Reflecting on 2023

The closing of a long chapter...

Hi! How are we? Hope you are enjoying the holiday season and taking things easy on yourself! I wanted to say hi and share some of my reflections from 2023 and open up a bit about the next one up! So let's get right into it. 🙂

It has been one of the most expansive years of my life—pure evolution and growth. A bit of a bumpy road! I feel like last January, I was a newly planted little seedling—vulnerable but hopeful. And with time and patience and this season of my life doing its thing—I have finally begun to bloom again. And with it has come the reward of seeing the beauty in the process to get here.

I knew I had a lot of work to do. I started to feel a big disconnect with the ways I have operated personally and with my work—which for years, worked just fine for me, if not ideally. I realized at some stage, that this new season of life demanded a different approach. I had felt like my life was at its peak back in 2019—and then the world tipped upside down in 2020, and for the next couple of years, I lived through some pretty massive changes. New lifestyle outside the city, pregnancy, motherhood... a lot of personal pivoting and survival mode. It took me more time than I would like to admit to really decompress and see clarity through the dust settling.

Last January, I was ready to get to know this new version of myself. I fully accepted that my past was behind me and felt really excited about a fresh start and for the future. 2023 was the first full year of Grace being in school and having my weekly routine back. But I had many moments of feeling like I lost direction and had no idea what to do with my time anymore. The disconnect was in my approach to daily life and work. I would ideate things to create or write about on my blog, but I lacked excitement. I questioned a lot. I knew this was some sort of mental hurdle I was facing—which is why I hired my creative business coach, who has been such a gift to my life and helped me sort through it all.

One reason I think this evolution process has been a bit more challenging than others, is because it is the first time in my career / and with my blog, where I knew a big shift was happening, that change was needed and on its way, but I couldn't do it behind closed doors. In the past, even 6-7 years ago, I could have taken a step back to pause and regroup. But I felt the pressure to stay consistent and relevant with my work, because I had many more eyes on me this time around. Bigger obligations and goals/expectations to meet. I didn't want to disappoint anyone. Which truthfully, looking back, probably just made the situation worse and drag out more than it potentially could have. I don't do well under pressure. With a lot of self-reflecting, external guidance, and simply time—I *finally ironed out the kinks. I had an epiphany that completely removed any and all question marks I had lingering.

{ insert eye of the tiger song }

Blogging has always been an escape for creativity and enjoyment, but it’s also been my greatest teacher. A drawing board to explore curiosities in life and has helped me uncover what makes me tick. I started a blog back in high school (aka AOL homepage and then LiveJournal) where I taught myself to code, scan and edit imagery, practiced collages and my writing. And a few more after that which dabbled in some of my favorite interests: style and interior design. But this particular blog has stood the test of time. I created it back in 2011, a year into moving to San Francisco, looking to celebrate and document my new lifestyle.

From neighborhood guides, to making my apartment feel like home, to learning how to cultivate my everyday routines and rituals and learning to cook. It became a knowledge base for navigating city living and cultivating a life for myself as an adult. It certainly served its purpose and led me to live utterly and completely to the fullest.

At some point over the last handful of years, I forgot that my blog can still be my teacher—just as it always has been. In fact, my relationship with my creativity when looked at it this way, is at its purest form. It’s almost like I mastered that past version of myself. After years of learning and honing in—I ran my life and blog like a well-oiled machine. And now it’s time that I look at it the same way I did when moving to the city. What do I want to learn? How can I continue to better myself and grow in this new chapter? How do I want to show up in the world? And even grander now—for my little one, family, and for this community!

While I have always loved home styling, cooking, and creating rituals… things look a little differently as a mom, in suburbia, managing a household. It’s all very new to me! And so, I want to dive deep into educating myself, chasing new curiosities, and sharing my learnings and excitement about it all with you.

I want to continue to immerse myself into gardening, my newest hobby since moving! I want to up-level my cooking skills, stay on top of our home organization, and intentionally plan out our calendar. I will always love style, so there will, of course, be a good dose of this, too. But just having this new framework of—I am a beginner in a sense, with a new way of living—has been massively groundbreaking for me in terms of my purpose and direction here.

The quote I have celebrated for years now—”to make living itself an art”— still rings true as the core ethos of this corner of the internet… but I’d like to add—”in every season”. Through the course of the year, as well as honoring the seasons in your personal life. More on this soon 🙂

Looking back at that young version of myself who didn’t have the warmest memories of my childhood—I always wanted this beautiful life for myself. It is one thing I never gave up on and innately strive for now. And I want to share in any way I can to help you elevate your daily life, too. It is my calling to do so.  

Another reason why this direction excites me is because the world is moving so quickly and things just become more and more distracting and chaotic. I have wholeheartedly embraced a slower-paced life where my daily rituals and choices feel intentional and meant to elevate my existence. I want to bring more mindfulness into practice alongside creating beauty in my daily life, so that not only my life feels curated to things that bring me joy but also being as present as I can to fully appreciate and enjoy my surroundings and experiences. 

No matter what your year has brought—joy, change, hardship—if we come out stronger and more dialed into who we are and what we love, that's a win in my book.

2024... are you ready for it?

Thank you SO much for being here and reading/following along. You are treasured and appreciated.

See you in Jan! xx

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  1. I have long admired and been inspired by your authenticity and intentionality. With the chaos and overstimulation of the world, it’s important to protect our energy and ultimately, our peace. It’s a privilege and not always possible, but when I am able to live this way, I feel immensely grateful. Thank you for inviting us into different chapters and seasons of your life journey. I love how you elevate the everyday beauty in life! My hope is that in creating a beautiful home and life for yourself and your family that you are also able to nurture and heal the little girl who you once were. Thank you for all the inspiration!

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