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Journal

It's an Artform

It's an Artform

My bucket list goal to read 12 books by the end of 2019 is off to a good start! Crazily enough I'm already half way through, which I'm pretty blown away by since March is here super suddenly if you ask me...

I think less TV consumption has aided me in getting this far so fast. Here's what I've delved into thus far:

  • Living Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Standing at the Edge by Roshi Joan Halifax 
  • Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts 
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

I've loved each book in its own way, but as a former event wrangler, my latest read, The Art of Gathering is spotlighted today. It's so cool to think about how a small gathering of four or a huge conference requires equal finesse and attention to detail...as an aspiring dinner party host, I learned so much about how I can care for guests and make the experience special.

To work towards my goal, I've been visiting the SF Public Library and using the Libby app. I'm also encouraged by the Indie Bookstore Finder website, as supporting independent retailers is an important mission for me.

 

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2019 Bucket List

2019 Bucket List

After my meditation retreat, I’ve been decidedly less gung-ho about planning out the whole year. This is a huge deviation, normally I’m planning 12 to 16 months in advance. It’s extremely liberating; I have very little on my calendar beyond work deadlines, which I’m loving - just being in the moment and letting the days flow by.

However, I also believe in my annual bucket list because dedicating energy towards milestones can offer heightened purpose, add a sense of excitement to everyday life and make each passing year more vibrant and fulfilling. I’ve been pondering what would be meaningful for me and my family this year with a theme of tranquility; for now, this means staying closer to home compared to years past and approaching every list item with a less-is-more ideology. I’m aiming for relaxation and renewal to be built in, so my list is less about productivity and more about cultivating health and harmony.

2019 Bucket List:
- Maximize my SF Library card and read 12 books

- Get into a regular volunteering routine
- Go to an Avett Brothers concert; the obsession started here
- Visit Joshua Tree with Mya and Liam (my bro and I had the best trip there in 2008, it’s time to go back)
- Hang out on the rocks of the South Yuba River and soak in the rays
- Check out Lassen Volcanic National Park
- Stay at the Brewery Gulch Inn
- Continue my daily meditation practice
- Participate in a Nonviolent Communication workshop after reading this amazing book
- Find a pet (yes, I’m manifesting the pet that is meant for my hubs and I will seek us out)

As usual, I’m keeping my goals pretty approachable with a few curve balls in there to mix it up; I don’t want to get discouraged, but I certainly want to push the envelope to grow and test the universe a little. I’d love to hear if you’ve created a bucket list for this year or at least have a few must-dos you’re hoping and striving for.

Ps. How did I do with my 2018 bucket list? See below, there were some modifications and I only completely missed the bottom 3 italicized ones...not bad!

- Hike to Half Dome and climb the chain ladder to the summit - granted we didn’t summit Half Dome but Yosemite was pretty damn great without all the hooha
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Get back into ceramics - try a wheel-throwing workshop
- Stay in the nicest hotel in a 50 mile radius and enjoy a staycation
- Take Mya and Liam to Hawaii
- Visit at least 10 of San Francisco’s privately-owned public open spaces (POPOS)
- Go to Form Festival - well, we went to Outsidelands and it rocked our world
- Cultivate a thriving veggie and herb garden
- Zipline somewhere with an amazing view
- Visit the Farallon Islands
- Take a calligraphy class

Photo credit: Joshua Tree Acres

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2018 Bucket List Reflections

2018 Bucket List Reflections

With the year half gone, and at an extremely alarming rate, I’m doing a touch base with my bucket list and life. I see June as a bridge - I’m suspended between two time periods - a place when anything seemed possible in January to now facing the reality of how quick it’s all gone and if it’s possible to fit my wish list in by the end of December. It’s so wild how quick it all goes by and how important determination is to reach destinations.

I’ve also seen great beauty and magic in the spontaneous, as some of my favorite events of the year thus far weren’t even on the list…
 - Reuniting with Andrea, my Canadian bestie in NYC; we schemed about Party et Cie and ate everything in sight
 - The Museum of Ice Cream with the kids
 - Candice Young coming to visit SF, eating ginormous noodle bowls and stumbling upon inside jokes that will make me laugh for a long time to come
 - Experiencing Camp Fireball at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland
 - Adopting a nectarine tree on the Masumoto Family Farm in partnership with Real Food, Real Stories
 - The Loyale meetup at Yellow Dog Bread Co. in Raleigh
It’s all fluid, I suppose - the planned and the unexpected blend together to create a unique and fulfilling tapestry.

All in all I’m happy with my BL progress, but also shocked at how much is not yet accomplished; I’m not sure if I can fit in the below list into the remaining 182 days of 2018 considering both time and money. But being a glass half full person, I’ll take pride in what I have managed to check off and the activities that are still a work in progress. I hope you’ll note of what’s cropped up haphazardly, take stock of your lists, and see how things are going...it’s pretty cathartic!

