latest obsessions

Just thought I would share a few things that I can’t get enough of right now, because great things need to be shared!  Matter of fact, some of these things I have found courtesy of a share – I love knowing what others are into.

Two summertime snacks I just love are persian cucumbers and asian pears, sliced and topped with lemon and himalayan pink salt.  Quite an international sounding dish, no?  Instead of chips or nuts, I will cut up a bunch and put it in a glass container so that I have easy snacks available.  The combo of sweet, salty, crunchy and tang make for a perfect nibble.  If you are into more flavor, add Everything but the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s.  Have you tried it on an avocado?  Delish!

Silverado Trail Strawberries literally taste like they were grown with sugar pumped through them.  If you aren’t in Napa, sorry, because these are like candy.  The key to making them last longer is to wash them immediately and let them soak for a few minutes in water and distilled vinegar.  I cut them up and put them in a glass container for a quick and easy grab.  My kids and I go through a pint at least a day.

Hoola and High Beam, both by Benefit are musts all summer long.  I have minis for my purse and have full sizes in my drawer.  Hoola gives the sun-kissed bronze without the glittery sparkle (which I hate) to your face.  High Beam highlights where you want to look fresh and dewy.  The micro-texture of High Beam gives more of a natural effect, versus the shimmer of some glittery highlighters.

SPORTea is as old as ever, but nothing quenches the thirst better!  I can only drink so much water, and if I have exercised in the morning, my daily intake goal has usually been met by noon.  I brew up SPORTea and put a big pitcher of it in the fridge.  If it is good enough for climbers that tackle Everest, it is good enough for me!

Mechanical pencils (my favorites are these) are a way of life for me year-round, but especially in the summer.  I feel like writing things in ink makes it so permanent.  Pencil seems sort of negotiable, keeping doors open, yet marking potential plans down as notes.  Summertime should be easy and not so structured, that’s why I love keeping the mix of camps vs. free time balanced so that my kids can enjoy summer the way I did, freely and with options!  Try switching to pencil for June and July.  There’s plenty of time to put it in ink.  Trust me.


Summer is my favorite season in California.  It is easy to love: barbecues, rose, swimming, sunshine, corn and tomatoes, the smell of sun(screen)tan lotion…the list goes on and on.  This summer is different though; I have been a cycle instructor for a full year now, teaching and taking about 5 times a week.  That’s a hefty amount of cardio for this girl.  I can say my legs definitely are looking and feeling strong – but I need a bit more.  Some girl pals and I have decided to up our game for the next month, with both movement and mindful eating.

Here’s the thing, we live in Napa and with our friends, there is no shortage of food, drink and fun.  Our Whole Foods bill doubles because chances are high that you’ll be entertaining another family for dinner, gone are quiet nights at home.  Take out is almost non-existent because the grills are blazing and the produce is piling in.  No complaints at all, trust me.

In an effort to find balance between summertime indulgence and bikini wearing fun, two friends and I are making a commitment to moving in some way, every single day for the next 30 days.  I recently got an apple watch and it has changed the way I approach my personal efforts.  The “rings” as you may have heard about, track your movement, exercise and stand time throughout the day.  If I cycle in the morning, both my move and exercise rings close.  It feels so fantastic to meet those goals before 8:00 a.m.!  I always close the stand ring by dinnertime.  The accountability the watch brings to the surface is incredible, and it has proved to be the perfect motivator for me.

Another one of my favorite things to do in the summer is ride bikes with my kids.  My in-laws brought us some Townie cruisers which are super fun for looping around our neighborhood.  The kids like to head up to the club to grab a soda at the mansion, and I might sneak a soda of my own!  We laugh and giggle the whole time, and the only hazard is getting a bug in your eye or worse yet, your mouth.

Anyone else making a commitment to stay summer-ready all season long?  Get ready for this blog to have new life back into the posts, as I am documenting it all here.  Perhaps SNS might motivate you to get out and move as well.  Cheers to the best season!


