Good Vibes Only Double Feature!

Last week was chock-full of little moments that made me insanely happy, but I was so busy showing my in-laws around Dallas I missed my weekly post. So this week I bring to you two weeks of Good Vibes Only! 

Last week's moments -- First, spending a few hours making Valentine's Day cards for strangers for the Handmade Valentine Exchange! I loved tapping into my creative side and spreading love and happiness to total strangers especially in our current world climate. 

And second, learning that the ban on Trump's Immigration Ban had been upheld! The elation I felt couldn't be caught in a picture, but in the moments after hearing the news I could physically feel my mood lift and I couldn't stop smiling. After weeks of feeling helpless at Trumps hands, it was a refreshing reminder to know that the checks and balances our government has in place really do work. And it's inspiring knowing that there are millions of people like me who are standing up for love, acceptance and inclusion.

This week's moments -- First, watching a flock of geese walk across the road. It really is the smallest things that can bring a smile to my face!

Second, receiving Valentine's Day cards from total strangers, reading their inspiring words and seeing all the creative ways people thought of to make cards. 

Our Voyages: 5 Tips for a Hometown Vacation

IMG_8558IMG_8657 IMG_8714

There is no better cure for the inevitable homesickness you'll feel when you move away, than going home. I hadn't been fully aware just how homesick I was until we landed in San Francisco three weeks ago. The relief and happiness that came with arriving in the city I think of as home was met with a bit of trepidation because I knew this was going to be a whirlwind trip. Visiting your hometown (or wherever you consider to be home) can be a tricky and exhausting trip. You want to see EVERYONE, EVERYONE wants to see you, and there are about a gazillion places you want to eat at and things you want to do before you leave. Scheduling all this is no easy feat and it took many years of coming home from college to feel like I am finally close to getting it right. These are five tips I try to follow for planning and executing a successful trip home:

Do Not Over Plan  If it can be helped, try not to plan each hour of each day out too far in advance. Having room to be spontaneous will make the trip feel less stressful than when you are "going going going" from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. This has always been a hard one for me because I am a planner, but on this trip I let our moods guide us a lot more than I usually do and it made for a more relaxing trip overall.

Balance Social Activities  Of course it would be great to get one on one time with each one of your friends, but there aren't enough hours in the day to do that. So balancing one on one friend and family hangout time with group family and friend hangout time is key. We went wine tasting with a group of our friends in Sonoma and it was a great way to catch up with multiple people without feeling rushed.

Make a Short List  Homesickness is not only about missing friends and family. It's also about missing your favorite coffee shop, ice cream place, corner store or nail salon. Along with spending time with my BFF and siblings, my short list included eating at least one burrito (anywhere would do) and drinking at least one beet juice (from Greens and Company). Once those two things were checked off my list I felt more at ease about leaving San Francisco again.IMG_8640

IMG_8560

Don't Forget Your Significant Other  Plan out a bit of time to hang out with him or her and do some of the things you liked to do together when you were living there. It's very easy to go on a trip home with your significant other and get back from the trip feeling like you haven't seen each other in months. Rob and I weren't as good about this but we did have a mini road trip together from SF to LA where we got to chat and be together which was a nice break from the rest of the trip. We also ended the last three weeks with a vacation to Bermuda, so getting time together in CA wasn't as imperative.

Be Present  This is probably my most important tip! It's very easy to get caught up in all the planning and scheduling and forget to enjoy the time you're spending with your family and friends. My trick for staying in the moment is making lots of toasts no matter what kind of beverage is being consumed. It brings people into the moment and reminds them to be thankful that you're all together.

Happy Nail Art Vibes

It's become tradition for me to get a fabulous manicure, with a great bling finger design, before spending a week on Catalina Island with family. This year's manicure was courtesy of Olive and June in Beverly Hills and I loved it. It put a smile on my face every time I looked at my hands!