101 in 1001












rather than making vague, well-intended new year’s resolutions i’ve decided to do that 101 things in 1001 days challenge. i’ve started (but never completed) this challenge in the past but i’m excited to try again.

the criteria for the 101 things is that the must be specific with a result that is measurable or clearly defined. they should also be things that require a some effort or work on my part. some of the things my list may seem super simple but hopefully they’ll kick off good habits that will stay with me longer than the 1001 days.

also i don’t want to jinx things for 2016 because well, we’re only 7 days in, but so far i haven’t hated it.

for my heart

1. reconnect with my favorite high school teacher
2. reconnect with a friend from cardiff/london ysa
3. journal every day for 2 months
4. create a vision board
5. work/collab/do SOMETHING with chloe
6. attend the ballet
7. finish drawing of denham green garden
8. have a painting done of harlow

for my soul

9. attend the temple every week for 8 weeks
10. complete 10 days of truth
11. commit 50 scriptures to memory
12. subscribe to ensign magazine
13. read reread all general conference talks from the last three years
14. read scriptures every day for at least 30 days

for my mind

15. learn to play one song on the piano
16. read 50 new books
17. answer the 50 questions that will free your mind
18. complete the 52 lists
19. take a photography class
20. take an online class
21. take some kind of art class
22. use duolingo every day for at least one month

for those i love

23. mail a care package to my mom, brother and sister
24. send my grandmother flowers for no reason
25. make chat books for my nanny kids
26. bake a birthday cake for someone
27. get harlow’s shots each year (2016, 2017, 2018)
28. make macarons for someone
29. get harlow’s teeth cleaned
30. make a music playlist for someone

for my blog

31. design (or have designed) a blog logo
23. reach 100k followers on pinterest
33. create a weekly blog series and stick to it for at least 4 months
34. meet 10 blogger friends (that i haven’t already met)
35. interview 6 people for a blog series
36. get business cards for my blog
37. complete a 30 day photo challenge
38. hit 2k followers on twitter
39. combine fb accounts and delete old one
40. take a blogger/social media workshop or conference
41. participate in 6 ‘Roid Weeks
42. blog four recipes

for fun

43. pay for the person behind me in a drive-thru
44. visit the ban.do party house
45. attend high school reunion
46. attend or organize some type of mission reunion
47. make a flower crown
48. build a sandcastle
49. go on a blind date
50. use up a roll of film and get photos printed
51. go to a sporting event
52. go to an outdoor movie
53. start and fill up a sketch book

for a simpler life

54. go one month without eating out
55. produce zero waste for two weeks
56. do 8 zero waste shopping trips
57. go two months without buying any beauty products
58. create a capsule wardrobe
59. unsubscribe from all junk emails
60. clear out and get rid of storage unit
61. go through/clear out items stored at my mom’s house
62. go one month without shopping

for my wandering heart

63. visit a state i’ve never been to
64. visit england and wales
65. visit portugal
66. visit new york
67. take a road trip with a friend
68. attend paris fashion week
69. spend a day at butterfly beach

for my health

70. get new health insurance
71. compile my own cookbook
72. do a raw diet for one month
73. go to the eye doctor
74. find (and go to) a doctor for a physical
75. run a mile without walking
76. lose (xx) pounds
77. do 20 push-ups every day for one month
78. give up soda for at least two weeks
79. floss every day for at least 30 days
80. go to the dentist
81. take a class at dash fitness
82. find a workout i love and stick to it for at least 3 months

for my wallet

83. pay off my car
84. reach (xxx) credit score

for my tastebuds

85. eat a lobster roll
86. go to magnolia bakery
87. make the perfect lavender mint tea latte
88. make perfect (to me) hummus

for my practical side

89. repair/replace laptop
90. buy a nice bed
91. find a place to rent that I love
92. switch car insurance
93. wake up at 6 am for at least two weeks

for a splurge

94. buy a nice watch
95. get my car detailed
96. get my eyebrows threaded
97. save up for a new handbag
98. get a pedicure
99. go to Disneyland
100. buy a pair of tieks
101. find my “signature scent”

if you’ve made it to the bottom then high five! have you done this challenge? will you? if you do link your blog or list in the comments because i’m nosy. happy 2016!