Have you ever had a dip manicure?  I was talked into it at a nail salon in Scottsdale, while we were on vacation.  As a devotee of gel manicures, I was certainly intrigued when the nail tech said it would last an extra week, that it doesn’t peel off and it makes your nails stronger.  Since I was already cheating on my own nail lady back home, I figured why not, and, I loved the results.  There is no UV curing process, just polish and powder.  It is like the acrylic they brush on for a fake set of nails, but in this case you literally dip your nail into the powder.  Whatever they paint on your nails (it is clear) grabs the colored powder, then a file is used to shape the hardened powder stuff.  A final coat of clear is put on to shine the nails up.  I have only experimented with light, natural colors, but I am loving the result.  My nails have never looked better!  The down side is that Ann, my Napa nail tech, doesn’t offer the dip manicure.  So once again I went to someone else here in town to get a new dip manicure.  Also worth mentioning, the removal process is much easier than gel.  It is simply soaked off, the only tool used is a cotton ball to wipe the residue away.  No scraping!  I am sure it is all chemical laden and likely going to be the death of me at some point, but I am willing to take my chances.

If you are in Napa, Polished Nail Salon next to Nob Hill Foods offers dip.  Christina did my nails, and I am in love with them.  Hugh is also a master, so I have been told.


I sleep terribly most nights.  I used to think it had to do with alcohol consumption, and often times too much wine does contribute to a 3am wake up.  Lately however, I have been abstaining from wine with dinner and I am still having trouble with the mid-sleep wake ups, but now I am struggling with just getting to sleep.  My neck always feels jumbled in the morning, especially after the deep sleep I finally do get between 4am and 7am.

After doing some research, I am trying some different supplements to help the rest come more naturally, than say an ambien.  First, I tried the Sleep chocolates when I was in Coloma last May with H and his classmates as a chaperone.  They did work, although I was a bit sluggish the next day.  Not having read the label, I ate four of them (the max, I later found out) which was clearly too much.  Last night I tried three, and I needed a bulletproof coffee to start the engine this morning.  A friend had suggested I try the Calm Magnesium drink before bed.  That will be tonight’s plan.  I understand magnesium has many other health benefits as well, so perhaps it should be in my program anyway.

What do you do for a restful sleep?

tahoe, booked

Every summer, my family escapes to Tahoe for a week.  We join our dearest friends for fun on the beach.  Our biggest decision of the day is what time we will have a Golden Eagle (a blended orange drink with tequila, vodka, with a grand marnier floater).  It is a week’s worth of doing nothing, and I look forward to it the day we drive home.  Here’s to dreaming of summer, and a week at the beach.

hello, you

For many of us, 2017 was a very challenging year.  It was filled with a lot of tragedy, loss, stress and struggle.  And towards the end, it was almost unbearable. There was nearly a whole month lost when our town caught on fire.  The time spent evacuated from our home was actually not so bad – with no real concept of what remained behind the police barricades.  We were only able to make the best of a terrible situation and did so by gathering with our family and friends, sharing stories and laughs, and a lot of tears.  It was the weeks after that really took their toll on us all.  The dark reality that my mother’s home was completely gone was gutting.

There were tiny miracles along the way too.  My mom moved into a lovely home, even closer to us, that she can spread out in and enjoy.  We are working together to build back her life; starting from scratch can actually be fun!  Another milestone, we sold our house in Utah.  This was something that absolutely had to be accomplished in 2017.  It took a lot more effort to do so than expected, and in the ninth hour on December 29th, it was no longer ours.

To celebrate the little things, we decided to take our kids to Arizona for a few days.  Never have I felt the need to connect as a family as I have in this new year.  I have all of the other resolutions lined up as well, but the goal to be present has become paramount.  We chose Scottsdale because we love the Phoenician and it’s kid friendly vibe.  Also, two of my best friends live there coincidentally.  Even though it was a family-focused trip, we did manage to spend some time with them, and they are practically family anyway!

The time away reminded me how important it is to make each day count.  When I say count, I mean that by the time I settle into bed, ready to start over again, that I can identify a way I’ve made a difference.  Whoa, that sounded very earth shattering, and I don’t mean it that way.  More like, the differences could be for my own health.  Or, having helped my kids with a school project.  I’ve crossed off all of my to-do’s.  Just taking 15 minutes alone to think or clear the slate is meaningful.  I want to accomplish things that will make a difference in the well being of not only my being, but others close to me as well.