Ride in a hot air balloon
   > KP and I loved our Napa Valley Aloft experience

Get back into ceramics - try a wheel-throwing workshop
   > Hanging with Mel Rice of Studio Ceramica and Nino, the rescue cat, for 6 weeks was a blast

Stay in the nicest hotel in a 50 mile radius and enjoy a staycation
   > I surprised my hubs with a stay at the epic Poetry Inn in Napa to celebrate his 6 month work anniversary

Take Mya and Liam to Hawaii
   > Happening July 4th week, stayed tuned!

Go to Form Festival
   > Didn’t work out for this year, but we do have our Outside Lands 3 day passes secured (yay, Portugal. The Man, Jaime xx and Carlie Rae Jepson live!)

Cultivate a thriving veggie and herb garden
   > Slugs ate my first attempts, but our lime tree looks nice and after Hawaii, I’ll try again

Visit at least 10 of SF’s privately-owned public open spaces
   > Halfway there!

In the works / hope I can fit it in:
- Take a calligraphy class
- Zipline somewhere with an amazing view
- Paddle board in So Cal
- Visit the Farallon Islands

Moving to 2019:
Hike to Half Dome and climb the chain ladder to the summit
    > Even though I put it in my calendar as a reminder, I missed the lottery window for 2018 :(

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Giveaway Winner | @claudette.symone

Giveaway Winner | @claudette.symone

We're happy to announce that last week's IG winner is Claudette Smith! Her bucket list wish for 2018 is to go to Harry Potter World...

Claudette lives in North Carolina, is 20 years old, and her major is media and business marketing. Her hobbies include photography, film, reading and running! Follow along with her here and via her photography IG profile here. Congrats Claudette!

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Friday Feels | Go Out + Do

Friday Feels | Go Out + Do

Life is short. After turning 20 last month, I took a step back and realized that in the blink of an eye, those years flew by. I have already lived 20 years of my life, and if you go by the estimated life span of an American female today (78.74 years) I’ve already lived 1/4 of my life. Like, what?! In some ways that really scares me, but as someone who always tries to see the glass half full, it’s also motivation to go out and do. These are just a couple things I have on my 2018 bucket list: 

Complete a solo skydive jump. Last year I went skydiving for the first time with my sister and fell in complete love with the adrenaline rush of it. Definitely recommend.

Go vegan for a month. I mean, have you seen the documentary What the Health? If not, it’s pretty astounding. I love a good challenge and to give up cheese for an entire month will test my willpower…

Get better at surfing. I’m back at my beloved school UNC Wilmington that is home to Wrightsville beach, just 5 minutes from campus. I’m very lucky, I know. Time to get the wetsuit out!

Meditate – for real. I picked it up for a while via the app Headspace, but I didn’t really stick with it.

Start a YouTube channel. When I was younger, my friends and I made these hilarious videos on Microsoft Movie Maker on our home desktop. It was so fun to get creative in front of and behind the camera. I have all these ideas floating around in my head that I’d love to share with others. Any thoughts on a channel name?

Get back into running 5k’s and competing in Triathlons. I used to go hard-core doing both every other weekend around NC. It was exhilarating. Not sure why I stopped, but I’d really love to start training again. My goal would be to complete a lengthy triathlon…lifetime bucket list item would be the Ironman, but I think I’ll start off with something a little bit smaller first. Go ahead and Google what all it entails. #mindblown

In a world as crazy and fast-paced as this one, it’s hard to remember the goals we set for ourselves. That’s why I love sitting down and writing/updating my bucket list every so often. Let’s see how many of these I get checked off during 2018! I’m (in surfer jargon) pretty stoked for this year. Time is short, and not guaranteed, so let’s all go out and do.

Photo credit: Brooke Lark

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LA Team | Candice | Now We Start Once More

LA Team | Candice | Now We Start Once More

2017 has come and gone. Here we sit trying to figure out how it all happened so fast, meanwhile, 2018 is here. Before I set my sights on this New Year, I want to take a minute to relish in the adventures of 2017, because it was truly one for the books.

The year started with a job search that carried over from 2016. I graduated 6 months before, had been interning with the city of Raleigh planning events and managing a music venue, but sadly there was nothing more than this internship on the horizon. So, off I set on a winding road of disappointment and tears through 20 job interviews. I know what you're thinking, but that number is not an exaggeration. Mid-search and mid-March, Genevieve and I set off for two weeks through France. From Raleigh to New York, to Poland, to Paris, a train to Aix-en-Provence, bus trips to simple mountainside cities, cafes, chocolate shops, and more croissants than you could imagine, France was by far the most magical and romantic excursion of my 26 years of life. I won't drown you with the details, but you can read about my favorite parts here and here and here.

