Feels like home to me

On Monday, I returned to Los Angeles after spending 10 days in Nashville, St. Louis, and Bloomington, Indiana.


My friend Kailea and I headed to Nashville for a last summer hurrah before school starts back up. We stayed with my cousin, her fiancé, and their sweet old man dog. We drank Bushwackers, danced in honky tonk bars, and then ate pizza at 2:00am. We also cuddled on the couch and made vegan soup. This combination of rest and play, family and close friends, warm blankets and dog cuddles, this felt like home.

Kailea and I then rented a car and headed to St. Louis, my hometown. Recently, my parents sold their house and I had to use a GPS to get to my new home, which felt a little strange. But despite the moving boxes and tubs of pictures waiting to be hung, I knew instantly that this place was home too. My mom was soon inside, cooking dinner. My parents dogs ran through the yard.  We set the table in the dinning room, which doesn’t have a light fixture yet. But my family plugged in lamps and lit candles. We grabbed plates of food and a seat. We ate and laughed so hard that my eyes teared up. Yes, yes, wherever my family is, that is home.

Kailea flew back to LA the next morning and I stayed in St. Louis for a few days. I read in the backyard, ran with my dad, and ate food made with love.

Then, I drove northeast for four hours, and arrived in my college town, Bloomington, Indiana. I reconnected with an old friend, and was reminded of the magic of this small town. There were some new businesses and heaps of new students. But the kindness and love that makes Bloomington Bloomington remained. I remembered what it felt arriving as a freshman. Even though I was nervous, Btown’s warmth surrounded me and I knew I would be ok.

A few days after leaving Bloomington I texted another college friend saying how magical the town will always be. “Ahhh, our forever Disney World.” she responded. Wherever life takes me, Bloomington will always represent a piece of home for me as well.

I drove back to St. Louis, spending one final day with my family, before hopping on a plane and heading to my current home: Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is home.

To be honest, I never thought I would believe that. It took me a long time to see Los Angeles this way. I remember a time when it felt like I couldn’t breathe in L.A. I only saw traffic and T-shirts that cost $80. I yearned for the midwest. Eventually though, I began to search out the beauty.  I met inspiring girlfriends and decided to learn to surf. I look Millie (the pup) on solo hikes, just the two of us. I planned weekend adventures for my man and I and invited friends over for dinner. Slowly but surely, my view began to change.


Mostly though, what I’ve learned is that home is being with the people you love. Home is family, given and chosen. Home is getting off a plane, and having someone there ready to hug you up. Monday night, as Alex, Millie and I cuddled on the floor, I thought to myself “Yes indeed, this is home to me.”

Adding and Subtracting

“Subtracting is always harder,” she told them. “Because it’s harder to give things away.”

These wise words didn’t come from Oprah or any self-help guru. No, they came from the head teacher I work with at my school. She didn’t speak them to a crowd of people looking to change their lives. She spoke them to a class of 3rd and 4th graders. “Adding is sometimes easier” she told them “Because it can seem more exciting to get more. But subtracting can feel hard because it’s scary to give things away.”


The life lessons that you can learn in 3rd grade.

Since hearing those words, I’ve been looking at my own life and my packed schedule. This past year has been a year of adding. Adding more yoga classes to my teaching schedule. Adding grad school. Adding a dog. Adding community. Adding a summer camp position. And I keep adding and adding….without subtracting. I love the fullness of my life right now, but I also want to relish in spaciousness and enjoy time with my man, my dog, and the beautiful community we are becoming a part of.


Grad school here I come!

The first step in creating this spaciousness has been to declutter my actual living space. I have been working with my girlfriend and organizer extraordinaire Kailea, who is absolutely brilliant when it comes to getting rid of the excess. She’s helped me identify things that have been well loved and are ready to retire (a.k.a. I took 3 bags of stuff to Goodwill). We also discussed the idea that more things do not equal less stress. It’s actually the opposite. When we are able to let go of excess, we are able to let go of excess stress as well. Definitely check out Kailea’s blog, An Island Away, for tips on everything from closet cleaning to creating a relaxation routine.


Kailea working her magic!

I’ve also been incorporating tips from this fabulous book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This book has encouraged me to look at my life through a lens of “Does this bring me joy?” Getting rid of physical items is easier for me than getting rid of activities. Does teaching this creative writing class bring me joy? How about happy hour with friends? In the midst of grad school and working full time, am I going to want to be able to teach a yoga class or take one?


These are questions that I’m asking myself right now. And that’s the tricky part…I don’t have all the answers yet. But I am enjoying this journey of creating more space. Yes, adding is a thrill. Our society teaches us that more is better. Busy is better. But what if that opposite is actually true? Perhaps by subtracting, less means more….more time and space for joy.

