Monday, December 5, 2011

C is for Cookie

Next week is the first annual cookie bake-off at work and yours truly has offered to bake a bajillion cookies so that I don't have to be one of the "tasters" and eat my weight in sugar, flour and chocolate.  I need a little help deciding what to bake, so I'm taking a poll - cast your vote in the comments section and I might just send some your way ;)
Edited to add: yes, I said post your vote in the comments section... not Twitter, G-chat and texts.  That means no cookies for Jess, Hillary, and Julia :)

1.  Mom's mint brownies that look a little something like this (and always, always get eaten faster than you can say "miss piggy"):
2. White chocolate dipped cranberry cookies (another "Mom" special... can you see I have big shoes to fill?):

3. Chocolate pecan bars (a la guess who?):

4. "Over-the-top" Reese's Peanut Butter cookies (because nothing is better than chunks of PB cups inside a cookie)

(images via and
(i'm HUNGRY!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Photo Dump

While I sit here developing carpel tunnel syndrome from being connected to my computer like an umbilical cord, I thought I'd give a little visual update of life in San Francisco over the last few weeks.

top row:
cold hands at work (pre-apartment heat)
first rosh hashanah in san francisco

middle row:
exploring the castro
shopping cart adventures at costco
todd's birthday beerfest
HOLY cow smell

bottom row:
fabulous lunch at zuni cafe (minus the clams that squirmed their way through my insides)
colorful san francisco
incredible live music at bridge school benefit

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Only Thing Constant is Change

I guess you could say that the past two months have been full of more changes than constants, so it's rather fitting that my blog has undergone a change of its own (How do you like it? Thank you, Danielle Moss!)

In the middle of August, I quit my job of nearly 7 years to relocate to San Francisco.  It was probably one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made, because the job was more than just, well, a job.  I was doing what I loved to do under some challenging circumstances, but the point is that it was comfortable.  My parents lived 10 minutes down the road, I had friends all around, I was a newlywed, and life was good. Yes, there were moments of severe panic in the six weeks it took to finish things up at work, pack up our first home (and by home I mean two-bedroom rental) and begin the job search in a less-than-thriving economy.  Oh, there were moments. But slowly I began to realize that people - our parents, family and friends - were far more concerned about this change than we were, and all for good reason.  We were the ones making this conscious choice to leap in to the (unemployed) unknown.  We were the ones who had to make it happen for ourselves.  I was determined to turn all of that worrying energy in to positive energy. Afterall, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

I’m writing this blog post while I sit in a bustling coffee shop on Chestnut Street.  All around me, there are business meetings taking place, freelancers doing “office” work, mommies (and some very pregnant mommies-to-be), and other people.  Ordinary people doing ordinary people things… like grabbing a mid-day cappuccino, catching up with friends and brainstorming big ideas.  The point is, I love this city life, and didn’t realize how much it makes my heart sing until I moved right on in and became one of these people.  After this, I’ll join two of my college friends for happy hour in celebration of it being Tuesday.  Because that’s what ordinary people do… they get together on a random Tuesday to celebrate life in between all the big stuff.

November is one of my favorite months of the year... so aside from my little blog, I think, pray and hope that other, bigger changes are ahead.  Changes that come in the form of employment. :)  For now, I'm enjoying this life and trying to relish in every minute of unemployed bliss.  I know that one day soon I'll regret all the fear, worry and anxiety that could so easily overcome me if I let it, so I'm doing my best to rise above it.   If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it.  Go out and get busy. -Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Am Yisrael Chai

"Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world." -Talmud
In the wee hours of this morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom and before I snuck back in to bed, I couldn't help but open up my laptop to get an update on Gilad Shalit's homecoming.  Before we fell asleep, we were just moments away from receiving confirmation that Gilad was reunited with his family.  It was the most incredible feeling to go to bed not knowing what kind of news we would wake up to, but knowing in my heart that thousands of miles away in the Middle East, some sort of miracle was happening.
You see, I had heard and read it all.  Gilad was tortured.  Gilad was starved.  Gilad was brutally, verbally abused.  Gilad hadn't seen the sun in over five years.  Nobody knew what state he would be in physically, emotionally and mentally, when he crossed the border on to Israeli soil after so much time in captivity.  As the anticipation built after the news that he was to return home, so did the skepticism.  But he had become like a son to an entire nation who so desperately wanted to live to witness the end of his plight, and today history was made.

