Surfing as a Metaphor for Life

I often think of life metaphorically in terms of surfing.

It’s all about timing. When an opportunity is on the horizon, you feel it. You’re presented with choices, you use your best judgment and when the time is right, you go for it and it give it all you got. You fight and you push until you’re on top but you still don’t give up. You can’t succumb to forces that inevitably take you under, pummel your spirit and spit you out. You must recognize the positive power and be one with it. You take the risk, land on two feet and your there. You’re riding the wave. Then come the maneuvers and the obstacles and it can be challenging but you know you have the skills and the heart to hold on. Oh the joy. Oh the freedom. The beauty of the feat is that it draws you back for more to improve, to learn, to grow.

You’ve got to catch the wave to enjoy the ride. You’ve got to hold on to come out the other side.

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Detox Diet: A Pure Beginning

It’s bright. It’s fresh and tantalizing with possibilities abound. It’s a new year and it’s an opportunity.

As 2012 came to an end I spent the final weeks savoring every moment with friends, family and copious amounts of tamales and peppermint bark. Now that the holiday hustle is over,  I’m ready to celebrate the New Year with an earnest heart.

Well, as of the 8th of January 2013,  I resolve to evolve. I’m beginning my year with a healthy leap by taking this first week to concentrate on a dietary detox – An internal cleansing to revitalize and refocus on the pure and natural. To simplify.

Here are the parameters for the next 7 days:


**Whole Grains

**Refined Grains

I’ve done this cleanse a few times in the past and it has allowed me to refocus on a healthy, conscious lifestyle. To rediscover what real food really tastes like when it’s not altered and to set a foundation for the months ahead. Through the challenges of this detox I am given new perspectives on food and encouraged to be creative.

Other benefits that I have experienced:

  • Cleansing my internal ecosystem of pollution
  • Feeling energized and vibrant
  • Noticing my hair, skin and eyes look healthier
  • Helping my body eliminate toxins stored in its tissues
  • Stress relief
  • Mental clarity

I strive to maintain a clean and healthy diet but sometimes I feel like pizza, wings and beer is just the ticket or a Reuben sandwich on a rainy afternoon is divine. That’s okay with me as long as it only consists of a very small portion of my overall diet. To appreciate and enjoy raw, vegan and gluten free foods is just as important to me as understanding how nutrients from eggs and meat are good for me too. For me, it’s about balance and every year I get more knowledgeable and understanding of my own body’s needs, making me an increasingly happier and healthier person. It is certainly a journey and it’s different for everyone which is why I would encourage a detox of your choosing.

There are many detox diet plans that can be found online or at the library and I find it to be an interesting topic to research. Instead of buying a product or pledging to any one idea – I designed my detox to suit me and my goals. Typically, when detoxing, you should cut out caffeine entirely but I allow myself one cup of green tea in the morning for the antioxidants and to jump start my brain for work.   If you want to add a bit of highly refined sea salt or wild caught salmon, go for it. If you want to allow more then 1-2 tbls of olive oil per day but no legumes, that’s good too.

If you’re interested in to trying the detox above here are some notes and tips:

Detox Tips

The incredible machine that is our body has the means to naturally detoxify but with an increasingly polluted environment and the artificiality of the food industry, it can struggle to keep up. So taking a week, that’s your week to cleanse and renew, can get you ready to take on the new year in full stride.

Cheers to a happy and healthy you! If you have any questions please let me know!

*Disclaimer: I am not a health expert by any means.  I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or anything of the sort. Everything stated above is based on my own experience and may or may not work for you, too.

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Greater Goods: Holiday Gifts That Give Twice

This holiday season why not give the gift the gives again?

Cheese Board.

Arthur Court Grape Cheese Knife and Granite Board Set

$35.00 ($7.00 goes to a cause of your choice)

lunch set


The Green Lunch Set with Recycled Tote


Microwave and dishwasher safe, BPA free and made from a mix of recycled plastics. On average in contains 95% recycled material and up to 25% post-consumer content. I’ve owned this set for a bit short of a year and I absolutely love it!



