That crazy whirlwind called life…

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Little Gunpowder Falls

As I’m sure you can guess from my lack of posts and the title, the past few weeks have been out of control!

Plans have been made, created, cemented, changed, altered, and fallen to pieces. My heart has broken wide open as I said farewell to more loved ones who moved away to follow their dreams. My hopes have been dashed and almost promptly rebuilt.

My arms grew weary of holding on and my heart was heavy with fear and uncertainty and doubt.

Then suddenly this week things began swinging upwards. Answers trickled in, solutions to keep me afloat and get me involved in causes and with organizations I care about and could see myself being a part of for years to come.

None of this is permanent. Its all temporary solutions to deeper problems. But the important part is, I’m being provided for in a million tiny ways…by friends opening their homes, a partner who supports me from near and far, and new streams of income that will cover my expenses and then some.

I feel like I should have known it would be something spectacular like this. I have a friend who moved 4 times during the summer and right when one stay was finishing she would find another place to housesit or sublet or whatever. But it was always dramatic and down-to-the-wire.

Seriously, we need to start a reality tv show! True Life: Hopkins Grads sounds like a good title, dontcha think??

Anywho, the good news is that its not time for me to say goodbye to Baltimore just yet. I get to keep on teaching Zumba and cuddling “my” baby <–Note: not actually mine but rather the little one I babysit a few times per week who I’m obsessed with because he’s a little piece of cuddly heaven and being part of the communities down here I finally feel I belong to.

Its exciting and scary. But then again, the next step always is.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

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Random Photos…

Since I finally took photos of our apartment (you know…to post since we’re moving soon….more news on that later), I had a chance to go through my camera.

Holy photos! Some of the stuff was almost a year old. *hangs head* After sorting through everything, I figured I’d share some delicious eats with ya’ll. From, ya know, the last 12 months haha

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I don’t even remember what half of this food was…but its making m mouth water looking at it! I spy a wrap with toffutti cream cheese + arugula, capers, and tomatoes, yellow dal, Rising Moon vegan ravioli, pad thai, a chickpea salad, homemade pizza (so yum), Mexican tofu scramble, and stuffed mushrooms. No that doesn’t cover it all…but shh!

I also wanted to share these beautiful flowers. Prior to photographing these, it had been months since I had picked up my camera. I was in the depths of some dark times and being creative just wasn’t on my radar. But how could I not want to immortalize these beauties?!

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Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Money Saving Monday – All By Myseeeeeeelf

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Welcome to another week of saving money and taking names! 😉 This week I was flying solo since the beau was working. The upside: I only bought what was on the list (yes ladies and gents – my beau is the impulse shopper in this family!). The downside: I was totally discombobulated and never had enough hands. I guess I’ve gotten a bit spoiled… #firstworldproblems

Anyway, I’m prepping for a big interview (which I’ll be at by the time you read this) so its going to be short and sweet this week.

Meal Plan

For some reason I was feeling super inspired to turn to Mama Pea this week. <–probably because her serving sizes are a tad bigger and didn’t require any math on my end to double the recipe!

Lemon Lentil Soup
Thai Crunch Salad (Peas and Thank You)
Lasagna Rolls (using the Tofu Ricotta from here because it is the best and I want to licked the bowl clean) + arugula salad
Kale + Cheese Stuffed Tortillas
Avocado and Quinoa Chimichurri Salad
Zucchini Bread (Peas and Thank You) <–because I haven’t had some all summer and they’re almost out of season!

Spending Savings

Farmers Market: $35
Whole Foods: $20.53
Trader Joe’s:
CVS: $8.36
Walgreens: $3.52
Total:

Farmer’s Market: $1.00
Whole Foods: $3.75
CVS: $5.80
Walgreens: $8.04
Total: $18.59 (

Steals and Deals

Whole Foods

Corn Tortillas (12): $1.49

Buy (3) Larabars, $2.97 ($0.99 ea as “Treat of the Week”)
Use (1) $0.75/3 Larabar, Uber, ALT or Jocalat Bars coupon
and (1) $1.00/3 Larabar, Uber, ALT or Jocalat Bars July/August Whole Deal coupon
Total: $1.22 or $0.41 each!

