The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with rain" - Dolly Parton

Posts for Abstinence August


HEALTH & WELLNESS - September 10, 2016

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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Abstinence August : Half Way Update

HEALTH & WELLNESS - August 16, 2016

It’s been two weeks since I began my Abstinence August life change and I felt it would be only appropriate to give you updates with supporting Buffy The Vampire Slayer gifs.


Buffy Hulu

I feel your judging eyes, but I’ve given myself a loophole. A Hulu loophole. Why? Because sometimes I have no motivation to work, no motivation to get in front of my computer – because sometimes I deal with depression. And at the beginning of this month, I was/been slipping in and out of a depression. So I used Buffy, my favorite television show of all time as motivation to get in front of my computer and get to work! I treat myself to an episode while checking emails and then I go on with my day. It’s my little loophole of happiness. It doesn’t hurt anyone, can be easily managed, and puts a little pep in my digital step.


Dining Out

One thing I’ve noticed these past two weeks  is that I’m really bad a grocery shopping. I’m used to buying a few groceries and dining out for at least half of my weekly meals. The first week I visited the grocery store, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; purchasing frozen pizza, frozen single serving meals, and an occasional produce item. Eventually, I upgraded to a full shopping cart but all the pieces were haphazardly thrown together. I purchased an Acorn squash to stuff with a chickpea curry, yeah – I have yet to make that. But, I’ve stuck to not dining out. I have not purchased fast food or take out with my own money. I have been treated to a wonderful meal in Santa Barbara by Dan and a few meals by my Mom, cause she’s awesome, but the only place I have purchased food is the grocery store.



I have not had any alcohol. Yay! And I’ve had my moments of temptation. After an amazing day hiking in Santa Barbara with Dan, we went out to dinner in SB and all I wanted was a cold beer. We even waited in a bar before our table was ready, but I stuck to my guns and just reminded myself of how it would sour a perfectly good day to let myself down. Then this past weekend while we went to see DIIV play in Long Beach, there were many hours to kill beforehand and lots of beer around us. Once again, it would have been nice to unwind with a cocktail at a bar nearby, a glass of wine with dinner, or a beer during the opening act – but abstinence August kept me on the straight and narrow.

Buffy Self Examination


Well, it’s been fun to have this little life-change filter put on my everyday. Taking away my normal comforts has forced me to confront my feelings more immediately. It’s been uncomfortable, but in the last week I’ve been laughing more at things that would  normally frustrate me. I’ve been cooking for Dan and being able to serve him a warm meal at the end of the day does fill my heart.  Since giving up Netflix as a normal escape I finished a book, and that gave me a wild sense of fulfillment. (sometimes it doesn’t take much to make me happy) And yes, I am looking forward to a whiskey cocktail or glass of wine, but I will be playing the whole picture of my day and week ahead before indulging. So half-way through and feeling strong. Oh, I’ve even made plans with a friend – although we’ve yet to agree on a time. Better make it a coffee date!


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Abstinence August!

HEALTH & WELLNESS - August 2, 2016

This month, August, I am going to be practicing abstinence from a series of pleasures. The definition of abstinence is “the practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something” and I have over indulged in Netflix, Alcohol, and Dining Out a little too much lately. Apart from the fact I love alliterations, ‘Abstinence August’ has such a great ring to it – I’m ready for a lifestyle shift.  I need to create habits that allow myself to feel more in control when the world around me is in chaos. I want to strip myself of my normal comforts that are no longer serving me. I believe by practicing abstinence, I’ll in turn strengthen my creativity, productivity, and come closer to my ideal self by September.

So why am I choosing to abstain from Netflix, Alcohol, and Dining Out specifically? Well, let me explain…




I love Netflix! They create amazing television to binge and are an endless source of documentaries that fill my mind with new information. But it’s also incredibly addictive and suddenly when all I wanted to do was turn off my brain for thirty minutes, I’ve allowed an entire night to pass me by filled with stories. Instead of working on my own story and creating my own success, I have fallen into the celebration of other people’s dreams. Netflix is filled with great content to absorb, but I need to abstain from it as a form of mindless entertainment.

I’ve been wanting to draw, paint, and itch that creative scratch but never seem to find the time. Instead of watching Netflix, in August I plan to break out my markers and colored pencils. I will turn off my analytical brain, by turning on my creative inner child. I’ll just start playing more and allow the part of my brain which has been dormant to be stimulated again.