Fresh Paper


One small biodegradable sheet of FreshPaper keeps an entire bag, carton, or fridge drawer of produce fresh for up to 2-4 times longer, organically! I discovered these from this TED Talk – an amazing story and fantastic product. Imagine the possibilities!

common threadz


Common Threadz apparel


With Each Awesome T-Shirt Or Other Item You Buy, They Will Give:
A School Uniform To An Orphan In Africa So They Can Go To School, Or Meals For 1 Month! I’ve purchased a dress and two t-shirts from them and they have been staples in the wardrobe since.

Sky Bracelet


Same Sky Bracelet


“SAME SKY is a jewelry company that provides employment to HIV-positive women in Africa struggling to lift themselves out of poverty. Empowered as artisans, they’re proudly rebuilding their lives. Each stunning bracelet represents one woman’s fight for survival and prosperity.” –

Star Bracelet

Super Star Charm Leather Bracelet

50% of proceeds go to Make a Wish Foundation, helping to give hope, strength, and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. –

maasi necklace


Leakey Necklaces


Gorgeous hand made by the Maasai women and men of Kenya from environmentally sustainable materials





With every pair you purchase TOMS will give a pair to a child in need. Shoes for men, women and children. I’ve worn out my pair that I loved to ruins and I’m excited to buy another!

Not For Sale


Not For Sale ring


“The Not for Sale store generates enterprise & employment to prevent human trafficking and create new futures for survivors. Every purchase you make is an action to end slavery — because no one should be for sale.” –

not for sale key

The Giving Keys 

Their “…mission is to provide jobs to the homeless of Hollywood. Each purchase furthers their transition out of homelessness and helps spread the word that No One Should Be For Sale.” –

Herb Planter

Herb Planters

“Made from recycled snack wrappers these  planters are sold by Ten Thousand Villages, the fair trade retailer that sells everything from items for the kitchen to clothing both online and in their retail stores across the country. Ten Thousand Villages was one of the founding members of the World Fair Trade Organization and seeks to help disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.” –


Clothing, Accessories and Home Goods from Red Earth Trading Company

“Red Earth Trading Co. aims to provide goods that are as life-changing as they are fashionable. All of its profits go toward the development work of local non-profits in East Africa, and purchasing items on the site directly benefits African artisans.” –



Buy One, Give One Blanket


“Blanket America sells quality blankets, comforters, sheet sets and other types of bedding, and in turn, the company makes a donation to Americans in need.” –



Stylish Ties from FIGS


“FIGS partners with local weavers and tailors around the world to make uniforms for school communities. Every purchase you make from FIGS gives a uniform to a child who needs an education.” –

baby clothes


Organic Baby Clothes from Baby Teresa


“Baby Teresa sells 100% organic cotton baby clothes and accessories. For every outfit Baby Teresa sells, the company gives an outfit to a child in need. Portions of accessory sales go toward purchasing formula for babies in orphanages.” –

silver bowl


SPIRAL Foundation Recycled Silver Bowl


“Handcrafted in Nepal by artisans in the remote mountain villages of Lapa, Tipling and Shertung. Amazingly, the bowl is actually made from discarded plastic wrappers that have been brought in from the streets of surrounding cities. Proceeds from the purchase of this bowl will be used to help fund primary healthcare and community education through Himalayan HealthCare.” –


A FEED Bear or other great gifts from FEED


feed bear

“FEED Projects has partnered with Teddy Share, a charitable teddy bear company, to create both the FEED 5; each bear will provide 5 treatments of Plumpy’Nut, a high nutrient paste, to 5  malnourished children.” –

roma boots


Roma Rain Boots


For every pair of Roma Boots sold, a new pair is also donated to a child in need.

NP Pass

Annual National Parks Pass 

Your purchase will help maintain the parks so everyone can get outside and experience the country’s natural areas.

