And Onward We Go!

Friday January 2, 2015 | Lifestyle Musings

Highlight of the year

2014 was a lovingly wrapped parcel of a year.

So many wonderful things happened. Not just in terms of experiences and reaching new milestones in my life.

What I’m talking about is my soul.

I’ve made peace. With who I am and who I’m not.

So what if I’m not the adventurous astronaut or the illustrious opera singer that I dreamt I would be when I was a teenager (no for real, these were actually some of my fantasies).

You know what? Whatever.

Life opened different paths for me and filled them with delightful surprises.

I like where I’ve come from. And I like where I’m going.

And here’s the thing…

You’ve got to learn to enjoy the sweet and simple things in life.

Because before you know it, it’ll all be over :)

Home sweet home

So to sum up 2014, here are some of the things that happened:

  • Started a new job with a non-profit organization whose mission really fits with my own personal values
  • Resumed the habit of recording my dreams immediately after waking up
  • Gave up a vice that I’d been trying to kick for over a decade
  • Put together a fun DIY wedding at the beach
  • Got married! To a lovely boy named Oliver who henceforth will be known as my forever and ever
  • Moved into a sunny apartment in San Francisco. And it’s only a ten-minute walk to the beach
  • Really digging this sea-dwelling lifestyle
  • Learned to surf! Currently saving up money for a wetsuit and a beginner’s board
  • Quality time spent with friends who are scattered around the country
  • A road trip to L.A. with one of my best friends and it was a blast
  • Two trips to Mexico in the month of November
  • Met new people and made wonderful new friends
  • Got a juicer and am loving it!
  • Finally saved up enough money for a camera upgrade
  • Finally feeling at home in this part of San Francisco where the air tastes of fresh saltwater and the sound of foghorns is my lullaby
  • Finally feeling settled down after living nomadically for so many years (I still miss you, Paris…)

In 2015, I am working on making the following things happen:

  • A trip to Japan!
  • Getting to know my new camera and developing my photography skillzz
  • Making a short stop-motion film with Oliver
  • Getting more social
  • Throwing at least two dinner parties (where I’m actually the one cooking)
  • Not freaking out when I turn 30 this year!
  • Procuring a bicycle
  • Riding said bicycle to work
  • Meditating more regularly
  • Doing market research for Ziba
  • Revamping the blog and online shop
  • Participating in at least two pop-up shops for Ziba
  • Writing more!
  • Surfing more!

I was just looking at a wishlist I created a year and a half ago for my 28th birthday.

And gosh! It’s really amazing how many things on that list have come true!

But there are still some things that haven’t happened. Like neglecting this blog and my business plans.

But cut a girl some slack because life happens. That’s what new years are for.

So I’m just gonna pick up right where I left off.

And you, my pet. What are some of your best memories from last year and what are your hopes for 2015?

Much love
xoxo

 

Much Ado About Weddings

Monday April 28, 2014 | Culture Musings

If you are planning a small and simple wedding, here’s what you need to know…

Everyone will try to make it into something more complicated!

Wedding pointer

There is truly no point trying to make others happy and fit their mold of how your wedding ought to be.

It’s your wedding. If you stick to your guns, you can make your wedding as simple as you would like it to be.

For my wedding, (which is literally happening in a month–AAaaah!) all I want is:  Beach. Family. Friends… and lots of food!

Yet the simplicity of this idea was at first difficult to get across to our families. I even tried referring to the damn thing as a “beach party.”

But family members balked at this. They protested that we were making too light of a matter that is actually very serious.

Uhm…

Beach wedding archway

Another point of deviation: I did not get an engagement ring.

As I confessed in my previous post, sure! I wouldn’t mind one. I am a girl after all. A silly girl who can still be suckered into hankering after shiny, expensive things even though I am highly educated and progressive and know that engagements rings are a scam.

But ultimately, I would rather save that money for things that have REAL value. Like traveling!

Still, I am amused how whenever I tell people I’m engaged, their eyes will unfailingly trail down to my left hand.

Try it sometime. Tell people you’re engaged. Then watch how their eyes quickly dart over to your left hand in search of the bling.

Who trained us to be like this??

8

Not that I have anything against people who follow conventions.

Having a wedding is, by itself, inherently conventional. I just wonder what people used to do for weddings before it became this highly commercialized and contrived affair.

Eventually, we managed (I think) to get the idea across to our family and friends that ours is going to be a very simple and low-key affair.

