Archive | Holidays

Being 30 & Becoming 31

Image - Becoming 31 |

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”
(Max DePree)

Today is my 31st birthday! When I think about being 30, I can’t help but feel proud. Every age is significant, but last year covered a lot of ground, both physically through travel and emotionally through big, life-changing decisions.

In terms of travel, 30 began with a trip to LA and Napa to celebrate the start of a new decade. It was our first trip to LA and we had a great time before heading up north to one of my favorite places on earth. My grandparents have lived in Napa (St. Helena, specifically) for years and back when I lived in San Francisco I would drive 75 miles every weekend to visit them. Their place in St. Helena is nothing short of magical and spending time with them makes me feel so loved. As a special treat, we sprung for a limo one day to go wine tasting, which was a highlight for everyone involved!

A few weeks after Napa, I traveled to Las Vegas for a best friend’s bachelorette party. Vegas isn’t for everyone, but I went to college in Sin City and happen to feel very at home amongst the glitz and gambling. I had a blast, and more importantly, my bestie got to spend a few days with all her favorite gals in celebration of her final days of singledom.

In May, my Mister and I spent all but one week out of town… visiting with friends & family and working in Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Ohio. We stayed put in June, then went back to North Carolina for 4th of July weekend at my dad’s lake house. In August, one of my close friends came to visit us in Austin, then we went to celebrate my husband’s birthday in Pensacola, Florida with one of his oldest friends. I also went out to Arizona for Happy Living (a health & wellness company that my father and I started in 2014)… and got the chance to spend time with my other grandparents while I was out there.

From the beginning of September to the middle of October, we were all around and back again. My Mister’s parents came to visit and we showed them all our favorite Austin spots. A few days later we took off for our 3rd trip to Europe. This time we stayed in London, Paris, Munich, and Amsterdam. The whole trip was wonderful, but we especially loved our time in Amsterdam. When we got back to Austin, we had a few days to unpack and reset before going to our friends’ wedding in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Their big day was magical and such a wonderful reminder of what it means to create, build, and share a life with the person you love most in the world.

Things slowed down the tiniest bit when we got back from that trip. We spent our first weekend home at the Austin City Limits musical festival (our 2nd one) and early on that Sunday morning I took a pregnancy test because I was feeling a little weird. We were shocked and elated when the test was positive… and spent the rest of the day listening to music in the hot Texas sun, asking each other, “Is this really happening?”

In the midst of my early pregnancy, we had the opportunity to take a trip to Australia (for work) and Fiji (for play). We had a week in Sydney and a few less days in Melbourne. I was sick for most of the trip with a really bad head cold and nothing tasted good. Aside from those minor issues, we had a wonderful time Down Under, especially in the beach towns and in Melbourne. Fiji was a total dream. Our resort (the InterContinental) was perfection, the weather was wonderful, and the days we spent lying around doing nothing were very restorative.

A week after we got home from Fiji, we made our way to Ohio for the holidays, stopped in Arizona for my grandparents’ 60th anniversary party, and made it back to Austin to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends. The time we spent with family over the holidays was made even sweeter because we were able share the news about my pregnancy in person!

2015 came swiftly to a close and had me thinking about the changes ahead. Becoming a mama is something that I have wanted and dreamed about since I was a little girl. For as long as I can remember, my aspirations were to become an Olympic swimmer and a mother. All the jobs I had growing up revolved around children and I even got my degree in Elementary Education because I love kids so much. I always thought I’d be a young mom and when that didn’t happen, my career became the focus. When my Mister and I started dating 8 years ago, our relationship, jobs and travel adventures were the main priorities.

So 2016 started with a fresh perspective. We decided it was best for us if I ended my full time work with Happy Living to spend my time and energy on our growing family. We bought our first home, just outside downtown, and have been busy settling in. My Mister’s mom came to visit a few weeks ago and we just got back from our babymoon in Hawaii.

I am so happy to be on the other side of 30. I never really gave turning 31 much thought until a few weeks ago. Now that my birthday is here, I am thrilled to celebrate where I’ve been and the life I have today. Becoming 31 means a lot to me and my wish is to have a happy, healthy and brave year. It is sure to be filled with trials, adventures, new experiences, and challenges, but I have a feeling it’s going to be the best yet!


