Spring Break in San Diego

I was in San Diego for my spring break this past week and it was the best. My soul needed some sunshine!! I went with my sweet mama and then my sister and dad joined for part of the trip too. Our week was filled with lazy days tanning + reading by the pool, writing, happy hours, cute restaurants, walking around, the San Diego Zoo and Coronado Beach. Pretty simple, but it was perfect. I am so grateful to be able to spend time in a new place and discover new inspirations ! San Diego has the coolest buildings and restaurants- so bright and aesthetically pleasing to my art teacher eye! We went to so many fun restaurants and happy hours that I am going to do a separate post for fun places to go if you happen to find yourself in San Diego :) Stay tuned for that. 

Having the opportunity to go somewhere new/different- whether for a vacation or just a weekend getaway- is nice to have a change of scenery. Being able to not have solid plans or an agenda to adhere by is wonderful. I was able to enter into full-blown relaxation mode. Carefree and enjoying the moments. Taking in the ocean breeze, fresh air, and watching the palm trees sway in the wind. The thing I like about vacations is that I know it is not/cannot be reality...but I love being able to experience different new joys and reflect on what I can take back with me to incorporate into my everyday reality. 

So here are some things I am taking back with me to try out- adding some California Spring Break joys into my reality:

  1. Go on walks- alone or with friends. With friends is better obviously, because then you get to catch up! 
  2. Smile at the sunshine (when it comes out!)
  3. Make charcuterie boards for appetizers(basically trying to create my own Little Italy in Spokane hehe) 
  4. Slow down- in every sense. Practice experiencing calmness and being in the moment. 
  5. Inspiration can be found anywhere. Find it & capture it. Then do something with it. 

We stayed in two different hotels, both amazing! Here are some photos from our first boutique hotel: The Kimpton Solamar

 These were the most amazing smelling bath products!!! The brand is   atelier bloem ...  when my shampoo runs out I know what I'm getting next...definitely worth the money!

These were the most amazing smelling bath products!!! The brand is atelier bloem... when my shampoo runs out I know what I'm getting next...definitely worth the money!

We got to stay at the Kimpton Solamar for 3 nights and then moved over to the Marriott Marquis & Marina. My dad pulled a few strings and we ended up with a beautiful water view room- the best! 

Exploring around: Gas Lamp District / Seaport Village / Coronado Beach

 how adorable is my mama?!

how adorable is my mama?!

Ocean Air: Hawaii Reflections

Surrounded by the ocean, eyes closed, deep breaths of fresh, salty air, and listening to the waves crash and crawl up the beach...this was simply the best experience I've known. I felt alive and free... About two weeks ago this time last year I was in Hawaii for three beautiful weeks. Naturally, I am missing those sun-filled days as Spokane is still cold and covered in snow. Although my time there was short, I remember it was exactly what my spirit needed, and has left me with the best memories. One of my favorites is just sitting on the edge of the bulkhead and staring out ahead to the endless ocean. At times it felt like nothing else existed. 

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

I remember one night, I couldn't sleep and went out to the bulkhead late and laid down, looking up at the brilliantly bright stars. The feel that ensued was as if the stars were literally falling onto me, as if I could reach out my hand to grab one. That feeling coupled with the sound of the crashing waves...it was magical. I remember multiple times if I were alone looking out to the ocean, I felt completely safe and surrounded. I felt Jesus in the quietness of the ocean and in the crashing waves against the bulkhead. I got to experience simply being still and being present. I got to just BE.  

 This was my backyard view everyday- such a dream!!!

This was my backyard view everyday- such a dream!!!

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I sincerely believe the ocean has healing powers. It can make you feel alive and invigorated, or calm and nourished. Being by the ocean is my favorite place to be. Towards the end of the trip I got a little wave tattoo to always remember that special place and the way the ocean moved in me. 

I experienced beautiful and hard hikes with worth-while views like this one ^^^. It was amazing to feel so high up and see the ocean meet the sky as the horizon faded away... As cheesy as it might sound, I truly felt embraced by Wainaie and their culture and all-encompassing beauty. It felt like time slowed down there, which was so refreshing and inspiring! I love reflecting on this place and my time there because I am reminded to take things slow, spend time reflecting on beautiful memories and people, and to truly just love one another. Happy Aloha Spirit! 

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Life Lately: Christmas Reflections

Happy New Year! I have been so excited for this new year to come. New year brings new hope and new things to get excited about and work towards. In the past few weeks I got to enjoy an amazing Christmas break back home with my family, move into a new apartment, start teaching again, celebrate my brother's 25th birthday, and create new routines. 

Christmas time is always  so special, and this year was no exception. It was a great break full of relaxation, walks with the puppy, good family talks, cuddles and scratches from Thor, crackling fires, and lots of tea & wine. This year, one of my brothers and his wife spent two weeks in Europe (jealous? yes, we all were...) which made Christmas a bit odd not having them there, but it was still wonderful. I grew up in Gig Harbor, and there is something so comforting and peaceful about that place. My parents make Christmas magical and fun. They have ever since we were all kids. I am filled with such a simple joy when I am home surrounded by family just talking, drinking, laughing, playing cards...no matter what we do, when we are all together I am overflowing with joy and thankfulness. They are lifelong friends. 

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Another great thing about going home to the Harbor is the waterfront views. There is and always will be something about vast open waters that stirs my soul and quiets my spirit. One morning I took Sydney on a walk down to the water and just closed my eyes, breathing it all in. It was so simple, but all I needed. Sometimes I wish I could stay in a moment forever. That was one, and so was sitting on the bulkhead in Hawaii last January watching the waves crash...so good. 

My time spent home got cut short due to Nick and I moving into a new apartment back in Snowkane, I mean Spokane. It was another beautiful Christmas break. As I reflect on it, I am proven once again it really isn't about the stuff you get, but the people in your heart who make life FULL.

Now that Nick and I are moved into our new place and reality has kicked in again (and kicked our ass by both of us getting sick this past week!) we are so much happier. It's amazing to be in a space where the pipes aren't frozen and it's not as cold outside as it is in. To say that the space you dwell in affects your spirit or mood, is an understatement! Our new home is cozy and minimal. I couldn't be happier or more grateful for how everything has worked out. 

With 2017 already off to a great start (aside from getting sick this weekend!) I am feeling very hopeful and excited for all the good I know is coming this year. I am excited for Nick and I to continue working on becoming the best version of ourselves, and how to love one another better. I am excited to explore how to love and care for myself better. I am excited for travel and trips to see friends and family. I am excited to become a better teacher, friend, sister, daughter, and girlfriend (and maybe be more than just a gf this year ;) hehe). I am excited for an intentional year. Intentional is the word guiding me through 2017 (I will talk about that more in a separate post). I hope your New Year has started off strong and positive! Thanks for stopping by, xo.