Welcome home, Gilad.  May you live a long, happy and healthy future...

image via 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Take Me to My City By the Bay

Courage is not the absense of fear.  But rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. -Redmoon
For the last 11 months, this poster has hung on on our living room wall. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the front door but when people asked us the significance, we really had no answer. We love San Francisco. It's the first place we went on vacation together, when we had only been dating for 2 months and Todd told me he was joining me for one night of my birthday trip up there. It was a whirlwind trip and I'll always remember it.
Fast forward a year, and we have made the decision to uproot ourselves to that big, beautiful city by the bay. We're leaving our jobs, our parents and so, so many comforts behind... but you know what? I'm excited. I am ready. I am fueled by a sense of adventure that I haven't felt in seven years since I moved to London for a short while. It feels like it's been a lifetime since I started this job over six years ago, and to say I'm ready to move on is an understatement.
In six years, I have...
-been promoted twice
-traveled to Charlotte, New York, and Washington, DC to expand our programs, meet charities around the country and take a stand on Capitol Hill
-watched staff come, and watched staff go
-met a boyfriend-turned-fiance-turned-husband
-become a wife
-watched those around me suffer incurable diseases
-had a couple of surgeries
-gossiped my fair-share
-been let down, been praised, been let down again
-watched people change, for better or worse
-worked my butt off
-cried my fair share of tears
-laughed uncontrollably
-been driven crazy by petty work drama, unfaithful coworkers and difficult personalities
-(dreamed of starting my own business because of all those things)
-traveled on private jets, attended 5-star charity galas, been treated to countless fancy meals and met some dynamic celebrities, political people and nonprofit leaders
-wished i had a magic wand to cure family and friends from life's curveballs
-experienced sheer joy, happiness, sadness, frustration, love, disappointment, confusion and contentment...
So here's to new adventures. Here's to giving up the big 2-bedroom apartment for a smaller and pricier home. To living in a city that's full of life and love and beautiful things.  To new restaurants, new bars, new streets and new faces.  To new jobs, taller buildings and bigger parks. We are so ready and so excited... the best is yet to come!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Faves

Do you know what happens when the men in our lives get sucked in to watching documentaries about cleanses, products, diets and electronics that can change your life?  We usually go out a day later and buy said products, usually after pinky swearing we'd never be asked to buy another kitchen electronic from now until forever.
We started the Reboot cleanse to basically get rid of all the crap in our bodies.  And oh, it worked (see last post).  On night #1, we attempted to "juice" using our blender which ended up in a chunky, tasteless mess of kale, spinach and other leafy things.  We were basically eating the juice instead of drinking it, so I immediately got online to see about making a proper juicer purchase!  I figured we're already one foot in, and if we're going to do the cleanse... we're gonna do it right.
Which brings me to my next installment of Friday Faves...
I caved and bought this time sucker of an appliance after reading so many rave reviews.  At only $99, this thing has a 700 watt motor and spins the filter basket at 14,000 RPM!  Holy juice!  In less than 5 seconds, it can spit out 8 oz. of the freshest, most nutritious and best tasting juice you've ever had.  Spinach, kale, whole apples, carrots, celery, beets, bananas. The pulp that's left over is completely dry so you know you've squeezed out every last drop of juice.  We're obsessed, and if you don't watch out...we might be juicing your sushi pretty soon.

Milk + Honey
One of my favorite things to do is meet my BFFOUSBCA for coffee dates before work to catch up and chat with no distractions.  This morning was no exception! Tucked away in a little corner of The Camp in Costa Mesa is Milk + Honey, a cute little cafe that has the best of both worlds - delicious fresh food and a perfect atmosphere.  We love their open air patio filled with succulents and rustic furniture, and often sit on the comfy velvet couch with our lattes and acai bowls (SO delish) soaking up the precious early morning time before hitting the office.  If you're a newbie there, try the lavender latte - you won't be disappointed!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Faves

This goofy guy:

joshua tree, november 2011

I was hit with the plague at 1:30am on Thursday morning, and puked 9 times before Todd took me to the emergency room for some serious drugs and fluids. It was an awful case of food poisoning, or at least that's all we can chalk it up to. He paid the emergency room co-pay and made me laugh, calling me an expensive date. He stood by my bedside (literally, almost on top of me) with bloodshot tired eyes and even held the bin while I tossed my cookies just one more time to show the doctors and nurses I meant business. He played hooky to stay home and sleep with me, and even kept the TV noise to a minimum :)
In sickness and in health, baby! This guy wins the Friday Faves award from now until forever...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Faves

Do you ever search high and low, over-analyze, consult 12 people with 13 opinions, lose sleep over something... and then realize the answer you're looking for has been right in front of you the whole time?