photo: milka_interiors

tiny victories













happy 2016!

while i do like sitting down and making resolutions it can sometimes make me feel like i’m beating myself over the head with “you didn’t do this”, “you should have done this”, “you should have done this”, “you should have done more of…” you get the picture. so before i sit down and make new goals i thought i’d try to think of some things that i’ve been doing that i want to continue. it’s a short list but it’s a good place to start.

i am sleeping better

i’m still trying with my family

harlow is alive and healthy and happy

i am getting better at asking for what i need and saying no to what i don’t

i’ve been spending more time praying and meditating

i’ve been working hard and going to therapy and i think it’s starting to pay off a little.

i hope you’ve had lots of little victories too!



first snow


“i wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? and then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'”  lewis carroll

if you know me at all then you know how much i dread winter. it’s too cold and too dark and as soon as the snow starts falling i feel trapped.

yesterday it snowed and snowed all day. and you know what? i didn’t hate it. i mean, don’t get me wrong, i didn’t love it but it was kind of pretty and refreshing. but more than that i think the lack of snow tears are a good sign for me personally. putting the effort into my emotional health has been work but i’m definitely in a different (better) place than i was even a year ago. so i’m giving snow a little credit for this reminder.

some things i’m looking forward to this winter:

alyson and her family coming to utah

sleeping under 10 lbs of bankets

sweaters! and scarves!

hot chocolate

seeing the lights at temple square

all of the good wintery smells


harlow (jk i look forward to her every single day)

chocolate dipped peppermint jojos

twinkle lights

what do you love about winter? i’m determined to try to love it.

beautiful photo by anne so of cachemire et soie

so long summer


this summer has been crazy. i moved then i moved again. i’ve driven back and forth across the western u.s. and have been bed-less for the last two months.

but i feel good. maybe the stress of moving has blocked out everything else, i don’t know, but i have been pretty happy. i don’t know if i feel like my “old” self but i feel like a new self… and i like it.

my heart is full. thank you for sticking around.

it’s okay!

i feel like a lot of what i see on facebook and twitter is pretty awful lately. maybe i’m being super sensitive but the final straw was the man being shamed for dancing. it was too much.

so here are some wonderful things that have happened:

 dave grohl stopped the show to fulfill a fan’s request.

i recently read that actor steve buscemi rejoined his old engine company to help search for survivors after 9/11.

maroon 5 lies down on the ground to help a 10 year old boy with downs syndrome.

an entire town secretly learned sign language to surprise a deaf neighbor (and yes this was for a samsung campaign but the effort and result were beautiful.)

this little piglet.

this exhibit allows blind people to touch the mona lisa.

a panda that needs a hug before he will get down from his tree.

and lastly, dancing man is being flown to la to dance his heart out.

thank you internet.

loving lately

i’m in the process of looking for a job and i the house i am renting is being sold. ugh. i don’t necessarily want to leave utah but i’m not set on staying either. california has been calling my name and also england. who knows. job first, though.

anyway here are some things i’ve been loving lately:

diptique’s vanille candle. it’s a warm vanilla scent and even when it’s not lit i can still smell it faintly.

my memory foam gel pillow… i don’t really know what it’s called but it’s wonderful.

making extra spicy vegetarian curry with roasted vegetables.

youtube makeup tutorials (i had no idea these existed??)

naps with harlow because sleeeep.

power watching friends on netflix of course.

re-reading the great divorce… one of my most loved c.s. lewis books.

what have you been loving lately?


the other night i came home from a barbeque at a neighbor’s house to find that my power was out. i walked in, flipped the switch, and nothing. 

it was literally my worst nightmare.