Also, the unfortunate thing about Netflix is it’s a two sensory media. A person needs to watch and listen to it. Unlike podcasts and music that only occupy your hearing. In August, I’ll dive deeper into my love for music and listen to classic storytelling in order to multi-task more, focusing my visual attention on different tasks.

Abstinence August Alcohol_Blanket Fort Adventures


I’m not a heavy drinker. At most, I drink three nights a week while hanging out with friends or celebrating the end to a long week, and it’s usually one (maybe two, rarely three) whiskey cocktail or a glass of wine. But I want to say goodbye to alcohol. First, I want to save money. Alcohol is such a stupid waste of money. One drink at a bar usually runs $10 dollars and even a descent bottle of wine to drink at home is $13 dollars. At the end of the month, I could spend anywhere between $30 -$120 dollars just on alcohol. I want to stop drinking money, and put those dollars towards a more renewable sense of joy, like a pretty dress or less credit card debt.

Also, I’ve noticed alcohol effects my mental state more adversely than I’d like. Lately, I find I’m more sensitive to alcohol than I have been in the past. The sensitivity I’m talking about isn’t when I’m actually drinking, but what happens the next day or following days. All of a sudden a switch will be flipped in my brain and I’m significantly more negative than I was just seconds before. It happens late at night, and it’s almost like my general tiredness triggers a massive depressive episode. I think I’d like to abstain from this, for at least a month. The cocktails aren’t worth it.

I’m planning on painting my nails or doing an at home facial to unwind instead of a glass of wine. Read a book or journal with some La Croix water to celebrate the end of a long week. As for hanging out with friends, I’m pushing myself to not use dinging out and drinks for social interactions.

Dining Out Abstinence August _ Blanket Fort Adventures

Dining Out:

I’m a lazy, particular, eater. I don’t like eating the same thing over and over again. I also don’t like cooking at the end of the day when I’m tired. Because of my eating and appetite quirks, I tend to dine out a lot. I also eat a lot of cheeseburgers and french fries. My bank account is really taxed over my bad eating habits, and I’m sort of over it. I also use food as a way to cope when stressed out or depressed.

July was a really hard month, and I stuffed my feelings with rich food and alcohol. Even in the midst of eating my feelings I knew it was bad, but I didn’t care. So I need abstinence August to help me hold myself accountable for coping with life’s stressors in a different way. When I want to throw my hands up in the air and say “f*ck it, I’m getting In and Out” – I’m going to go…”No, you are in the middle of abstinence August, go to the store and make yourself your own burger if you really want it or buy food to make food.”

I feel that forcing myself to go to the grocery store in itself will guide me to make better food choices overall. In the moments between going to the grocery store and cooking at home, I can cope with whatever is bringing me down. Plus. I’m thinking I will add on a 80/20 rule to eating this month, 80% plant based diet and 20% omnivore diet. We will see how that goes.

Also, I want to abstain from dining out because I feel it’s this default setting for spending time with friends and I want to get more creative. I want to plan picnics or grab coffee* and visit an art gallery. Make excursions with friends during the day that involve exploring a part of our city, and connect with them in a new environment. I know we can be more creative than dinner at a hip restaurant.

*Loopholes //

The best way to succeed at any habit or lifestyle change is to know yourself in order to set yourself up for success. I know myself pretty damn well and I don’t want to fail, so that means I have set up a few loopholes.


I can still rent DVD’s and watch movies. But watching something old school requires a bit of planning. You don’t get lost behind an endless supply of content like one does while streaming Netflix. There is something very finite about a DVD, and it helps control the start and the end of my movie watching time.


No loopholes – wait till September.

Dining Out:

If someone else wants to treat me to a meal out, then that is perfectly fine. My aim is to shake up how I normally operate and to make more meals at home. Along with stopping myself from using dining out as a way to escape the world and ignore my feelings. I love food, and I want to make cooking a more meditative and loving experience in my home. I also I think coffee or tea is a low expense way of meeting up with people, so I’m letting that in the loophole.


Like I shared, July was sort of sucky month, and really 2016 has not been the easiest year. But I can’t let external events influence my happiness and wellbeing. My ability to put out love and light into the world comes from inside. I want to be a stronger, more creative and productive person. I want to make my dreams come true and cultivate the life I desire. I know it might sound silly, but I truly feel Netflix, alcohol, and dining out are holding me back from my best life. Abstinence August will give me the time I need to redirect my energy in different ways, so my default settings are not Netflix, alcohol, and dining out; instead it can be painting, sparkling water, and field trips.

Want to join me?

Comment something you can abstain from in August that will help you get closer to your ideal self!


Abstinence August Pinnable _ Blanket Fort Adventures




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