A New Perspective on Stress & A First World Problem

“What you resist persists.”

As the saying goes, the universe is always speaking to you. Yesterday afternoon in the midst of a little bout with stress, I came across this short clip, took a deep breath, and decided…ok, I get it.

This past weekend, I got some pretty bad news that I knew was likely coming, but still upset me when I took in the full weight of what was happening and what needed to happen next that I wasn’t prepared for.

A few days ago, my laptop officially gave out and broke up with me. As in, I was in my bathroom, unexpectedly heard this loud beeping noise over and over in the next room – and walked over to my desk to see my screen jumping repeatedly. I couldn’t stop it and it wouldn’t respond to any key strokes. I finally just turned it off, walked away thinking it needed “some rest” and would try starting it up again later. Well, it sure as heck is getting plenty of rest now, because it refuses to even boot up past the main screen.

Fast forward to the tech guy at Fry’s on Sunday, and apparently my motherboard has died.

I swear one of first things that crossed my mind was that episode on Sex and the City when Carrie’s beloved Mac laptop dies and she hadn’t heard of the concept of backing up her work, and then how completely freaked out (but comical) she was sitting in the repair shop waiting for the bad news. My reaction wasn’t freaking out – though I did curse myself for not backing up everything like I’ve been telling myself to do FOR YEARS…it was “great how in the hell am I going to be able to afford a new laptop right now?”

While I know that I had more than gotten my money’s worth out that laptop, along with a very healthy and lasting relationship of nearly 7 years, I’ve been stressed out because:

  1. Computers are not exactly considered a modern “luxury” anymore (especially given the industry I’m in and how the world works in general) so it’s not a question of if I replace it, but when I replace it.
  2. It’s difficult to call yourself a blogger without one.
  3. I wasn’t expecting this additional expense. (And this is the area I’m most stressed about.)

Admittedly, I realize that what I’m fretting about, while important to me at the moment, is still trivial if I step back and look at the big picture (or in this case, a complete first world problem). I have my health, a steady job, and therefore the means to figure out a solution – though I’m more fighting the urge and the acceptance of an additional expense to my budget, which I was really working hard to keep where it is, given that my rent increases next month. Talk about prefect timing for your computer to die, huh?

The fact remains that most people don’t get 7 years out of a laptop (and because I took great care of it – I should consider myself lucky I haven’t had to deal with it until now).  Luckily, my internal hard drive is likely okay, so I haven’t lost years of my digital life.

So what I take away from Eckhart Tolle’s words is to accept the situation, get out the mud of “why now?” and change it because I have to accept what is. A gal on the move in the 21st century like myself needs a working laptop.

Since I’m taking on this new perspective, I guess I should also be rather excited to be in the market for a new home computer. It’s been so long since I’ve had to buy one, that I’m sure this new laptop will blow my outdated device out of the water and I’ll betray every feeling I have right now about the expense when I’m like – “why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Bear with me over the next few weeks. I’ll be posting regularly, but if you don’t hear from me, it’s probably because I’m SO overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options in the laptop market while I research my next move, that I don’t want to be on a computer more than I have to be.

Just kidding…sort of. 🙂

My parting words to you: take a quick look at this short clip and see where and how you can change your perspective on that annoying, but very human thing we call stress. I know there’s someone out there who needs the universe to intervene at this exact moment and speak to you as well.

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We learned how to blog together.

R.I.P. Laptop

(2006-2013)

 

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Highlights. In a New York State of Mind.

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Like every other gal aged 20 to 30-something in modern society with a fetish for adventures in the city (though mine happen to be in L.A.) and a lover of all things high fashion (of which I cannot possibly afford…yet) – I’ve always had this secret fantasy of having my version of a Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle. I realize that what I am about to say could not be more of a fantastical cliché, but allow me to indulge a bit – it is my blog and the only place where I can go off on a tangent. 🙂

I’ve said it time and time again – I’m a California girl at heart and will always be – mainly due to my total affection for warm sunshine nearly 360 days a year and the “illusioned” freedom of my car. I’m not at all a fan of sitting in traffic on the 405 every morning, but like every native Angeleno I do adore my transportation bubble complete with an iced latte and a fully updated iPod to help me get there…eventually.