Buy (1) Ezekiel 4:9 Bread, $3.49 (price varies by variety)Use (1) $0.50/1 Food for Life product coupon or here
Total: $2.99

CVS

Buy (1) Tom’s Toothpaste, $3.79
Use (1) $1.00/1 Tom’s Toothpaste or Mouthwash (SS 09/15/13)
Receive (1) $1.00 ExtraCare bucks
Total: $2.79 + $1.00 to spend on a future purchase

Buy (1) Organic Cotton Balls, $3.59
Get (1) 1/2 off
Use (1) $1.00 ECB from prior purchase
Total: $4.39 or $2.19 each

Walgreens

Buy (1) Scott Naturals Paper Towel 6-pack, $4.00
Use (1) $1.00/1 Scott Naturals Towels coupon
and (1) $1.00/1 Scott Naturals Paper Towels Walgreen September coupon (in store)
Total: $2.00 or $0.33/roll

Buy (4) Kleenex Facial Tissues, 85-ct, $3.52
Use (1) $1.00/4 Kleenex Facial Tissues coupon (SS 8/11/13)
Total: $2.52 or $0.63 each

OR

Buy (3) Kleenex Facial Tissues, 85-ct, $2.64
Use (1) $0.55/3 Kleenex Facial Tissue coupon
Total: $2.09 or $0.70 each

Until next time… keep your fingers crossed about my interview!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo
 

http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2013/8/28/grilled-kale-cheese-stuffed-tortillas.html

Money Saving Monday: Speak Up

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Let’s start with the super duper important things. Like this Kale Smoothie popsicle I scored at the Farmer’s Market this week

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It was absolutely delish and the only ingredients are kale, green grapes, and banana. Um that is my kind of breakfast right there thankyouverymuch. Considering the beau and I got up super duper early to hit the market before my 10am training, this was about the only thing that brought a smile to my very grumpy self. I followed this up with another new obsession: Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread. Ohmygoodness it is soooo raisin-y and delicious especially with a touch of Earth Balance. nom nom nom

And since I’m sharing breakfast i-photos, I might as well show you this little gem. Can we talk about the color of that peach? Aka it was perfect. The roll is actually one of the Schar ones I got for super cheap last week. The beau and I were both big fans and we will definitely be grabbing these the next time we stop by Wegmans.

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Now that that’s done…onto the main post!

Tip of the Week

Keep your cool when dealing with frustrated workers but don’t let awful behavior pass. So I  had a pretty poor Whole Foods experience this week. For some reason the poor cashiers at all MD grocery stores have to manually enter every coupon instead of just scanning it. Like they literally have to type in the dollar amount and choose a department. UUUUGH. The WF down here have another annoying policy so that whenever you use more than 1 of the same WF coupon the supervisor needs to use a key. You can imagine this is somewhat annoying. Unfortunately, this week that annoyance was taken out on me. While I smiled and apologized and empathized regarding how frustrating the situation must be, I also left feeling really crappy. Which, IMO, is not okay. So I took the time to craft a very professional letter to the store letting them know that I understood the source of the emotions but didn’t feel it was right for them to get transferred to consumers. Will anything come of it? I don’t know. But the eternal optimist in me hopes that we can engage in a conversation about these ridiculous policies and maybe some good will come of it.

Anyway, don’t be afraid to speak up if you have a negative experience. Just be sure to be courteous and give facts and not just feelings. Be as objective as possible and for heaven’s sake don’t lose your temper. Remember honey > vinegar. Winking smile

Meal Plan

Mexican Cabbage (we never got it it last week)
Vegan Caprese Pizza using this dough and these toppings
Curried Sweet Potato soup with wild rice (Happy Herbivore Cookbook)
Tofu Shirataki noodles with Broccoli Pesto (HHC)

Since its our anniversary on Tuesday, we’ll also be celebrating with dinner out at our favorite sushi restaurant here in Bmore. They do Living Social deals fairly often and we always stock up!

Spending Savings

Farmer’s Market: $36.00
Whole Foods: $26.60
Walgreens: $9.47
Eddie’s: $3.00 (avocados are cheaper here!)
Total: $75.07

I may run to Target and spend that last $5. I may not. We’ll see.

