100 Pieces of Wisdom from 2017

100 Pieces of Wisdom

One of the most beneficial things I did for myself this year (other than using a poster board to make a giant adventure list) was keeping a journal that I used to write down five things I learned over the course of the day. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t realize how valuable this would be to me so while I wish I could say I kept up with it daily, I did not. This is definitely a change I will make going into 2018, as I see now how much worth there is in keeping track of the lessons you’re learning.

The first 10 on the list are 10 of my personal, most noteworthy lessons from this year. 11-99 are the lessons of people whom I asked “what did you learn in 2017?” Some people answered this via social media, and some lessons are from my colleagues, classmates, family members, and friends. Some lessons are from the mouths of strangers whom I randomly selected in grocery stories, the gym, or wherever else I happened to be. The lessons are listed in no particular order.

I purposely left out any details about the speaker so we can all see just how similar we are in the things we have learned, despite any differences we may have. So often we miss out on our common ground because we too quickly assume there isn’t one. An example of that from this list are lessons number 14 & 28. The men who learned these things are different races, ages, from different socioeconomic statues, and different political parties yet they learned the same thing. Just a reminder to be open to any and every one – you never know who you can connect with and who you can learn from.

I am so appreciative of everyone who unselfishly shared their wisdom with me this year.

So…what did you learn in 2017?

1. Everything is an opportunity. Everything is an adventure. Everything is an experiment. Everything is an experience. If you approach everything you do with these four things in your mind, life is so much more fulfilling and so much less stressful. We’re here to learn and grow, not to be perfect. 

2. “What you dislike in another, be sure to correct in yourself.” For years this has been one of my most favorite quotes, but this year it really became a mantra I repeated in my head daily. This quote is basically a more poetic version of the Golden Rule. If you notice that someone does something that you don’t like, take special care to look inward and make sure you aren’t doing the same. 

3. It’s easier to keep up than it is to catch up. In all things. It’s easier to stay in shape than it is to get in shape. It’s easy to keep up with your finances than it is to catch up once you’re already behind. It is easier to maintain a friendship/relationship than it is to try to salvage it once it’s broken. Etc, etc. Everything requires some form of sacrifice, but it’s much easier to make the sacrifice before you find yourself scrambling to resolve the issue. 

4. There are adventures to be had everywhere. I feel like people think you have to be in places like Jamaica or Europe just to have amazing experiences but truthfully, the spirit of adventure must live in the person, not the place. Be open to exploring where you are now. 

5. Know yourself and Be yourself. Fully and unapologetically. Yes, be willing to compromise, be willing to change, be willing to evolve and grow, but be bold enough to be yourself in the face of people who will indirectly try to change you because they don’t like themselves.

6. If you want to feel rich, create MARGIN. I read somewhere that ‘you don’t really have $100 until you have $200’ and it’s so true. The actual amount of money you have doesn’t even really matter…it’s more so about having wiggle room and the ability to not live from one dollar to the next. Create a savings account/savings plan and give yourself the gift of space to financially breathe. 

7. BALANCE is everything. It is also seemingly the hardest thing. All work and no play is a cause for burnout, but all play and no responsibility is empty and unfulfilling. 

8. Be intentional, be intentional, be intentional. In all things. Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind at all times. Either you will control your life, or your life with control you. 

9. EVERYONE has problems. Don’t get caught up in comparisons with what you see online or anywhere else. Everyone has something going on that they’d rather no one know about. Don’t compare, do your best not to judge, just live and let live. 

10. God is real. I definitely knew this already, but every year He continues to show out in my life, reminding me that he knows me personally and intimately. I am so appreciative.

11. “You become what you believe! To own my life, be thankful, set boundaries & most importantly to see myself through my OWN eyes.”

12.”I learned that everything should be approached as an experiment. When things are an experiment, you have no expectations which equals no disappointment. Learn from your experiments, take chances. Grow and glow. Experiments are experiences.”

13. “I learned that you should not invest so much of yourself into others who wouldn’t do the same for you and (to) work more towards my happiness.”

