happy day!

//flight outfit// //work calendar//

I don't know what makes me happier - completing my teaching contract (in the words of one of my students, "cha-ching!") or jetting off to Paris to celebrate my former roommate's wedding and our four year anniversary. Now if I can just focus enough to get that last draft of my thesis finalized before I go...

planning v. producing

//voce cafe//

Producing > planning. When I'm planning, I'm nurturing the perfectionist inside myself. This woman can write to-do lists, type out optimum strategies, and gather research all day long. Planning is my way of managing imperfect information and controlling what I can. The problem with planning is that it's not results-oriented. I can have the most detailed plans... and nothing to show for them. On those days when I felt really busy but in hindsight don't know what I actually accomplished - those were planning days. My goal for the rest of this month and for July is to execute better. This means diving into a project and letting the next action steps appear naturally v. attempting to map out each detailed to-do from start to finish, sending that email without waiting for the exact right words to come, just editing those photographs v. writing a list of all the sets of photographs that need to be edited. Done is better than perfect.

My action steps:
  1. Spend 15 minutes at the beginning of the week and 10 minutes every morning mapping out the week/day, and then stop there. Whenever I'm feeling tired or out of focus, I have this bad habit of editing and adding to my to-do list. That just makes me feel even more tired and overwhelmed. I'm going to change that by only taking out my planner when I have a new idea or need to cross something off my list. Ten minutes of solid planning is enough for a day's worth of execution.
  2. Determine my TOP 10. Prioritization is key to feeling that sense of accomplishment. I can get 10 non-critical things done and still feel anxiety because I didn't finish that one thing that I was really supposed to be working on. Each week, I'm asking myself, what do I really want to accomplish this week? This week, I have 7 priorities that I know I'll feel great having accomplished by the end of the week.
  3. Create something every day. I love inspiration and seeking out inspiration, but "inspiration-hunting" for me can often devolve into time wasted on blogs, twitter feeds, news articles, and Pinterest. I'm holding myself accountable to creating something everyday, whether it be a blog post, an appendix for my thesis, or an online photo album.
Any tips for making the most of your time? I'd love to know.

This week, I'm also on my BFF Hollyanne's awesome lifestyle blog, hk in love, featured in her new series on coffeehouses.

a collection no. 1

I come across so many things on the internet that I've decided to start a series on this little blog where I curate a collection of what's stood out to me the most lately - everything from accessories to articles. This is a collection, no. 1.

Mantra: take it easy
Dress: joie devitri blouse // zara ballerina with ankle strap shoes // rebecca minkoff woven MAC bag // michael kors taylor mini watch
Read: the shining girls
Work: kids these days // earning to give // how i made it: emily schuman

and not pictured:
Photography: rick poon's a la mode journals

words to live by no.1

//San Onofre campgrounds//

I'm a California girl, always and forever, and the outdoors is my thing. Especially the ocean-side outdoors. When I was younger, we'd head south to Oceanside for a week at a time share in a complex with its own entrance to the ocean. That was one of my favorite weeks of the year, second only to the Christmas holidays and my birthday week. I didn't have very much to stress about then, but still, that week was pure relaxation. That week was home-cooked meals with a few early morning walks to the cafe sprinkled in. That week was about doing whatever felt good - starting a book on the patio and finishing it in the afternoon on the beach, journaling the same way, heading to the jacuzzi for an hour after the sunset because the warm water felt so soothing after the saltiness of the ocean.

This last year, we did a little bit of camping. Camping is a lot of work, packing and prepping. It's not always comfortable - we've haven't yet splurged on an air mattress for inside our tiny 2-person tent. But camping is magical. It's all earth and sea and salt and wind. Camping is earthiness and groundedness and being completely present. Camping is so in the moment - rugged and cool and rough around the edges. I love it. It's one of my favorite parts of summer to just sleep on the dirt for a couple of days.

It's practically summer in China, and the closest we've gotten to the ocean was our visit to Hong Kong. We're worlds away from the OC, but I'm holding on to those lessons from the beach. Watch. Listen. Breathe. Feel. Present.

sunset boating on the harbor.

California is just hands down one of the most beautiful places in the world, and when I look back on pictures that I took last summer, I miss it even more. I miss the sunsets, the light, the water.  The colors, the vibrance of everything. It is just such an amazing place to call home.

And of course, I miss the people. Because what's a place without the people you love?

// my sweet parents //

// my dream house on the harbor //

// Bruins forever //

I'll be seeing you in August, California! I'll be the one kissing the ground at LAX.