The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

a blog for people who still read

Posts for WHOLENESS Category

Best Podcasts of 2018 & Q1 of 2019 According to Me

Everyone is starting a podcast or listening to a podcast. I remember downloading podcasts from iTunes onto my iPod in 2005, obscure punk podcasts and one hosted by the singer of Voxtrot. They were rough, unrefined, mostly personal playlists with banter in between. Then over time, I forgot about my love for podcasts until the medium bubbled up to the surface of our social consciousness again. Oh yeah – I like those. It’s been a few years, and some podcasts have stuck with me and others I don’t check in on as frequently. I wanted to write this blog post 2.5 years ago, but got too precious about the presentation and never executed it. In 2016 my favorite podcasts were That’s So Retrograde, Happier Podcast, Bruce Lee Podcast, Failure Factor, and Ted Talk Radio Hour. I only listen to one of those on a consistent basis today. Not that the other podcasts failed me or anything, I will still put on Ted Talk Radio Hour if I have a long drive and I want to use the podcast as my way to track the time, but mostly my taste has just shifted and interest diverged. Also, I was listening to A LOT of self-help podcasts because those were the only ones I knew about. I still have more self-help subscriptions than any other style of podcasts, but the below are really my favorites of 2018 / Q1 of 2019.

1 ] True Crime Obsessed – My sister gets 100% credit for turning me onto “True Crime Obsessed”. As the title suggests, it’s about true crime. But it’s the hosts that make it so incredibly special and fun. Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle are two theater geeks who also have a love for Dateline and true crime docs. As I’ve described it to friends, imagine Jack and Karen from Will and Grace discussed the ID Channel; except they are breaking down some of the best (and heartbreaking) true crime documentaries with humor and compassion. They have a literal bell to ring when discussing garbage humans and Gillian’s impressions are hilarious. Her Warren Jeff’s is the only thing that makes listening to that monster’s voice tolerable.  I highly suggest starting from the beginning when it comes to diving into TCO. Although you could start anywhere, it’s the episodic inside jokes that develop over the series that makes you feel like you’re really just hanging out with your pals discussing some of the most horrific aspects of life. Plus they close out the shows with a palate cleanser from a Broadway Musical that is loosely tied to the documentary, for example, the palate cleanser for Prophet’s Prey was from the Book of Mormon. *jazz hands* Yeah, True Crime isn’t for everyone – but this one is for me.

Listen If You Like: True Crime Documentaries, Broadway Musicals, LGBTQ History, and Strong Women

2] That’s So Retrograde – The fabulous hosts of “That’s So Retrograde” are Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Falcon Simbari. If you like crystals, meditation, new age, wellness, astrology and all the things that might help you just vibrate higher – Elizabeth and Stephanie are here to explore those topics for you and with you. I describe this podcast like Sex and the City meets Mind Body Green. They are down to earth, with a sense of humor, trying their best to navigate being a human, living their truth, and picking up various tools to help their mind, body, and spirit be at the level which will help them live their best life. The topics and guests range from super scientist discussing the microbiome to a little more woo-woo covering how the latest cosmic shift should possibly influence your next Botox appointment. Also, I went to one of their live shows last year and excited to share – these two hosts are totally cool and awesome in real life too.

Listen If You Like: Horoscopes, Goop, Vanderpump Rules, Gluten-Free Pizza, and Normal Pizza

3] You Made It Weird – Hosted by comedian Pete Holmes, “You Made It Weird” is for those that love long listening. I was going to say “long-form content,” but that is used for a different medium. Anyways, Pete Holmes books his guest for 2 to 3 hours so they have enough time to move through that space of guarded polite conversation to when one’s hair comes down and they are both relaxed enough to have a real and honest connection. Pete is a former evangelic Christian, reformed atheist, who subscribes to the teachings of Ram Dass and whatever helps to elevate his spiritual being. The podcast isn’t preachy by any means, but if you enjoy comedy and thinking about the deeper meaning as to why we are here (or have regular existential crises like myself) then you will enjoy “You Made It Weird.” He has a 450 episodes to date with recognizable names sprinkled throughout, so you can totally scroll till you find someone of interest or do what I do –  make your Podcast app scroll through the episodes really fast, ask the universe what you need to hear and click play.