That's a BIG, DRAMATIC way of saying this: as I sat here thinking about this week's Friday Faves, I took a look at my desk here at the office and realized that two of my current faves are, literally, right in front of me. I didn't exactly lose sleep over this one, but it does make me realize that there are oh-so-many little tiny treasures right before our eyes that are easy to overlook. Without further ado...

1.  MyPublisher
our pretty lil' wedding album
I've recently become obsessed with creating things.  Photo albums, montage videos, online surveys, you name it.  I brought our wedding album in to the office this morning to show a co-worker because I love, love, LOVE the program I used to create it.  I shared the website with her, along with lots of coupons, and she's currently working away on a pretty little album for herself.  If you want to create a beautiful and unique photo album that will last for many, many years... MyPublisher is it!  And it's SO easy. :)

2.  Iced Coffee
bad phone shot :)
It's no secret that I love my iced coffee.  But ever since I started making my own coffee at home (domesticity at its finest), going out to buy coffee has become so much more of a "treat" than an everyday ritual.  I love it that much more now that I don't do it often.  I'll never tire of the coffee shop vibe and it always puts that extra bounce in my step in the mornings.  Hey, it's the little things...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Faves

I've gotta make this one quick thanks to a crazy day of meetings ahead, but I have one thing to say...

I always passed it off as something that snobby lil' yuppies do.  Get a weekly delivery of organic fruits and vegetables that could have been purchased in the store for half the price, just to say they do it. 

Boy was I wrong.

My best friend, one of the most creative gift-givers I know, gave me a 3-week supply of CSA delivery from Tanaka Farms for my birthday.  Not only do I get a beautiful box of organic produce like kale, corn, cucumbers, amazing strawberries, perfect tomatoes and so much more... I am supporting a local farm, eating and cooking healthier, AND seeing my best friend (the deliverer) every Tuesday :)

I love that it forces us to cook things that we wouldn't normally cook, and find recipes to accommodate all the crazy things in the box! The freshness is unmatched, the price is way more reasonable than I thought, and aren't the colors pretty?!

Plus, you're totally supporting a movement.  How cool is that?!

Monday, July 11, 2011

This Very Instant

In the challenges, the big scary decisions, the life transitions that feel like they will swallow you, the fear, the worry, the times when you feel pulled completely out of your comfort zone, the times when you feel so overwhelmed because you don’t have all the perfect pretty answers, the times when you fall flat on your face and the times when you just don’t know what to do next… these are the times of our lives. These are the times that stretch us to become greater than we imagine ourselves to be. These are the times that, if you let yourself take a deep breath (let yourself), you know you were meant for something greater. These are the moments we will someday be most thankful for because they cracked us wide open and made us take things to the next level. These are the pivotal moments when we are faced with a choice: stay stuck or dive in. Perhaps this very instant is your time. I think it’s time for a few cannonballs, friends! Dive in. - Lara Casey via

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Faves

In an effort to blog more and be somewhat consistent about what I write (you just never know what you're gonna find here, do you?) I've decided to come up with a little series called Friday Faves where I'll discuss what I'm loving at the moment. Okay, it's actually just because I love alliteration.

1.  Trader Joe's Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers
Holy gorgonzola batman!  These Trader Joe's crackers are ridiculously tasty - the Veuve Clicquot of Cheez-its, I'd say!  They're flavorful and fulfilling and the best part is, the serving size is so big that you can nibble on them almost guilt free :)

2.  Mahjong!
My mom has played mahjong for years and I resisted learning like it was the plague.  I'm not really a board game fan and I certainly don't have the patience that 60-year old women do :)  And then... my sweet friend Laura volunteered to teach some of us how to play, and now I can't get enough!  Sometimes we get together for the girls to play "maj" and the guys to play poker, and we have SO much fun.  Winning 50 cents never felt so good, it's challenging and intense, and the best part is these awesome glittery purple tiles we get to play with :)  Pretty soon we'll be sending our parents out to dinner on a Saturday night and staying in to play like old folks until they get home at 11pm.  Oh wait, that already happened.