14. “I learned that Donald Trump is evil.”

15. ” I’ve learned to let things go and just live life day by day. I feel like I spend too much time worrying about many (things) that were out of my control. I felt like I was just stressing myself out for over thinking things. Now I just let things be and I’m much happier.”

16. “That family is more important than work.”

17. “That some of the best places are the ones that are close by. Be open to going to places that are near you instead of thinking you have to go far to have an adventure.”

18. “I would have to say that love is love. I’m in a polyamorous relationship, so there’s 3 of us, and I’ve lost a lot of family and friends because of it. I’ve learned that if someone really loves you, they’ll just want you to be happy.”

19. “I learned the importance of the environment…like clean air, clean water, that kind of stuff.”

20. “Nothing. It was just a regular year.”

21. “I think my biggest lesson has been the importance of self care. We all know what self care is – making sure you give yourself care so you can keep taking care of others- but I think I’ve found it to be so much more dependent on knowing when to grant self-forgiveness. The constant voice calling yourself out, nitpicking your choices, and ever destined to make you think you either aren’t enough or you’re not doing good enough in life. I’ve learned to ask that voice what its intentions are. Is it really keeping me on track or is it the learned behavior from people of the past who always wanted to make you feel like you aren’t worth anything? You have to distinguish between the two and love the multifaceted self of highs and lows that you are if you ever want to embrace self-care.”

22. “I learned to be less rigid. and less judgmental. I’m really judgmental. and I mean, if it doesn’t affect my life, why am I even worrying about it?”

23. “Problems are a sign of life. You know how if you’re in the hospital and you flat line it’s because you’re dead? and if the lines are going up and down, it’s because you’re still alive.”

24. “Don’t compare yourself to other people. Everyone is different. Just because someone you know is ahead of you, don’t rush to catch up to them. Do it at your own pace. Achieve your own goals in the best way that will be beneficial to you.”

25. “Don’t take everything so seriously. Everything is just kind of here and now.”

26. “As a nation, we need to build up our morality and tolerance. We need to be more connected and less separated.”

27. “I learned a lot about logotherapy, which is a type of therapy that helps people discover their ‘why.’ Viktor Frankl wrote a book about it and how the survivors of the Holocaust were able to make it through because they decided they had a reason to live. It can help a lot too with people who are suicidal, like you help them to uncover a reason they have to live and it can really change their lives. ”

28. “Don’t trust Donald Trump! Take away his ‘tweeter’…and I voted for him!”

29. “I learned that no matter how hard things might get or how bad things may seem it could always be worse. So have faith that it’s all a part of the process and if you believe it things will get better. Count your blessings, appreciate what you have, and keep positive thoughts through the ups and the downs. The key is be grateful.”

30. “I learned that kids are a pain in the butt.”

31. “One thing I learned in 2017 is to be patient with others and to not be so petty :).”

32. “Well, I do everything for everyone at home and I do so much for my friends and for everyone else and I realized that a lot of those people wouldn’t do the same for me. So I guess just not to let people take advantage of me.”

33. “If you’re stressed and you have a bit of a freak out, it’s okay.”

34. “I learned who my real friends are and not to trust nobody but myself, and I also learned whatever happened in the past I should forget and move on because it will make you miserable and I also learned to make time for people/friends.”

35. “Never beg for anyone’s attention…especially a significant other’s attention. It’s the easiest way to forget your worth and lose yourself. If someone isn’t willing to compromise to work on a relationship, let.it.go.”

36. ” One thing I learned this year was that I’m supposed to clean when my parents aren’t home (apparently).”

37. “Nothing has meaning except the meaning that you give it.”

38. “This year has shown me, more than anything, that the ways forward are through patience, kindness and love.”

39. “I learned not to compare anyone else’s success to my own, to not get discouraged or unmotivated. One’s journey is not my own journey. I still have days where I struggle with this A LOT, but I try my best to snap out of it and instead get INSPIRED. I’m learning to take action in my plans…I really believe in myself now.”

40. “The people you trust the most will (screw) you over the hardest.”