Listen if you Like: That feeling you get after having a really good insightful conversation with a complete stranger.

4 ] You Must Remember This – Remember when actresses were subscribed drugs by the Hollywood Studio system, and actors married female costars to present a family image while sleeping with their handsome male hairdresser. Yes, “You Must Remember This” is like an Old Hollywood gossip column with the sophistication and panache of scholarly historian. The host Karina Longworth brings the stories of yesteryear alive, by creating captivating seasons that cover everyone from Joan Crawford to Charles Manson. If you’ve ever been fascinated with Old Hollywood, or the transition of Hollywood to what we know of it as today then this podcast is for you.  The beautiful part of this podcast is it seems like one season plants the seed for the next, like a fun fact or tidbit of information begs for further investigation and suddenly there is a series on the parallels of Jean Seberg and Jane Fonda’s careers. It’s like if Nancy Drew grew up and was a film buff.

Listen if you Like: Movies in Black and White, Scandal, True Crime, and Glamour.

Honorable Mentions:

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard – Cool people having deep conversations

By The Book – Two awesome ladies trying out self-help books so you don’t have to.

Fishnet Flixs – If the word “Camp” makes you think of iconic fashion and cult-classic worthy dialogue before nature and tents, then this is for you!

Let me know what podcasts are on your download list. I hope you enjoying checking out a few of my favorites.


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Bachelorette Zen

I’m not a big party girl. Well, not anymore. And for my bachelorette party, I had no desire to head out to Vegas or get wasted bar hopping and dancing into the wee-hours of the morning. I’m just not that person. Just as unique as weddings are to each bride, so is their bachelorette party – and my bachelorette celebration was an amazing, relaxing, euphoria spa day at Glen Ivy with my sister, mom, aunt and two of my five bridesmaids.

Here is my Instagram caption highlighting the day. 

Yesterday, I turned off my phone and unplugged from the noise. Celebrating with my wonderful sister, bridesmaids, mom & aunt – we enjoyed a Glen Ivy spa day to the max! My favorite experience was soaking in a 102° hot tub and then dunking myself in a 62° freezing bath. It was invigorating. I need that in my life. It’s a shock to the system and now I get why Tony Robbins plunges into ice cold water every morning. 

We enjoyed saunas, a green mud grotto experience, a private hot tub next to our cabana. I’m pretty sure we had the same cabana the RHOOC lounged in too. We definitely had a VIP experience thanks to my amazing sister aka maid of honor. I just want to do it all over again, every Monday, from now till forever. Don’t think that is going to happen, but a girl can dream. 

Now I’m going to take a shower, and at the end rinse off in cold water. 

This post is a placeholder since I intend on posting photos of the day tonight. My little accountability/ motivation. I’m so zenned-out right now, it’s ridiculous. For as stressful as this wedding process has been, the amount of love and gratitude that fills my soul is overflowing and abundant. 💖

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I will beat the shame game by owning my journey.

Whenever I visit other blogs, I’m inspired or motivated to work on my own. Then when I’m on my blog, tinkering with widgets or brainstorming new content ideas, I start to look at my past content and want to hide it all. I have this itch for a fresh start. And just a few moments ago, I was reminded why I shouldn’t start all over again, and I should start owning my journey.

Blanket Fort Adventures is my longest blog relationship. I’ve been sharing my life online since 2003 under different names and on different platforms. And although an early adopter of blogging, the inconsistency in my online identity meant I was never in one place long enough to build up a readership. But Blanket Fort Adventures has been around for a while now, since December 2011, and the topics discussed, the focus – it’s been all over the place.  In 2017, an unfocused blog / purely online diary is a total faux pax. How do you grow that? Well, I’ll tell you it’s flipping difficult. So while in the midst of re-strategizing BFA, I scrolled through my Bloglovin profile looking at the visual inconsistency, the weak blog titles, and what caught my eye was all my road trip posts.

