my weekends, I’m grateful for every day)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…don’t Labor today

malibu nov/2017

You have enough.
You do enough.
You are enough.

Relax and enjoy this Labor Day!

malibu nov/2017

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Routine vs Change?

Can you like change and routine at the same time? Absolutely!
While most people hate Mondays, I look forward to the routine of Pizza Monday, which I’ve been doing for over 15 years now!! Sure, sometimes it’s just me, but I still love the predictability of it…and Monday Night Football in the Fall! Another routine I love is Sunday mornings! I don’t set my alarm, I walk out to the driveway in my jammies to get the NY Times, put some bacon in the oven (have you ever made bacon in the oven? 325 for about 25 min-1/2 hour…so much easier than watching the stove), make some tea and put on the Carla Bruni channel on Pandora (I know…I don’t speak French, but I love having it in the backround on Sundays). It’s the perfect relaxing routine morning to me.
On the other hand, I love change too!

I love traveling, which is almost never routine! I like meeting new people, discovering new places…always learning. Let’s face it, in life, change is inevitable. People come into & out of our lives, technology moves at lightening speed and is changing daily…and our passions can change with the passing of time. So, why, I was wondering, are some people averse to change, while others embrace it? In looking into it, it seems that the difference lies in fear.

Fear is a very powerful emotion. It is one of the most common reasons for resistance to change because it stops you from taking any action at all. You think, ‘if i don’t…insert something uncomfortable here…then everything will stay the same, I won’t ruffle any feathers, status quo and I won’t have to deal with the consequences.’ Sure, there’s self doubt, anxiety, fear of the unknown or failure and even guilt with some decisions that will incite change. Well, what if the opposite happened? You decide do to that uncomfortable thing, make that uncomfortable decision? Maybe great things will happen…but you’ll never know if you don’t take the leap. The reward that comes from making changes can be amazing! …and even if you fail, you’ve learned something from the experience, right?? (disclaimer…There are definitely some people who embrace change that are narcissistic, with no regard to how it impacts others…I’m not talking about that kind of change!)

Unless I’m traveling, I rarely miss the routine of pizza Monday or Sunday mornings. Most people crave and need routine of some sort to give order to their life. Habits and routines make us more efficient…you know where your reading glasses are, where to find the pen & paper, and which drawer you put your socks in. You’d be searching all day if you didn’t have some sort of habit/routine. At my age it’s nice to know things are in their place because it’s bad enough that I can’t remember, “Why’d I come into this room??”

But, go ahead and try to embrace change…the possibilities are endless! I’m looking forward to the change of moving back to the beach in the somewhat near future, while still retaining the routine of watching Rowan and pizza Monday in the best neighborhood,  traveling to Brooklyn every couple of months to see Austin, Kate & Jude, and Sunday mornings. Above all, the main constants in one’s life of great friends and family make every routine comforting & worthwhile, and every change exhilerating & exciting.

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered,
you will never grow”
….Ralph Waldo Emerson
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!