41. “Not to judge. Until you walk in someone else’s shoes, you just never really know.”

42. “I learned that you’ve got to be grateful for what you have.”

43. “Sometimes you learn more by failing.”

44. ” The main thing that I’ve learned is that life will go on with or without me. It keeps me motivated and reminds me that I have no choice but to pick up the pieces of my life if I want to succeed. Learning who I am has also been one of the biggest lessons in my life. No one is going to live MY life so I cannot rely on others opinions to dictate my likes, dislikes, and actions. Life is ultimately a game of trial and error, and the beauty of that is it makes you more humble and enlightened about life. Last but not least, I learned that EVERYTHING that happens to me is a blessing, whether it be good or bad, it’s a blessing in the end. It may not seem like it, but trust me God will never give you a load that He doesn’t believe you can handle and he also gives His toughest soldiers the hardest battles. Hardships will reveal to you the things about yourself that you may not even have known, such as strength, integrity, and resilience. They will make you stronger and a better you.”

45. “I learned that life is short.”

46. “One thing I have learned in 2017 was to be more patient with others and not over think too much of things or problems because it will get better sooner or later. Also just to be more kind and happy with everything.”

47. “Things can get better as they slowly piece themselves together.”

48. “I learned that life is not a race and everyone will accomplish their goals on their own time. Someone my age may be further ahead in college than me but that doesn’t mean I’m behind. Everyone has their own path to follow and there is no right or wrong way to follow it.

49. “I learned I need more money.”

50. ” You can’t always make everyone happy and sometimes, in order to make the right choices for yourself, you may lose a couple of people but that’s okay because it all works out in the end.”

51. “If it’s expired, just don’t eat it.”

52. “Don’t trust anyone fully.”

53. “Sometimes the opportunities in front of you, are only for you. As a giver it is hard at times to not think of the next person who is in need, how you can “split” your opportunity to give everyone a slice – but, now it is time to accept that it is okay to receive during your harvest. So, accept your harvest. After all, after so much sowing, you should be confident in what is reaped.”

54. “I learned that God is the best dad ever.”

55. “Well, I discovered Red Rock Canyon in Vegas and I never knew that was there! It’s at the north end of The Strip and it’s like a mini Grand Canyon. It’s a 13 mile loop and you can hike it or drive it. Oh and don’t trust politicians. But I already knew that.”

56. “I learned you can’t lick your own elbow.”

57. “One thing I have learned in 2017, and that I keep learning, is to live life because time does go by fast. Also, spending time with family and friends means a lot.”

58. “A solid lesson I learned this year, is that everything you do in life is an investment. So whatever choices you make, you should always make sure it will add value to your life, or will help you somehow in the future. Pretty much I learned to stop wasting my energy on irrelevant things.”

59. “I learned that it’s okay not to be okay.”

60. “I’ve learned to focus more on life’s journey than its destination. We all get so focused on our huge dreams and goals (don’t get me wrong, that’s amazing), but we tend to forget to enjoy the journey and paths we take and the way God leads us so we can reach our destinations. I’ve learned to take deep breaths and allow myself to be present in everything that I do.”

61. “The importance of learning to adapt. I had a hard year, and I moved a lot so yea, just learning to adapt.”

62. ” One thing that I truly learned from 2017 is to never end my life just because of a situation that I feel like is never going to go away. Multiple times I wanted to just cut the cord, but I know God has something in store for me in the future.”

63. “I learned not to care about anyone’s opinion. I learned to be happy with myself in order to be happy with the world. I learned that I don’t need any negative vibes or people in my life & because those negative people are unhappy with their lives, they try to bring everyone else down.”

64. “Weddings are expensive.”

65. “The most important thing that I learned is that having a great support system such as family is huge and important. My family means the world to me and nothing feels better than seeing everyone succeed and happy.”

66. “I’m starting to realize that all my sadness and loneliness is a figment of my imagination and it’s not reality.”