DonorsChoose is probably one of the raddest charities I've ever come to know.  It all happens online, connecting the donor to a classroom in need, anywhere in the country.  You have a passion for dissecting frogs?  Great, find a classroom in Bismarck, North Dakota that needs dissection kits.  You like art?  Find a charity in Boston that needs paint trays and blank canvases.  The charity does a great job of making the donor feel impactful, and you'll always get a thank you note from the children which is adorable.  I gave my dad a $50 gift card for Father's Day so he could pick out his own project to support, and my company matched the gift 100%.  That's $100 toward a classroom in need and my dad gets to support a cause he's passionate about.  Win win, I say!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Baby You're a Firework

Fourth of July has always been a special holiday 'round these parts.  For one thing, my mom celebrates her birthday on the 3rd and mine is on the 4th, so it's always been about family, friends and freedom. As a kid, it meant riding on the back of my dad's bike or decorating my own for the neighborhood bike parade.  It meant birthday parties at the pool or beach with puffy-painted party favors and ice cream cake. And now, I love what the holiday itself stands for, but more than that, I love how it epitomizes summer: long, sunny days, sangria pitchers, dining al fresco, watermelon mojitos, delicious fruit, happy tunes, and quality time with the ones you love.

This past 3-day weekend was no exception.  We invited the family over for a "3rd of July" barbecue to celebrate my mom's birthday, and a whole bunch of friends over for a "4th of July" barbecue to celebrate mine.  And America's.  :) 

the hubby and the mama-in-law

red, white and blue fruit kebabs :)

red, white and blue cupcakes (the blueberries help disguise them as "healthy")

so many beautiful friends came out to play!

amy, queen of caesar salad and PB chocolate chip cookies!

baby, you're a firework :)

finished off the holiday weekend with a visit to meet mr. justin ginsburg!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Big Changes Create BIG Results

There's been something BIG on my mind lately... something life changing, scary, exciting...something that has consumed my thoughts to the point of no return.  What if this, what if that, what if, what if, what if...
I don't get too personal on the blog these days but I guarantee you'll be hearing about it if and when it happens. 
In the mean time, I've been coming across so much reading material (blogs, quotes, excerpts from books) that have me convinced I'm not alone in my neuroses.  I don't know exactly what my future holds but I'm beginning to make a more conscious effort to be happy, to find joy in the every day, and to put in valiant effort towards "life," foregoing the constant and consuming worry.
I came across an excerpt from Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert... one of my all-time favorite authors.  The book is next on my reading list but in the mean time, she's certainly whet my appetite with this one:

"The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice…Equally disquieting are the times when we do make a choice, only to later feel as though we have murdered some other aspect of our being by settling on one single concrete decision. By choosing Door Number Three, we fear we have killed off a different but equally critical piece of our soul that could have only been made manifest by walking through Door Number One or Door Number Two… All these choices and all this longing can create a weird kind of haunting in our lives, as though the ghosts of all our other, unchosen, possibilities linger forever in a shadow world around us, continuously asking “Are you certain this is what you really wanted?"

Friday, June 10, 2011

What's in a name?

Buzzwords in the news this week have included funny things like Weinergate, Weiner Scandal, Weiner Sexting.  The media is surely getting a kick out of it all and coming up with every possible use of the word "Weiner," it seems.

But locally, I've been keeping my eye on the growing list of Orange County charities whose nonprofit status has been revoked this week, and I can't help but laugh like a 5 year old here too (In 2007, laws changed regarding filing a charitie's financial reports, and over 275,000 charities nationwide have failed to comply). 

Let me preface this by saying I am VERY passionate about the nonprofit sector and the success of nonprofits that do good work.  I think you all know this.  This issue is by no means laughable, but I get a kick out of the causes that are supported by our community (welp, not after Thursday...)