However, I have a confession. It’s crossed my mind more than once what life might be like if I had this great rent-controlled apartment in New York City and met my 3 best gal pals channeling the likes of Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda for weekend brunches and cocktail hours to catch-up on girl talk. My closet would be full of more shoes than days in a year, and designer labels are all that would grace my perfectly sculpted back. My kitchen would be practically empty because I’d be eating out at all the hottest restaurants in the city every single night (hey, it’s my fantasy!). And I’d be a published writer with magical connections to get in anywhere, at any time; where you’d likely catch me cashing-in on said connections while getting a huge discount at Manolo Blahnik. Ah, the good life.

Where things would differ in my fantasy are that while I wouldn’t mind being an accomplished writer on the side (perhaps of the fictional variety), my main focus would be on producing independent and documentary films (I wouldn’t want to spend my time writing about relationships and sex for a living…sorry Carrie!). You can’t take the L.A. out of me completely.

So where did this sudden fantasy come from and why did I choose to share it as a Highlight from my week?

Enter New York Fashion Week.

I can’t say that I usually follow the shows all that closely, but I’ve been spending some time this week watching the live streaming feed of the runways – falling into the glitz, the buzz, and the excitement that seems to be vibrating around New York City right now. And though much of it is not necessarily something I or most people could wear from a practical standpoint (referring to when random components pop-off the material in such a way that you couldn’t possibly even sit down), I have been enjoying the artistic expression on the runways for the Spring 2014 collections.

I’m far from the fashionista that wears anything more high-end than from say, Free People or Macy’s at this time; but I do look forward to the day where fantasy and reality collide and I’d find myself in New York, in the audience right next to S.J.P. herself, rockin’ designer label everything…and not because I need to…but just because I can.

Fantasy complete.

Here are a few more Highlights from this week:

1-2013-09-04 20.34.00{Another confession: My yoga class was canceled at the last minute this week so I used the money that I was going to use to pay for that class to buy a large pizza for myself instead. Don’t judge. If it helps, I made a side salad too. :)}

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{Started a new read that I’m having trouble putting down: Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder. #steamy}

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{Still buzzing from The Hollywood Bowl.}

Happy weekend!

Highlights

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{Slowly starting to feel like my old self again. Who-hoo!}

Between the common cold and  general life stresses, the last few weeks have been rough. The great news is that things are falling somewhat back into place and I’m starting to feel like my old self again. I’m happy to report that I even went to my first yoga class after a month off, and while it wasn’t at my fancy schmansy yoga studio, it was a lovely class better suited to my price range and it was so nice to get back on the mat.

Otherwise, this week has been all about re-balancing things and trying to enjoy life’s little pleasures. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying the taste of food again since my sinuses finally cleared up. And the fact that I can actually breathe in and out without much effort is quite divine. It’s when you get sick that you once you recover you really start to appreciate even the simplest of things as this.

I don’t have much going on this weekend as of typing this, but I do have a lot of life and errand catching up to do since I was bed-ridden all last weekend. I’m looking forward to starting a new novel (though I’m not sure what yet) after finishing And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. While I found the book to one of the most eloquently written I think I’ve ever read, with engaging stories and characters, the book turned out to be rather anti-climatic for some reason to me in the end. I was waiting for the life-altering bomb to drop that would throw the narrative into a surprising new direction. I realize that because each chapter focuses on the perspective of one person among a group of interconnected characters over many generations, that it may be hard to do this – but I felt rather unsatisfied as I finished the last page. Perhaps it’s time to shake things up with a good mystery/thriller!

So as we close out another week, I’m grateful I made it through my first cold in years and ready to enjoy the rest of the summer. Cheers to a great weekend!

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{How to survive the common cold: lots of Kleenex and a day with the girls.}

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{On dessert duty for girl’s night at Buttercelli.}

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{Enjoying a moment in the grass.}

How to Survive a Plague

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Okay, okay – I admit that the title of today’s post is a bit dramatic and a total rip-off from a very serious, but great documentary from last year (that everyone should see, by the way). No, I haven’t contracted a life threatening disease or anything, but I did for the first time in years actually get sick over the weekend. (Pausing to let that marinate.) Why is this such a big deal? Well, I’m one of those people with a strong immune system that doesn’t have to deal with the common cold very often so this is pretty big news. The greater issue is why I got sick in the first place!?!

Spending 3 days in bed doesn’t give a gal much to do other than to spend a lot of time thinking about lots of random things (I think I’ll sign up for Italian classes after all) while figuring out the fastest way to get back to your normal self because in the moment you feel so crappy you think you might not make it and start planning your will (To my brother Drew: if I don’t make it – you can have my beloved car…I’m almost done paying for it 🙂). On the other hand, there are 5 epiphanies I had after surviving my ordeal.

Here’s what I learned:

{1} Something’s off and it’s time to do something about it.

