My annual update to my bucket list…

I don’t even know how I got started doing this… last year, when I updated, I only crossed things off – I didn’t add.  So this year, I figured I’d add some new dreams, and cross off the completed ones… let’s see how this turns out!

1. Go on a long road trip on a motorcycle.
2. Skydive
3. Get in a food fight
4. Learn to surf
5. Publish a book
6. Ride a hot air balloon
7. Go grape stomping and make wine
8. Go scuba diving
9. Ride an elephant in Thailand
10. Explore a real castle
11. Attend a ball
12. Eat sushi in Japan
13. See the cherry blossom festival
14.  Design a video game
15. Attend SDCC
16. Achieve my ideal weight
17. Learn to ski
18. See the amazon rainforest
19. Climb a mountain
20. Paint a mural
21. Make a CD – in a professional recording studio
22. See the aurora borealis
23. See the pyramids
24. Send a message in a bottle
25. Buy a house
26. Go on a cruise
27. Visit New York
28. Visit Vegas
29. Cook through an entire cookbook
30. Fly first class
31. Go on an African Safari (no killing things tho please!!)
32. Experience Zero Gravity
33. Explore the Louvre
34. Visit Tuscany and experience “the Tuscan light”
35. Fly in a fighter jet
36. Drive on a race course as fast as I can go
37. Play a real game of poker in a casino
38. Go to the airport and take a random flight for a weekend
39. Experience Mardis Gras
40. Be at Times Square on New Years Eve
41. Get hypnotized
42. Speak at a design convention
43. Milk a cow
44. See Stonehenge
45. Meditate in a temple in asia
46. Rent a bus and party with friends
47. Set up a soup kitchen
48. Dress up in disguise for a day
49. Camp on a beach
50. Make a cherry pie with a lattice top
51. Throw a boomerang
52. Spend a day in bed… NOT sleeping 😉

53. Be “stranded” on an island for 3 days
54. Attend the Olympics
55. Kiss under the mistletoe
56. Be a part of a flash mob
57. Attend a murder mystery dinner
58. See real fireflies
59. Skinny dip in the ocean
60. Sex on a beach
61. Swim in a tropical ocean at night
62. Taste a sprouted coconut
63. Buy an investment property
64. Make someone smile every single day
65. Learn to play guitar
66. Go 140 mph on a motorcycle
67. Take a pottery class
68. Make stained glass
69. Flip a house
70. Attend my kid’s graduations
71. Meet my grandkids (this better be a LONG LONG time from now lol)
72. Join the mile high club
73. Take a bubble bath with someone

New Additions:

74.  Open a physical shop to sell bath & body products, cosmetics and candles
75.  See the glaciers in Alaska
76.  Remodel my home
77.  Learn to make cheese
78.  See mexico and South America

79.  Participate in a zombie flash mob

80.  Have my side business become my full time job
81.  Finish decorating my house (to where I actually feel like it’s mostly complete)
82.  Read an entire library’s worth of books (I’d say i’m doing pretty well at this goal)
83.  Learn sign language
84.  Write a love letter in french 🙂
85.  See, in person, Shea butter or cocoa butter being made and/or collected from the source.

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The end of an emotional weekend

What a weekend I had.  My daughter had a friend over for a sleepover, and while I will not divulge details about this girl, I will share that her mom, a dear friend of mine, passed away a couple years ago.  It was… absolutely heart breaking then, and shook me to my core.  I still think about her every single day. And it’s been a long time since we’ve spent time with that family. So this weekend has certainly left me feeling emotional…  And protective over children, in general.

Last night, she asked if we could take a moment and do a group snuggle – because she didn’t get that much at home these days.  My heart broke as I snuggled both girls for a while.  I stayed up way too late, snuggling and chatting with them.  Caught up on how her life had been since we’d last seen each other.  And it shook me all over again.  I tucked them in and stayed up tossing and turning over it all.  This morning, I took them out for breakfast.  Waffles with cotton candy on top – because .. that’s why.  Just because.