My cross-country road trip. My dream trip that I planned and executed in October of 2014. I went to the category all the posts are housed and just scrolled through all the adventures. I smiled. My eyes were wide, and I admired the woman in the pictures. I admired myself.  And that doesn’t happen very often.

After listening to a dozen or so interviews and Ted Talks with Brené Brown I’ve come to realize, I carry around a lot of shame. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had the gremlins in my head saying I’m not enough and I’m not capable. As an adult, I combat them with daily affirmations and a bunch of other coping tools, but those gremlins are still pretty strong on a day to day basis. Especially since I started planning a wedding. 

As I looked back at my old road trip posts, at the bad graphic design and fuzzy photos, I silenced the gremlins of shame and decided to own my journey. My journey in blogging, relationships, career, life — everything. I’ve exposed parts of my journey, and I shouldn’t feel ashamed of it. I shouldn’t hide it in the pursuit of perfection either.  I am who I am.

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown

The best thing for me to do now, for my blog and myself, is to come to a place of acceptance. I can pursue general self-improvement and creative growth with out it defining a lack of who I am. Yup, really have to work on moving out of a fixed mindset and into a growth mindset.  So, I’m not hiding it. I’m not hiding my countless attempts at a weekly Friday series with different names and formats. I’m not hiding the countless, “It’s been a while since I’ve blogged,” posts. I’m not hiding. My mistakes are exposed, so we can ALL learn from them.

Thank you for letting me share my journey with you. My imperfection. My shame.

p.s. I can’t help but feel a little silly to be having this deep reflection and dialogue with myself because of an analysis around my blog. But, it is a safe way to express a much deeper self-examination I’m experiencing. Because perpetual self-doubt and shame is nonconstructive and poisons the potential greatness that life possesses. There is a war between light and darkness going on outside of us, so we have to beat the battles within to win the war for love and light.    

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Acne Skin Story : How To Handle Cystic Acne

*this post contains affiliate links – ie: if you purchase anything through the link, I get a little $*

Anti-biotics, laser treatments, birth control – I’ve tried it all to manage and clear my acne and none of it really worked. I wanted to share my acne skin story because I no longer have painful cystic breakouts and my regimen might help someone else out too.

When I was thirteen a boy named Henry said to me, “you have perfect skin.” This would have been a compliment except for the fact that I remember he was angry at me. He said it to me almost like a curse, like I didn’t understand the world because I had perfect skin and he would show me. Little did Henry know, that in six months from when he cursed my perfect skin, I’d get my first acne breakout. Cystic acne that would plague my adolescence and adulthood for the next fifteen years. I can’t for the life of me remember the interaction that led up to Henry cursing my perfect skin, but I will never forget that he did – because I haven’t seen it since.  My cheeks are covered in icepick scars and I’m never without some discoloration, but I can proudly say I have managed to get the upper hand on my acne.

Cystic Acne Clear SkinMy acne has gone in cycles, from 16 to 22 it was really bad, then around 23 to 26 it mellowed, but right around 27 it came back with a fury. The pimples were deep, red, and really pissed off. Up until the last few years, I’ve never experienced clear skin. At a minimum, I would have 3 -4 deep pimples on my face with a collection of blemishes, usually around my chin but the breakouts didn’t discriminate from my cheeks or forehead. My breakouts were painful. I’d just be living my life and my skin would hurt. When I’d sleep over at a boyfriend’s house, I’d wash off my makeup and wouldn’t get into the same bed unless the lights were off, I’d also wake up and put on makeup before my boyfriend was up. I’ve never understood people who can just wear a little coverup and be done. All the tutorials that suggest a little cover up/concealer for a quick morning routine never had acne. I’m illustrating my experience with acne because I want the person who also is 26 going – “why the hell do I still have acne” read this and gets that I understand them. Cause acne isn’t just one or two pimples that eventually go away. Acne is painful, all over, persistent, and leaves a mark (or dozens).