Happy Valentine’s Day

image :: love letter

Your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind.
(Earl Nightingale)

image :: Day 92

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

love notes ♥

As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear friends! I hope you find time today to express your love — through your words, thoughts and actions.

Treat yourself to something special. Delight a friend, kiss your sweetie, surprise a stranger. Take time to reflect on all the love in your life. Nosh on chocolates, eat nothing but veggies. Go for a run, practice yoga, sleep in or take a long bubble bath.

Play on Pinterest, read your favorite blogs, listen to podcasts, pick up a new magazine. Wear lip gloss, paint a sparkly top coat on your nails, wear your coziest sweater. Write in your journal, watch a favorite movie, or do nothing at all.

Take this day to show yourself and the ones you love just how much you care.

Image Credits:
love letter / calligraphy poster / in my shop via
love notes ♥ via jessgrrrr
Day 92 | July 2 2008 | The things I love via Shereen M


Happy 2012!

image :: a whole new year

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day,
a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps
a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.
(J. B. Priestley)

Hello lovelies, I’ve missed you dearly! It’s hard to believe that I took almost a whole month away from blogging. I hope the past few weeks have been kind to you.

Although my break from blogging was unscheduled, it was exactly what I needed. The Mister and I had a chilly, but very fun trip to Ohio for Christmas, and a quiet party of two at home for New Year’s. It was truly the perfect ending to 2011.

Despite a few bumps and unscheduled breaks along the way, this past year was an excellent time for My heart is filled with love and gratitude for those of you who show up daily, drop in regularly, or stop by once to participate in my story. Thank you for being such a wonderful source of inspiration, accountability and friendship.

Top 5 Posts in 2011:
A Creative Weekend To-Do List
Half Marathon Playlist
Let’s Reverb
Welcoming Summer
Blogger’s To-Do List

Also, the site traffic and pageviews are up 70% from last year!

Speaking of highlights, I wanted to share my deep gratitude to those of you who participated in #reverb11. The project took many forms as individuals and smaller groups adapted it to their liking. For me, reflecting in my journal turned out being the best way to examine my year and establish intentions for 2012.

My focus for this is year simple: healthy living in mind, body and spirit.

Through the next few weeks, I will reveal my goals, reading list, and words of the year. I’ll also share my intentions for January, with weekly recaps on my main focus for the month: Whole Living Magazine’s 2012 Action Plan.

Thank you again for being such a sparkly part of my 2011. Here’s to great things to come!


Holiday Tunes

Sterne - Stars

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy,
is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
(Calvin Coolidge)

I love Christmas music. As soon as we were finished with our Thanksgiving leftovers, I started pulling together mixes and new stations on Pandora. There’s something about holiday tunes that gets me in the spirit and lifts my mood.

Three of the best holiday Pandora stations I’ve found include: Bing Crosby & Andrews SistersElla Fitzgerald, and Indie Holidays.

I’ve also made a playlist with a few of my favorites for this time of year. I’ll have this list playing in the background while finishing up our Christmas cards, wrapping gifts and baking cookies. All the links lead to iTunes, so head over and have a listen!

Linus & Lucy / Vince Guaraldi Trio
The Christmas Waltz / She & Him
Winter Song / Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
Sleigh Ride / Ella Fitzgerald
Jingle Bells / James Taylor
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! / Aaron Neville
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree / Brenda Lee
‘Zat You, Santa Claus? / Louis Armstrong
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas / Frank Sinatra
White Christmas / Bing Crosby
December / Norah Jones
Silent Night / Sarah Brightman
Holly Jolly Chirstmas / Michael Bublé

What are your favorite holiday songs, albums and/or Pandora stations? I would love for you to share in the comments below!

Image Credit: Sterne – Stars via Gertrud K


Happy Birthday, Mister!


If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to,
no one with which to share the beauty of the stars,
to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life?
It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning.
This is harmony.
We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.
(Mitsugi Saotome)


Happy 27th birthday, Mister!

This past year was an eventful journey. You encountered happiness and sorrow. You experienced joy and anger. You kept your sense of humor and displayed remarkable courage. I watched as you pursued your goals, slayed evil dragons, and unpacked boxes.

We spent our first Christmas together. Welcomed 2011 with a kiss. You cheered me on during my 1/2 marathon. You were accepted to business school. We moved into our first home. We spent days snuggled on the couch.