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Because maybe, a little extra sweetness, be it a snuggle, a kind word, a funny story, or even cotton candy on top of a rainbow waffle … with sprinkles…. will somehow put a smile on a kid’s face.  And if that happens… maybe she’ll be able to survive this horrendous childhood that she has had.  Yea – I know it’s a stretch.  But damn it… what else can I possibly do?! She now has a standing invite to come over regularly, as well as halloween and any other time she needs a snuggle… but even I know … It’s not enough.

It’s interesting how small your own problems can become in moments like these.  I’ve cried a lot this weekend… cried for her, cried for mother, cried for the unfairness of it all, cried out of gratefulness for my own children… ugh.  I’m done crying, and tomorrow, my still partially sick butt has to get up and go to work and get my head in the game.

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It’s funny, this isn’t how I’d imagined my weekend turning out – but I wouldn’t trade it.  Maybe I needed a reminder … that my problems and stress are small in comparison to what they could be.  That I have it so much better than some, and have given my children a world that is healthy and positive and full of laughter and snuggles and love.  I have to remind myself that I cannot hug everyone.  I can’t heal everyone.  That I have to be content with helping those that I can… and not get hung up on those whom I couldn’t.

Goodnight Neverland.  I wish you all the best.

Much love,

Jen

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Once I’m human again… an ode to fall.

It’s easy to stumble upon moments of self doubt when you’re sick and you’re single.  For it is when you’re sick, that you’re often feeling at your lowest, easily susceptible to feeling the true weight of being alone.  What’s interesting to me is that I’m content 95 percent of the time with being alone.  EXCEPT… when I’m sick.  Then I just want company.  Companionship to watch the movie SpaceBalls with, and to fight over kleenex and who gets the last orange juice!

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So I just embraced those moments and spent time with myself.  I’ve binge watched a bunch of movies that I haven’t seen in a very long time, ingested as much liquid vitamin C that I could possibly stand, slept when I needed to sleep, as well as lit candles and watched (from inside) the season take over the yard… the leaves changing color, a small nip in the air.

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It’s lovely.  It’s also unfortunate that I’m sick – as this is one of my favorite times of the year.  I get to wear boots!  I get to wear scarves!  And although I don’t do pumpkin spice – I find those that do adorable in their charming predictability.  Fall is finally here in Seattle, and I’m thrilled!  I can’t wait to get out into it and catch up on work and life and the world!

Until then… I think I’ll make a cup of tea and hope that this miserable plague finally goes away enough for me to re-join the human race.  Once I’m human again.

And on that note… I thought I’d share some funny meme’s about being sick.  🙂  Enjoy!

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Update: It’s been a while

First off, I suppose I should apologize.  You see, I use writing as a release.  When I’m feeling down, or lost or anxious… writing helps me find a way to vocalize whatever it is that’s weighing me down.  And once I can do that, once I process it – I can let it go.  But in the past few months, I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster, and haven’t really had the desire to do much writing about it.  So.. here it goes… a brief update on all the busy happenings that have been my life since I last wrote.

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My side business is doing very well.  I imagine at some point towards the end of the year, that it will no longer be a side business… but something a bit more on the main business side of things.  It’s exciting and has been a lot of fun.  My best friend and my daughter are both heavily involved and it brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment to work on it with them.  Not to mention, I can pour my creativity into every new recipe or batch.  I won’t lie, a LOT of my time has been poured into my business… between making the products and making sure they have the proper cure times, researching recipes and new products to add to my lines, testing batches, labeling & packaging, shipping, marketing, attending pop ups or shows… it’s a LOT of work!

I had a bit of a health scare for a few months.  Ended with me having a procedure that, at least so far, has given me some answers.  I’m learning how to manage.  Some days, I have more energy than others, but I’ll be damned if I’m just going to sit by and feel sorry for myself over it.  I’m unique. LOL.  That will have to do.

