We awoke to one of those crisp, crystal clear autumn mornings where we could see all the way to the coastline from our perch. From the moment I looked out our window during breakfast and saw a menacing plume of smoke racing across the sky, with gray ashes falling into the pool, our world here in Butte County has been forever changed.Read More
Remembering this sweet bridal brunch on the canyon for the beautiful bride-to-be, also my honeymoon travel client, Jordyn. She and her family are longtime Chico residents and have become my dear friends in recent years. We had such fun celebrating Jordyn’s upcoming nuptials in this beautiful spot on the canyon.Read More
I'm nearly at a loss for words watching the devastating fires in our beautiful wine country. We are hearing reports of family and friends who have lost their homes. This image from iconic Signorello Estate a couple of years back that burned to the ground last night. Thoughts and prayers for everyone impacted by the firestorms.
Update: It's been nearly a week since the catastrophic firestorms exploded in wine country and it still feels surreal. This is a place where I have both lived and visited regularly for most of my life and it always feels like home. Praying that winds calm for brave firefighters and predicted rains help put an end to the destruction. Sending love and prayers to family & friends who have lost homes and livelihoods.Read More
I’ve received so many comments and emails about my retirement series as I made the leap from school psychologist to launching my Curated Travel business, a year ago. From making the bold decision, to steps along the way, saying goodbye, even my changing spending habits, I chronicled my journey this last year in these posts: Retirement Series. There are a number of readers who are planning on retirement in the near future and curious about how it feels to go through this experience. It’s been fun to share our experience.Read More
Just yesterday I came across an album of old photographs and was mesmerized by the grainy images, long forgotten, captured between the slightly dusty covers. It was an album of our honeymoon, back at the ‘turn of the century’, in 2000. This was before digital cameras, Facebook check-ins, camera phones, and selfie sticks. It was pure, unadulterated relaxation and romance, just like any honeymoon should be. Due to hurricane season being in full swing in September, we opted for a honeymoon destination on the western coast of Mexico, now known as the Viceroy Zihuatanejo.Read More
The last time I indulged in my regular shopping habit was June 2016. This may sound odd, but I’m tracking how long it’s been since I have darkened the door of my previous shopping addiction, TJMAXX. It’s been nearly 10 months. I’m sure my friends working at the checkout stand assume I’m pushing up daisies by now!
As with many life transitions, like retirement/reinvention, being conscientious with finances is an essential piece of the puzzle. I’m impressed by how much cutting the excess shopping can ease the strain of a reduced income. It’s a simple, but effective formula.Read More
Nothing like my husband being gone the weekend before Valentine's Day to make me feel nostalgic and sentimental. I've been in a mood to clear the clutter and organize this winter, so I dug into boxes of old photographs and cards this weekend for a stroll down memory lane.
I was reminded of the fine art of the romantic gesture; it costs absolutely nothing (or nearly nothing if you buy a card). This is a good one. Nearly 20 years from when we first met, this romantic gesture still fans the flame around our house. The first year I started this blog I somehow got Scott to agree to share his perspective on how to make your love interest swoon.
These are just a few of my vast collection of romantic cards, and notes, from my guy. They are still the first thing I would grab in a fire, so I've now taken to capturing a few of them on my camera for safe-keeping.
I would share the notes, but perhaps it's best to keep some things private--even for a lifestyle blogger. ;)
If you are looking for a swoon-worthy Valentine's Day dinner in the Chico area, Bacio Catering and Carryout has the most delicious menu for a romantic Valentine's Dinner at home.
Check out the menu for this Valentine's Day:
Let’s face it, sometimes we all need a little inspiration to bring the romance back into life. It’s so easy to let day-to-day stresses zap the life blood out of a relationship. If you are needing a few ideas to enhance a date night, a couple of these romantic places to dine that might just set the stage.Read More
5 Surprising Things I've Learned in Retirement
1 - It's surprising, I only need about 1/3 of the current wardrobe in my closet. Most of those pencil skirts, silk blouses, short jackets and mid-height heels are simply not as necessary with my new lifestyle of working from home. Hello consignment shop and donations bags for the items that don't thrill me! I will need to spend some time creating my casual/active wear day-to-day style but I'm not in a huge rush. For now, I'm weeding through what I already have and no longer need. That process always feels good.
2 - Integrating my work office and my home office spaces was more difficult than I anticipated. Odd little things like which stapler, pencil cup or desk accessory to keep for my home office space gave me pause. Some of these tools had been my daily essentials, in two separate work spaces, for many years. Figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of took some time so I decided not to rush the process. I'm finally completely unpacked and organized into my home office space.
3 - It is no surprise that waking up to an unstructured schedule reduces a tremendous amount of stress. It's a bit like a perpetual week of Sundays and it's a life changer! I feel like I can now plan my days, weeks and life with more intentionality. One of my main goals has been to restructure my priorities and fitness is right at the top. One of the best changes is that I've added a consistent yoga/Pilates schedule to my week and have even started scheduling them in my calendar. When I make an intentional appointment it helps with my commitment. Though it could be tempting to loll on the couch and watch reruns of "Flipping Out" or "Below Deck", I'm finding my days are quite busy and productive.
4 - When you make a big life change, and leave a day-to-day workplace behind, you can't know how much you will stay in touch. I'm happy to report that friends/colleagues from my former workplace want to connect. I've been surprised at how many texts, calls and invitations I have received. It feels good not to be forgotten. I also find that I'm more of a "Yes" person now. My husband (the more spontaneous one) loves that I agree to more gatherings and events now that I'm not as stressed out with work.
5 - Despite the euphoria of retirement -- real life intrudes -- no surprise. Whether it's a medical issue, as with our sweet kitty, Jack, or the ongoing concern for a close family member struggling with serious addiction issues, real life is that rude awakening sometimes. It is easier to be consumed with worry, or attempt to solve problems beyond control, when you have more free time. It's important to stay focused on life balance, especially when serious issues creep to the forefront. Keeping that balance is one of the main reasons Scott and I committed to turning off the phone and celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary last weekend. It was lovely and thank you for the wonderful wishes!!
Have you been surprised by anything lately??