I’ve used the following regimen for over a year now and have clear skin because of it! Whenever I deviate and try different cleansers and moisturizers, the breakouts come back. Also, I used to believe in the “skin purging” story, but unless you’re using a serum that is accelerating cell turnover, the skin shouldn’t breakout and purge. The purge can be a sign of irritation, and a reason to stop using a certain product. So without further ado – here is what I use for my skin.

Femmenessence Macaharmony: I purchased Femmenessence MacaHarmony to help with menstrual cramps, but what it did for my skin makes me a forever advocate. When using the supplement my cramps are better, but unlike any oral solution before, the MacaHarmony helped to clear up my skin and keep it clear. The above Before picture was taken 2 days before starting Femenessence, within a month I saw a huge difference in my skin and by month three my skin was the clearest I’d seen since I was a kid. My skin was so terrible, I didn’t necessarily experience a breakout before it got better, my skin was just terrible and became wonderful. The supplement also helps with my fatigue. The company that makes Femmenessence MacaHarmony also has a medical team people can call to help advise with dosage or answer any questions, talk about AMAZING customer service. I can’t say enough nice things about Femmenessence.

80% of my clear skin is due to Femmenessence, and the other 20% to my actual skin care regimen. I’ve determined this because whenever I’ve deviated to new skincare products, while on Femmenessence, I’ll experience a few new breakouts. Not hormonal breakouts, but breakouts attributed to skin irritation. I’m so grateful for discovering this new routine, I’m ride or die with the following products too.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser: Double cleansing is the ONLY way one should be washing their face. The first cleanse is to wash away all the makeup, dirt, pollution, and impurities. The best cleanser I have found for this is Philosophy’s Purity cleanser. It’s really gentle, but breakdowns makeup like a beast. I rarely have to use any eye-makeup remover. I also use Purity as my morning face wash too. I believe the more gentle you are with your skin when approaching acne the better. Most acne products are incredibly harsh and drying on the skin, and those suffering from acne are willing to ignore the fact these products speed up our skins aging process in the hopes of clear skin NOW. However, when I decided to be kinder to my skin, it started producing the desired results. Can’t blame it for breaking out, when I was irritating it twice a day with salicylic acid.

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser:  At night I follow up the Purity Cleanser with Mario Badescu’s Acne Facial Cleanser. This is the only step in my skincare routine that has the word “acne” on it, and I only use it once a day. I view the second facial cleanse as treatment.  The first cleansing to remove the dirt and makeup is prepping the area for treatment. The ingredients in the acne cleanser are able to penetrate deeper and manage the bacteria that causes acne, because it’s not fighting through other junk to get to the real culprit of a pimple. The MB Acne Facial Cleanser contains salicylic acid to combat acne, but also has amazing skin soothing ingredients like Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Thyme Extracts, and Hyaluronic Acid for ultimate hydration. All the loving ingredients in the MB Acne cleanser have been kind to my skin as a treatment solution, especially since I’ve found most acne cleanser are extremely aggressive and irritating to the skin. And when the skin is angry, it can cause more problems instead of less.