My Toolbox


“I need it all right now.” she told me.”My mat, my mediation cushion, and lots of greens.” I sat at lunch talking to a work friend about how hard these past few weeks have been. I nodded, although in the back of mind I knew how I’d been lacking in these areas. I had been choosing cookies over big luscious salads, a marathon of Scandal (Olivia Pope, I love you) over a sweaty yoga class, and I was finding any excuse not to sit and meditate. Needless to say, I was not in a good emotional place. But this work friend is one of those goddess mamas. She’s a lady with lots of stories, wisdom, and heart. So I listened to her. And then I went to yoga. And I went to yoga the next day too. I cooked with lots of veggies that night. I sat and meditated. Just 5 minutes. And then 7 minuted the next day. And you know what happened? Things started to change. Well, my perspective started to change. I felt excited to go to work and inspired about the projects I was doing with the kids. There where a couple of mornings where I actually enjoyed walking the dog.  “Wow,” I thought. “This is so peaceful and quiet.” What??!! Who am I?

What I am learning is a lesson that I continue to learn over and over again. I have a toolbox, and I should use it.

For me, an hour on my mat or a 30 minute run will help me become more present and engaged. Taking the time to cook a nourishing meal will make me feel loved and cared for. My tools are always there. But it’s my job to create space for them. It’s my job to step onto my mat instead of perusing Instagram for an hour. Sometimes this isn’t easy, but I am learning that it’s almost always worth it.

When things get tough, what is your practice? Where is your mat? Perhaps it’s your yoga mat but maybe it’s being in the wilderness, or going for a run, or whipping up something incredible in the kitchen.

By opening our toolboxes, we have the power to shift. We can transform our worry into acceptance and our fear into love. So let’s open our toolboxes together this week. Let’s carve out the time and space to change our perspectives and cultivate gratitude for beauty that surrounds us.


I know that it is January 27th. I know this is about 27 days after most of the world sets their intentions for 2015.

But today, my intention came flying towards me, landing straight on my heart.



This year is about finding and creating space.

Space in my body.

Space in my soul.

Space for my family.

Space for my chosen family.

Space to try new things.

Space to fail.

Sacred space in my relationships.

Sacred space that is my home.

Space for my my intuition to live and breathe.

Vegan Week!


Vegan week. Yes, you read that correctly. I am a lover of burgers, cupcakes, and beer. But I am also a lover of green juice, lentil soup, and overnight oats. And lets be honest, I feel a hell of a lot better when I go the green juice route. While I am a big believer in balance and indulgence, I also love to reset my system every once in a while. And when I am eating greens galore, I feel like a million bucks. So…..this all led to one of my goals for 2015….VEGAN WEEK! Wahooo!


If you read this post, you’ll know that I am head-over-heals in love with Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows Cookbook (you can also check out her amazing blog here)!  This cookbook is going to be my vegan week bible. Some of the goodies I’m planning on making for the first few days? Summer harvest tortilla soup, miso and quinoa power bowl, and green monster smoothies!

I’ll keep you posted with recipes and pictures throughout the week! Happy eating!

Virtual Coffee Date

Hello blog friends! It’s been too long. And if we were here together, I’d say “Hey! Let’s get some coffee and catch up!” So, I’d thought I thought we could have another virtual coffee date instead…


If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you how excited I am to be joining the YOGAudacious team starting in January! YOGAudacious was created by Gigi Yogini as a way to celebrate one courageous woman each week. Stepping onto your mat takes courage! And by sharing our stories, by being brave, we inspire others to do the same. Want to share your yoga journey? Click here!

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you that although I was late to the #Girlboss party, I am in love with this book. I am not fasionista by any means so at first I was skeptical about what I could learn from the Nasty Gal CEO, Sophia Amoruso. But OH.EM.GEE. Sophia is incredibly empowering and kick ass, regardless of what your interests are. She will inspire you to bring creativity to whatever you do, whether you are an artist, accountant, or just a girl tryin’ to get by. Please, please, please, let #Girlboss help you take charge in 2015!

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you how this month has been a big month of change. One of my very best friends is moving abroad while another is returning stateside. Ebbs and flows, man. Ebbs and flows.

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you how the Nike+ Running App is rocking my world right now. Seriously. Not only is does this GPS app calculate your distance and pace, but you can create challenges with your friends. My sisters and I live in different states so we used the app and created a challenge to run 60 miles in the month of December. Oh my gosh. Hello motivation. You need a reason to run? See that your little sister is beating you by two miles and you’ll be sure to lace up those sneakers.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would wish you the most magical 2015. Truly girlfriend, this is your year.

Sending you all lots of love in the new year!


Dear California

Dear California,

I’m sorry I’ve been a bitch lately.

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I’ve been so wrapped up in complaining about your traffic, your $80 T-Shirts, and your gluten free obsession that I was blinded to your beauty for a moment there. I couldn’t see your daily farmer’s markets, 6:00 am surfers, and delicious sunsets.

You see, sweet California, I am a Midwestern girl at heart. I was raised with humid summers, icy winters, and family always nearby.

California, you pushed me so far out of my comfort zone. But you showed me how much growth can come from this place. Since being here, I’ve met the most inspirational, beautiful souls. I’ve met people that like me, moved across the country for love. I’ve met yoga teachers so creative, that taking their class feels like being part of a piece of art. I’ve picnicked on the beach, feeling wrapped up in love and then driven solo along the PCH, crying and singing along to Taylor Swift. And I have to tell you, I wouldn’t have experienced any of this if I stayed in my comfort zone. I would have been safe. But I would have been longing.

California, you will always be a risk. But I am learning to trust you and love you all over again because I think I’d like to stay a little while longer. What do you say?