Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crazy kids

Over the weekend, the girls & I went Irish Jorts Camping.

Irish as in, a late St. Patty's Day celebration, Jorts as in jean shorts (which can be ok but are generally pretty awful), and Camping as in we're sleeping in tents but the bathrooms are only a few feet away.  Basically an excuse to dress up like idiots and drink like idiots but make it sound cool by calling it camping.

Oh, yeah, and there may or may not have been fake mustaches involved as well.  And a Nazi rock.
We have the best parties.

Last night, my friend Chad did his final showcase in the Advanced class of The Groundlings; it's the audition to get into their very exclusive, prestigious company.  People from the company go on to be cast members on SNL, Mad TV, and just basically have great careers in comedy.  He was hilarious.  At one point I thought I was going to pee myself & Chick was next to me in spasms of laughter that could be likened to an epileptic fit.  He has worked SO hard & if they don't accept him, they're crazy.  Again, those lovely and talented friends of mine.

Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ silly, funny (and lovely & talented!) friends
~ yogatoday.com
~ avocado - yum!!

xo! n.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I need a change. Now what?

Do you feel like you need a change in your life but you're not sure what & you're not sure how?  Me too. 

from postsecret

Check out my new post up on Escape Hatcher for some fresh ideas on creating the change you want in your life...  here.

xo! n.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Show some love

well, have you?

Today I am so grateful & happy for:
~ beautiful perfect LA spring weather
~ yoga
~ my first travel article purchased & published (see it here)

xo! n.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

whoops go braugh

I forgot it was St. Patty's Day!

So while hoards of green-clad beer-soaked political suits by day (frat boys by night) swarmed around us, momma and I sauntered down the cobblestone streets of Old Town Alexandria, touting her olive green skirt & my (thank goodness!) green striped scarf as defense against pinches.


We popped into every fun home decor shop on the way to the waterfront, where we sat in the welcome sunshine with a glass of white wine & an appetizer, before meandering back home.

I didn't drink any green beer, didn't wear any shamrocks, but it was a perfectly lovely St. Patty's Day.

How did you spend yours?

Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ my mom's company
~ allowing ideas to come and go - wanting without attachment
~ finally, sunshine

xo! n.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mini Adventure

I'm in Virginia with my momma for a mini little family-inclusive vacay.

Flying out here was interesting; I don't know if because of traveling, I have a more open energy about me, or if I have a face people want to trust, or if it was just one of those odd days, but everyone seemed to want to strike up a conversation with me.  From the guy sitting next to me at Chili's to the guy waiting for his family to come out of baggage claim, to the guy I bumped into while exiting the airplane bathroom (yup)...  come to think of it, they were all guys...  maybe I'm just a hottie.

Ha ha!  Yeah, not so much.

 my bright luggage waiting to board the plane

Although, the couple next to me on the plane were the opposite; I think they hated me.  I'm pretty sure they thought I was sitting in their seat, which I wasn't, I had the middle seat out of the three, but I very happily scooted over to the window seat with no fuss.  Later, I did have to squeeze out to use the bathroom - once - and despite me being polite & saying "thank you" and "sorry" profusely, they gave me death looks.  I guess they're just really good at holding it.

Anyway, I'm here, at my momma's sweet little house, and it hasn't stopped raining.  My mom keeps the house cold so I'm sitting at the dining room table in my brother's old discarded sweatshirt, watching the rain cling to bare tree branches like pearl rings on bony fingers.

My grandma's porcelain bird and the skeleton trees

I love spending time with my mom; we're very similar and I can tell her anything.  My first night here, we sat up drinking wine & talking & crying (we always end up crying, but it's not a bad thing) and laughing...

Being here does make me want to nest though.  My mom has a great eye for interior design & it's her hobby to window shop, accumulating ideas & beautiful things.  Being with her has always brought out the domestic side of me; it spurs my imagination, and I dream about a cozy home of my own with my photos and art on the walls, colorful pillows on the couch, and puppies at my feet.

And it's that old war between wanting a life of travel and wanting a comfy nest.  But ah well, both will come, neither needs to be rushed...

On her mantel, Momma has a message for herself.  She says it reminds her, everyday, as she leaves the house to look for it & recognize it in her life:

I think that's pretty cool, and a reminder we can all use sometimes.  Now y'all know where I get my positive outlook...  :)

Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ spending time with my mom
~ knowing I have what I need now, and always will
~ heart-shaped rocks and porcelain birds
~ safe travels

xo! n.

Top 5 reasons to take a selfish and completely irresponsible adventure

New post up at Escape Hatcher!

from weheartit.com

You know you want to... click here to read it...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

lovely and talented, part 2

I've been sick.

But by sick, I don't mean holed up in bed, miserable and achy and drifting in & out of medicated sleep (and no, I don't mean sick as in dirty - get yo minds out of the gutter - or sick as in awesome, although I know I am totally awesome), I mean that I've been congested as hell, coughing and snotty, but not feeling sick at all.  I've still gone to work, still gone out with friends, still have all my mental capacities and a normal level of energy.  It's weird.

However, that icky snotty feeling combined with the cold weather has born in me a craving for comfort foods.  So the other day, I attempted to make a delicious tomato soup with cheese & meatballs & croutons.  Mmmmm...

I say "attempted" because although the soup was out of a Campbell's can, the meatballs were pre-cooked and frozen, and I didn't even have to shred the cheese, I somehow managed to screw it up.

The meatballs weren't thawing, so I put a lid on the pot & then, oh so smartly, got distracted by the Ellen DeGeneres Show - dance it out, yo! - returning to the kitchen to find our stove covered in red soup.  Whoops.

