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Lately Around Here: Celebrations

Lately Around here

It’s been a while since I’ve given a personal update so here are a few things that have been happening lately!  It’s Spring!  And there’s so much going on around here, I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll just start with the most obvious celebration: I’m getting married this weekend! Three days from today, hopefully it will be sunny and crisp outside, Chris and I will be tying the knot.  Whoa.

And here are a few of the generous women that helped me celebrate at my wedding shower.  What a day–it was dreamy, with a harp playing and everything!  I KNOW!

The lovely ladies of my bridal party:

bridal party

My Maid of Honor (and sister) who knocked it out of the park, Olivia:

me + liv

My future Mother In Law, Susan:

me + susan

My dreamy cake (cannoli filling and chocolate mousse!):

cake

There were so many of my dear and close friends there, it felt so, so special to have them all gather for me.  It was an absolutely perfect day.

The next celebration we had was my dad’s 80th; we couldn’t let this monumental birthday go by without properly recognizing it, so my siblings and I threw him a surprise party.  We invited his sisters from hours away and his closest friends–he was shocked, to say the least!  I think he spent the first 10 minutes in the corner collecting himself, so we clearly did a good job of keeping it a secret. He he

It was a special moment to be able to celebrate this exciting day with him and his friends.  The older I get, the more I realize having my dad around as I create my own family is such an amazing gift.    It’s like life coming full circle.

Surprise!

Some of the nosh before the dinner:

Party Food

Cake, cake cake!  You can’t see very clearly, but the invitation had a picture of my dad as a kid on a pony.  It’s adorable!

Cake

Even though it’s been a fun time of celebrations, I still appreciate the gentle winks I get from the universe that everything is good.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of everyday life that I can forget what I’m actually doing–I can forget to have fun and embrace the moment.  It’s important not to sweat the small stuff.  So when I get these little reminders, it kind of snaps me back into reality. 

Here are two I got this week–a heart at the bottom of my salad dressing (is that you saying hi, mom?) and a feather on my pants when I was working out (ignore the lint), maybe it was from a guardian angel?

salad heart
feather

On the art front, I finished another girl named Olivia (that’s my sister’s name), called “Love Who You Are”.  This sentiment is something we always talk about–loving who we are, warts and all.  It’s a journey for sure, because we all have that inner critic that is never satisfied; but we need to remember daily to love who we are.  Because we’re fabulous as is.  (Prints available here)

Love Who You Are

 

And here’s a peek of another girl in the works (almost done with her!)

In progress

So that’s a little of what’s going on in my world right now.  I’ve slowed down a bit on the art front, but I know that will pick up after the wedding.  There’s only so much a girl can do, and I’m ok with that.  From taking a breather, I have a few new ideas brewing and I’m also working on a big project that I’ll announce in a couple of weeks!

Stay tuned,

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Lately Around Here: Celebrations2018-03-29T20:23:10-04:00

On Being Guided + My Word of The Year

As I was reflecting on not making any new year’s resolutions, I decided to pick a word for the year instead.  I feel like picking a personal word  as a theme is a powerful statement;  It’s a way of setting the tone for what I want.  I’m committing to letting this one little word show me what I need to know this year.

Have you ever felt like you’re being ushered along your path in a certain way?  I experience this all of the time.  It’s not only a gut feeling I get about what choices to make, but it’s also the signs that appear all around me like magic.

If you allow yourself Because of that, my word for this year is: Guidance.

And I’m not just talking about the typical best-friend-or-parental-advice-type of guidance, I’m talking about guidance from my own inner compass as well.  I want to be guided by my heart and feel my way through it.  I want to be guided by signs I get from my everyday life, because those moments can often be the most powerful–sometimes the easiest and best path is what is right in front of me.

When I hear a stranger’s kind word, a nostalgic song or see a cardinal in the yard, I know there’s a message for me there; I just need to tune in to the moment and figure out what it is.

And at times, I can feel almost crazy at the uniquely, bizarre guideposts that pop up:

~ Like when I was feeling a little homesick for the US while climbing Mt Fuji and then ran into a college friend halfway down my descent of the mountain (yes, in Japan!)

~ Or when I happened to find a Nepalese surgeon to help me when I was in dire straits in a village halfway around the world.  He was trained for a short time in NYC and his brother lived only 30 minutes from me in NJ (of course he did.)

~Or how geese  fly over my head when I’m outside and having a particularly sad moment of missing my mom.  She loved geese + I know it’s her way of saying hi.

Those experiences showed me I was being seen + helped along the path I was meant to go.

Signs are everywhere.  They are my guidance.

This is going to be a big year for me.  For my art, my relationship + the dreams I’ve had–they’re coming into full bloom.  I’m going to need the support and strength of an open heart + mind through all of this, so I’m really excited about being guided.

I can’t wait to see what the universe has in store for me.

How about you?  Do you have one word that seems to call to you this year?  I’d love to hear what it is.

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On Being Guided + My Word of The Year2018-03-29T20:23:13-04:00

Let Your Feelings Guide You.

Do you let your feelings guide you? Click through to learn how you can incorporate this intuitive practice more in your everyday life.

There has been a lot going on in my neck of the woods these days.  Mostly, it’s really wonderful stuff, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy just because it’s wonderful.  There are so many fantastic things we can experience in life that can totally stress us out, right?

Planning a wedding, settling into a new house and mapping out a future with Chris is causing me some high anxiety, so I’m trying to wrap my brain around all of the changes in a gentle way.   I know it’s normal to feel some fear with major change, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  I realized that in order for me to function in a healthy way, I need to pay very close attention to my feelings.

Our feelings are a barometer of what we’re experiencing.  They can be an amazing signal as to whether we are being true to ourselves; a proverbial steering wheel in life.

And because we’re all naturally a little narcissistic, it can often feel like our feelings are SO intense and SO unique.  Because in a way, they are– we only know ourselves from the inside, so we feel what we feel, and can’t compare it to anything else.

As a result, when the waves of life come up, I try to remember to go easy on myself and take a moment to check in.  I take a quick inventory of what’s really going on with me–because how could I expect anyone else to understand how I feel, if I don’t figure it out for myself first?

Here are 3 things that help me tune into my feelings (maybe they’ll help you, too):

  1. Tune in to your physical responses to different situations.  Does your breathing quicken? Do you get a pit in your stomach?  Do you get cold or sweaty?  All of these are a physical response to an emotional trigger.  Only you can know what your body is telling you, so stop ignoring the signs and start listening up.
  2. Suspend the obligatory gestures.  Forget about the rules and what you’re supposed to be doing to make others happy, tune into what YOU want and focus on how that feels.  Once you figure out what you want + how you want to feel, you can navigate your actions and emotions in a healthier way.
  3. Ask yourself: does it feel good?  Sometimes we get so caught up in getting to the end result that we forget to tune in along the way.  The journey is the gift, so making sure you enjoy each moment, no matter how small, will only make the destination that much sweeter.

I know when I am trying to be helpful or agreeable, I tend to put other people’s feelings above my own.  Perhaps it’s me seeking for approval or just wanting to make others happy, but I have recently realized something simple yet epic: I can follow my feelings and still be loving + lovable.  Following our feelings means letting others see them, too.

As I navigate this fascinating journey of getting to know myself better,  I am tuning in to my feelings more and letting them show.  And you know what?  That feels pretty good.

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Let Your Feelings Guide You.2018-03-29T20:23:15-04:00
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