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1 In life

#15in15: a review

If you remember, I set 15 goals for myself last year, and another 16 this year.  It would be terribly unfair if I shared only the goals, without owning my minor successes or failures. So yes, let’s review.

You’re reading here, aren’t you? So, I think LoveRavayna’s happening (#5). If you’ve been following for a while, you know that bread (#4) and braids (#2)  are now comfortably within my wheelhouse. I gave notice at a unrewarding early morning position, which made for major improvement in my rest (#14) and relaxed my schedule (#7). I’ve made some new girlfriends (#8), and grown closer to others, but it continues to astound me just how hard it is to make quality friends as an adult. Perpetually in love with places I’ve never been, I visited (#6) Joshua Tree with David, Santa Fe with my college girlfriends, and fell head over heels for Barcelona.


lilacism-essie-nail-polish-sparkle_MG_9051I definitely stepped up my nail game (#1)…when they were long enough to polish, that is. Working on that in 2016. David treated me to a glitzy birthday manicure at Olive and June, and I loved it but I can’t justify the expense regularly, so have been playing with tamer nail art at home when I have time and patience. It takes me forever!

Beyond settling skincare (#9), I’m a serious devotee. I experimented with Asian skincare, and now have established a great routine of gentle and effective products (sharing my routine soon!)  I’ve gotten more compliments on my skin in the last six months than I have in the rest of my life, and from this side of 30, I’ve got no complaints about that.


I took a pointed pen modern calligraphy course (#3) with Lauren of a fabulous fete. It was a lovely afternoon, and totally have gone down a rabbit hole- though I haven’t practiced as much as I’d like, I’m totally geeked out over it, and excited to continue my progress this year.

runyon-canyon-hiking runyon-canyon-eliza-#16 joshua-tree-hiking-#16

I’ve seriously upped my outdoor time (#12). Hiking at home (Runyon or Fryman Canyon) or while traveling has become a more frequent occurrence, as have beach days. I’ve also been riding my bike instead of driving for nearby errands, and though I look like the biggest dork in my matching helmet, I’m really enjoying it. And I honestly think it’s helped me keep focused on what my body can accomplish, versus how it looks (#10), though that’s always a work in progress.

Speaking of works in progress, that’s where the last three stand. I’ll likely still be trying to mange my anxiety (#11) and perfectionist tendency (#15) when I’m old and grey,  and streamlining stuff (#13) is a perpetual battle.  I’m fighting it hard though- culled 40 pairs of shoes this week, in the midst of a major closet clean out.

So there’s a little accountability and authenticity for you!


0 In life

new year, new list: 16 in 2016

You may recall that I set 15 intentions for myself earlier this year. I’ll be sharing my successes and shortcomings in an upcoming post, but a new year has begun and there’s no time like the present to set new goals! So here are some of the points I’ll be endeavoring in 2016.




  1. Be kinder- to myself. Joanna Goddard posted this Emily McDowell/ Jen Pastiloff collaboration  (above) for Girl Power: You Are Enough on Instagram and it totally spoke to me. I’m incredibly supportive and emphathetic towards my beloveds, but rarely as compassionate towards myself. I need to tell my judgemental inner voice, the one that preaches gospels of insufficiency and self doubt, to shut up and sit down.
  2. Konmari cleanse. Like most everyone else in the blogosphere, I’ve been motivated by Marie Kondo. We’ll be downsizing our dwelling later in the year, and the less to move, the better. So I’m planning on Kondoing all of the things- I’ve already pulled three baskets of clothes for ThredUp from the closet, and that is only the beginning.
  3. Upkeep the efforts. I tend to clean once things have gotten messy or I’m stressed. I want to try and tidy a bit more regularly, so clutter doesn’t build up as easily. I’m thinking about 20 min a day, 3 days a week, but we’ll see.
  4. Organize differently. I’m trying a new Maybook agenda layout for the year, but I’m not loving it yet. I may trade it in for a more elaborate paper planner, but I’m also totally intrigued by bullet journaling. Regardless of what I try, I need a more streamlined method of keeping on top of my ever-crazier agenda.
  5. Read and record. I don’t need to endeavor to read more- I devour books, to the point that I have no idea how many I read. So this year I’m keeping count with a running list.
  6. Heavy hydration. I’m pretty lax about drinking enough water, but notice such a positive difference when I do, especially in my skin. So I’ve added hot lemon water to my morning routine, and am infusing just a bit of fruit into my ice water to help me drink more throughout the day as well.
  7. Send more mail. I’m a huge fan of the the handwritten thank you note, and send those regularly. But I’ve also been sending spontaneous letters and postcards, just little love notes. And inspired by the little marshmallow mailers I sent over the holidays,  I want to send little care package/sussies more frequently as well.
  8. Craft more. I have a long list of projects to do, both to share on the blog and for personal use, and even supplies for some already on hand. I’ve just gotta make the time to do them!
  9. Photograph fixed florals. I’m a perpetual sucker for the flower stand, especially on my frequent Trader Joes runs. I always fuss and arrange my bunches into a vase for my dresser, so this year I want to snap a shot of each bouquet before it wilts.
  10. Step up my sewing. My mom spoiled me with a new sewing machine for Chanukah, and has promised me a serger as well. I’ve made wearable items, but want to make more and learn more so I can ditch the reckless gambling vibe that currently occurs when I tailor my own clothes.
  11. Continue calligraphy. I’m head over heels for my new hobby. I want to carve out time to practice regularly, and specialize my skills. I’m leaning towards really focusing on copperplate- I just love its traditionally beautiful style. But brush calligraphy or hand lettering would be more convenient, so we’ll see about that.
  12. Kitchen capers. I love to cook, and am damn good at it. This year,  I want to push my comfort level and make lots of new recipes, including some really ambitious things- charcuterie, laminated pastry, butchery.
  13. Grow our faith. We don’t regularly go to temple, but we’re planning on getting more involved at our local synagogue. I’m really looking forward to it, to Torah study, and an eventual pilgrimage to Israel.
  14. Freshen my look. My appearance has been fairly static for the last few years, and I’m bored with it.  I’m thinking about bangs, a big chop, or something more creative… I just know I need an upgrade from basic brunette. 
  15. Bite no more. Damage from gel manicures and stress contributed to the ressurection of my grossest childhood habit. I’m going to care for my hands meticulously and quit biting my nails for sure.
  16. Pick up the phone. I don’t love talking on the phone, and that’s exacerbated by time changes, crazy schedules, ease of texting, and more. I need call my long distance friends and family more frequently. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but I want to hear voices and share laughter.