Looking for more? For an excellent and more complete list, visit the Rage Against The Minivan Blog for their Gifts That Give Back: Occupy Christmas Link-Up

Believe in the choices you have with your spending power. Believe in the TRUE spirit of the Holidays.

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The Craft Fair Expirience

“Believing is doing and doing is getting it done.”

Last week I sold my jewelry at a craft show for the very first time!

It was a valuable experience that awarded me with great practice, some lessons learned and positive feedback. Plus I was thrilled to donate 15% of my sales to the Children’s Miracle Network!

Here, in short, was the series of events that lead up to my big day:

  • I signed up for the Craft Fair (5 weeks away) YAY!
  • I find out the next week that it has been bumped up two weeks – YIKES!
  • Weekend before the fair – Sickness ensues, I’m bed ridden and I give up on being able to get everything together for the fair.
  • Tuesday evening after work I’m feeling better but am overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. I call my amazing man and he gives me the most encouraging and motivating pep talk. I get off the phone with a huge smile on my face and dive into planning and prepping.
  • Wednesday –  after work my supply order arrives and I hunker down at my desk with a pot of Chai, a 6 hour playlist of TED talks and get to work until the wee hours of the morning.
  • Thursday – I work ALL NIGHT long beading, assembling, designing, brainstorming for the display and hand stamping the gift boxes. I did take a 4:30am coffee break 🙂
  • Friday – Show time! I thought up and rounded up the items for my display around 6:00am, got another cup of coffee, checked in at work and was set up at the fair by 7:45am

By the time my shop was set up, I had made my rounds greeting the other vendors and sat down at my table, I was beyond tired. I was in such a state of excitement and pride in my accomplishment that I just reveled in the moment.

The day pasted by quickly as I savored each conversation, each interaction with customer or passersby and appreciated how happy it made me to share my art, my craft.

The most pivotal take way from the event is focusing on believing is doing and doing is getting it done. It may sound silly and oversimplified but I needed to believe in myself. Believe that I could get it done no matter what it took. Once I got it in my head and I hit the ground running – there was no stopping me. My Dad taught me at a young age to never give up and I know how hard it would have been to let myself down by throwing in the towel.  I am so thankful for my guy for believing in me and picking my spirits up. He is such an inspiration to me as he runs his own business and always works as long and as hard as he needs to to get his work done without complaint. He’s amazing and I’m a lucky girl.

All of the pieces that were not sold and more will be up on my Etsy shop by the end of the week! 

Some late night/early morning delirious designs


Trying to keep my desk from looking like a bead explosion


Finishing touches


Beaded and Leather ID/Security Badge/Name Tag Lanyards


More leather lanyards and a few necklaces

me desk

Late night


A happy (and exhausted) Crafter!

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Listening To On Repeat

Florence + The Machine – Heavy In Your Arms

Absolutely love the beat and the emotion in her voice

Lennon and Maisy Stella – I Won’t Give Up cover

This one has been on repeat for over a month for me. Their voices are so pure and natural and their skillful harmonizing is astonishing.

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Fall Etsy Picks and Thrifty Tips

The Autumn wave has breached as the landscape transforms, tumbling into a metamorphosis  of renewal.

Fall is such a special and cozy time of year. Full of gorgeous colors, fresh after rain air, tea, apple cider, pumpkin everything, comfy clothes, soups, boots and time for rainy day projects. I always feel like I’m hunkering down after a wild summer to revisit progressive endeavors.

It’s also time to recover your cold weather clothes and prepare for the months ahead. I love dressing for fall weather because you can incorporate summer pieces with winter pieces and get creative with layering.  Here are some of my tips, tricks and picks for Autumn wear.