i mentioned before that i have nightmares on a pretty regular basis and they aren’t any fun to put it mildly. a lot of times they’re flashbacks about the assault and those are the worst but often i don’t remember what they were about – i just wake up panicked. one nightmare that i have repeatedly is about a light switch. sort of. in the nightmare i’m trying to get away from something. i don’t know what it is it’s just this vague, scary “thing”. so i’m running and i find a safe place to hide and i feel so relieved. i go in, close the door, and turn on the light. but when i flip the light switch instead of getting lighter the room gets darker. in that moment all i can feel is cold terror, a sinking feeling in my stomach and then panic. in the dream the more i try to turn on the lights the darker and scarier it gets. 

what does this have to do with anything? 

sometimes i feel like that’s how my life as been going since the assault. this awful thing was forced into my life and more than anything i wanted to get away from it, to move on and to feel better but nothing worked. it seems the harder i’ve tried, the worse i’ve felt. the first therapist i saw was the wrong therapist for me and i felt defeated. i confided in a church leader when i was in california and they unintentionally made me feel worse. i saw doctors who were unsympathetic and cold and i felt ashamed rather than helped. after telling one of my closest friends she stopped speaking to me and i felt worthless. i moved to utah to start over but living by myself has been scarier than i expected. nothing was getting better. the light that i so desperately wanted to go on seemed to only get dimmer no matter how hard i tried. but here is the tiniest, faintest silver lining – on good days i can look back now and see that those things and feelings were only temporary. i eventually found a therapist that i feel comfortable with and can trust. my bishop here has been patient and kind. i found a new doctor who showed concern and care and helped me feel safe. despite the one friend who didn’t want to or wasn’t able to be supportive i have many friends who have stuck with me no matter how crazy or boring or depressing i must seem sometimes. even living by myself as gotten a tiny bit easier. 

one of the things that i strongly believe is that this life is not all there is. i believe that there is something beyond this that we are striving for. that knowledge helps me understand that most things that happen in this life are only temporary. having said that it’s important to say that things don’t always FEEL temporary and that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that happen that aren’t extremely painful or scary or heartbreaking. there are hard days when i can’t imagine what life will be like on the other side of all of this pain and fear and doubt. there are nights when i am so tired and i feel like i will ever get a good night’s sleep again. i find myself wondering if i will ever sleep more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. gosh i hope so. there are moments when i think about the future and i’m completely overwhelmed by so many unanswered questions. 

but what gives me even the tiniest bit hope is that those moments and days have always, eventually, passed. the night my power was off was long, painful, and frustrating and involved a lot of crying and a lot of praying. it was awful and i hated every single minute of it. but eventually it ended. not to sound completely cheesy but the sun eventually came out and i was able to get a little sleep, take a walk and get back to work. clearly i don’t have this all figured out yet but i’m writing this as a reminder to myself. i, maybe more than anyone, need to remember that these things are temporary. i have a dear friend who waited ten years for an answer to a prayer and i’m sure that while she was living it those days and weeks and years felt endless. the thought of spending even one year feeling like i do now seems horrible let alone ten… but even ten years is vastly different than forever. 

so this is my reminder to me for the next hard day or hard week or sleepless night. it’s only temporary. 

photo by me – my first ever polaroid.

tiptoeing back

i logged back into my blog this morning for the first time in months. what a sad blog it’s turned into. that was never my intention. if i were a lot braver i’d tell you everything that happened. but i’m not. but today i will tell you happy things. i am sitting at a friends house in front of wide open windows with the nicest breeze blowing in. there are big green trees outside and the neighborhood looks so peaceful. you may have seen me mention on twitterthat i moved back to utah. through friends and blessings and a little serendipity i found a teeny, tiny house in salt lake. it’s just perfect for harlow and me. i’m not joking when i say it’s teeny. but the yard is big and there are two giant old trees and well, it just feels right and good. my friend billie and her family have been so generously letting harlow and i live in her basement while we wait for the house to be ready. harlow loves having a 2 year old to play with. i like it too. i’m going back to california this weekend for a few days with the johnson family. they’ve been the biggest support and strength to me while i’ve struggled through this last year. i cannot wait to see them. and shaylyn and her husband are back in town for a few weeks and i’m loving every second i get to spend with them. i can’t wait to get settled into salt lake and into my new home. and i can’t wait to share photos with you. i hope i can create a beautiful home on very little budget.