Behold, my top 10 list in no particular order:

10. Sled Riders Motorcycle Club (so do you ride sleds or motorcycles?)
9. Your Favorite Charity (the power of using positive psychology at its best!)
8. American Darts Organization (guess they missed the bullseye!)
7. Hoi Ai Huu Bentre Kienhoa (something tells me that if the IRS doesn't understand your name, they might not like you...)
6. Irvine Rose Parade Float (really? you need 501 (c)(3) status for this?)
5. Orange County Chincilla Club (there's a pot for every lid, i guess...)
4. Knee and Laser Institute (is that all?)
3. Not One Square Inch (of what?)
2. Triple X Fraternity Orange County (dirty bastards)
1. Orange County Federation of Lesbian (just one?)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend : 2011

There aren't many things I love more than snuggling up on the couch in Lake Arrowhead, glass of wine in hand, episode after episode of Glee/Criminal Minds/Food Network shows on the tube, and staring up at this view:

Friday, May 6, 2011


Things I Am Doing This Weekend:
1. Exercising (too many office lunches this week)
2. Drinking a cocktail or two (to balance out the exercising)
3. Celebrating two wonderful mothers in my life (where would we be without them?)
4. Celebrating my father-in-law's birthday (i adore him)
5. Thinking, over-thinking, and thinking some more about my (our) next steps in life (lately it seems like all i do)
6. Planning something fun (a camping trip, a summer party, a themed dinner...anything!)
7. Snuggling (with my main squeeze.  literally.  i squeeze him so hard that i occasionally hear a pop.)
8. Drinking my favorite coffee (waking up san diego since 1968)
9. Soaking up the sunshine (or any fresh air for that matter)
10. Giving the apartment a scrub-down (love me some clean sheets, sparkly floors and toothpaste-gooey-free-countertops)

Things I Am Not Doing This Weekend:
1. Working (enough said)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trying to Make Sense of the Non-Sensical

Call me naive, but in our country's jubilant reactions to the announcement of Osama Bin Laden's death, are we not made more and more evil like the hatred we've fought so hard to eliminate?  I believe in justice, and I believe that this atrocious leader was brought to justice.  But parties, riots and dancing in the streets?  This isn't the end of terror and it most certainly isn't the end of bigotry in our world.  Let's focus our energy on the servicemen and women who responded to the call of duty, and recall this timeless and most appropriate commentary for Martin Luther King, Jr:
I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate, adding deeper darkness to a night that is already void of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. -MLK

Friday, April 22, 2011

Passover on Piedmont

A few weeks ago as I stood over a pot of chopped parsley and Carciofi at a Passover cooking class, a crazy little idea popped in to my mind. "I can do this," I thought. "I can totally do this."  I ran over to my mom and begged for her help to make it happen.  I texted my mother-in-law to tell her the news.
Fast forward three weeks and here we are hosting the very first annual Double T Degnan Passover Seder! Yes, I just crowned it that. I hope that doesn't commit us to a lifelong tradition of hosting seders, but I think I could do it again as long as there are no more oven fires, no more lost potatoes in the bottom of the oven and no more burnt macaroons!

It was a night to remember and a fun first milestone for us and our itty bitty kitchen:
Adding charoset to the seder plate...

Our awesome table!

When your family lives 10 bajillion miles away, you celebrate Passover together via Skype...

Where the magic happens

Happy in-laws!

KFP birthday cake for Amy

Elijah's Cup

Our friends and family spoiled us with beautiful flowers everywhere!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brand New Day

sunrise from my london apartment, 2004

some kind of magic
happens late at night
when the moon smiles down on me
and bathes me in its light 
i fell asleep beneath you
in the tall blades of grass
when i woke the world was new
i never had to ask
it's a brand new day
the sun is shining... -joshua radin

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I believe.

Today, I believe in this:

I truly believe that love is what makes the world go 'round.  Love for your family, love for your friends, love for your hobbies, love for your past and love for your future.  I believe in destiny, but it doesn't mean you should cease control of your own path.  I believe in children and cheesy motivational quotes, because both have the power to inspire change.  I do believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls, and in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.  I believe that homemade is better than store-bought anything.  I believe in being kind to strangers (for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle...)  I believe that life is big.  Scratch that.  Life is huge, and we are so, so small.  I believe that bad things happen to good people for reasons we will never know.  I believe in the power of prayer, if for nothing else than to clear our minds and focus our energies on what truly matters.  I believe that blogging has changed our whole world by connecting people who would have never found each other otherwise.  I believe that if you love someone, you should hurry up and show it (A six year old said that.)  I believe that the best place on earth can be anywhere at any time.  In a tent, in a stadium, in Rome, or in the arms of your other half.  I believe that we should fill each day with all the joy our hearts can muster.  I believe in celebrating the simplest of things.  I believe in soy lattes, spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen, and the five love languages.   