I have set January 15th as my official implementation week.  I am using this week to prepare and get all the tools out that I will need.  Of course, I will be starting the 30 Clean eating and fitness challenge that I often participate in.  But I will also be using a 30 day chart to be more mindful, in addition to visiting with my spiritual coach (yes, I have one) each week.  So to the new year, I say hello.  Nothing more than welcome, with warmth and new horizons in sight.


I have been debating on buying this for an entire year.  It is a face oil with a hefty price tag (for me), that I just couldn’t bite the bullet on, despite all of the rave reviews and buzz it has. During my last facial, Denise used this as the final product for moisture. Obviously post facial, my skin was glowing already, but this serum made such a difference that I took home a sample to use for the week.  With each day of use, my skin’s appearance just got better and better.  While I love face oils in general, I haven’t been able to find a good replacement for the Rose Hydrator that my friend and skincare guru, Cheryl, in Utah created.  Her facials and products are completely fantastic – but she is in Utah.  Vintner’s Daughter was created here in Napa, by an actual vintner’s daughter!  And, I am a huge fan of shopping locally for local goods, and when I discovered how amazing this product truly was, I was hooked.  It feels luxurious while keeping the natural element at the forefront. I have yet to feel like it is wearing off in it’s spectacular-ness, and I don’t think it is going to. Guess I need to keep my day job!

back to it

a vital.jpg

Our summer ends with a trip to Tahoe with some of our dearest friends.  While there is some activity, and we try to exercise a bit, the amount of overindulgence makes the efforts almost ridiculous.  My buddy Julie, if you have read my blog in the year’s past, is always up on the trends and musts of the current moment.  I savor our time together spent on the beach, sharing all of her news.

One of the things I have been wanting to work into my program is collagen.  I tried it in tea and couldn’t get past the idea there was bits of animal gelatin floating around in there.  No, I couldn’t see it, but the thought just killed me.  Julie and I also were talking about how to get more protein in our diets – I have always been a believer in real, unprocessed proteins like eggs and lean meats versus supplements and powders.  Julie mentioned that she adds both collagen and protein into her coffee via two very wholesome ways.  Skeptical, yes, but desperate to hit the studio to work off the Tahoe and so sad about the appearance of my skin post-lake life, I took the bait.

It has been a little over two weeks that I have been adding these two things into my coffee, and I am totally in love.  It takes a bit of effort to blend it up, but I have already seen and felt results.  Both items are for sale on amazon.  Give it a try and let me know your experience.  Anything else you have in your routine that’s changed your game?

tuesday rant

I am a fiscal conservative, with a very left leaning sway towards social issues.  Most of my friends think I don’t post about political things on insta or FB because I don’t want to admit my evil Republican side. Because all Republicans are raving lunatics, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, I keep my social media outlets politics-free because I don’t want to read/see/complain about the horrors of this country on a place I go to for an escape.  Yes, it is an awesome platform for awareness, and I do love to look at things from all sides.  I definitely do not follow a line in the sand.  My viewpoints are made up of all kinds of sources and opinions.  Some of my closest friends feel completely opposite from me on issues – yet I value our conversations and their dialog, so that we are all getting it out there for thought.  That’s important to me.  But, I do not want to go through this exercise on my social media.

But I want to discuss how a jewelry and footwear designer, a reality show participant, that’s a WOMAN has been given a position as a government employee.  Ivanka Trump has entree to the to the most sensitive relationships in this world.  She is seemingly active in every sense of our government.  I know this isn’t the first time a family has supported the President, and nothing “bad” has happened with her inclusion so far.  I can’t decide if she is helping or hindering in the big sense of the work.  I do like that she is a well educated, smart woman that’s active in the political field, but I would hate to discount the other women that have earned their keep and fought to get to where they are now, i.e. Kamala Harris, which for the record, I disagree with many of her stands on things.

That’s all.  Felt like I needed to rant a bit today.  I will go back to dealing with high winds in Corsica.  Yep, that’s top on my work list today.  Don’t be jeally.  No really, don’t.