Meditation Challenge 

Deepak Chopra and Oprah are at it again…it’s time for another 21 Day Meditation Challenge! It’s hard to believe, but this is my 8th challenge with them. I’m really excited to be participating again and have successfully completed the first week of the challenge.

The theme for this challenge is Manifesting Grace through Gratitude. Could this be any more perfect?! What I love is that these challenges always seem to pop up at exactly the right time! I’m always in a place where I could use a little more support or a little more focus. I love how that works out…kinda like magic. The image below works beautifully with how I am feeling and the essence of this challenge.

Practicing gratitude and manifesting grace has been such a wonderful experience so far during this challenge. They are both really beautiful concepts that are not hard to incorporate in your daily life. I’ve been keeping a daily gratitude journal for a few years now and I think it really helps keep me grounded, focused and in the PRESENT moment. Throughout my mediation practice and even during these challenges the idea of being in the present and recognizing you are IN the present moment is always a big focus.

I am GRATEFUL! Especially GRATEFUL for all the things my practice has shown me and made me feel. It really has been a transformative experience since I started meditating and actively making it a part of the daily life.

Like I have mentioned before, each day there is a different topic/theme that relates to the overall theme of the challenge, a centering thought for the day, a Sanskrit mantra, and a message of the day with a related quote (I love a good/meaningful quote)! The meditations are no more than 20 minutes and pretty easy to do each day. I always enjoy listening to Deepak and Oprah share their wisdom and it’s nice to have a few minutes where I get to be with myself.

Be sure to check out the challenge and join in if you would like. I promise it will be worth it! Until then…namaste.

P.S. I’m currently at 165 days of meditation! Waaahooooo!


4th of July Weekend 🇺🇸💙❤️🇺🇸

HAPPY belated 4th of JULY!!! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend celebrating with friends and family! We got out of town and it was just what we all need (pups included)!

Thursday night we loaded up the car/pups and drove down to Santa Barbara. One of my old college roommates still lives there are generously offered for us to stay with her! We seriously LOVE that Eva stayed in SB and has a beautiful condo downtown! She always welcomes visitors, doesn’t mind our pups joining in on the fun, and is always so hospitable. Cait (my freshman year roomie) drove down on Friday to spend the weekend with us, so that made it ever more fun! We always have a blast when we are back together…sometimes it feels like we never left. Here’s a fabulous picture of the SB mountains/view from Eva’s condo and the cutest pups you’ll ever seen! I think Emma and Dash would gladly move to SB!   

Once Cait got into town we headed downtown (so awesome to just walk everywhere) and had lunch at one of our favorite spots Silvergreens, YUM, YUM, YUM! Cait and I have such vivid memories of ordering Silvergreens to our dorm during freshman year! One of the things I love the most about Santa Barbara and miss dearly about living there is being able to walk everywhere! It was awesome to walk everywhere and take the dogs with us. They loved being out with us so much and were really well behaved!

After lunch we strolled back up State Street to Eva’s condo and then got ready to go to the beach. Since we had Emma and Dash with us, we decided to go to Hendry’s Beach. O…M…G…Dash had the time of his life! He had never been to the beach before or really any place off leash so we didn’t know what to expect. We knew however, that he loves the water since he’s always trying to get in the shower when someone is in there. We were right, he LOVED it! Emma’s been to the beach a few times up in SF and absolutely loves it. They were hilarious together! Running, wrestling, chasing the water, rolling in the sand and making friends with other dogs. By the end of our beach day our two white mini’s were sandy brown! We took a ton of pictures and videos (mostly of the dogs), they were just too funny. On the way to the car we stopped at a dog bathing station (conveniently located in the parking lot) so both pups got a quick bath.

I sometimes forget how breathtakingly beautiful Santa Barbara is! That place is just magical and I feel so lucky to have called it my home for six years! ❤ ❤ ❤ Pretty cool to of had the ocean as your backyard…sigh oh how I miss it already!

After the beach we all cleaned up and then took a LIMO (yes you read that right a limo) downtown to a favorite wine spot Pali. Eva “has a guy” at a cab company that always hooks her up haha. What better way to travel right?! Pali was packed, but we were able to enjoy a delicious glass of wine on the patio and just hang out.    

On Saturday (HAPPY 4th of JULY) we walked over to one of our favorite breakfast places The Daily Grind for breakfast burritos, bagel sandwiches and coffee. After breakfast we took a nice walk over to the Santa Barbara Mission. The SB Mission is my second favorite next to MY mission (the one I had in 4th grade), Mission San Miguel. It is one of the most beautiful missions, I think and I always enjoy visiting it. The pups liked hanging out on the lawn and taking some more great family photos! On our way back to Eva’s we walked through the mission rose garden which was in full bloom. I always loved living close to the mission and going on walks up there. Another one of the many things that makes SB so wonderful.

That afternoon we went back downtown and got margaritas/appetizers at one of our favorite restaurants Carlitos! We also made it in time for the 4th of July parade, so we got to watch that while sipping on our margaritas. After doing some more shopping downtown we went back to Eva’s and BBQ’d tri-tip and fresh veggies before heading to West Beach to watch the fireworks.

On our walk down to West Beach we stopped at Chase Palm Park for a quick photo op. This is where Chris and I got married almost five years ago (10.2.10)! Santa Barbara holds a special place in both our hearts and of course that’s where we met and fell in love! We couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else! Hopefully we will celebrate one of our wedding anniversaries in SB and continue to visit as often as we can. Thanks to Cait for taking these pictures, some of which are just ridiculous hehe. I love you Chris McConnell, especially in our matching BFM shirts! ❤ ❤ ❤

In all the years that I lived in SB I never spent 4th of July in town. It was fun to sit down by the beach and watch the fireworks this year!  Plus you can’t beat those palm trees or gorgeous SB sunsets! The fireworks show was pretty good, but the smoke from the fireworks kept lingering so most of them got covered up. We still had fun watching them and just being in beautiful SB.

THANK YOU EVA for letting us all stay with you over the weekend! We had an absolute BLAST and can’t wait to come back! I’m so thankful for meeting both Cait and Eva and our long lasting friendship. I know we will continue to be friends and make these mini reunions in SB happen.

Now it’s back to the busyness of work and life not in SB haha. I feel pretty relaxed and rejuvenated, so I am going to try and hold onto that as long as I can!

HAPPY 4th of JULY again and hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend. Have a great week everyone!