67. “The life we are living now is not all there is! We all are patiently waiting for something better! and it will come this year. We all had highs and lows but look at us, we are still here alive and living life grateful for each and every day. We have to try and praise god and try to encourage someone else to keep fighting and being the best they can be! We are all human and no one’s better than the next, we are all in this race together! Nobody can do it on their own. We all need each other!”

68. “Stay healthy and don’t eat a lot of bad snacks.”

69. “Don’t be afraid to put your foot down.”

70. ” According to the girl at the hair academy who cut my hair today, you’re supposed to shampoo with hot water and condition with cold water.”

71. “I learned that your past doesn’t have to dictate your future. That what you’ve been through doesn’t mean your broken forever and that the non acceptance from man (the world) doesn’t make you any less worthy to have the desires of your heart. We go through situations to grow, to be better, to do better, and that doesn’t have to define you but choose to let it shine upon you.”

72. “You have to be good with yourself before you can be good with others.”

73. “In 2017 I learned that people come and go, but the ones who stay (through everything) are only going to keep growing with you, and make you a better person in the long run.”

74. “Never give up on your dreams.”

75. “Don’t trust anyone. I mean, it’s kind of every man for himself.”

76. “Working hard really does pay off.”

77. “I learned that things will break you and things will be hard and there are gonna be crazy obstacles to get over whether it’s getting a new job, finishing school, getting over your ex, or even working out family issues. BUT it is definitely in your hands to pick up those pieces and learn from your failures/mistakes/difficulties and keep moving forward. You could sit around and feel sorry for yourself orrrr you can get up and switch things around, do something different, work towards taking steps toward your goals. It’s a lot easier said than done but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?”

78. “I learned to live in the moment.”

79. “Dreams are worthless without action.”

80. ” I’m turning into my mother…and that’s more than okay.”

81. “That people are really mean. Especially in politics, like you can disagree and still get along. And I also learned that there are people with big hearts, you seem them helping in natural disasters and it’s like there’s hope. Mean people over here, hope over here.”

82. “Take it one day at a time with having a goal in your mind.”

83. “Not all your friends are actually your friends.”

84. “You will gain so much in life if you have self-confidence, self-love, and self-care.

85. “To not fear failure. To be okay to fail. I had a professor who purposely made the first test so hard so that everyone would fail. He curved the test so everyone still passed, but he said you have to learn to fail and then learn how to pick yourself back up. Also, that sometimes you just have to slow down.”

86. “Trade your expectations for appreciation.”

87. “I learned that my family is pretty awesome.”

88. “In 2017 I learned to just not care about the small things, and I should focus on bettering myself.”

89. “I learned how to push myself past my limits. A friend once said ‘sometimes you are like a glow stick, you can never shine until you break yourself open.”

90. “Well, I just got married! So I would say learning to be selfless. Patience is another form of selflessness, because when you’re being patient you’re thinking about the other person and not about yourself.”

91. “You can’t be stressed and grateful at the same time. When you get stressed, just automatically think of something you’re grateful for.”

92. “How to not only manage my time, but how to know what are wants and what are needs.”

93. “When you do something, it will always come (back to you) in return even if it’s good or bad.”

94. “This year I have learned that I am my biggest obstacle. I always talk about the things that I want to do and I either don’t start them or complete them. I let fear, doubt and anxiety take over instead of putting my trust in God and realizing that with him anything is possible. I made the decision to work on my blog towards the end of this year and I set small goals for myself to accomplish and it’s officially almost done. I’m learning that consistency is key and I have to just keep working towards my goals.”

95. “Forgiveness is necessary.”

96. “Some time at the gym is better than no time at the gym.”

97. “Time heals everything, and everything gets better even though it takes a while.”

98. “Different things will speak to you at different times.”

99.  “Make sure your goals align with your heart.”

100. “God’s got it.”

 

Goal Writing for the New Year

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In 2017 I committed to making no New Years resolutions.

I know not only statistically, but also personally, that making New Years resolutions rarely ever  works or leads to actual results. Instead, I told myself that I was going to focus on self-growth, allowing myself to evolve naturally through the experiences of this year.

