Dec 29, 2013

10 things i'm grateful for

When I was a teenager, I struggled with some very dark days. After spending much of my time escaping into the imaginary lives in movies to try to counteract this depression, I began a gratitude journal one day. Before I went to bed, I would write 10 things that I was grateful for. Sometimes this was as simple as the bed that I got to lay down on every night. Sometimes, it was just a feeling of joy that seeped through the darkness. Once the book was filled, I would read it over and realize that my life was overflowing with things to be grateful for. Although I'm not as diligent a journal-keeper as I used to be, it's nice to count my blessings, and write them down at least once a week. Here is a weeks worth of blessings.

1. Home-made chai lattes with almond milk

2. Spring weather in the midst of winter

3. Warm, purring cats to snuggle with while little one is asleep

4. New, adorable, comfy shoes

5. The abundance of farmers markets around me that I get to choose from

6. The avocado man at said farmers markets, who always throws in an extra avocado for Julie

7. A brand new, amazing toddler carrier with which to carry my very heavy toddler

8. Putting on makeup and brushing my hair after a week of mommyhood spent in dishevelment

9. Having the hubby home for holiday vacation

10. Seeing the joy that Julie gets from playing with her new Christmas toys

Dec 27, 2013

holiday simplicity

I recently read an article written by the local police station, which listed ideas for how one can essentially “survive” the holidays. It described in some gloomy detail how the holidays often trigger depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The pressures of gift giving and family gatherings, not to mention, mass advertising can prove to be too much.

I caught myself nodding knowingly, which led to some self-examination. When exactly did the holiday season become a pressure cooker of sorts? When was my unbridled enthusiasm for the season replaced by stress and exhaustion?

This led to a wonderful conversation with James about what our individual philosophies are, and how we can create a collective vision for our daughter that resonates with who we are, rather than what mass marketing or the masses expect. The key idea we landed on was simplicity. The Waldorf class that Julie and I attend is always a huge inspiration. Our teacher handed us an article on how “less is more”, and the heartfelt words moved me to tears.

I dream of a holiday season where dread and anxiety have no place. Where the only thing that matters is the joy we are feeling in any given moment. Where consumption is kept to a minimum, so that there is space left in our lives and hearts to truly appreciate the abundance we already have. I want Julie to love this season because it is a time to reflect on all that there is to be grateful for, and all that is beautiful in this world.

As I sit here in the warmth, her sweet milky breath blowing quietly into my face, her damp curls nestled in the crook of my arm, and the sound of James’ guitar strumming softly into the night, I am certain that this dream has already begun to be realized.

Dec 26, 2013

what julie ate

Oh holidays--why must you be so enticing with your cakes and pies, and all of your other goodies...I have yet to conquer this raging sweet tooth of mine, so starting with Thanksgiving, it is an uphill battle to maintain my saner food choices. There is no better time than the present for a green juice/smoothie detox. I think I will start...tomorrow. At least, Julie isn't similarly swayed.

Breakfast: Gluten-free oatmeal with coconut oil and parsley
Snack: Blueberries, avocado
Lunch: Millet with Natto (traditional Japanese food of fermented soybeans), nori seaweed, kale
Snack: Superfood puffs, Steamed daikon cubes
Dinner: Buckwheat groats with lentils, carrots, toasted sesame oil, kelp powder

Dec 20, 2013

what julie ate

I plan to keep this as a regular series. As a new mom to a picky toddler, I love to hear about what other holistic-minded mamas feed their babies. Any inspiration helps! I have in my bookshelf a number of baby nutrition and baby food cookbooks, which I refer to daily. At this stage, Julie has very clear ideas about what she doesn't like, and I have to rise to the challenge of keeping her interested, while getting her the nutrition she needs. Unfortunately, reasoning doesn't work, and she cares not one bit about the hours of loving prep I put into her meals. It's a work in progress. I get genuinely excited when she takes to something healthy. We just conquered green smoothies and I am over the moon. (and a huge health nerd, apparently...) All of our meals are vegan for the most part (more on this another time), so there is a huge amount of research that goes into meal preparation. Here's today's menu:

Breakfast: Millet porridge with coconut oil and kelp powder
Snack: Raspberries and brown rice cakes with tahini
Lunch: Brown rice with lentils, sweet potatoes, flax oil, and miso
Snack: More raspberries, avocado
Dinner: Buckwheat with lentils, broccoli, nori seaweed, and olive oil

Dec 18, 2013

a little bit about me...

