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Inspired & Inspiring

Since my mom lost her phone and I live so far from my family, I can’t resist the urge to share some birthday photos. Thanks everyone for making me feel so special on my birthday. Hi Mom!

The sweetest cake surprise after work

The sweetest cake surprise after work

An OSHO reading

An OSHO reading

New pie making pieces from my thoughful Godmother(ish)

New pie making pieces from my thoughful Godmother(ish)

Topped off with a lovely dinner at Eveleigh.

Topped off with a lovely dinner at Eveleigh.

Thank you for the love everyone!

Google family hangout

Google family hangout

I’ve been feeling a little homesick lately.  When I told Al that I was feeling homesick, he asked, “For Cleveland?”  And I thought, I don’t even really know what I mean.  Then I thought of this post about the concept of home that I wrote a while back. It was a good reminder.

Then, as I was looking back on older posts, I found some other good ones like this one on spring cleaning that I posted 2 years ago today.

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Yep, it’s been 1 year since I moved to Los Angeles.

There is no way I could have imagined where my life would go once Albert and I made this move.

I found a job I love with people who I truly care about and I get to spend my weekends in the sunshine.

Since the move, I have gotten into hiking, beach volleyball, being gluten free (!), talking about the traffic, surrounded myself with healthy people, watching SO many movies – the list goes on.

There ARE times, usually right before bed, when I feel an emptiness inside me that reminds me that I am not closer to my family and my home.

I am not sure the sunshine could ever outweigh what I have on the other side of the country.

I will say that I am really happy I did something that I was scared to do. It has taken me to places I never thought I would go.

And of course, I would have never been able to do it with out him:

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(via here)

I’ve been watching more than my regular share of movies lately, both at home and in the theater. Scenes from each of them, and the impressions they’ve left behind, stick with me.  It is both what makes a great move, and what can leave me feeling a bit heavy after taking in too many stories.

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The Talented Mr. Ripley – I had never seen this movie before.  Its all star cast, which also includes Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett, and stunning visuals alone make this movie quite pleasant to watch.  It was much more intense than I expected, being a psychological thriller and all, but I really liked it.  Gotta love a good Netflix Watch Instantly selection.

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Blue Is the Warmest Color –  This film won a number of awards at last year’s Cannes Festival and I completely understand why.  I didn’t know much about it before watching it, other than having heard some buzz around the full on sex scenes.  The story spans several formative years of its main character, Adele, and her personal development relating to relationships, sexuality and career.  I thought it was very tender and powerful.

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Somewhere – Dakota Fanning plays an 11-year old girl who spends an unexpectedly lengthy amount of time with her California actor dad.  The movie, directed by Sofia Coppola, is similar to some of her other work in its feel (i.e. slow moving, melancholy characters in high-end settings). Despite there being things about the film that might be easy to hate on, I enjoyed it and thought Fanning really made the movie.

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The Dance of Reality – I wasn’t familiar with filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky before seeing this but a friend of mine sent a link to a screening of The Dance of Reality at MoMA and it seemed like a fun thing to go to.  The film is about Jodorowsky’s childhood.  His real life grandson plays him as a child; his real life son plays his father.  Jodorowsky was at the screening and spoke after the film, which definitely upped my appreciation for the whole thing.  He talked about how he used the film to recreate much of his life, and the lives of his parents, as he’d want them to be and as a way to heal actual realities.  It was interesting.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums is quite possibly my favorite movie so I’m always up to see the films he makes.  If you’ve seen more than one of his films, you know that he has a very particular style with many repeating themes and similarities.  Visually, I love what he does.  Sometimes I find the quirkiness fantastic and other times trite.  I liked The Grand Budapest Hotel more than his last full-length movie, Moonrise Kingdom, but still prefer The Royal Tenenbaums to anything else of his that I’ve seen.  And for better or for worse, that’s always the lenses from which I watch Wes Anderson movies.

Some bits and pieces of things I enjoyed this week:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go and do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman

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Feeling Wheel

 

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This week’s This American Life story about the FBI, the Boston bombings and immigration.

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(My new book)

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This candid picture of my grandparents

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This travel series with this dude Karl who hates traveling and being outside of his comfort zone.

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Having heartfelt/meaningful talks with this girl:

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Sometimes when I’m so inclined I turn to greatday.com for its daily message.  I read this one yesterday and particularly liked it, so much so that it was still on my mind when I woke up this morning.  Hope you like it too.

Willingness to Learn

Look back at everything you did yesterday and ask yourself this simple but powerful question. What worked, and what didn’t?

The way to improve and to become more effective is to learn. The way to learn is to take the time to look at what actually happened.

You don’t need some celebrated guru to reveal to you how to improve your work. You just need the willingness to learn from what you’ve done.

Instead of getting angry or frustrated about your failures, choose to learn from them. Instead of getting boastful or complacent about your successes, make the choice to learn from them.

Learn what helps you, what holds you back, what makes you more effective and what slows you down. Learn from your encounters, your experiences, your joys, your setbacks and from the surprising twists that life often takes.

In everything is the valuable opportunity to learn if you’ll simply decide to do so. Learn from it all, and make each day better than the one before.

-Ralph Marston

9318b6a718f931966109b8f6cd88b4e7(Image found here)

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SMELL

Level Naturals is a downtown LA based all natural product company that I have fallen deeply in love with. Their Mission Fig & Lychee candle is one of the best I’ve smelled in a while.

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TASTE

I made and taste tested all of the smoothies in this GOOP magazine and ever since I have been craving them. The chai gingerbread shake is the freakin’ best!

Also, homemade sweet potato fries are amazing.

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TOUCH

CV Skinlab’s has become one of my favorite effective and chemical free companies. Their calming moisture feels insanely soft when I put in on. It is the best part of my early morning routine.

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HEAR

I have happened to listen to this Fresh Air interview with David ‘Russell many times. As you may know, he directed American Hustle. I always find it fascinating to learn about a filmmaker’s point of view.

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SIGHT

Sunday accidentally/happily became documentary day and I pounded out: The Square, an inspiring and chilling documentary about a group of Egyptian revolutionaries. It’s the real deal. I also watched Mitt, which is a documentary about Mitt Romney and I highly recommend it.

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(via saipua)

Some while ago I started this thing wherein when I see someone on the street, or on the train, with a bouquet of flowers, I accept them (in my mind) as meant for me.  Once when leaving an event I snagged an extravagant spray made up of gorgeous blossoming peonies, among other buds, and on my way home handed out individual flowers to strangers I caught admiring their beauty.  One particularly enthusiastic man, heading out to dinner with friends, proudly adorned his lapel.  I linger in the flower section in Whole Foods’ entrance debating how much, if anything, I’m willing to spend on various assortment combinations before I’ve even gotten to my overpriced grocery list. When I splurge and make a purchase, I feel particularly delighted to be the woman on the street with fresh flowers peaking out from my shopping bag.  I go months without having any in my home and then
spontaneously pick up a bunch vowing I will always treat myself so well.

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