Sunshine and Smiles

Sunshine and Smiles

Saturday, November 9, 2013

With Gratitude

I woke up happy this morning, much like I do every morning.  I woke up in a soft bed with clean sheets, surrounded by love.  As I woke, Funny Bunny was hopping around the house, and birds were outside singing with joy at this sweet new day.  As I was waiting for my coffee to brew, I felt so grateful adding my pumpkin spice creamer that it literally made me smile. I am so grateful that it's Saturday and even though I am exhausted from work being so busy, I am thankful for my sweet home I share with D, the ability to walk a few feet from my house down the beautiful beach, and the fact I get to spend time with my family this weekend. What a wonderful feeling to feel the light and energy that has awakened in me this morning!

We have been so busy lately. I am in my busiest 2 weeks of the whole year with work and we have been traveling nonstop being weekend warriors lately. We are home relaxing this weekend and the quiet and stillness is so welcomed on this day. Taking a few minutes each day to slow things down and get back to being mindful and present makes all the difference in the world. I have been keeping a gratitude journal that allows me to take a few minutes each day to remind myself how blessed I am.

I’ve learned it’s important to pause and take a moment to be grateful each day. I have learned that it makes my heart grow, my soul shine. It makes me realize how very much I have to be thankful for. How little it takes to make someone else’s day better. How many people impact my day. And just how much good there is out there. What a beautiful way to open your heart to all the possibilities!
Have you shared your happiness lately? Have you let the joy in your heart reach out to those you love? It's so easy with simple words to change the energy in a room, to change the direction of someone's day. Go cultivate that gratitude and share it with the world!

Some moments that have left me so thankful lately...

Meeting Tracy's sweet girl Talia Eve. She is such a happy baby!

Living in such a gorgeous place!

Celebrating my 30th with my oldest and dearest friends!

Being with my family- laughing and having fun together

Weekends with my best friend! We soak up every minute we can together.

Fall in Healdsburg with my SF girls- how lucky to enjoy the sun in a beautiful place together.

D for making life full of happiness

Amazing friends who are always there for eachother

Beautiful scenery at Monte Xanic winery in Mexico

Serene lakes in Mexico to relax by

And of course- Funny Bunny! He makes life pretty rad!

Happy weekend friends! xoxo

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Enjoying Now.

While reading a fantastic blog Zen Habits, It had me thinking a lot lately about going back to the meditation gardens in Encinitas that I love so so much. It’s a lush, green garden with running water, ponds, yoga, people strolling, all while overlooking the bright blue ocean.  
While really thinking about the concept of leaving it all behind, I want to know,  is it possible to find this peace in our own homes, with the endless distractions and things to do? Do we need to "get away" to really find ourselves?  We are so quick to think about the future and the past, that we forget about how truly beautiful the present is. All we really have control of is NOW. I want to practice leaving it all behind, and focus on the power of the present. 
So how do we leave everything behind, so that we can find peace? What I gained from this post, was it takes practice being present. It sounds silly that in this day and age we need to practice this! But by enjoying the people I'm with in the place that I am in, it creates endless happiness in all areas of life. To just throw my phone in my purse and enjoy the now, to let go of the need to check, to be all knowing. This creates true happiness. True conversations, uninterrupted laughs. Remember the days we didn't have phones in our immediate grasp? I want to take it back. I want to be accountable for being the most present I can be. 

Life is too short to not enjoy every moment all encompassed in the beauty of the world.
Sometimes we just need to get back to basics.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sunshine, Summer, and Loving All Things Wine

                                                                     I've been living life to the fullest. 
The simple life that is. Trading the craziness for the quiet. When I moved back to San Diego a year ago I took a little break from teaching to pursue a job in the wine industry. All I knew was I had a passion for learning all I could about wine, and within months I was taking wine classes at SDSU and stepping out of my comfort zone joining women who shared my passion by joining a Women's Wine Alliance which is a group of women who work in the wine industry in San Diego. How empowering it feels to be BRAVE! I have been working hard at my new job, and I love it. I want to grow and learn all I can. This has lead to quiet nights with D, a Summer full of: triple date lunch dates with friends, a 4th of July party on the bay with our friends, a visit from my wonderful cousin Lindsey, an impromptu night dancing with Kirbs and Nat, celebrating Brittany's birthday in SD with her family and friends, and sneaking away for weekends away in beautiful Lake Almanor. I have been thinking a lot about true friends, true love, and enjoying this sweet life as much as possible. Weddings, 30th birthdays, showers, and babies have been the theme of this year. Big milestones and such beautiful things to share with dear friends. I want to finish up Summer with dinners on my deck, runs along the bay, afternoons at wineries in town, live music, and spending all the time I can in the sunshine with friends and family. 
                                               Smile. Shine. Share all your love. Be proud. Do what you love.
                                                                              Happy weekend my friends!
Kellogg Beach steps from our house

Sunset in OB

Celebrating Brittany's birthday at The Pearl!

Sweet visits with my cousin Lindsey

Impromptu visit from Kirby! Yay!

Lake Almanor

These. Girls. My. Heart.

