Saturday, February 16, 2013


Today, I am celebrating...

Can you guess the city?

Let me fill you in on what's been going on lately! As some of you know, it has been my dream to move to California for a little while now. Ever since my last trip to the West Coast, I have been mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially preparing for "the big move". It finally hit me one morning this past summer; I decided I would take a road trip across country and start a new beginning in California the following spring. (It's true, just ask my mother.) Well, get this...

Golden Gate Bridge

On that trip to California, I made an effort to visit my federal agency's office in San Francisco and meet with some of the staff. Fast forward a few months and you'd find me starting to apply to several federal positions...all located in the sunny state. Well, needless to say, the amount of government job postings that are cancelled, postponed or for internal promotion only are many...and I wasn't having much luck. Being continually promoted at my current agency has been wonderful, but my desire to move outweighed my desire to stay. So, I kept trying. And trying. And trying some more. And all the while believing that my dream would one day turn to reality. Right? The truth is, I wanted to exhaust all of my government opportunities before looking elsewhere...


Well, by the time the recent holiday season hit I started thinking it was time to switch up my game plan. I began networking outside of the government, talking with family, looking into the Peace Corps...and seriously entertaining the idea of traveling full-time for a few months. You see, sometimes you just have this desire to keep moving, keep going, keep living in a new way. I promised myself I would at least meet my 3-year mark with the government for better reinstatement purposes down the road (if need be). Then I could pursue whatever path I wanted...


So I submitted my last government application...and it just so happened to be for a position within my agency's San Francisco office. Since this kind of opportunity is rare, I didn't think much of it...and was more focused on making travel plans than anything else. A few days later, I sat down with a coworker and asked her what I needed to know about leaving the federal government and what the protocols were for reinstatement, if I chose to come back later on. She told me what she thought and asked for my resume. She said she didn't personally know anyone in our SF office, but figured it couldn't hurt to relay my information anyway. The next day was my 3-year workaversary...and I had an email request for a phone interview with two of the men I'd met when I visited the SF office!


Timing is everything. Who knew that I would apply for a position working directly under people I had already met...and that they would recognize my name and immediately get in touch with me?! We had a splendid phone interview that day (I technically already had an in-person interview) and I was offered the job two days later. Within one week, everything I was hoping for became a reality...and even better than I could have imagined! The location, the job, the time frame...all came to be. And now I'm in the process of relocating my life to the West Coast via road trip! Sometimes when God opens a door, he pushes you through it!

My new car?

I am ecstatic to begin this new chapter in my life. There is so much to look forward to! A fabulous city, new relationships, career exploration, plenty of travel opportunities, etc. I have A LOT of planning to do and, while a little overwhelmed, trust that everything will fall into place. It's amazing how when something is right...even the small details play a big part in the process! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I plan, travel & begin this new adventure. Not only do I have a lot to 'wrap up' over the next few weeks, I also have plans to travel abroad! Talk about a packed schedule!


It's not going to be easy saying goodbye to friends and family (or my pups!), but I'm lucky to have such a huge support system on the East Coast. I just hope I can keep it together until I leave! Regardless...

Life is a beautiful adventure. 
Here's to following your dreams :)

Images courtesy of © 2013 Chateau de Victoria and Pinterest

Friday, January 25, 2013

{Time to Detox}

Indulge in...

A Natural Detox

Are you trying to lose the few extra pounds you gained over the holidays? Perhaps your sleeping patterns are abnormal or you aren't feeling as rested as usual? Are you drinking more coffee in an effort to kick your sluggish mood? Is dry skin or dehydration an issue for you? Well folks, I have been dealing with all of these symptoms at one point or another I've decided it's time for a detox. Life simply won't slow down, but that doesn't mean I can't make time for a bodily refresh. I want to feel, look and be a healthier, sexier and more glowing version of myself. So here is a list of things I've added into my daily/weekly routine:

1. Drink more water. I like water, but I never drink enough of it. Part of the reason is because I find the taste of water to be downright boring. The other part is because I love drinking tea instead. So I've decided that I am going to consume at least 6-8 glasses of water per day. Adding a slice or two of lemon, lime or other fruit makes drinking water more appealing...but the fact that it's a primary way of flushing out toxins makes it worth every sip.

2. Breathe deeply. Maybe this comes a little more naturally to me...because my desire to punch someone in the throat during stressful times has taught me to sit back, relax and take deep breaths. Breathing deeper allows more oxygen into the body and helps eliminate carbon dioxide. It also helps you to be more relaxed, alert, not punch someone in the throat, and so on. It's definitely worth paying attention to.

3. Exercise. A lot of sources I've researched list 'exercise' and 'reduce stress' as two separate ways to detoxify the body, but to me they are one in the same. Exercise is one of my most efficient ways to reduce stress; by getting my blood flowing, increasing my heart rate and sweating out the bad stuff, I feel more energetic and focused. It affects my mind, body and I'm happy to start going to the gym again and cannot wait to get back on that rock wall!