So... maybe my mental capacities aren't completely intact, after all.

But you know whose absolutely are?  My super fantastic friend RJ Chesney!  (how's that for a segue?)

He just had a CD release party at the Hotel Cafe - which is a really big deal.  And he was amazing.  He sounded amazing, he looked so happy, and he had sooo many people out there supporting him.  It was really wonderful, and again, I am so grateful and happy and proud of my lovely and amazing friends.

You can buy his album here

I don't know that LA is really home for me, but I do love the fact that everyone here is doing something creative.  And when people succeed, they do it big.  The creative energy of my friends is astounding. 

Today I am so grateful & happy for:
~ those amazing friends of mine, once again
~ my ultimately delicious soup
~ puffs plus tissues

xo! n.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Photo Recap: Wilson's Promontory National Park, Victoria, Australia

as usual, all pictures taken by me (except the ones of me which were self-timer & friends) so please give credit if you borrow!  :)

Friday, March 5, 2010


What do y'all think of my new layout?

I think it's less cluttered & more accessible, with new fun buttons allowing you to explore more posts, follow & subscribe more easily, and share any posts you like on Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, and more...

I'm diggin' it, but it's your opinion that matters... play around with it & let me know what you think!

Today I am so grateful and happy for:
~ internet resources
~ html help!
~ inspiration from other bloggers

xo! n.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The very exciting news!

So before some of you get too antsy (Jayne) or get your hopes up too much (AB), it's time to reveal my very big news!
 drum roll please...

Susan Baker, a Creative Career Consultant and super cool advocate for life-changing adventures, has asked me to be a regular guest writer on her website, The Escape Hatcher!  You can check out my intro
me in Wilson's Promontory, overlooking Squeaky Beach, Australia

Her website brilliantly encourages people to "escape" jobs they don't love and gives them the courage to create the lives they've dreamt of.  Along those lines, I'll be writing in a bit of a different tone than I do here; detailing my progress and probable frustrations as I establish myself as a travel writer, and also motivating people with tips & techniques I've found useful in staying focused & positive even when things get rough.

I'll be writing bi-monthly, please check it out & while you're at it, check out my hilarious friend Todd's weekly Escape Artist entry here.

This is a big step toward my digital nomad independence!  So excited! 

Today I am so grateful & happy for:
~ new opportunities
~ relating
~ sunny days

xo! n.

Photo Recap: Canberra, Threadbo, Mt. Kosciusko, Snowy River, Mackenzie River Rainforest & Lakes Entrance, Australia

all photos taken by me (except the ones of me) so please be kind & give credit if you borrow.  :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

lovely and talented

Some days, bartending & catering isn't so bad, and I think, you know, this is easy money & I could do this to supplement my income for a while, no problem.  Yesterday was not one of those days.

I worked at Myspace (that's right, the actual offices of Myspace), filling and re-filling cereal in four kitchens.  That's it.  For five hours. 

I rolled a cart piled high with boxes of Fruit Loops and Cheerios down the silent, polished office floors.  Footstep, footstep, squeaky wheel, squeaky wheel.  I passed empty cubicles, un-plugged cords creeping out of desktops like weeds in a corporate graveyard.  Layoffs?  Probably.  Curious eyes followed my progress from behind flat-screen monitors and beige half-walls, and whispers of "the cereal girl" and "sugar" and "mmm Coco Puffs" collected around me. 

 from weheartit.com

First kitchen - full.  Second kitchen - full.  Third kitchen - add one orange and a handful of cornflakes.  Fourth kitchen - full.  Stop.  Repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat...

I was bored out of my mind.  I wanted a sneaky espionage camera in my buttonhole.  I wanted someone to talk to.  I wanted to eat the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms bags.

And then I was done.  It was lunchtime, no one wanted cereal anymore, and I wound the canyon roads back home, thinking - that was easy money, but I just got dumber from five hours without a single useful thought.  I can't do this forever.  Gotta get myself into some more creative endeavors.

That night, as if scheduled to reinforce that thought, we premiered Teeter's movie, Pivot.  We filmed it last year & it's making the festival circuit; she wrote, produced and starred in in, I was a character and the script supervisor, and the entire cast & crew were our talented friends.

Teeter with the movie poster

Before everyone got there, Teeter, Chick and I set up the wine & cheese, laughing at ourselves for our use of risers and fluff - sure signs of catering experience.  But hell, one thing working events has taught us is how to host a damn good party.

  Chick even made a step-and-repeat/red carpet/paparazzi cake!  Adorable.

It was at the Sunset Screening Room in Burbank - a beautiful & professional venue if you're ever looking to rent a screening venue - and we had a great turnout.  Everyone was there to support independent film, and everyone was receptive to the movie.  It was a room full of creative minds, buzzing.

I am so proud of Teeter.  This is her dream and she made it happen.

You can buy Pivot here.

It was brought to my attention recently that I often write "I am so happy & grateful for my lovely and talented friends," or something similar.  Well, it's because I have so very many of them, and they are so very lovely and so incredibly talented.  Talking to them & knowing this one is writing a feature film, that one is releasing an album, the other one is directing operas, and that one over there is studying medicine...  I am the luckiest girl in the universe to have such friends.  You are all amazing.

The night ended as most of our celebrations do - at our favorite bar, Pineapple, cheers-ing Teeter over dirty martinis & sweet tea vodka. 

 Chick & Teeter, dancing at Pineapple

Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ not just talking about things but actually doing them
~ jobs that remind me not to get complacent
~ inspiring friends

xo! n.

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