As you can tell from my last 2 Highlight’s post (here and here) things have been very off-balance in my life lately and the fact that I got sick was a wake-up call as to how off-balance. I stopped taking my awesome yoga classes, I’m skipping meals (because I’ve trained myself to not like eating breakfast except on weekends again for some reason), and I’m stressed out in every area of my life. The problem is balance. Realizing that it’s time to take a chill pill and come up with a game plan, I’ve decided it’s time to make some changes. One of them being that it’s beyond time to get back into a steady work-out routine, my yoga practice, and enjoying my much-loved outdoorsy activities (even if it means going alone).

{2} The best way to open congested sinuses in 3 seconds flat.

I don’t know about you, but though I’m not a fan of being sick – it’s not the end of the world. In general, us ladies have a much greater threshold for pain because it visits us on a monthly basis for 45 straight years. However, the absolute worst part is by far the constant congestion that ultimately causes me to lose my sense of taste and smell. So I decided to figure out a way to calm my sinus pressure/congestion with a bit of research. I learned that while it feels counter-intuitive because you’re blowing your nose every 2 minutes – your sinuses are actually craving moisture and steam helps! Sure, a nice long hot shower feels great, but I had much better success with boiling a pot of hot water and carefully inhaling the steam. My congestion alleviated after just a few seconds. Be careful when placing your nose over the steam, I don’t want to be responsible for your face melting off.

{3} Eating is NO FUN when you can’t taste your food, but there is a silver lining.

While I’m not promoting the sick diet and can’t enjoy 2 out of 5 of my favorite senses when I’m on it, it seems my appetite goes right out the window too. I did make a point to stay really hydrated, but just couldn’t do much food. Since you’re always supposed to find the silver lining in every situation, I thought I would share that I dropped a few pounds over the weekend without much effort at all. At least something good came of this.

{4} Entertainment is crucial.

You’ll likely be spending a lot of time alone while you convalesce. I spent $100 on the Sex and the City Complete Series as a gift to myself on my 26th birthday and I’ve MORE than gotten my money’s worth. Every time I’m down – any disc from any season, or either movie makes me happy. My advice? Spend as much time with the girls as you can when you’re under the weather. Every giggle instantly made me feel better between chaffing nose blows. (If your male, I heard Entourage provides the same effect for bros).

{5} A little kindness goes a long way.

Before I succumbed to the true depths of my cold (circa day 2 was the worst), I had a girl’s night planned that I was looking forward to all week that I didn’t want to skip but didn’t want to drag my sickly carcass over and spread my germs to my girlfriend. I wasn’t exactly hacking every where at that point (or I wouldn’t have gone), nor was I in full-blown sick mode yet, but it really made my weekend when my friend not only encouraged me to still come over, but ordered me some miso soup to go with our sushi feast to help make me feel better. The horror was that I couldn’t taste any of it after the first 2 bites (I’m still devastated…DEVASTATED about this) – but it meant the world to me that she didn’t treat me like a complete leper and watched a crappy movie with me. Thank you! 🙂

And this my friends is how to survive a plague…or the more accurate (but much less dramatic) common cold: figure out what’s off-balance, keep those sinuses clear with my new trick, look forward to shedding those last 5 stubborn pounds, make sure you have appropriate entertainment, and someone sweet enough to bring you soup.

Here’s to clear breathing! Ahh!

|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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For the past week or so, I’ve spent nearly every night that I’ve been home addicted to what I think might be one of the greatest comedies on TV since Sex and the City! Of course, I’m just now realizing this… and it’s been off the air for 6 months… after 7 successful seasons.

What was a simple night at home perusing Netflix looking for something to keep me entertained, but wouldn’t require a 2 hour feature film length commitment, lead me to 30 Rock (which Netflix kindly noted under my recommendations so I thought I would take their advice). 

Interestingly, a similar pattern for this new addiction is exactly how I got into SATC. The series had been off the air for 10 months and after hearing about it incessantly, I spent one Christmas vacation in college watching the entire series in 2 weeks. Ah, memories. For my 26th birthday, I bought the complete series on DVD as a gift to myself and it was worth every single penny. To this day, I can watch an episode if I’ve had a bad day and find it as refreshing and funny as ever. I still have a secret dream of moving to New York City; developing a Manolo Blahnik fetish; meeting my version of Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda at our favorite place for brunch every weekend; while living in my fabulous rent-controlled apartment; with a great writing job.