So, as with anything else, I made a giant list on a poster board of all the things I wanted to accomplish, try, or experience in 2017. I looked through magazines, Pinterest, various websites, anything that triggered any kind of inspiration and considered what would be valuable enough for me to put my energy towards. I wrote everything down and then crossed things off the list as I did them. This process turned out to be one of the best, most fun things I could have done for myself. It kept me intentional all year long, gave me things to look forward to, challenged me, and pretty much did away with any possibility of boredom because I always had ideas on hand. A lot of people follow this same concept with pictures (as you are essentially making a vision board), but I connect better with words, hence the list.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your own list:

  1. Write it all down – Have you been wanting to try out a new restaurant? Write it down. Have you noticed a character flaw in yourself that you’ve been wanting to improve on? Put it on the list. Are there people in your life you’ve been wanting to spend more time with? Add it to your board. My goals ranged from “Get closer to God” to “Watch all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies” and everything in between. No goal or desire is too small or too big. Just write it all down.
  2. No pressure – This list is meant to be personal. There is no right or wrong way to do it; you are doing it for you. It doesn’t matter how many things are on your list or how many things you do or do not accomplish by the end of the year. It doesn’t matter if you share it with others or keep it to yourself. It is simply a way to remind yourself of the things you want and to keep you on track.
  3. Focus – I look at my list daily and keep a picture of it in my phone for when I’m not home. This helps me to stay focused on the things I’ve written down. You will either control your day, or your day will control you. When you have something to focus on, you are more likely to better utilize your time and resources.
  4. Include things that you have no idea how you will accomplish – If you know how everything will work out, there is neither faith or adventure involved. When you include things that are your true desires and you put prayer, positive energy, and hard work into seeing them manifest, life has a funny way of conspiring to ensure that they do. I included things like “Positively impact at least 100 people” and “Find my area of competence.” I had no idea how either of those things would come to be, but as the year progressed, I found myself in positions that allowed me to spread positivity and love in both traditional and non-traditional ways. Toward the last few months of the year I started to feel like maybe I had found my thing as far as what I feel I am best at. Two of next years goals stem from these goals and are written on my 2018 board as “Positively impact at least 1,000 people” and “develop and master my area of competence (creativity, connection, and positivity). I have no idea how I will do either of those things, I just know that I will.
  5. Don’t worry about rank or order – For some people this won’t be a problem, but I feel this is important to mention for anyone who is super particular like me. The point of this list isn’t to try to get things done in any kind of order or pattern; it is more important that you let your ideas come naturally and write them down as you think of them.
  6. Leave room for the unexpected – Through this process, I found that many of the things on my list ended up being things I didn’t really care about doing, which worked out in my benefit because I was able to disregard them before doing them and instead put my energy toward something else. I also found that there were things I ended up serendipitously accomplishing in ways different than I had originally imagined. For example, number 81 on my list read “Get a new car (Maserati Ghibli).” I didn’t end up getting a Maserati, but I did unexpectedly get a new car that is not only beautiful, but works so much better for me at this stage in my life. Depending on the length and depth of your list, leave room to be okay with not crossing everything off. My 2017 list was 123 lines long- many of the things I listed did not get done. However, I still did many additional things that were not originally listed, and I know for a fact that I would have accomplished so much less had I not made a list at all. Go with the flow, this is all a learning and growing process.

 

If you’re looking to make next year full of growth, adventures, and intentionality, grab a poster board and get to writing. May the coming year, be our best year yet.

Adventure of the Week – Bagels & Brew and Chill at The Queen Mary

Unicorn Bagels we were hoping to try! (picture from Bagel & Brew's Instagram)

This week’s adventure was truly that…an adventure. We learned about planning ahead and finding what’s great about where you end up.