4. Dry-brushing. This is a unique exfoliation technique that I've recently discovered. The goal is to remove dead skin, but it also increases blood circulation, enhances detoxification through the skin & helps keep it glowing. Using a natural bristle brush or loofah, move in a soft, circular motion starting with the bottom of your feet, working your way up to your chest. Once you're finished, rinse off and shower as usual.

5. Eliminate refined sugars, saturated fats, alcohol and caffeine. Uh oh! And just in the midst of restaurant week season! I'm currently not a big indulger of saturated fats or alcohol, but I do crave sugar and caffeine to a certain extent. That said, I'm starting to decrease my intake of sweets and main source of caffeine, coffee.

6. Fill up on fiber. Consuming foods such as brown rice, nuts, fruits & veggies are a good way to help cleanse the body; they boost the digestion process and provide you with many nutrients. I love rice, nuts & fruit, so my biggest challenge will be to incorporate more raw vegetables into my diet. Time to get creative!

7. Antioxidants rock.  I mentioned here about many foods that are rich in antioxidants. Essentially, they help eliminate free radicals all while providing great side effects for the body. Green tea, for example, is a wonderful source of antioxidants and just so happens to be one of my favorite things to drink! You want to consume as many vitamins and minerals as the more antioxidants, the better.

8. Be positive. Transforming stress by exhibiting positive emotions really works (and is wonderful for the body), but it isn't always easy. I consider myself a pretty positive person most of the time, but I do think I could be a little less hard on myself. What do I mean? Well, instead of primarily focusing on my 'need improvement' areas, I plan to build myself up with positive affirmations every day. Pampering or spoiling oneself is different than uplifting oneself, and by doing more of the latter we can all better embody a truly positive persona.

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.”

-Leo F. Buscaglia

Images via Pinterest 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

{New Year, New Goals}

Indulge in...

A New Year(ning)

So far, this year has been marked by a lot of relaxing and spending time with family, working on a few DIY projects (coming soon), dealing with some health issues and easing back into my normal groove. That said, I'm really excited for what 2013 has to offer! Not one to typically write a list of resolutions at the beginning of a new year, I did make myself stick to one specific "new year intention" for 2012: accept as many social invitations as possible in order to meet new people, expand my horizons and get to know myself better. I think I did a pretty darn good job! And while I would like to "go with the flow" and see where life takes me throughout the upcoming months, I do have a few more clearly-defined intentions for 2013:

1. Continue to put less importance on social networking. I've been without Facebook for almost three months and it's amazing how much extra time I put into more useful things. I like taking a break now and then to remind myself that Facebook doesn't take the place of having real relationships, having a real life (not just an awesome, virtual one) and shouldn't be a necessary way of receiving affirmation from others. I've even been debating whether to take a break from other forms of social networking, such as Instagram, but only if it becomes a source of distraction for me. Everything in moderation.

2. Make investing a priority. I've received a lot of great advice on investing and, while I want to share it with all of you, I want to first put my money where my mouth is (ha ha) and see what happens. I reached my financial savings goal for 2012 (yay!) and feel very confident in my ability to make big decisions if I choose to do so. However, I must note that the act of investing (to me) extends beyond just making a monetary commitment!

3. Switch professional gears. I am about to celebrate my 3-year workaversary with the federal government (crazy!) at the end of January and, while I have developed so much as both a person and a professional in my current position, I feel it is time to start looking into new opportunities. I'm not quite sure what that means yet or when it will happen, but I do know that my bold heart is speaking loud and clear. I do not take for granted the blessing of a stable job with good pay, benefits, flexibility, etc...but I also know that complacency can hold us back from pursuing our true desires. Life's too short for that. Here's to seeing what the future brings!

4. Volunteer more. I've realized that I want volunteering to be a larger part of my life. Not just volunteering for the sake of it, but seizing opportunities that I actually care about and believe in. I think we need to build into others just as much as we need others to build into us. While serving dinner at a homeless shelter the other night, I had a moment of clarity; that no matter who we are or what walk of life we find ourselves in...we're all humans who crave love in whatever shape or form we can receive it. For me, that makes life a little more precious.

5. Be content. I'm going to be very honest with all of you and admit something quite personal: that despite everything I do and have done, I seem to always crave more out of life. Shocker. Now, I don't think it's a bad thing to want more or continuously strive toward goals...but contentment can be a struggle for me at times (ya feel me?). My current back issues brought this to light recently since I've been forced to take a break from my typical routine. What I'm realizing is that I need to spend more energy into being thankful and appreciative and less energy into being anxious, worrisome and comparative. I seem to forget that God is an unparalleled source of peace and that He knows the real desires of my heart...all while providing me with the right opportunities at the right time. Note to self: re-read this last line (er, paragraph) every day for the rest of the year my life.

I think it's wonderful to have positive and self-improving intentions when entering a new year, as well as continuing those goals already set in motion. For me, 2012 was a year of transition & discovery: being single & independent after many years in a relationship, distancing myself from lousy friendships and embracing new, healthier ones, seeking out awesome opportunities and adventures to enrich my life, putting my personal happiness was an at-times-challenging yet epic year (and the one that I will always treasure). So what about 2013? Oh friends...just you wait!

Images via Pinterest