Totes Awesome (A Vlogging Project)

You know how sometimes someone says something perhaps jokingly but it catches on so quickly that before you know it it’s a reality and you kind of forget that it was a joke?

Enter the new project Totes Awesome Channel.  AshleyLindaAshleyNicole, and I are launching our own vlogging collaboration channel.

I started vlogging last August for VEDA.  I am not exaggerating when I say that doing VEDA changed my life.  Suddenly bloggers I followed became really, really dear friends… complete with a group of us spending New Years snuggled up in my cozy apartment.  Vlogging is the reason that I got this video tweeted at me the morning I got married:

I am excited to see where this goes, and what better time to start than the week after I get married, right?

Here’s my first video.. I’ll be posting every Tuesday.  Sometimes we’ll have themes and sometimes we wont.  I’m sure it will change and grow in a ton of ways as we get going, but we have to start somewhere!

Sunday Inspiration

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

-C.S. Lewis

Grace in Small Things

-The best grandpa in the world who I really love hanging out with. And when he gets out of the car he says “I love you. But you know that” and I respond “Yes. I definitely know that”.

-The train! To work!! So great!! Even better when I get to see my cousin on the train.

– Getting uses to my new home. I didn’t realize how big of an adjustment it would actually be. It was definitely an adjustment.

-Feeling fairly secure that my job is safe with upcoming layoffs.

-Dinner dates with Olivia. My soul mate best friend. Helping each other with life in a way that is possible only when you’re talking to someone so like yourself the lines between where one of us starts and the other begins is blurry.

-Being not at work right now. I’m sitting on my couch drinking coffee and I will head down for church retreat soon.

Where have YOU found grace this week?

Grace in Small Things Week IV

*Finally getting a night to just “be” in my new place. It’s not done yet, but it’s starting to feel more like home. I feel relaxed when I get home.

*Last weekends reminder that Jimmie and Anthony (My best friend from grad school and his partner) are my happy place. The ten plus hours spent in the car was worth it to spend time with them.

*Monday night dinner with the grandparents. (And now that Grams has seen all if Gilmore Girls, she gets the reference)

*Skype dates to look forward too.

*Indian food dates with an out-of-town friend who is kind of amazing.

*Making mistakes. Still. And having friends call you and check in with you. And text. And gchat message. There is NO DOUBT I’m loved and supported.

*Giving my first successful professional presentation and feeling really good about it.

*And finally, it’s raining! All weekend! Hats and coffee perfection (with a new mug).

Your turn! Where are you finding happiness? Tell me about it.

Happy Friday!



  • I am moving Saturday.  So I’ve been busy packing boxes and purging closets.
  • This pictures is JUST my books.  Eight boxes of books.
  • I am SO excited that people have started purchasing their flights out to see me on New Years!!
  • I am going to LA next weekend.  Which is the most fun ever.
  • Work is so crazy I have taken to planning out my days in my outlook calender…. 

I’ll be back next week.

In the mean time, tell me the best thing about your week so far.

Up in the air.

I just wrote a really long post about what’s been going on with me the past couple of weeks, but I don’t know if I am ready to say it out loud yet.  I will say that there are things that are up in the air right now, and as Jane from “Drop Dead Diva” says “I don’t do well in limbo”. 

This blog has never been about complaining.  Processing?  Yes.  Growth?  God yes. Bitching?  I hope not.

I don’t do well in limbo.  When things are not at a point where we know enough to worry, but the issue is looming in the distance.  That’s where I am.  My mom had a test to screen for colon cancer that came back not-so-great.  Which doesn’t mean she has cancer, but that more tests are needed.  Well, my mother decided to call me and tell me she has cancer.  Cue panic attack.  Followed by my Grams calling me and informing me that she doesn’t know.  Cue confusion.  Relief.  Anger?

My mom and I have a weird relationship.  We’ve always been best friends, which has also meant that the lines between mother/daughter have been blurred.  When she started treatment for her prescription drug addiction she leaned on me.  A lot.  Too much.  I was 19 and I was my mom’s rock.  I shouldn’t have been anyone’s rock.  I should have been out being foolish and making mistakes.  The dynamic has remained, where my mom is looking to me for support and advice and everything.  I can love her.  I can care about her.  But I learned a long time ago that I can not be responsible for her sobriety or happiness.  And it’s not fair that I am asked to. 

So, instead of engaging, I disengage from her– and this past couple of weeks has also meant that I have disengaged from other people and from this space last week.  I didn’t have anything nice to say.  I was just trying to get through my week in one piece.

Her test is on Thursday, so please send some prayers for no-cancer.. but also send some mojo/prayer/thoughts in my direction for some peace and guidance. 

But for now, I am in need of a gratitude list.  I made one of these every single night before going to bed after the break up.  Because my mom isn’t my only “up in the air” thing right now, I need to refocus myself on some positive things going on.

  1. Kick ASS at work.  I submitted a proposal to present at a state-wide conference this October– and I got accepted!  It’s a huge deal, and while I will freak out when I get closer to October, right now I can just bask in the glory of a job well done.
  2. Olivia. She is one of my best friends, and even if we have disagreements… she is my heart.  We didn’t talk for the past two weeks because we were both cut off, we were both dealing with things we didn’t want to talk about.  We talked yesterday.  And tears and giggles later– I feel more at balance than I have in days.
  3. Pandora.  Music all day has a way of cheering me up.
  4. Fortune Tellers. I went to a Tarot Card reader last weekend, and she told me a lot of things that were rad.  I left feeling validated and excited… especially because happened to tell me that I have soul mate and that I will meet him soon.  Sign of relief.
  5. My cats. Even if Oliver kept me up all night…. their snuggles are incredibly wonderful.  

What are YOU grateful for today?

Balance, grace, and breathing.

I feel restless and exhausted this morning.  Summer is gearing up with weekend plans being made and I largely want to spend a day buried under the cool shade of my bedroom and down comforter.  Balance was meant to be my theme for this year, and I don’t know how well I’ve been doing it.  This week I stretched myself too thin and missed a going-away party because I fell asleep when I got home that day. 

I can’t cancel plans for the weekend, but I am going to find some time to be a hermit; and the rest of the time I am going to breathe and be in the moment.  That sounds like a good plan.

All the Love in the Universe,


So, body image.

We need to talk.

Pull up a chair.

I want to talk to you about body image.  See, the thing is we’re bombarded with images  that make us think that’s the ideal body type.  We see our bodies and see they’re not the same and for so many of us we turn to diets and eating disorders, guilt and self-loathing.  This is not news to you, most of you are women.

We look at magazines.  Movies.  Television.  And we’re bombarded with images of tiny tiny stick women with rib exposed and thighs not touching– and we start to think that’s normal.  That’s the ideal.

The fact is that we see these images so much the way we think we appear to others starts to morph.  It’s called body dysmorphia. 

Now I want you to look at Laura.  She’s a model.  Over here (where all the following pictures will be coming from)

 Beautiful right?  Want to know what size she is?  Guess.  14.  14, and she looks beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.  So I am going to leave you with this link and some pictures.  Looking at them make me feel beautiful.  Proud of every freaking curve on my body.  AND if you’re a size below 14 and think you look SO much bigger than her… you’re wrong.

Every single woman in the following pictures are 12+.