We set out to find Unicorn bagels at Bagels & Brew in Lake Forest. Usually I drive, but this week Julianna drove. Instead of driving to the Lake Forest location, we ended up at the Aliso Viejo location which was an extra 20 minutes away from our starting point (side note: make sure the driver knows how to operate their GPS before you actually start driving). When we finally arrived, we found out that Bagels & Brew only offers their colorful unicorn bagels Thursday – Sunday which was too bad for us because it was Wednesday. We ended up ordering a pizza bagel melt (about $5.50) to share, and it was so good that we ordered a second one. If you head over to Bagels & Brew for a pizza melt, make sure to ask for ranch because they have the good ranch (if you’re a ranch connoisseur, you know what I mean when I say “good ranch”). They also have a range of other things on their menu from salads, sandwiches, smoothies, ice cream, burgers, soup, and coffee all made with fresh ingredients.  The shopping center is cute and has several stores, a movie theater, and lots of other places to grab food if you’re in the mood for a different type of cuisine.

Pizza Melt Bagel

After dark, our family headed over to Long Beach to experience CHILL, an annual winter event that takes place aside the historic Queen Mary. CHILL showcases the food and culture of six different regions of the world.

Here’s the need to know if you plan to check out CHILL for yourself:

  1. The experience runs from December 13th- January 7th (closed on New Years Eve) from 4:30pm-11pm.
  2. Everything about it is expensive. My mom got the tickets off of Groupon, but I no longer see them available on the site. Tickets can be purchased here and cost $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids. Parking is a whopping $20, and to our surprise, many of the attractions inside of the event cost extra. The best attraction by far is the zip line, which cost an additional $90 for 6 of us to ride.
  3. There are free attractions once you get inside of the event such as ice skating, shuffleboard, a giant rocking horse and a tubing slide.
  4. There are plenty of places inside to get food, which feature tradition foods from different regions such as Russia, Switzerland, etc.
  5. There are several little houses where you can make crafts such as your own gingerbread house and Christmas stockings.
  6. It may be worth it if this is something you’ve really wanted to experience, but all in all, I would say that the prices are just too high when there are so many adventures out there. In calculating the cost of the full experience (entry, parking, food, and attraction tickets) for just a family of three, it would easily be at least $200. Yikes.

Until next time, adventure is out there! ♥

Do You Watch Your Language?

What kind of words come out of your mouth the most frequently?

In focusing on being keenly aware of the energy I give and receive, I’ve started paying special attention to the things I say. What I mean by this is I’ve started being consciously aware of how often I use positive words and how often I use negative words.

Take your average day into account. How often do you use the words (or words similar to) “beautiful, amazing, grateful, blessed, thankful, incredible, faith, hopeful, appreciate, wonderful, great, happy, funny, inspiring, creative, love” or any other word or phrase that has a strong association with positivity?

Now, consider how often you use the words (or words similar to) ” bad, sucks, broke, hate, poor, unhappy, never, failure, sick, won’t, can’t, stupid, ugly, worthless, stressed” or any other word or phrase that is strongly associated with negativity? Which of the those words do you most often use to describe your life? More importantly,  which of those words do you most often use to describe yourself? 

Of course there are times when certain words are indeed accurate in their descriptions ( if you have the flu, of course you are “sick”), and it is absolutely crucial that we all live our truths (if you’re overwhelmed, feeling “stressed” is completely valid). I’m not talking about the words we use to describe occurrences that happen now and again; I’m talking about the ways we habitually speak about life as a whole.

Writer Anaïs Nin said ” we don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.” How often in your day do you intentionally focus on finding something that is beautiful? How often in your day do you say “thank you” out loud? How often do you pay a compliment? It is in the average, seemingly ordinary moments that we have the power to create our own reality. Speak what you want to see.

The more positivity you speak, the more you notice it from others. My mind has become sensitized to goodness; if you’re speaking positivity, I’m automatically listening. Consequently, negativity is less able to reach me – my brain either begins to filter it in order to find the good that can be pulled from it or it just begins to tune it out. The opposite also holds true for the person whose main focus is on the negative. You get to choose which life you will live; do you want to be tuned into positivity and unavailable to negativity, or do you want to be tuned into negativity and unavailable to positivity?

We have the power to be great and add greatness into our world beginning with the things we say.  Let’s speak life into all of our situations and then go out and flourish.