I believe in so. many. things.  What do you believe in? 

Friday, April 1, 2011

I Haz Bro-in-Law

me:  raaar
i'm staring at a blog that needs updating
i'm in a write-sy mood
whattttttttt should i write about
Jamie:  probably me
and how awesome i am
write about this weekend, going to do the 5k
and hang with the people
i'm thinking pool party saturday afternoon! yea?
write about that until 1942, we would say the pledge of allegiance while pointing at the flag nazi style
(they stole it from us)
but we totally borrowed the idea from the Romans

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


honeymooning in capri
Be the kind of person you want to be around.
Protect the names of others in the same way you would hope that they would protect your own.
Choose only to participate in conversation that uplifts, edifies and makes the world a better place.
Consciously turn down the volume on negative influences in your life. STOP WILLINGLY GIVING THEM POWER OVER YOU.
Focus on ways you can contribute to the wold in lasting and meaningful ways.
Concentrate on your unique gifts and talents and how you can use them to make real waves for good.
Forgive with your whole heart, even as you would seek forgiveness for your own mistakes. You need never be poisoned by the feelings of hate and revenge that come from an unforgiving heart and mind.
Love. Love yourself. Love others. Completely and without ulterior motive, fear or judgment.

Natalie Norton

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

182 Days

Last night, as I do on most nights once dinner is done, dishes are washed, and lunch is packed, I sat down at the computer to unwind.  I usually catch up on some blogs, read the news, browse Facebook and then put away the computer.  But last night, I sat down for a good 2-hour chunk of time and simply could not rip myself away from one particular website.

I've always known cancer as part of my life.  My godmother died of cancer, my favorite cousin died of cancer, my little best friend Liat died of cancer, my sweet mother-in-law had cancer before I knew her.  Cancer, cancer, cancer.  It's evil and it sucks and it changes you and everyone around you.  It takes you on a tumultuous, unkown path and it rages like a war inside your body.  And, I would imagine, if you were given 182 days to live out your "bucket list" before you lost your battle against it, you'd change the way you were living your life too.

Before she had her 182-days-left-to-live timeline set for her, Crystal Marston wrote the letter below.  I strongly encourage you to get sucked in by her website as I did.  She is living the life that every single one of us should be living, cancer or not.  She's making time for things like holding newborn babies and learning to make espresso art, surprising an old friend and having a proper tea party.  You'll come out a different person after knowing her (albeit virtually), maybe just for one day or maybe forever...

When people talk about cancer, they talk about winning.  They talk about beating it.  I imagine myself in a runners lunge, at the starting line with my left foot pressed hard against the block and my fingertips in red dirt.  I imagine my heart racing as I glance to my right to size up my opponent, and gulping as I wait for the doctor to pull the trigger on the pistol to begin the race against time.  The problem is, I can’t see my opponent.  I can’t size up what I am against, or train or practice for better odds.  I don’t know if this is a win or lose situation.
 I turn to medicine.  I turn to doctors who I trustingly allow to poison me in order to make me well again.  I check my hair, my eyelashes, my fingernails.  Every day.  I feel my organs inside of me wishing they could jump ship.  I felt better before I knew I had cancer, when my body was riddled with it.  And now I’m trading problem for problem, spade for spade.
I try to live my life to the fullest, even before cancer (I have people who will vouch for this).  I’ve been called an inspiration.  I’ve been called irresponsible.  Sometimes my fullest is too full for other who feel I’m reckless with my health.  The judgment of those who feel I should be more respectful of the disease that could be killing me slowly.  I have no respect for my cancer, and I refuse to.
These medications have made me lose my mind.  I try to view my memory loss as endearing, although I know it becomes irritating.  I get frustrated with myself on a minute by minute basis, wondering if I’m even the same person anymore.  But I can’t remember.
I will not be humbled by this experience, I do not feel small.  I feel huge and loud and lucky to have the life I’ve had.  And you, the people in it.  In my quiet moments I silently ask questions to no one in particular, and know there are no answers.
I will go to my grave as if I were stepping on a soapbox.  It will not be a loss, because there was never any winning.  In life it’s only a “thanks for playing.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Once you go Mac...

