Be

I used to find New Year’s resolutions really helpful. They provide structure, goal-setting, and meanginful context to your life. They build in annual reflection. But as I’ve gotten older (ugh, that phrase) I’ve really started turning toward the idea of evolution and self-improvement as a process devoid of particular start points. 

I ascribe a certain amount of this shift to the simple and painful truth that as we all walk through life, we lose friends, lovers, family members, pets, even elements of ourselves—both the physical and the intellectual.  

Thus, the idea of waiting for January 1st to get something important started, or break a bad habit, or make a big change, starts to feel like a bargain with time that isn’t worth the risk. 

In that spirit, I am sharing a list of what I’ve strived to become this past year, and what I’ll keep working on as the first of the year arrives, and as always, passes.  

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What will you become this year?

Thank you for reading along. I am so grateful, and so motivated to keep it up in 2019.  

PC:  Anna Rose Monroe Photography

Top Nine of 2018

Well, hello there! Earlier this week I realized it is already time for everybody to hurry up and get retrospective real fast because my gosh! The year is up in a few more days! Let’s have a lewk at my top nine images from Instagram this year.

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But wait! There’s more! I’ll do a bit of behind-the-scenes on each photo. Get comfy; after all, we’ve got nine to chat through.

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I took this photo myself, and very casually with my phone. I went to my parents’ house in Santa Cruz and found this lovely heart-shaped succulent planter in their backyard. I think someone made it for them. One snap and one text-addition later, it became a hit.

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Another selfie! But obviously with a timer. This one is from a hotel in Dallas where I spent a few days on a business trip last January. It was before we remodeled our bathroom at home, so taking a hotel bath was high on my list of things to do in my down time during that stay.

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This was one taken at Mission Loft in San Francisco. I love it there. The aesthetic is spot-on. I’d take all of my blog photos there if it were possible. You should take your photos there, too! David Han took this photo.

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This one was shot at Devil’s Slide in Pacifica. Bradley Wittke took it. We got really lucky with the fog that day and shot a ton of beautiful images.

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This image was taken by my husband Sergio at my favorite park in Palo Alto, Bol Park. If you’re local and you’ve never been, it is definitely worth the trip. Two very sweet rescue donkeys live there and a beautiful creek flows through it all.

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David Han shot this image during a Layneau trunk show at French Theft Lingerie. It wasn’t actually one of the items I was intended to wear for the show, but I guest at the event was so enthusiastic about seeing it worn that I put it on…and ended up keeping it!

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Julia O. Test shot this photo at a super fun Peerspace event in Potrero Hill. That view, tho! It was my introduction to the Peerspace concept, which is a fun and creative way to access authentically interesting photo venues.

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Sergio took this photo. It was actually January 1, 2018, and we were on a sailboat to ring in the new year. I’d like to make this an annual tradition. It was emotionally satisfying to have the vastness of the ocean sweep us into the vastness of the just-born year. This year we are returning from a week-long trip on the 31st, so maybe it will be an every-other year tradition. Or maybe you only live once!

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This photo was taken at the same Peerspace event as the pic with the sweeping SF skyline in it. Savannah Tuma, of Style West, took it. It was so fun to meet her! I’d followed her on Instagram and read her blog for a while, but there’s no substitute for meeting someone in real life! She’s the sweetest.


Cheers to a new year! Looking forward to lots more creative energy and inspiration. Thanks for reading!

Welcoming Darkness

In a conversation with a friend, I admitted quite freely that I really dislike winter.  I don’t enjoy it at all.  It’s dreadful.  It’s cold and dark and I feel like I slog through three months on the verge of illness. I know I’m not alone in this experience; in fact I think it’s pretty common. But as the Byrds will tunefully remind us, the seasons will turn and turn and turn.  Where then, is the way for us to learn to welcome the darkness and the cold? And how can we do it seasonally and figuratively and emotionally?

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This year, I’m working on inviting into my consciousness the simple truth that coldness and darkness are a natural part of the annual cycle. Thus far, I’ve really fought with that truth, which is silly, because it doesn’t get me anywhere. Here we are, year after year, with the same dreary circumstances. I’m working on opening my heart to the truth of it. And maybe once I do that, we can figure out how to be friends.

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I think for some people, inviting peace with darkness in figuratively and emotionally is harder than welcoming seasonally. For me, it’s actually easier under circumstances that pertain to the heart than the more logically progressing change of the seasons. Leading with the heart has always felt more natural to me than leading with the mind. In either case, though, I think the same starting place holds true. If you don’t stop fighting with the truth, you won’t ever feel at peace.

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Happy Sunday! Thanks for reading.


Alice and Olivia dress via thredUp // Steve Madden coat (old) // Kate Spade boots