The summer was long and fulfilling, chock full of 15-hour event days and long nights of prepping the amphitheater for an experience filled with music in the heart of downtown Raleigh, where the backdrop of the city skyline and the incessant noise of nightlife filled the air. My heart was content and still for once. I knew this wasn't forever, but it was for now and it was so special. 

Late-August I was offered a job on the spot in my interview and started the next week. Finally, my bones sank back into position, my eyes settled, and I felt like, for the first time in a long while, that I could actually do this.

The rest of the year flew by, with a trip to Austin for a music festival and catching up with pals, to multiple Friendsgivings and dinner parties. I bought a car, got a cavity filled (I'm not sure why, but I feel like this was vital for you to know), adopted another kitty, settled into my cozy nook in Raleigh, and now here I am, ready to prepare for this new year.

It truly has been a wild year. This short synopsis does no justice to the craziness that actually transpired, but I have found that these mid-twenties for me have been nothing short of an endless cycle of what if's and what could be's.

But now for 2018. I can feel it in my toes, this year is the one. The year for more adventures, more explorations in faraway cities, more coffees with strangers, more twists and turns and crying on the kitchen floor and dancing at midnight.

I don't believe in New Year Resolutions. To me, a resolution means a clean slate, starting from zero. I believe in building on your mistakes and your achievements to continue moving towards a goal. I believe in making your dreams come true. So what am I working towards this year?

  • Moving to a new city: Raleigh has been an amazing baseline to grow and settle into my skin but it's time for a new start! Suggestions? I have some ideas but I'm curious where you would consider creative pursuit and entrepreneurial dreams flourish.
  • Writing a book: Many of you know I've been working on this for a while now, but I have two different projects I am working on simultaneously and the goal is to finish at least one by the close of 2018.
  • Traveling to 2 new countries: I think seeing the world is vital for perspective and growth and while I have enjoyed my time spent abroad, I crave more. Where have I been? Peru. Nicaragua. Costa Rica. India. France. Where will I go...? I have several countries on my wish list that include Cuba, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Iceland and the Netherlands. Stay tuned to where I end up!

I truly believe in the power of speaking your truths into the universe. My psych degree forces me to align this with the idea of 'self-fulfilling prophecy' but think of this as you like, but know that I think it's an unbelievable real thing.

I urge you to reflect on 2017 and truly celebrate your wins, big and small. And then, set your intentions for the New Year. We have traveled the long journey around the sun and now we start once more. Make something happen. What will it be?

xx, Candice

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2018 Bucket List + Giveaway

2018 Bucket List + Giveaway

2018 is a significant year...not only is it the 5th anniversary of my beloved brother’s death in May, I turn 40 in August as well. I’ve been ruminating on these two meaningful and important milestones as the weeks led to the new year and have made my mind up to dive into the next 12 months with a balls to the wall attitude. The culmination of these occasions is hammering home a strong theme for me - since I don’t know how much time I have on earth, I aim to love and live life to the fullest.

While I feel resolutions are pretty bogus, I do condone and fully support bucket lists, especially ones that are brimming over with enriching life experiences and ample opportunities to shake up mundane routines. I personally think that bucket lists should be generated annually because saying “one day” or “before I die” could mean I’ll never get around to experiencing my flights of fancy. I’ve enjoyed putting my list together and looking at it makes me smile; even just visualizing some of these activities gives me heightened purpose and has added a sense of excitement to my everyday groove.

2018 Bucket List:
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Get back into ceramics - try a wheel-throwing workshop
- Stay in the nicest hotel in a 50 mile radius and enjoy a staycation
- Take Mya and Liam to Hawaii
- Go to Form Festival 
- Zipline somewhere with an amazing view
- Paddle board in So Cal
- Visit the Farallon Islands
- Cultivate a thriving veggie and herb garden
- Take a calligraphy class
- Visit at least 10 of San Francisco’s privately-owned public open spaces (POPOS) 
- Hike to Half Dome and climb the chain ladder to the summit

As I thought of this list, I took a 50 / 50 approach, some things will be easy to check off and are reasonable, while others are out of my comfort zone, will require saving money, getting in better hiking shape and / or psyching myself up. These later factors are transforming how I approach my daily life and I’m already implementing changes so this wish list can become a reality (i.e. budgeting, meditating on fear, taking longer walks than normal, researching gardening websites). Also, I think I’ve struck a healthy balance of reality and fantasy, so I won’t get discouraged out of the gate…I hope you’ll consider creating a similar list for yourself! To celebrate 2018 and bucket lists, we’re doing an Instagram giveaway this week, check out our wall for more details!

In closing I should note, a huge inspiration for me and my 2018 bucket list scheme was reading Chip and Dan Heath’s compelling book, The Power of Moments. If you have a bit of time, I highly recommend this insightful and easy to read book!

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