Your intelligence continues to impress me.
Your wit keeps me entertained.
Your quirks make me smile.
Your love pushes me to become a better person.

For some people, 27 is a blip on the radar. An insignificant stop between 25 and 30. I have a feeling this is going to be a banner year…

Here’s to your 27th.
Remarkable. Memorable.
Filled with health, happiness, success and love.

Image Credit: via We Heart It


Celebrating 26 with a Pinterest Party!

KaileenElise Pinterest Party

All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.
(George Harrison)

Hello my dear friends. I’m excited to share that today is my 26th birthday! To celebrate, I have curated some sparkly inspiration on Pinterest. I’m certain you will enjoy taking a peek.

Since today is a Tuesday, I have work and the usual routine on my to-do list. Since it’s my birthday, I have a fun sushi lunch date scheduled and a celebratory dinner with a few favorite people later tonight. After some well-earned birthday indulgence, I plan to open a few gifts, enjoy some bubbly and just relax!!

Thanks again to all of you who supported me on my half marathon adventure. Your sweet tweets, texts and phone calls have meant the world to me. Stop by tomorrow if you’re curious about the playlist that helped me stay motivated… I can’t wait to share it with you!


Image credit via Pinterest


Happy Birthday Mister!

balloons via weheartit
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.
(Steve Jobs

Hello my dear friends. I hope you’re starting off your week with sparkle, style and sass!

Today is my mister’s 26th birthday, so I’ve been a bit busy celebrating with him. I was so excited after wrapping his presents yesterday that I asked if he’d open them early—I’m not very good at keeping surprises a secret.

After work we went to a delicious dinner and caught up on life, work and future plans. To finish the evening, we spent some major time standing in line at the Apple store for a brand-new iPhone 4!

I simply adore my mister. He is a smart, strong and silly man who loves me just as I am. (Plus, he’s an amazing proof reader who catches my typos before they make it to you.)

It’s been a treat to shower him with love, gifts and extra kisses today. I hope we can always keep Steve’s words of wisdom in mind… Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

love bench weheartit

love in the grass weheartit

snuggle love weheartit

we are golden weheartit

image credit: via ~ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


Birthday Wishes

papaya bday card

The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.
(Oprah Winfrey)

Hello there happy friends. Today’s my 25th birthday and I can hardly believe it! This one feels significant, as if I’ve crossed an important threshold. A lot has happened since last March 29 and I’m excited to see what unfolds this year. I spent the last few days celebrating with a manipedi, hair appointment, solo shopping, and a fun night out with friends on Saturday. Sunday was relaxing and filled with love.

Today should be a wonderful workday, followed by dinner with my mister and quiet time at home. I’m planning some artist dates and journal writing sessions to help me set my intentions and inspiration for the year ahead. I wish to continue to nurture my dreams and live with intention. I wish to connect more with you, my inner artist and spiritual self. I wish to rock this year and make it the best one yet.

image credit: papaya art


Happy St. Patty’s Day!

4 leaf clover

Luck is believing you’re lucky.
(Tennessee Williams)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day my darling friends! This is just a quick note to remind you to hop on over to Kimberly Wilson’s blog Tranquility du Jour for my Signature Style Wednesday post. Today’s musings are all about being green, making your own luck and celebrating like the Irish!

I hope you have a fabulously green & completely lucky day. Thanks to for all the love and support in response to my post earlier this week. I appreciate our blog/tweet/webbie community more every day.

photo credit: saralagace via etsy


Good Karma Reminder

gift from steph

Sometimes you have to let go, to stake your claim.
Be still, to move forward. Give, to receive.
Cry, to feel the joy. Pretend, to make it real.
Fake it, before you make it.
And sometimes, oddly enough, you must first decide
to feel their love, to find it was there all along.
(Notes from the Universe)

Hello gorgeous souls. A reminder to those of you who are participating in my Good Karma Gift Swap, today is mail day! Please do your best to send all packages before the post office closes today.

Remember that your package should include 4 gifts—a treat that calms, something that comforts, a bit of celebration and a piece the promotes creativity. If you have any questions, send me an email or message on twitter.

I’ll be connecting with each of you this week via email to make sure everything goes smoothly. I’m so excited to see everyone’s blog posts about the good karma (and gifts) they receive. Thanks again for your participation. Happy swapping!

photo credit: moi – package from stephanie @ heart piercing life


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