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I’ve attended a few events, a fair, have visited a few farmer’s markets and even had the privilege of participating in an east indian wedding… such an incredible experience. And the photos.. let me tell you!  All the colors!!!  Such a treat.  It’s been a lovely summer so far, and it’s not quite over yet.

My daughter and I are planning a mural on the long fence that is on one side of our property.  We’ve got a few scenes we’ll work into it, and we’ve spent a decent amount of time planning it out and discussing each scene.  I’ll be buying the paint & supplies tomorrow and we’re both pretty excited to get it going… even if it will take a while to complete it.

Mid-way through August, I’ve rented a little cabin for a couple of days.  I’m hoping the new Kayaks that I’ve ordered will be here, but if not, I’ll use one of the old ones.  I’m really looking forward to it.  To get out, explore… whether it’s by car, foot or boat.  To have nothing pressing, no rush to do anything except what I want.  There’s even a hot tub… so if I want to relax and soak under the stars… I can.  🙂  Absolute bliss.  I’m craving a little quiet.  To slow down and just watch the world around me.  I’ll be sure to bring my camera.  I like to capture that which inspires me.

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My day job has been going really well – we’ve been taking on a few projects that really have me excited.  I’m enthusiastic to see how they go… projects often morph and take on a new direction from how we first imagined them.  It’s a bit like watching your child grow up – and now you can’t really control what direction they take.

I’m still consistently losing 2-5 pounds each week.  I’m pleased by that.  I know I’ll plateau again… will just keep going.  The way I see it, it took me a while to put on the weight – going to take just as long to take it off.

I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks actually – my roommate/nanny is going to be moving out at the end of August.  There’s been a little drama here and there in regards to that… so I’ll be happy to have the house back down to me and the kids.  Shoot – I can’t wait to feel comfortable getting juice from kitchen in my undies again! LOL.  But between her drama, and some drama with our neighbor behind us who wasn’t happy when my daugher washed the car and streams of water went into his yard, and the fact that I had to once again stand up to the ex to remind him that I don’t deserve to be treated with verbal abuse when he’s not getting his way… I’m so over it.  And truthfully, my confidence has taken a hit this week.

Normally, I don’t let things like this get to me.  Not really.  I may be upset for a few minutes, but truthfully, I calm down pretty quick and get over it.  But people this week, have left me feeling a bit confused, and more than a little lost.  I don’t think I was expecting it, so of course, it tripped me up a bit.  But I’m working through it.  I think it’s just a moment when I have to consciously decide that I will continue to just be me.  To unashamedly… Be. Me.  To do what I always do… to keep on keeping on.  Take me as I am, or leave me be.  I don’t think that can be a poor choice.  I suppose it would depend on how emotionally healthy “Me” is in this scenario… but in this circumstance… I feel pretty good about that.

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Frustration, moods, effort, relationships and birthdays

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I’m in a mood today.  And I can’t quite even put my finger on what that mood actually is. I’m frustrated, and antsy, I’m contemplative… really – what it comes down to – I’m craving attention.  A sincere, adult, no ulterior motives, genuine connection with someone. I don’t know… Ever since I decided to take a long ass break away from the dating scene – I’ve discovered that I go through phases.  Sometimes, I’m perfectly content with my social life.  I have a lot of amazing friendships that I cherish and adore.  I get out, I’m also quite busy as a mom and an employee and business owner.  But sometimes… I crave something different.  A real connection with someone, at more than just a surface-deep level. Sometimes I’ll meet someone and think – ooh! There’s something here!  And the moment I give into it, is often the moment they decide they have far more important things to be spending their time on.  Or… they’ll tell me that they are interested in pursuing something with me, but then the communication will lag in such a way that I have no choice but to believe otherwise.  It always seems to be hot or cold for me.  When I DO find someone who’s wanting to put in the effort.. there always seems to be a catch or some very serious red flags.  Perhaps they are an alcoholic, or just got out of a relationship a few months back, or are deep in the throes of working through something serious, like depression or PTSD from American politics and can’t seem to figure out how to move forward from it.   It’s enough to make a woman think she should just stick to being alone.  Maybe the dating world has changed in a way I didn’t expect.  Perhaps the concept of putting in a consistent effort on someone is outdated.

