Category Archives: Self Improvement Project

Adventures in Flower Arranging

As part of my self-improvement project, I decided to seek after some creative endeavors and pursue some things that I have been wanting to pursue.  So far, I have really loved having a weekly outlet and I am absolutely in love with arranging flowers. It is adding a whole new dimension to my garden plans for the new house because I want access to lots of flowers to cut and play with.  Here is a little recap of the class (we basically made one arrangement each time) which was focused on creating arrangements from a home garden with mostly foliage and some very easy to propagate flowers.  And even some weeds:)

Class #1: We focused on diving in and creating, with no specific style or method.  I really loved how this arrangement turned out.

flower arrangementClass #2: We touched on the Japanese Ichibana style of arranging with very few flowers, but with a more Wabi Sabi approach.  Wabi Sabi means to embrace imperfection.  Basically we took a very structured, minimalist, and calculated flower arranging method and let it run free a little bit. I had a lot of fun working within the constraints of Ichibana but it was definitely challenging.

photo 2

Class #3: We took principles from our Ichibana and Wabi Sabi lesson from last class but then combined them with basic floral arranging principles.  For this class, we brought our own vase and there was alot of gorgeous plant material to work with.


Hoping to have a house update in the next couple days!  Were still waiting on our permits but it should be very very soon.  But then again, I’ve been saying those exact words for months…


A Celebration & Meal Planning

Last night was definitely an eating healthy “off day” but man oh man was it ever the best meal!  We were celebrating my sweet Auntie’s birthday and picked “The Range” in Santa Margarita for the dark cowboy steakhouse charm and great food.  The decor is beyond charming.  The food is ridiculously good.  I wanted to get one of everything on the dessert menu.  But I picked the Creme Brulee cause I’m a sucker for a good one.

The RangemenuWe were celebrating this cutie patootie:

jackieAfter the meal we had last night and what I am sure will continue to be an unsavory food weekend, I am planning for lots of healthy meals next week.  Here’s what I’m thinking:

Monday: Baked Herb & Pistachio Falafel

felafelRecipe here

Tuesday: Spring pea salad with Burrata + Fish

peasNo recipe for this lovely but I’m thinking keep it really simple with some arugula, fresh peas, burrata, garlic olive oil, and pink salt.  And then I’ll have Sean grill up some fish.

Wednesday: Indian Cauliflower Crust Pizza

pizzaRecipe here

Thursday: Peach & Roasted Vegetable Salad + Fish

peach saladRecipe here

Friday: Portabello & Peach Burger (on 100 cal thin bun) + Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Portobello_burger_6Recipe here

Self Improvement Project

I am beginning to realize that I have lost a bit of my groove.  I mean, life is seriously good, I have no real honest to goodness complaints.  Just a little bit of life, laziness, and lack of routine have taken their toll over the past couple of years and I want to be the best version of myself for a multitude of reasons.  I am taking a pro-active approach to finding said groove and finding it fast.

Here’s my plan:

-Take time to pursue things that interest me.  Last night I started a “flower arranging from the home garden” class and I was kid on the first day of the school year excited and it totally lived up to my expectations!  Me and the adorable 60ish year old lady I sat with walked to our cars cooing about how nice it was to do something totally for fun and random and that was all for us.  Next up I really want to learn to play the banjo!  And you know what, I am going to.

flower arrangement-Slow down.  I think I need to do more yoga or find my center or something because I always have about 20 bruises and cuts and bumps from banging into things throughout the day.  I’m moving too fast, not taking my time to enjoy the act.  Even if its as simple as getting a roll of paper towels from the laundry room, I am acting in too much of a hurry and its draining.

-Get in shape & push my exercise comfort zone.  I know that this is cliche and this is by no means meant to be read as “get skinny for summer.”  I want to be strong and fit and capable.  My sister, Sean and I have been running the same loop from where we currently live, to the site of the house we’re building, up a couple hills and down a couple hills and through the village and back to our house and we recently found out that it is 3.5 miles! I am so NOT  runner and its still really really hard but I’m doing it! Boom! I want to take this further though and push myself.  I am aiming for being able to run 5 miles by the end of summer.

running shoes

-Drink one (read: one!) glass of wine a day.  For health, of course.

-Eat clean and eat for long term health (most of the time).  Up until very recently I had been a vegetarian (but ate fish) for about 5 years and lately I have really been re-thinking my dietary choices and putting a focus on local and seasonal foods.  I still don’t eat much meat but I’ve actually been feeling physically better eating the occasional free range chicken breast.  I am looking so forward to living literally 20 steps from the local farmers market once our house is finished!!

I hope you guys will keep me accountable!