Whole Foods: $14.59
Walgreens: $10.30
Total: $24.89 (33%) #nottooshabby

Steals and Deals

Whole Foods

Buy (1) box Back to Nature Crackers, 2/$7
Use (1) $1/1 Back to Nature Product coupon
and (1) $0.50/1 Back to Nature Cookie, Cracker, Granola, or Nut item Sept/Oct Whole Deal coupon
Total: $2.00

Buy (1) bag Kettle Chips, 2/$4
Use (1) $1.00/1 Kettle Chips coupon*
and (1) $0.75/1 Kettle Chips July/August Whole Deal coupon
Total: $0.25!

*You may have to change your Zip code. Simply go to Coupons.com, sign in to your account, and click on your name in the upper right-hand corner. Choose ‘Your Profile’ and set your zip to 18051. Click ‘Submit Changes’ and close the screen. Then try the link above again!

Buy (2) House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodles, 2/$3
Use (1) $1.50/2 packages House Foods Tofu Shirataki coupon (SS 08/04/13)
and (1) $1.50/2 packages House Foods Tofu Shirataki July/August Whole Deal coupon
Total: FREE!

Buy (2) So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurts, 2/$3
Use (2) $1.00/1 So Delicious Dairy-Free product coupon (SS 07/28/13 OR 09/08/13)
OR (2) $0.55/1 So Delicious Dairy-Free product coupon from here or here
and (1) $1.00/2 So Delicious Dairy-Free product July/August Whole Deal coupon*
Total: as low as FREE!

*There is also a $1.00/3 coupon in the Sept/Oct Whole Deal. Simply change ever (2) to a (3). Final cost will be as low as $0.50 or $0.17 each.

Buy (1) Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch (formerly Shredded Oats), $3.99
Use (1) $1.00/1 Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch coupon
and (1) $1.00/1 Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch Sept/Oct Whole Deal coupon
Total: $1.99

Buy (2) Delallo Whole Wheat Pasta, $2/6
Use (1) $1.50/2 packages Delallo Whole Wheat Pasta coupon
Total: $4.50/2 or $2.25 each

Walgreens

Buy (1) Colgate 360 toothbrush, $2.99
Use (1) $1.00/1 Colgate 360 toothbrush (SS 09/08/13 #2)
Receive (1) $1.00 Register Rewards for next purchase
Total: $1.99 OOP + $1.00 to spend on a future purchase

Buy (1) Starbucks K-Cup, 10-pack, $6.99
Use (1) $1.50/1 Starbucks K-Cup pack (SS 09/08/13 #2)
and (1) $1.00 Register Reward from ^ purchase
Receive 1,000 points ($1.00) for next purchase
Total: as low as $4.49 or $0.45/cup +$1.00 to spend on a future purchase

Buy (1) Sensodyne toothpaste, $4.99
Use (1) $1.00/1 Sensodyne toothpaste coupon (SS 09/08/13 #2)
and 1,000 points ($1.00) from ^ purchase
Total: as low as $2.00 +$1.00 to spend on a future purchase

*whew* That’s it for this week!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

Wednesday Revelations: We Create our Lives

2 August 2013

August, start:

  • fear
  • hopelessness
  • lack
  • terror
  • despair
  • anger
  • loneliness

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August, end:

  • hopeful
  • joyous
  • abundant
  • laughter
  • light
  • friendship
  • dreams come true

And so it shall be.

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1 September 2013

Hope: job opportunities

Pride: healthy, balanced decisions

Joy: birthdays + anniversaries

Closeness: revealing conversations, asking for what we need

Let’s do this September.

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Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Money Saving Tuesday: Better Late than Never

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Hiya loves!

Is it just me or are you totally confused about what day of the week it is? I woke up with a start yesterday, convinced I had slept through a doctor’s appointment that was actually this morning. *shakes head* Oh holiday weekends…I love you so much but man you mess with my head!