 

Adventure of the Week – Dough & Arrow

Iced Guava Tea, Iced Cookie Creme Latte, Red Velvet Cookie, Smookie, and Creme Brulee cookie with our ZeroUV glasses

This week we tried the coffee and desserts at Dough & Arrow in Costa Mesa. I had originally found this spot on Instagram and was lured in by their Stranger Things inspired drinks (I rarely watch TV but cmon…it’s Stranger Things).

I had driven right by Dough & Arrow at least 50 times this year and never once even noticed it, which is further proof that some of the best places can be right under your nose!  The exterior is your average, basic strip mall store; the interior is cute, clean, and features their signature pink cookie that you see on everyone’s posts.

Dough & Arrow is known for their Ube desserts ( Philipino yams that are purple and mixed with condensed milk and butter), cookies, and edible cookie dough. They’re generous with their samples, so be sure to ask to try out the cookie dough if you can’t decide which flavor you might like. They also have a range of beverages, and they will give you a free cookie if you check in on Yelp while you’re there.

We ordered a red velvet cookie, a smookie (the cross between a smore and a cookie), a creme brulee cookie, an iced cookie cream latte, and an iced guava tea (total was roughly $12). The cookie cream latte was incredibly good, but it was also incredibly sweet. The guava tea was exceptional. They add activated charcoal to it, giving it an ombre color (this was the base of the Stranger Things drink I had originally seen online, but they stopped making it after Halloween). It is so light and refreshing, and if I had to pick one item that would cause me to return, it would be this. The cookies were also amazing. I don’t typically like creme brulee, but it was definitely the best one of the three we ordered. It was perfectly torched on the outside, yet soft and moist on the inside.

Three days later, we’re still talking about how good everything was and how we want to go back. I would definitely recommend giving Dough & Arrow a try if you are in the area!

 

Happy Adventuring ♥

I’m a Mad Scientist, Are You?

I know the thing on social media is to pretend that you have your life all together, to seem and appear as if your life flows in perfect harmony made up only of fun and good times.  I however, do not have my life all together. Not even a little bit. Nine times out of ten it’s a mess, and I am utterly and completely winging it. You could call it chaos, you could call it “learning as you go”. Realistically, it is a combination of the two along with a sprinkle of faith and a dash of hope.

I am, by nature, a “safe” person. I like predictability, I like patterns, and I like control. Even my spontaneity is typically planned, and I have to overcome a great deal of anxiety if I come up against last-minute changes. You would think that with all of the changes life poses I would instinctively be more flexible instead of having to mentally rationalize every unforeseen circumstance to prevent having some kind of breakdown, but…I can’t always help it. This is who I am.

This year, whether intentional or not, I began to see myself as an experiment. I began to realize that control is just an illusion. If we have an ounce of control in this world, it truly lies only in how we respond to the things that go on within us and around us. And if we are to respond with grace and purpose, and not out of impulse or fear or anger, we must be what I naturally am not – flexible. We must not only be flexible and forgiving with those around us, but also with ourselves. We must see ourselves as being in a constant state of evolution…of learning…of growth.

Seeing yourself as an experiment removes the pressure of expected perfection and instead replaces it with room for wonder, hope, and excitement.

No one expects an experiment to be perfect – it’s an experiment. It’s a test to see whether or not something works. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you reformulate the experiment and try again. Consider it like those TV shows where the scientist is seen mixing the contents of random test tubes. Usually, a few blow up in his face until he mixes something that is revolutionary. The same may be true of you and your life; it absolutely is true of me and mine. A few things may result in unwanted explosions, but ultimately finding out what doesn’t work leads to the discovery of what does work. Each experiment teaches you something about yourself. Each experiment is an experience, and experiences are how we grow.

To succeed in an experiment, you need only to pay attention. Ask yourself often “What did I learn from this? What can I learn from this?” Even a “failure” is a step toward success. You can’t lose here.