Rosehip Oil:  The use of oils on the skin have been on the rise in the last 6 years and for good reason. IT’S AMAZING!! Although I double cleanse with gentle products, I’m still removing a lot of the natural oils from my face and leaving it thirsty for some hydration, and nothing beats treating my face to rosehip oil before bed. I started using it because I read that the way to combat oily skin was to use oils on the skin. It seems counter-intuitive but actually, makes total sense. The skin will produce excess oil because it’s not balanced and needs more hydration than it’s being provided. When you start using oil on your skin, the skin soaks it in better than most standard facial moisturizers, and in turn, stops producing excess oil. Well, after testing this myself for over 2 years – that science is fact. I have the most balanced and supple skin! In the morning my skin glows and not from being “oily”, it’s because it’s still hydrated from the night before. Also, Rosehip oil helps with healing minor scars and discoloration, which in my before and after picture you can tell a lot of my hyperpigmentation has faded, and mostly because of rosehip oil. It is a bit smelly, so I will follow up the rosehip oil with a drop or two of tea tree oil. I just dab the tea tree oil around my chin mostly and a little around my nose for aromatherapy and then call it a night.

I don’t recommend Rosehip Oil for the morning because it is an oil and makeup will not go on properly, but at night it’s perfect. By the time I’m done brushing my teeth, the oil has soaked into my skin enough that I don’t feel I’m going to leave an oil stain on my pillowcase. p.s. I have a black pillowcase, so not sure what this would do to a white pillow case night after night, however, I haven’t really had any embarrassing issues at hotels. 


Ponds Cold Cream: Since I was doing a blog post on my skin care regimen, I wanted to add the fact I use Ponds Cold Cream to remove my eye makeup. I don’t use it every day, but if after the Purity Cleanser I still have makeup residue around my eyes I use the cold cream. I started using Ponds Cold Cream as an eye makeup remover 6 years ago and I’m so happy I did because it’s helped me with fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes. The extra hydration from the cream has been acting like an eye cream for the last half-decade and I didn’t even realize it until now. My mom has always been a Ponds Cold Cream woman, so when all the eye makeup removers I purchased started to hurt my eyes or need too much rubbing to remove the makeup, I turned to a classic. All I do is gently apply some of the cold cream to the eye makeup I want to remove and then swipe it away with a cotton pad. Super fast, easy, and no rubbing that can cause those pesky signs of aging. I had to give some major props to this classic oldy but goodie. The tub lasts FOREVER, and it so gentle and nourishing. I’m so happy I started using this because I didn’t start using a legit eye-cream until now. When I went to go purchase my first eye cream, the saleswoman thought I was 21 – yup not so much, but thanks for the compliment.

The above products are what have worked for me in a way that no other skin care regimen ever has. A common issue with those with acne is not just trying to cover up the discoloration with makeup, but fighting with the less than stellar texture of our skin as well. I’m so happy and thankful for figuring out what works for my skin because now I know the texture of my skin on my wedding day will actually be nice. That might be super shallow and vain, but when you’ve had a hard time going to sleep because you just have a painful breakout across your face and can’t lay down on your side like normal, clear skin starts to mean something a little more to you than just vanity. It means comfort in my your body, and reinforced confidence in your mind.

Everyone’s skin is different and treatment of acne is going to be different, but if you haven’t found a solution yet I urge you to test mine out. It’s really great for sensitive skin and has changed my life. Until this stops working, I’m not changing anything in my nighttime skin care regimen for acne.

Disclaimer: I’m not a dermatologist. I’m not a skin expert. This has all been stated from my personal experience dealing with acne and how I cleared my skin. I’m an expert in living with acne.


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Time to Bloom : Life & Balance

Hyperlinks marked with an asterisk are affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through the link, I get paid a little something for the recommendation. 

The second quarter of this year has been interesting. On the outside life was taken up a few notches with work, festivals, and school (yes I’m taking classes – more on that in a different post). But on the inside, creatively, I fell into a deep lull. I believe total wholeness is achieved when one can strike a balance between creative fulfillment and adult obligation. It’s more like a pendulum than a scale, but if the ball continues to swing back and forth, then there is a cosmic balance. Instead, my chain got tangled up on one end of the spectrum. I’ve taken some time to untangle that specific ball and chain and ready to kick the pendulum back into action.