Here’s to growth, health, and happiness for us all in 2016. Cheers!



0 In life

experiencing more

As a blogger over at Weddingbee, I had the incredible opportunity of growing friendships with some crazy talented women. Though our weddings are mostly memories, I’m lucky to have these incredible gals as friends and inspirations. 

Like Emery.  When she’s not cracking me up with some flawlessly-timed truth, she’s writing amazing YA novels that are so realistic and relatable, I feel 17 again (in the best possible way). She’s also motivating me to not be such a shrinking violet, with her #15in15 challenge.  You can read her post about it here. To summarize, it’s a challenge to try new things or make improvements, in active (rather than passive) endeavors. 

This idea crossed my path early this year, so some of the points are in progress or accomplished. Good thing- the year’s half over!   They are, as follows:  

  1. Experiment with nail art.    I’ve been a polishaholic for a while, and I always do my own nails at home, but shiny, solid color is my mainstay. I’m going to be more playful with color and design, maybe even make a salon excursion… It’s just nail polish, after all.
  2. Learn to Dutch braid.    I learned how to French braid as a kid, but wanted to step my braid skills up. I’ve managed to master the Dutch braid, now to get good at different applications! 
  3. Relearn calligraphy.    I attempted to learn calligraphy as a child, but lacked the patience. Revisiting it as an adult, it’s so beautiful and meditative, and I am obsessed.  But I don’t even have a set handwriting, so it’s definitely an uphill battle! 
  4. Conquer homemade bread.    We don’t eat a ton of bread, but when we do, it creeps me out how long it lasts on the counter without mold. I want to find or develop a bread recipe equal parts healthyish, delicious, and easy, so that I can consistently keep basic bread stocked that I feel good about us eating.
  5. Make loveRavayna happen.    Man, I’ve been rolling this blog around in my head for years, just letting life get in the way and  being a big fat wimp about actually doing it.  Enough of that- big girl panties are on, because starting somewhere is starting.
  6. Travel someplace new.    “I’m in love with places I’ve never been and people I’ve never met.” I’m constantly wanderlusting, but this year I got to realize a dream trip to Spain and France. Art, food, wine… incredible. Lots of details on that to come.
  7. Live life unscheduled.    This is major for me- I live and die by my lists and agendas. Most days, I need them to get it all done, but I want to be better about blocking out time to just chill. And of course, I’m perpetually working on rolling with it when my carefully orchestrated schedule goes to hell.
  8. Make new friends.   Other than the one I married, my closest friends are scattered worldwide. I can be so painfully shy, but I want to really push myself to form and invest in new friendships, especially local ones.
  9. Settle skincare.   I’ve been on the sunscreen and skincare train for a while, but #thisisthirty and my skin’s starting to show it.  I’m going to make some serious efforts in handling my current skin issues before it becomes an avalanche.
  10. Focus on strong not skinny. I’ve been working out fairly consistently for a few years, and am generally pretty close +/- to what used to be my “goal weight.” I weigh in often to regulate, but it’s really important that I prioritize the way I feel in my body, and its increasing strength, over the number on the scale.
  11. Choose happiness.  I’m so incredibly fortunate, but I can be a total worrywart and fixate on the worst. I’m making conscious efforts in several aspects to have more positivity in my life.
  12. Get outside.  I want to spend some time hiking, at the beach, maybe some vague camping? In general, more time outdoors- I can be too prissy sometimes, and a little grub’s good for a girl.
  13. Streamline stuff.   I’m no packrat, but life would be easier if certain aspects were simpler.  I’m working on major culling and organizing, and utilizing what I’ve got on hand rather than mindless consumerism.
  14. Rest more.   With my crazy schedule, I definitely need more sleep.  I’m working on going to bed earlier and optimizing naptime, along with making time to unplug and unwind.
  15. Pursue polish, not perfection.   My tendency to perfectionism can simply be too much: energy, effort, to handle. So in life, style, and most other things, readjusting to more reasonable ideals is the idea.

So, there lies my quest. Most of these are pretty abstract and rather long term, but I feel like simply taking the time to evaluate and enumerate these items is a great way to focus, and lord knows I love crossing stuff off a list. I’m looking forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone, trying new things, being brave, and sharing the adventures along the way! 



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