I often find when watching “sitcoms” in recent years – that I’m either disappointed or I don’t invest in them the way that I would a good juicy one-hour drama. Then again, over the last 2 years or so I’ve stopped following any type of television programming religiously. If I met myself today, my 17-year-old self would be very disappointed – that’s how much I used to abide by a strict television schedule. People knew not to bother me on Wednesday nights from 8:00pm on. That night was for me, Kelly, Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Donna and the rest of the 90210 gang ONLY (even though I was a baby at the time and my mom probably should have been monitoring my TV choices more closely.)

So while I’m only 30 episodes out of 138 from catching up on all the 30 Rock awesomeness, I can’t think of anything that I’m lovin’ more right now. Then again…


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| “Pup in a Cup” gives me a big smile every time I look at it. Adorbz!|| 545381_10151014902816278_369359602_n


watermelon-salad-420x420 ||10 Summer Snacks Under 200 Calories // Watermelon salad pictured.||


||Light denim chambray + denim cut offs = perfect for summer.||

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67e49f21b424260933f227f3c1339386||Sweetapolita’s Rich & Ruffled Chocolate Celebration Cake //full recipe here.||


||Black french tip manicures.|| 66486_529951643694259_202926059_n


|| Lifed.com’s Bucket List: 225 Things to do Before you Die // Warning: some of these are “out there” but I’m all for #13!||

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||Gaby Dalkin’s Absolutely Avocados Cookbook features 80 recipes using avocados //

This Cajun Shrimp Guacamole looks delish.||

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*click photos for image sources.

|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

If you really stop and think about it, there are so many awesome, inspirational, entertaining, thought-provoking, exciting, deliciously superficial, silly, glamorous or happy things that happen around you everyday if you just open your eyes. I’m opening mine! In addition to the posts dedicated to sharing my personal highlights celebrating the things in life each week that made me smile (you can read my most recent Highlights here) – I’ve decided to start a new recurring blog post to share all of the random things big or small that came into my world, said hello, winked, then either promptly turned it upside down, inside out, or made me give a good “ooooh!” Here’s to having your world ROCKED by a little bit of everything with eyes wide open.


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


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{God bless the person who heard the cries of so many Sex and the City fans who’ve been going through Carrie Bradshaw withdrawal. This new series follows a 16-year-old Carrie prior to becoming the sex column writing fashionista strutting down 5th Avenue in 5-inch Manolos. Fun!}

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{When I’m ready for my big walk down the aisle, I’m taking a cue from Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere fame and hiring these guys! Instead of your traditional long form wedding video, Shark Pig takes a highly stylized approach to immortalize your big day by shooting on Super 8mm film and editing it into a music video inspired montage creating something magical and timeless. You HAVE to check out Emily’s big day and see their work. Enjoy!}


{Words to live by…}pinksign

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{Insert me here…NOW. Thx.}

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{needed a full day of chill out music earlier this week and I knew Porcelain Raft’s Drifting In and Out was the vibe I was looking for. Hello Pandora and my new Drifting In and Out Radio Station. Set just the tone and mix I was looking for.}

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{Mixing my love of cupcakes and popcorn into one yummy treat? Yes, please! The next time I’m in Union Square in S.F. I’m stopping at American Cupcake for their Pink Popcorn Cupcake.}


{Bar carts as side tables.}

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{Well said glitter girls (and boys).}
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Girl Night In

The long holiday weekend started off on the right note (if I do say so myself). I spent my Thursday night celebrating with a girl night in. Girl night in? Yes, a girl night in. A night to be home alone and do those things that are completely girly, yet make you feel like a million bucks because you took some time to focus on you. I wanted a night to decompress and prep for the next 4 busy, but fun-filled, days off to come. This included an evening dedicated to a little self-pampering, some relaxation, good food, a glass (or two) of wine, the ultimate “girl night in” flick; followed by some reading while the iPod did its thing filling my humble abode with just the right music. By the time I made it to bed, I had completely reset from the work week and was ready for a very special weekend. Posts to come on all the labor day weekend festivities! Here are some of my tricks to the ultimate girl night in:

{DIY hydrating facial using some of my favorite Dermalogica products.}

{DIY mani/pedi. China Glaze nail polish, color: Sexy Silhouette.}

{Girl night in flick: Sex and the City: The Movie.}

{A glass of my favorite white wine, Moscato.}

{Trader Joes’ BBQ Chicken Pizza. Fresh from the oven and super yummy!}

{Current read: The Cider House Rules by John Irving.}

What are your girl night in tricks? Please feel free to leave me a comment below. I’m always looking for new ideas!