Anyway this post is coming late because we didn’t actually shop until Monday afternoon and t that point I figured everyone was probably enjoying sunshine and picnic food. As an added bonus, now ya’ll have something to entertain you while back at work. You’re welcome. 😉

Last note – there’s now a Mid-Atlantic Whole Foods coupon matchup!!!!!! I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this because going in blind or making an extra trip to scout the deals  is a pain. In a different region? Check Healthy Life Deals for more location-based match-ups.

Tips of the Week

Have a plan! I know I’ve talked about meal planning before but let’s just say lately, I haven’t  practiced what I preach. And you know what? I learned my lesson! Any week the beau and I winged it, we would run out of food by Wednesday or Thursday and have to dip into our ‘fun fund’ to buy more. Uh, no thank you. On the weeks we planned, however, we got more food, spent less money, and usually had groceries left over for the next week. This week was no exception. Our main bill came to a mere $65. Um what?! We used the rest of the money to splurge on things like local honey and new-to-us products. This is the beauty of taking 15 minutes to google some recipes and write down ingredients.

Focus on produce. Out of four bags, three were filled with produce, most of which was local and/or organic. You already saw the numbers so I really don’t need to say anything else. 😉

Meal PlanIt’s that time of year again – Happy Herbivore cookbook testing!That means some recipes will not have links and will only have loose descriptions (e.g. kale dish). All test recipes are marked with a star*.

Green Gazpacho <–I’m really loving her recipes and have had uniformly good results from them. She offers a good mix of plant-based or plant-adaptible recipes and they make a lot!Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Mexican Cabbage (HHC)
Some sort of kale salad
Roasted sweet potatoes with creamed kale* and bean dip*

Spending Savings

Farm stand: $20.00
Wegmans: $50.80
Fresh & Green’s: $9.43
Total: $80.23

Wegmans: $7.08 (9%)

Steals and Deals

Wegmans

Buy (1) So Delicious Almond+ Milk (64 oz), $3.49
Use (1) $0.55/1 So Delicious product coupon
*doubles*
Total: $2.39 each or $4.78/gal

Buy (1) Schar Multigrain Ciabatta Rolls, $4.49
Use (1) $3.00/1 Schar bread product coupon
Total: $1.49

Buy (5) Goya Low Sodium Beans (any variety), $4.95
Use (1) $1.00/5 Goya Low Sodium Beans coupon
Total: $3.95 or $0.79 each

Buy (1) Food for Life Bread 9any variety), $3.99
Use (1) $0.50/1 Food for Life product coupon or here
Total: $2.99

Until next time…

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

Homemade ChocoBerry FroYo Sundaes

True story:the dairy item I miss the most is Greek yogurt. It was my go-to snack, filler meal, pre- or post-workout snack, and healthy dessert during vegetarian days. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find something that is as tasty + filling in the non-dairy yogurt world.

However, in seeking a substitute, I’ve settled on coconut milk yogurt. A few weeks ago, I stocked up on the So Delicious Plain Greek-style. Have I convinced you of my longing yet? 😉 Anyway, shortly thereafter, I was craving ice cream like whoa. This may be a result of my PMS and/or the fact that I’ve had ice cream exactly five times this whole summer. #sadness But I didn’t want to buy a pint of non-dairy stuff and the only such option at the local fro-yo place is peanut butter which is out of the question thanks to the beau’s peanut allergy. =/

So I did what anyone with a persistent craving would do: I got creative.

Now I wish I had photos but alas, I ate this bowl of pink-hued, chocolate-drenched deliciousness right up. Use your imagination though!

ChocoBerry FroYo Sundae

1 6oz c yogurt of your choice
1 c frozen berries, partially thawed
1/4 c+ chocolate chips
Other toppings as desired

Fro-yo

Make the fro-yo by tossing the container of yogurt into the freezer. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. The longer it sits, the more fro-yo-esque it gets. However, 15 minutes will do if, like me, you’re impatient!

Chocolate Shell

Melt the chocolate chips via microwave, stovetop, or…oven! For those of us lacking a microwave and un-inclined to dirty another pan, pour the chips into a 1 c metal measuring cup and bake for about 5 minutes at 300 in either a toaster oven (my preferred device) or regular oven.