All dressed up with my favorite guy!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

“Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream” - Kerouac

Hello my friends! Spring is officially here and to say it's been busy is an understatement. Not sure when 50 hour work weeks became the norm, but after sweet weekend escapes with my dear friends lately, and a few goal setting, dream talking types of dinners with D, I am feeling refreshed once again! The fog is lifting, my windows are wide open this morning, and Funny Bunny just hopped on the couch and is laying by my side. (Does life get any better?)

 Seasons change in all sorts of ways, I suppose. We adapt. We reevaluate the things we want and need in life as each season comes and goes. Life brings a lot of surprises, and it's great to open the windows and sway and spin to an unfamiliar song in the light. Open your heart to all the possibilities, it feels fantastic!

So far Spring has meant road trips to LA for sunshine in Venice Beach, plane rides to SF to visit my best friends and visit my old students at the school (an absolute dream that truly left my heart so full!) Wine nights on my deck,  Mel's beautiful wedding, and happy hours with heart to hearts with K that included in depth conversations about just how tough life can be at times. How very important it is to NOT compare ourselves to others, NOT be so hard on ourselves, and to try our hardest every day to support the friends and family in our lives. Because at the end of the day- we are doing our very best. 

The next few weeks bring a trip to Atlanta to celebrate my cousin Lindsay graduating, Justine's wedding with Kev, and a weekend trip to Palm Springs with girlfriends! I just can't wait! 

Here's to embracing the new, and opening the windows and letting that light shine in on your soul!
Happy Spring friends! xo

Visiting Brit in Venice

Mel's wedding with D

The Abbot's Cellar in SF 

Celebrating Tracy's baby bump!

Seeing old friends is so effortless and fun!

My beautiful life long friends!

Wine night with my sidekick Nat

Wine night set up 

Exploring the city with the best friends a girl could have



Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's Oh So Quiet...

It feels as though Spring is right around the corner. You can feel it in the air, the morning light, the bright colors, the beautiful butterflies and bees that seem to be everywhere lately. It feels like confetti, sandals from the 60's, and music festival dresses that make you want to dance. After those dull days, eccentricity and a little avantgarde is what I'm welcoming into my world again. It is the courage to distinctly be yourself that I admire most in people, which naturally causes you to stand out. It is a beautiful feeling to surround yourself with good people who know exactly who they are. People that leave you feeling uplifted, light, like your soul is shining when they are around. It's funny how when you get older, these friends become your heart. They are fewer and far between, and when you need them, these friends are there in an instant. They let you dream of all the things you can create, all the dances you will dance, remember all the late nights and all the early mornings with you, and laugh with you about all the memories you have made together. What a wonderful life.

Spring is for a fresh start. I love the thought of recreating yourself, and letting go to move forward to be the best person you can be. I've been thinking a lot lately about simplifying, but haven't put it into action. Now is the time. It's so refreshing to realize how modestly happy you can be on simple pleasures. Braided hair, long necklaces, sunshine, and a good man by your side. Throw in a happy little bunny and you've got it made. Nothing whispers Spring more than that. Here is to always exploring the world around you, and being true to yourself.

"She was no longer a slow dreamer watching the flowers grow. She was a warrior now. Warriors need something to fight for, besides their lives, because otherwise their lives would not be worth it." - Francesca Lia Block

Monday, January 28, 2013

Two year old kisses and new beginnings...

Hi friends! Wow, this year is off to a beautiful start! After getting to start the year in Chicago, it has been busy and the type of month that inspires goal making, lists, new jobs, and being inspired! I usually feel the post-holiday blues in January, but this month has felt so jam packed there hasn't been any time for any of that. That, and the sun has been shining almost every day this month. I've been feeling full of hope and optimism lately and I know 2013 is going to be an incredible year!

Dan and I have my nephew Dylan for the weekend, and the Smith/Bruckart house has been full of laughs. Dylan absolutely adores Dan. Seeing the two of them together fills my heart with so much love!

It has been Restaurant Week here in San Diego, and it when it extends to two weeks it is bliss! I love getting to try new restaurants and experience all the fun that comes with dining out with the people closest to you. I have been lucky to enough to try quite a few new restaurants the past two weeks, and every single one of them were delicious!
Nat and I enjoying Prep Kitchen in Little Italy

Mister A's with my parents

Mr. A's

1500 Ocean at The Del

The weather last weekend was gorgeous! Sunny and warm and we spent the whole weekend outdoors! Beach days, runs along the bay, and spending the morning at an outdoor farmers market with D made my weekend pretty special. It was nearly impossible to have anything but a completely splendid two days. Just one of the many perks of San Diego in the Winter.

Lately I've been thankful for quiet nights at home with D with chats about getting a puppy. For quality time with my mom and dad in Coronado. For my new job and the opportunity to do work that I love. For simplifying and creating a zen environment in our home. For sunny beach days in January. For making fun plans with friends and lazy afternoons with naps.  The joyful exuberance of Funny Bunny every morning. The first cup of coffee with vanilla creamer at 6am. And most of all, for a man that takes me on the best dates, just because he loves me.What have you been grateful for lately? Here's to being thankful and how life always works out to be just plentiful.

Sweet morning in OB

Hillcrest Farmers Market