Photos I took in New Hampshire last fall

Tip #1: Clutter Cleansing

I was elated when I finally purged my closet of clothes that hadn’t been worn in a year or more. I took two large and over-stuffed boxes to our local Buffalo Exchange to sell. When sorting through my closet I made two piles: One to go straight to Goodwill (clothes that are out of season or not of current trend standards but still clean and in good wearable condition) and another pile to try to sell to Buffalo. The pieces I picked out for Buffalo had to meet certain standards of the store. These standards, as I understand them, are: current trends, in-season, unique vintage, classic staples and costume wear.  If you live in a climate that has inclement fall and winter months, you have an opportunity to create more space in your closet for bulky coats and warm clothes by packing away your warm weather clothes. This is something that I began doing as soon as I moved to Oregon from Southern California where 80 degree days are not uncommon in December.  The clearing and re-organizing of your closet is good practice with the change of seasons and change of times as it makes picking out your clothes each day less time consuming because all your seasonal wear is front and center. It is liberating to down-size, organize and simplify. I have found that my taste and style has changed considerably over the past two years. It was great to finally get my wardrobe up to speed with my evolving life.

Tip #2: Hit The Thrift Stores for Next Season’s Staples

Early to mid fall is a great time to visit your local thrift stores for winter essentials before they get picked over. Thrift stores can be absolute gold mines for gently used, sometimes high-end and fantastic quality finds. Now’s the time to look for boots, sweaters, coats, wool skirts, dresses and belts.

Some of my favorite boots are vintage from stores like Goodwill and St. Vincent De Paul. I usually look for genuine leather that has aged well and have a great broken in look but still have some miles left in them. I’m a fan of knee high boots and have had good luck in the past finding nice heeled dress boots that are great for work, especially when you can hide knee socks underneath for those chilly days in the office.

When I’m sifting through the sweater racks, I first scan for quality and condition of the fabric. This season I’m looking for classic cream cable knits, chunky over-sized sweaters and silk, cashmere blends. Next, I inspect the cut and fit. Sweaters can sometime feel unflattering and boxy, especially when the fabric is stretched or shrunken which can be typical when buying 2nd-hand. It’s always a good idea to try on the garment and check for any stains or smells.

Over at the coat rack is where you may find a real diamond in the rough. There’s nothing quite like finding a unique and quality vintage coat that fits you just right and that will keep you warm but still chic. Look for brand names and condition of the exterior, interior and closures. Keep in mind that a cute old wool coat could easily be revamped with a new set of buttons.

My go-to staples to wear in the fall and winter are wool skirts and dresses. I am most comfortable and feel best prepared for rain and snow on my way to and from work when I’m wearing a wool skirt or dress, thick tights, knee high waterproof boots and a coat. Wool naturally repels water and moisture and feels like your wearing a blanket as you sit on the job or at school. The tights and boots combo is always in-style but you also don’t have to worry about the cuffs of your pant legs getting soaked or the look and the wrinkly aftermath of stuffing your pants into your boots. My favorite wool skirts are from Ann Taylor Loft and Banana Republic and were all found at thrift stores.

Belts are always a cohesive accessory to tie an outfit together during any season but I’m always on the hunt for good quality leather belts during the fall and winter. They can look great at waist level over a sweater, a dress or a coat for more of a figure flattering look and you can also up-cycle them into boot accents, adding them as straps to a favorite found bag, cuff bracelets, headbands and more.

Tip #3: Search Etsy for that must have fall trend piece

Here are just three great fall trends that you can find on Etsy and second hand stores. I will post more of my Etsy picks in the weeks to come. Click the image to see larger and click the numbers below for links to the listing on Etsy. All items are below $35.00.

One ~ Two ~ Three ~ Four ~ Five ~ Six ~ Seven ~ Eight ~ NineTen ~ Eleven ~ Twelve ~ Thirteen 

One ~ Two ~ Three ~ Four ~ Five ~ Six ~ Seven ~ Eight

One ~ Two ~ Three ~ Four ~ Five ~ Six ~ Seven

What are your favorite Fall styles and trends? Would love to hear from you!



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