This principle can be applied in all areas of our lives – from the smallest of things to the biggest of things. This year, experimentation has led me to realize that I am totally a coffee drinker. It also led me to realize that so many of the negative things I spent years believing about myself just aren’t true. It has given me a project that I am always working on and something to always look forward to.

In what areas of your life can you remove unnecessary pressure and begin approaching it using an experiment mentality?  What things have you been wanting to try but haven’t yet done so because of the fear of unexpected outcomes? If you ever find yourself in a position where you start to wonder whether or not something you’re doing is worth it or whether or not it will work out, simply tell yourself “it’s an experiment,” and continue on confidently in the direction of your goals.

My life is an experiment. Every day I am learning more about myself, evaluating where I can be more fearless, more creative, and more kind. Every day I am learning more about what I like, what I don’t like, what works for me, and what doesn’t work for me. Every day I am coming into who I truly am.

I don’t have it all figured out. Fear, hesitation, and worry still try to make their way into my mind. I am, daily, still winging it. But if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that I am the mad scientist of my own life. Can you say the same?

 

Adventure of the Week- Façade Fun House and Neat Coffee

Money Baths with Rihanna

Pop up museums are a thing of the now. This week Julianna and I scouted out the newest pop up to hit Orange County – Façade Fun House. Located in The Lab in Costa Mesa, Façade Fun House features about 8 small sets where you can let your photo loving heart run free.

You can play in a money filled tub, watch TV in the mad house, or roll around in confetti in a room that honestly has the worlds best lighting.

This pop up is small, but delivers. It delivers so well in fact, that we have decided to go again so be sure to stay tuned for more pictures from our repeat adventure!

Here’s the need to know for your trip to the Fun House:

  1. Get your tickets online ahead of time here. The tickets cost $10 (plus a $2.50 convenience fee) each. As of right now, they only have tickets available into the end of December, but the website hints at there being a change in the sets in the future instead of it just being closed.
  2. Entry is timed (as with other pop ups), but once you’re in, you can spend as much time inside as you’d like. As I mentioned above, Façade Fun House is very small inside. However, the sets are super colorful and there are so many photo possibilities. We arrived at 10 AM, were the only ones in there, spent about an hour inside, and maybe saw a total of four other people over the course of that hour. I’m not sure how it gets later in the day, but I would recommend going early if you want to avoid a lot of other people who are also there for the pictures. The Fun House is also available to be rented out for private photoshoots.
  3. The lighting inside isn’t great (except for the one room in the back), so if you have a LuMee case or a flash for your camera, I would definitely recommend bringing it.
  4. There is plenty of free parking.
  5. If you’ve never been to The LAB, it’s also a great space to get in some inspiration. Do a little shopping, grab a gourmet donut, or just sit on their outdoor swings and people watch. If you’re looking to catch lunch there, I would highly recommend eating at Habana, which is a Cuban inspired restaurant that literally makes you feel like you’ve stepped into Cuba as soon as you cross their threshold. Get the empanadas – thank me later.
  6. If you’re a macaron fan, there is also a super cute spot called Honey & Butter at The LAB that is located inside of an old school camper. They have a bunch of different flavors and designs and cost around $2 each if I remember correctly.

 

The Façade Fun House

 

The LAB

 

Honey & Butter

 

 

And would it really have been an adventure for us if it didn’t include coffee? We wrapped up our adventure with conversation and coffee at Neat Coffee, also located in Costa Mesa (approximately five minutes from Façade Fun House if you were looking to try both in one day). This little shop serves up delicious coffee along with fresh baked items. The best thing is, they share a space with FLDWRK, which is a place for entrepreneurs, adventures, students, and people of all kinds to come together to work on their ideas. The sign located at the entry sums it up perfectly:

“We are builders, innovators, & culture shakers.

We are creators, dreamers, & difference-makers.

We are mothers & fathers, sons & daughters,

neighbors & friends.

We are believers in the beauty of work & we’re committed to lives of impact.

We are advancers of the common good.”

Boom.

 

Don’t forget to share your Façade Fun House and Neat Coffee experience and pictures with me!

Happy Adventuring ♥