The idea is… show up at the beach and you’ll probably get fed!

Wedding Cake

Behind the scenes, we’ve been slowly and steadily organizing this wedding over the months.

Details are coming along quite smoothly. Check-lists are being checked. Little fuss has been made. And you know what? It’s been very satisfying to get things done on our own.

How have we been managing to keep our wedding so simple and minimal?

We are keeping a small guest list. Less than 40 people. Of course we are making a little room for wedding ‘crashers,’ so we are counting on 45 to show up at the most.

One thing that has helped has been the use of Pinterest.

You may laugh. Yes, I used to laugh at girls who I thought were just sublimating their fantasies and frustrations on Pinterest. But now I know better. Pinterest can be useful for mapping out your ideas visually.

Just keep in mind that it’s a tool. And stay away from falling into the envious, hate-your-life-it’s-not-as-good-as-Pinterest trap.

Wedding Dress Detail

Dear readers, now you know!

This whole DIY wedding planning thing has been what’s keeping me so occupied these days.

That… and starting a new job!! One that I freaking love!!!

I’ve been staying happy, healthy and busy! And I hope you have too.

I will write more soon. Pinky promise :)

 

 

** Images taken from Pinterest. Obviously.
Of Spontaneous Road Trips And Magnetic Poetry

Sunday February 16, 2014 | Musings

Celebrating love is fun and sweet.

It should be done every day. Not just on Valentine’s Day.

But yesterday’s Valentine’s was perhaps one of the best I’ve ever had!

When Oliver got back from his business trip from Paris, I’d accidentally gotten a peek inside his luggage and saw there was something wrapped in plastic bubble. I knew it had to be a Valentine’s gift!

But since I am a civilized and decent human being, I restrained myself from tearing the wrapping with my claws and teeth like a scavenging raccoon.

Even the night before Valentine’s day I was already trying to convince him that we should exchange our gifts (I’m like this on Christmas Eve too.)

We woke up yesterday and I immediately began to jump around with excitement and clamor that we should exchange gifts.

I gave him his gift, which was a tin box with a French magnetic poetry kit inside…

French Magnetic Poetry Kit

Then I opened the gift he’d given me.

Which was…

A family of owls

The cutest family of three little owls!

He had bought them for me at an antiques market in Paris. They feel so soft and are made from real feathers.

Confession: I had felt a slight pang of disappointment because there had been a secret part of me that had hoped it would be a ring even though it was me who had told him not to get me one for our engagement.

Of course I was being silly.

Actually, there is a lot I could say about the silliness of weddings and the pressures of following certain traditions, which can come up even for couples who don’t really care much for conventions.

But I will save that rant for later.

Back to Valentine’s Day. I let the silly feeling go, adopted the family of owls and named them “The Muggies.”

Entre l'enfer et la piscine

Later, while eating our breakfast sandwiches and drinking our Starbucks coffees in the car, I had the spontaneous urge to go for a very very long drive.

So we did.

We drove north, without a destination in mind.

It was both a sunny and foggy day. We drove along Ocean Beach, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and looked at how the fog blanketed the bay.

Then we followed Route 101 for a bit, before turning our direction to the left, towards the coast. Past the smallest, quaintest little towns in the heart of Marin county.

Along windy little roads, under the shade of redwood forests.

Un chapeau miniscule

We hit upon the entrance of Point Reyes, where we stopped and looked at a map. We wondered what Sir Francis Drake was doing out here, all the way from his little English island across the Atlantic across the continent.

How long must that journey have taken back then, on little ships with little sails!

Our drive eventually led us back on to the California 1 Highway.

Imagine the most narrow and twisted little roads, and on the right, sheer cliffs dropping off into the rocky ocean below!

I’d never driven on such ridiculously dangerous roads before. So I drove like a little daredevil. A cautious daredevil at that, enjoying the lurching sensation as the car hugged the sharp curves of the road.

We stopped a few more times to enjoy the feeling of the air and the wind on our faces.

j'ai envie du champagne

The whole drive lasted for around two and a half hours. The rest of the afternoon was not as exciting, as we spent the time taking care of the things we needed to take care of.

But later in the evening, we opened a bottle of wine, lit some candles, danced to Sade’s “Smooth Operator” and had a good laugh at ourselves.

The Muggies

Cheers to the times that we spend with our best friends!

Wishing you Happy Valentines, from “the Muggies” !!!