Surprisingly, it was my dog Lou who helped me take this necessary break. A few weeks ago, on the 17th to be exact, we found out she was internally bleeding. Her platelet count was 11, and a healthy dog has between 100 – 170 platelets. The news of her health left me feeling completely helpless. I had no idea how she got so sick. The vet says it’s likely an auto-immune diseases and the GREAT news is that she does seem to be responding well to the steroid treatment the doctor prescribed. But, we won’t know for certain until her second blood test later this week. Once she got sick, I put my social life on hold. The steroid treatment is multiple times a day, at the same time. It’s causing her to urinate every hour. And since we weren’t sure what caused the internal bleeding, I started making her homemade dog food ( just in case it was her diet). The hyper-attention to her health helped give me the time to reflect on my own. I’m not happy she got sick, but I guess I see the silver-lining in the whole situation. The universe has a way of helping us when we are unaware of how to help ourselves.

While I’ve been taking extra care of Lou (and myself), I’ve been reading  *”You’re A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. It’s AMAZING!! The book contains a lot of information I was previously aware of, but her words and the way she writes is helping to flip on lightbulbs left and right in my brain. My synapses are firing! I haven’t finished the book yet, but I  highly recommend it. I’ve started to apply a few of the principles, and already, I’m seeing big cosmic shifts. Even this book was a part of helping to untangle the mess I found myself in.  I made the following video, “Time To Bloom”  as my first step to reigniting my creative spark, and also to recognize I’m ready to do thinks a little differently.

Thank you for being my buds!

love & light


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Friday Favorites : New Age Edition | WK 3 2017

After having filmed my video and reflecting on the concept of new age, consciously knowing that many of the new age concepts are really just remixed adaptations of eastern cultures and philosophies, I still decided to name this Friday Favorites a new age edition because it sets a tone for what I’m talking about and hopefully inspires independent research. New Age is scoffed at, but honestly, some of the principles that have been adopted into this western movement from eastern thought are very powerful and are needed during this time of turmoil. I’m all about that higher consciousness while having a little fun. Let’s not forget about FUN!! Check out a few more of my favorite things that are all about a cleaner, happier, wellness or “new age-y” lifestyle.

Friday Favorites Week 3 Yoga Good Vibes


A few of the links below are affiliate links. this means that if you make a purchase through the link I get a small commission, it’s like a friendly finders fee. Affiliate links are marked with an *.

Good Vibe Earrings: These adorable earrings from are too perfect because I’m all about putting out good vibes. The price is a little shocking ($70), but they are super unique and if you have the funds – treat yo’ self.

Green Juice Tote by Simply Sweet Vegan: When I saw this tote I immediately thought of my sister and I’m equally in love with humor. ($18)

Artist Alex Grey: more details in video

Hindustani Music: more details in video

*Jade Yoga Mat: I was lucky enough to receive this mat for free at a fitness convention, but I am genuinely obsessed with it. If you want to take your yoga life to the next level of comfort, invest in this amazing mat.

*Aura Cacia Awakening Yoga Mist: It’s made for your yoga mat, body, and room. And I seriously spray this stuff EVERYWHERE! Especially, in the morning when I walk into my home office. I love to spray the room to awaken my mind and senses.

Yoga with Adriene: If you are looking for awesome at home yoga videos, Yoga with Adriene is my favorite. She’s incredibly relatable, welcoming, and all about finding what feels good for you. She encourages you to create your own space on the mat and her current yoga revolution challenge is becoming a daily (almost) practice.



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If wellness is a state of good health, then wholeness is the state of a good life.

Wow! I feel like I have been kicked in the gut. I just wrote out a 556-word article on my philosophical idea of wholeness and it didn’t save. I had been working on it for an hour, and then my Word froze up, didn’t auto-save it and I am looking at a blank page with the wind ripped from my sails. But I’m going to approach this again because I really wanted to get this post up today –Sunday, January 15th.