I was born and raised in both NY and Tokyo. My family also lived in New Jersey and Las Vegas before we settled in a very small town some thirty miles outside of the city. It is one of those towns where everyone at the local diner and café knows your name, the population is tiny, and roaming deer are abundant. It is quaint and beautiful. The fact that the most amazing city is around the corner helps to stem any small town boredom that can and does arise. My childhood was idyllic and ideal.

The other part of my upbringing was spent in the neon city of Tokyo—the antithesis of American small town living. My formative years (that tumultuous horror show called adolescence) were spent assimilating into Japanese culture as best I could. Multiple schools, a young musical and modeling career later, I returned to NY for fear of losing the American part of me. English had been replaced by Japanese at some point, and those awkward reverse culture shock years were spent honing my language skills with episodes of “Friends”. I figured that comedic banter was the way to communicate, as television had so convincingly assured me. (I never got the hang of this—preferring the Japanese way of cheerful and very un-sarcastic conversation…)

After high school, I ditched tradition, and put off college for self-discovery and adventures in “the real world” in New York City. It was perfect, and I never regretted the decision. I found a job in a little restaurant on the Lower East Side, an apartment to share with similarly idealistic roommates and ever-present roaches, in a rough neighborhood (much to the great chagrin of my family), enrolled in a few acting classes, and generally loved the heck out of my time there.

New York City is my first love—an electric, exciting city, with a little something for everyone. It is
inhabited by every kind of person from all over the world. The beauty of NY is that all of these worlds can mix and mingle to form this gorgeous free-for-all. One can truly discover oneself, unhindered by societal rules. After the group mentality of Japan, and the restrictions and judgment that can exist in a small town, this was the most welcome change for me. I found the core of myself here. It is in NYC that I discovered that it was ok to not “fit in” (and with the vast variety in this world, how impossible this is if we want to venture out of any given place!); that my eclectic experiences and unconventional thoughts borne of cultural confusion had a real home. My adoration for this city that freed me knows no bounds.

After this wonderful time in NYC, I went back to the suburbs to get an Associates degree, spend some time with my family who is purely amazing. Are they quirky? Yes. Fantastic? Without a doubt. I would never change the experiences that filled these years for the world, as they have definitively shaped me, and filled me with a gratitude that goes far, far beyond words. A few years of soul searching later, I made another leap across the ocean and cultural divide to devote some time to acting and re-discovering language and another way of being in Japan.
The years I spent in Japan were exciting, always challenging, and frequently joyful. I worked regularly in musical theater, modeling, and was a series regular in a couple of TV shows. I also made some of the best friends of my life, spent quality time with my family, and cried oceans when it was time to leave for a new adventure.

The next stop was Los Angeles, and as I said before, it is here that I met my soul mate, got married, and had a little girl (This is a little miracle that I will talk about in another post). I continue to be stretched in a myriad of ways. Life is challenging, but I believe that’s true if we are living it fully. I never want to fall into complacency. There is so much to learn, to experience, to appreciate, to open to. Life is so very beautiful.

Dec 17, 2013


Hello blogging world. I’ve been meaning to make your acquaintance for a while now. 

I’ve always loved journaling. Something about the catharsis of letting it all out uncensored to a quiet and non-judgmental observer. I enjoy looking back on old entries, and seeing how I have grown since then. Sometimes we (with the added boost of time) are our own best teachers. 

I’m hoping to use this blog as a journal of sorts, where I can look back one day and laugh heartily, or have my heart swell with gratitude for all that has come to pass.

I would also like to document these precious early years of my daughter, and our time together as a brand new family.

Because I never would have become the person I am today without the health struggles I faced for many years, the exploration of true, radiant health will play a big part in this chronicle, as well. 

I’m so excited to begin this journey. Thanks for joining me.

Dec 10, 2013

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...