Assemble

Right before your chocolate is melted, place the yogurt into a bowl and mix it around a bit to break it up. Add the berries, mash them in, and mix it well. Pour Drizzle the chocolate on. The thinner it is, the quicker it will harden. I poured mine all into the center and it stayed liquid for a bit of time.

This was a simple, decadent dessert that felt like a total treat but was definitely less expensive and healthier than going out. Yay for kitchen creativity!

Yoga/beauty/mmm,

Kait xo

Wednesday Revelations: Ariel, Belle, and…Me?

Apparently my writing muse is back because I’ve been going it at it like a champ. #punintended

Seriously, my journal is filling up, so is the notebook I carry with me for ideas, quotes, and connections. And this is the third week in a row that I’ve posted more than once. I’m not 100% sure what is happening, but I love it. Writing, for me, is so therapeutic. Its, as Dan Shapiro said, how I navigate my world, especially my victories and struggles.

One particularly poignant struggle lately has been about figuring out where I fit in this crazy world. As I continue to work on getting back to myself, and battling deep loneliness + regret, I’ve started to see two common themes that may remind you of the very Disney princesses I reference in the title.

  1. I never quite feel like I belong. There’s always something that seems to hold me back from being part of the group, whether its my belief that veganism is not the answer for everyone, my unwillingness to give everything else up for my studies or acting or environmentalism, or my desire to take my work as a sex educator beyond doing Passion Parties and into the realms of cancer survivorship, LGBTQ rights, sexual violence prevention and response, and advocacy around of all these issues and more.
  2. I often feel there’s something bigger out there waiting to be realized by me. I can feel myself on the brink again here, teetering between fear and acceptance of something I can only call my destiny, of leaving my mark in this world by making it a better place through prevention and promotion, education and healing, promise, and hope.

To put it into Disney terms I want to be part of that world and I’ve got so much more than they’ve got planned. Yes, that just happened. No, I’m not sorry about it. And come on, you know I had to! 😉

As I look back on my life I can see these two themes running over and over again. I know this is common among entrepreneurs and healers and empaths, but, you guessed it, I don’t feel that I fit into those labels as well. I want to, so very desperately, but I don’t.

Which, of course, leaves just me.

Please don’t get me wrong…I have wonderful friends and readers and clients. My life is full of love. It took quite some time for me to be able to own that fact after my experiences in grad school, but I can now proudly say that I know its true. But, despite all of this, I often still find myself feeling on the outside, buddies with everyone but true friends with few. A recent Hopkins gathering reminded me of this and reopened old wounds I thought I had dealt with. Although I didn’t completely revert into a quieter, shadowier, more self-deprecating version of myself, I could feel her coming out of me. My inner child, who took such a beating over the course of the last year, wanted nothing more than to curl up into a corner and hide…from the potential for judgment and the reminder that I’m not like them and I blew my chance to be with them.

This all leads me to a new book I’m reading: Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. Or rather, a book I’m rereading because I sped through the first round and now I’m taking it one topic at a time, furiously taking notes and working on actually implementing the principles. Anyway, one of the principles talks about well-intentioned family and friends as being one of our greatest adversaries. Why? Because they see us, and want to keep us, consciously or not, as we are. Steven encourages us to let them go because new friends, ones who will be among our greatest aids, the people who we 100% need will show up.

Perhaps, this message is telling me to forget about trying to fit in. That the people who I constantly feel I have to prove myself to (clue: just about everyone except for a handful of dear loved ones!), are not the ones I should be spending time worrying about. That, upon “giving them up,” a new tribe will come into my life, accepting me as I am and encouraging me to be the best version of myself.

Because, at the end of the day, that’s who I want to surround myself with, is it not? Or is that just my ego talking, trying to protect me by keeping me separate? Its been hard for me to tell lately, as one of the more unfortunate results from this past year’s journey is that I no longer have a strong sense of whether my ego or my Inner Pilot Light is speaking…probably definitely because getting quiet and tapping into the latter became so much harder + scarier.

SO this revelation is far from complete…although it has inspired me to rewatch two of my absolute favorite Disney movies.

Have you ever struggled with feeling lonely and/or not fitting in?

Yoga/beauty/crazy-sexy-life,

Kait xo

(Not Really) Money Saving Monday

i-love-saving-money-copyHiya coupon kings and queens!