At the end of 2016, I was reflecting on the year and thinking about the year ahead, and this concept of Wholeness came to mind. Wholeness is one part physics and one part new age philosophy. A remixed idea of Newton’s third law; For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and The Conservation of Energy: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be altered from one form to another. What if in all my actions and the energy I used was vibrant, full of love, positivity, beauty, and light? In every choice I make whether it’s what to eat, where to go, who I talk to, and what I fill my mind; I choose what will lead to more positive energy, beauty, light, and love. Then based on physics, shouldn’t what revolves around me be more vibrant, beautiful, positive energy. It’s a philosophical hypothesis.

Now, I know there are many negative things outside of my control. But like every self-help book states, my reaction to negative influences are within my control. This year I’ve decided to fiercely apply the idea of wholeness into all my actions. I created a WELLNESS category on the blog to expand on wholeness as a part of wellness. Wellness is the state of good health, and to me, good health is when the mind, body, and spirit are all in a state of positive vibration. Wholeness is when wellness it put into action throughout your whole life. It’s the one decision that leads to the next. Sometimes I draw a symbol of a circle on my wrist, just as a reminder that everything is connected. And as a person that is constantly afraid of making the wrong choice, I’m deciding not to be afraid, but to ask myself does this choice bring more love and light into the world and my life or does it stifle my life’s full potential.

Thank you for reading my musings on philosophy and physics. I’m not sure if I explained myself as well as I did the first time. But I wasn’t going to let the frustration of a glitchy auto-save stop me because this principle is the seed from which everything else in my life will grow. It’s important to me that my Blanket Fort family knows about WHOLENESS too.

What is your word for the year?


Love & Light

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I Love To Stay Home on New Year’s Eve

I love to stay home on New Year’s Eve and here is why!

It’s 6:00 pm on New Year’s Eve and I’m in yoga clothes getting ready to go to Whole Foods to pick up ingredients for a delicious dinner for Dan and me. The only alcohol I will be drinking tonight is from the classic kombucha Dan purchased me a few days ago, and I’ll be falling asleep by 10:00 pm with Star Wars playing in the background.

I love to stay home on New Year’s Eve because for the last 2 years Dan and I have woken up before the sun and head out on an early hike. We chase the sunrise up mountain trails and breathe in the new day, the new year. My favorite NYE before being with Dan was cleaning out my closet while watching John Water’s films. It was that year (2012), I decided I would no longer chase the New Year’s Eve dragon. Since I’ve been with Dan, he’s been on board about avoiding the NYE expectation monster. Instead, we have found our own way to celebrate the ending of a year, and have finally come to create a real tradition.

Dan and Bekka Rose Parade

Rose Parade Dr. Seuss

Rose Parade 2013

Our first NYE together (2013), we stayed at home and then woke up early for the rose parade. I grew up watching the parade on television and it was time us SoCal kids sat in the cold grandstands to watch the parade in real life. It’s basically a SoCal bucket list item.  The following year (2014), I locked myself in my office all New Year’s Eve until 10:00pm when I finally finished the manuscript for a young adult novel I wrote with my sister. Dan was ready to stay in, but since the night was still young we went out to an event our friend was DJing at. Although we had a great night at the club, we also decided that it just wasn’t a scene we wanted to be a part of. So when it came to the start of 2015, we turned to our love of hiking.

Crystal Cove 2015
Crystal Cove 2015

A few months earlier we traveled the country, hiking amazing trails in Utah, and never felt more alive than when we connected outside and in nature. Since we had rediscovered this love and made it a resolution to hike more, we started our year hiking in Newport Beach with coastal views. Then in 2016, we headed to Malibu. Now this year, we’re headed back to Pasadena to explore the foothills. I love our hiking tradition and now look forward to New Year’s Eve. In the past, the New Year’s Eve Expectation Monster haunted me and I sort of dreaded the night. Except, I did have one other great New Year’s Eve in San Diego ringing in 2010, but later that year my heart was ripped out of my chest by my new year’s kiss. So, I’m happy to hike and be asleep at midnight next to the real love of my life.