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Effort.  Have we all just become lazy?  Do people not feel like they need to put effort into building and maintaining their relationships anymore?  And I’m not talking about just love relationships here, friendships too.  It was my mentor, who maybe 4 years ago, told me that in order to really network from a business/career standpoint, that any relationships you make, have to be maintained.  Like my garden.  If I neglect those relationships, they’ll go stale.  When a relationship goes stale, it takes even MORE effort to attempt to jump start them.  Her standpoint was that it took less effort to maintain than it did to try and go back and repair them.  I think I took this viewpoint to heart… with all of my relationships.  I’m not saying I’m perfect here… as life happens and sometimes you just have to ride the wave that you’re on and let cards fall where they may.  But it was this advice that led me to really look at the relationships in my life.  Which ones were toxic, or one-sided?  Which ones were weeds that were choking out the rest of my gorgeous garden and what could I do about it?

The ex, his fiance and I have managed to come to a new place in our relationships with each other.  Co-parenting is some seriously tough stuff – and I’m learning more than ever, that just because he is my ex – doesn’t mean he’s not going to continue to be an active participant in my life.  So I’ve really focused on trying to connect with his fiance.  She’s a lovely woman – truly, someone I could be friends with if things weren’t what they are.  For the longest time, she’s been leery of me.  I think she worried that I still wanted to be with the ex.  HA! No thanks!! It’s only in the last month or so, that she’s started to thaw towards me.  I won’t lie, I’ve laid on the charm in order to disarm her a little more and it’s working.  When they drop off my son now, they hang out for a little while and chit chat about the week ahead, and various things going on in their world.  It’s a relief. My ex husband and I will NEVER get back together … this I am absolutely, 100 percent positive on.  BUT… He’s been one of my very best friends for almost half my life.  It’s bothered me a lot in the last 4 years, that that seemed lost.  But lately – I’m seeing it come back – in a new form.  And it’s nice.  I missed him in that way.  And I like her for him.  They seem to be good together.  Is it weird that I can say that?

Overall, it was a good weekend.  This coming weekend is my show at Pottery Barn for my side business.  Then the weekend after that, I’ll be celebrating my birthday with friends. Holy cow I’m officially turning 35 this year!!   My friend J is hosting a party at my house.  She’s invited 100 people!  I know not all will show (THANK GOD!) but it should be really interesting and exciting to see how it all goes!  Then after the party, a smaller group of us are going to go out and sing Karaoke.  Hehe… my friends are such good sports.  I know most of them hate karaoke, but they encourage me to get out and sing.  They know it was once a HUGE part of my life, and I’m grateful that they continue to push and encourage me to not give it up.  My daughter joined choir this year.  She seems to be enjoying it, although she made a comment on Friday that I had to sit and talk to her about.  I guess she’s been nervous to sing around me.  She says I’m intimidating to someone who struggles with pitch, and feels that she’s never going to learn to project her voice.  I offered to help her in any way that I can.  I’d be happy to work through some scales and help her learn to control her diaphragm a bit more.  Lord knows, when I need to be, I can be LOUD.  😀  She seemed to perk up at that one.  She wants to be able to earn a slot for a solo.  It’s funny how it brings me back. As a teenager, I was in every choir, I took professional lessons 3 days a week, I was in as many musicals and music productions I could get my hands on.  I think she’ll find her own on this one.  But I love that my child has yet another common interest as me.  🙂

Well – I better get to working.  Hope you all have a lovely day!  Much love to all of you in Neverland.  Talk soon!

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