In just 24 hours, the Apple stork will deliver this little baby to my doorstep:
The all-new Macbook Pro
I'm so excited to join the 21st century!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tastes Orangey

I came across artist Clare Elsaesser on A Cup of Jo yesterday and I'm very much in love!  Her collection, Tastes Orangey, incorporates both original paintings and sewn prints and just feels oh-so-homey.  The image below is one of my favorites and I might be snatching it up very soon. It reminds me so much of my bedroom, my pillows, my perfect duvet, and my favorite time of day :) All of Clare's prints are printed on matte paper, which is sewn with thread onto a piece of textured watercolor paper giving the print a substantial feel.  I see an eclectic wall collage in my future!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Save the Drama for your Mama

Here at work, things have gotten out of hand in the gossip department. While I can't go in too much detail because I have no idea who reads my blog, let's leave it at this:

It's toxic. It's hurtful. It's unproductive, and it sure as heck doesn't help anyone. I'm trying to make it stop, one quarter at a time... so I built this funny contraption:

It reads, "Conversation is an exercise of the mind. Gossip is merely an exercise of the tongue." -unknown

For every malicious story, thought, rant or rumor that is said in my office, a quarter will get deposited in to my gossip jar by whoever started it - myself included (as hard as I try, I'm guilty at times...we all are. Let's be honest with ourselves!)

Once the bank is filled to the brim, money will be donated to a charity of my choice. And we'll eliminate gossip slowly but surely, and the world will be solved of all its problems...
Here's hoping.


If you're like me, you find inspiration all over the interwebs - blogs, facebook, etsy, online stores, and so on...
If you're like me, you have 570 emails to yourself with links, quotes, and photos you like so that you never, never lose sight of the things you come across.
I'm constantly doing inbox searches for things I emailed to myself years ago and find myself googling the funniest things to try and remember where they originally came from.

And one day, along came Pinterest: a place to catalog the things you love.

I LOVE this site for so many reasons. It serves as a virtual pinboard of sorts, a little corner to call your own where you pull together all the things you find interesting, meaningful, purchase-worthy, cute, funny, etcetera etcetera etcetera. You can also "follow" collections by people who you might think have great taste.

I absolutely fell in love with one particular board last night that belongs to someone I get so much inspiration from in general. I love her mish-mosh of clothing, design, motivating words and beautiful photographs.

The website is still in private beta, so you have to request an invitation... but I guarantee you, it'll be worth the wait.

Happy pinning!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Perfect Imperfections

I am a published writer, folks! Haha - not quite, but I am so thrilled to have a little story about our wedding day featured on The Wedding Yentas. Check it out and leave love over there; those ladies deserve it!

(One day you'll stop hearing about our wedding, but not today...)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things I'll Do, Things I Won't

Have you discovered the gem that is "To My Wife"? He's adorable, and sorry ladies, he's not even looking right now...

On the subject of Gchat:
All day everyday. Possibly even when we’re in the same room. Possibly…

Thursday, January 27, 2011

30-Day Blog Challenge: Day 4th through WHATEVER!

My sister texted to honor me with BLOGGER OF THE YEAR award for being so horrible at my 30-day challenge. It's not that I couldn't do it; it's just that I would get disheartened to know that no one was reading my literary masterpieces. So to that I say, who cares...let's get back to business here! We have so much catching up to do:

Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend:

It goes without saying that our wedding day was by far my favorite day in life. But this girl? She made it truly THE BEST. Here we are at the end of the night - me in my bathrobe (and pearls, thankyouverymuch), her in pajamas, partying til the very end. Nicci, you complete me.

Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago:

Swinging on a rope in Puerto Vallarta (November, 2008)

Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet:

Be still, my heart.

Day 7 – Your dream wedding: This one

Day 8 – A song to match your mood: Anything off this album. Seriously digging it right now. If you want a free copy, I'm handing them out like candy! And guess what? It's not even released yet!

Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased:

A soda from Boudin SF. Thrilling, eh?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

30-Day Blog Challenge: Day THREE

Your idea of the perfect first date:

Sparks flying? Magic in the air? Butterflies? Sure, all of that is great... but honestly, a perfect first date to me just means good conversation and good chemistry. It doesn't matter if you're walking on the beach or walking in a grocery store; if you're having fun and laughing and getting good vibes, that's as perfect as a first date can be.

Monday, January 17, 2011

30-Day Blog Challenge: Day TWO

A photo of something you ate today:

a favorite healthy snack of mine, a la Trader Joe's