2016 Hiking

Crystal Cove 2016

Charmlee Wilderness Park 2016

I hope you all have a wonderful new year’s eve and day, whatever you end up doing.

May 2017 bring more love, laughter, and light into all of our lives.


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Little Things Videos – Revival

At the beginning of this year, I started a series on my YouTube channel called ‘Little Things‘. It was supposed to help me focus on the little things that make life great every day and it did for a while. But ‘Little Things’ got derailed in the spring and never had a full reboot until now. I’ve done two ‘Little Things’ videos in the past two weeks and intend on continuing the weekly upload. Instead of one thing a day, which can be daunting when work chains me to the desk, it can just be a mixture of small moments that a brought a smile to my face throughout the week. When times are tough it’s easy to see the whole sum of days as a series of unfortunate events, but the truth is that life is filled with beautiful sparkling micro-moments and if you don’t stop to appreciate those, they will be soaked up by darkness instead.  So I hope you enjoy my “Little Things” and reflect on your own mico-moments of happiness throughout the week.

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It’s been 10 days since Abstinence August ended and I never reported on how the entire month went. Also,  since I’m a glutton for self-improvement, you might wonder what other crazy motivational life hacks I’ve activated in its place.  Well, I didn’t have a total transformation like I had hoped, but I did learn a few things about myself, most of which I reported on in my mid-month update. So here is what I’ve come to learn and accept in the last ten days.

Once September 1st rolled around I was jonesing for a hot bowl of ramen and a cold Sapporo. Dan and I went to Little Tokyo for these indulgences and the dinner exceeded all expectations. Distance truly makes the heart grow fonder. Later, we grabbed whiskey drinks not vodka drinks at a cool bar that turned down the music when we started to dance – how rude. Anyways, the next day I was feeling the not so savory aspects of drinking alcohol and was off my A game. Then the next night I went out with a gal pal and had more cocktails. By Saturday, my mind and body was all wonky. It took me 3 whole days to recover. This past Friday, I enjoyed one beer (Delirium abv 8.5%) and the next morning woke up with a headache and some slight nausea. Basically, I’m coming to realize that as wondrous as a drink would be to take off the edge, it ends up cutting into too much of my time to be awesome. So, not that I’m cutting drinking out of my life, but I am going to be hyper aware of when I do and do not drink.


Also, I’m bad at grocery shopping and meal prep. When I meal prep, I don’t eat the meals. When I grocery shop, I have a hard time planning for the future. I’ve decided to stop fighting myself and just commit to having a food budget I work within. If that means I get a drive-thru salad at Panera or pick up what I want to eat same day at the grocery store, then so be it. I still have issues with regulating my blood sugar, but I’m getting better at making smart choices. Now I just need to eliminate all food waste. I really hate food waste and people saying fish isn’t meat. Fish is meat, don’t delude yourself, they having feelings.


So what am I doing next? I’ve started a new 100 days of focus to help me manage my time better, stay motivated towards getting the book published, and make myself an overall healthier person – mind, body, and spirit. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection this year, really narrowing in on my weaknesses and figuring out ways to overcome them. It’s been a harder year for me, actually, scratch that…it’s been a lobster year. I’m going to start refocusing my feelings on this year and instead of feeling negatively towards it, I’m just going to call it a lobster year.  This year the lobster is my spirit animal! If I am making no sense to you right now, watch the video below.


I set up a newsletter for all you awesome readers. Since I don’t have a regular posting schedule, I thought it might be helpful to send out a newsletter highlighting the different videos and blog posts that have been recently published. I’ve named this newsletter group, Adventure Updates. I have a second newsletter group called Fun Seekers that will be sending out fun scavenger hunts/missions and exclusive content. I don’t have an official launch date for the Fun Seekers newsletter, but I think it will start in December or star of 2017. So make sure to add yourself to both lists now and don’t miss out!!

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