I missed ya’ll last week..instead, I was travelling back from a relaxing weekend in CT with family and friends. It was a delicious weekend too as I found a vegan chocolate and ice cream shop and visited some of my fave veg-friendly restaurants in New Haven (specifically York St Noodle House and Claire’s Cornercopia).

Upon returning to Baltimore, after sitting in far more traffic than is ok for the middle of a Monday, neither the beau nor I were in the mood to shop, cook, or move our cars from their primo parking spots during rush hour. The joys of city life! <–but I wouldn’t change it or go back to the ‘burbs for the world Anyway, I unfortunately discovered that we could easily (read: in 10 minutes or less) walk to one of my fave Baltimore vegan joints. So we grabbed delish-but-wallet-friendly takeout: the best vegan mac and cheese + garlic kale salad for me and curried veggies, smoked collards, and candied sweet potatoes for him. I also may have returned the next day to grab a green smoothie. *whistles*

Yes, we eventually went grocery shopping…on Wednesday. Needless to say there wasn’t much to report, although I did score some cheap-o razors at Target in CT. #win

Meal Plan

Zuke Pasta with Tahini Sauce + Other Goodness
Southwest Cornbread Salad

Homemade personal veggie pizzas
Curry Roasted Carrots with Peanut Sunbutter Sauce and Baked Coconut Lentils
Lemony Millet Salad with Chickpeas, Corn, and Spinach
Kale with Pecorino Nooch and Walnuts + leftovers

Also, look how pretty our produce bowl is this week:

Spending Savings

Farmers Market: $26
Whole Foods: $30.97
Rite Aid: $13
Trader’s: $10Total: $79.97

Ok so if we’re being honest, Rite Aid and Trader’s are guesses for later in the week but based on my estimates, it’ll work out perfectly. 🙂

Steals and Deals

Rite Aid

Buy (1) Organix Shampoo, $5.99, get one free
Use (1) $2.00/1 Organix product coupon (SS 08/11/13)
Total: $3.99/2 or $2.00 each

Buy (2) Kashi Cereals, $6.00
Use (1) $1.00/2 Kashi cereals coupon (RP 08/04/13 #2)
and get $1 UP Reward
Total: $4.00/2 or $2.00 each

Buy (2) Scotch-Brite mulipacks, $3.94
Use (1) $1.00/2 Scotch-Brite multipacks coupon (SS 08/04/13 Regional)
Total: $2.94/2 or $1.47 each

That’s it for this week. Short and sweet!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

 

 

Being Provided For

Apparently my writing muse has returned. I started journaling again per my doctor’s orders and now I’m writing left and write…in my journal, in the notebook I’ve taken to carry with me everywhere to write down new ideas, newsletters for Passion by Kait , and blog posts for here.

*whew* it feels delicious.

Anyway on a recent trip to DC, amidst business passengers tourists and average Joes and Janes, I took the time to reflect on all the ways I’ve been provides for in this tough time of transition.

A partner who loves me despite the fact that some days I’m utterly and completely apathetic, and others high on life, and other sobbing with dread and hopelessness.

Friends who nourish my soul…and my fangirling. They provide the perfect balance of support and silliness, inspiration and escape.

Unexpected income, from new clients, last minute parties, selling clothes at the consignment shop, and just finding change on the ground, a gentle reminder that the Universe or God or whatever name you give it is, in fact, listening and watching over me.

Late night revelations about my business, new colleagues who offer guidance and help, scholarships to conferences and training, and and increased number of job opportunities that say the numbers are starting to work in my favor.

A newfound sense of purpose and focus and motivation.

Cooler temps that make the days bearable, and keep the AC off!

All of these things are gentle reminders that I am not alone and that this too will pass, all in good, cosmic time.

This summer has not been easy, but amidst the moments of chaos and fear and doubt there have also been utterly beautiful moments of connection, caring, hope, and love.

And those are what I hope o remember. That this isn’t anything like I imagined things would be, but it’s better…because its reminding me to surrender, offer my struggles and my hopes to a higher power, and keep on keeping on…one day, cover letter, and meal at a time.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo